This article appeared in the Journal Herald October 21, 1972
Bessie and Lizzie
by Roz Young
It is time to catch up on a few incidentals before they get too far in the past.
The Lib Hedges stories brought in a few comments from the readers.
About 12 years ago the Stewart of Patterson Road bought a wrought iron fence and three gates from a wrecker before he tore down the house at 253 S. Montana St. (formerly Pearl) at the corner of Howard. An old timer told the Stewarts that the house had a most interesting history and now, thanks to the Hedges story, they know what that history is. OH, the fine Dayton boys who went through those gates!
When Bennett Coy read that Lib Hedges gave $2,000 to the Flood Relief fund, he looked it up in a record book in the conservancy office, where he works. He found she did not give $2,000, she gave $1,500.
And so a whack on the knuckles to Phil McKee who said in “Our Town” $2,000, wherever he is. I’ve had mind from Bennett.
Bud Rice has a report on another good deed of the redoubtable Liz. About the turn of the century, Bud’s mother came her as a young girl from Germany. She worked as a housekeeper in the Thomas Elder home for a number of years before she married.
At one time Elder was having a distressing time keeping his dry goods store open because of the lack of cash. It was, Bud thinks, during the financial depressions of 1898.
Elder found that Lib Hedges had money to lend. But when he considered how the money had been made, he felt that he dare not borrow from her. (Old timers remember how when he was president of Elder’s, he had the curtains pulled over his windows on Sunday: he did not believe in any kind of commercializing the Sabbath, even for lookers.)
The family held prayers over the problem. Then Mrs. Elder said, “Now Thomas, you have no way of knowing where other money that goes into your cash registers come from. If this woman’s money will help you to survive, it seems to me you could look the other way.”
And so he looked the other way and Elder’s survived for many, many years. And up to now, hardly anybody was the wiser, how it was done.
Razuli Perdicaris writes that the Lee wolf, mentioned as the brother of Moses Wolf to whom Lib’s sister left $5,000 and her horse and rig, was in the wholesale notion business in Dayton in the 1930’s.
The Wolf Tobacco Company on Monument Avenue burned during the winter of 1900 in one of the worst fires Dayton ever had, he adds.