July 25, 2024

Famous Delphosonians

This month we’ll meet some famous Delphosonians that you have probably never heard of.


Neely Edwards 1883-1965

Neely Edwards was born Cornelius Limbach in Delphos, Ohio on September 16, 1883 to Joseph Limbach and Lucina Ley.  His father died in Washington,DC in 1893 when Cornelius was only ten years old.  Limited research on this family locates them in Cincinnati in 1900.  However, when Lucina died in 1928 she was buried next to her husband Joseph in St. John’s Cemetery in Delphos.

Cornelius made his way to Hollywood where, under the pseudonym of Neely Edwards, started his film career in 1915 unbilled in a Harold Lloyd short.  This short film started a career that spanned more than four decades and featured 185 film credits, both film and, later, television.  In the 1920’s Neely and his vaudeville partner Edward Flanagan partnered as the Hall Room Boys.  The comedy duo appeared in some of the earliest short films produced by Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film Sales which would later become Columbia Pictures.  Of Neely’s 185 screen credits, 140 of them came in comedy shorts.

In 1925 Neely Edwards was married to silent film star Marguerite Snow.  Marguerite died in 1958 and was followed by her husband Neely Edwards on July 10, 1965. Both are buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

One of Neely Edwards short films can be found on the Delphos Canal Commission Facebook page.  Check it out and enjoy!!


Leander Leitner 1873-1965

Alexander Lechleitner was born in Delphos, Ohio on April 30, 1873 to Dominic Lechleitner and Barbara Wagner.  Alexander, who later shortened his name to Leander Leitner, received his early education in his home state of Ohio and later in Florida, where his family moved about 1886.  He was particularly fond of drawing and when his family moved to Florida he attended St. Joseph’s Academy in Palatka.  To further his study of the fine arts and music, he attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and later Adelphy College where he was a member of the executive committee of the College Art Club.  Focusing his interests on the fine arts, he took courses at the Brooklyn Institute and the Art Students League in New York.

Leander Leitner maintained a studio in the midtown section of Manhattan for over thirty years and also kept a summer studio in the Wilmington, Delaware suburb known as Brandywine Hundred.  He and his wife Fidonia were also residents of the Delaware artist colony of Arden.

Leander wrote poetry and illustrated books and magazines.  He published three books of poetry and also a brochure on the history and migration of the Lene Lenape Indians.  His keen interest in American Indian tribes and the painting of their legends led to his being given honorary membership in the American Indian Associaton, given the name of Running Beaver.  He also had two books of linoleum prints published.  He is best known for his still life’s, landscapes and illustrations.

Leander Leitner died January 14, 1961 and is buried next to his wife Fidonia in Newark Union Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware.


Clara Chipman Newton 1848-1936

Clara Chipman Newton was born October 26, 1848 in the new settlement of Section 10 (now Delphos) to Silas Chipman Newton and Nancy Graham Bell.  While a true native of Delphos, Miss Newton only spent a few short years in our fair town as her family moved to Cincinnati in 1852.

In Cincinnati, Miss Newton attended Miss Appleton’s school and later the McMicken School of Design where she learned drawing, painting and wood carving.  She soon discovered the new art of china painting.  She helped found several women’s art clubs including the Cincinnati Pottery Club in 1879 on which she served as secretary; the Porcelain League, also serving as secretary; the Cincinnati Woman’s club which she helped found in her downtown studio and served as secretary for 25 years and the Crafters Company in 1911 on which, again, she served as secretary.  Miss Newton’s most well known position was as the first secretary for the famous Rookwood Pottery of Cincinnati.  She also served as one of the first decorators for the pottery.  Examples of her work are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.  An oil painting of Clara Chipman Newton by M. Louise McGlaughlin also resides in the Smithsonian.

Clara Chipman Newton passed away December 8, 1936 in Cincinnati and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in that city.

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