Totley History Group
Totley History Group

The Evans family of Franklin, Warren County, Ohio, USA

When we were transcribing the 1911 Census records for Totley, one of the more intriguing entries was for a family of Americans living at Hill Crest, Baslow Road - the last of the three large houses above the Fleur de Lys. We wanted to know who they were and what became of them. Whilst our research is in its infancy, we thought we would tell you about the progress we have made, partly in the hope that it may interest an American reader who has access to on-line Census, BMD and similar information and who might be able to add to our knowledge.

Hill Crest, Baslow Road, built in 1906; the Evans Family occupied 363 (on right)

The head of the household was Dr. Rice Kemper Evans, American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who was born on 3 Feb 1879, the son of Dr. Firman Richard Evans and Sallie Fulton Taylor of Franklin, Ohio. Rice Evans's family had been physicians in Franklin continuously since 1827 when his great-grandfather, Dr. Otho Evans, moved his practice there from neighbouring Butler County. His great-great-grandfather, John Noble Cumming Schenck, was the brother of the founder of the town.

Rice Evans had graduated from the Miami Medical College, Cincinnati in 1902 and practised medicine until early 1909 when he entered the diplomatic service and, after declining the position of Vice Consul in Santiago, Cuba, he was appointed by President Taft to a commission in Sheffield on 26 April. Rice Evans had married Louise Dillon Cass (born 1878), daughter of Will Cass and Sarah Shiflett of Blanchester, Ohio on 20 Aug 1900. 

They sailed from Philadelphia aboard the Friesland and disembarked at Liverpool on 25 May 1909 accompanied by their four children: Cornelia Sarah (born 5 Sep 1901), Richard Pierce known as Dick (born 29 Aug 1903), Bergen Baldwin (born 19 Sep 1904) and Alyse (born circa 1908). Another daughter, Joan (born 22 Nov 1905) had died in infancy in America in 1906. Cornelia was not present at Hill Crest on census night, 2 Apr 1911, and we are still trying to trace her. 

The American Consulate was in part of the structure built in 1897 for William Fosters & Sons, gents outfitters; designed by Flockton, Gibbs & Flockton of Sheffield

The American Consulate had been established in Sheffield in 1863 and was to continue until 1940. When Rice Evans worked there, it was located in the Fosters Building on High Street, where McDonalds is now. Its main role was to facilitate trade between the two countries and Rice Evans filed a number of reports on the steel and cutlery industries. He also wrote a detailed account of the business transacted by Sheffield's seventeen cinematograph theatres noting that whilst American-made action films, particularly westerns, were very popular the standard of British-made films was very high and their subject matter was more geared to educate and enlighten their audiences. Rice Evans used his spare time to obtain a degree with a first in international law at Sheffield University. He and his family were delighted with England and they made many friends. 

The family lived together in Totley until 1915 when Rice Evans’s salary was becoming insufficient to support his large family, daughter Blancet having been born in 1912. With the outbreak of World War I, he decided to send the children back to America to live with their great aunt Cornelia Schenck in Franklin. The passenger register of the Haverford shows that the children, aged between 2 and 13, sailed from Liverpool on 27 Jan 1915 bound for Philadelphia. From there they made their way to the house of their grandparents, completing the entire journey unaccompanied by adults. Their mother never saw them again; she died of tuberculosis at home in Totley on 15 Apr 1917 aged 38. Her remains were cremated and her ashes were sent home to Ohio. 

(right to left) an infant Dr. Rice K. Evans, father Dr. Firman R. Evans, grandfather Dr. Richard P. Evans, great-grandfather Dr. Otho Evans

After the war Rice Evans made a ten week visit home to see his family, departing from Liverpool on 7 Mar 1919 aboard the Minnedosa, landing at St. John, New Brunswick. He arrived back in Liverpool on 18 May 1919 having sailed from Montreal on the Metagama and six days later he married, by licence, Dorothy Maud Davis.  

 

Dorothy had been born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, in 1890 the fourth child of William Henry Davis, a wine and spirit merchant from Bury, Lancashire and his Canadian wife Emma Maud Doughty. Dorothy had been trained as a nurse and had worked in children's hospitals. The Butler County Democrat reported that Rice Evans had met his bride while working in the hospital service during the war. Perhaps they met at Totley Bents. Wounded soldiers from the front line in France were brought to a field hospital on the recreation ground adjoining The Cricket Inn. Rice Evans was a frequent visitor and was greatly appreciated for his expertise.  

 

The Democrat was mistaken, however, in reporting that the wedding took place in Sheffield when actually it was at All Saints Parish Church, Trefonen, Shropshire about three miles from the Welsh border. Sensing a story here, we have tried to find out what the connection was between the couple and this small village. By sending for the marriage certificate and with help from the Gateacre Society, we think we have found it.

 

The bride and groom gave their residence as 'The Old Malthouse, Trefonen' and the witnesses were Dorothy's brothers Leonard and William and also Viva Chapple-Gill. We have been able to trace Leonard Davis in the 1911 Census living with his wife and son in south Liverpool and employed as a chauffeur. The Chapple-Gill family, Liverpool cotton merchants, were living at nearby Gateacre when - as family legend has it - their youngest daughter Viva ran off with the chauffeur to live happily ever after in mid-Wales. The chauffeur's name was not remembered but it was thought that he had a wife. Too much of a coincidence, surely? But why the Welsh Borders? The Gill Family had many connections with Montgomeryshire: family members having been High Sherriff of the county at various times. Whilst Viva remained in the area for the rest of her life, Leonard returned to Liverpool to be reunited with his family.

All Saints Parish Church, Trefonen (from a photo by John Haynes)

Kelly's Trade directory for Sheffield & Rotherham had the Evanses living at Hill Crest, Totley in 1925, but Dorothy Evans gave her address as c/o U.S. Consulate, Sheffield, when she sailed alone from Southampton to New York on 31 May 1928 aboard the President Roosevelt. We don't know the details of her husband's departure for home but the Florida Passenger Lists 1898-1963 evidently show his arrival at Key West on 30 Apr 1928. 

What we do know is that before he left England, Rice Evans made his mark as a rock climber important enough to be acclaimed in Colin Wells’s book Who’s Who in British Climbing published as recently as 2008. Rice Evans was described as powerfully built with an enormous reach and he was noted for his pleasantness, competence and strength rather than for exceptional skill. He was said to be the undisputed monarch of Stanage Edge, Derbyshire in the 1920s. The Surgeon’s Saunter Area, a high buttress, was named after him by Fred Piggott who is credited with a first ascent of the climb Doctor’s Chimney in 1929.  Rice Evans's most enduring contribution to climbing was to invent the expression 'layback' to describe the posture of a climber pulling out on an edge of a crack or flake, with his feet on the opposite wall. The term has since acquired a permanent and international status. A climbing friend said that Rice Evans had an insatiable appetite for the gritstone edge but when the time was approaching to return home to America he became so morose that he would not even talk about climbing any more.  

 

At the time the census was taken on 1 Apr 1930, Rice and Dorothy Evans were living in Dayton, Ohio and they were still living there on 1 Apr 1940 when their occupations were described as personnel directors working in the electrical motors manufacturing industry.  Dorothy Evans passed away in 1951 and Rice Evans died in Dayton on 30 Nov 1957. They are buried in the family grave at Woodhill Cemetery, Franklin.

Evans Family grave, Woodhill Cemetery, Franklin, Ohio

Cornelia Evans studied at Lasell Seminary for Young Women and Wellesley College, both in Massachusetts, and at Columbia University, New York City. She became a writer of articles, essays, short novels such as the prize-winning The Cloud of Witnesses and the dramatization Journey into the Fog: the Story of Vitus Bering and the Bering Sea. In 1930, she married Harry Wright Goodhue and the couple lived in Greenwich Village, New York. Her husband was born in 1905 at Cambridge, Massachusetts, the eldest son of Harry Eldredge (1873-1918) and Mary Louise Wright Goodhue.

 

Wright, as he was known to distinguish him from his father, became a brilliant stained glass artist who designed and fabricated windows for more than thirty churches and exhibited his work at the Boston Society for Arts and Crafts. Wright Goodhue committed suicide in 1931 at age 26.

 

Cornelia then had a liaison with folksinger-songwriter Sam Eskin, the son of Morris and Rachel Eskin, who was born on 5 Jul 1898 in Washington, D.C.   Their son Otho Evans Eskin was born in New York City in 1935. Otho and Cornelia were living at 64 Horatio Street, New York City when the census was taken on 1 Apr 1940.  Cornelia's occupation was recorded as a researcher in the glass manufacturing industry. During the War years she worked with the Red Cross in the writing and editing of pamphlets and brochures and by the 1950s she had become a writing consultant to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington D.C.

 

Otho's half-brother Stanley Eskin later described Cornelia as "an unpretty woman but most interesting with a razor-sharp mind and a gift for words". Cornelia lived with Sam for only a brief period and kept their son at a distance from him. Neverless she maintained a cordial relationship with him for the rest of his life which was ended by a sudden heart attack on 7 Sep 1974.

 

Cornelia returned to Totley around this time to visit the place of her childhood and to reminisce about her family with locals like Dan Reynolds who lived in her old house. Cornelia Cass Evans Goodhue died in 1986.

(left to right) Otho, Morris, Stanley and Sam Eskin

Dick Evans returned to Sheffield soon after the war ended. Aged 15 he sailed alone from Philadelphia aboard the Northland, docking in Liverpool on 12 Jun 1919.  Dick gave his intended address as Totley, Sheffield and his occupation as student.  

 

Dick married Phyllis Helen Swift, the daughter of George Edward Cooper Swift and Caroline Annie Taylor of 619 Abbeydale Road in Sheffield on 5 May 1925. Two days later the couple left Liverpool aboard the Oriana for Havana, Cuba. The passenger register shows the couple's last address as 46 Sandford Grove Road, Sheffield and Dick's occupation as a steelworker.  

 

On 31 Aug 1928 Dick and Phyllis Evans arrived back in Sheffield for a short visit having sailed from Havana to Liverpool aboard the Orbita. The passenger register shows the same Sheffield address as before but Dick's occupation in Cuba had been a fruit farmer. They returned to Havana on the same ship which departed Liverpool on 1 Nov 1928. 

  

The family appeared in the 1930 census in Atlanta, Georgia and the following year they were living in St Louis, Missouri where their son Pierce Firman Taylor Evans was born on 26 Oct. They were still living in St Louis in 1935 when Phyllis and Pierce made a brief visit to England sailing from New York to Liverpool aboard the Laconia. Phyllis gave the current addess of her parents, 10 Edgefield Road, Sheffield.

 

A daughter, Margaret, was born in Illinois on 27 Apr 1939 and the family of four appeared in the 1940 census for Hasbrough Heights, New Jersey where Dick was employed as a salesman in the steel industry. Phyllis Evans made a further visit to Sheffield in the summer of 1956, arriving on the United States in Southampton on 11 Jul and returning on the same ship on 23 Aug. She was accompanied by her 17 years old daughter Margaret and gave her address as 31 Dover Road, Sheffield. The passenger register on the return voyage recorded Phyllis's occupation as a teacher and Margaret's as a student.

 

In his Memoirs, Dan Reynolds remembers young Dick Evans as a "real daredevil". Following Cornelia's visit to Totley in 1973, Dan and Dick corresponded for a number of years. In an interview given to the (Sheffield) Morning Telegraph on 15 Nov 1976 Dan said that Dick's letters were full of old Totley memories and photographs of old village properties long since pulled down.

 

Dick Evans died on 29 Apr 1980 in Hackensack, New Jersey.

 

Bergen Evans with students in 1952

Bergen Evans also crossed the Atlantic again, the first time as an 18 year old working his way as a pantry hand on board the Schoharie in the summer of 1923. After schooling in Totley ("a village school that would have appalled Dickens"), Abbeydale and Franklin, he had entered Miami University in Oxford, Ohio at age 15.  He graduated in 1924, then earned an M.A. from Harvard in 1925 and went back to Miami University to teach English from 1925 to 1928. Bergen returned to England as a Rhodes Scholar from 1929 to 1931 receiving a B. Litt. from Oxford University in 1930. A Ph.D. in English Philology from Harvard followed in 1932 which made him the 5th generation Dr. Evans but the first not to practice medicine.

 

In September 1932 Bergen Evans began a teaching career at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and remained there until his retirement in 1974 being promoted to Professor in 1944.  His courses were very popular and attracted more students than any other offered by the University. As one former student recalled "His class was an intellectual nirvana. He could make the mustiest, crustiest, dustiest literature as vibrant as hell." 

Bergen Evans the tv panel show host

He simultaneously followed a second career as an author, radio and television panel-show host and he also prepared questions and validated answers for the television series $64,000 Question. His scholarly books include A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage which he co-wrote with his sister Cornelia. The work took seven years to come to publication in 1957. Collaboration between the two siblings was nothing new; it had begun in Totley when the pair had teamed up to write plays and verses for their family's approval.

 

Cornelia and Bergen Evans, 1957 Cornelia and Bergen Evans, 1957

Bergen Evans also wrote a Dictionary of Quotations (1968) and a Dictionary of Mythology, Mainly Classical (1970). Known for his dry wit and outspoken style, he was a much sought-after speaker and was himself much quoted. 

 

Bergen Evans was a proponent of skeptism: he assumed that everyone was a liar until proven otherwise and he delighted in debunking widely held misconceptions. His best known works were in this field, The Natural History of Nonsense, in 1946 and The Spoor of Spooks and Other Nonsense, in 1954. He had many interesting offers from both academic and commercial organisations including one from Life magazine which offered him a full-time post to edit Winston Churchill’s memoirs.

Bergen Evans and Harley-Davidson, 1952

 

On 5 Aug 1939, Bergen Evans married Jean Whinery, the daughter of Charles Crawford Whinery, the American editor of the 11th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica.  They had two sons: Derek, born in 1943 and Scott, born in 1945.  In their later years they lived on a small farm in Northfield, Illinois where Bergen liked to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. 

 

Bergen Evans died on 4 Feb 1978. He left 83 boxes of material to the Northwestern University Archives containing educational papers, research files, television and radio program files, speeches and correspondence including 13 letters from his friend Groucho Marx who appeared on his television show.  Jean Evans died on 9 Jun 2011 aged 99.

Bergen and Jean Evans with their two sons in 1952

Alyse Evans went to school in Franklin and then entered Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1925.  She made a short visit to England in 1932 arriving from New York on 15 Jul at Southampton on the Majestic and returning from Liverpool on 20 Aug aboard the Baltic. Her occupation was a teacher and her intended address in England was University College, Oxford, the same address as that given by her brother Bergen who had arrived back in England shortly before her on the Ile de France.

 

Alyse married Leslie John Fahey sometime between 26 Dec 1932, when his first wife Marguerite died, and July 1936 when she visited England with her husband. They lived in Cleveland. Leslie had been a salesman but by this trip he was a manager; Alyse was now a housewife. The couple made a further trip across the Atlantic in 1951 passing through England on their way to the continent. Their return voyage on 15 Jun from Southampton to New York was aboard Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. Leslie Fahey died on 14 Jun 1983 aged 86 and Alyse on 7 Jun 1987 aged 79, both in Cleveland. 

Not much reliable information has come to light about Rice and Louise Evans's youngest daughter who was born at Hill Crest in Totley on 1 Sep 1912. The spelling of her forename seems to have caused problems all her life. We have obtained a copy of her birth certificate and, for sure, her father registered the name as Blancet, but it was spelled Blachette on the passenger list when, in 1915, she left Liverpool and Blanchette when she arrived in Philadelphia.

 

From the family gravestone we can see that Blancett died in 1934, having married a Mr. Raznick. Her obituary appeared on page 63 of the Franklin Chronicle dated 23 Aug 1934 but so far we have been unable to obtain a copy of it. We have managed to trace a marriage in Littleton, Arapahoe County, Colorado to E. E. Raznick (born c. 1902) and Blanchett Evans on 6 Mar 1930.

 

 

If you have any more information, or can correct mistakes we have made, we would be delighted to hear from you. 

 

You can email us at:  evans-family@totleyhistorygroup.org.uk

There is a family tree associated with this article which gives many of the sources of our information.  

 

It is found at: http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/53337809/family

Copies of the following books are available to borrow for members of Totley History Group:

 

  • A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage by Bergen Evans and Cornelia Evans. Published by Random House, New York. 1957. Seventh Printing
  • Dictionary of Quotations Collected and Arranged and with Comments by Bergen Evans. Published by Avenel Books, New York. 1978 Printing.
  • The Natural History of Nonsense by Bergen Evans. Published by Michael Joseph Ltd, London.  Second Impression, November 1947.
  • The Spoor of Spooks and Other Nonsense by Bergen Evans.  Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York.  First Edition. 1954
  • Who's Who In British Climbing by Colin Wells.  Published by The Climbing Company Ltd, Buxton, Derbyshire.  First Edition.  2008
  • Rock Climbs in the Peak. Volume 1. The Sheffield-Stanage Area. Edited by Eric Byne. Published by Cade & Co (Publications) Ltd. 1963. Contains a photo of Rice Evans leading the Crab Crawl, Stanage Edge, by P.A. Barnes and mention in the bibliography of Rice's own contributions to rock climbing literature.
  • Peak Rock. the history, the routes, the climbers. by Phil Kelly, Graham Hoey, Giles Barker et. al. Published by Vertebrate Publishing.  2014 Reprinting. Contains a reproduction of Rice Evans's passport photo and photos on Doctor's Chimney and Manhatten Chimney, Stanage Edge.

Update

In May 2016 we were surprised and delighted to receive correspondence from members of the family of Dr. Rice K. Evans, the American Vice and Deputy Consul in Sheffield, who lived in Totley from 1909 to 1928. Our article on the Evans Family was one of the earliest to appear on our website in the spring of 2013. Brian Duckworth, from West Roxbury, Massachusetts, wrote to say how much he enjoyed reading the article. Brian married Rice's great granddaughter Katherine Evans Eskin. Katherine's sister, Cornelia (Neal), who lives in Munich, had come across the article and mentioned it to other members of the family. Brian's email was followed shortly afterwards by one from the sisters' father, Otho Evans Eskin. Otho has sent us extracts from his memoirs and given us permission to publish them together with several family photographs.

Latest News

The first meeting after our summer break will be on Wednesday, 27th September when we present an illustrated talk by David Templeman called Mary, Queen of Scots: The Final Journey - From Sheffield to Fotheringhay (1584-1587). This talk relates the compelling tale of the events leading up to and including Mary’s trial and execution. Mary’s courage and conduct come to the fore as she takes her tragic story through Wingfield Manor, Tutbury Castle, Chartley Manor, Texall and culminating in the climax at Fotheringhay Castle where she is tried and executed for High Treason. But was she guilty? That is the question this talk addresses. The meeting is in Totley Library, starting at 7.30 p.m. 

Then on Wednesday, 25th October we will be holding another in our popular series of themed Open Meetings, when you will be invited to share memories of Totley Then and Now. There will be over a hundred pairs of photographs showing how Totley's buildings, lanes, and open spaces looked in the past compared with the same scene today. The meeting will be held in Totley Library beginning as usual at 7.30 p.m.

A recently discovered box of WWII correspondence reveals the story of how a small group of ladies from Dore and Totley recruited knitters from the west of Sheffield and how their efforts made them the country's greatest provider of Comforts for the Minesweeping crews of the Royal Navy. The story is told in Knit For Victory, a new book from Totley History Group. Written by Pauline Burnett, it has 82 pages and many illustrations. It is on sale in Totley Rise Post Office and local shops. Also available in Dore at the Village Store or direct via our website.

Since 1875 when there was only a Rolling Mill and Chemical Yard alongside the river a mile from Totley, the area has changed beyond anyone's imagination  This book by Pauline Burnett tells the story of how it was named and grew into the community we know today. The Rise of Totley Rise has 94 pages including a useful index and is profusely illustrated throughout with many previously unpublished photographs from private collections. 

The story is told in Totley War Memorial WW1 of the ten men from our village who gave their lives in the Great War. Written by Pauline Burnett, Jim Martin and Dorothy Prosser, a chapter is devoted to each of the soldiers with a family tree followed by as much information as could be discovered about the men and their families. There is also information about their military careers and the actions in which they lost their lives. The book has 64 pages and is illustrated throughout with photographs of the men, their families and the houses where they lived.

Walter Waller Marrison moved to Totley around 1897 with his wife and their two young sons. He was a house builder who constructed properties around Totley Brook and Greenoak before ill health forced him to take up less physically demanding work. In 1904 he took over the tenancy of the grocers and off licence at number 71 Baslow Road. After his death in 1908, his widow Kate and later their eldest son Jack continued to run the business until it was sold in 1934.   

Ron Wijk of Nieuw-Vennep in the Netherlands has sent us two scanned images of drawings of old cottages made by the celebrated Dutch painter, Anton Pieck (1895-1987) simply annotated "Totley", and wondered whether we could identify their locations.

We would like to thank Christopher Rodgers for bringing to our attention this fascinating log of the 85th Sheffield (St. John's and Totley Orphanage) Wolf Cub Pack for 1927-45. The log is published jointly by Sheffield Scout Archives and Totley History Group as a free PDF download. It is illustrated by no fewer than 92 photographs and is supported by a comprehensive index and biographies of some of the main participants.

Following our Open Meeting event on School Days, Roger Hart, Howard Adams and John Timperley have each written to us with their memories of Norwood School, which was located in the rooms attached to the Dore & Totley United Reformed Church on Totley Brook Road. 

On 22nd July 1909 the children of Dore and Totley Schools celebrated by a pageant the union of England under King Ecgbert which took place at Dore in AD 827. The pageant was devised and written by Mrs Sarah Milner and her daughter Marjorie and performed in a field close to Avenue Farm in front of a large audience. Photographs of the event survive together with a fragment of the script.

John Edward Greenwood Pinder had lived all 46 years of his life in Totley but on census night, Sunday 2 April 1911, he was not at home; he was in Derby Gaol serving a sentence of three months hard labour. From the age of 20, John had been in and out of local courts for a series of minor offences including drunkenness, assault, wilful damage and night poaching. Finally he was sent to gaol for cutting down and stealing 86 small trees which he sold in Sheffield market for Christmas.

We have already transcribed the census returns for Totley, Totley Rise and Dore. Now we have transcribed Census Strays. These are people who were born in Totley but are missing from our earlier transcriptions. They may have been living, working or studying elsewhere or just away from home on the night the census was taken. Two people were in prison. Others were in Union Workhouses, hospitals and asylums. Fully indexed strays from the 1851, 1861, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses are available now. 

We wish to thank Gillian Walker for allowing us to digitize an archive of material about the 1st Totley Scout Group. Most of the material was collected by Arthur Percival Birley in the period 1949-51 and there are many interesting documents pertaining to the building of the scout hut on Totley Hall Lane. In addition four Newsletters survive, two from the 1940s and two from 1971.

We are grateful to Angela Waite and All Saints' Parish Church for giving us access to baptismal and kindergarten birthday rolls dating from 1926 to 1941. We have transcribed the names, addresses, birthdates and baptismal dates and created an alphabetical index of entries for you to search. 

Edmund Sanderson, a Sheffield estate agent, aquired the land on either side of the old drive to Totley Grove in 1874 and divided it into plots for development. He called it the Totley Brook Estate. But before many houses were built, the estate road was severed in two by the building of the Dore & Chinley Railway line. The eastern end of the road became the cul-de-sac we now call Grove Road

John Roberts was born in Sheffield in 1798. He became a partner in one of the leading silversmiths firms in the city before moving to Abbeydale Park in 1851 and extending the house in Victorian gothic style. He paid for the building of St. John's Church and was believed to dispense more in charity than any other person in the neighbourhood including his protege Ebenezer Hall.

The Coke Family owned the Totley Hall Estate from 1791 to 1881. With the aid of a family tree to guide us, Josie Dunsmore takes us through the story of their tenure. 

When the Rev. D'Ewes Coke inherited the Totley Hall Estate in 1791 it had two farms. Josie Dunsmore tells the story of how the two farms were combined under the tenancy of Peter Flint with the aid of field maps drawn by Flint himself and later by the Fairbanks family.

Do you think you recognize this face? More than sixty photographs of the girls and teachers at Hurlfield Grammar School for Girls in the 1940s were given to Totley History Group by Avril Critchley, who was herself a student at the school. The collection includes fifteen form photographs from June 1949. There would have been a number of girls from the Totley area attending the school in those days.

Christine Weaving tells the story of her 2 x great uncle George Edward Hukin, a Totley razor-grinder, and his life-long friendship with the academic, poet, writer, and free-thinker Edward Carpenter.

Eric Renshaw (pictured here on the right with Bob Carr) grew up and lived in Totley from 1932 to 1960. Many of his memories are of a sporting nature.

We are very grateful to Gordon Grayson for giving us this splendid sale document for the Norton Hall Estates, following the death in 1850 of Samuel Shore. The estates included a large part of Totley and the document has maps and illustrations, plus schedules of land and property with the names of tenants. We have also added a transcription of the entries for Totley and Dore. 

Watch this Youtube video of the talk given by Dr. Mark Frost and Sally Goldsmith on Ruskin, Totley and St. George's Farm. The talk was hosted by Totley History Group on 20th May 2015 as part of the Ruskin in Sheffield programme. Also enjoy a video of the outdoor performance Boots, Fresh Air & Ginger Beer written by Sally.

When Jacqueline A. Gibbons became interested in what made her father tick, it began a journey through WW1 archive records and led to her flying from Toronto to visit the house and village where he lived and the countryside that he so much enjoyed. Jacqueline reminds us that in the early 20th century Sheffield was a driving force of industry and that Totley was the place where many of its remarkable people lived and where they formulated their ideas.

Edgar Wood was the designer of The Dingle, 172 Prospect Road, built in 1904 for Rev. William Blackshaw, the founder of the Croft House Settlement. The house, together with its western terrace and boundary walls, has now been awarded Grade II listed building status. 

What was probably "the most perfect little garden railway in existence" in 1910 was to be found in the grounds of Brook House, Grove Road, the home of its designer and constructor, Guy Mitchell. Look at some wonderful photographs and read reports in newspapers and a full appreciation in Model Railways magazine. 

We have now completed our transcription of Totley School's Admission Records for the period from 1877 to 1914. There is also a useful index to the names of the scholars and to their parents or guardians. We are very grateful to Sheffield Archives and Local Studies Library for allowing us to transcribe and publish these records and for permission to reproduce the photograph of a specimen page of the register.

On 8, 9 and 11 November 2014 Totley History Group held an exhibition at Dore & Totley United Reformed Church to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Below are additional links to some of the photographs we were lent and stories we researched especially for the exhibition.

 

Oscar Creswick was a local farmer who served with the Army Service Corps in Salonika and who after the war returned to Totley to become the innkeeper of the Cricket Inn and a member of the village's successful tug of war team.

 

 

Walter Evans was a market gardener who also ran a small grocery shop on Hillfoot Road when war broke out. He fought with the Machine Gun Corps at the fourth battle of Ypres. After the war, Walter ran a grocers shop at the top of Main Avenue.

 

 

 

Fred Cartwright was another Totley soldier who survived the Great War. He fought in France and Belgium and although he wasn't wounded he was gassed and was home on sick leave when his daughter was delivered by Nurse Jessop during a snowstorm in January 1917.

 

 

Maurice Johnson joined the Yorkshire Dragoons, a territorial unit, on 1 Jan 1914 and so was called up at the very start of the war. He fought throughout the war on the Somme, at Ypres and at Cambrai. After demobilization in 1919 Maurice returned to his old occupation the steel industry.

 

 

Bill Glossop lent us a letter written by his father, William Walton Glossop to his wife describing life in the army during training in the north east of England and asking her to keep him in mind with the children.

 

 

The photo above provides a link to an album of photographs taken of WW1 Hospitals at St. John's, Abbeydale and the Longshaw Estate.

 

 

Nora Green, of Chapel Lane, was only 14 when war broke out. In 1914 she was ill with diphtheria and was sent to the isolation hospital at Holmley Lane, Dronfield. Nora recovered and wrote a letter of thanks to one of the hospital staff and the reply she received survives. 

 

 

We have collected together on this page the names of local men who appear on various War Memorials and Rolls of Honour in Totley, Dore, Abbeydale and Norton.

 

 

Unfortunately we were unable to identify all the photographs we were lent of Totley Soldiers. Please take a look at this album to see if you recognize any of the missing names.

This walk visits locations that have strong associations with Totley during the First World War. It includes the homes of the ten soldiers from the village who lost their lives, the auxiliary hospitals, war memorials, and even the rifle range on which the soldiers trained. Take a look at the first draft of a new walk by the authors of "Totley War Memorial WW1 1914-1918"

As we have nowhere to exhibit memorabilia and artifacts, we have decided to create a Virtual Museum instead, starting with old bottles that were found under the floor of the Old Infant School. Please contact us by email if you would like to see the real thing or have things that you own and would like to see added to the virtual museum.

We wish to thank the Trustees of Cherrytree for giving us permission to publish transcriptions of the Cherrytree Orphanage Admissions Book entries for the years 1866-1929. There is also an alphabetical index for you to look at.

With more people having access to faster broadband and mobile networks, we have uploaded seven full and unedited oral history recordings and also added more short excerpts for you to listen to.

Our transcriptions of local trade directories have been expanded to cover the 95 years from 1837-1932 and have also been indexed. From the days when there were a handful of farmers, stone masons, saw handle makers & scythe grinders to the wonders of the Totley Bridge Garage Company, Betty's Boudoir and The Heatherfield Shopping Centre.

We continue to add to our Totley Newspaper Archive. Recent entries have included several about John Roberts and the building of St. John's Church. There are several about the history of Brinkburn Grange and its first occupier, John Unwin Wing, an accountant who later lived at Totley Hall before being convicted of forgery and fraud and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in Pentonville gaol. There are more than 50 articles from the 1880s and 1890s about Joseph Mountain and the Victoria Gardens, and twenty on the construction of the Totley Tunnel and the Dore and Chinley Railway.

Totley Church of England Parish Magazines for the years 1922-1939 and 1948-1967 with notices of births, marriages and deaths and accounts of spiritual, educational, charitable and social matters in the village. 

Around 90 photographs taken by Stuart Greenhoff for his thesis A Geographical Study of Dore and Totley including several of Totley Moor Brickworks. Superb!  

Chronologically ordered snippets of information recorded by Brian Edwards during his many years of research into our local history.

Read the inscriptions on more than 600 gravestones in  the churchyard.

 

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