Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-113
Location: LH-113

(Description ID: 594473)


Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

James Benton Childs Family


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

This collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1985 by Mrs. George F. Grosjean. For further information about Clarence C. Childs, see Local History Collection 229 (LH-229).  Transcriptions of the Spanish American War diaries of Clarence C. Childs that are part of this collection appeared in the Hayes Historical Journal in the fall 1985 and spring 1986 issues.  A digitized version of the diaries appears on the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center website []

Biographical Sketch
James Benton Childs, a clothing merchant from Syracuse, New York, and Wooster, Ohio, moved to Fremont following the death of his first wife, Eleanora, in April, 1893.  They were the parents of nine children.  Upon his arrival, he opened a retail clothing business known as Childs’ Clothing Store.  The store, located at 100 N. Front Street, remained in operation until 1933.  After Childs death on July 31, 1901, his sons Thomas, Walter and Clarence carried on the family business. 

Walter, who parted with the family business in 1933, started a new venture, known as Mar-Vo Mineral Company.  Clarence, who lived with his brother Walter at his Lincoln Street home, became a well-known amateur athlete in the sport of track and field.  He participated in the 1912 Olympics, placing third in the hammer throw.  He later went on to coach athletics at Wooster College and Indiana University.  Clarence also was an accomplished musician.  He formed the “C.C.C. Slides,” the only slide trombone band in America.  He served in the Spanish-American War and saw action on the Mexican border in 1916 and in WW I. To read more about Clarence C. Childs, see “Paper Trail” No. 5 May2004.

Scope and Content
The collection documents the history of the James Benton Childs family of Fremont, Ohio.  Inclusive dates for this collection are 1847 to 1961.  The collection principally focuses on the lives of James Benton Childs’ three sons: Thomas, Walter, and Clarence.  There is significant information on the life of Clarence C. Childs.   Clarence’s Spanish-American War activities are recorded in three pocket diaries. Also included are numerous pieces of family memorabilia: newspaper clippings, invitations, business cards, advertisements, announcements, brochures, and photographs of family members and the Childs Store.  Artifacts donated with this collection were transferred to the Museum.    

Ac. 4783
½ linear ft.

Folder 1 - Clarence C. Childs

  • Pan Handle tobacco “World’s Champion Athletes” cards (2)
  • CCC business card – Instructor in brass, trombone soloist and director
  • Wedding invitation of Jessie Stilwell to Walter Childs, July 5, 1904, Fremont, Ohio, with envelope
  • Envelope to CCC 6th O.V.I. Reg. Band, Augusta, Georgia, from James B. Childs Clothing, Fremont, Ohio
  • Envelope, St. James Hotel, Utica, New York
  • Letter from CCC to “Father,” Cienfuegos, Cuba, March 18, 1899, 4 pages,
  • Autographed letter in envelope marked “Uncle Clarence letter from Cuba”
  • Envelope addressed U.S. Olympic Committee Post Office Box #1227, Fremont, Ohio
  • Picture from Kenyon Reveille, 1907 football team, 1907 musicians group, 1908 football team, 1908 track team
  • Announcement dated week starting December 11, 1910, photograph of CCC on verso
  • Certificate of the Ordo ab Chao dated November 11, 1904
  • 36th Annual Intercollegiate Champions official program May 26-27, 1911, 16 pages
  • Yale News, December 20, 1909, Vol. 33, No. 70

Folder 2 - Clarence Childs Diary: Books I, II, III

Folder 3 - Clarence C. Childs Newspaper articles

Folder 4 - J.B. Childs Store

  • Advertising button/token for Star Clothiers
  • Merchandise fabric label J.B. Childs & Son, Fremont, Ohio, Business card J.B. Childs Clothing, Fremont, Ohio
  • Business card Childs Manufacturing Co. Patented Novelties, Perrysville, Ohio
  • Business card J.B. Childs Clothing, Syracuse, New York
  • Advertising card Childs Clothing Store
  • Newspaper clipping dated December 15, 1900, about window display of James B. Childs store
  • Newspaper clipping Fremont Journal, April 15, 1898, front page advertisement
  • Newspaper clipping, no date, “Bluff & Bear” window display
  • Advertisement broadside, Childs Store, April 1, no year indicated

Folder 5 - Walter Childs

  • Calling cards, A.C.S.
  • Card, Walter T. Childs, President of the Sandusky Co. Sunday School Association, Fremont, Ohio
  • Card, Walter T. Childs, Invitare [invitation]
  • Postcard, “Meet me face to face” Walter last name Childs, autographed note, October 9, no year indicated
  • Autograph book given to Walter Childs by James B. Childs, Jr.
  • Brochure, Mar-Vo Mineral Co., Fremont, Ohio
  • Letter from Red Cross Drug Co. to Crohan Mfg. Co., Archbold, Ohio, February 17, 1907, 1 page with envelope
  • “The Beta Record” Vol. 1, No. 1, December 1897, monthly paper of Fremont High School, 2 copies
  • Sandusky Co. Sunday School Association 42nd Annual Convention Resolutions, Fremont, Ohio, February 24-25, 1903
  • Supplement to Whispering Breezes, 2 pages, prtd.
  • Sunday School convention, May 8, 1904, Mimeographed letter, Burgoon, Ohio, August 10, 1904, to the Officers of the Sandusky Co. Sunday School Association from Walter T. Childs, President
  • Letter from E. K. Warren to Walter T. Childs, Three Oaks, Michigan, August 17, 1903, World’s Fourth Sunday School Convention with certificate
  • Certificate for World’s Fourth Sunday School Convention issued July 29, 1903, for Jerusalem for April 18-20, 1904, in the name of Walter T. Childs
  • Newspaper clippings, no date

Folder 6 - Childs family

  • Mrs. J. B. Childs, A.C.S.
  • Alice B. Childs, prtd. Calling card
  • Credential card of Mrs. Elinor Childs of Syracuse for W.C.T.U. Convention of Onondaga Co. signed Sarah Tower Wilkinson, President
  • List of officers and members of good standing Ebenezer Lodge No. 33, Free and Accepted Masons, Wooster, Ohio, Oct. 17, 1876

Folder 7 - Thomas Sherrard

  • Letter, Jan. 6, 1847
  • Letter, Dec. 17, 1847 [Transferred to Oversize]

Folder 8 - Fremont, Ohio Memorabilia

  • First Presbyterian Church, Fremont, Ohio
  • 75th Anniversary Booklet 1833 – 1903
  • Centenary History 1833 – 1933
  • Fremont Opera House
  • Program for Al. G. Field’s Big Minstrels, April 25, 1901
  • Souvenir program for Egypta, A wondrous story of the Nile, December 7-8, 1899

Folder 9 - Scrapbook of newspaper clippings, 1898-1901

Folder 10 - Photographs – James B. & Elinor Childs (4)

Folder 11 - Photographs – Thomas Childs (3)

Folder 12 - Photographs – Walter Childs (2)

Folder 13 - Photographs – Alice Childs (2)

Folder 14 - Photographs – Robert Childs (1)

Folder 15 - Photographs – Clarence Childs – Youth (6)

Folder 16 - Photographs – Clarence Childs – Olympics (1)

Folder 17 - Photographs – Clarence Childs – Cuba (5)

Folder 18 - Photographs – Clarence Childs – College/Coaching (8)

Folder 19 - Photographs – Clarence Childs – World War I (3)

Folder 20 - Photographs – Clarence Childs – Adult (10)

Folder 21 - Photographs – Zella (Mrs. Clarence) Sherrard Childs & daughter Nancy Childs (1)

Folder 22 - Photographs – “Uncle Thomas Childs” (2)

Folder 23 - Photographs – Childs Store (10) [Two duplicates transferred to Sandusky County Local History Photograph Collection]

Folder 24 - Photographs – John P. Moore Family & Misc. images (4)

Transferred to the Museum:

  • Football [cat. no. 1985-2-1]
  • Football helmet, padded leather [cat. no. 1985-2-2]
  • Nose and mouth guard [cat. no. 1985-2-3]
  • Discus, wooden [cat. no. 1985-2-4]
  • Indian clubs, 1 pair, 1.5 lbs. [cat. no. 1985-2-5 & 6]
  • Hammer, iron sphere with wire/handle attached, 16 lbs. [cat. no. 1985-2-7]
  • Hammer, iron sphere with wire/double handle attached, 12 lbs. [cat. no. 1985-2-8]
  • Carrying bag for hammers, leather [cat. no. 1985-2-9]
  • Wrist guard, brown leather, strap and buckle [cat. no. 1985-2-10]
  • Weight-lifting belt, leather and felt-like material, 4 leather straps and buckles [cat. no. 1985-2-11]