Boston Township
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Checking History

1917 through 1951
Boston Township, Summit County, Ohio

This is a listing of warrants (checks) prepared by Township Clerks from 1917 through 1951. The list was prepared from the actual documents and supplemented by check registers, if available. The warrants are among records authorized for disposal by the State of Ohio. Viewed as a database the checks are a record of a time.

There are no checks for 1939 through 1945. Through 1937 the clerks wrote the purpose of each check on a designated line. The checks from 1938 on have little or no such detail.

The warrants listed are from banks with very local names: The Peninsula Banking Company and The National Bank of Hudson.

Peninsula Banking Company check

Peninsula Banking Company check, June 27, 1932

National Bank of Hudson check

National Bank of Hudson check, August 30, 1937

These two banks represent the beginning and end of the story of these checks. Between was The Great Depression, with banking holidays and failed banks. In the 1930's the warrants were drawn first on the Treasurer of Said Township at the Peninsula Banking Company and later on the Treasurer of Summit County.

Treasurer of Said Township check

Treasurer of Township check, March 26, 1921

Treasurer of Summit County Check

Treasurer of Summit County Check, February 22, 1937

In the 1930's the checks were drawn on the Treasurer of Said Township at the Peninsula Banking Company and later on the Treasurer of Summit County. All of the checks are cancelled with a perforating tool. The faces of the checks contain a lot of information: in addition to the payee and the amount, the reason, the fund and even the appropriation are generally recorded.

Because there is so much information on the face of the check, history can unfold either as a time line of the Township or a time line of individual people. This file is sorted in two ways; by name and date (a time line of people and businesses) or by date and check number (a time line of the Township).

Citizens and Businesses from 1917 through 1951

All local governments had citizens who served their community for years and even for decades. Their names are the names of roads traveled today; their homes are still called by their name irrespective of who currently lives there. The name and date file of these checks has the names of many who served, not only as elected officials. Until the Second World War changed a way of life forever, almost all road maintenance was done by the citizens of a community. Under the supervision of citizen road superintendents, citizens maintained roads, mowed ditches and removed snow. These small stories in a bigger story unfold in the name and date file, together with stories of local shops that supplied the needs of the times, the coal, the cinders, the groceries. There are glimpses of a larger outside world, the hospitals in the city, the railroad lines that delivered coal and cinders to local sidings. This file is the time line of individuals and of enterprises.

The Township from 1917 through 1951

Looking at the checks by number and date, the story is of the Township time line, especially the earlier years of the twentieth century through the Great Depression, when so much information was recorded on the checks. Roads were maintained using teams of horses and later tractors and gasoline. The Depression era checks show an unprecedented need for the Township to assist citizens with food, coal, shoes and clothing, medical care and even burials.

1936 Annual Report

1936 Annual Report, with Proof of Publication

This 1936 annual report shows the clerk had $5,490 available throughout the year. Of that amount, $1,179, or over 21% went to poor relief. This report shows the relief as medical, burial and other. The check notations show that other is food, clothing and heat.

$2,640, or 48% of the revenue, was spent on maintaining roads. The cemeteries were maintained for $444; the township hall for $51.

The notations on the checks indicate that even the Township was strapped for cash and made partial payments to citizens for road work and other labor. The backs of many Depression era checks show a series of endorsements; the checks circulated like money. They were endorsed most often in pencil, with no regard for which end had the signature. The pencil is easy to understand; fountain pens were not in general circulation.

The checks show the Township turning to the County for road work in the 1940's, when labor became scarce; payroll tax deductions are being paid to the Internal Revenue Service in the checks from the late '40's; the clerk is preparing the checks on a typewriter and most of the necessary signatures are in ball point pen. By the '50's the Clerk's responsibilities and work flow seem routinely "modern."

You can download a list of the cancelled township checks, 1917-1950:
Download list, sorted by name:
Download list, sorted by date:
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PDF version
Excel File
Excel File

see also: A Brief History of Boston Township , The story of Boston Township Hall , Our Local Cemeteries