Friday, November 9, 2007
MILTON CANIFF'S HILLSBORO
Milton Caniff was born in Hillsboro, Ohio. Last month I made a sort of pilgrimage there to see the Caniff sights, many of which are described in Harvey's biography, Meanwhile. It's also where the Ohio Historical Society placed a marker to honor Caniff -
The marker was placed in 2003 and is in front of a library. I asked the librarian if she knew why this site was chosen. Even though she'd been with the library at the time, she wasn't sure (and that was that). I had many addresses for the Caniff sites, but one I didn't was the Western Union office where Caniff had worked as a boy. I asked the librarian if they had a city directory for Hillsboro around 1920. She said if they did it would be in the Genealogy section, which she gestured towards (and that was that).
My next stop was the Caniff home, on 149 E North Street. Here is the home as it was then and today -
I then went to Webster School, where Caniff attended some elementary grades. It looked to have been completely redone since he'd been there, with only the tall part of the building looking original. Today, the school has been replaced and sits empty.
Next stop was the Episcopal Church where the Caniff's attended, for which, according to Harvey, Caniff's grandfather laid the cornerstone (I couldn't find the cornerstone, perhaps owing to to the greenery around the base of the church). Milton attended kindergarten at the Parish School here.
It was edifying to see some of the sights that were still there from Caniff's youth: the courthouse, the war monument, and the opera house. What he could not enjoy was a Frisch's Big Boy, which I ordered to go as I exited the small town charm of Hillsboro, Ohio, which hasn't forgotten its most famous son.