The caller said to the Newton Falls Public Library staff, “I have an old book that says it was given to Clyde Howes by Ada Alderman, teacher. It was dated Feb. 24 1893. I was wondering if this could be true, that these people really existed.”
Library users in Ohio can access Ancestry.com through the library’s databases on OhioWebLibrary. We typed in both Ada Alderman and Clyde Howes. Looking at the dates and locations given, we found some compatible people in the 1930 census. There was an Ada Alderman born about 1867 who lived in Windsor, Ashtabula County, Ohio. This would make her about 26 years old in 1893. The same census says that Clyde A. Howes was born about 1884, so he would have been about 9 years old when the book was signed. In 1930 he lived in Mesopotamia, Trumbull County, Ohio. These communities are not far from each other.
Extending the search to the birth, marriage, and death indexes at the aforementioned site, we found that Clyde Howes was born on January 21, 1886 in Windsor, Ohio. The death records for Ada Alderman were inconclusive, so we extended our online search using a popular search engine. Using the words, Ada Alderman teacher Windsor Ohio, we found a link to starbeacon.com/archive/x1449203863 which has a photograph of “Ada Alderman, teacher at the Alderman School in Windsor, was photographed in her sleigh in front of the school . . . “
We next searched for the Alderman School in Windsor. History of the Western Reserve, Volume 2 by Harriet Taylor Upton, Harry Gardner Cutler digitally stored at books.google.com, included the history of the Alderman family. Ada was the eldest of the children, born March 13, 1867. She began teaching at 16 years of age, and taught in Windsor, Huntsburg, Trumbull, Mesopotamia, and New Lyme. She was also the first woman to be elected to the Windsor School Board. The Upton History also includes a photograph of Ada, her parents and her brothers.
Searching using the words Clyde Howes 1886 Ohio, we found a link to the site www.findagrave.com. The information there said that Clyde was born in 1883 and died in 1971. He is buried in the Windsor Township Cemetery. We were able to inform our caller that the information in the front of the book seemed to match actual people during this time period.