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Picture of the funeral procession
for Pvt. 1st class, Victor Huber.
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
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.
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.
Pvt. J. E. Sullivan who
died of influenza at Camp Sherman in Ocober 1918.
Apprentice Seaman J. L. Griffin
of pneumonia in Waukegan, Ill. in September 1918.
Sgt. C. L. Gilbert who
was killed at
Chateau Thierry July 1918.
Pvt. D. Jones who was
killed in action at Argonne.
Pvt. J. E. Near killed
Sisonis in June of 1918.
Pvt. T. E. Hogarth who
at St. Mihiel in September 1918.
Pvt. C. A. Clark who was
killed in action in August 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
St. Mihiel in September1918.
Pvt. Samuel Barclay who
in action at Metz in November of 1918.
Corporal D. Taylor
who was killed
in action at St. Mihiel in September 1918.
Pvt. 1st classs Ivor Davis.
Pvt. 1st class H. E. Peffer
who was killed
at Chateau Thierry in July of 1918.
Nurse M. E. Hultz or Holtz,
the only female casualty from Niles.
Pvt. E. J. Russell who was
killed in the second battle of Marne in August of 1918.
Pvt. E. Plant who died of
wounds near Essonis in September of 1918.
Pvt. 1st class C. R. Mohney
died of schrapnel wounds near
Verdun in October of 1918.
Corporal J. T. Sullivan
of influenza in Brest in January of 1919.
Pvt. M. Youll who was killed
at Verdun in October of 1918.
Pvt. 1st class R. S. Higgins
who died of wounds from the Argonne in April of 1919.
reading to discover how other streets were named over the years
in Niles, Ohio.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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