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Thursday September 16, 1982


Pix #1 - Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Emerine Sr.

Pix #2 - Uncle Orrie

Joe Rockhold, better known as "Uncle Orrie" during his radio and TV days will probably be remembered by readers who followed him during his early days of his appearance.

He passed away recently at his home in Hillsboro, where he was born in 1905.

The story of his death was passed to me by Joe Emmons, the subject of a recent Potluck on tokens.

The obituary about his death in the Hillsboro Press revealed that in his younger days he had the ability to sing and dance and that he appeared in home talent shows in Hillsboro. That led to his enrolling in The John B. Rogers School of Stage Arts and Dramatics in Fostoria. After graduating from the school, he became a director for the company and presented their shows in 20 states.

Later, Rockhold was associated with many radio and TV stations including: WHIO, Dayton; WBEX, Cincinnati; WXYZ, Detroit; and WLS, Chicago.

Programs in which he acted were "Uncle Orrie's Show", "The Long Ranger", "Green Horner", "The Hermit's Cave", "Ma Perkins", and "Tom Mix and his Straightshooters". He performed with such actors as Garry Moore, Durwood Kirby, Danny Thomas, Pat Buttram, Willard Waterman, Rex Allen and Roy Rogers.

When he died Aug. 31 he was 77. He was a member of the Elks, Rotary Club and long time president of the Hillsboro Historical Society.

The letter from Emmons revealed they were close friends and Rockhold told many interesting stories about the people with whom he was associated with during his radio and TV days.


Williams Hilkens, 12180 W. Loudon TR 112 and employee of a meat distribution company in Toledo, delivers meat to a restaurant in Toledo which displays antiques. He reported that when Potluck published the article about the ice cutting days, the ice tools illustrated therein where identical to some displayed in the restaurant.

Mrs. Rev. George (Myra) King reported the ice cutting story brought back memories of her early life when she and her parents lived on a farm in northern Minnesota. They too cut ice from the lake near their house, storing it in a log building, packing it with sawdust. She said the ice lasted through the seasons when it was needed. She went on to explain the primitive lifestyle her family lived at that time, even though it was on the 1930's.


That article brought interesting responses from readers and I'm sure more will be received.

Dorothy Lytle, 110 N. Vine St., was most helpful in supplying additional data about the Emerine famly after the first installment appeared. And why not, her grandmother Bess Fox Wallace was a sister to Mrs. Alonza Emerine Sr. and lived in the Emerine house for a number of years. In fact, she died there, having been confined to an upstairs bedroom prior to heath.

I also learned after the article appeared that Mrs. Emerine died in 1927, prior to her husband. Also, there was another family member who was not mentioned, Lyle, a son who died in early manhood after he had entered college. His death was the result of quick consumption, contracted from a roommate at college.

Catherine Emerine Wray was reported as supposedly deceased. I learned from Mrs. Lytle and Corrine Speck, that she had died in a nursing home in northern Michigan in 1973. She was buried on the Emerine lot at Fountain Cemetery. In later life, Catherine was married too.

Mrs. Lytle reported that Catherine inherited the Emerine property on North Main Street. She turned it into an overnight stop for travelers and was quite successful. Later, the property was taken over by other family members. It was about that time that J.G. Green purchased it.

The accompanying photos of Mr. and Mrs. Alonza Emerine are from an old family album inherited by Mrs. Lytle.

William T. DeWolfe, Toledo, is a living descendent of the Emerines. His father W.T. "Chub", an editor with The Toledo Blade, married Faye Emerine.

Corinne Speck, 521 W. Center St., also reported some of the same data as Mrs. Lytle. corinne said she was a good friend of Catherine's and spent much time in the Emerine house, often being invited to stay for dinner.

Mrs. Ralph (Bernie) Oyler, 3188 Stuart Rd., was thrilled to see the Emerine house story. She said when she was a young girl, living with her parents, Park Munger at 927 N. Main St., she often was invited into the Emerine house. She said there was an elderly lady who occupied an upstairs bedroom, but couldn't recall who she was. Mrs. Lytle answered that it was Bess Fox Wallace.

Bob Dodrill, the resident manager of Green Manor, mentioned the pump which remains at the back of the house. It is the same pump which was installed on the drilled well when the house was built. He said that if it had a new sucker rod it would produce water just as it did originally.


An interesting sidelight about Joan Crawford, the movie actress, was related to Mrs. Lytle in connection with Catherine Emerine.

At one period in Catherine's life, she spent some time in New York City. There she became acquainted with Joan Crawford, who was not yet a movie star but was struggling to make the big time.

Mrs. Lytle related that Catherine was able to do Miss Crawford a service which assisted her in her climb to fame and the incident was later mentioned in a magazine article.

Later, Miss Crawford came to visit Catherine and stayed in the Emerine house. The story was told that she arrived in a chauffuered car with her pet Scotty dog. That dog was quite likely the granddaughter of our dogs "Rags" mentioned in the "Are Dogs Intelligent"... article last week. We knew when we inherited Rags that she was the grandmother of Miss Crawford Scotty.

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