Also featuring photos from our monthly supplement...

The Dayton Women's Club


Norwalk - Bendelius

Laura Caldwell-Phillips Norwalk and Gregory Scott Bendelius were married at St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, at 5:30 p.m, on Saturday, May 17, 2008. The Reverend William Tully, Rector, St. Bartholomew’s Church and the Rev. Amy McCreath, Episcopal Chaplain, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, co-officiated the wedding.

The bride is a founder of Strategic Image Partners, LLC, a New York based company that serves individuals and corporate clients such as GE and Bank of America by coaching their executives on the importance of personal image and branding as part of their strategy for success. As part of her business, she is one of the top independent sales associates for The Worth Collection, Ltd., a luxury women’s clothing line.  She has her MBA from the Yale School of Management and her BS in Communications from Northwestern University.  She is the past Co-Chair of the Parish Council at St. Bartholomew’s Church, the Co-Chair of the Annual Fund at the New York Junior League, and a singer in the Choral Society of Grace Church.

The bride is daughter of Thomas S. and the late Cynthia Norwalk of Dayton, OH.  The bride’s father is President of Miami Valley Marketing Group, and her mother was owner of Norwalk and Associates, Inc. a real-estate brokerage.  Her sister and maid of honor, Leslie V. Norwalk, is the former Acting Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Washington, DC.

The couple met in 2006.

The bridegroom is a Director of Audit and Management Services at Unisys Corporation, and is based in their New York offices.  He has his MBA from the William E. Simon School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester, and his BA in Economics and Soviet/Russian Studies from Bates College. He is a founding board member of the White Horse Theater Company, a member of The Players, and currently sings in the Choral Society of Grace Church.

The bridegroom’s parents Ronald and Nancy Bendelius live in Madison, NJ.  The groom’s father is the retired Chief Financial Officer of Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder, Inc. and his mother is a past president of the Junior League of Morristown and former financial analyst for General Motors Corporation.  His brother and best man, Jeffrey A. Bendelius, is an Assistant Vice President at Pershing, LLC in Jersey City, NJ.

The couple looks forward to spending their honeymoon in Bhutan, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Doty - Vishi

It is with great pleasure that Dr. and Mrs. John Doty of Oakwood, Ohio announce the wedding of their eldest daughter, Adrienne Lourdes, to Alejdin Vishi, son of Mrs. Elife and the late Rufki Vishi of Dubravë, Kosovo on April 23, 2008.  

The nuptials took place in a civil ceremony in Kaçanik. Standing up for the bride and groom were Bereja Vishi, sister of the groom as Maid of Honor, and Feza Vishi, cousin of the groom as Best Man. The couple met through friends while Adrienne was visiting Kosovo on a business development trip.

The bride is a 2002 graduate of Oakwood High School and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Printmaking from Wright State University in 2007. The groom is a native of Kosovo and works in his family’s automotive business. The couple plans to reside in Kosovo and begin a new business venture.  A honeymoon trip touring Europe is planned for later this summer.

Barber shop celebrating its own Centennial

Schurman’s Barber Shop on Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – that’s one half the Centennial Oakwood itself is celebrating. But in truth, the barber shop is perhaps the longest running Oakwood business around. According to Tony Toller, the history of the barber shop goes back to the turn of the century.

Chet Guenther was the founding owner and opened Guenther’s Barber Shop, turning a brisk business as it was the only barber shop around. Mr. Guenther opened his shop at 2505 Far Hills Ave. (currently Shapes for Hair) in a converted house that also had a drugstore sharing space as a neighbor.

In 1951, Chet sold the business to his son, Jim, who kept the business going for 20 years, and then sold it to Paul Schurman in 1971. Mr. Shurman in-turn enjoyed 18 years of steady business and then sold it to Tony Toller in 1989. Toller was already one of the “old guard” at the shop, having originally hired on in May of 1958. It is Tony who has logged 50 years in the business as well.

“The Old Guard,” left to right: Jim Guenther, Paul Shurman, Fred Smith and Louis Probasco.

The shop has had its share of notable clientele over the years. Charles “Boss” Kettering was a regular customer, as was John H. Patterson, Nelson and Tully Mead, Loren M. Berry and S.C. Allyn over the past 100 years.

Just this year, the shop changed hands and generations once again. Toller sold the shop to son, Steve and a new generation has been handed the keys to the shop for the second time in 100 years.

Tony and Steve Toller

Wayne Chrisman retiring from DLM after 48 years

“I’m original equipment!” With a boast like that, who can argue with Wayne Chrisman, Dorothy Lane Markets’ most long-term employee. Chrisman retired last Thursday from a 48-year career that had seen him cover every position of gainful employment at the store since 1960, ranging from bagging groceries to milk truck driver to management of dry goods, dairy, third- and director of the entire store.

Chrisman hails from Sand Gap, Kentucky. After moving up here to Dayton he started working part-time at Dorothy Lane Market as a carry-out clerk for the starting salary of 75 cents an hour, plus tips. After graduating from Beavercreek High School, he made it a full-time job.

“I was here to get married, come up to this foreign country (Ohio) and live out our dreams here. I figured if I could make $100 a week, I could have anything I wanted,” he said.

Soon he found himself driving the milk truck between the three DLM stores at the time. He then handled the stock department (dry groceries) keeping the shelves full. He was also the dairy department manager for a number of years. He turned down managing the meat department (“couldn’t stand the sight of blood”) but managed just fine anyhow and has been the store director since 1991 having opened the Washington Square store.

He is married to wife, Carmen, and they have three sons, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He will still be working on a part-time basis at DLM during the winter.

That Day in May 5 K and 10 K results

Below are the overall winners for the 5K and 10K runs
held during That Day in May on May 17, 2008:

Overall Male Winners

5 K

1st place Jordan Reed, age 14, Fairborn, Ohio, 15:41

2nd place Tom Collier, age 33, Fairborn, Ohio 17:37

3rd place Brandon Townsend, age 13, Springfield, Ohio, 18:39

10 K   

1st place Jacob Enke, age 19, city unknown, 34:07

2nd place Jeff Kuzma, age 36, Beavercreek, Ohio, 34:56

3rd place Jason Newport, age 37, Eaton, Ohio, 35:54

Overall Female Winners

5 K   

1st place Nickie Luse, age 28, Dayton, Ohio, 19:20

2nd place Ashley Cattran, age 19, city unknown, 20:13

3rd Emily Untener, age 19, Kettering, Ohio, 20:58

10 K

1st place Mindy Leisure, age 32, Kettering, Ohio, 39:12

2nd place Kister Erin, age 27, Centerville, Ohio, 40:24

3rd place Carrie Doerr, age 38. Moreland Hills, Ohio, 42:50

Essays from the
Oakwood Historical Society

Oakwood's public transportation 1870-1970's

All writers about early Oakwood attribute its rapid growth to the transportation system that carried people to and from Dayton employment. Even Harman, Mitchell, Haas & Dixon, the developers of the first plat in 1872, provided a one mule street car which went up Oakwood Avenue to the corner of Harman as an inducement to buy lots.

Later, about the time of our incorporation as a village, a horse drawn street car came up to the “five points” and had a turn table which the driver and passengers used to turn the horse drawn cars around. John H. Patterson had a phone at the gatehouse of The Far Hills for use of the riders to call their homes further out in the plateau for the family to fetch them the rest of the way.

When electric streetcars were invented and put into use, the Oakwood and Dayton View line leased its tracks to The Oakwood Street Railway in 1875. Later, when NCR was employing large numbers of workers, there was a booming traffic south. It wasn’t long into the ‘teens’ before the line was extended to Monteray Avenue where the loop was. Developers were then advertising the virtues of living in Oakwood because downtown was only fifteen minutes away. Initially these were single truck (4 wheel) cars with a choppy ride serving the community during the mid-day hours.

In February, 1912, a fire leveled the car barn at Brown and Fairground Avenues, completely destroyed the barns of the Oakwood Street Railway Co. and partially destroyed the power plant connected with it. This caused a loss of $50,000 and four cars. The power plant generated electricity from coal fired boilers which may have been the source of the fire. Oakwood resident and Vice President Harrie P. Clegg said that they would rebuild on land recently acquired south on Brown St. (now the Frank Z auto agency).

About 1910-11 the Oakwood Street Railway bought a bigger two truck street car from the New York City elevated system and designed the 400 series cars based on it that were built in the Oakwood Street Railway shops at Brown St. and Fairgrounds Ave. There were six of them designed by general manager Henry Gebhart. They had a capacity of 45-50 passengers and were painted dark brown, and were distinguished by the roof mounted headlight. They were used in the morning and evening rush hours. Two cars were used on the Dayton and Troy traction line for a 5 p.m. run as far as Murlin Heights. That company was also owned by the Clegg family.

In 1930, one of the single truck cars had a collision with a Dayton Fire Truck at East Sixth Street and Brown Street. The firemen claimed that the car was so dark that they couldn’t see it. Shortly afterwards the cars of the company were painted silver aluminum with Roman letters and black numbers.

In 1932, a fire at the car barns destroyed practically all of the rolling stock of the City Railway Co. giving it the opportunity to replace the equipment with new electric trolley buses. The buses making their debut in March 1933, were met with public approval and making Dayton the first city in Ohio to use them. Oakwood Street Railway decided to convert its system to the trolley coaches in 1935 and introduced them to its riders on January 19, 1936. The old 400’s were dispersed to Argonne Forest Amusement Park on Germantown Pike. One was used as a hot dog stand at the Dayton Speedway and another was used for an office at Crume Brick Co. in Moraine for many years.

Many of us are old enough to remember the dark brown Pullman-Standard trolleys that we used while we were growing up in Oakwood. They served us well during gas rationing of WW II and beyond until we got drivers’ licenses. I remember the distinctive cling of the meter box when it accepted the nickel fare deposit for the trip to The Far Hills Theater. After the 1956 general transit merger, The City Transit Company took them out of service and they remained in dead storage until 1959 when they were cut up for junk. Who ever thought Carillon Park would have a place for such a piece of nostalgia?

There’s another piece of Oakwood history involving transportation that shouldn’t be neglected. It hasn’t been that long ago that the bridge on Patterson Rd. had the BUMP before entering Dayton.

The reason of course was the railroad track below. The railroad was originally the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Dayton Railroad, built in 1882. It skirted Oakwood from where it crossed Shroyer Road north of Dellwood and continued down behind the Acorn Drive houses through “the big cut” until it reached a spur at the State Hospital. It continued across Irving Avenue before skirting the U.D. and coming onto the NCR property at the car barn (Frank Z). Originally a narrow gauge railroad, it was converted to standard gauge in the 1890’s when it began hauling stone from the Centerville Stone Quarry into Dayton for a business on Longworth Street owned by Harold E. Talbott. The Oakwood part of the right of way was bought by the city in 1979 and is now a bikeway.

The point of this story is that the railroad had a passenger service into Dayton which some citizens of East Oakwood preferred to use before we had street cars. In a taped interview, Pete Riffle, Sr. recalled what a treat it was for him to go into town with his mother on the train as far as South Main Street where they would transfer to the street car. This was because he lived on Shroyer Road, which was much closer to the train stop than hiking all the way to Far Hills Avenue. There was later passenger traffic on this line, as shown by the existence of the Pasadena station in Beavertown behind the now closed Wagner Wood Products on W. Dorothy Lane. The developers of the plat in the area built the station in 1910 and advertised the 5 cent railroad fare for the trip to Dayton.

The Dayton Flood of 1913 devastated Dayton and washed out tracks from west of Pittsburgh to Indiana. Only the D.L.& C. remained open for flood relief because it was on the ridge between the two Miami Rivers. Supplies flowed north into the NCR complex which was the center for flood relief. The Pennsylvania Railroad bought the D.L. & C. in 1924.

In the late 1970’s there was brief discussion of the possibility of a light rail transit system on the right of way, but nothing came of it. Considering the price of gas – I wonder —-?

Several views of the trolley cars that serviced Oakwood.

New edition of Oakwood:The Far Hills coming 

The Oakwood Historical Society is preparing a special Centennial Edition reprint of Oakwood:The Far Hills, the popular history of Oakwood first published in 1983. Originally written by local authors Bruce and Virginia Ronald, it is out of print and no longer available locally, we have prepared several pages of updated material for the intervening 25 years, and added pictures of current interest.

This edition will have a cover similar to the hardback edition, with a Centennial Logo. It will be available through the society in June. Orders are being accepted at the society when accompanied by your check for $25, plus $2.00 for mailing/handling.

You may pick up your copy by including your phone number & local address for notice of availability. A limited number is being printed for the Centennial celebration.

City Notes...

Dog Park being considered

At their public meeting on April 7, Oakwood City Council received a request for the city to consider constructing a dog park at Creager Field.  Creager Field is located at the north end of Shafor Boulevard just south of Irving Avenue.  This request came at the same time that city officials had already given some thought to such a project.  

In reviewing potential sites for a dog park, city officials had identified Creager Field as the most appropriate location.  The city has completed a preliminary analysis of the area and is eager to further explore opportunities and to obtain citizen comments and opinions.  

To this end, the city will host an informal discussion session at the Oakwood Community Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27.  All citizens are invited and encouraged to attend.  

If you are unable to attend but wish to comment, please contact Leisure Services Director Carol Collins at 298-0775 or



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May 20, 2008
Volume 17, No. 21

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