Treasurer Ley Combats Tax Scofflaws

Charles Henry Ley

Great-great Grandfather Charles Henry Ley

Charles Ley Pours Liquor Money into Tax Coffers

You can’t fight the taxman.

Or so the saying goes.

But in the wake of the Rose Law and resulting Dow and Aiken taxes throughout Ohio in the early part of the 20th century, local saloon proprietors certainly tried to.

And throughout his four-year term as Tuscarawas County treasurer, Great-great-grandfather Charles Henry Ley was the bad guy on the other side of the battle for liquor tax revenue.

This item from the New Philadelphia Daily Times of Feb. 8, 1912 details a typical liquor tax fight:


County Treasurer Charles Ley probably has more law suits on his hands than any other individual in the county. All these liquor injunctions lately have been directed at Mr. Ley. However, he says he proposes to fight every one as much as possible.

The third petition for an injunction from paying Aiken tax during the dry regime came Wednesday afternoon. Joseph H. Zeigler, who is conducting a saloon in Second street, Canal Dover, wants court to keep Treasurer Ley from collecting $727.05 Aiken tax and $145.41 penalty for alleged violation of the Rose law from August 31, 1911 to May 4, 1912. The circumstances, as stated in Zeigler’s petition are similar to those of Christ Herzig and Edgar Ruof.

But who was this Joseph H Zeigler, saloon-keeper, my great-great grandfather was chasing down throughout 1912?

Longtime followers of this blog may remember my case of “family tree pruning” as I untangled branches I’d mistakenly traced, partly by an overzealous connecting of census and death records (how many Zeiglers with daughters named Laura can live on Race Street in Canal Dover — apparently just enough to confuse me), partly due to the fog of family legend.

This Joseph should actually be a Joseph J, but of course not my great-great grandfather J.J. Zeigler, farmer, who had died of natural causes back in June 1897. But, funnily enough, the J.J. Zeigler I’d mistakenly thought was an ancestor.

The tax story ends with another interesting twist. Within a year, J.J. had filed for a new liquor license, only to die (also of natural causes) in late 1913 and leave his family to attempt a transfer to another Zeigler, also unrelated to our line.

Somewhere in there, I’m guessing, Charles and the county managed to get paid.



Categories: Foutz, Ley, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Treasurer Ley Combats Tax Scofflaws

  1. Robert Ley

    Colt, One more detail- R.O. was in the Sons of the American Revolution because Nancy Metzler’s dad, Christian, was a veteran. There’s a lady from Akron writing to me who says she’s a descendant of William Weible, Frederick’s brother, who died in 1851 at 40 years of age. We can’t find his grave. . .there are no official graves registries before the civil war. This lady from Akron wants to get onto the DAR, ya see. Her name is Susan E. Paparella, 2170 S. Short Hills Dr., Akron, Ohio 44333-2358. Please let her know if’n you ever find anything about Frederick’s brother William. Thanks, Bob >

    • Yep. Here’s the post that digs into Christian’s status as drummer boy and the family capitalizing for DAR recognition:

      As for William Weible, I’ll look into it. And wow, that’s going back a ways to be brother of Frederick Weible. So I’m guessing this is NOT William Reinhart Weible, brother of Franklin Eli and son of Frederick, who lived from 1838 to around 1884 (some faulty transcriptions out there continue the life of William, Frederick’s brother, when they find William, Frederick’s son, living in Tuscarawas County;and, in fact, I think there’s a bad Sons of the American Revolution application with those combined dates. Ah, well.)

      Willaim Weible son of Has Jakob Weible… born in Westmoreland County, PA in 1811, died about 1854-55, married to Christina Kretzer, who died about the same time (could be a lead there), parents of seven: Catharine, Anna, Elizabeth, William, Elisha, George and Robert.

      Hmmmm. Don’t see any grave pics in what I took at Crooked Run a few years back.

      And… I am not finding anything on aside from the above death dates, bad DAR apps and wife and kids’ names. And I am not turning up a W Weible (or W Wible) with the right lifespan on There are two W Weibles with unknown birth and death dates buried in Lincoln and Paulding counties… but I don’t think they match up right. William R. Weible, died 1884, is buried in a different cemetery in Paulding County, and the other W Weible, turns out, is a Wilber who died in 1914.

      My hunch would be that he’s buried at Crooked Run with the rest… but it sounds like you, like me, did not turn up any likely Weible gravestones beyond the ones with which we’re well familiar.

      I’ll look into it!

      • But hey — here’s a question — the 1850 and 1860 censuses — yep, the one five, six years after he supposedly died — show a William AND Christina, and kids with the right names, living in Dover with the right ages and birth years. Seems to suggest he DID NOT die in 1854. And we have at least one contrary source — that Sons of the AR application from a Paul Leon Schear that ties up his birth and death dates with William Reinhart Weible. And spells the name Weibel. So…. Some confusion out there. (Surprise, surprise.)

  2. Robert Ley

    Colt, After my haircut, I went by the Phila Library and looked up Charles Ley in the 1911 City Register. It gave his address as 177 East Ave. East Ave. used to be the name for East High beyond where it meets Beaver Ave. (Route 39). Mr. Jerry Stoughton, who used to be Dover High French teacher, is now the local expert on “What Philly streets used to be called”. He found the current address is 479 East High Street, and it’s owned by Elizabeth Stephenson. The house was built by a Mrs. Rippeth, maiden name Scott, on land owned by B.F.Scott, and Mrs. Rippeth sold it to Charles and Minnie. Also, since I was born on Nov. 19, 1944, that picture of me and R.O. on the porch was probably spring or summer 1946, since I’m standing alone and the porch wasn’t heated. Keep it up! Thus endeth today’s scripture,

    Uncle Bob Ley >

    • Uncle Bob — thanks for joining in the discussion! And that’s a great find. I’ve had a lot of Foutz and Ley ancestors living on East/West High Avenue in Phila back in the early 20th century, and yes, the addresses got completely changed up sometime in the early part of the century. And I think it’s fair to say the change was probably not limited to High. If that’s the case, then here’s another mystery for you: is the house where R.E. Sr. and Zula lived in 1920 still standing? According to the Census that year, Zula and R.E. shared the home with her brother, Clyde, and their sister-in-law Katherine (and their three kids — Dale, Glen and Florence), as well as a toddler grandpa Ley. That address was listed as 813 W. High Ave. in the census and in Zula’s obit from February 1920. When I scoped out the location a few years ago, there seemed to be a vacant lot, but that’s relying on current address numbers. So, I wonder…? Certainly, the site of a tragedy, but seemed as if the young families were living in harmony before that, and would be interesting to see where R.E. and brother-in-law Clyde shared dual head of household duties.

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