Among the founders of the Village of Golf Manor were the family names of Stover, Kellerman, Wiehe, and Green. All had farms in the area now part of Golf Manor, though at that time, it was simply rural Columbia Township. Many of today’s streets are named for pioneer residents.
During the 1800’s, the Village was an oasis of farms and green grazing lands. The people were industrious and frugal as Pennsylvania Dutch. They had the drive to work dawn to dusk in their fields and barns. When winter came, they repaired their tools, mended fences, and tended stock. They worshipped at local churches and founded St. Peter’s Evangelical Church of Pleasant Ridge in 1876.
The street names today recall the families and history of our past. Englewood recalls the log cabin on Losantiville with its undisciplined flower garden, berry patches, and pawpaw and quince trees. This was the home of Katy, Henry, and Joe Engle. Stover recalls the immense dairy started by Dietrich and Anna Theile Stover. Kellerman recalls the many Kellermann families who peopled the area, descendants of William, Dietrich, and Gus Kellermann.
Wiehe Road recalls the old three-story brick house atop Wiehe hill, which is still standing today. Visible as far away as the North Bend Road summit, it belonged to the Wiehe family well over a century ago, and in 1910 became the home of the Pieper family, who in more recent times live on Elbrook. The Powell family today owns the home.
Hammel Avenue was named for Samuel Hammel, a well-known Cincinnati lawyer who once owned the largest single block of land in the area. Sam was a regular visitor at the Wiehe Road gardens. He came for fresh vegetables. Other influential people who came to the local gardens for vegetables were the Seasongoods, Tudors, Whites, and Cadwalladers. While most Golf Manor streets bear German names, the others have English or colonial flavor: Ardmore, Fair Oaks, Mayflower, Canterbury, and St. Albans.
Early residents of the area had to walk to Pleasant Ridge to catch the interurban streetcar connected to downtown Cincinnati. The people living on the Western side walked to Ross and Montgomery in Norwood for the North Norwood streetcar.
Children attended the turreted grade school on Montgomery Road (Pleasant Ridge Elementary School), opposite historic Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church. In 1909, the new red brick building with the massive concrete pillars was opened. The turreted school came down and the final section of the new school came into use in 1932. Pupils marched in and out of class to Sousa music via records on the wind-up Victrola operated by Principal Thomas Simmermon. There was no lunchroom in the school, but Miss Ross had a busy dining room and candy store across the street. Until 1920, Pleasant Ridge had a classical high school. In 1921, East Side High School opened in Hyde Park. Students and faculty from the Ridge were transferred there. East Side was renamed Withrow in 1924.
In the mid-1920’s Golf Manor was laid out in lots by developers Britton and Brown mostly in 150-foot plots with 35 to 50 foot frontages. These sold for $1 down and $1 weekly. Total cost of the lots was $600 to $1,000. During the Great Depression, these lots sold for $200 to $300. To buy a lot originally, you simply tore off a ticket tacked to the stake of the lot you wanted and took it with your $1 binder to the sales office. The sales office was the tailgate of a truck. Soon you received your nice blue deed to a home site in that charming little village-to-be of Golf Manor.
In time the pastures, wild roses, and honeysuckle gave way to streets, entrances to which were graced by brick pillars with concrete urns of vines, petunias, and geraniums. One of the first clusters of houses sprung up near the Evers’ gardens on Langdon Farm Road. Graceland soon became home to such early settlers as the Banzhafs, Woods, Webers, and Shroyers. The Shroyers were around the corner on Langdon. Meantime, Keith Watcher, on Bremont, was watching a nucleus that grew around his unique home – same for Bob Folzenlogen on Hammel.
On February 3, 1947, Golf Manor was incorporated and elections for the first mayor and council were held June 3, 1947. It wasn’t long until the number of rooftops in Golf Manor grew by leaps and bounds. A feeling of community developed. Organizations came into existence: Woman’s Club, Civic Club, Volunteer Fire Department, Life Saving, Recreation Commission, Scouting, and Camp Fire activity. To make these groups swing financially and socially, there were festivals and dances. The dances were held at Hickey’s Garage on Wiehe (Kalb’s Garage now). The dances were costume parties and holiday get-togethers. They even had an orchestra seated on a stage, which could be raised and lowered (it was atop the grease rack). The prices of admission you wouldn’t believe! There were also dinners featuring “chicken in the rough” with biscuits and honey.
In time, the Mother of Sorrows Church was founded to serve Golf Manor and Roselawn. The congregation met in Hickey’s Garage. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve found the walls bulging. Later came the Golf Manor Synagogue on Stover Avenue.
Golf Manor became a nice place to raise a family. Stores opened in Golf Manor including a grocery, bakery, radio repair, barbershop, dry cleaners, real estate offices, service stations, garages, a radio station, drug stores, cafes, beauty shops, and industrial plants of many kinds built on Wiehe Road. No longer the country, Golf Manor became a great Village with a suburban look.