by Linda Cox
Though the Loveland Woman’s Club has spent several months celebrating their 100th anniversary, the June 12th meeting was the highlight of their centennial celebration beginning with a delicious tea attended by members dressed in vintage apparel.
Following the tea, Mrs. Patricia Furterer, as the mistress of ceremony, reminisced on Loveland as it existed 100 years ago: many unpaved roads with horses and buggies, though there were some new-fangled cars, and the area was flourishing with grocery stores, banks, stores, hotels, saloons, doctors, lawyers, pharmacies, an ice cream company, opera house, and more. One of the local newspapers was called The Hustler and excerpts from the paper were read by Mrs. Ann Barfels and Mrs. Sue Lundy.
Mrs. Patricia Furterer explained that the Loveland Woman’s Club initially was called the Research Club in 1912 and then, as now, their purpose was, “To provide literary and cultural expression and interest in civic, charitable and national affairs.” The club met on Monday afternoons at members’ homes. Club meetings were prim and proper affairs, as hats and gloves were worn and hostesses used their finest china and linens. Loveland Woman’s Club became affiliated with the OH Federation of Woman’s Clubs in 1915, though that membership has not been continued.
Mrs. Furterer also highlighted several of the projects the Loveland Woman’s Club had undertaken over the years, including:
A “lending library” was established in 1916 at the old Town Hall, which burned down in 1972. Books were donated and purchased. After six months, 134 library cards had been issued and there were 1,232 books available to Loveland citizens. The library continued until 1951.
A living Christmas nativity scene was assembled and orchestrated on what was known as Railroad Park, an area that is presently adjoining the bike trail. Beautiful costumes were
acquired, animals were secured, and husbands assembled the manger scene. Town folks participated in choral groups, volunteer firemen distributed candy to children, and Santa Claus was at Spark’s Hardware Store. This festive occasion continued for many years.
The first scholarship was awarded in 1961 in the sum of $100. This year, scholarships totaling $6,000 were awarded to six students.
Through the joint efforts of the Public Dental Service Society (in Cincinnati), Loveland Schools Superintendent L.W. Hurst and School Nurse Neil Hartman, and the Loveland Woman’s Club, a dental clinic was established in 1964 at Lloyd Mann School for school children who needed dental services. The clinic thrived for years in part because of support LWC provided for supplies, but was closed when the Public Dental Service Society’s funding was discontinued.
In 1965, the LWC secured a site (the former Methodist church on W. Loveland Ave.) to begin a Head Start Program in Loveland. The program was eventually moved into Loveland School facilities.
The first Beautification Program in Loveland was started by LWC. They provided barrels, plants, and labor to see that beautiful flowers improved the business district. The City of Loveland assumed this program.
Several Loveland Woman’s Club members offered their comments on what they or their family have experienced over the many years they’ve lived in Loveland
Mrs. Rae Bauer explained that her father was born in Loveland. He eventually became the owner of Sparks Hardware Store, where their family watched the 1913 flood carry their store’s merchandise down the river. Sparks Hardware eventually moved to Jackson Street, now known as W. Loveland Avenue, in the building occupied by Tano’s Restaurant.
Mrs. Jan Beller reported that W.W. Brock founded a planning and lumber mill on Broadway Street in 1870 and her great grandfather, A.B. Brock, joined the business which became known as the A.B. Brock Lumber Company, in 1901. Brock Hardware was started the same year and offered items ranging from china, toys, tools, and even a five passenger touring car for $1,000. In 1919, Lawrence and Roger Nisbet bought the lumber company and renamed it the L.W. Nisbet Company. In 1940, the Nisbets purchased the Brock Hardware Store. The Brocks also founded the first Loveland Building Association in 1875, which eventually became Loveland Mutual Building and Loan and was sold in 1962 to Hunter Savings. Mrs. Beller shared several memories of her Grandmother, Mrs. Edith Goodnough Brock, who was a member of The Research Club, which was renamed the Loveland Woman’s Club in 1917. The Club had eight charter members and Edith kept records of past presidents dating to 1953 and names and dates when members joined the Loveland Woman’s Club.
Mrs. Kathryn Undercoffer moved to Loveland in 1941 as a new bride. The Undercoffer family had settled in Loveland, then a farming community, in 1915 where George Undercoffer bred thoroughbred horses on their 120 acre farm. In the 1930’s, Charles Undercoffer’s focus turned to providing riding stables and polo fields, which eventually drew the 107th Calvary’s polo team to Loveland to practice. Twenty acres of the Undercoffer property was taken by eminent domain and became the home of Loveland High School in the early 1960’s. After Charles’ death and a series of barn burnings, the remaining Undercoffer farm, except for the land and house where Kathryn resides today, was sold in 1985 and eventually became the Claiborne Subdivision.
Mrs. Mildred Jones explained her Grandfather, Joseph Henry Cole, traded his Norwood house for a farm in Loveland in the early 1930’s. She and her siblings attended school in a one-room school that now is the site of the Epiphany Methodist Church. She recalls her brother would often ride their horse to school, then direct the horse to return home with just a swat on its backside. The Jones family now includes members of the Kendle, Wilson, Ledford and Archer families, with approximately 140 descendants today, 44 which have graduated from Loveland High School. Their family recently celebrated their 66th family reunion with over 110 in attendance.
Mrs. Carolyn Bingaman moved to Loveland in 1964. She worked with members of the Brown family, including Harry and Karl Brown who owned several businesses in those days. She fondly recalls working at the Brown Restaurant, where Karl Brown would regularly tip as much as 25 cents and was known as a “big tipper.” Needless to say, the waitresses would rush to serve him. She also worked for Martin Holman, who purchased and developed the land where Shoppers Haven is today and what is now known as Loveland Heights. The shopping center over the years has been home to several restaurants and banks, Bond’s Furniture, Layne’s Department Store, Kroger, and many other stores. Carolyn was Mr. Holman’s accountant and was amazed that he knew within $200 the cost of each house he built in the Heights by simply tracking expenses on a paper tablet, a much more simple process than her detailed records.
Mrs. Margie Clegg then entertained the Loveland Woman’s Club with a dance of the era performed to the song, “Bye Bye Blackbird.” Mrs. Mildred Jones led the Club in the singing of vintage songs like “A Bicycle Built for Two” and other memorable tunes, accompanied by Mrs. Marge Henderson. Mrs. Marirose Stiver encouraged everyone to join her as she sang “I’d Loveland to Live in Loveland with a Girl Like You.”
The June 12, 2012 Loveland Woman’s Club celebration concluded with President Kay Napier announcing the 2012 scholarship recipients. Mrs. Laurie Gordon then directed the installation of the 2012-2013 Loveland Woman’s Club officers, who are:
- President - Kay Napier
- 1st Vice President - Shirley Matre
- 2nd Vice President - Kay Buckler
- Recording Secretary - Vona Bales
- Corresponding Secretary - Lu Boike
- Treasurer - Roberta Warman
- Historian - Margaret Keifer
- Advisor - Mildred Jones