Harmonies From Hamilton Local quartet Half-and-Half is set to represent the U.S. internationally BY LAURA LEAVITT
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16 School Update
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12 Varsity Blue
18 Art in a Box
Hamilton's Father and Son duo
Badin Challenge to benefit the children
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3 Emily Fuerbacher is an early childhood intervention specialist at _________ Elementary
1 Half of the barbershop quartet group, Half and Half, live in Hamilton while the other two live in _________
6 Big Blue head coach Joey Lewis brought up his son, Jackson, to varsity as a _________
2 Badin students donated _________ to children in need
5 Pfefferle Tire is celebrating their _________ anniversary in Hamilton this month 7 With 10,218 people Lindenwald is the most _________ neighborhood in Hamilton
4 Michael McFarland was accepted to the prestigious United States Military Academy at _________
8 Ella Pohlen is heavily involved in service at the _________ 9 Built in 1904, the Rentschler Building was Hamilton's first _________
10 Wendy Waters-Connell has spent the last two years as the _________ of the YWCA
MarchAnswers 2020 March 1
F I P F 3 B E C K E T T N H 4 G N 5 6 W A S H I N G T O N R N L 7 F G WH I T E 8 F I T V 9 O E O L E M O N 10 C A S U A L N R R D 2
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3 Emily Fuerbacher is an early 1 Half of the barbershop quartet Our Services group, Half and Half, live in childhood intervention Hamilton while the other two specialist at _______ * Hair * Facials * Waxing live in __________ Elementary * Makeup* Nails * 2 Badin students donated 6 Big Blue head coach Joey _________ to children in need Lewis brought up his son, OR 4 Michael McFarland was Jackson, to varsity as a accepted to the prestigious _______ Visit 8 Ella Pohlen is heavily involved (513) 896-9456United States Military or Academy at _______ in service at the ________ 5 Pfefferle Tire is celebrating 9 Built in 1904, the Rentschler (513) 896-4224 their ______ anniversary in Building was Hamilton's first Hamilton this month _________ - Thursday 10am - 8pm Fridayhas 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 3pmpeople Sunday CLOSED 7 With 10,218 Lindenwald 10 Wendy Waters-Connell is the most ______ spent the last two years as the neighborhood in Hamilton ___ of the YWCA
Monday 10am - 3pm Tuesday
HamilTEN TO BE PRANKED...
HILARIOUS OR DEVIOUS? BY STEPHANIE FOLEY
Disclaimer: All names have been changed to protect the guilty!
It’s basically in the handbook that you’re allowed to prank your parents, a privilege Kathy thoroughly enjoyed over the course of her childhood. One particular time, she decided to “borrow” a statue of a monkey, along with several other signs from around town. Conveniently, they all ended up on her parent’s lawn. The phrase ‘no more monkey business’ now has all new meaning for Kathy and her family! 8
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The most satisfying kind of pranks are the revenge kind, and Sasha and her gals didn’t waste any time. While her group of friends were playing a game of pool, the guys decided to wrestle the girls down and cover them with blue cue chalk. Sasha and the other girls knew the guys needed to pay, so a few weeks later, they distributed bags full of heart-shaped confetti sprayed down with various perfumes to all the fellas—to express how much they care of course. They still find those confetti hearts lingering around to this day. Support Your Local Business!
Years ago, when Steve worked at McDonald’s, he decided his coworker was overdue for a good, solid prank. As the temperature in the kitchen got hotter, Steve stepped out. At the same time, he moved his coworker’s car to a nearby parking lot. When his friend came out and noticed his car missing, he thought for sure it had been stolen! But it was only Steve, and after a few good laughs, the coworkers was reunited with his car.
Nothing says I love you like pranking your spouse and Keri’s husband was in for it when she decided to pull the ole Amazon prank on him. For a year, she saved every Amazon box she got, and when she finally had enough, she put them all outside as if they’d been freshly delivered. When her husband came home, it looked like Keri had gone on an online shopping spree.
Senior pranks are a great American past time for many, and Brent was all in when it came his turn. One morning his senior year, before school was open, Brent and his friends filled the entrance to the school with balloons and silly string, making such a mess that morning classes needed to be
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canceled to allow for cleanup. Nobody ever found out it was Brent and his friends.
When the lottery reaches a certain amount, everyone wants to try their odds. For Taylor’s friend, that time came when the amount hit $500 million. Taylor’s friend decided he would check his numbers the next morning to see if he’d won and went to bed. When the real winning numbers were announced, Taylor and a few other friends forged a winning lottery ticket to replace the losing one. Taylor’s friend was none too pleased when he found out his $500 million winning lottery ticket was a fake.
Kayla never misses an opportunity pull a good one, so when a family friend agreed to babysit, she started to plot. She decided to tape the faucet’s sprayer handle down so that when the faucet was turned on, whoever was standing in the line of fire would be drenched. Her plan worked like a charm and it wasn’t long before Kayla’s phone began to ring. She laughed so hard she cried when she got that call.
Who says you have to outgrow pranks when you become a parent? For Geoff, that’s when the fun truly began. One night, his teenaged son missed curfew. It was dark and the whole house was quiet. Assuming his parents were asleep, Geoff’s son went to his room. However, while he’d been out, Geoff had tied fishing line to the bedroom door, As soon as his son entered, Geoff yanked the line slamming the bedroom door shut! Geoff’s son thought the house was haunted after that.
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Even as a small child, Marcus was a known prankster. One of his earlier pranks happened at school when he was only 5 years old. He had figured out how to open his locker from the inside, and he was the perfect size to hide inside. When class started, Marcus was nowhere to be found. While the teacher searched the room, he popped out of the locker and scared the teacher. While that probably wouldn’t fly these days, in 1979 everyone had a good laugh and the day went on as planned.
If your coworkers didn’t really like you, they wouldn’t prank you right? That was John and Tom’s mindset as they planned the perfect workplace prank for one of their comrades. After receiving a delivery in a very large box, Tom decided to place the box by the elevator and hide inside. John called his coworker from another floor to come up and as soon as she stepped off the elevator, out popped Tom! The poor unsuspecting lady jumped, throwing a glass full of ice water all over the place.
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back then, he imagined the day they’d wear the bright blue cap with the block ‘H” together. “That’s something you always look forward to as a dad,” said Coach Lewis. “Especially at the varsity high school level, it’s something that is unique.”
big blue's father and son duo, Joey and jackson lewis, have a unique bond By Reid Maus The love for America’s pastime is often rooted in the father-son relationship. For the Lewis’ of the Hamilton Big Blue, that is no different.
field watching his dad coach on the Big Blue. “Growing up I was around the game a lot. I got to meet a lot of players—it was always a lot of fun,” said Jackson.
Most ball players can tell you stories about tossing in the backyard with their pops, but Jackson, now a junior, can tell you he spent many days in the dugout and tool shed at Hamilton High’s baseball
Joey Lewis is entering his 29th year coaching and 10th year as the head coach of the Big Blue. When he took over for Dan Bowling, his son Jackson was just seven years old. Even way
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That day came a little sooner than both expected. Hamilton baseball is as prestigious as it gets in the Cincinnati area. Throughout the 80s and 90s it was one of the premier programs in the great state of Ohio, so it’s fairly rare that a freshman gets called up to ‘the show.’ That’s exactly what happened during the 2018 postseason. “He hinted that I might come up,” said Jackson on how his Dad informed him he was going to play varsity. “He told me that I was going to dress for the tournament games, but ride the bench. Then some injuries happened and he said you might get some playing time today.” Support Your Local Business!
It’s certainly a daunting task being a meer freshman hurled into the varsity mix during tourney time. Jackson will tell you he was nervous, but even in that first game he made his coach a proud dad. Jackson was playing second base. There was a ball that slipped by the first basemen in a crucial moment of the game. Lewis backed up the bag, collected himself and threw out the runner trying to advance to second. “It was a very smart play for a freshman to make,” said Coach Lewis. “That was a very proud moment for me. In all the years of telling him, this is what you do when the ball is put in play, he fulfilled that as a young kid.” Jackson parlayed that brief experience as a freshman into a monstrous sophomore season. Lewis batted .310 as he led the team in runs scored and had the second most extra base hits. Those stats earned him 1st team honors in the lauded Greater Miami Conference. It isn’t always hunky-dory on the ball diamond though, because Jackson will tell you that being the coach’s son comes with some interesting territory. “It’s a lot more comfortable when we play, because he is my dad,” said Jackson. “But that means he is going to be a lot tougher on me because he expects more out of me, because I’m his son.” Most coaches’ sons will tell you it can be difficult. There is this extra element of pressure put on you, but it’s not by design. “I think that happens but not
“It's a lot more comfortable when we play, because he is my dad," said Jackson. “But that means he is going to be a lot tougher on me because he expects more out of me, because I'm his son." purposefully," said Coach Lewis. “He and I speak about this often. Sometimes when you’re the son of a head coach you get the brunt of stuff, because you don’t want the team to think that you’re giving your son preferential treatment. I don’t start out to be mean to him, but I do think I hold him to a high standard. When he doesn’t meet that standard I’m quick to tell him.”
player if you get a hit three out of 10 times, and you have to deal with those seven times you don’t get a hit. It’s a very mental game. You just gotta keep going no matter if you fail, you have to push towards the next hit or the next play in the field.” Coach Joey Lewis, looking inspired by his son, rang home some of those same sentiments but in a new light. “Spectators may think it’s a slow game and it’s not that exciting to watch, but I view it differently,” he said. “When you have players out there doing things the right way, and their instincts are clicking and their abilities are on showcase—it’s something to watch. As a coach, to watch players overcome those challenges under you is something I revel in.” Jackson, who is also a basketball star in his own right, smiled at the question on which sport he likes more. He says whatever season he is in he devotes 100 percent focus on that sport, but by his grin it seemed like he was leaning towards hoops.
Jackson takes it in strides though because he knows that it simply comes with the territory. Along with that ground comes long talks that stretch well beyond the dugout and diamond. The Lewis’ life doesn’t revolve around baseball, but their love for it is strong.
Regardless, in the final two years of Jackson’s high school playing days he isn’t focused on personal goals, but rather just getting as far as the Big Blue can in the postseason and taking a shot at the GMC title.
For them both, the infatuation comes from the challenge of the game. “I love how hard [baseball] is,” said Jackson. “It truly is a difficult sport and it’s a sport centered around failure. You’re a good
As a coach, Joey Lewis is looking for those same things—a good year in the league and long run in the postseason. As a dad, he is mostly looking forward to spending time with his son.
For Those Who Serve Hamilton's YWCA CEO, Wendy Waters-Connell knows what a vital role non-profits play in the overall health of a community BY LAURA LEAVITT
The local YWCA’s CEO, Wendy Waters-Connell (right), has more than twenty years of experience leading non-profit organizations, including more than two years in her role at the YWCA. We caught up with Ms. Waters-Connell 14
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to learn more about her service to her community through her leadership of the YWCA. Tell me about your day-to-day in your work at the YWCA. What skills do you have to use to be successful? The day to day work is driven by the mission to eliminate racism and empower women. No day is the same, and it changes in a second. We must walk the talk of addressing racism in all forms and promote equity. Our foundational programs include the only domestic violence shelter in Support Your Local Business!
What is one surprising positive or a particular 'bright spot' about the work you're doing these days? The bright spot in my day always begins with the amazing team that comes to work every day at the YWCA. They are also strong women who never give up. They are inspirational. Secondly, I have the privilege of observing the emergence of hope in children and adults who thought the world didn’t care, or forgot about their worth. Why is it important for all of us in Hamilton to support non-profits that are active in our local community? The work of non-profits is often the hardest in society. There are limited resources to support the efforts of missions to heal the wounds of trauma, or to counter the impacts of chronic and toxic stress. Without support from our community, families and children would suffer far greater. We know the challenges, and we are positioned to help those who need us. We need funds and volunteers from the communities as our fuel!
Butler County. We also provide shelter for victims of human trafficking. We have a permanent supportive housing building for chronically homeless people with disabling conditions. We also run youth education and empowerment programs in the schools called FIERCE Girls and Men of Honor.
We hope to create tomorrow’s leaders of influence. The skills I need to be successful include a positive outlook, a drive to never give up, and belief that the transformation which happened in me will happen in others… it is the grace of human compassion which alters the future.
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What keeps you excited about the work and mission of the YWCA? Seeing hope emerge in the spirits of those we serve; watching them turn around and do the same for others. This is the great circle of gratitude that changes our world. I believe we can work to eliminate hate and empower women. I am inspired by the sheer grit of women to do what is needed, no matter how hard!
McFarland was also a three year member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, and Cross Country team. McFarland joins other recent HHS graduates who are currently attending military academies: Christian Halcomb, HHS Class of 2016, who attends West Point; and Vince Sanford, HHS Class of 2017, who attends and plays football for the Air Force Academy.
MICHAEL McFARLAND ACCEPTED TO WEST POINT Hamilton High School senior Michael McFarland has been accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. As a four year member of the NJROTC program, McFarland has been the Academic Team Commander, and a member of the Drill and Athletic teams. He represented HHS last summer as a participant in the Buckeye Boys State. 16
HHS COMPETITIVE CHEER SQUAD TAKES FIRST PLACE IN U.S. COMPETITION The competitive cheer squad from Hamilton High School competed at the U.S. Spirit Competition and earned First Place in the Varsity non mount division. They were also announced as Grand Champions and had the highest score in the competition out of 108 squads.
HHS VOCAL ELEGANCE NAMED GRAND CHAMPIONS Congratulations to Hamilton High School’s Vocal Elegance Girls Show Choir which won Grand Champion, Best Vocals, Best Crew, Best Instrumental Combo, Best Costumes, and Best Choreography at the Teays Valley Classic in Ashville, Ohio!
Events which included Academics, Athletics, and Drill. This meet was comprised of 16 participating schools
from five states. Hamilton earned First Place in three categories; Second Place in four categories; and Third Place in one category. Leading the way was Cadet Commanding Officer Rosalita Ortiz. Joining her in some great performances were Cadets Curtis Schutte, Micah Bridge, Michael McFarland, Xander Roberts, and Michael Middleton. Their next stop is the Navy Nationals in Pensacola, Florida as they compete against 26 of the very best NJROTC units from across the United States.
Case Trokhan. • Senior Alex DeLong was named the winner of the annual “That’s My Boy” award, given by the Greater Cincinnati chapter of the National Football
Foundation and College Hall of Fame. It has been given each year since 1962, and is considered the premier award available to high school football players in the area. DeLong, a tailback and defensive back, was a first-team selection on the Greater Catholic League Co-ed Division football team, and set the all-time Badin single-season rushing record with 1,513 yards. • Junior Jason Stiens qualified for the state bowling tournament; senior Ethan Emmons became just the second Badin wrestler to win a sectional championship; and the Badin wrestling team won the GCL Coed Division title. Senior Samantha Caballero was named the GCL Coed Division Wrestler of the Year, then subsequently grabbed a second place finish in the first-ever girls state wrestling meet.
NJROTC CADETS QUALIFY FOR NATIONALS FOR SIXTH TIME! Hamilton High School’s NJROTC hosted the NJROTC Area 3 East Championships
IT WAS A BIG MONTH IN BADIN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS! • Congratulations to junior Luke Paxton (right), who won the 200-yard freestyle championship in the Division II state swim meet at Canton’s Branin Natatorium. Paxton is just Badin’s second-ever state swim champion, and the first Badin individual to win a state title since a girls tennis doubles team in 2003. Senior Adam Sherman finished second in the 100 breaststroke; and as a team, under the direction of head coach Emily Muroski, the Badin boys placed fourth. Other state swimmers for Badin included Jack Proctor, Brode Gibson, Brandon Burke and, on the girls side, Support Your Local Business!
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Art in a Badin challenge benefits children who don't have art supplies A project that fosters imagination for advanced art students at Badin High School has helped area children who may not have much.
Daniels said. "The students were so enthralled by the experience of creating artwork which was a completely unique expression of themselves. While working, they discussed how every child should have that opportunity for creative expressions, growth and exploration of art techniques," she said.
Art teacher Sarah Daniels (at right in black) said advanced art students were given the seven-day "Outside the Box" challenge right after their winter break and were to use a new material while developing the same piece each day. The result was the creation of a plan to provide art kits to children in need so that they also are given the opportunity 18
BY MANDY GAMBRELL
to be expressive and creative. "Each day presented new experiences, the opportunity to grow and create,"
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The students delivered the kits to children in the community through the Booker T. Washington Center and St. Joe's Orphanage. "Several of our own students have been adopted, which prompted them to contact St. Joseph Support Your Local Business!
"It is planting a seed and watching it grow. Our students are full of unique ways for community outreach." Orphanage in Butler County," Daniels said. "Both Samy Broyles, executive director at Booker T. Washington and Hamilton Central YMCA, and Julie Herrmann, regional director for St. Joseph Orphanage Fairfield, were extremely receptive and excited for their kids to receive art kits," she said. Any opportunity to collaborate and create relationships between her students and members of the community is life-changing, Daniels said. "It is planting a seed and watching it grow. Our students are full of unique ways for community outreach." Daniels said that includes the creation of more than 220 pairs of custom athletic shoes for people who deserved them through Art & Sole, rain barrels to raise awareness and money for Save Local Waters, hand-painted cribs to raise money for Children's Hospital's maternity wing and more. "I am sure there will be many more awesome projects," she said. In all, the students taking the "Outside the Box" challenge created and distributed 165 art kits. Each kit cost about $20. The students also learned to stay within that budget, which taught them an important life skill, Daniels said.
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Pfefferle Tire is a Finely Tuned Engine BY REID MAUS FOR 10 YEARS a staple of Main Street on the west side of Hamilton has been Pfefferle Tire and Auto, located at 990 Main Street. Chris Pfefferle has always been passionate about cars. He started going to work with his dad, Steve, when he was just seven years old. “I kept going to work with my Dad. Was around him and around him, I started working when I was 14,” he said. “I just stayed doing
it. I left early in high school with early release and went to work.” After high school, Chris went to Miami Hamilton and Ohio State. Upon his return from college he went back to work for his dad, at the original Pfefferle Tire and Auto at 479 Nilles Road in Fairfield. Five years later, in 2010, he opened up shop at the new location.
it and ran with it, and it’s been real good. We’ve had success here for 10 years." Why open up in Hamilton? Well he already had some roots here. “I’ve always been around Hamilton. Plus I’ve lived in Hamilton since I came home from Ohio State in 2005, so I just love this town,” said Pfefferle. “I’m glad I get to work in the town that I live in.”
“The opportunity just seemed to be there,” he said. “With that opportunity we took
Last year the original Pfefferle Tire and Auto in Fairfield celebrated their 25th anniversary. So for the Hamilton location it shows nothing more than how fast time passes. “It seems like a long time but it has flown by,” he said. “I have an eight year old kid now. So to think about that and where the business is at, life is crazy man.” The thing that Chris enjoys most about his career? The connection with customers. “It’s different every day,” he said. “You get to work with people, you get to know your customers. They know you, they like you, they trust you. The fact that they bring it to me and trust me gives me a sense of accomplishment.” Chris mentioned he doesn’t intend to have any celebration for the 10 year anniversary and is more focused on taking care of his employees.
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Harmonies from Hamilton Local quartet Half-and-Half is set to represent the U.S. in the international Barbershop Quartet Competition BY LAURA LEAVITT
KIM NEWCOMB Tenor
JENNI SHEETS Lead
CY WOOD Bass
KOHL KITZMILLER Baritone
In one Hamilton living room,
four musicians practice interweaving melodies and harmonies to create a complex and beautiful song. Cy Wood, Kim Newcomb, Jenni Sheets, and Kohl Kitzmiller, however, don’t play guitar or drums; they are all using their voices. Half and Half is a local mixed Barbershop Quartet, a musical group known for their intricate blends of different musical ranges, including a lead singer, a tenor, a baritone, and a bass. “Our name comes from the fact that half of us are boys, and half of us are girls,” says Wood. “Also, half of us live here in Hamilton and half of us live in the Indianapolis area.” The quartet has gone from launching in 2018 to recently qualifying as one of two quartets to represent the United States in the International Mixed Quartet Competition. While their competition participation has been placed on hold because of recent public health concerns, their qualification demonstrates that they are among the best of the best in this form of barbershop quartet singing. Wood, Kitzmiller, and Newcomb have been in multiple highly-successful barbershop quartets before, and their work is also connected to music. Wood teaches musical theater at Butler
Wood introduced Sheets’ singing to his other two friends, the idea to form a mixed quartet began to take shape. “We knew each other and had sung together before,” says Newcomb. “Cy showed us a video of Jenni singing ‘My Funny Valentine,’ and we were like, ‘She can belt! She’s really good.’” The idea of forming a mixed quartet was hatched only a few weeks before one of the major barbershop quartet organizations, the Barbershop Harmony Society, announced a new initiative. The “Everyone in Harmony” movement opened the organization’s regulations to make barbershop more accessible to everyone. Traditionally, men sang with men and women sang with women in barbershop quartets, so the “Everyone in Harmony” movement came at a great time for Half-and-Half. “Lots of people believe in equality and inclusivity, so the Everyone in Harmony movement, for us, as individuals and as a group, is really who we are,” says Sheets. “As it grows, those who don’t ‘get it’ now, will get it; they’ll see all the different kinds of people this is going to bring in, including people they’d never otherwise have gotten to sing with.” The group practices at least two times a month and has performed in a variety of venues in the Midwest and around the
“I’ve traditionally been a soloist, so learning to listen to three other people and blend was new,” says Sheets. “It helps that I trust them: their words are never personal, and they only want to improve our singing.” She’s been impressed with the way that barbershop singing is a community where the participants trust and care for each other. “I’ve started doing graphic design for the barbershop crowd; they’re very much a ‘for us, by us’ community,” she explains. “Once the barbershop community finds out you do something, they want to support you in it. They want you to succeed.” The group appreciates seeing the elements of barbershop through new eyes as Jenni asks questions and discovers the differences between the rules of the genre and conventions that can be bent or changed. “Our potential for growth is much higher with Jenni,” explains Kitzmiller. “If you haven’t grown up in it, you bring different things to it than people who have done barbershop a long time.” The group enjoys each other’s company and are able to offer feedback and suggestions along the way with a
Traditionally, men sang with men and women sang with women in barbershop quartets, so the “Everyone in Harmony” movement came at a great time for Half-and-Half. Tech School of the Arts, after spending many years performing himself in New York. Kitzmiller is a musical arranger and creates learning tracks: recorded music to help singers learn by ear. Newcomb also records learning tracks, alongside teaching voice lessons and coaching ensembles.
country; Wood points out that from the beginning, they’ve jumped in feet-first to sharing their music.
Sheets, a graphic designer by profession, has studied and performed in musical theatre throughout her life, but was a newbie to barbershop in 2018. When
Sheets’ initiation into barbershop has had a learning curve, though it has been easier to progress quickly because of the way the group works together.
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constructive and positive attitude, which really helps the team dynamic. “I’ve seen it where the four personalities don’t connect even if the quality of the singers is really good; I wouldn’t be willing to be in a group like that,” says Wood. “I wouldn’t want to be in a group where I didn’t love every single one of them.”
“We first performed together only two months after we got our group together,” says Wood. “Our fourth practice was our first performance!”
Follow the Half-and-Half journey online at halfandhalfquartet.com or Facebook.com/halfandhalfqt
APRIL 2020 WWW.JUSTHAMILTON.COM
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Gordon S. Rentschler The notable career of one of Hamilton's most formidable businessmen BY RICHARD O JONES
One of the most formidable
businessmen of his era, Gordon Sohn Rentschler first made his mark on his hometown of Hamilton before becoming a titan of banking and industry for the nation. He was born into one of the city’s most important manufacturing families. The Rentschler name has been almost synonymous with the city of Hamilton since George Adam Rentschler arrived here in 1873. A native of Wurtemberg, Germany, he came to the United States as a boy with his widowed father and six siblings. He was educated in Newark, N.J., and learned the trades of the molder and patternmaker, which took him to various points in the Midwest. When the Indianapolis-based Variety Iron Works moved to Hamilton, he came with the firm as a foreman, but he soon opened his own shop with a $200 loan. "His 26
integrity and determination were the only collateral the Second National Bank had for the loan that was the start of a small foundry business," his obituary recalled. During his career, he was associated with several different companies, some of them with his name on them, and in 1904 built Hamilton’s first skyscraper, still known as the Rentschler Building. He was a widower when he arrived, but married into the prominent Schwab family, and was the father of three young men who would build upon that empire in profound ways. The oldest of his Hamilton-born children (he had two from his first marriage), Gordon S. Rentschler was born in 1885, and after graduating from Princeton as class president in 1907, returned to Hamilton to join his father
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in business in the manufacture of heavy machinery, including the famous Corliss engine, rolling mill equipment for various industries (including sugar), and ship engines. His biggest mark on the city of Hamilton came in the wake of the Great Flood of 1913. As many of his operations suffered great losses during the flood, he eagerly became one of the first trustees of the Miami Conservancy District, appointed by Governor James Cox, and is credited with having secured the $35 million bond that made Arthur Morgan’s elaborate flood control program a reality. This endeavor brought young Mr. Rentchler to the attention of National City Bank president Charles E. Mitchell. When World War I broke out, Rentschler went to Washington on behalf of the Hooven-Owens-Rentschler Company Support Your Local Business!
and made a pitch to build a Corliss engine a day for the nation’s battle fleet. He was told it wasn’t possible, that the shop wasn’t big enough, but he did it anyway, famously unloading pig iron from railroad cars alongside the shop’s laborers to help keep up the pace. He became friends with Henry Ford when his shops started making machinery for the assembly lines there and is generally credited with convincing Ford to build a plant in Hamilton. When the nation went through a depression in 1921, he went to Detroit and obtained contracts for $4.5 million in new machinery. He returned to Hamilton and sublet some of the contracts to shops other than his own to help keep the local industry healthy. So in 1921, when National City Bank had some issues with a depressed sugar industry, Mitchell called on Rentscher, who had developed some expertise in the area from the manufacture of sugar mill machinery. So he went to Cuba to iron out the situation and when he came back, was appointed a director of the bank. Although the position had no salary, he became so dedicated to the bank that by 1925 he moved from Hamilton to New York and slowly began delegating his Hamilton duties, including his seat on the Conservancy board, to his youngest brother. He bought Mitchell’s Fifth Avenue house and Mitchell built a bigger one next door, though he never gave up his
Hamilton home and returned frequently for the remainder of his life. Rentschler, now 40, made quite the impression on the New York crowd. The playwright and journalist Laurence Stallings wrote a glowing, somewhat fawning profile on the young bachelor for the New York World, which included a detailed physical description: “Rentschler is about six feet tall, and weighs around 185 pounds. There is a slight stoop to the thick shoulders and a forward thrust of the neck. His brown hair is close-cropped and parted in the middle. Blue eyes peer alertly through thick-lensed spectacles. The nose is large enough to be called aggressive in its slight hook. His chin appears small because of the fleshy throat, but juts out to a firm point ... Rentschler’s voice ... is deep yet faintly nasal. It carries the easy assurance most successful men display. Above all, it is a friendly voice. The composite impression is one of boyish directness, unaffected and avid interest in the people and things around him, a naturally companionable disposition. He is a man most persons would like on brief acquaintance. One of his friends says, ‘You could travel with Gordon for a month and never know he had more than a hundred dollars.” Two years later, he married rather late in life to Mary Coolidge Atkins of Boston on July 23, 1927, but together they had three daughters, plus another daughter from his wife’s first marriage.
In 1929, he succeeded Mitchell as president of National City Bank, the second largest bank in the world at the time. He became a director of many different companies, including the City Bank Farmer’s Trust Company, the Union Pacific Railroad, the Home Insurance Company, National Cash Register, and the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. In 1946, President Truman appointed him to a special 12-member committee of industrialists and bankers to draft recommendations for rehabilitating foreign trade. Although he had not been in the best of health when he returned to Cuba for a vacation in March 1948, he fell ill after visiting a sugar mill in Soledad and took to bed at the Nacional Hotel in Havana. He was making plans to return to the United States on the morning of March 3 when he suffered the first of three heart attacks on that one day. The third one killed him. Tearful obituaries graced front pages of newspapers across the country. The hometown Journal-News eulogized him: “A natural-born leader, he forged to the front in whatever activity in which he was drawn to and to each he gave of himself without restraint, displaying a judgment which secured success in the endeavor.” His body was returned to Hamilton and he was interred in Greenwood Cemetery.
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RIDGEWAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Emily Fuerbacher BY MANDY GAMBRELL
businesses. I can’t believe how much this city is growing! In fact, I bought a house here to be a part of this awesome environment,” Fuerbacher said.
has a last name that’s pretty well-known throughout the Hamilton City Schools. The early childhood intervention specialist at Ridgeway Elementary is the daughter of two parents who served as a history teacher at Wilson Middle School and an associate superintendent in the district. And that’s not all: “My brother was a fifth-grade math teacher at Highland Elementary. When I was little, I always said I would be a nurse like my grandma but every chance I had, I lined up my dolls and stuffed animals and played teacher,” Fuerbacher said. She is in her 11th year teaching and is newly engaged—and is excited to get married.
She also has a big heart for the welfare of animals. “I rescued my dog, my two cats and my mom’s favorite Christmas present locally. Additionally, I welcomed my fiancé’s Cane Corso to the family … the more the merrier!”
Hamilton is truly her home: She says her first date with her fiancé, Andrew Hetrick, was at Municipal Brew Works in downtown. “I strongly believe in Hamilton! As much as possible, I eat, purchase and support Hamilton
Fuerbacher said if there was any advice she could give to all students it would be to make the most of their time in the Hamilton schools. “Hamilton City Schools has much to offer. Work hard, do your best and plan on being the future of Hamilton.”
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April Recipe FESTIVE EASTER DIRT PUDDING
1 8 oz package cream cheese 1 cup confectioners sugar ½ stick of butter 3 cups of milk 2 small packages of jello brand French vanilla instant pudding 1 20 oz package of Oreos (crushed)
1. Mix one 8 oz. package of cream cheese with one cup of confectioners sugar and ½ stick of butter. 2. In a blender, mix three cups of milk with two small packages of French vanilla jello brand instant pudding. Add this into the cream cheese mixture and mix. 3. Fold in 1 family size container of cool whip. 4. Take the 20 oz. package of Oreos and crunch (using a mash potato masher). Sprinkle a small amount on the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan. Cover with one half of the cream cheese mixture, then add a layer
of Oreos. Cover with the rest of the cream cheese mixture, and the rest of the Oreos.
You can decorate with colorful bunnies
and Easter eggs as shown in the illustration, or you can create your own Easter theme. As far as the dirt pudding, this is a favorite anytime of the year! Happy Easter! Enjoy!
Monday 5PM - 10PM Wednesday Thursday 11AM - 10PM Tuesday Friday Saturday 11AM - 11PM Sunday Noon - 10PM
HAMILTON 147 N Brookwood Ave - Hamilton 45013
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Community Comfort Out of all 17 neighborhoods that make up the city of Hamilton, one of the most active and engaged is Lindenwald. The name Lindenwald is of German descent, meaning “forest of linden trees”. Occupying approximately 2.78 square miles, this historic area is nestled in the southernmost part of the city, with Grand Blvd., Dixie Hwy., the Great Miami River, and the city of Fairfield serving as distinct neighborhood boundaries. Up until the late 19th century, the Lindenwald area was mostly farmland classified as a village in Fairfield Township. It was annexed to the city of Hamilton in 1908, 32
where it then became known as the 6th Ward. Development of the farmland began when the land was purchased by developers, and sectioned off into buildable lots. Initially, those lots were utilized by factory workers, but the land later provided service members with homes upon their return from WWII. The neighborhood has always maintained a steady tribute to its roots through the naming of the streets within its borders. Many of the streets were named for former Ohio governors (Tiffin, Bishop, and Hayes),
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One of Hamilton's most flourishing and energetic neighborhoods BY STEPHANIE FOLEY AND DICK SCHEID local landowners (Neilan, Van Hook, and Symmes), or land developers (Benninghofen, Fitton, and Hammond). While the streets play their role in the history of the neighborhood, so do some of the local businesses. Some local establishments have cemented their place in Lindenwald’s history, such as Sweden Crème which first opened in the 1950s. True to its traditional neighborhood classification, Lindenwald boasts numerous parks, including the city’s largest park (Joyce Park) and Support Your Local Business!
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Not only are the residents engaged with the neighborhood, but the neighborhood reciprocates those efforts. For example, each year, the Lindenwald United Methodist Church hosts a community Easter egg hunt, and a trunk or treat event for Halloween. Heaven Sent puts on a visit with
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Officer Bob Gentr y Park
Riverside Natural Area
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As one of the most engaged neighborhoods, it is evident that Lindenwald residents care about their community and their impact on the city as a whole. “Our family moved to Lindenwald six years ago, renting at first and eventually buying a house last year,” said Zeb Acuff. “We love the traditional neighborhood atmosphere with sidewalks, parks, and houses close to the street. We also appreciate how engaged many of the residents are in keeping Lindenwald an attractive place to live.”
HI L L
Kevin Lodder Park
RI V E R
As the most populated neighborhood in the city, with 10,218 people at last count, Lindenwald has a flourishing and energetic neighborhood committee called PROTOCOL (People Reaching out To Others Celebrate Our Lindenwald). Headed up by Frank Downie, a 65-year Lindenwald resident and 17Strong board member representing the Lindenwald neighborhood, PROTOCOL holds monthly meetings on the 3rd Monday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. Locations do vary, but the community organization maintains an active Facebook page that relays those locations each month. “Chairing PROTOCOL is both a privilege and an honor,” Frank explained. “The issues with which we deal are no different from those any neighborhood/ city endure, but the opportunity to lead a city sanctioned effort to engage, and more importantly empower the very residents affected by the issues is a unique challenge.”
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Benninghofen Park complete with one of the city’s splash pads. The western side of the neighborhood is lined by the Riverside Natural Area and a portion of the Miami River Trail, making it very walkable and appealing.
Miami University Hamilton Campus
SYM MES RD
Lindenwald is a place where couples move to start out their lives, but they love it so much they never leave. The neighbors in the Wald truly look out for one another. Santa in December, and every fall, the Hamilton Conservation Corps holds a neighborhood cleanup for the Riverside Natural Area as part of their Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River initiative. Lindenwald is a place where couples move to start out their lives, but they love it so much they never leave. The neighbors in the Wald truly look out for one another, with many of those relationships having been built from the close-knit community generations back. “I still count some of my best friends among individuals whom I met because our parents, and in some cases our grandparents, were acquaintances,” said Frank. “In the 20th century, we were a community bound together by strong churches, schools, and a business district where you could find any product or service. You lived among your neighbors, and you shopped among your neighbors.”
upon themselves to create positive change. In addition to rehabbing older properties and increasing activity in the neighborhood parks, there is also a growing interest to revive the Lindenwald Civic Association. The goal in doing so is to bring new business and opportunity to the vacant storefronts in the community, and to reinvigorate what was once a thriving business district. To get more involved in your neighborhood, take the first step and start a conversation with a neighbor, or reach out to 17Strong via your neighborhood representative or the easy to use website, www.17stronghamilton.org.
Going into this year, Lindenwald’s motivated residents have taken it APRIL 2020 WWW.JUSTHAMILTON.COM
THE LITTLE CHICAGO CHRONICLES: PART XVI
A Fatal Dust-up in Lindenwald BY RICHARD O JONES
With the influx of factory workers from the hills of Kentucky and a reduced police force, there was a lot of “do-ityourself” justice taking place in Hamilton during the early days of Prohibition. Work was scarce in Kentucky and plentiful in Hamilton, so whole families would often make the trek together. One such blended family was that of Addie and Fred Bales. Both of them had been married before and between them had eight sons and four daughters ranging in age from late teens to early 30s. Addie’s husband Tommie had died in 1905. The family was from Jackson County and Rockcastle County, 34
Kentucky. Fred Bales was a coal dealer, also from Jackson County. The oldest Rose child was James Charles Rose, 30, a molder who worked at the Estate Stove Works and a member of Stove Molder’s Union No. 283. He had a room in his younger brother Brownie’s house on South Thirteenth Street. Ten years earlier, Jim had gotten into a spot of trouble after a drunken altercation in the street when a man named Isaac Bunce came at him with a hatchet and threatened to bury it in his skull. Jim, who at the time was going by the name Charles Ross because he was wanted in Kentucky for escaping jail, got the jump
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on him and landed the first blow. Bunce fell backward, hit his head on the bricks and fractured his skull in two places. Jim Rose, aka Charles Ross, and his brotherin-law John Sapp Jr. were charged with manslaughter in the case, but Judge Warren Gard went light on him because he was supporting his widowed mother and her children, fining him 10 dollars and suspending a 60-day jail sentence. His lawyer explained the name discrepancy as the result of a mistake at the Champion mill, that he had never been arrested or jailed in Kentucky. On Sunday morning, August 8, 1920, Jim Rose went to an uncle’s house on South Support Your Local Business!
Ten years earlier, Jim had gotten into a spot of trouble after a drunken altercation in the street when a man named Isaac Bunce came at him with a hatchet and threatened to bury it in his skull. Ninth Street and there met his brother Willie Rose, who lived with his stepbrother Chester Bales on Laurel Avenue. Around 12:30 p.m., the brothers started out to the home of their mother on Symmes Avenue. When they got there, Willie Rose left the house to visit a friend in the neighborhood. Jim Rose and another brother left to visit some friends named Townsend and caught up with Willie at their house. From there between 2 and 3 p.m., Jim and Willie started to head back through Lindenwald via Zimmerman Avenue when they passed the home of an acquaintance, Jim Lewis, and noticed Leo Sweat sitting on the front porch with his wife Virgie, nee Sapp, who had once been married to Jim Rose and divorced in 1918, marrying Sweat a year later. Virgie’s sister was married to Jim Lewis, a teamster who had just finished putting his team away and getting ready for supper. Willie Rose wanted to have a few words with Leo Sweat. Willie had been sweet on Dorothy Beaty, a girl from Selkirk (also known as Gandertown and now called
Auburn, a little village in western Butler County on Scipio Pike). He had gotten wind that Leo Sweat had said some unflattering things about Dorothy and wanted to call him out on it. They passed the house and Jim went to the alley in the back while Willie circled back to the front porch. From there, versions of the story differ in significant details. Lewis said that Willie Rose came up to the porch and said that he wanted to talk to Sweat, who came down from the porch and the two of them walked around the side of the house toward a coal shed. Then, according to Lewis, Jim Rose stepped from behind the shed and hit sweat. At that point, Lewis jumped off the porch and got between them, telling the Rose boys to not start any trouble on his property. Jim Rose let loose of Sweat and headed toward the house after his ex-wife. He went in the back door and followed her through the house and out the front door when Lewis stepped up to Rose again and told him again not to make any trouble there. Rose kicked him and told him it was none of his business, so Lewis went into the house and got his revolver.
The fight moved from the alley to the back yard, and when Lewis re-joined the fray, Rose grabbed him by the coat collar and made a motion as if he was reaching for a gun. Then Lewis shot him. Rose stumbled away into the neighbor’s yard and dropped dead. Lewis then went to the car barn and started his machine with the intent, he said, of going to the police and giving himself up. His version of the story was backed up by Leo and Virgie Sweat. In his statement Willie Rose says that he had heard that Sweat had been talking disparagingly about a young lady to whom he was engaged to be married and he and his brother James Rose went to the Lewis house to see Sweat about it. Jim Rose remained in the alley back of the coal shed. As he and Sweat walked back toward the shed he asked Sweat about what he had said about his girl, Sweat admitted it, but was insolent and Willie Rose hit him and knocked Sweat down. Jim Rose attempted to stop him, he avers, but he tore away and ran after Sweat. Lewis came out to take Sweat’s part and Jim Rose stepped in to take his brother’s part.
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Willie Rose says that he had heard that Sweat had been talking disparagingly about a young lady to whom he was engaged to be married and he and his brother James Rose went to see Sweat about it. Lewis went back to the house and while Jim Rose was trying to separate Sweat and Willie, Lewis came out of the house, stepped up to Jim Rose, said “I’ll kill you,” and shot James Rose in the breast. Willie contended that his brother did not hit Lewis. According to other witnesses, when Lewis came out into the yard he ordered the Rose boys out. They testified that Jim Rose grappled with Lewis and hit him in the face. It was then, the majority of the witnesses say, that Lewis shot Rose. The call came to police headquarters at 3:27 p.m. that a man had been shot and killed on Zimmerman Avenue. Officers were hurried to the scene, found James Rose dead and that James Lewis gone. People at the scene described the car he had left in, and officers took out after it, intercepting it at Second and Ludlow streets. Lewis told officers, “I am the man you are looking for.” He was arrested, taken to the station house, locked up and charged with murder in the first degree in a warrant sworn out by Officer William Huber. In the meantime, Coroner Cook had been called to the Lewis home, viewed the body of Rose and it was taken to the mortuary of Funeral Directors Bonner and Cahill where under the direction of Coroner Cook an autopsy was held at 4 o’clock Monday afternoon, conducted by Dr. G.M. Cummins. At the inquest, Willie Rose testified that he and his brother had not seen any moonshine and were not intoxicated. He said that he had not made any such remark that he was going to blow up Support Your Local Business!
Lindenwald or attack the Lewis home. He stated in his testimony that Lewis did not order him to leave the yard. He said that James Rose and Lewis never had any trouble. Virgie Sweat testified that she heard James Rose yell, “Get him, Willie,” as the pair came into the yard after Sweat. She also said that James Rose, once while drinking, told her he would “get” Sweat. She said that from the time she and Rose were divorced until she and Sweat separated she never spoke to Rose.
Then Jim Rose came in from the alley and began taking Will’s part when Jim Lewis came up, ordered both the Roses out of the yard when Jim Rose attacked him and they were all four fighting. Sweat broke away, ran toward the house and in the back door.
Addie Bales, mother of the dead man, testified that when Virgie Sweat was separated from Leo Sweat, she came to her home in company with James Rose once and told her that she liked James Rose better, that she had married Sweat for spite, but would get a divorce and remarry Rose. She also said she never knew of any trouble between Rose and Sweat. Dorothy Beaty, over whom Willie Rose said he started the fight, testified that Leo Sweat had made an indecent remark to her once but she never told Rose about it. She also testified that Sweat told her he had used Rose’s marriage licence in marrying Virgie Sapp Rose Sweat. She said she told him that he erased Rose’s name and inserted his own. Leo Sweat testified that around 2 o’clock that Sunday afternoon, he and James Lewis were sitting on the porch of Lewis’s house when Jim and Willie Rose passed going toward an alley in the rear of the three-room cottage on Zimmerman Avenue. Shortly after, Willie Rose came around the house from the rear and asked him
to come out as he wanted to see him. Rose didn’t say what he wanted to see him for and they walked around the house. They had almost reached the alley gate when Rose struck him and that started a fight.
Jim Rose followed him through the house to the porch. Lewis and Willie Rose followed around the side of the house and a number of times Lewis ordered the Roses away, but all four got to fighting again. Lewis got away, went into the house and came out with a pistol and again ordered the Roses out of the yard and off the place. Sweat said Jim Rose grabbed him by the left arm and with his right hand or fist kept beating Lewis on the breast. Lewis tried to break away and then shot Jim. Willie Rose tried to lead Jim into an adjoining yard but as they reached the gate between, Jim sank down and died. Then Lewis told Sweat he was going to give himself up to the police and left. Although he was initially charged with first degree murder, the grand jury reduced the charge to manslaughter. When James Lewis came to trial at the end of November pleading self-defense, it only took a jury thirty minutes to come back with a not guilty verdict.
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Badin's Ella Pohlen is Full of Friendly Energy BY DIRK ALLEN
Senior Ella Pohlen is like a breath of fresh air at Badin High School; a quiet whirl of friendly energy as she heads through the hallways, a good mood always evident in her ready smile.
Fairfield will attend Miami University/ Hamilton in August and major in Early Childhood Education. “Ella is incredibly generous with her time and gifts,” Halverson said. “She is so reliable— always willing to say ‘yes’ and step into
than a week raised more than $800 for Cancer Free Kids.
leadership roles with humility, kindness and grace.”
said that has given her the impetus to step up and help distribute communion at Sacred Heart. “I have really enjoyed the relationships at Badin,” Pohlen said. “Not just with the students but with the faculty as well. It says something about a school when you can walk down the hallway and feel comfortable enough to say hi to everyone you walk past. Even if I’m having a bad day, I can say hi to someone, and it puts a smile on my face.”
As the assistant sacristan, she handles announcements and prayer every afternoon at the close of school, and
“Ella rocks!” said Mrs. Gina Helms, Badin’s director of Campus Ministry. “She’s a gem; one of a kind,” added Mrs. Megan Halverson, who coordinates Badin’s Christian Service program. “It’s been life-changing,” Pohlen said of her Badin experience. “I was really quiet freshman year. If you’d have told me I would be leading retreats and standing up giving speeches as a senior, I couldn’t have imagined it.” Pohlen stops to chat briefly, en route to lifting with the Badin girls’ volleyball team. She doesn’t have to lift with the team any longer, but she goes anyway, because she wants to. “Volleyball was awesome. I loved every minute of it. I miss it,” said the talented 5-foot-6 Pohlen, who served 18 straight points in one victory for the district runner-up Rams this past fall. “That really started things for me as a freshman—being on a team, meeting new people.” Pohlen has become a people-person, heavily involved in service, where she is frequently at the Boys and Girls Club, helping younger students with homework and playing games.
“She has such integrity and poise,” Helms added. “She is truly respected by her peers. I have so much confidence in what the future holds for her.”
“I love going to the Boys and Girls Club,” Pohlen said. “That really strengthened my idea of becoming a teacher someday.” The Sacred Heart grad from
Remembering a King of the Court volleyball fundraiser that happened during her freshman year, Pohlen quickly organized one as a senior, and in less
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Elementary Campus 7350 Dixie Hwy. Fairfield 2/3/20 2:54 PM
Local commercial printer stays in Hamilton! H A M I LT O N
G R A P H I C S
230 Sycamore St. Hamilton, OH 45011
Hamilton Graphics was Ohio Casualtyâ€™s inplant printing operation. In 1991, Hamilton Graphics was founded so OC could take in outside printing work. We began printing for many non-profit organizations and charities, as well as a few commercial clients like Miami University, YMCA and many local school districts.
2001 Ohio Casualty sold the printing assets to the 2 print department managers. They incorporated, and continued to run Hamilton Graphics as a commercial printing company.
2007 Hamilton Graphics became a family business when 1 partner purchased the company. We relocated to 3rd & Sycamore St. after purchasing a building. We have been at this location going on 10 years and continue to run a full service printing operation including both Litho and Digital printing equipment. Located downtown just 4 blocks south of High St.
F U L L S E RV I C E R E S TAU R A N T I P R I VAT E E V E N TS I C AT E R I N G
241 HIGH ST. HAMILTON, OH 45011 RESERVATIONS: 513.883.1019
Serving Butler County Since 1966
• Homemade Soft Serve • Sundaes, Splits & More! • 44 Different Cyclones! • Creamy Shakes & Malts HAMILTON 997 Eaton Ave., Hamilton, OH 513-896-6696
FAIRFIELD 539 Wessel Dr. Fairfield, OH 513-939-3582
ROSS 4065 Hamilton Cleves Rd. Ross, OH 513-447-1267
IT’S NOT WHERE YOU S TA R T, IT’S WHERE YOU FINISH. APPLY NOW MiamiOH.edu/Regionals/Apply
Visit JustHamilton.com The
HAM ltonian Established 1791
CALL 513-816-1450 • VISIT justhamilton.com • MAIL 6 South 2nd Street, Suite 205, Hamilton, Ohio 45011 Checks payable to “The Hamiltonian” ($35/year)
When you shop with us, you are not helping buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.
110 N. ERIE HWY. • HAMILTON, OH (513) 863-7878 ROSEAUTOMOTIVEGROUP.COM
500 E. MAIN ST. • EATON, OH (937) 456-4177 LARKINCOBB.COM
Our customers are our shareholders and they are the ones we strive to make happy.
Thank you for trusting us with all your automotive needs since 1984.
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