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Nauts - Ryan Family Papers - MS 609
The Nauts-Ryan Family Papers cover the period from 1844-1970 with primary emphasis on the years between 1844 and 1930. The largest portion of this collection consists of the correspondence of Charles H. Nauts, and his father John C. Nauts. Overall, the collection is centered around the life of Charles H. Nauts, Tax Collector for northwest Ohio (1921-1930), and an active Toledo Republican. The correspondence and newspaper clippings follow his political activities and subsequent drowning in Lake Erie (June 14, 1930).
This collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections on August 6, 1991 by Jody Steuer of Toledo, Ohio. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection and duplication is permitted for research purposes. This register was prepared in June of 1993 by Paul Buckingham, Graduate Assistant.
Charles H. Nauts was born in Louisville, Kentucky on May 14, 1868. He was the fifth of nine children of John C. Nauts and Virginia Boone Nauts. In 1875, the family moved to Toledo, Ohio where Charles completed a public school education. He learned the steamfitting and plumbing trade working for various companies including the Nauts Brothers, a firm which he owned until 1894. He married Mary Ellen Ryan on December 19, 1889 and together they raised a family of seven children, including three daughters, Marian, Huldah, and Alice, as well as four sons, Herbert, Merritt, Robert and Walter. After 1894, Charles worked as a sewer contractor and became increasingly involved in the Toledo Republican Party. He served as Secretary of the Lucas County Republican Executive Committee and established political ties that led to his appointment as Tax Collector for northwest Ohio by President Warren Harding in October of 1921. He served in this post until he drowned in Lake Erie on June 14, 1930. He died while taking a pleasure cruise with six other prominent men from Toledo, and his son, Herbert. A large search of Lake Erie was conducted for them and there were fears that they had been kidnapped or murdered by Lake rumrunners. The search was front-page news in Toledo for a week until all the bodies were recovered. The tragedy was deemed an accident. It was believed their speedboat hit a rock or sandbar at a high speed.
For other members of the Nauts-Ryan Family, the Collection's genealogy charts provide basic biographical data. Only a minimal amount of further information can be gleaned from correspondence in the collection.
The bulk of the Nauts-Ryan Family Papers concern Charles H. Nauts (1868-1930), an influential Toledo Republican. This material includes a strong set of correspondence between Charles Nauts and various people including his wife, Mary Ellen Ryan, and many prominent Republicans in Toledo, and Washington, D.C. The correspondence traces his courtship with Mary Ryan and his campaign to be appointed Tax Collector of northwest Ohio. There also is a large amount of material (telegrams, newspaper articles, etc.) concerning his drowning death in Lake Erie.
Of secondary interest are two smaller series of correspondence. One by John C. Nauts, the father of Charles, details his struggles from 1849-1879 to raise a family despite various financial problems that included bankruptcy. The other small group is a set of letters written by Alfred Nauts, John's brother. This set was written to his family while he was serving as a sailor on various ocean-going ships. The period, covered from 1851-1857, shows Alfred changing from a homesick young man to a seasoned sailor. The correspondence ends with his death in 1857.
Another small section of interest is a collection of cures and recipes from the late 1800's including cures for cholera and whooping cough and a recipe for ketchup.
CHARLES H. NAUTS
Arranged alphabetically by subject, chronologically within folders. Three folders, approximately 70 letters and telegrams and photocopies/transcripts.
Correspondence to and from Charles Nauts divided into three general categories: Mary Ryan, political issues, and miscellaneous. The letters to and from Mary Ryan follow their relationship from friendship through their courtship and after their marriage. The folder on political issues contains letters written in regards to Charles Nauts' political career and activities. This includes his campaign to be appointed Tax Collector of northwest Ohio, and subsequent activities in office. There are also letters from Senator Mark Hanna and President Herbert Hoover thanking him for his support.
JOHN C. NAUTS
One folder, approximately 30 letters, some on letterpress paper & photocopies.
Correspondence with various family members and friends on many subjects, including his family, business and financial problems, and his successful attempt to be appointed postmaster on the Cincinnati and Louisville Railroad.
Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, chronologically within folders; 12 folders, approximately 35 letters, 40 telegrams.
Correspondence to and from various family members. Telegrams are mostly in regard to the death of Charles Nauts in June of 1930. The letters are mainly between family members, including an interesting series by Alfred Nauts (brother of John C. Nauts), written home as he sailed all over the world on various ships.
1 folder, 5 pages
Salary and expense report that attacks the overcharging by a Mr. Marker for canal work. The report mentions Fred Ryan, presumably a family member, on page 5.
MEMORIAL TO CHARLES AND HERBERT NAUTS
Contains an eulogy to Charles Nauts presented by Elks Lodge 53, and a memorial to Herbert Nauts by the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas. Both were written after the drowning deaths of Charles and Herbert on June 14, 1930.
Various miscellaneous recipes for foods (e.g. ketchup), and medicines (e.g. a cure for Cholera). Also, a few poems of unknown authorship.
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS
NEWSPAPERS - CHARLES NAUTS DROWNING
June 16, 1930 to June 26, 1930
Arranged alphabetically by title, then chronologically
Set of various Toledo newspapers covering the Charles Nauts disappearance on Lake Erie. Located in oversized box.
NEWSCLIPPINGS - CHARLES NAUTS DROWNING
Unarranged; 1 folder
Clippings from various Toledo newspapers detailing the search for Charles Nauts and his company who disappeared on Lake Erie.
NEWSCLIPPINGS - MISCELLANEOUS
Unarranged; 2 folders
Clippings about family members includes Charles Nauts and Mary Ellen (Ryan) Nauts? political activities. This file includes some transcripts and photocopies.
Unarranged; 1 folder
Extensive charts of the family tree emphasizing the Nauts-Ryan branches.
POSTERS - TRIBUTE TO CHARLES NAUTS
June 1930; 2 copies
Contains a picture of Charles as well as a poem and obituary to his memory. Located in oversized box.
DIPLOMA - WALTER NAUTS (1917)
BOOK - THE LINCOLN CLUB. A VOLUME OF BIOGRAPHY. A GALLERY OF PORTRAITS, includes a biography and photo of Charles Nauts, pages 180, 366. Located in oversized box.
NAUTS FUNERAL, CHARLES/HERBERT
2 black/white photos
- Charles Nauts - Mary Ellen (May) Ryan (Nauts) 1887-1921
- Charles Nauts - Miscellaneous 1900-1929
- Charles Nauts - Political Issues 1900-1930
- John C. Nauts 1849-1879
- Florence Boon Armstrong 1888
- Alice Carr Aug. 1853
- Harry J. Kirk to Charles Nauts 1912-1913
- Harold Meiling - Death of Charles Nauts June/July 1930
- Christine Meyer Sept. 1860
- Alfred Nauts 1851-1857
- Anne Carr Nauts n.d.
- Herbert Nauts 1923-1924
- Mary E. (Ryan) Nauts Dec. 1940
- Mary E. (Ryan) Nauts - Condolences June 1930
- Robert Nauts Jan. 1934-Feb. 1970
- Elizabeth Powell Nov. 1844
- Financial Report on Canal Work c.1910
- Eulogy of Charles Nauts by Elks Lodge 53 1930
- Memorial Tribute to Herbert Nauts 1930
- Miscellaneous Literary - Recipes, Poems, Etc. n.d.
- Closing of Herbert Nauts' Estate April 1940
- Contract - Forming Nauts, Reamer & Owners Jan. 1866
- Accounts Receivable/Payable - Charles Nauts 1896-1918
- Miscellaneous Bills of Sale/Receipts - Charles/Herbert Nauts, 1896-1918
- Newsclippings - Drowning of Charles/Herbert Nauts June 1920
- Newsclippings - Miscellaneous Family Members
- Newsclippings - Photocopies/Transcripts 1889-1934
- Nauts - Ryan Genealogy Charts c.1600
- Diploma - Walter Nauts June 1917
- Photos - Nauts Funeral June 1930
Oversized Box 2
- Warner, Mason. J. Hazard Perry, et. al. The Lincoln Club. A Volume of Biography. A Gallery of Portraits, Toledo: Warner & Perry, 1899.
- Toledo Blade - June 16, 1930 - June 19, 1930; June 21, 1930; June 24, 1930 - June 25, 1930.
- Toledo Daily Times - June 16, 1930 - June 20, 1930.
- Toledo News-Bee - June 16, 17, 21, & 24, 1930
- The West End Herald - June 26, 1930
- The West Toledo Standard - June 29, 1930
- Poster Tribute to Charles Nauts (c.2) - 1930
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