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Patterson Road Farmhouse

Physicist merits AF science & technology award 

Dr. Skip Williams, a senior research physicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate’s Aerospace Propulsion Division, was the recipient of the 2007 Air Force Science and Technology Award in the area of Engineering Achievement. The award specifically recognized Dr. Williams for the development and demonstration of hypersonic technology critical to the realization of next generation aerospace vehicles.

During his career, Dr. Williams has contributed to the development and transition of new technologies in the areas of plasma physics, chemical kinetics, and nanocatalysis that have application to hypersonic flight. Presently, Dr. Williams leads the basic research effort in the development of optical techniques capable of measuring inflow properties in real time to characterize critical vehicle/engine conditions such as air mass capture, stability limits, and the progress of combustion.

This technology is intended to augment and eventually replace present approaches involving vehicle performance tables and wall-based measurements used to estimate these engine performance parameters.

In the last year, Dr. Williams created a comprehensive visionary strategy for transitioning tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) technology to hypersonic platforms by identifying and defining critical research objectives and skillfully executing experiments.  This effort has led to numerous technical publications as well as data employed as part of the Hypersonic International Flight Research and Experimentation (HIFiRE) program.  

HIFiRE represents a seven-year bilateral agreement with Australia to conduct research in the exploration and development of fundamental hypersonic aerospace technologies.

This research promises to contribute technology to the Air Force in the areas of hypersonic engine development, system integration, engine monitoring and control, and flight-testing and data acquisition technologies for scramjet [supersonic combustion ramjet] engines.

Conard appointed to OSBA committee

Christopher R. Conard, an attorney and shareholder at Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A., has been appointed to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association.

Members of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee serve both the legal profession and the public by conducting investigations of complaints regarding persons unauthorized to practice law in the state of Ohio. Through this committee and others, the Ohio State Bar Association promotes the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

Christopher R. Conard is a member of Coolidge Wall’s litigation department, and is active in the firm’s general   business, commercial, construc tion and criminal litigation. He practices in both state and federal courts. Conard is a member of the Leadership Dayton Class of 2007-08 sponsored by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. He serves as a trustee of the Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services and is General Counsel for the Dayton Visual Arts Center. He is a former adjunct professor at the University of Dayton and the University of Dayton School of Law. Mr. Conard resides in Oakwood.

Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. is a full service business law firm with over 40 attorneys dedicated to pursuing clients’ interests  with legal know-how, creative problem solving and a service-minded attitude. Founded in 1853, it is one of the oldest law firms in Ohio.

DLM receives perfect scanning score

Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith commended Dorothy Lane Market as the recipients of the 2008 Excellence in Scanning Award.  Keith presented Dorothy Lane Market’s Calvin Mayne and employees with an award Thursday morning at Dorothy Lane Market’s Washington Township location.  Both Dorothy Lane Market stores in Montgomery County received perfect scores on scanning tests conducted by weights and measures inspectors in 2007.  

Centennial Reflections
Essays from the Oakwood Historical Society

Oakwood Schools from
1846 to Today

How can we reflect about Oakwood without discussing the schools?

We can’t – because they are an integral part of our community. They are the one thing everyone brags about. We have our critics within and outside of the city, and there are areas about the schools that people have and always will criticize, but when talking about our home, we all fall back on the schools. In 1929, when Dayton was suggesting that we should be annexed, the rallying point was maintaining the separate school system.

And we all know the reason why we support them. It’s because they turn out a superior product. The consistent results of every testing measure and the performance of graduates in college, as well as any measure you can cite, say to Oakwood – “Good Job – Keep it Up.” Of course there are missteps, disputes about curriculum, and graduates who don’t meet some vague
notion of success, but we turn out over a hundred good kids a year.

Back in 1846, the Trustees of Van Buren Township established a new school district and appointed J. Stewart Wead, Jacob Shroyer and Jefferson Patterson as directors.  Mr. Patterson leased a small, triangular piece of ground at the intersection of what is now Far Hills Avenue and Oakwood Avenue for a dollar a year, and built a schoolhouse for $253. Thirty students began classes under Henry Reddout, who was paid $20 a month. Each student paid 33 cents tuition and the school prospered for 40 years with many pioneer Oakwood families’ support.

The wonderful memories are documented in a pamphlet by Charlotte Reeve Conover, Dayton historian, in 1906, when John H. Patterson sponsored a reunion. It is filled with memories of how they filled their days and how Patterson escorted them on a tour, followed by lunch, of his Far Hills estate. Space doesn’t permit more about this event – it’s a wonderful story.

The township built a later school on West Schantz Avenue at about the entrance to what became Sugar Camp. This school lasted until Oakwood became a village and bought the property at Harman Avenue and West Dixon Avenue in 1909.

Known as “The Barn,” this building made do until the first school bond construction issue was passed in 1912 for $15,000. This wasn’t enough, requiring solicitation of private funds, a third of which is said to have come from John H. Patterson. The first building contained only three classrooms and a small office. In 1915, increased needs required two more bond issues. By 1917, there were 200 pupils taught by six teachers. In 1920, there were 197 pupils from K through 8 grades, taught by 10 instructors, and we were on our way to the period of greatest growth in Oakwood’s history. Between 1921 and 1931 the school population increased from 197 to 1,288, attracting tuition students from the area, despite competition from nearby Moraine Park School.

By 1922, Oakwood was clearly on its way, so a $450,000 bond issue was presented to the voters for building a new six-year high school. The board purchased the C. C. Harman farm of 15.5 acres on Far Hills Avenue. We graduated our first high school class of eight students in 1924 from the new facility. Gone were the days of sending students to Dayton schools or to private schools above grade 8. The virtues of the building are extolled in an article in the Dayton Journal in April 1925.

In 1926, the board purchased the half city block between Telford and Aberdeen Avenues, facing Shafor Boulevard, for a new grade school to meet expanding needs in the newly annexed part of the city to the south. Shafor Boulevard School was opened in the fall of 1926 in five portable cottages for 110 students. By the time it was complete in 1929 there were 303 students. In 1940, it was renamed Edwin D. Smith School in honor of long time board member who had served 14 years.

The addition of the Junior High School on the Schantz Avenue side in 1930 completed the high school campus and we began the six year plan of 7th through 12th grades there, adding a gymnasium and library.  

Fast forward through the years, when the stadium was built in 1936, and additions and remodeling were completed, to 1999, when we were bursting at the seams. School enrollment was over 2,000 and facilities were not able to meet the needs of modern times. Lightning struck with the gift of one million dollars from the estates of deceased 47 year residents Marge and Julian Lange. This gift enabled the board to purchase the former South Dayton Prep building on Dorothy Lane. With school board funds, voluntary contributions and a lot of sweat by citizens, Oakwood was able to open our only new school in 70 years.

Kindergarten, pre-school for disabled, and latch key programs are offered at this 13,700 square foot building. Leased buses from Kettering provide transportation.
We are running a 2300 student school system without any tuition students, which is an award winning system, achieving distinctions from all grading authorities, and maintaining the high standards for which we are known and of which we are justly proud.

Bricks and mortar are not the whole story. Oakwood schools would not be where they are today without the visionary guidance of Arthur E. Claggett who was hired in 1922 as principal and superintendent. The board, under the leadership of Nelson S. Talbott, adopted the six year plan, in which grade school ends with the sixth year and 7th through 12th years are high school.

By 1930, the teaching staff was required to have a college degree and one year of graduate school. An equal number of men and women high school teachers were maintained to ensure that boys had men advisors and girls had women advisors. The curriculum had a broad spectrum on life enrichment studies with space designated for them.

Claggett’s philosophy is expressed in many writings of the era, but are summarized in a booklet published by the board in 1927 concerning the six year plan. He retired in 1945 after 23 years of service. A Vision Statement published in 1924 contained the following:

“School Leaders must continually study the needs of their communities and the needs of present day life and must adjust the school curriculum to meet these needs.”

Oakwood High School campus circa mid 1930’s.


The Habig and Thielen kids on East Thruston Boulevard had some fun in the snow on Sunday, making a giant igloo with a little help from their parents.

Pictured left to right: Natalie Thielen, A.J. Habig and Rachel Thielen

Scouting food drive Underway

Oakwood’s Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Packs are collecting canned goods in your area for the annual “Scouting for Food” charity drive. The boys have distributed bags (some are yellow with printed information and others may be Kroger’s bags). The boys will be coming back through the neighborhoods on Saturday, March 15, to collect the non-perishable items.

Please place the bag outside your front door early next Saturday (by 9 a.m.) where it’s clearly visible. You need not be home when the boys come through your neighborhood.

All donations will be delivered to the Dayton Area Foodbank where it will be used to feed needy families in the Dayton Area.

Call 937-278-4825 for more information or visit the Boy Scout website at

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March 11, 2008
Volume 17, No. 11

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