Posts filed under ‘city of lorain’

Mayor George Wickens- the wrap up! Lorain

wickens-oval-portrait

Part One http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/

Part Three http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/mayor-george-wickens-reputation-sullied-lorain/

Part Four http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/mayor-george-wickens-sex-sign-of-the-times-lorain/

Part Five http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/mayor-george-wickens-changing-times-lorain/

Click on all jpg’s to enlarge

Part Six http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/mayor-george-wickens-republican-repeats-lorain/

wickens yellow
A yellowing, crumbling to the touch, page of a newspaper from May 1894 took me on a journey once more into the lives of my neighbors of the 1800’s. This small neighborhood, poised to become the 10th largest city in the state, full of promise , steel and manufacturing. One of her ‘great names”,( George Wickens) tinged with scandal was found in the words of that newspaper cutting from another neighbor, after she passed- whose family had been part of the birthing of a city. http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Mayor George Wickens, had been pilloried in the press, small paragraphs recounting his troubles in various news print around the state. But what of Mida Pershing. “no spring chicken” according to George at the ripe old age of 26- earning a living through secretarial work, and then “unceremoniously imposed upon” by her boss, George. George Wickens, a pillar and strength of a fledgling city!

harrasementres

I have to think Mida must have been courageous, principled or very naïve to have taken on Mr. Wicken’s behavior in the public eye. Women of her time just didn’t cross that threshold and make of themselves the subject of gossip, but Mida did. I uncovered some small facts about Mida-
Mida was born in 1868 one of 7 children to George Washington Pershing and Catherine Cline.

Just a note here there are some discrepancies in the two “search for ancestors sites” as to her date of death. I will go with the date on the headstone North Murray Ridge Cemetery , Elyria 1947

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=11416742&PIpi=1963928

mida grace
making her 79. She married Ray A Eldred (1876 – 1958) in October of 1901. Roy was 8 years her junior. Mida went on to have 5 children apparently – two dying early on
Helen ELDRED b: 15 AUG 1903 Children Nettie K. ELDRED Ralph A. ELDRED b: 5 AUG Walter P. ELDRED Ruth V. ELDRED

I wonder how the notoriety effected young Mida, she seems to have continued on in her religious beliefs and community endeavors Mida Pershing-EV_TE.1907_10_12_0005 (2)
Mida PershingTH_DA_CH.1903_06_15_0003
Mida-TH_EL_RE.1901_05_02_0001

You see George Wickens settled the case against him in 1895-

Just what the terms were of that settlement I haven’t been able to find on-line but one would assume the terms were satisfactory to Mida at the time .

Note:If anyone has more information on the case I would love to update the posts.

WIckens April 2 1895 settlerd
I don’t think Mida blackmailed George , I don’t think it was an evil political plot in this instance – However….

George on the other hand once again had further issues – this time with city council.
Dec 11, 1895

George was once again asked to resign :

PDF File of the complaint:
Jan 7 1896

George was adamant there was no such wrongdoing with the books for the cemetery account ( see above PDF file)

1896 The Lorain County Reporter
January 11, 1896

- The committee from the Lorain council appointed to investigate the books of Mayor Wickens, reported a shortage of over $250. The committee stated that the result was probably caused by bad book keeping. The mayor made a speech in which he stated that he was a victim of a conspiracy to ruin him. The council by a vote of eight to two requested him to resign his office, which he has thus refused to do. A strong undercurrent of public feeling has been aroused, and many do not hesitate to state that Mayor Wickens is being unmercifully persecuted by his enemies.

Just a few days later Mayor Wickens was exonerated and apparently the city owed HIM $17, but George resigned as Mayor of Lorain.
wickens resignation

George, however, did not give up on Lorain as his full obituary found here on Dan Brady’s site : http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-1.html

Pier head light placed on pier in 1875 Photograph courtesy National Archives

Pier head light placed on pier in 1875
Photograph courtesy National Archives

http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=281

From 1872 for approximately 10 years he was a “contractor”

While engaged in the carpentry business in Lorain, Mr. Wickens built many of the older houses now located on the east side and was the contractor that built the old lighthouse which now stands at the end of the west pier of the river

lorain 19o8
George died in 1908 from pneumonia after inspecting the tunnel under the Black River-

Lorain’s fist big dig maybe??

NOTE Contacting the Engineering Dept. they have found mention of
” # Y-45 created sometime between 1915-1919, but determined lost in 1923″ but that too would have been AFTER George had died in 1908- The question then becomes IS THERE ANOTHER TUNNEL UNDER THE BLACK RIVER SOMEWHERE?????

Wickens-C

From George’s obituary we learn :

He was mayor of the city when the plant of the National Tube company came to Lorain and had in his possession at the time of his death the first piece of steel ever turned out by the plant. In ’97 Mr. Wickens was elected as a member of the council from the second ward and later was a member of the boards of cemetery trustees and water works trustees. He was elected a member of the first board of public service in 1903. At the last municipal election he was again elected to the office of member of the board of public service by a large majority. He was also a member of the board of library trustees.

Carnegie Collage
Upon his death the trustees wrote:

http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-2.html

The trustees of the public library issued a special resolution that was part of that same article. It stated, “Resolved that in the death of Mr. Wickens this Association has lost one of its most useful members. Identified with the earliest efforts to establish a free public library in Lorain, Mr. Wickens gave his time and thought most generously to promote the cause. He was never called upon to assist in the work that he did not promptly respond, often at great inconvenience and sometimes actual loss to himself.

“It should therefore be known to all the people of Lorain that the Public Library as it now stands is in a sense a monument to the public spirit and noble character of George Wickens.”

http://www.lorainpubliclibrary.org/about-lpls/history-of-the-library/history-of-the-lorain-public-library-system

The Board of Trustees are J.W. Jones, E.M. Pierce, Mrs. J.H. Hills, Mrs. McIlvaine, W.C. Fisher, George Wickens, E.E. Hopkins, and F.A. Rowley.

And so we come full circle back to the History( makers) of Lorain of which he was such an integral part. His story “hopefully” preserved by the Lorain Historical Society who now occupy that self-same Library- The Carnegie Library- I wonder if among the artifacts there is another yellowing piece of paper telling more of his story……………

Again many thanks to Dan Brady, Frank Sipkovsky, Paula Shorf for their research and information……..

December 19, 2014 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

Mayor George Wickens- Republican repeats-Lorain

Geo Wickens 1898

Geo Wickens 1898


Part One http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/

Part Three http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/mayor-george-wickens-reputation-sullied-lorain/

Part Four http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/mayor-george-wickens-sex-sign-of-the-times-lorain/

Part Five http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/mayor-george-wickens-changing-times-lorain/
Click on all jpg’s to enlarge

melodrama
We left Mida praying to the Lord to give her strength…( Part 5)

Evening Herald 1894

“When in the Mayors office she says he spoke a few words more about embalming and asked her if he should show her his person. She said no and he then asked her to kiss him. She says she sprang to one side of the table. He followed her , caught hold of her and kissed her on the ear. She says she then turned and confronted him and he said something which she does not remember and quickly left the room . He went to dinner and came back within 15 minutes and wanted her to say she thought he meant nothing wrong.

Oh George! had he been breathing in too much embalming fluid vapors, had his ardor cooled like a corpse on the table after leaving the room, perhaps realizing the seriousness of his behavior? In 1894 Lorain such behavior was indeed not accepted in polite society, especially in the puritanical Midwestern US who were desperately clinging to civilization among plank sidewalks, mud filled streets . Women were at a decided disadvantage it would take another 25 years for Mida to even get the right to vote – Democrat or Republican .

http://the1890s.blogspot.com/2006/05/sexuality-in-1890s-role-of-gentleman.html

Now George was not the only “Republican Mayor” to be held up to the public for whispering naughty naughties to a “city employee” although the more squeamish newspaper ( Plain Dealer) of the 21st century day did not print in detail the intimate conversations of Mayor Craig Foltin and the “sex tapes”( 2003)

http://ohio13.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-news-and-old-news-on-r-side.html

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Aug. 6, 2003:

The lurid details of a taped conversation that appears to be between Mayor Craig Foltin and a police dispatcher became public yesterday.
Two weeks ago, an anonymous person sent the six-minute tape to City Council President Kenneth Shawver. The tape includes several instances of sexual banteringThe phone rings and the mayor says, “Hey.””You have a great . . .,” a woman says.”Who is this?” the mayor jokes.
The two laugh as they discuss details from a recent night.Foltin also speaks about attending a retirement party, and a meeting with state, county and city officials on improvements to Colorado Avenue and going to court to acquire property from residents.
And a few paragraphs later:

craig_foltin

After listening to the tape with a reporter, Foltin said the conversation was from 11/2 years ago, though he never conceded that it was his voice.
Listening to a portion of the tape, Foltin said, “I don’t remember any of those conversations.” After the entire tape was played, he said: “I think it’s tough to tell. I can’t tell if it’s me. What do you think?”
Foltin would not say whether he had dated a police dispatcher. “Right now, I am settled down and engaged to a lovely girl,” he said, declining to identify her. His fiancée does not work for the city, he said.

We at OH-13 are unsure of what the bigger laugh is: is it that he was enjoying a sexual phone conversation with an on-duty police dispatcher, he was too stupid to realize that the POLICE TAPE ALL THE CALLS, or that when presented with the calls, he knew when they were made, but was unsure if he was the one on them? Was he just listening in to calls between a police dispatcher and someone who sounded remarkably like him? Enquiring minds and political junkies want to know, even if Mayor Foltin isn’t sure about the whole deal.

Times don’t seemed to have changed much ( he said, she said , the media said) but to continue with George and Mida:

warrantres

Evening Herald

She [Mida] said she was sick the next day, not having , not having slept any during the night , and told Mr. Wickens she wanted to go back to Mr. Lampman’s

Note: Mr. Lampman was a successful merchant and proprietor of a general merchandize store.He is mentioned in the warrant of May 1894 —(“Did Manford ( meaning Mr Lampman) ever talk like this to you?- Adultery is no sin- God won’t condemn the act; there are other virtues;”)

Evening Herald

He [Wickens] said he did not want her to go and asked why she was going . She told him and remained until after he returned from Dayton. She says when she settled up with him she swore at him and told her he had made her hate the Bible . She says he asked her three times to forgive him and she refused.

George really does have himself in hot water and another warrant was issued for assault.
Evening Herald

When the officer went to serve the warrants on the Mayor he was found in the office of the store. He seemed much agitated and said he would like a copy to the instrument left with him. The officer refused to leave the affidavit and the Mayor said he would consult his attorney. He has retained E.G Johnson, Q. A Gillmore and C.G Washburn.

George was indicted by the Grand Jury and Lorain *( the village of) was bitterly divided. From the Plain Dealer ( yes! the same newspaper that covered the other Republican Mayor Foltin and the “sex tapes”-in 2003- 108 years later….

In 1895 ( and bringing truth to the reasoning of the writers at the Evening Herald 1894:
Now several months must elapse with the people of Lorain all the time in doubt as to whether their Mayor is a libertine and a wretch of the most loathsome character or a man worthy of respect and esteem.

George was going to trial- was it the politics of the day? George’s friends seemed to think it had a bearing….
her complaint

The village of Lorain “named in 1874″

vorwerk

by the head of the Democratic Party”

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/the-democratic-machine-lorain-ohio-politics-aside/

2510410355_0dbb8b2810
and George considered himself a victim of “blackmail”

blackmasil
NOTE: Once again many thanks to Dan Brady http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/ for his help
and research
To be continued……….

December 15, 2014 at 1:42 pm 1 comment

Mayor George Wickens – changing times – Lorain

Part One http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/

Part Three http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/mayor-george-wickens-reputation-sullied-lorain/

Part Four http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/mayor-george-wickens-sex-sign-of-the-times-lorain/

wickens-oval-portraitOh dear! Poor George when we left him last had not learned his lesson it seems. I can’t find much about Mida Pershing and will share what has been found at the end of this series. But George on the 26th of May 1894 continued on his conversation with Mida- would that he hadn’t.

But let us look at the man, what he built, and that which survives him . Part of the legacy he leaves today including the name that still rings through the centuries Wickens, Herzer, Cook and Baptista

http://www.wickenslaw.com/

Photo  Dan Brady

Photo Dan Brady

Note: George Wickens had various business apart from being the Mayor of Lorain – he had a furniture store , he was the owner and director of a funeral home and you can find the pdf of his story and his business below. Thanks to Paula Shorf( one of the authors of Lorain: The Real Postcards of Willis Leiter) http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/9781467111331/Lorain-The-Real-Photo-Postcards-of-Willis-Leiter for the information:
234.The Wickens Company
George arrived in Lorain in 1873 and this is what met his eye

1873 Lorain Photo Floyd Babcock

The caption from the Wickens’ Booklet reads


” North Broadway is seen from the east side of the river- practically the whole town is shown. There is no bridge, the old plank bridge having been washed out by the freshet. Steve Moore’s ferry is carrying a horse and rider across. William Jones’ old shipyard on North Broadway is seem filled of lumber and here, in the picture, H.D. Root has just launched the steamer “Charles Hecock”

George started his first “shop” store on West Erie in the Bowen Hall in 1882
1882 wickens
George with his three children and then onto Broadway – a building that modern day Lorainites will be sure to recognize
then and now
Bradwwickens

http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2013/03/smith-gerhart-1955.html

George also had other properties


In his business life Mr. Wickens has been most successful and in the last twenty-five years has built up one of the most extensive furniture businesses in this section of the state. In 1900 he erected the three story business block on Broadway now occupied by the Boston Store. In the spring of 1899 a branch store was opened on Tenth avenue. In 1904 the five-story building in which the business in now located was erected, the store opening for business on December 13, ’95. The Parkside Chapel, identified with the undertaking business of Wickens and Ransom, was erected in 1903.”

http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2012/06/meet-george-wickens-part-1.html His funeral home – Parkside Chapel

Park side Chapel
pkside and gillmore

Regular readers please note: in the above narrative from the History of the Western Reserve Part three – what is now known as Veterans’ Park , the little park from whence this community was platted in 1834 WAS at ONE time also known as GIL(L)MORE PARK http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/ So we can add that to its series of names http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/

walterfrey

The Parkside Chapel was next door to his residence, which ironically, segued into the building we know today as Walter Frey Funeral Home – sitting next to the Lorain City Hall.
But back to George and Mida- George had added to his many talents by graduating from the Clark School of Embalming in 1888- ( Note embalming became popular in the Civil War http://www.civilwarundertaker.net/history.htm
burr
Dr. Richard Burr, an embalming surgeon, is performing the embalming process on a soldier recovered from the battlefield. During the early years of the American Civil War, a new profession began to emerge.

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/let-us-talk-burial-not-green/

embalming

It was Georges discussion with Mida and the sharing of his texts ( in the old-fashioned sense of the word) that was his the beginning of his public disgrace.
Evening Herald 1894

On May 26th 1894 she said he showed her , when they were alone, a book on embalming, showing her a picture of a nude man. She said he told her something about how to keep from having children . This was down in the office and he asked her to follow him up into the Mayor’s office and she did so praying the Lord to give her strength……….

To Be continued

December 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm 1 comment

Mayor George Wickens-Sex? sign of the times- Lorain

Geo Wickens 1898

Geo Wickens 1898


Part One http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/

Part Threehttp://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/mayor-george-wickens-reputation-sullied-lorain/

Oh No! George – you didn’t??? We left George in conversation with his secretary , Miss Pershing, as to the question as to prostitution should be legal in the small town of Lorain.

As Mayor Wickens signed the completed Docket he looked up at Miss Pershing and stated:
“Mida, do you know that such things were more free, society would be in a better condition than it is today”

Miss Pershing expressed surprise at this and the Mayor said
“Well it is a fact”
The next day he spoke of the girl again , saying she got a quarter for staying all night with that man, and said
“half of the church people and preachers are doing the same thing, and they take it that if God justified Abraham , they have the same right……

And this is where George got himself in hot water. George, a young man of action , and an Englishman to boot- known for our dry and often misunderstood sense of humour, quick wit and daring to rush in where angels fear to tread. Yes! it seems George didn’t know when to let sleeping dogs lay and therefore brought down upon himself the wrath of the media, political adversaries and suffered embarrassment but was it deserved???

http://bcrw.barnard.edu/archive/workforce/Sexual_Harassment_at_the_Workplace.pdf

From Thursday May 24th 1894 through Wednesday 29th Mayor Wickens had “all” presented in the Evening Herald in detail for the populace of Lorain to read and discuss:

“A day or two after [ (Part three) asking Miss Pershing to do some missionary work with the young woman accused of spending the night with a man for 25 cents-] he asked her what she thought of his proposition. She had forgotten and he said

overtimeres


“Why that one about Abraham”. He said 50 percent of the people , church members and all , are doing the very same thing and he thought there was no wrong in it!

It should be noted that Mayor Wickens and Miss Pershing were very ,very involved with the church, and possibly the very same church from what I have been able to deduce. George asked Mida not to say anything about their conversation and she consented. Apparently George however , curiosity perhaps getting the better of him, started on a path that would see him “exposed” to scandal, ridicule and arrest :

Evening Herald
On May 25th Miss Pershing says Mr. Wickens asked her if she had ever seen a man and she said No! she had always lived a decent, upright life and wanted to know why he asked such a question. He replied that he did not know but had she seen her brothers. She said no they had always treated her kindly and said if all girls had lived as she had there would be no bad women in the world.
He said he knew that or he should not have wanted her in his office.

Oh George! what were you thinking? Apparently , in his own words, admitted to being indiscreet but the Evening Herald called him a libertine . Libertine ?? I wonder which definition was meant by the Evening Herald/

lib·er·tine noun
1. a person, especially a man, who behaves without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, especially in sexual matters.
2. a person who rejects accepted opinions in matters of religion; a freethinker.

harrasementres

George! was Miss Pershing to be so used???
Word of warning this now gets hot and heavy especially for the days of 1894- I wonder what those citizens at the end of the 19th century would say about the “Rover Fest” and the behaviours demonstrated on the old swamp land 120 years later . No arrests there for lewd and licentious behaviours ;)

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/freedom-of-speech-usa-really-pt-3/

But George lived in an era where the community standards weren’t so “exposed” and such things were found scandalous . On Monday the 28th George Wickens at around 10 o’clock Mayor Wickens was formally charged of using obscene language in the presence of a female and of committing an assault.

He had a preliminary hearing in front of Judge H.L. Hecock ( unfortunate name considering the offenses before him ;)

Evening Herald
Squire Hecock’s office was crowded with a curious assemblage. In his private office sat the complaining witness, Miss Pershing her mother, brother, her sister, Mrs. Frank Brown and Mrs. Rev. J. Frank Smith. W.B Thompson represented the plaintiff.

Mayor Wickens came in alone at 3. The charge of using obscene language was first read. He pleaded not guilty.

“it’s a lie, before God it’s a lie” fairly hissed the plaintiff.

The assault affidavit was then read and again he pleaded not guilty and waived examination of both charges. Bond was fixed at $300 on the first charge and $400 on the second. The bondsmen are John Stang, Ed Gilmore, and Q Gillmore

Wickens hecock

At least one mystery is cleared up why was this newspaper cutting kept for 120 years in amongst Peggy papers- It seems the Gillmores were supporting George Wickens and in fact the same attorney who donated the portrait of General Gillmore back in the day Q.A Gillmore
http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/general-quincy-a-gillmore-the-dining-room-dilemna/ was retained as George’s attorney….

Attorney Quincy  Alanson Gillmore of Elyria

Attorney Quincy Alanson Gillmore of Elyria

To be continued………….

December 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

Mayor George Wickens- Reputation sullied- Lorain

Part One http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/
newspaper-clip-art-monkey-news-hi It has seemingly become increasingly difficult for those of us in the general popuation to trust those in public office and especially the 4th establishment – the slanted prime talking heads news and so called editors. Editorials that can sway the local populace thinking because editors, especially, are thought to be “above” agendas, educated intelligent, and respected in their position of “power of the press”. They can and do hold sway over the thinking of a community. In this local community , our local paper- Morning Journal- has, on occasion, used that power if not always wisely – too well.

They, tend to denigrate the naysayers in this community on more than one occasion in which I have personally been involved . Morning Journal Editor- John Cole- now deceased ( who named this blog – due to his insistence of calling me “that woman” when we came out against the building of condos that he, Foltin, Prudoff and Veard wanted in Lorains historic greenspace.

The new editor Daryl Tucker of the Morning Journal once again, in relationship to a piece of legislation coming before a council committee tomorrow night, has his “naysay say” editorial …..( I won’t link to the editorial you can find it.)

“However, since the legislation was published Nov. 13, we have heard — and Fowler — rumors from naysayers and those who are stuck in the past that the administration will allow strip clubs downtown
Morning Journal

Oh those terrible naysayers !!!!!!! Also known as those that might have a differing opinion, denigrated to “historically past thinking”.

( Sorry DT so-called forward thinking hasn’t gotten us anything downtown but 60 percent empty dilapidated buildings.

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-lorain/60-percent-of-downtown-loran-empty-hopes-of-rezoning-as-entertainment-district-to-breath-new-life

Maybe a look into the past where a community sprang from 40 acres, rebuilt itself after a tornado and try to tap into that “ownership of Lorain” might be worth that look. And remembering the “past” may have stopped the local newly built school facing the difficulties they are experiencing today yup – the past will come back to bite you!

http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2014/11/06/lorain-school-gas-leaks-source-found/

However, I digress. I seem to remember, the previous editor but one, John Cole and “naysayers” and that self-same paper ( “historically the great, great-grandchild of the Evening Herald) which pilloried poor old George Wickens. The offspring paper of that paper Morning Journal and editor John Cole being used by Mayor Foltin- being used to Squash the naysayers ! a devious plot indeed!

foltin

John Cole, longtime editor of the local newspaper.
“I feel he should be briefed early (even in the next week or two) with the understanding that we are in very early stages and he will be the first to know if anything happens and when it becomes public,” Foltin wrote Oct. 11 in an e-mail to Casey. “He can personally squash any naysaying and ensure broad community support.”
March 6 2005 Cleveland Plain Dealer

Full article found here
Foltin Cole and Casino

Oh yes the media once again labelling those who dare have an opinion and listening to rumor and innuendo and of course using the “power of the press”

Historically not much has changed since George’s Day in Lorain. He too had his reputation sullied in the press of Lorain . And I will put up once again in fairness his denial since he is now “history”

wickens rebuttal

Apparently one of the cases coming before the newly sworn in Mayor on his docket ( which was taken care of by Miss Pershing ) was of a young girl who had gone deeply into sin and Mayor Wickens claiming as Miss Pershing was no spring chicken” to take on some missionary work for the girl.

*** It looks like the girl in question was Lorain’s version of a prostitute


The docket was in all likelihood a description of what had occurred with the young woman’s “criminal offence”

As Mayor Wickens signed the completed Docket he looked up at Miss Pershing and stated:

“Mida, do you know that such things were more free, society would be in a better condition than it is today”

Miss Pershing expressed surprise at this and the Mayor said

“Well it is a fact”

The next day he spoke of the girl again , saying she got a quarter for staying all night with that man, and said

“half of the church people and preachers are doing the same thing, and they take it that if God justified Abraham , they have the same right……

And this is where George got tangled in the “sexual harassment and obscenity” of the day………

To be continued

November 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm 9 comments

Mayor George Wickens- Yellow(ing) Journalism- Lorain

Part One http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Geo Wickens 1898

Geo Wickens 1898

Thanks to Paula Shorf a younger image of George Wickens 1898
According to the “History of the First Methodist Church” Geo Wickens – History of The First Methodist Church 1856-1956, lorain

he had fiery red hair, long red moustache, bushy brows and an infectious grin indicated that things had to move fast when he took charge……..

George Wickens became Mayor when he was 42 -April 1894 and was immediately caught up in scandal.

“The Mayor’s Trouble” Within the past 24 hours a matter involving the good name of the Mayor of Lorain has arisen which the public will learn of with feelings of the keenest regret and deepest humiliation” Evening Herald June 1894

Charges against Mayor Wickens ” were the most serious that could be made” causing him in fact due to the charges against the Mayor caused him to have to withdraw from the church and the Rev. J.F. Smith has informed him [Wickens] that his services as Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School will be no longer permitted

Whatever did George do- murder?? rape? incest? blackmail to be “thus pilloried without a trial”. The newspaper Evening Herald calling for him to be disgraced and his behavior disgusting or is this the politics of the day a Republican and Democrat go around in 1894.

Now George Wickens admits to being indiscreet but that the woman in question [Mida Pershing] magnified the “troubles” “the so-called scandalous story”

It seems, according to the report of the day, George Wickens hired a Miss Mida Pershing as a bookeeper for his business.[Wickens and Wilkins]- she stated that her duties were to take of the books and the Mayor’s docket.

Within a few weeks Mida resigned her position. and what followed according to the Evening Herald

it soon became whispered about there was a scandalous story to tell. It was related at first to a very few confidential friends, but soon spread , as was to be expected, like fire to an oil refinery……..

 "The Evil Spirts of the Modern Day Press". Puck US magazine 1888; Nasty little printer's devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. 21, 1888.


“The Evil Spirts of the Modern Day Press”. Puck US magazine 1888; Nasty little printer’s devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. 21, 1888.

…..”interest in the scandalous story of the alleged improper conduct of Mayor Wickens toward Miss Mida Pershing, his bookkeeper, grows rather than diminishes with each succeeding day. Monday am at about 10 o’clock Mayor Wickens was formally charged under arrest on the charges od using obscene language in the presence of a female and of committing an assault.

When you read the full report by the Evening Herald , the article tries to set the tone of unbiased reporting, talking of letting the people make up their own minds whilst gleefully latching on and using the inflammatory language of the time to “sway public opinion whilst seeming “reporting the news even with the lead in

“The Evening Herald refers to the subject with the greatest reluctance but it seems best to state the facts and allow the people to form their own conclusions”

Ah seems history continues to repeat itself…………

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/hear-ye-hear-ye-all-rise-the-right-hon-public-opinion-presiding/

To Be Continued………..

November 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm 3 comments

Mayor George Wickens- buried on the back pages- Lorain

George Wickens

George Wickens

When I wrote about “Veterans Park” and its over 200-year-old history as the first public square of the little settlement on the Black River and the birthplace of what became Lorain, I touched upon an Englishman- George Wickens . George Wickens , Lorain businessman, a man held in high esteem and the namesake of Wickens’ Place the little lane that runs parallel to what is now Veterans Park.

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/veterans-memorial-park-the-englishman-commeth/

In that post you will find links to a series on George Wickens by Dan Brady of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/search?q=Wickens. The obituarys in the newspaper reports of the time extolls the leadership, the abilities and much-loved regard for this native son of England who made Lorain his home.

Mr. Wickens, whose death(19th March 1908) came as a great shock, was one of Lorain’s most highly respected and prominent men and his demise is mourned by all. In his death the city loses a man who took a great interest in all things pertaining to the welfare of the city and her citizens and whose place Lorain will be unable to fill.

Elyria Chronicle March 19th 1908 courtesy  of Dan Brady

Elyria Chronicle March 19th 1908 courtesy of Dan Brady

His funeral was almost one of “state” for that time.

I had a soft spot for George, I had written a short story based upon the drawing of his son George
CVSI_sketch

and the fact like Captain Thomas Wilford

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/

and myself, we were transplants from England who ended up here on the shores of Lake Erie. Coupled with the fact, although generations apart, we trod the same streets, saw the same homes ( well most of them) in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood.

Gillmore Home, Wickens Home, Captain Wilford's home

Gillmore Home, Wickens Home, Captain Wilford’s home

Yes! George was by all accounts beloved, admired and a shining example to his community. So it came as a bit of a shock when looking through the artifacts from Peggy Gillmore

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/history-mystery-lives-of-lorain-gillmore/

I found a crumbling yellow newspaper article- The Evening Herald June 16th 1894. Titled:
DOUBT IN THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE OF LORAIN AS TO THE CHARACTER OF THEIR MAYOR. the almost full page article continued to list the “shame and the accusations”
I was fascinated by the article as to the thinking and what was acceptable at the time and a few quotes from George that made me chuckle and remember the English aren’t exactly without a sense of humour. I believe this “case of a woman’s accusation” and indeed one other accusation where he was publicly vilified in the press- having experienced that myself on occasion ;) needed to be explored further. ( Republicans and Democrats having at it in 1894 )

My problem was trying to find the outcome of the cases pending against George. Thanks to Paula Shorf and with special appreciation to Dan Brady it has taken many weeks but I am able to say George came out of both his reputation intact, although his regard for others substantially damaged ( as well as the politics of the day). But as always with these things just a paragraph buried in the back told the rest of the tale. So before giving “airing” to his supposed actions I will quote George from the article itself
Note George Wickens became Mayor of Lorain in April 1894 , just two months prior to the scandal!

” A statement from the Mayor”
Lorain, O., June 16th 1894
To The Evening Herald
Inasmuch as you have printed certain rumours affecting my character as a man and as a citizen, I ask the privilege of saying to the public through your columns, that, while I am not informed as to the specifications of such charges, I deny generally and specifically each and every one of them, reflecting in the least degree upon my character as a citizen, and honour as a man, and ask the public to withhold judgement until the truth shall be known.
Yours Respectfully Geo. Wickens

My respect for George has risen two-fold – one he had the courage to take on the media of this town – maybe that is also an English trait ;)
http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
Title: The Evening herald. : (Lorain, Ohio) 1894-1901 Place of publication:Lorain, OhioGeographic coverage:Lorain, Lorain, Ohio | View more titles from this: City County, State
Publisher:Frederick A. RowleyDates of publication:1894-1901Description:Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 22, 1894)-v. 7, no. 287 (May 4, 1901).
Frequency:Daily (except Sun.) Language:English
Notes:”Republican.”
Editors: Rowley & I.H. Griswold, 1895-1899.
LCCN:sn 84028328OCLC:10922716 Succeeding Titles:The Lorain times-herald. (Lorain, Ohio) 1901-1932

and then the Lorain Times became the Lorain Journal and The Journal and then the Morning Journal..

http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/morning-journal-lorain-going-going-oops/

thatwoman

Oh! for goodness sakes looks like over a hundred year later George and I fought for the same park, the same neighborhood and took on the same “newspaper” – How is that for history repeating itself- “an Englishman cometh indeed!

Two – He also it seems had similar penchant for run on sentences ( guilty as charged!)

Yellowing Journalism
wickens rebuttal

To Be Continued ……

November 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm 5 comments

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