What ever happened to WHIO’s famous tower? 

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The new WHIO tower under construction.11/01/53
Don Nelson
The new WHIO tower under construction.11/01/53(Don Nelson)

For more than six decades, a metal landmark towered over Dayton and transmitted news into thousands and thousands of homes in the Miami Valley. 

Today, a chunk of the WHIO broadcast tower dedicated in 1949 is on display at Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park. 

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It helps tell the story of the entrepreneur, governor, newspaperman and broadcaster who put it there.

>> Throwback: Five fun facts about Governor James M. Cox 

The Governor James M. Cox display opened in April with several other new displays at Carillon Historical Park, a 65-acre campus at  that showcases Dayton’s history of invention, transportation and early settlement.

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A page from the Aug. 29, 1948 Dayton Daily News. The photos are of the crew constructing the WHIO-TV tower.

Other new displays include those on NCR’s Building 26, where they developed a machine that cracked the Nazi’s U-boat encryption code. Other exhibits feature artifacts from and the stories of Henny Penny Corp. and PK Lumber.

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Brady Kress, Dayton History’s CEO and president, said the name Cox is familiar to many local residents due to institutions like the James M. Cox Dayton International Airport and Cox Arboretum MetroPark, but few know the influence their namesake had on the community, state and world. 

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The 1920 presidential election pitted two Ohioans - Ohio Gov. James Cox and U.S. Sen. Warren Harding - in an election that Harding won easily. Both were also newspapermen. Cox started his newspaper career in Dayton when he founded the Dayton Daily News.(Dayton Daily News Archive)

“James Cox is one of those founding fathers (of Dayton) that no one thinks about,” Kress said. 


Cox, a former schoolteacher and news reporter, bought the Dayton Evening News in 1898 and immediately renamed it the Dayton Daily News.

Cox Enterprises grew from there to include the Springfield Press Republic (now the Springfield News Sun), the Atlanta Journal (now the Atlanta Journal Constitution), radio stations WHIO in Dayton in 1935 followed by WSB in Atlanta in 1939, and WIOD in Miami.

WSB-TV in Atlanta became the South's first television station in 1948. WHIO-TV in Dayton went on the air for the first time later that year. 

WHIO’s Wilmington Avenue studios and tower were torn down in 2012. WHIO is now housed in the Cox Media Group Ohio Center at 1611 S. Main St. in Dayton.  


Cox was Ohio’s 46th and 48th governor, serving from from 1913-1915 and 1917-1921.

Cox received the the Democratic nomination for the presidency, but lost to then-U.S. Senator Warren G. Harding, a fellow Ohioan and newspaper man, in 1920.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was Cox’s running mate. 

As governor he was influential in the establishment of the Miami Conservancy District, Kress said. 

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The district was established in 1915 as a reaction to the devastating 1913 Great Flood.  

Brady Kress Dayton History, president & CEO, next to a piece of the WHIO tower dedicated in 1949.(Photo by Amelia Robinson)

Kress said that Cox is a great example of the influence Daytonians had on the world. 

>> Terror from the river: the flood that destroyed downtown Dayton

“I never stop learning things, because Dayton, Ohio is just amazing, Kress said. “Its impact in the state and country is just phenomenal.” 

>> PHOTOS: See how this old steam plant is beginning to take on new life

>> Your guide to making the most of RiverScape River Run

The WHIO tower. 02/22/49(Bill Simmons)

Photo of the WHIO tower by Becky Grimes.

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The epic beards on these Dayton mayors will put yours to shame

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

There have been Dayton mayors with skin seemingly as smooth as a baby's bottom. Then there are the mayors that give hipsters a run for their money. Video by Amelia Robinson

Kind-faced Dayton Mayor Lawrence Butz may have died eons ago, but the mark his facial hair left on this city will live forever. 

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Butz’s simply beard-tastic photo is among the impressive collection of beard-tastic photos hanging in Dayton City Hall, 101 W Third St., downtown. 

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Lawrence Butz Dayton mayor 1875, 1878-79

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Stand down, hipsters -- you can’t compete. The beard on Butz is not even the best beard. 

THAT BEARD, in our assessment, belongs to E.C. Ellis, Dayton mayor in 1864 and 1867. 

>> Dayton most iconic and long-gone neon signs 

Give that boy a barrel of bourbon and see what he can do. 

There are plenty of smooth faces among the images of Dayton’s mayor, but for the purposes of this report, we will ignore them. 

As it turns out, Francis M. Hosier’s bushy all-business beard and mustache is far more interesting. 

We vote yes. 

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Francis M. Hosier, Dayton mayor 1880-81

The bulk of the beards cover the faces of Dayton’s first mayors. See for yourself in the video above.

E.C. Ellis, Dayton mayor 1864, 1867

Butz, the first to enroll in St. Mary's School for Boys (the foundation for what is now The University of Dayton), for instance, was Dayton’s mayor in 1875 and from 1878 to 1879. 

>> 7 historical facts about the University of Dayton

We are sure the ladies thought he was styling. 

All that said, the city’s bearded mayors don’t stop there.

Richard Clay Dixon, mayor  from 1987 to 1992, and James H. McGee, mayor in 1970 and 1981, represent the 20th century with magical facial hair of wonder.

>> James H. McGee, Dayton's trailblazing mayor

Richard Clay Dixon, Dayton mayor 1987-92

Though his face is clean-shaven for his City Hall photo, Gary Leitzell, Dayton mayor from 2010 to 2013, was known to have a little facial scruff, but it was no William H. Sigman. 

>> 3 things to know about Dayton’s historic, ‘handsome’ Union Station

Fun Fact: the leader of Dayton’s council didn't hold the title of "mayor" until 1829.

William H. Sigman, Dayton mayor 1873-74


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Craigslist killer appeals death sentence to Ohio Supreme Court

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:10 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:10 PM

            Richard Beasley addresses the court after sentencing in his capital murder case by Summit Common Pleas Judge Lynne S. Callahan on April 04, 2013 in Akron. Beasley was given the death sentence on three counts and jail time for other counts. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)
Richard Beasley addresses the court after sentencing in his capital murder case by Summit Common Pleas Judge Lynne S. Callahan on April 04, 2013 in Akron. Beasley was given the death sentence on three counts and jail time for other counts. (Akron Beacon Journal file photo)

The Craigslist Killer is appealing his death sentence to the Ohio Supreme Court, saying the huge swell of national publicity deprived him of a fair trial in Summit County.

The high court will hear oral arguments next week from Richard Beasley, one of two people convicted in the murders of three men lured to a southeastern Ohio farm with job postings on Craigslist.org in 2011.

Beasley was convicted in 2013 of three murders, attempted murder of another man, robbery, kidnapping and other charges and sentenced to death. His co-defendant Brogan Rafferty, who was a minor at the time, was convicted in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Beasley advertised a farm caretaker job on Craiglist. When Ralph Geiger of Akron, David Pauley of Virginia and Tim Kern of Massillon responded to the job ad, Beasley shot them in the head.

A fourth man, Scott Davis, of South Carolina, escaped when he was shot in the elbow. Davis ran for help and police began investigating.

In his appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, Beasley is making 11 legal arguments to challenge his convictions and sentence, including improper use of hearsay testimony against him and pre-trial publicity prejudiced the jury in the case.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office maintains that the hearsay evidence was admissible and Beasley never raised concerns at the time of trial about the publicity surrounding the case.

Related: Trooper advertised traffic stop sex on Craigslist

The case, which was investigated by the FBI, generated international headlines.

Rafferty, now 22, is incarcerated at Mansfield Correctional Institution. Beasley, 58, is on Death Row at Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

Related: Ohio executes killer convicted in 1992 homicides

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See the gravesites of these Dayton dames involved in the city’s most gruesome murders 

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

Woodland Cemetery, one of the nation's oldest garden cemeteries, is marking its 175th year.

What better place for a spooky good time during Halloween than a cemetery?

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, located at 118 Woodland Ave., Dayton, just released an app that makes it easier to visit the 109,000 people buried there since it opened in 1841. 

The free “Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum” mobile app is available for Apple and Android devices. 

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Lookout Tower at Woodland Cemetery - known as one of Dayton’s most haunted sites - as photographed in 1898. ARCHIVED PHOTOS(Staff Writer)

Users can search by name: first, last or both. They can also take a pre-designed tour. Thus far, only Woodland’s 45-minute self-guided historical tour has been added.

Angie Hoschouer, the cemetery’s development and marketing manager, said self-guided versions of several other tours, including those featured on the sold-out and extremely popular History, Mystery, Mayhem and Murder Tour, will be added as well. Those featured on the tour can be found on the app. 

Homicide victim Bessie Little. Little was 23, nearly three years older than Albert Frantz, when the two met. Her body was found in the Stillwater River and closer examination revealed two bullet wounds in her left ear. ARTICLE: Dayton’s Ridge Avenue Bridge has haunted history as site of notorious 19th century murder

Below are four bone-chilling gravesites you should visit. Details on the gravesites and individuals buried there is from Woodland Cemetery, Dayton History Online and the Dayton Daily News archive. 


Deceased: Christina Kett

Section 100 | Lot 2179 | Tier 3 | Grave 13 

Death: March 9, 1884 at age 65 

The mystery of who killed pretty 18-year-old Christine Kett Jun. 11, 1867 lingered for 17 years. 

Suspects had included Christine’s brother, a neighborhood teenager, a stranger seen in the area when the murder was committed, her boyfriend and even her own mother, Christina. 

A deathbed murder confession revealed the truth. 

Before taking her final breath, Christina Kett told her son that she bludgeoned Christine in the head with a short-handed axe when the young woman did not come home on time to make dinner. 

In an attempt to cover what was considered the city’s “most horrible and fiendish” crime at time, Kett place her daughter’s fingers in the powder flask of her son’s revolver and smeared the Christine’s face with powder. 

She reportedly told her son that that the young woman’s image haunted her from that day forward. 

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Deceased: Maggie Lehman

 City Lot | Lot #1 | Tier 20 | Grave 18

Death: Sept. 19, 1891 at age 36

The blue-eyed and blond “lady of the night” had four children and made a vow to turn her life around after they were taken away and placed in the Children’s Home. 

Jacob Harvey, the pimp and boyfriend Maggie had met in the brothel formerly owned by famed Dayton madam Lib Hedges, was having none of this. 

He abused Maggie, and was sent to the Dayton Workhouse for 60 days. 

Maggie eventually got her children back, but Jacob would not go away -- even after Maggie claimed to have a new boyfriend, Newton Chubb, a bartender at the brothel which by then was called “the Abbey.”   

Jacob beat Maggie again when she refused to leave Newton and date him again. He was sentenced again to the workhouse. 

While in jail, Jacob told officers and other prisoners he would escape and kill Maggie and her new boyfriend. 

They laughed, but he did just that. 

Jacob escaped and left the area, only to come back to town to find Maggie at the Abbey. 

He was seen dragging the woman from the brothel’s porch and shot her behind the ear with a revolver, according to Woodland’s description of the crime. 

After the shooting,  Jacob walked to the Point saloon and asked the owner, Al Bloch, for a glass of beer. Then, living a cigar, he remarked, “I just killed a damned bitch down there. I shot her twice.” Harvey then went on to relate the rest of the particulars of the crime to the astounded barkeeper.  

Jacob Harvey was hung on June 28, 1892. 

>> MORE: 5 of Dayton's most shocking murders


The old Ridge Avenue Bridge where Bessie Little was murdered as it appeared around 1910. It was replaced by the current bridge in 1927, which will soon be demolished. ARTICLE: Dayton’s Ridge Avenue Bridge has haunted history as site of notorious 19th century murder

Deceased: Bessie Little

Section 111 |  Lot #3009 | Tier 3 | Grave 15

Death: Sept. 2, 1896 at age 23

Albert J. Frantz was accused of shooting his pregnant lover Bessie Little on the Ridge Avenue Bridge on Aug. 27, 1896, and trying to pass her death off as a suicide.

Bessie's decomposed body was found floating in the Stillwater River. Prosecutors argued that Albert murdered the 23-year-old because he did not want to marry her. 

According to a piece titled “The Story of the Bessie Little Bridge” by former Dayton Daily News columnist and local historian Roz Young, then-Dayton Chief Farrell “testified at the preliminary hearing that Frantz told him he had taken Bessie for a ride in his rig and that as they approached the bridge, she shot herself twice in the head. He panicked when he realized he might be blamed for her death and threw her body into the river.” 

Prosecutors said the first bullet killed Bessie, so there was no way she could have shot herself that second time in the head. 

Her head was brought into the courtroom on the second day of the trial causing many to faint. Coroner Lee Corbin removed it from the jar it was stored in to show jurors the path of the bullets. 

The jury didn’t believe the whole "she shot herself twice in the right ear" defense. They found Albert guilty after six days and more than 100 witnesses. He professed his innocence until the day he was executed by the state on Nov. 19, 1897. Albert was only the fourth man in Ohio history to meet death in the electric chair after the current was turned on and off five times. He could be heard groaning after each turn. Disowned by her adopted family due to her pregnancy, Bessie was at first buried in Potter’s Field. 

The family had the body moved to Woodland Cemetery shortly after Albert’s execution. 

Bessie’s ghost is said to haunt the Ridge Avenue Bridge, which is nicknamed the Bessie Little Bridge. The bridge she died on was replaced in 1927. That bridge was demolished in 2014 as part of a $5.2 million Ridge Avenue Bridge project. A new bridge took its place. 

>> HISTORICAL CRIMES: This Dayton landlady helped nab infamous bank robber John Dillinger 


Deceased: Mary Knight 

Dayton State Hospital Section 

Death: 1940 

Last year, Dayton History staged a re-enactment of Mary Knight’s 1895 murder trial.

Mary would not win the world’s greatest daughter award. This only child with an “appetite for strong drink” was tried for the bloody death of her mother Catherine “Grandmother Hark” Hark.

The supposed murder weapon: the cross-piece of a stove top covered in hair and blood.

Mary moved into her mother’s cottage on North Urbana Street after she and her husband had a violent fight. The women fought often due to Mary’s drinking, and neighbors often walked into the house to try to make peace between them. 

Screams broke out the morning of May 10, 1895, and neighbors debated in their front yards if they should call police. 

Mary walked out of the house and stumbled down the street. Neighbors assumed she was “drunk again,” and went back into their own homes. 

A short time later, a man spotted Mary standing on the porch looking into the window. 

“Horrible! Horrible! Look,” she screamed, according to Woodland’s account. 

Mary denied killing her mother, but was convicted on what the judge called “circumstantial evidence.”

She received just a year in prison, and many in Dayton doubted her guilt. 

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P&G war: What happens now?

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ 1:30 PM

Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor answers questions at a news conference following P&G’s shareholder vote, Tuesday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
Procter & Gamble CEO David Taylor answers questions at a news conference following P&G’s shareholder vote, Tuesday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

What happens when history’s biggest corporate boardroom battle ends with one side declaring victory and the other side saying, “Not so fast”?

We’ll find out.

After Tuesday’s shareholders meeting and vote, David Taylor, chief executive of P&G, said shareholders voted to reject hedge fund boss’ Nelson Peltz’s bid for a seat on the Cincinnati company’s board of directors.

RELATEDProcter & Gamble vote: Peltz rejected, but doesn’t concede

But neither Taylor, nor anyone else at P&G, is offering any numbers or percentages tied to the vote result.

Peltz, for his part, doesn’t sound convinced. He told media he was going to return home and would wait for certified vote results.

And when will the vote count be certified?

RELATEDWho is the activist investor waging war against Procter & Gamble?

“It’s going to be multiple weeks before the independent inspector of elections, IVS Associates, has fully certified totals,” P&G spokeswoman Jennifer Corso said Wednesday. “We want to ensure every vote is counted.”

For his part, Peltz said he felt the company should place him on the board regardless of the vote outcome, given how close he estimates that margin to be.

Some investors may feel similarly. Shares of P&G (NYSE: PG) have fallen from about $92.52 a share to $91.58 in the past five days.

RELATEDIt’s crunch time in Procter & Gamble fight

“The vote on a best-case basis is one percent for them, one percent against them,” Peltz said Tuesday after the shareholders session in Cincinnati. “That’s the margin we’ve estimated.”

The New York Times quoted him as saying: “Think about it. I mean, everybody but the current employees voted for us up and down the line.”

Peltz and his company, Trian Partners, remains one of the P&G’s biggest investors, with a $3.5 billion stake. Taylor pledged that he would “listen” to Peltz.

“I am open to listening to, and we are open to listening to, ideas from wherever they may come,” Taylor said at a press conference after the meeting.

Given that P&G spokespeople argued that local jobs could be a stake with the vote, the episode was an important one for the Dayton-Cincinnati corridor and Ohio.

P&G and its distribution partners have about 760 workers total at a Union distribution hub. More than a third of P&G’s products move through that center.

The company also has about 1,500 employees at a Mason complex.

With $65 billion in revenue and a $235 billion market cap, P&G also has about 10,000 employees in the Cincinnati area and about 3,400 in downtown Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, P&G says its corporate “transformation” continues, with the company having cut 170 brands to 65, with 12 of those brands — including Bounty paper towels, Crest toothpaste, Dawn dish soap and others — ranked No. 1 in their markets.

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