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    Great News About Tax Status Update!

    Official notification from the IRS, dated Feb. 24, 2012 tells us that we are now exempt from Federal income tax status retroactive to May, 2010. We are able to receive tax deductible bequests under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Thank you Dept. of Treasury and thank you to the people who worked to reinstate our status.

    House Repairs In Progress

    Officers Jan Hefflefinger and Mary Smith met in December of 2011 to assess the state of the home given to the society by Edith Smith. It was determined that the following was essential: new back steps, electrical upgrades to the kitchen and downstairs bath, upper cabinets added to the kitchen and lower cabinets refinished, trim repaired, new countertops, replace bathroom floor, overhaul all faucets, replace back door, new kitchen sink, plaster and paint work. Work was started at the end of December, 2011 and is ongoing. Funding comes from summer sale profits. The new furnace is also in line for its yearly check up.

    Tax Status Update

    Alliance Tax Services have been working with the historical society to restore 501 3(c) status retroactive to May 2010. As of January, 2011, they are confident that all aspects of the paperwork are in line with IRS requirements. It should be about three months before the IRS rules on our application. Assembling the data and narrative took up a good part of 2011. Cost for the historical society was $600 to Alliance and $100 to the IRS, reduced from $800. This required a level of expertise beyond that of historical society officers.

    **We received notice in January that the paperwork packet had been received by the IRS.


    Christmas Comes to the Land Office

    Santa was the guest of honor at Hicksville's December celebration at the Land Office. The Christmas parade featured floats, the high school band, and various community groups and organizations. Following the parade, Santa met with children; horse drawn wagon rides were provided; carols were sung; and the crowd was treated to hot chocolate and cookies from the News Tribune. Hundreds took part in the Chamber-sponsored event.

    Huber Dedication

    The Huber Opera House hosted a dedication ceremony on Oct. 23. The program featured several generations of singers, construction volunteers, musicians, and dancers-some new to the Huber and a few who had been with the new Huber since its beginning. A few highlighted points of past history recalled the early years of the new Huber. Mayor Haver reminded attendees that without the initial groundwork by founding groups, the building would have become a parking lot. Past President Pam Diehl put together a video of the first volunteers and planners-paying tribute to their work and to the programs they made possible. Four musicians from Grace UMC honored the church groups who were among the first to offer support. Contributions by families and civic groups were recalled with the raising of the 1895 stage curtain. The tribute honored area contributors and the communities that continue to support the Huber. The Hicksville Historical Society was happy to provide bits of information for the dedication book and program.   

    Link to stage curtain restoration photo:


    Hooray for Hollywood

    Interesting: from a radio listener who reports that 60's television and movie character actress Lurene Tuttle had a Hicksville connection. Born in Pleasant Lake Indiana, Lurene began as a radio actress and was a cousin to the Robert Tuttle family among others. Whenever she was on television, the family was sure to tune in. 

    Also of interest: items from Carole Lombard turned up at the Arrowsmith auction just south of town. Carole, it seems was a niece.

    Estate Sale Crowds Tough Out Rainstorm

    Bargain hunters, local history buffs, and savvy dealers attended the rainy Edith Smith estate sale. Attendees were welcome to tour the 1912 home, remarkable for its stained glass fronted built-ins and pristine wood paneling and trim. The auction itself got underway at 9 AM and lasted about 5 hours, sometimes utilizing 2 rings. After selecting items for the museum, duplicate Hart's Band mementos, pottery, artwork, antiques, and household items spanning centuries were sold to benefit the Historical Society. A final accounting is due shortly, but officers were pleased with the turnout, the enthusiasm, and the kind comments. Thanks to pre-auction volunteers: The Teeples, the Heffelfingers, the Piermans, the Antwerp Smiths, Kyle Jurick, Leora Hochstetler, Virlynn Rex, Andy Gross, Pat King, and Tom Slattery. Great job by the crews that set up, cleaned up, and ran the auction rings.

    Summer Meeting: Aug. 6 Estate Sale to Benefit Society

    Historical Society members were updated on the status of a summer estate sale to benefit the historical society. Organization of items bequeathed  to the group by a long-time supporter is nearly complete. Additional items from various donors will be added for the sale. Given public interest, members voted to hold an on-site auction. Officers Mary Smith and Jan Heffelfinger were put in charge of arranging for the inventory of items and the sale as well as finishing preparation of the estate. Appreciation was expressed to those who have already volunteered their time over the past months. 

    Log Cabin Discovered on West High

    Tipped off by the grandson of a former resident, owners of a dilapidated outbuilding on West High Street peeled back the outer layers and found a log cabin underneath. News articles and facebook entries have chronicled the cabin's fate in the weeks since its discovery. According to Marcia Hook Boucher who played in the structure as a child, the cabin dates from the 1800's during the time the property was owned by the Kerr family. It was used for grain storage in later years and resided in the 1900's. The present owners are weighing their options regarding the disposition of the cabin.

    Correction in Daeida Details

    A late April phone call from the state of Ohio called into question details about Daeida Wilcox Beveridge's second husband. Previous information had implied Mr. Beveridge's father to be a California governor. It was the right title, but the wrong place. Illinois was the state! Apologies all around. On a different note, we did find out that one of the churches Daeida and her first husband helped found has been in several movies. Hollywood United Methodist Church was featured in "Back to the Future," "Sister Act," and "That Thing You Do" (plus a few more). 

    Cub Scouts' Visit Is Badge-Worthy

    Boy Scouts regularly visit the Land Office and/or St. Paul's Church as part of work towards earning their local history badge. This year, an enthusiastic Tiger pack explored the exhibits in the Land Office where they compared military uniforms, investigated A.P. Edgerton's business log, and found out about some of the people and events important to the area. The scouts and their guests were given vintage postcards, bookmarks, and plat maps as souvenirs.

    Third Graders Research Local History

    With local history a part of the third grade curriculum, students are using this website as a resource for study. Online photos, time lines, letters, and maps highlight points of interest with first hand accounts and vintage reports adding a flavor of earlier times to the text. Following their work online, students tour the Land Office and St. Paul's Church, often providing lively question and answer periods for our volunteers. This year's visit on May 25 gave students the chance to experience some of what they had learned. Great job ,kids and teachers!

    Amelia Bingham's Mansion is Off the Market

    Picture 6 floors of luxury in an NYC townhouse overlooking the Hudson River. The spectacular mansion once owned by Hicksville native and Broadway star Amelia Bingham hit the market last year with a $21,000,000 asking price. Recently taken off the market at $16,500,000, its description recalls another age:  

    "Unlike many smaller Manhattan townhouses, this home was built to accommodate not only your family but also your personal staff. It contains over 7,500 square feet of usable space. The independent one-bedroom apartment under the eaves is perfect for a live-in nanny or maid. The convenient service entrance is camouflaged by attractive wrought ironwork. There is also plenty of workspace for your assistant, publicist, and other staff. An elevator means that your staff can access the entire house as easily and discreetly as possible."    Details and photos-  http://www.townhouseexperts.com/photos/290specsheet.pdf

    In Memory of....

    The Historical Society remembers two charter members who recently passed away-Wilda Murphy and Edith Hart Smith. Wilda is remembered for her sage advice and work on behalf of the handicapped. Edith was 103, a member of Hart's Girl Band, an artist, and knitter. She was a great supporter of Hicksville causes. Both ladies will be missed.


    Historical Society Launches Website

    Hicksville’s Historical Society launched its website on January 24, 2006, with a photo gallery and selection of familiar features highlighting Hicksville faces and places. Andrew Haver designed the site and guided its development. Dianne Grimm supplied vintage photos, while Jan Heffelfinger took on duties as photographer for the present day. Mary Smith coordinated research and text.

    With frequent requests for information, Historical Society officers were looking for ways to make Hicksville history available in an easily accessible format. Additional features and photos are being readied for the site. Please check back to see our progress, and let us know if you have suggestions or corrections for us.

    The Hicksville Historical Society always welcomes new members and volunteers. Contact us at PO Box 162 in Hicksville, Ohio, if you are interested.

    Access to website: Type www.hicksvillehistoricalsociety.org in the address bar of your web browser.

    Huber Stage Curtain Dedicated 

    Dedication ceremonies for the Huber drop curtain were televised on HIX–TV in January. Hostess Pam Diehl recounted the curtain’s journey through leaky barns on its way back to the stage. Historical Society president Mary Smith spoke to the curtain’s place in the history of the Huber Opera House. George Ridenour represented his parents Layel and Nan and the Ridenour Family Foundation, whose donation began the restoration process. Hicksville’s Rotary Foundation was recognized for its contribution as well.

    Slides were used by conservator Andrea Chevalier, from the Intermuseum Conservation Association, to illustrate painstaking cleaning and restoration of the 16 x 28 foot canvas (using photographs supplied by the Hicksville Historical Society). Virlynn Rex and Andrew Gross closed the first act of the ceremony presentation by leading a sing-along of songs popular at the time of the curtain’s 1895 debut. The second act opened with a melodrama directed by Ms. Rex and originally performed by the senior class of 1914. The play showcased the talents of Hicksville’s younger generation of actors. Colleen Richter closed the ceremonies.


    Over the past few years, several couples have chosen to hold their wedding ceremonies at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. An 1875 building little changed from the time of its construction, this offers a unique combination of bonuses and challenges. As one of Defiance County’s few National Historic Sites, it provides an elegant and simple backdrop and requires little in the way of additional decoration. With twenty pews, this facility is best suited to weddings with fewer than 100 guests.

    The building’s deed ensured the preservation of beautifully carved original furnishings, but also placed certain restrictions on improvements. Consequently, there is no dressing or toilet area available for wedding party use. The building is heated but not air conditioned. There are no provisions for handicapped accessibility. Historical Society volunteers clean the church prior to its use and see to yard maintenance. The church is made available to Historical Society donors as scheduling permits.

    Ornaments Return

    Two boxes of red and white Christmas ornaments have been given to the Historical Society. Issued in 1992, the bulbs features St. Paul’s and will be available for a $5 donation to the Historical Society. These were part of a series of ornaments commissioned by the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. Thank you Chamber for the donation! Check out our Store page for information about ordering these or other Historical Society items.


    Garage Sale benefits Historical Society

    The garage sale held June 16 and 17 to benefit St. Paul’s Church and the Land Office netted over $400, including three memberships and a donation. We especially appreciated the opportunities to reconnect with members, former members, and potential members. Thanks are extended to all who stopped by to wish us well. Volunteers who donated time and items included Alice Hook, Barb Cleland, Dianne Grimm, Bruce Guilford, Budd Smith, John and Kathy Smith, Michael Smith, Megan Smith, Jan Heffelfinger, Corinne Hurni, and Mary Smith.

    in other news . . .

    On June 15, Defiance County 4-H campers at the elementary school were treated to a musical comedy presentation highlighting moments from local history. Virlynn Rex, Mary Smith, and Dianne Grimm described changes brought about by early settlers and developers, using music, pictures, and vintage artifacts to compare the past with the present.

    Earlier that week, the class of 1946 turned out for their 60th reunion church service held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Fred Mallot conducted the June 11 service with Shirley Yoder providing accordion accompaniment to the hymns. Joel Teeple assisted in cleaning out the building as part of his own church’s community service project.


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