Take a walk down memory lane with the Theaters of Butler County exhibit at Heritage Hall. Theaters and drive-ins that were in Butler County throughout the years are highlighted, along with many of the opera houses. Did you know that Reily and Seven Mile both had opera houses?
Butler County was also home to many people that made it big in the entertainment industry. Names, like the McGuire Sisters and Ray Combs, will be familiar to you, but did you know that Frank Simon, cornet soloist for the John Philip Sousa Band was from Middletown, or that the Brooklyn Comedy Four, from rural Butler County, played in nearly every American city and toured to such faraway places as New Zealand and South Africa?
Over Here, Over There: Butler County Soldiers in WWI
New WWI Material on Display
The day after America entered World War I, George M. Cohan wrote the song Over There. The melody and lyrics revealed America’s fighting spirit with the chorus, “Over there, over there. Send the word, send the word over there. That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming.” As it turned out, some 2 million Yanks were being shipped to Europe to fight in the Great War. The mobilization included more than 200,000 draftees, volunteers and National Guardsmen from Ohio. Our state provided the fourth largest number of troops of all states in the United States. More than 2,000 soldiers from Butler County answered the call to join the Army to fight in World War I. Many rose to the challenge, earning medals and acclaim while others quietly did their duty, fought and mostly survived. Soldiers in World War I would face the horror and carnage of a new, technological warfare that utilized such lethal innovations as the machine gun, poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks, submarines, airplanes and long-range artillery. One hundred years after the end of hostilities there are no Butler County veterans alive to tell the story of WWI. Part two of the World War I exhibit at Heritage Hall will focus on the stories of a few local soldiers who served in the Allied Expeditionary Force in France. At the beginning of 2017, Over Here, Over There: Butler County Industry During WWI, highlighted the contribution Butler County industry made during the nationwide war effort. If you missed part one, don’t worry, you still have plenty of time to view the exhibit spotlighting the 100th anniversary of World War I with, Over Here, Over There: Butler County Soldiers in WWI. During WWI, local newspapers regularly published letters from local soldiers serving overseas. These letters added a unique perspective to the war that a journalist writing from here was incapable of capturing.
Kathy Creighton Speaks
Please join us for our fall program on Saturday, November 11th at 1:00 PM in the third floor council chambers at Heritage Hall where Kathy Creighton will share some of these stories. Please note the change in day and time for this event.
Many of our members will be familiar with our fall featured speaker, Kathy Creighton. Kathy has been the Executive Director of the Butler County Historical Society since November 2010. A native of Illinois, Kathy grew up in the Chicago suburb of LaGrange and graduated from Western Illinois University with degrees in political science and history, and post-graduate work in history. She spent 31 years in Springfield, Illinois, working for Governor Jim Thompson and for the Illinois Department of Agriculture. During that time, volunteering was a big part of her life, serving as a docent at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and Lincoln’s Historic New Salem State Park. Hamilton, Ohio became her home in March 2008, when she married a native of Cincinnati. Kathy and Ed Creighton purchased a farm on Reily Millville Road, where they breed and raise Morgan horses. They also share the farm with a sundry of other animals, including chickens, turkeys, sheep, cats, dogs and alpacas.
On Saturday, November 11th at 1:00PM Kathy will be telling the stories of Butler County residents who fought in World War I. More than 2,000 Butler County soldiers fought overseas during the war. Many of them sent letters home detailing their experiences. Kathy will be sharing some of these stories at Heritage Hall in the third floor council chambers.