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CHAPTER FIVE BARBERTON’S DARKEST DAYS

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Editors note: For those who have followed the story I thank you. When I started researching story I only knew a tiny part, then thinking the article would take two segments, then three. Here it is, the final chapter. Again, for those readers who maybe just popped in it would be hard to understand the complete scope of that dark year. Because the story was written in 1931 style, the language would be outdated in today’s terminology, using the everchanging use of racial terms would look out of place. We can’t ignore racism was a problem then but the communist party took advantage of that by creating division and strife among the people of Barberton and their leaders.

Beacon Journal Headline on July 23

CHAPTER SIX A MYSTERY MAN APPEARS

It is curious how a trial can turn in a moment. Prosecutor Isham received word through a private investigator on July 22 that the supposedly murdered C. Louis Alexander, who the communists purported the Barberton police tossed into the murky lime pits of Barberton, was located at his mother’s house in Tuskegee, Alabama. Isham wasted no time and set off immediately to get a statement from Alexander.

Just as the probe on his disappearance was opened in the grand jury, the man of mystery had been discovered. Not only was his location divulged but startling details were learned that Alexander allegedly marched in a communist parade in Barberton last May, two months after his alleged abduction.

Other information gathered from Adjt. General C.H. Bridges at the war department found that Alexander made an application for a certificate to replace his discharge papers on April 3 giving his address as 2386 East 33rd St. in Cleveland.

A definite connection to Alexander was made by fingerprints to a soldier who served in the army as Corpl. L. Alexander. Earlier investigations showed that Alexander also came to Akron from Cleveland.

A quick review reminds readers he was supposedly abducted on Feb. 4. The Association for the Advancement of Colored People along with the International Labor Defense continued their demands for a grand jury. Hearings, sometimes contentious were held in Barberton court by Judge Platt.

Two Barberton riots involving communist agitators came about with Alexander’s name being tossed around. The ILD came to Barberton shouting over and over that Alexander was murdered. Then the grand jury finally started with a three-point probe, the first being the riots, which just concluded followed by the disappearance of C. Louis Alexander, the second part was the clubbings by the special police and the third was suppose to look into the justification of perjury charges filed against the Alexander beating witnesses. Meanwhile the City of Barberton was bludgeoned by both the local press and news services coast to cost about his possible murder, thanks to the communist propaganda machine.

Behind the scenes investigators were trying to piece together what they knew about the location of Alexander. Was he was living with his mother in Tuskegee?  A letter from Alexander to his cousin, Moses Peterson of Cleveland dated July 18, asks for the forwarding of his army discharge papers, “because I need them to get a job at the U.S. Veterans hospital (in Tuskegee).”

Since the letter was postmarked at the Tuskegee Institute officials thought perhaps he was a student there but in reality it was only sent from a post office that serves a considerably large area of the town. Institute officials fruitlessly tried to locate Alexander among their students with no luck. The same at the veteran’s hospital, he was not employed there, nor was he a patient.

Sheriff A.W. Riley of Macon County, Alabama said his investigations showed that Alexander arrived in Tuskegee on July 15 and was living with his mother.

Back in Ohio assistant prosecutors George Hargreaves and Mike Fanelly were in Cleveland where they obtained affidavits from Mrs. Rosalie Peterson, aunt of Alexander and Mrs. Rosa Lourey, his first cousin.

Both parties swore Alexander never said anything to them about why he left Barberton on Feb 4. They also testified he spent Easter at their house on E. 33rd St. on April 5. According to Mrs. Peterson she last saw him towards the end of May.

Hargreaves and Fanelly also examined letters written to Moses Peterson, none of which makes any references about his Barberton departure nor any of the angst and fights over his sudden departure. Hargreaves said it is possible Alexander had no idea about the excitement of his departure.

The Association of Colored people never claimed Alexander was murdered. Their only contention was Alexander was taken from his home by men wearing uniforms. The International Labor Defense, who was the main culprit in the conspiracy, did not take on the case until May 21. At which time they started hurling murder charges at the Barberton law officials. After their riot at the Serbian Hall the charges intensified, especially by Jennie Cooper.

His Cleveland relatives only vaguely knew there was something going on in Barberton, but they seemed to have very little recollection of what it was, nor that Alexander had any doings with it.

If it was not for the hard work by Isham the trail may not have been uncovered. His hiring of the undercover man unearthed the first clue with the correspondence with the War Department. This changed the tone by the Akron press who suddenly started giving kudos to the detective work. Alexander Greenbaum, counsel for the three Barberton police, said if they found Alexander he planned to start legal proceedings against the communists for accusing the policemen of murder.

“Communists, at open meetings, have branded Barberton police as Alexander’s murderers and if Alexander is located, I will endeavor to obtain legal redress,” said Greenbaum.

“So far, developments bear out my statement that in my opinion communists or the International Labor Defense, the same thing, knew where Alexander was all the time but kept still to discredit Barberton police. I know they shipped Alexander away from Cleveland when things became too hot for comfort.”

Assistant prosecutor Hargreaves returned from Cleveland the next day unable to locate three colored men who said they marched with Alexander in a May 1st communist parade in Barberton, three months after his vanishing.

 By this time Don Isham’s patience was being stretched. The only item of interest he learned from his trip to Alabama was Alexander’s mother, Mrs. Alice Alexander, knew extraordinarily little about her son’s Barberton involvement.

His mother asked Alexander about the problems, but he only told her he made speeches that didn’t suit everybody, and that police and plain clothed officers beat him. She also told Isham that he said he was arrested, taken to the police department, and was then taken to the edge of town and beaten up. She also said he kept quite about his communistic beliefs while in Tuskegee.

Alexander had not been seen in Tuskegee since the previous Thursday when he went to the post office. There he discovered several long distant messages and telegrams were left for him to return to Barberton and tell his story concerning the treatment by police.

Isham now threatened without Alexander’s testimony the grand jury would be called off. “If Alexander himself ever appears here and wishes to go before the grand jury, he will be allowed to tell his story,” Isham said.

Elmer Lancaster, lawyer for Association of the Advancement of Colored People insisted the grand jury to go on. The jury was reportedly within days of handing up the report on the clubbing and gassing of the June 26 riot when the discovery of Alexander was reported.

Still, Isham was in favor of dropping the grand jury probe because of the cost. He did hint that the probe will continue if the jurist wishes to hear the Barberton witnesses under subpoena.  But without Alexanders appearance the testimony will be mute.

Reports started to appear that Lancaster was furious that Isham would consider dropping the case and was planning to appeal to the governor.  He denied that report and said he will not decide until the grand jury makes its decision.

“We want a full investigation and will never consent to abandon the grand jury without calling in the witness. We also insist the matter of the Barberton police court perjury charges against three of our witnesses be finally passed on. Isham had promised to have the grand jury clean up those cases as well as the kidnapping case,” Lancaster said.

ISHAM’S STATEMEN REGARDING ENDING THE GRAND JURY

“In view of the conflicting statements made by Alexander I don’t feel justified spending the county’s money when Alexander is alive and undoubtedly will be available.

It would be folly to call a large number of witnesses to establish something that Alexander could establish himself. It seems very strange if outrages were committed as  claimed by various communistic witnesses that Alexander himself doesn’t consider it important enough to personally to appear and present his side of the case and after a telegram had been delivered to him from Lancaster. he again disappeared.

 I don’t feel justified in spending the county’s money chasing him all over the United States to testify in the case, that in Alexander’s own statement, could be only assault and battery.

If there is any desire on the part of the State of Ohio to conduct an investigation in the Alexander matter our office will be glad to assist the governor in anything he cares to do.

It seems odd that Alexander would be in Cleveland and march in communistic parades and not know his disappearance was the subject of a police inquiry, inasmuch as his disappearance was the subject of a great deal of newspaper comment.

I’m just as anxious as Mr. Lancaster or anyone else to find the real truth in this matter but I feel that this can only be learned from Alexander himself. And should he ever be available no time will be lost in calling him before the grand jury.”

Just as if a little bird was telling Alexander he better get to Ohio, he showed up at his lawyer in Cleveland, Mrs. Yetta Land, defender of communists, office on July 28. He was asked why he did not show up at the International Labor Defense office earlier he said he lost his courage.   He also informed the lawyer he also has changed his attitude and no longer believes in the communist teachings, which were the bases for much of the Barberton unrest in the past months.

 The next day Alexander was ushered into the grand jury to give his testimony and finger the police he said beat him on Feb 4. It now looked like the grand jury affair could become a lengthy ordeal because the Lake Anna clubbings and the Alexander situation had to be tied into each other. Lancaster asked for the first part of the report, the clubbings, be held until Alexander could give his testimony.

In the midst of all the new commotion the communists decided to hold another rally on Sunday, an anti-war demonstration at the Central school grounds.

ALEXANDER TELLS STORY T0 PROSECUTER

Editors note: I decided to print Alexander’s testimony word for word as reported to the courts as not to show any bias in the story. It is not pretty but remember, his story had not been challenged yet by the jurors.

Tuesday July 28

With little interruption only by Isham, Alexander related his story to the prosecutor.

“I came to Barberton in July 1930. I lived in a shack on the old Strawboard Factory.”

Isham: What did you do for a living?

“I conducted a junk business, collected discarded milk bottles and shingles and things like that.”

Isham: Tell what you remember that happened to you on Feb. 2

“The police officers came to my home; Ed Russel and I were in there. They knocked on the door and I asked who was there. At first, they didn’t answer. Then one of them said, ‘It’s the law.’ This was very late at night, after midnight maybe.

I opened the door, and three men came in. One of the said to me, ‘Where were you tonight.’ I told him nowhere and Ed Russell said too that I hadn’t been away, didn’t you Ed?

(Ed was present in the room)

They said to me weren’t you up in front of the city building with the communists? And I told him no I wasn’t.

Then they asked me, ‘how do you live?’ And I showed him receipts from Paul Maloney and the United Milk Bottle Corp. and from others. I did a weekly business with the United Milk Bottle Corp. And I showed him a list of people who I did little odd jobs like taking out ashes and other things. Then I took them out beside the house and showed them a pile of wood for kindling use and told them I sold some of it.”

Isham: You say there were three men.?

“Yes”

Isham: How were they dressed?”

“They all had their uniforms on. They had police caps.”

Isham: “Did you know any of them?”

“One man I recognized. He was an elderly man. I don’t know his name, but I would recognize him again.”

Isham: Go on with your story.

“They asked me some more questions. Then one of them said, ‘Take him anyway.’ They didn’t ask questions what I told them about how I made a living at all. One of them told me, Get your self ready and come along.’ I did as they demanded. No I wasn’t struck while I was on the premises at all. “They took me in an automobile. It was a closed car. I sat in the rear seat with one of the younger officers.

“They took me to Young’s crossing, on across the tracks and the canal bridge, and we came out to a thickly settled point. Then they took me on a mile and three quarters or two miles from there to where there was only farms.

“They stopped there and told me to get out,’ they told me.”

Isham: Did they say why?

“No, they didn’t. All they said was “You pretend you weren’t in the meeting tonight, but we knew you were.

They beat me with their clubs and kicked me. They hit me on the head. All three of them struck me. Then advised me to run.”

Isham: They weren’t that polite, were they? They didn’t advise you to run. What did they do? Did they use profanity. Call you names?

“They called me a black son of a bitch,” said Alexander. “They said everything bad. They said beat it to me and I did. As I ran, one of them followed me, kicking me as often as he could. After he stopped following, I continued running so as not to show them any resistance. I ran about three quarters of a mile. I listened, then I didn’t hear anybody.

“So I went back to town to the home of George Wood. That’s on Wooster Rd. I know where it is but I don’t know the number. I stayed there until daylight and then I come on home.

“In the morning I went to 871 Wooster Rd. That’s the unemployment council headquarters. They sent some men with me and went to Mayor Decker’s home. I related to the mayor the brutality of his men the night before.

“The mayor said he would take up the case and investigate it and would see I got justice.

“That night I went to Mrs. Simpson’s. There weren’t any accommodations in the house, so I slept behind a stove on a newspaper.

“After midnight, some men came and rapped on the door. They said they were the law and they were let in the house. There were two men in uniform. I easily recognized one of them. He was the short, robust, younger man who was one of those who took me out the night before.

“There was a machine load of other persons outside. They weren’t in uniform. I judged them to be plain clothesmen, but I don’t know. Maybe they were just interested.

“When this fellow that had been one of the three that took me out the night before saw me he said, ‘So you’re sleeping here tonight?’ I said yes, trying to.’

“He ordered me to get the rest of my clothes on. You’re going with us, he said.

“I asked him what the charge was and did he have a warrant. I knew a warrant was necessary. He just told me, ‘Warrant or no warrant, you’re going.’ I replied that that wasn’t lawful.

“Then he snatched me up and struck me with a club and called me names. They took me to the car and the two men in uniform got in with me. One of them drove and the other say beside me. The other car went in another direction.

“They took me to the police station. There I tried to get away. They didn’t have me handcuffed. I wheeled and ran. I got to the first street intersection. Then my slipper came off and they overtook me. They handcuffed me then.

“At the station they took my name. I gave them my full name and they wrote it down. I had one penny and a dollar watch. They took those from me, just like when they make an arrest.

“They beat me right there in the office. There was three of them did it. The man who was in charge there and the two who brought me in. Then they put me in a cell.

“Two hours later they took me out. I was the only prisoner in jail. They beat me again and put me back in the cell. I was there all that day and until 3 o’clock the next morning.

“Then I was taken out. They gave me the penny and the watch and chain and made me get into a machine. They drove out west of Barberton.

“At the last crossing they stopped and made me get out. They beat me with whips, like you drive mules with.

“They said it would be best for me to get out of town. I agreed that it would. So they said if I got out and stayed out they’d let me go. That was the terms on which I left them.

“I went to Wadsworth, then to Massillon for two weeks, then to the home of a friend, Mrs. Brown of 4600 W. 140th St. Cleveland. Later I went to Pennsylvania and worked for a few days in a coal mine and then back to Cleveland.

Isham: “Didn’t you know your disappearance caused all this excitement in Barberton?”

Problem is he was supposed to meet at the courthouse at 9 a.m. and was a no show.  At 10:40 he appeared and said he thought his attorney was to pick him up. After lunch 41 local men gathered at the Chamber of Commerce and Alexander was led into the room.

Alexander: “No, I didn’t. I first learned about it when some fellow who had a clipping from a Columbus paper happened to be talking about it in Nashville, Tenn. I didn’t let him know who I was but I asked him about it. He let me read the column.

“I went on to Tuskegee. That was just two days before I got the telegram from Mr. Lancaster. Then I started for Akron. I rode freight trains most of the way up here, saving what pennies I had for food.”

THE GRAND JURY

The following day Alexander was to appear before the jury to repeat the brutal attack at the hands of two policeman. Having told his story to the prosecutor, the jury needed to hear his words.

According to court reporter Mrs. Lydia Meyers who recorded the proceedings, Alexander made two or three trips around the room. Then he stopped and pointed to a heavy set in the second row of chairs.

“That’s one of them,” he said. The man he pointed to was Eubanks, whom he identified as, “the short stocky guy who was present every time I was beaten.”

After Eubanks had risen and given his name to Mrs. Myers, Alexander resumed his progress around the room, looking intently around the room, looking carefully at each face.  It took him about five minutes more before he stopped in front of Patrolman Head and pointed him out.

“That’s the other man I said I could identify.”

Prosecutor Isham asked him if he saw anyone else in the room who had participated in an attack upon him. Alexander looked over the 41 men in the room and said, “No, I don’t. I told you when you questioned me that I was sure I could identify two of the men, these are the two.”

Alexander made the formal statement to the effect that Head and Eubanks were the only two officers he could identify.

Patrolman Head was vehement in his denial following Alexander’s selection of him as one of his assailants.

“I’m no more guilty than you are,” he told a reporter. “I never saw the man in my life. Of course, I’m willing to go before the grand jury and tell them that.”

Patrolman Eubanks was more cautious in his response and told reporters he would talk with City Solicitor Casselberry before saying anything.

On Thursday Alexander was grilled by the jurors for four hours, presumedly repeating his same testimony he gave Isham. Friday morning the grand jury called in Ed Russel, Alexanders’s roommate in the Snydertown shack the night of Feb 2, Mrs. Ellie Mae Ingol, who was told of seeing Alexander taken from the 117 National Ave residence of Mrs. Hattie Simpson.

Mrs. Essie Jackson of 117 National Ave, Mrs. Ruth Walker of 142 National Ave, Mrs. Eddy Pool of 142 National Ave.; Mrs. Garfield and Paul Taylor of Brady Ave; Taylor Hill of 34 Huston St, and John Murphy of 82 Huston St.

The above witnesses were called for by the Association For The Advancement of Colored People. Monday morning will bring forth more witnesses. Tuesday or so, the Barberton police will have their chance before the grand jury. At this point the outside world was still waiting for the jury to hand up a report of the clubbing. As the month of July came to an end, word came that Head, Eubanks and Robertson withdrew their request to appear before the grand jury. They said they would only do so if forced to appear.

Their attorney Greenbaum said if they are forced to appear before the grand jury, they would not wave their constitutional rights. After Isham received a transcript of the preliminary hearing the officers said they did not want to add or detract from their original statement.

The lists of witnesses grew shorter as the first week of August wore on.  Some of the final witnesses were Rev, A. L. Lewis to whom Alexander was studying for the ministry; Rev. B.S. Thomas of Barberton’s Galilee Baptist Church, Elmer Lancaster, colored attorney; Fred W. Seibert, former Unemployed Council worker, and Adam, Catherine and Elizabeth  Schmidt of Kenmore.

Police Chief Fred Werntz and officers Head, Eubanks, Robertson and Shannon were being called in as witnesses. Along with the officers was Dr. Frank Fritz who testified Robertson was ill on Feb. 4 and Dr. James Adams who treated Robinson. Also named was Edward Rabb, attorney for the alleged cluber Harry R. White.

The next day the grand jury came to a halt when two officers did not show up.  Police Chief Fred Werntz went to a funeral at an undetermined location and Eubanks took his regular scheduled vacation and was reportedly motoring through West Virginia then off to visit Washington D.C.

The two officers were now scheduled to testify on Wednesday August 12. Werntz was told to show up with all the arrest records of Feb, 2, 3, and 4, the days that alexanders alleged to be beaten.  The press was also anticipating the report on the gassing and clubbings at the Lake Anna riots but the prosecutor said not before Friday.

In a sudden turn of events Isham decided on Wednsaday that all members of the police force will be called to testify in pairs. Isham said that would prevent the danger of suspicion towards any man who wasn’t called. He wanted a clean slate. Eubanks was questioned for over an hour.

But once again Alexander was called in after the jurors listened to Patrolmen Whitehead, W. F. Daugherty and Earl McBride. Because the grand jury testimony is closed it was not known at the time what the reason for his return.

Another snag came about when Alexander failed to show up again. His attorney, who promised Isham he would show up, was out of town and would not return until late. The next day Alexander was at the courthouse early stating nobody told him he was supposed to appear.

It was reported on Monday that the jury went through the 53 page statement by Alexander and he was question closely. In addition to listening to Alexander, Isham found a missing witness, George W. Woods, colored, of 420 Wooster Rd. He failed to arrive, so an armed deputy was sent out to bring him in.

On Tuesday Aug 17, the jurors went into session at 9:30 to hopefully conclude the three-part investigation that opened July 6. Isham made a quick run to Massillon to check out several nondisclosed angles of the Alexander testimony.

THE GRAND JURY ENDS

On Thursday August 20, jurors voted on indictments in its investigations. Judge Pardee was called into the grand jury room and closeted with the jurors when they desired for instructions. The Akron press at this time published a long review of everything that went down in Barberton since Feb 2 as if they figured out a stinging indictment was ready to be released.

On Saturday August 22, the Beacon reported with little fanfare the results of the grand jury report. With medium sized font, the headlines said Harry White Is Arrested In Riot Quiz. The investigation lasted seven weeks and 105 witnesses were called. From July 6 to July 30 the jury covered the gassing and clubbings.  From July 30 until Friday Aug 21 the grand jury considered the Alexander case.

After all the hubbub no indictments were returned in connection with the C. Louis Alexander portion of the Barberton inquiry, nor any change in the perjury charges, which was the third part of the investigation. Other than the trial of White, little else was ever reported by the Akron Press. Though we never discovered all the reasons for the grand jury dropping the case, part of it was the accusations about the Barberton Police once again had no proof. The testimony did not add up. They say the count by the jury was not enough to hold up Alexander’s accusations, but it was allegedly close. Did Ishams last minute investigation in Massillon change minds? Only history knows.

HOW 1931 ENDED

There is more to the story of Barberton’s darkest days. The quizzical trial for Harry White crawled along slowly for the next few months. Several related situations cropped up in late summer that I will quickly cover.

With the grand jury over and results were being mulled over by some, the lawsuits started to ramp up. One of the first suits was Frank Demshaw naming the Barberton police department in a $50,000 lawsuit because of his beating. Also, another $50,000 was placed against White, for being the lone clubber.

Then on September 9, the two-colored residents involved in the prehearings, added to the list of lawsuits. Mrs. Hattie Simpson and her daughter Mrs. Mary Ingol, who if you recall was charged with perjury after the pre-trial hearing. The mother-daughter team now returned charges against patrolman Henry Robertson asking $25,000 each, charging him with false arrest and claimed Robertson instituted proceedings against them “maliciously and without probable cause.” Remember, the grand hurry dismissed the charges they were suing over.

Less than a month later, on Oct 3, it was announced that Mrs. Hattie Simpson died of tuberculosis. Her relatives said Simpson had not been well and partially blamed her illness on the lengthy questioning by the grand jury.

The estate said they will continue with the lawsuit, but the courts were at least a year behind. Sadly, her daughter, Mary Ingol passed away less than a year later on September 27, 1932 at the age of 23 of an undisclosed cause. After her death there was no longer any mention of the lawsuit in the local press.

As expected when November flipped on the calendar, the clubbing trial of Harry White appeared back in the news. After a few delays, one for a separate murder case scheduled for Summit County courts, the trial was on the docket. White was scheduled to face Judge Charles C. Hoyt in common pleas court on Nov 7.

In a strange turn of events the day before the White trial was to begin, John “Jiggs” Goff, former guardsmen, tried to plead guilty for clubbing Demshaw. Oddly enough the charges of assault and battery towards Goff was brought by Harry White, the only person accused in the riot of the performing the clubbings. But during the Goff hearing not one single witness identified him as being the clubber of Demshaw.  

Because Goff was accused by a third-party individual, not Demshaw, Judge Platt said Goff could not be sentenced on his plea of guilty. Throughout the hearing accusations flew back and forth by other friendly witnesses who said White was only defending himself from the reds when the clubbing took place when Goff yelled he had been shot. Turns out it was a shrapnel of a gas bomb that struck him in the leg. Goff was finally acquitted by Judge Platt.

I won’t cover every aspect of the White trial because that would be another chapter other to say the more wrangling that took place, the more his attorney Edward Rabb felt White could not get a fair trial and asked for a change of venue. Isham said he would oppose that motion.

On Tuesday November 11, the jury dismissed the charges, unable to agree on several points. Don Isham was furious and said he would demand a retrial. And so, a retrial was ordered.

On Monday Nov 23, the second trial of White was under way.

On Nov 26, White was convicted of clubbing Demshaw at the second very contentious mudslinging trial., After a week of witnesses passing through the Barberton courtroom, on December 1, White was pronounced guilty, fined $25 plus 30 days in jail.

White’s attorney O.D. Everhard filed a supersedes bond and writ indicating he would take the matter to the court of appeals. White continued to remain free under a $500 bond.

Meanwhile Cristoliano Nabarro, colored, testified in the Magic City municipal court against White and mayor Decker stating he was dragged from Lake Anna park the night of the riot, into an alley where a rope was tied around his neck and he was beaten unconscious . He claimed injury to his eyesight and the loss of the use of his right arm. He wanted $50,000 in damages.

Alex Greenbaum, attorney drew from Nabarro an admission that he was twice arrested for vagrancy and served a year in Ohio state penitentiary for grand larceny. It is not known if the suit was ever filed as there was no further press account regarding Nabarro, an admitted communist.

On Dec 15, 1931 Harry K. White was resentenced by Judge Hoyt with the same sentence and fine that he previously gave him $25 and sentenced him to 30 days. White’s lawyer filed another motion to have the sentence rescinded because White never had the opportunity to speak for himself.

Nothing more was printed in the Beacon on the case or anything White did in the future. So that ends the story of Harry K. White, the Lake Anna clubber.

EPILOGUE

Andrew Frank Demshaw, the Beacon photographer passed away Sept 5, 1979 at the age of 80 at Barberton Citizens Hospital. He went on to have a productive post-riot life. His friends said he was a patriotic man who was elected commander of the Akron Garrison Post 102. In 1935 he was elected commander of State Army Navy Union. Demshaw was instrumental in getting a statue of the “American Doughboy” in front of the Armory on South Main Street.

Retired Associate Editor James Jackson said Demshaw was very-strong minded and outspoken. “He probably annoyed some people, but he said what he thought.” Jackson added, “He was a feisty bantam rooster type and a good photographer.”

From 1960-63 he was an editor for a weekly Cuyahoga Falls newspaper, then a bookkeeper for the Prentiss-DeMoss Insurance Agency. The obit mentioned the name of his daughter, so I am thinking his wife already died.

Mayor Decker (D) went on to be reelected in 1932.

Barberton was be felled by major strikes in 1932 as the depression marched on and labor unrest became the norm.

And finally, Mr. Alexander? I wish I could tell you what came of him. I did a search of his name and came up with 22,000 hits. I ran through many of them, but none had any reference to our man. He told his lawyer he no longer believed in communism and was studying for the ministry. I hope his troubled life took a turn for the better.

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Micheala Johanson
Micheala Johanson
I've worked at several occupations throughout my life including journalist, photographer and chef/owner of Micheala's Cafe. Local history is one of my first loves. I sit on the board of the Wadsworth Area Historical Society and a member of the River Styx Historical Society. Being a resident of Barberton for the past fifteen years I have become interested in Barberton area history as well.

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