Ohio Normal Revisited
Almost two and a half years ago Joseph posted this photo of the 1893 class of the Ohio Normal University. Not because he likes normal people or that he likes Ohio. It’s because our great grandfather Louis Charles Bucklin attended classes there at that time. When he posted it, he posted it without edits. I thought that I’d like to edit it to clean it up a little. I finally got around to it. How does it look?
I really wish we knew which one was Louis for sure. The one that Ray and Joseph thought was him doesn’t look like him to me. Is there a facial recognition program that would accurately identify him for us? Or at least rule out the ones that couldn’t possibly be him? The only problem with that is that I would probably doubt the outcome of that too. Especially if they say it was the one Joseph and Ray said it was! What can I say? I must be the stubborn sort.
I was thinking of this photo because of a letter that was recently discovered by Julie Phenice Campbell. It was written to Louis while he was in attendance at Ohio Normal. How it ended up with the Phenice side of the family rather than the Bucklin side of the family will remain a mystery. We already saw a letter that Louis received in Ohio from his brother Joseph (the subject of A Sad Story) back home in Jennings. He talks about the military aspect of the school – “…was thinking yesterday that it would be so nice for you to be up there just at your age you can realize and enjoy everything more now than at any other age your military exercises must be nice and healthful.”
The newly discovered letter was written on April 20, 1793, by Joseph Bucklin’s sister-in-law. Joseph was married to Agnes “Aggie” Ausman, and Aggie’s youngest sister was May Ausman. I was so surprised when I read the letter and then saw her signature at the close of the letter. I definitely recognized the last name and had to look up the Ausman family and saw that the youngest daughter was indeed named May. She had mentioned other family members in the letter that had gotten me curious. It is a very intriguing letter, but I won’t go into all of the details in this post. (Those details are here.) I’ll just share the part that made me think about this photo.
Toward the end of the letter May writes, “I wish I could see you marching with your uniforms and guns. I never saw any Soldiers eather.” When I read those lines, I picture her saying them while batting her eyelashes with a flirty smile on her lips. Whether she got her wish, we’ll probably never know. Fortunately for all of you, we have a photo of those soldiers with their uniforms and guns looking very healthful. Eat your heart out, May!
June 11, 2019 Update
I’ve finally given in. Ray and Joseph said that they thought that Louis was the guy fourth from the left on the front row. I think they are correct. He does remind me of other family members from that generation.