|Chapter V, A Brief History of Newspapers in East Liverpool, Ohio, by the late Glenn H. Waight, former editor of The Evening Review.|
The Brush-Moore Era
Louis Herbert Brush, a native of Alliance, late in the 19th Century purchased the Salem News and later the News-Review at East Liverpool, launching what became one of the notable small newspaper chains in the nation.
Brush was born Jan. 24, 1872, at Alliance, a son of James Alpheus and Amelia McCall Brush, both professors at Mount Union College. His uncle was Dr. 0. N. Hartshorn, founder of the college for whom the Mt. Union stadium is named.
Lou Brush was an 1890 graduate of the school, and editor of the college paper, The Dynamo. He later was a trustee of the college and treasurer, and in 1938 received an honorary doctors degree as a distinguished benefactor.
After graduation, he went to work in the circulation department of the Alliance Review for which his brother, Harlan, was business manager. In 1893 Louis became business manager of the Youngstown Sun, predecessor of the Telegram which in 1936 merged with the Youngstown Vindicator.
In 1894, Brush, now 22, was hired as business manager of the Salem News whose owners were occupied in other pursuits. The job paid $12 a week with the stipulation that he could buy an interest. He and two other men became the owners, and in three years he bought out the others.
He recognized the potential of publishing in southern of Columbiana County, and with his brother, Harlan W. of North Tonawanda, N.Y., organized the East Liverpool Publishing Co. in 1901 to purchase The News Review.
With Louis as secretary-treasurer and Harlan as president, the new company was incorporated at $25,000. Directors included Jason H. Brookes, a city attorney, George H. Owens of East Liverpool and I. B. Cameron of Columbus.
Formal purchase of the News Review took place March 1, 1901. An editorial page statement from the new owners declared:
The Evening News-Review' and its weekly edition, The Saturday Review,' will be devoted first of all to the home field, to encouraging and advancing the interests of this thriving city and county in which it is located.
`Our aim will be, first of all, to cover the news of the city and county without fear or prejudice. General and foreign news, although it will not be neglected, will be a secondary object, as it would be idle in a city the size of East Liverpool to expect to rival the newspapers of great cities in chronicling the affairs of the world.
`Politically, the News Review will be fearlessly and uncompromisingly Republican. It will not be the organ of any clique or faction, but will endeavor at all times to advance the best interests of the whole party.'
In April 1904 Brush individually purchased the good will, circulation and advertising contracts of the Daily Crisis which had suspended operations, and the new daily paper for a while was named The News-Review & Crisis.
The weekly edition of The Crisis was merged with the weekly Review and leased by the new company to C G. Byron, a Georgia native who had worked on all three dailies as a reporter and cartoonist.
This Weekly Crisis and Saturday Review continued as a Democrat paper until Byron moved to Cincinnati in 1907. It lasted a while longer before it went out of business.
Louis Brush had been residing in Salem, but soon moved to East Liverpool to better manage his new paper. E. W. Bartlett of New England, who had long newspaper experience and was an editor at the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, was chosen editor. Brush headed the business and advertising departments.
When Bartlett relocated to California in 1907, Chriss McConnell became editor, serving until 1910 when he took a job as safety-service director under Mayor Sam Crawford. On May 18, 1901, the paper's format was changed from five to six columns. Brush said the paid circulation had nearly doubled since he became manager ten weeks before. The old cylinder press used by Palmer and Morris was replaced by a newer flatbed model capable of printing eight pages at a time.
Another change occurred Dec. 13, 1902, when the format was again revised -- to seven columns. The 24-page Christmas edition that month was reported to be "undoubtedly the largest and finest number of a daily newspaper ever issued in East Liverpool." The circulation was said to be 3,000 -- mostly in the city -- and well beyond the 800 when Brush took over, it was claimed.
IN MAY 1904, the paper's name reverted to The Evening Review with Louis Brush as publisher. Harlan was no longer listed as owner.
Competition with the the Morning Tribune became biting and sometimes vindictive. An example was the exchange in October 1904 over personal property tax payments, The Review taking the other to task in a Page One account.
The Trib's record at the Courthouse showed Jere Simms paid on a valuation of $1,750, including $20 for "the famous Jersey cow," according to The Review, which said had nothing to do with publication unless counting the "buttermilk furnished employees once a week for which they pay a higher than prevailing rate."
The Review declared that 'everyone in East Liverpool who knows Jere Simms and is acquainted with his domestic environment is aware his personal property are worth more than the amount given."
Then the article listed L. H. Brush's sworn statement setting The Review's plant value at $1,675, unfinished stock at $135, office furniture $150 and cash on hand at $250 making a total of $2,250. "In addition is listed a $100 household item not listed on Simm's return plus $100 for a piano, contrasting strongly with the $40 fixed by Uncle Jere." It was noted The Review did not own the building it occupied.
Earlier The Review published a Page One cartoon depicting the Tribune office with the editor (labeled "Bill" and apparently Will Davidson) bent over his desk beside a shelf containing books titled "What Horace Greeley Did Know About Editing A Newspaper By Bill", "List Of Newspapers Owned by L. H. Brush."
"Bill" is shown with his foot on the tail of a cat drinking milk from a bowl labeled $1,500, the cat (looking like Simms) is saying, "I could enjoy this if that fellow would take his foot off my tail."
When McConnell departed in January 1910, Thomas Lewis of the Zanesville Recorder filled the editor's chair for a few months. Then Thomas Tecumseh Jones, the Review sports editor, was elevated to the post where he remained until he resigned in December 1911 to become editor of The Tribune.
One history source (Howard Kaufman) indicated John Sullivan, a former state printer, took over as editor until 1914, going to a newspaper at St. Mary's. Another source (Harold Barth) reports Charles Lewis, a Columbus newspaperman, headed the news staff until he left for the Cleveland Leader in 1914.
Oliver I. Jones of Cleveland arrived as editor and business manager in 1914. He died in the 1918 influenza epidemic, and Thomas S. Brush, Louis' son, then was named business manager, and Frank O'Hanlon, a city native who worked on local papers, was appointed editor.
By 1909 the paper's growth required a new press and another Linotype. Brush ordered a new Goss Tubular press, and undertook an extensive remodeling to accommodate the equipment. The main floor of the first floor business office was raised to heighten the basement ceiling for the new press.
Job printing was discontinued, and those presses and other equipment were sold to Jere Simms of The Tribune. The composing room of the Review in the basement was transferred to the former job printing shop area on the first floor behind the business office. And the news department was moved upstairs to the second floor.
BUT IN TEN YEARS, another major expansion was necessary. In the summer of 1919, the composing room was placed up on the fourth floor. The news and advertising departments on the second floor were also relocated to larger rooms on the fourth floor. Because of the changes in the halls and staircases, elevator service between all the floors was eliminated.
It was not just physical growth the owners undertook that year. On Dec. 20, The East Liverpool Publishing Co. purchased The Morning Tribune, moving it into the Review building. Producing both the morning and evening papers continued until Sept. 2, 1924, when they were merged as The Review-Tribune. On Jan. 28, 1928, the name was shortened to The East Liverpool Review.
Among other changes were the retaining the services of a Washington, D.C., bureau to provide broader and more comprehensive coverage of the federal government. The correspondent was Frederick J. Haskin, an authority on the complex federal operations and author of a book, "The American Government."
Meanwhile, The First National Bank had constructed a stately new building on East Fifth St. by 1923, and the space-pressed Review bought the old Washington St. bank structure. In 1934, the Goss press after 34 years service, was replaced by a 16-page Duplex press, and in 1944, an eight page unit was added, allowing printing of 24 pages in one section.
The Brush journalistic expansion continued. In 1923, Louis Brush joined with Roy D. Moore of Marion and William Henry Vodrey of East Liverpool to purchase the Marion Star from President Warren G. Harding. The sale took place not long before the President left on the summer trip to Alaska during which he was stricken and died.
Brush had known Harding for some time. The publisher/politician was in East Liverpool on various occasions, as a candidate for Governor in 1910, as candidate for Senator in 1914 and as Senator, campaigning for Presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes in 1916, speaking at the Ceramic Theater.
In the 1920 primary election, Harding passed through the city on the way to Youngstown, spending the night at the Elks Lodge. He was accompanied on that visit by Brush and T. A. McNicol and Pat McNicol.
While here, he visited the Morning Tribune newsroom, perching on the desk of editor Alex Sweeney, and talking about the election. Sweeney asked, "What are your chances, Senator?" "Boy, I will be nominated," was the reply.
In 1925 Brush, Vodrey and Moore bought from Charles Simeral the Steubenville Herald - Star along with the Steubenville Gazette which was discontinued.
Brush-Moore Newspapers Inc. was organized in 1927 when the three men purchased the Canton Repository from George B. Frease. The "Rep" was the largest of the chain which subsequently added the Portsmouth, Ohio, Times in 1930, the Salisbury, Md., Times in 1937, the Ironton, Ohio, Tribune in 1956, and the Hanover, Pa., Sun along with radio station WHBC at Canton and WPAY at Portsmouth.
Brush was an ardent golfer and active in other sports. He owned a fishing lodge on Georgian Bay in Canada, and enjoyed hunting. He was also an early enthusiast of ballooning, a patron of aviation and an original member of the Ohio Aeronautics Society.
He was the first president of the Columbiana County Newspaper Association organized in November 1897 at Salem. Brush represented the Salem News. Other officers were T. S. Arnold of the Leetonia Reporter vice president; H. F. Harris of the East Liverpool Crisis secretary; and J. F. McQueen of the Wellsville Union, treasurer.
OFFICIALS OF OTHER newspapers attending were Harry Palmer of the News Review; Jere H. Simms of The Tribune; Joseph Betz of The Zeitung, D. D. Kirby of the Salem Herald, H. 0. Newell of the Columbiana Ledger, S. K. Todd of the East Palestine Reveille Echo; W. R. Dutton of the Salineville Banner, J. H. Reed of the Rogers Noontide, J. K. Frew of the Lisbon Journal, and W. S. Potts of the Lisbon Patriot.
Three other county papers were not represented at the initial session. These were probably the Buckeye State and the Republican Leader of Lisbon and the New Waterford Magnet. The association was to meet in October and April of each year, and was to work with the Ohio Associated Dailies and the Ohio Editorial Association.
Brush was also instrumental in the organization of a group of publishers for the cooperative purchase of ink and newsprint and retaining a quality advertising agency in the national market. In 1903 the Ohio Select List was formed by 40 state publishers who owned the best or "select" newspapers in their communities. Brush helped in the move and signed up the The Review and Salem News as charter members.
In those days, national advertising was minimal in the non-metropolitan press, carrying so few column inches it was sometimes called "foreign advertising." The Select List first hired Robert E. Ward as its representative to obtain contracts with major companies and businesses.
In 1922, John W. Cullen became the rep, and in 1945 his son, John Cullen Jr. became the agent. Started at Chicago, the Cullen agency moved in 1938 to the heart of its operations at Columbus, then to Cleveland in 1946.
The Ohio office had representatives in Chicago and New York in obtaining ad contracts. Roy Moore, president of Brush-Moore, and C. V. Hughes of The Review both at times headed the Select List which in 1950 served 51 Ohio dailies, including the four B-M newspapers.
Louis Brush died suddenly June 24, 1948, age 76, in Philadelphia while attending the Republican National Convention which nominated Thomas Dewey to replace President Harry Truman in the White House. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in the apartment of a friend C. F. Routzan of Mansfield, and was rushed to Hahneman Hospital where he succumbed.
The newspaper publisher greatly enjoyed the political arena, attending previous conventions and conferring with governmental leaders, from Councilmen to Presidents. He and his many friends also hunted, fished and played golf.
A company memorial cited his "gracious charm, his gentlemanly manner, the expressive twinkle in his eye and his polite bow as he felicitously said, 'It is my pleasure."
Roy D. Moore
If Brush were the enterprising organizer and Vodrey the legal genius, Roy Moore was clearly the quintessential newspaperman who worked from the bottom to the top in the field of journalism.
He was born in 1887 on a farm near McArthur in Vinton County, Ohio. When he was eight, the family moved to Middleport on the Ohio River where his father owned a small hotel. The boy began to deliver telegrams, found fascination in telegraphy and learned the Morse Code.
At 15 he was hired by the Hocking Valley Railroad to key train movements and other messages on the pole-strung wires. His abilities sent him on to a job with Western Union at Columbus, then to Cleveland.
Next came a job with the Associated Press, transmitting news across the state and nation. In 1910 he was placed on a Cleveland Leader leased wire with the New York Times and AP bureaus at Washington and New York. This work with the newsroom stirred his interest in journalism which he decided to make his career.
Moore went to the Cleveland bureau of the International News Service (INS) where late in March 1913 he spotted on his wire a story about heavy flooding in southern Ohio. Newsmen were needed at several points, and because of Moore's ability to "write" news directly into the telegraph system, he was detailed to assist the Columbus bureau chief. His work was recognized, and he was promoted to bureau manager and later as manager of the Chicago bureau.
INS and King Features, a newspaper feature syndicate, were allied organizations, and in 1915 Moore was assigned to their dual sales force in New York. King Features sent him throughout the Central States. He developed a close acquaintance with many publishers, and greatly expanded his knowledge of newspaper operations.
In 1920, Moore became assistant to the general manager of King Features. He had come to know Louis Brush of the Review and Salem News along with Warren G. Harding, publisher of the Marion daily who became President, and Sen. Frederick Hale, owner of the Portland, Maine, Press.
Moore joined Sen. Hale to sell The Press to Samuel Gannett of The Herald, then returned to King Features, traveling to South America for several months studying distribution potential there. In 1923, he and Brush persuaded the President to sell them The Star, and later they and Vodrey purchased the papers at Steubenville and Canton, launching the Brush-Moore chain.
Purchase of Harding's Marion Star became politically linked to the infamous "Teapot Dome" affair, one of the many scandals uncovered during Harding's term. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall accepted generous bribes for facilitating transfer of oil leases of the Naval Oil Reserve at Tea Pot, Wyo.
Sale of the President's newspaper stirred rumors at Washington that someone had paid an exorbitant $550,000 for the Star, suggesting Harding benefited from a "deal." While the President had thought the paper might be worth $600,000, the price paid according to Brush and others, was $380,000.
National newspaper columnist David Lawrence wrote that the President told him in a White House conversation he was pleased with his Star which he said made $60,000 the previous year. The profit of a paper ordinarily represented 10 percent of the market value.
Harding denied the sale was made to oil interests, saying the purchasers were in the newspaper business, and that he wanted to insure the Star would remain Republican.
FRANK VANDERLIP, a prominent Chicago international banker, questioned the sale, asking, "Where did the money come from and where did it go?" He was an Illinois farm boy who became a Chicago Tribune reporter and later its financial editor.
Vanderlip made a name in the Treasury Department for floating a $200 million Spanish-American War loan that made him president of the National City Bank. He also directed World War I loan drives, and wrote books about finance, business and politics.
Brush declared publicly, "Every cent if it came from our own pockets. . . and it went into the estate of Mr. Harding." Roy Moore handled the press arrangements for the President's funeral.
Moore, Brush and Vodrey also purchased The Mansfield News and The Lorain Times-Herald in 1930 from R. C. Hoiles, according to another court action filed by a disgruntled shareholder.
Mrs. Nellie Wright of Cleveland Heights alleged in 1932 the trio bought the two papers for "less than $950,000," and operated them for two years. Then, she claimed, they assigned the newspapers to Brush-Moore and issued $950,000 notes to Hoiles without authority. She also cited them for excessive salaries and expense accounts.
Louis Brush suggested the suit was an attempt to embarrass the corporation in operating the papers in Mansfield and Lorain, the only two cities in which there were competitors.
In 1937 the trio organized the Ohio Broadcasting Co. and bought the two radio stations which then Moore managed. He took on many civic and business duties, including head of the U. S. Treasury Department's war savings bond program in Ohio in 1941-43; president of the Ohio Newspaper Association, and chairman of the advertising bureau of the American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA).
In the latter role, he introduced Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to the ANPA convention in 1946 when Ike returned from Europe.
In 1949, he was interviewed by Ward Morehouse at his Canton area home for Editor & Publisher magazine. Moore told of the three-way partnership with Brush and "Harry" Vodrey.
"There never was a time when those two weren't willing to dump any sum out of the profits into the business. Our theory has been that if you build an institution, the institution will make profits, and if you preserve the institution, you will preserve the profits."
"The major decisions in our organization are now up to Mr. Vodrey, Mrs. Brush and myself. We don't star anybody. That means in management and in the entire working personnel. Institution is the slogan."
"Few people leave us; we take on few new top people. We don't go outside to fill key positions."
The combined circulation of the eight newspapers in 1949 was almost 200,000 daily, he reported. And the total gross revenue for Brush-Moore in 1948 was about $7 million. The chain had 850 employees -- editorial, business and mechanical.
JOHN 'DENNY' RARIDAN, for whom Moore had worked on a St. Louis newspaper, was executive editor of the chain. He later became publisher, and Clayton G. Horn, editor at East Liverpool and later at The Canton Repository, replaced him as executive editor.
Moore at the time of the E. & P. interview resided in a handsome English style mansion at Congress Lake near Hartville north of Canton. He kept an apartment in New York to which he and his wife often traveled on the private Brush-Moore airplane.
The interviewer asked Moore if he were running all eight papers. He denied it, adding "Funny, all my life I've wanted to run a newspaper. Now I have eight under my control but the men we've put in charge won't let me . . . They do it themselves."
Roy Moore died of a chronic heart problem May 1,1954, at his home. He was 64. Seven years before, he had been diagnosed with the condition that gradually curtailed his activities. Much of his work had been conducted there at Congress Lake.
A warm and friendly man, he had won many friends within and outside his profession. "He was one of those gifted persons, " an editorial in The Review noted, "who had the common touch in a superlative degree. It is the most heartfelt tribute we can pay to say there was no man of his day we would have chosen to be associated with in preference to Roy Moore."
Thomas Stewart Brush was the last of the Brush family to be directly involved with The Review
He came to East Liverpool in 1918 to become involved with his father, Louis, in managing the paper and The Morning Tribune. In 1920 he married Katharine Ingham whom he met while attending Phillips Andover Academy at Andover, Mass. A son, Thomas B. Brush Jr., was born here in 1922.
The couple moved to New York, he to join the circulation department of The New York Tribune, she to further her writing career. They obtained a divorce in 1929, the boy remaining with her.
Thomas Brush Sr. went in 1928 to Canton where Brush-Moore was headquartered after the chain formed. He headed the Repository circulation department, then directed the circulation operations of the six papers in the chain. He married Florence Taylor Montgomery in 1933. The next year his health began to fail, and he moved to different sites around the country.
He died at 42 in Tucson, Ariz., Oct. 31, 1938 -- coincidentally the same day the nation was shaken by Orson Welles' famed "Invasion from Mars" radio program.
His wife developed into a noted novelist and short story writer whose books became movies that launched the careers of several stars. She had started writing professionally when 18, the daughter of Charles and Clara N. Ingham. He was headmaster at Governor Dummer Academy for Boys at Bycroft, Mass.
Finishing boarding school at age 16, she went to Boston to write a movie column for a Boston newspaper. At 18 she married Brush, and came to East Liverpool where they first resided in the Monroe Apartments on Monroe St. and later on Orchard Grove Ave.
For several months here she wrote a movie column for The Review under the name "Barbara Blake." After she left here, her work drew increasing attention, and publishers and film producers found it suited for the silver screen. The best-known, "Young Man of Manhattan," was turned into a movie in which Ginger Rogers debuted.
"Young Man of Manhattan" deals with the marriage of Ann Vaughn and New York columnist and sports writer Toby McLean who encounter difficulties over her wealth and his drinking and eye for a blonde.
They separated, she going to Hollywood and he covering the spring baseball season. He plunges into a prolonged drinking bout, recovering only when he learns she has lost her sight from sampling a bottle of bad whisky he left behind.
In the film, shown at the Ceramic Theater here in July 1930, Claudette Colbert portrayed Ann, Norman Foster was Toby, and Charles Ruggles was Toby's booze-fighting pal. Harlow played Puff Randolph with whom Toby had a harmless flirtation.
The novel "Red-Headed Woman," published in 1930 by Farrrar & Rinehart, was a film in which Jean Harlow was given her first lead role.
Katharine Brush wed Hubert Charles Winans of New York, and they were divorced in 1941. She died June 10, 1952, at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City at age 52.
Her son was at the time a graduate student at Yale University. He went on to become vice president of Brush-Moore.
W. H. Vodrey
An almost invisible but highly important part of the Brush-Moore operation was William H. Vodrey Jr., the third generation of an East Liverpool family linked to the early pottery industry.
His grandfather, Jabez Vodrey, had come from the Staffordshire area of England, a pottery center, and had -- with James Blakeley and William Woodward -- established the Vodrey Pottery in East Liverpool in 1847.
Jabez had three sons - John, James and William. The latter served as a Colonel with the 143rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. John was also in the Union army, killed in July 1864 with Union forces driving toward Atlanta.
William returned to the city to serve as Mayor for three terms, a ward Councilman for several terms and on the board of education for 23 years.
His son, William H. Vodrey Jr., was an 1889 graduate of East Liverpool High School who earned a degree from Bethany College inn 1894 and a law degree from Michigan University Law School in 1896. He studied corporate law and obtained a degree at the University of Cincinnati.
Young Vodrey opened a law practice in East Liverpool in 1897, a partner at times with John C. Wallace and Frank Andrews. Later his partners were his son, W. H. Vodrey, Raymond S. Buzzard and Donald Shay.
A modest man, he was persuaded to run for City Solicitor in 1908, and was elected twice. He was also elected Columbiana County Prosecutor in 1913-1916, but declined to seek the Common Pleas Court bench, wishing to return to private practice.
Nevertheless, his love of the law, his personal characteristics and stately appearance led many to refer to him as "Judge" in his later years.
He was active in many areas of community service, from chairman of the Park Commission, president of the YMCA and trustee of the War Chest to director of the Chamber of Commerce and the First National Bank. He was also a delegate to several Republican national conventions and an officer in the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church near his Park Boulevard home.
Among his greatest achievements was undertaking major reforestation projects, particularly around the small hamlet of Fredericktown on Beaver Creek, the girlhood home of his mother, Elizabeth Jackman Vodrey. It was here he established one of his several farms, Beaverkettle.
In 1945 he received an Ohio Reforestry Association award as the state's greatest tree planter, having then set out more than one million trees.
THE JUDGE' was also responsible for restoring the beaver to Ohio's valleys and streams. Trapping had almost wiped out the furry dam-builders when he brought in a pair from Wisconsin to the shores at Beaverkettle. However the pair apparently traveled up to Guilford Lake where they started a family that spread to other sections of the state and into Pennsylvania.
Vodrey had excelled at baseball in his youth, and even late in life, at the annual county Lawyers Picnic, he pitched well and ran the bases like a younger man.
He had designed the corporate structure of Brush-Moore Newspapers when the chain was created, and served as secretary-treasurer and general counsel for the firm.
Brush, Vodrey and Moore committed their many talents and much time to the press enterprise. Denny Raridan recalled the purchase of the Steubenville paper as a difficult task.
Vodrey, he said, made weekly trips from East Liverpool on the interurban trolley to spend an hour with the Herald-Star owner, Charles Simeral, finally convincing him of the benefits involved. Later, the Herald-Star building was the central site where all three convened to conduct Brush-Moore business. An apartment was furnished on the third floor where Roy Moore could stay on his many trips around the chain.
Brush would travel from Salem, Vodrey from East Liverpool, and the trio made key decisions in the periodic conferences which lasted from dinner to well after midnight.
But Vodrey's prime interest lay in his law practice to which he devoted 57 years. His health declined in the late 1940s, and after confinement to his home for several years, he passed away Dec. 19, 1954, at his residence at the age of 81. Roy Moore had died just seven months earlier.
One of the last times the two old men came together publicly was a 1952 dinner at Canton marking the 25th anniversary of the purchase of the Repository by Brush Moore. Louis Seltzer, editor of the Cleveland Press who had once been Roy Moore's copy boy, was the guest speaker.
Moore, in his comments about the observance, said, "We have reached the 25-year mark with a lot of very wholesome companionship." Vodrey noted that the "Rep" was founded in 1815, the year Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, and invited everyone back to the Onesta Hotel for the 200th anniversary.
"Please put it on the calendar so you won't forget," he urged.
After the death of the "Judge," the Review commented:
Mr. Vodrey's passing ends an era, but not a tradition, for those of us who worked with him, with Mr. Brush and Mr. Moore. They were the men who made our organization what it is today. Their precepts were sound, and will be lasting. We who carry on feel entitled to our pride in the privilege of having been a part of their lives.
His two sons, William H. Vodrey III and Joseph Kelly Vodrey, continued as a part of the chain's operations, and his daughter, Mrs. Theodore (Margaret Louise) Boyd, and several grandchildren were shareholders.
William Vodrey III stepped into the chain's legal counsel post held by his father, serving until the corporation was bought in 1967 by Thomson Newspapers.
VODREY THE THIRD was a 1921 graduate of East Liverpool High School who attended Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy. He earned a bachelor degree magna cum laude from Princeton University, and was tapped for the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa scholar honorary.
He obtained a degree in 1929 from Harvard University Law School where he was editor of 1927 Law Review. Returning to East Liverpool, he became a partner with his father, Buzzard and Shay, and began his role with Brush-Moore. This would include serving as assistant general counsel, general counsel and member of the Executive Committee and Pension Committee. He was also assistant and later general counsel for the Ohio Broadcasting Co.
A dedicated student of history, he was instrumental in the restoration of Frederick- town, in obtaining the Museum of Ceramics in the former Post Office building, and preserving the Baggott Pottery on Third St. and the bottle kiln at Wellsville.
He aided in other historical projects, studies and memorial markers, books and plaques. He was a trustee and treasurer of the city Historical Society, and trustee and later president of the Ohio Historical Society.
Vodrey wrote the "Pottery Industry; East Liverpool District," and with R. Max Gard coauthored "The Sandy & Beaver Canal" (1952)
He married in 1929 the former Evelyn Stroud. They had a son, Jackman, and two daughters, Mrs. William (Barbara) Wamelink and Mrs. John (Dorothy Grace) Stamat.
Bill Vodrey practiced law for more than 50 years, and held the presidency and other posts with the County Bar Association. He also contributed to various legal publications, and in 1978 was named a Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Association.
Active in St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Vodrey also held key lay posts with the Episcopal Ohio Valley Region and the Diocese. He also served in banking, civic and charitable posts.
Following a 16-month illness, he died Aug. 29, 1979, at his Armstrong Lane home, aged 75.
The Review eulogized:
"A probing intellect led his interests into countless areas of regional life, and he made acquaintances in every strata of community existence. . . (He) has left us a rich legacy of our community's past, and has in himself and in his works given example and inspiration to strive in bringing about the best in the world and the people around us."
My own recollections of Bill Vodrey are marked with admiration, respect and some puzzlement. Although he was a major Brush-Moore official and his law office was only two blocks from the newspaper, very rarely was his influence or that of his father (whom I met in the newsroom when I was a cub reporter) felt past our front doors.
But occasionally Bill's voice would be on my phone, asking a question, offering a news tip. Both Art Thomas and I sympathized with each other concerning Bill's practice of launching into a conversation without preamble. "What about that contract?" or "When will the project start?" he would open without a hint of whose contract or what project was involved.
His mind seemed ever occupied with other matters, complex and broad, from analyzing application of a new law to picking up and disposing of bits of trash as he walked along a street. Bill carried an aura of the past, both in reverence for earlier times and in appearance, his suits and ties dark and formal, his hats styled of yesteryear.
Bill Vodrey was always ready to seize upon a worthwhile idea to improve the community. As the town readied for its first Pottery Festival in 1967, I telephoned him to suggest that the shabby brick wall of the old Moore Furniture building insulted his new Social Security office next door.
Within a week, the huge wall was painted a pleasantly bland battleship gray.
The suite still retains a 1920s flavor of dark woodwork, heavy oak tables and chairs jammed in a warren of small rooms with gold-lettered windows and old photos, paintings and certificates on the walls.
Today, it is saved from pure antiquity only by computer terminals, a copying machine and modern telephone system.