Combining State, County, and Museum needs has been time consuming and at times frustrating. But in the last month, things in regards to staring the structure have seemed to move more quickly. The Buehrer Group has been hired as the architects. Then on October 29, 2015, the soil boring began. We will keep you updated.
Wauseon native, Jeffrey Spieles, is an elementary school teacher who is not content just to teach history. He has written a stirring novel set during the Civil War— bringing the dangers and conflicts of the time compellingly alive for young readers.
Jeff, 35, the son of Jim and Dolores Spieles of Wauseon, is a 1994 graduate of Wauseon High School where he participated in cross country, track, and National Honor Society. Spieles earned a degree in education from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree from The Ohio State University. He now teaches fifth grade in Englewood, Ohio. Jeff has been awarded Educator of the Year in his school district, and nominated for Ohio Teacher of the Year. “Writing has been a hobby of mine since I was a child. Now as a teacher, I have found storytelling to be a powerful way of engaging students.”
In Sherman’s Path, published by Royal Fireworks Press of New York, is his first novel. The novel tells the story of 12-year-old orphan, Henry Atkinson, who lives in Georgia during the time of Union General William T Sherman’s devastating March to the Sea, from Atlanta to Savannah. After deserting his post in the Confederate army, Henry seeks protection from a plantation owner. He is sent directly into Sherman’s March to the Sea. Through it all, Henry develops a relationship with a remaining slave family— challenging his previously held beliefs about slaves.
Local residents will have the chance to meet Jeff and purchase copies of his book on Saturday, March 10 between 2 and 4pm at the Fulton County Museum at 229 Monroe Street, in downtown Wauseon. Sponsored by the Wauseon Public Library and the Fulton County Historical Society., the reception and book signing will include the exhibit opening of the museum’s 1862 version of “Hell & Homefront : Civil War Through Fulton County Eyes.”
Tuesday through Friday, 10 – 4 and Saturdays, 10 – 2 at 229 Monroe Street, Wauseon, OH 43567.
The Fulton County Museum will close on Friday, December 24, and not open till the Grand Opening of the new exhibition, “Hell & Homefront: Civil War Through Fulton County Eyes, on Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011. Drawings of the proposed reodelling of three galleries of the museum are included in this information. When the museum opens, the exhibit may be seen Tuesday through Saturday from 10 – 4. Contact the museum for special guided group tours at, (419)337-7922 or via e-mail at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, Fulton County fairgoers were transported back to 1860 at our historic structures. The Canfield family had just moved out of their cabin, replaced with the John Butler family. Re-enactors from the National Society of Living Historians group helped play the part, and encouraged visitors to see our exhibit next April at the Fulton County Museum. Next door, our father and son blacksmiths were hard at work, just like Henry & Raphael Reighard were, over a century earlier. In the Swan Creek Township Building, Census results from 1860 and a map from 1858 accompanied a mock presidential election of 1860. We are proud to report that Abraham Lincoln won again 150 years later!
Brigadeer-General E.L. Hayes Collection
c. 1862 – 1865
Gift of William & Charlotte Terry, 2010
This collection of Civil War and personal memorabilia once owned by Wauseon native, Edwin Lewis Hayes, fourth cousin to President Rutherford B. Hayes, is being donated by his great-great-great grandson to the Fulton County Historical Society in a ceremony at 6:30pm on the South Stage of the Wauseon Homecoming on Friday, August 6. Hayes’ daughter, Hortensia, is attributed with naming the town after the native chief, Wa-se-on.
Among the collection is a presentation sword, commissioned by the town of Wauseon in the summer of 1862 from Tiffany & Company in New York City. The sword was presented by Mayor Jewell to then, Major E.L. Hayes, who was leaving his post as city councilman and his downtown business to recruit Fulton County men to form the 100th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The 100th fought throughout the south, and were even held as prisoners of war at one point during the war.
The collection will be part of the Fulton County Museum’s special exhibit, “Hell & Homefront: Civil War Through Fulton County Eyes”, opening in the spring of 2011 as part of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the United States Civil War. This five year project will contain exhibits, educational programs, and a publication on the history of Fulton County from the underground railroad movement in the 1830s through the reconstruction era. The project will not be a glorification of war, or particular battles, but show visitors the viewpoints of Fulton County citizens, both on the battle field, and those left behind at home. The museum’s extensive collection of Civil War era artifacts will be the centerpiece of this commemoration.
Attend the FREE presentation at one of three locations in the county druing the month of May and learn from scholar, John Swearingen, Jr. about his research findings on the history of Fulton County during the Civil War era. Hear the viewpoints of Fulton County citizens, both on the battle field, and those left behind at home, and how they related to and impacted the culture of Fulton County.
Monday, May 10, 7:00pm at the Evergreen Community Library 253 Maple Street, Metamora, OH (419)644-2771 www.evergreencommunitylibrary.org
Monday, May 17 at 7:00pm at the Archbold Community Library 205 Stryker Street, Archbold, OH (419)446-2783 www.archboldlibrary.org
Tuesday, May 25 at 6:00pm at the Delta Public Library 402 Main Street, Delta, OH (419) 822-3110 www.deltapubliclibrary.com
Today, April 17, we found an old letter from January 8, 1860. It turns out that a doctor from the Delta, OH area named Samuel Bell Finney wrote the lyrics to two (probably unpublished) abolition songs on this paper. The titles are, “The African’s Complaint” and “Give the Bible to the Slave”. At the time, he was married, and living in Nashville, OH in Holmes County. During the Civil War, he joined the 166th Ohio National Guard and ended up as one of the body guards for President Lincoln! After the war, he moved his family north to Fulton County, purchased a farm, and pursued his love of making herbal remedies. Eventually, he manufactured his own medicines, and shipped them throughout the world– becoming quite wealthy. What a valuable find! I plan on showing the artifact in the exhibit, and will reprint the lyrics in our commemorative pamphlet.
This sunday, March 14, I participated in the first “winter civil war event” of the Bean River Civil War Round table at the Fayette Opera House. They showed the Disney film about the Great Train Race, and highlighted the stolen train’s conductor, who lived in Stryker, OH. I set up a display about “Hell & Homefront” and talked several times about Fulton County Historical Society’s efforts to recognize the Ohio 150 event that begins next year. Tom Spiess moderated a discussion of those present about what they would like to see happen during those years. Ideas discussed were: a Late Winter ball re-enactment, combining with the Fulton County Historical Society to create a Civil War Summer Camp for kids during those 5 summers, school programs, and other re-enactment activities.