Thursday, November 03, 2005

Edwin Chandler ~ Another Notable Chandler

Edwin Chandler (October 3rd, 1849 ~ November 27th, 1924 [Death Certificate #602, Volume # 4597]) was the brother of Aaron B. Chandler and John T. Chandler and the father of Elizabeth, Ruth and Lewis W. Chandler. Edwin was a successful general farmer and leader in the local Grange. He also started a farmers' cooperative in the local community to share large farming equipment. He was president of the Wayne Township Farmer's Club in 1916. By all the accounts found in the Minutes of the Farmer's Club, Edwin, Sidney, his wife, and his children all were active participants in this club. Like his brother Aaron B. Chandler, he was civic minded and served as Trustee of Wayne Township on the Republican ticket (Memoirs of the Miami Valley, Vol. III [Chicago: Robert O. Law Co., 1919], p. 56). The Miami~Gazette reported that he was elected Supervisor of District #7 on April 7, 1875. He was elected to the same position on April 5th, 1880 and April 3rd, 1882 (see, Wayne Township-Warren County Records). His new public trust was put to the test when a bridge washed out in his district:

The new bridge across Beech Run, near the Chandler district Schoolhouse washed out in the storm last Friday. The wings were not wide enough and the water cut in behind the abutments and washed them out. Ed. Chandler has the contract for rebuilding this bridge (Miami~Gazette, August 4, 1875).

Generations of Chandlers served on the Township School Board. This would include old Aaron Chandler, his son David, and Aaron's grandsons, Aaron B. and Edwin Chandler, who were quite involved on the Township School Board that governed the district one-room schoolhouses. It was customary for the Township School Board to meet twice a year with all the directors of the sub-districts of Wayne Township in attendance. Board members were elected to office. Each district had a director and a clerk. The following information is taken from a long series of articles in The Miami-Gazette entitled The Little Red District School as it Existed in Wayne Township for Year by The Hoosier. The anonymous author collected his information from the old ledgers of the Township School Board.

  • Aaron Chandler began his tenure in office as a board member on April 11, 1849.
  • David Chandler became the director of District #3 on April 4, 1860
  • Edwin Chandler became the director of District #3 on April 20, 1874.
  • Two years after Aaron B. Chandler had bought College Hill Farm, a petition was placed before the school board to divide district #5. The petition asked that one of the new schoolhouses be built on the southwest corner of Aaron B.'s property. He was paid $25o.00 for the land and the school, College Hill School, was built. It stood half way between Waynesville and Mt. Holly. It was brick built by M. C. Darbyshire for $1,130.00. The two schools that were built during this re-structuring of Districtsupersedededed the older Roselawn schoolhouse, which was located on the Shaner farm at Crosswick (previously the Joseph Haines farm).

The District #3 school was the Chandler Schoolhouse across from the Chandler homestead. Between April and September of 1875 an unfortunate controversy arose over the purchase of new school seats. Edwin Chandler was the chairman of the investigating committee that examined the contract between N. S. Irwin, the agent for the new school furniture, and the clerks of Districts 1 and 11. One of the board members was expelled after the investigation. It was said of Edwin Chandler at that time that he was a firm, yet kindly, adherent to the principles of right and justice as he saw them.

Edwin's father, David and his second wife, Sarah Jane, had been the Superintendent and Matron of Miami Valley Institute established by Indiana Yearly Meeting (Hicksite). Edwin ("Eddie" as he like to be called) and his bride, Sidney, were married on the campus of Miami Valley Institute on September 6th, 1871 by Emmor Baily, Justice of the Peace. Quite an appropriate place for them to marry surrounded by a family so interested in education. Edwin's two daughters, Ruth and Elizabeth would become notabale teachers. David, Aaron B. and Edwin had been teachers in the local schools, too. Edwin's wife Sidney was also a teacher.

Edwin Chandler was an intial member of the Friends Boarding Home and after the death of his brother, Aaron B., he became the vice-president of the Board of the Friends Home and then shortly afterwards the president. When he retired from the farm, he moved into Waynesville after the family bought the Elizabeth B. Moore house which is located a block east of the White Brick Quaker meetinghouse on Quaker Hill. It became known as the Chandler house. His daughter Ruth would, after a distinguished teaching career, become the Matron of the Friends Boarding Home in the 1940s and 1950s.

In the mid-1870s Edwin had ventured into a business venture with Nerr Brown. On December 20, 1876 the following ad appeared in the Miami-Gazette:

NERR BROWN & ED. CHANDLER. FLOUR & FEED STORE. BROWN & CHANDLER. SUCCESSORS TO JOHN E. TAYLOR. Respectfully announce that they are in full swing at the old stand with a constant supply of the best: Flour, Buckwheat, Corn meal, Unbolted Flour, Potatoes and Feed of all Kinds which they sell at the lowest quotations.

Edwin Chandler stayed in the business only up to mid-March of 1877. On Wednesday March 14, 1877 it was announced in the Miami-Gazette that "Ed Chandler retired to rural life. We are sorry to loose him". After this announcement only Nerr Brown is mentioned in the ad for the Flour & Feed Store.


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