First Depression signs

First signs of the Great Depression of the early 1930s came in January 1928 in this area when the West Lafayette Bank failed. In August, the Farmers Bank at Port Washington closed.

The delinquent tax list already had reached alarming proportions in Tuscarawas County in January 1928. Later that winter, the prolonged coal miners' strike following the collapse of the coal markets brought widespread distress among miners' families. The relief setup of township trustees and towns was not adequate and the schools and Red Cross helped in many instances.

The Dover YMCA began operations in January 1929 in the newly-dedicated Deis Memorial Building. On June 30, the cornerstone was laid for a new post office building in New Philadelphia.

The Northern Ohio Power Co. abandoned its interurban electric passenger car service on June 1 and established a bus line. Soon there were other bus lines and the NOP began to remove its tracks in Tuscarawas County.

On May 15, 1929, the nation, as well as the state and country, was horrified by the disastrous Cleveland Clinic fire in which 122 doctors, patients, nurses and others lost their lives. The fire originated by ignition of a large quantity of stored X-ray film and spread quickly.

The Cleveland Clinic had been founded by Dr. George Crile, internationally famed surgeon, who was a native of the Bakersville-Chili-Baltic area and was widely-known in Tuscarawas County where he had many friends and relatives.

(Information obtained from the History of Tuscarawas County book, pages 156-157.)

Elaine Mayenschein

Newcomerstown