WILMINGTON — The birthplace of publishing company Orange Frazer Press is also the birthplace of its namesake — the late 19th-century Wilmington distinguished citizen, Orange Frazer.
Frazer (1849-1917), a life-long bachelor and man of many interests, was, at different times, a grocer on South Street, worked at the local post office, an amateur weatherman, world traveler, photographer, newspaper travel writer, book collector, clerk of the Ohio Supreme Court, and avid bird watcher. The latter is of particular interest because his family home was located where Kentucky Fried Chicken now stands.
Over the past 35 years, Publisher Marcy Hawley and Editor John Baskin have been the welcome recipients of small items relative to Frazer’s life: a scarab brought back from his trip to Egypt, a door plaque from the old Hale Hospital given in his memory, several scrapbooks of his photographs, and a letter on orange stationary (his hallmark).
However, they have the sense that many more items exist that might help them create a deeper appreciation of the many facets of his life.
For instance, we read that upon his return from Egypt, he had in his possession the head of a mummy. Once home, he kept it on the bedpost of his bed and had many dreams about its life. And while we likely won’t learn that said head has survived the last 100 years — even though previously it had survived several thousand — we do think that other items may still be in a closet, a drawer, a barn loft, or attic.
Orange Frazer Press would like to celebrate Mr. Orange Frazer, now immortalized through a company which has published over 400 book titles in his name, by documenting through pictures, these items. Thus, we send a shout-out to our community.
If, by chance or by design, you have in your possession an item directly related to the late Mr. Orange Frazer and would be willing to have the present Orange Frazer book publisher scan or take a photograph of that item, we would be in your debt.
Our office would welcome a call at 937-382-3196 or a scheduled visit; directions are at www.orangefrazer.com.
By coincidence we’re just a few blocks west of Orange Frazer’s home — and if the wind is just right, you can often smell chicken cooking.