Local History Collections

Collection ID: 285
Location: LH 113

(Description ID: 594473)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

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

˝ 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]