WWI Soldiers Memorialized with Street Names in Niles. Ohio

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Picture of the funeral procession
Picture of the funeral procession
for Pvt. 1st class, Victor Huber.

WWI Soldiers Memorialized with Street Names.

The world suffered through the First World War, or as it was named then-The World's War, from 1914-1918. America entered this war on April 6, 1917. The Americans were allies with Britain and France, among other countries, and joined into the majority of battles in 1918. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the allies accepted Germany's unconditional surrender.

The Honor Roll of Niles City contains familiar names to us today because many of the streets' names come from those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Victor Huber was the first solider from Niles, Ohio to die during World War I. He died at Camp Sherman, Ohio. March 31, 1918.

Victor Avenue was named to honor and recognize his greatest sacrifice for his country.

Victor Huber
Victor Huber

Pvt. J. E. Sullivan who died of influenza at Camp Sherman in Ocober 1918.
Pvt. J. E. Sullivan who died of influenza at Camp Sherman in Ocober 1918.
PO2.353

Apprentice Seaman J. L. Griffin who died
Apprentice Seaman J. L. Griffin who died
of pneumonia in Waukegan, Ill. in September 1918.

PO2.354

Sgt. C. L. Gilbert who was killed at
Sgt. C. L. Gilbert who was killed at
Chateau Thierry July 1918.

PO2.355


Pvt. D. Jones who was
Pvt. D. Jones who was
killed in action at Argonne.

PO2.357

Pvt. J. E. Near killed near
Pvt. J. E. Near killed near
Sisonis in June of 1918
..
PO2.358

Pvt. T. E. Hogarth who was killed
Pvt. T. E. Hogarth who was killed
at St. Mihiel in September 1918.

PO2.359


Pvt. C. A. Clark who was
Pvt. C. A. Clark who was
killed in action in August 1918.

PO2.360
Pvt. K. L. Davis who died of injuries received in an accident near Soulo in October of 1918.
Pvt. K. L. Davis who died of injuries received in an accident near Soulo in October of 1918.
PO2.361
Corporal F. J. Kearney who was killed at
Corporal F. J. Kearney who was killed at
St. Mihiel in September1918.
PO2.362

Pvt. Samuel Barclay who was killed
Pvt. Samuel Barclay who was killed
in action at Metz in November of 1918.
PO2.363

Corporal D. Taylor who was killed
Corporal D. Taylor who was killed
in action at St. Mihiel in September 1918.

PO2.364
Pvt. 1st classs Ivor Davis.
Pvt. 1st classs Ivor Davis.
PO2.365

Pvt. 1st class H. E. Peffer who was killed
Pvt. 1st class H. E. Peffer who was killed
at Chateau Thierry in July of 1918.

PO2.366
Nurse M. E. Hultz or Holtz,
Nurse M. E. Hultz or Holtz,
the only female casualty from Niles.

PO2.367
Pvt. E. J. Russell who was killed in the second battle of Marne in August of 1918.
Pvt. E. J. Russell who was killed in the second battle of Marne in August of 1918.
PO2.368

Pvt. E. Plant who died of schrapnel
Pvt. E. Plant who died of schrapnel
wounds near Essonis in September of 1918
.
PO2.369
Pvt. 1st class C. R. Mohney who
Pvt. 1st class C. R. Mohney who
died of schrapnel wounds near
Verdun in October of 1918.

PO2.370
Corporal J. T. Sullivan who died
Corporal J. T. Sullivan who died
of influenza in Brest in January of 1919.

PO2.371

Pvt. M. Youll who was killed
Pvt. M. Youll who was killed
at Verdun in October of 1918.

PO2.372
Pvt. 1st class R. S. Higgins who died of wounds from the Argonne in April of 1919.
Pvt. 1st class R. S. Higgins who died of wounds from the Argonne in April of 1919.
PO2.373

Continue reading to discover how streets were named over the years in Niles, Ohio.

 


Grist mill

P11.353

Names of Other Streets.

Betty Moritz wrote the following article, which was published in the Niles Times in 1980. Next time you drive around Niles, note the street signs and think of the history behind each one.

When Heaton’s Furnace was first plotted and mapped, and streets had to be identified, the settlers moving from the East into the newly opened Ohio country took the simplest approach. If a patch led to that so important grist mill, what better to call it than Mill Street?

James Heaton built a stone dam across Mosquito Creek and diverted water into a ditch or chase that ran parallel to the creek until it reached the original grist mill where it powered a water wheel to grind the seeds. If the iron and steel mills were on a street, call it Furnace Street. The early mills,near the Mahoning River, used furnaces to melt ore to make iron and steel. These two streets, including the curve that joined them together, would later be renamed State Street.


Hartzell Building

PO1.205

First National Bank Building on the corner of East State (Mill Street) and Main Street in downtown Niles. At various times, it housed the Dollar Savings Bank, Home Federal Savings Bank and The Girl Scout Council. This building is also known as the Hartzell Building.

If laborers walked morning and night to their jobs at the iron furnace, who can fault calling the route they took Furnace Street? And wasn’t it logical to refer to the road that crossed the river and tied the new town to the settlements north and south as Main Street? And the one that led traffic past the park and the town hall, Park Avenue…and into Warren, Warren Avenue? Theirs was a life of practicality – no frills, no nonsense.

Residence of H. H. Mason located on Vienna Avenue in Niles. Mason moved into this homestead in 1859. Mr. Mason was the first mayor elected after Niles was incorporated as a village in 1866. It was here in his home that he held court.


Presbyterian Church

PO1.365

When land was given for a church to be built, the corner was labeled Church Street. In the railroad heyday, city fathers thought it fitting to have both an Erie and a Depot Street. Names like Vienna Avenue, Salt Springs Road, McDonald Avenue, North Road, various South and West streets acted as compasses for those hardy immigrants.

First United Presbyterian Church. This first church was constructed in 1849-1850 on a lot donated by James Heaton on the southwest corner of North Main and Church Streets.

A most intriguing way to learn about the people who built this city is to research its street names. Harmon, Heaton, Pew, Hyde, Pratt, Allison, Battles are a partial listing of Niles’ earliest families. Memories of those long ago merchants and industrialists still live in the cement markers which read Ward, Crandon, Robbins, Russell, Bentley, Sayers, Mason and Wood.

 


H.M. LewisResidence

PO1.434

A little bit of reading discloses two Masons, H. H. and Ambrose, so the city map gives credit to both. The Bentleys were bankers. E. A. Gilbert and J. H. Baldwin were 19th century industrialists. Thomas Russell came from Lisbon in 1841, an associate of James Ward in the building of a furnace on the Mahoning River. Founder James Heaton’s story is a familiar one. Even the daughters of these early families have their names immortalized on city maps – Ann and Emma Streets, Helen and Margaret Avenues, Estelle Court and Eliza Alley. One, Mrs. Ann Mason Williams, could boast three times over.

Residence of H. M. Lewis located at 170 N. Arlington, Niles. Still standing and still occupied. Reprinted from Artwork of Trumbull & Ashtabula Counties, published 1895. Until the 1880s, Arlington was referred to as 'Mechanic' street.


Allison Residence

PO1.468

W. C. Allison was a lumber yard operator and related by marriage to William McKinley. B. F. Pew was the organizer and first president of the Niles Board of Trade as well as one of the first trustees of Union Cemetery. J. K. Wilson was a town clerk and Misters Harris, Wagstaff, and Hartzell were well-to-do businessmen.

W.C. Allison whose residence is still standing and occupied at the corner of Robbins Avenue and Washington, was involved in the Allison & Co. Lumber Yard & Mill located near the Erie depot around the turn of the century.


Prior to 1900, the list of local mayors and postmasters include surnames, Davis, Leslie, Ohl, and Hunter, as well as the more familiar, Mason, Robbins and Ambrose. Locating their names on city maps indicates the growth of the city in all directions and its emergence as a center of industry. Nationwide, towns have customarily honored past presidents, and older Niles was no exception. The street markers constantly remind us of such great men as Washington, Lincoln, Grant, McKinley, Harrison, Madison, Taft and Roosevelt. Colonial history was kept alive by our forebears on such roads as Penn Avenue, Franklin Avenue, and Lafayette Street. Proud of the role Ohio played in the Civil War, community officials of that period were responsible for such markers as Stanton, Sherman, and Sheridan. Little is left to remind us that the Indian did come and go across our fields. Directories list a Seneca Street and an Indian Trail. Do you suppose they trapped the beaver that gave their name to Beaver Street? Pioneers of the early 1800’s found northeastern Ohio a densely wooded region. Some of Niles’ first streets were named for trees; Cherry, Maple, Chestnut, Linden, Poplar, Cedar and Hazel. More recent additions of this type are Hickory Lane and Spruce Court.

A few of the early planners must have had an affinity for the aesthetic because names like Pleasant, Woodland, Fairlawn and Gardenland appear. Others used no imagination at all, tagging streets with numbers, First, Second, Third and... The opportunity to learn to read and spell the names of streets is as close to school children as street signs that identify Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and Dakota.

Today’s developers are not history-minded. They don’t honor war heroes or space age greats. Deep inside a few of them is the desire to be remembered by posterity so their names are on the streets which they built… Wade and George and Mauro Court.

Local builders whose roots are deeply attached to the family name in their neighborhood like Shaker Heights pay respect to their relatives when new avenues have to be identified. But most support the “catchy” combination or phrase. These no longer read Street and Avenue, but Lane and Drive: Pepperwood Drive, Summerberry Lane and Buckeye Lane as well as Blossom Drive.

Another fad is the foreign expression such as, Bonnie Brae, Buena Vista and Belle Terre. Romantic-sounding names Barcelona and Valencia heighten interest in an area for young home buyers. And ad-men know well the value of the euphonious, so they event a Lantern Lane and a Windward Way.

More recently the street that runs behind McKinley High School, formally know as Liberty Street, was renamed George Rowlands Street in honor of a very devoted handicapped football fan. Last but certainly not least, the street that runs from State Street to the police station was named Utlak Drive in honor of Officer John Utlak, a Niles police officer killed in the line of duty on December 8, 1982.

 


I thought I would share with you the actual names of the alleys. Did you even know they had names? This information came from the last map of Niles provided by the city to the Board of Elections. Since there are many, I have divided them up into five areas. — Rebecca Archer DePanicis

The northern triangle made by Vienna Avenue and Robbins Avenue.
Between Crandon and Hartzell--Hartzell Alley
Between Bentley and Lincoln--Granite Alley
Between Lincoln and Washington--Coral Alley
Between Washington and Lafayette--Keystone Alley
Between Lafayette and Cherry--King Alley
Between Cherry and Cedar--Long Alley
Between Cedar and Morse--Coal Alley
Between Morse and Beaver--Vine Alley
Between Beaver and Short--Short Alley
Between Seneca and Robbins--Wadeley Alley
Between Leslie and Vienna Avenue--Roy Alley
Between Harris and Robbins--Buckeye Alley


The area south of Robbins bordered by Mosquito Creek and the Mahoning River.
Between Robbins and South --Phillips Alley
Between Gilbert and Robbins--Oak Alley
Between Fulton and Erie--Jackson Alley
Between Fulton Wood--Drake Alley
Between Jackson Alley and Drake Alley--Keeling Alley
Off Jackson Alley toward Mason--Birch Alley
Off Allison Toward Mason--Charter Alley

The third section is the South Side.
Between First and Third--Diamond Alley
Between First and Third--Cumby Alley
Between Francis and Cumby Alley--Maple Alley

The fourth area covers the downtown area from the Mahoning River to the Conrail tracks:
Between West Park and Robbins --Pine Alley
Between West State and West Park--Franklin Alley

The fifth and last section of Niles I researched was the triangle made by the the Conrail tracks to Vienna Avenue, George, and Wilson Avenues:
Between Vienna and West--Cherry Alley
Off East Federal--Plum Alley
Off West Street between Bond and Federal--Peach Alley
Off West Street between Bond and Evans--Union Alley
Off West Street between Blaine and Evans--North Alley


 
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