Hoover-Evacuee Author…


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More often than we can count the Ramsayer Research Center is asked to provide information on an interesting topic concerning either Stark County or President McKinley. We are honored and consider it fun and a privilege to help these fellow researchers “Seek the Threads.” This is the story of one of our visiting researchers and her experiences here.

Hoover Evacuee Author

We were once again given the opportunity to host and help fellow sojourner, Rebecca McVay from central Indiana. We first met Rebecca and her father in 2015. She returned in 2019 to continue her search for the threads of history that tied together people in little North Canton and London, England.

Rebecca is writing a novel on the experiences of children of Hoover Company employees who worked at a branch of the company just north of London, England during World War II. Many children were brought to the United States to escape the war and placed with North Canton foster families. This is Rebecca’s third trip to Canton, Ohio to research in the Ramsayer Research Center, the North Canton Heritage Society, and the Hoover Historical Center, which is now maintained and administered by Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio.

“Boss” Hoover hosted at least one Thanksgiving dinner for the English evacuees in Hotel Onesto’s Ballroom. Rebecca was given the opportunity to visit the building, now known as the Onesto Lofts, located on North Cleveland Ave. and 2nd Street N.W., Canton, Ohio. Steve Coon and his team at Coon Restoration & Sealants were the people responsible for taking an old historic building in downtown Canton. Ohio and bringing it back to its former glory. Much appreciation goes to Brett Haverlick, project manager for the restoration and transformation of the historic hotel into condos. Brett is a good friend of the Ramsayer Research Center and on a Sunday morning he made a special trip from Akron, Ohio to Canton to show Rebecca the former hotel. She was immersed in a location visited by the English evacuees in the 1940’s. Rebecca walked on the same floors where these children had experienced American kindness and holiday tradition some eighty years earlier. There is much more to the story of her latest visit, but we will leave that for another time.

Mark G. Holland
February 14, 2023
McKinley Presidential Library & Museum


Uncovering Daisy: Daisy Lillian (Fox) Schoener.


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…was born in Nevada, Wyandot County in the north western part of Ohio. By the 1900 census the Samuel and Alice (Nussbaum) Fox family was living in Clay Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The household consisted of son, Simon age twenty, daughter Rose age sixteen, Earnest thirteen, Daisy seven, and Estella age three. Samuel Fox was a railroad laborer. Clay Township, is southwest of Dennison, and Urichsville, in Tuscarawas County. Today most people do not consider Dennison, and Clay Township to be a far drive from Canton, Ohio, but in the early 20th century it was quite a trek. 

By 1912 Daisy had met William Schoener born in Monroeville, Huron County, Ohio. Daisy Lillian Fox was married to William Schoener on November 26, 1912 by Reverend Charles W. Recard of the First Evangelical Brethren Church of Canton, Ohio. Probate Judge Charles Krickbaum recorded this marriage in the Stark County Probate Records on June 6, 1913. Meredith as he preferred to be called was twenty-one, and Daisy was nineteen years old when the two became one. Both were residents of Massillon, Ohio when they were married. By 1920 the Schoener family was back in Tuscarawas County, with two boys Ralph six, and his one and a half year old brother John. 

In 1922 Daisy had a baby boy named Dean Meredith, but he died and was buried in the Gnadenhutten Cemetery in the village of  Gnadenhutten, Ohio on March 21, 1922. The family eventually made their home way back to Stark County to live in Massillon. Daisy was pregnant and developed eclampsia, and influenza. She died in the Massillon City Hospital on Tuesday January 10, 1933. She was forty years old leaving her husband Meredith, two daughters Betty Jean and Mary Jane and three sons Ralph, John, and Thomas. Daisy was buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Section Z on January 12, 1933. 

Libraries, archives, and local historical societies are invaluable in helping to provide families with necessary  information. In my experience visiting libraries or archives for which I am unfamiliar, can be a rather cold experience, or sometimes a frustrating one. Recently, I was reminded of the importance of always viewing a situation from the other person’s point of view. When a patron is reaching out for help it is important to put yourself in their place. The McKinley Presidential Library & Ramsayer Research Center is a great laboratory in which we test these actions. The volunteer staff care for and validate each patron and each story they bring to us. We have helped literally hundreds of people find grandma’s house, find the footprint of a relative’s home, or find a letter or photograph that the patron never knew existed. 

We are proud of our work, and always strive to connect the past and present. Thank you for continuing to support our cause to seek, find, and knock.  

We Seek the Threads that connect the Past and Present, to Inspire Others in Their Quests…

This is WHY we do what we do

November 16, 2022 McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Everything Fine…


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This fall the McKinley Presidential Library received a small collection of papers and photographs from Jefferson County Genealogy Society. Flora Ver Straten – Merrin the president of the genealogy society forwarded this gift to us, explaining her daughter found these papers in her house in Toronto, Jefferson County, Ohio. The minute I opened the parcel I knew there were “threads” to “Seek.”

William E. Aeschbacher who lived at 210 Exeter S.W. Canton, Ohio attended McKinley High School on North Market Avenue in Canton. “Bud” as he was known to his friends studied industrial as a vocation, and played volleyball in his junior year. His classmates described him in their annual saying “Everything has a bright side, and Bill always finds it.”

Meanwhile Audrey J. Babb a junior in 1939 also attended McKinley High, and dreamt of her future. The Babb’s lived at 347 30th Street NW Canton, and the Aeschbacher’s lived at 210 Exeter SW. We can only guess Audrey and Bill may have been high school sweethearts. Audrey attended Ohio State University, and worked at The Bonnot Company, while Bill worked for the Canton Drop Forge Company before being inducted into the United States Army.

In August of 1943 the two were wed in the living room of Audrey’s home on 30th Street NW. She wore a white street-length dress with a shoulder corsage of orchids, while the groom was attended to by his father. Immediately after the ceremony a small wedding dinner was held in the Del Monte room at Hotel Onesto.  A wedding reception was that evening at the bride’s home.

William received training in both Chicago, Illinois and Tyndall Field, Florida. The former Miss Audrey Babb, now Mrs. William Aeschbacher accompanied her new husband as he returned to duty in Gulfport, Mississippi.


November is National Veterans and Military Families Month declared by the Department of Defense, USA. As a part of celebrating the ordinary people performing extraordinary work we at the McKinley Museum bring you stories of our local veterans, and the people on the Homefront.  We you enjoyed this week’s adventure Everything Fine the story a two young kids from Canton, Ohio who are doing their best for “The War” effort.

The Hartville Flea…

The Flea with Kirk & Seth is a “Stark County” version of the popular American Pickers. These guys are down to earth and refreshingly humble.

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum and the Hartville Market Place have been in a partnership for the last couple of years. Through a recent visit to the Market Place I met with Kirk, and we sat down for lunch and got to know each other better, and began to play with different ideas of how we as Stark County businesses can better support each other. Kirk then took me on a tour of the Market Place to discuss different tangible ways to become effective business partners. During the tour we met up with Seth and the three of us enthusiastically talked about the fresh ideas we had envisioned.

One of the ideas Seth & Kirk offered to our museum was to have a representative appear on their popular podcast The Flea to speak on what we do to “show off” Stark County History, McKinley Presidential History and the various Science opportunities we have in both the Hoover Price Planetarium, and Discover World. After I was introduced to Titus the podcast’s producer it was evident these gentlemen have put together a creative and exciting way to communicate to their audience what Stark County businesses and people have to offer.

Thank you to Seth, Kirk, & Titus for allowing Hartville Market Place and McKinley Presidential Library & Museum to continue to collaborate.

The podcast these guys produce is well worth your time to take a listen.

More Later…

Mark G. Holland, Archivist

Fall of the House of McKinley 2…


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McKinley Home as it Sat in Meyer Park

Many years ago I posed the question to my father-in-law who is a long-time Canton resident how President McKinley‘s home was destroyed. He did not know the answer, but the question remained in the back of my mind for years. When I began as a volunteer at the McKinley Presidential Library in 2003, the question resurfaced and I began to gather information on the house itself, who live there through the years, and what happened that the city of Canton did not save the house. Initially I wrote my findings and they were put on a safe place on the library shelf.
Time passes, and one grows old with that passage. Mark Holland, Archivist encouraged me to take another look at what I had written with the idea of expanding it into a book which could be published. We also have the idea that we would form a group of interested local historians to help brainstorm and research. The book and the group began in the summer of 2020.
No one expected COVID…And that made our forward progress crawl at times.
Now the book is at the halfway point. It tells the story from the beginning of Canton, through the building of the house at 723 North Market Avenue. It shares stories of the various owners, and will tell what finally happened to the only home President McKinley ever owned. The group of historians continues to grow and is an exciting adventure—expanding to explore other Canton families and buildings.
Hope to have the finished product soon,
Judy Pocock
The Fall of the House of Mckinley

McKinley Impression by Pausch…

McKinley Assassination

William McKinley was elected to the first of two terms in 1896. He was sworn in on March 4, 1897 as the nation’s 25th president. He won re-election in 1900. Six months into his second term McKinley visited the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

On September 6th McKinley, while at the Temple of Music Hall, was in a receiving line shaking hands. A man named Leon Czolgosz, an avowed anarchist, came to the head of the line, and, pulling a gun from beneath a handkerchief, shot McKinley twice. Some accounts say one bullet hit a button and was deflected. The other bullet entered the president’s body.

McKinley was taken by ambulance to the fairground hospital. A doctor cleaned and closed the wound. McKinley convalesced for a few days and it was thought he might recover.

On the morning of September 13 his health quickly deteriorated as gangrene developed and he died on the morning of September 14th, 1901. Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as President of The United States. Czolgosz was quickly tried for murder, found guilty and executed on October 29, 1901.

Sculptor Edward L. A. Pausch Background

Here is where a famous turn of the century sculptor named Edward L.A. Pausch enters into our story. Sculptor Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and immigrated with his family to Hartford Connecticut as a small child. He apprenticed with various sculptors for eleven years in Hartford and New York City. In 1889 he joined with sculptor, James G.C. Hamilton at the Smith Granite Company in Westerly, Rhode Island. James G.C. Hamilton is known to Cantonians as the stone sculptor of the beautiful historic pediment above the entrance of the present Stark County Courthouse, in Canton, Ohio.

Edward Pausch’s most ambitious work, created at the Smith Granite Company is the George Washington Memorial (1889-91) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This is a one and a half-life size equestrian statue depicting Washington as a 23 year old colonel in the French and Indian War.

Pausch is also credited with creating at least seven of the numerous monuments in the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

According to an article that appeared in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper in 1923 upon William McKinley’s death on September 14, 1901, a New York sculptor, Edward L.A. Pausch, immediately wired McKinley’s secretary, Mr. George B. Cortelyou. He was requesting permission to make a death mask of the dead President. With Mrs. Ida McKinley’s permission, the request was granted and Pausch took the first train that he could catch, reaching Buffalo in time to make the mask in the morning after the death.

Pausch made a mold from a plaster of Paris application to the president’s facial features. The casting was immediately locked up in a safety deposit vault in Buffalo, New York. No photographs were permitted. Three days later it was delivered to Mr. Cortelyou at the White House and was transferred to the Smithsonian National Museum.

Pausch had made a clay model from the plaster of Paris impression and, later in early 1902, Pausch was commissioned by the Postal Union workers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to make a bronze casting bust of the McKinley death mask affixed to a granite pedestal to be displayed inside the post office in Philadelphia. This commission was paid for by the postal employees who wished to honor President McKinley for his pioneering work in civil service.

When the post office relocated a few years later there was no suitable spot in the new building for displaying this work of art, so it was placed in storage at the Philadelphia Arsenal for 30 years.

The Arsenal was slated to be demolished in 1959 and the question arose as what to do with the bust and pedestal. Several cities sought to obtain it but City of Canton officials heard about the situation and made a pitch to the post office to obtain it. The post office offered the art work to the City of Canton on condition that the City would pay all transportation costs. The Canton Lions Club, a service club stepped up and paid all transportation costs.

The McKinley bust now gracing the front walk of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is getting a refurbishment. The Museum contacted a company of Canton and they sandblasted the bust and treated the surface of the bronze with 3 coats of preservative.

The beautiful Pausch sculpture commissioned by the Philadelphia Postal Union workers in 1902 will hopefully celebrate the memory of President William McKinley for many more generations to come.

George Washington Memorial by Edward Ludwig Albert Pausch (1856-1931) – Allegheny Commons Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Dedicated on Feb. 23, 1891. The head of this piece copied after Houdon’s George Washington in the Virginia State House in Richmond, Virginia.

(This artwork is in the public domain because the artist died more than 70 years ago. Smithsonian SIRIS information: http://siris-artinventories.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?

Library Volunteers, Rochelle and Thomas Haas

McKinley Presidential Library, Canton, Ohio

Fall of The House of McKinley…

Who built the McKinley Campaign house that sat where the main branch of the Stark County District Library sits today? Where was it moved? How was the upstairs bathroom remodeled by H. R. Jones? What did Mrs. McKinley’s personal suite look like? Did President McKinley really live in the house?

For almost two years a great group of friends and volunteers of our museum have met in the library every week on Fridays from 10:00 am to noon. We are helping longtime Library Volunteer, Judy Pocock research for an eventual book she is writing with a working title: The Fall of The House of McKinley. Stay tuned for more posts on this very informative, much needed book on a little cottage in Canton, Ohio that had the eyes of the world watching.

Elizabeth Aultman Harter’s Lasting Legacy… Part Seven, the Aultman Hospital


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On December 26, 1884, millionaire Cornelius Aultman died suddenly.  His widow Katherine Barron Reybold Aultman wanted to create Stark County’s first hospital in memory of her late husband, as it was an unfilled aspiration of his.

From left to right: Cornelius Aultman, Katherine Barron Reybold Aultman, and Elizabeth Harter.

She proposed the idea to his daughter, Elizabeth Aultman Harter. Elizabeth agreed to help her step-mother fulfill this plan in honor of her father. In 1891, the two women provided funding and 4.5 acres of land for the medical center.

Once it was complete, the hospital could accommodate up to 70 patients, larger than any other hospital in a city of Canton’s size at this time. Sitting at its current location of 2600 6th Street Southwest, the Aultman Memorial Hospital opened on January 17, 1892. However, the hospital did not receive its first patient until February 5 of that year. Aultman Hospital is still serving Stark County to this day. According to their most recent annual report available, the hospital cared for over 650,000 patients in 2018 alone.

Elizabeth Aultman Harter’s Lasting Legacy… Part Six, the Aultman-Harter Mansion


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Designed and built by Cornelius Aultman in 1869, sold to George D. Harter, and later passed onto Elizabeth Harter in 1885, the Aultman-Harter Mansion was a social hub of Canton, Ohio.

From left to right: Elizabeth Harter, Cornelius Aultman, and George DeWalt Harter.

In her adult life, Elizabeth was fondly thought of as the unofficial hostess of Canton. Located at 933 North Market Avenue, this mansion would be the site of many gatherings and social events. While Cornelius was still living, he hosted several presidents and important political figures at the mansion, including Rutherford B. Hayes, Ulysses S. Grant, James A. Garfield, and good family friend William McKinley.

Elizabeth would continue her father’s trend after the assassination of President McKinley. For the two days after McKinley’s death, Elizabeth’s home became the temporary residence and office of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Elizabeth Aultman Harter’s Lasting Legacy… Part Five, the Harter Homestead


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The Harter family’s home, located at 723 North Market Avenue, would eventually be the site of William McKinley’s famous “Front Porch Campaign.” Before McKinley campaigned here, and before the Harters lived here, Elizabeth’s father Cornelius Aultman and step-mother Katherine Barron Reybold Aultman resided at 723 North Market for three years, from 1868 to 1871. The couple lived here while they waited for the completion of the Aultman mansion. 

From left to right: Elizabeth Aultman Harter, the Harter home during William McKinley’s front porch campaign, and Cornelius Aultman.

In 1871, The Aultman couple moved out of the house and future president William McKinley rented the home for over two years. From 1873 to 1899, Elizabeth and husband George DeWalt Harter, owned the home. The Harter family resided here for twelve of the twenty-six years they owned it, until 1885 when they moved to the Aultman-Harter Mansion. Finally, in 1896 presidential candidate William McKinley rented the Harter home for his “Front Porch Campaign.” During this campaign, citizens would gather on the front yard of the Harter home to hear William McKinley perform his speeches literally from the front porch.