Winfield Scott Limes

Winfield Scott Limes

South Bloomfield, Pickaway County, Ohio, USA
Death 16 May 1959 (aged 84)
Lorain, Lorain County, Ohio, USA
Burial Lorain, Lorain County, Ohio, USA
Plot Map page 13, Lot 5790, grave 4 from south
Memorial ID 16403175 · View Source
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"Newspapers - Newspapers - Newspapers" ©
By Linda Jean Limes Ellis
In the world of real estate, "location - location - location" is crucial for a successful purchase. Likewise, the use of "newspapers - newspapers - newspapers" leads to success in ancestry research.

Beloved early memories of my grandfather, Winfield Scott Limes who died on May 16, 1959 when I was eleven years old, have never left me. Through the years I acquired photographs of him and my grandmother along with their obituaries, certified birth, death and marriage records, but it was not until I recently read about "Scott" Limes' life in several Elyria Chronicle-Telegram newspaper stories that I learned of his loyalty to the Lathers Unions in Ohio, and his devotion to his family.

During the 1950's a number of "The Labor Scene" columns appeared in the Elyria, Ohio Chronicle-Telegram. Thanks to, I learned my grandfather's name appeared in many of them. Until his death, he continued to be active in the affairs of Local 171 of the Wood Wire and Metal Lathers Union. The Chapter spanned Lorain County and Sandusky regions. He served as it's vice-president for 17 years. All of this and more I learned from reading the newspaper accounts of his life.

On July 25, 1956, page 23, the Chronicle-Telegram ran a full-length feature story on my grandfather, complete with large photograph that shows a left profile of him seated at a desk - his left hand holding a telephone receiver up to his ear - with pen in right hand. The caption read: "Still active in his union, W. Scott Limes, 81 of 1234 9th St., Lorain, at work assigning lathers to jobs over a large area. Business agent of AFL-Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers, Local 171, Limes was a founder of the international union and its first president of the first local, No. 1., in Columbus."

I have a couple of early photographs of him dressed in his Local 171 baseball uniform. In one, he stands poised to deliver a fast pitch, and in the other his gloved hand is outstretched waiting to catch a just hit ball. The newspaper account included a mention of him playing second base for this team in 1906. Another "I didn't know that" fact.

The local reporter interviewing grandfather for his life story had a "way with words" and his "take" on what made "Scott" Limes "tick" touched my heart and tickled my funny bone at the same time! He was quite complimentary in his description of grandfather's physique. "His large, lank frame finds easy chairs uneasy for long-spell sitting." I recall my grandfather being "bigger-boned" than my dad, but this account clarified my recollections of him. I suppose by today's ideals of who would be "lean and lank" grandfather might not qualify, but that was 1956 and the standards were more kindly to men of his age.

The importance of grandfather's family was not forgotten. His wife (who was deceased), names of their four sons, mention of 9 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren were included.

The final paragraph quotes my grandfather as saying, "Fishing – I don't think a man can get too much of that." Fishing was one of the common bonds my dad had with his father. That tradition was passed down to me and my dad as I was his "fishing buddy" by age four.

Reading this newspaper interview of my grandfather brought this part of my life together for me. I was too young to understand when the article was printed, but I am most thankful now that it was microfilmed and preserved.


Scott and Harry Limes
Father and Son Lathers Who Built Their Dreams in Lorain County, Ohio ©

By Linda Jean (Limes) Ellis
August, 2009

My grandfather, Winfield Scott (AKA Scott or W.S.) Limes, was born January 20, 1875 near Ashville in Pickaway County, Ohio. He was the oldest in the family of three sons and two daughters born to John and Sarah Catherine (Duvall) Limes. John was a plasterer by trade.

At age 17, Scott began working by assisting his father and this experience led him to the lathing end of the construction business. In 1899, Scott Limes became a founding member and first president of the AFL – International Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers Local No. 1 in Columbus, Ohio.

In the January 15, 1904 issue of the monthly publication, The Lather, under the "Correspondence" column, is a report for Local No. 1 dated December 27, 1903, Columbus, Ohio.

"Dear Sir and Brother: The weather is very cold here; it was 5 below zero last night, but it has warmed up some today. Work here is at a stand-still now on account of the cold weather. Some of the boys have not done anything for the last two weeks. There is a good prospect for another good summer's work here. There is going to be two steel buildings here in the spring, one to be 11 and the other 14 stories. The architects are all busy and claim they have more work on hand now than they had last year."

"I hope Local No. 1 will be on a better basis next year than ever before, but right now it looks very discouraging for we have a hard time keeping what few we have in line. With best wishes for you and all the Locals, I remain

Yours truly, W. S. LIMES, Sec'y."


From the "Lorain Journal", Lorain, Ohio - May 17, 1959:

"'Scott' Limes, Pioneer Lathers' Union Member, Dies After Fall"

"LORAIN - Winfield Scott Limes, 84, vice president of the Lorain County Building Trades Council and well known in lathers union activities, died yesterday at 9:25p.m. in St. Joseph Hospital as a result of injuries suffered Friday in a fall in his home, 1234 Ninth Street.

A neighbor found Mr. Limes after the fall lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the basement stairs, police reported. Mr. Limes suffered a skull fracture, broken arm and dislocated right shoulder.

In 1899, Mr. Limes helped organize the international union of AFL-Wood, Wire and Metal Lathers and became the first president of its first local No. 1 in Columbus.

Mr. Limes has been vice president of the Lorain County Building Trades Council for 17 years. Ranking as probably the longest-active union member in the county, he was business agent of Lathers Union Local 171.

From the beginning of his union membership 57 years ago Limes "always knew the labor movement would amount to something." He had been a lather for 60 years, starting in Columbus at age 17 to assist his father, a plasterer.

In 1904 Limes moved to Lorain, attracted by extensive building under way, including Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point. He was in the county four years and then went back to Columbus. Another wave of building in 1920 brought him back to Lorain again, this time to stay.

Mr. Limes' wife, Essie, died in 1948. Survivors are two sons, Albert; Elyria, and Harry, Lorain; nine grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Warren and Thomas, Columbus, and a sister, Mrs. Mabel Thomas, Balboa, California.

Friends will be received in the Reichlin-Cooley Funeral Home where services will be tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Rev. Edward Spencer will officiate. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery.

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  • Created by: Linda Jean Limes Ellis
  • Added: 31 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16403175
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Winfield Scott Limes (20 Jan 1875–16 May 1959), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16403175, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Lorain, Lorain County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Linda Jean Limes Ellis (contributor 46864930) .