Saturday, February 1, 2003

Obituary: Lee L. Schmolt, led historical society

Inspired to start group in Price Hill

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mrs. Schmolt

Lee Louise Schmolt, one of the founders of the Price Hill Historical Society, died Tuesday from complications of cancer and Alzheimer's disease at Mercy Franciscan-Western Hills. The longtime Price Hill resident was 79.

Mrs. Schmolt gained an appreciation for architecture and history because of her frugality.

Growing up in Over-the-Rhine, she insisted on walking everywhere to save the 10-cent streetcar fare, according to her husband, retired Cincinnati firefighter Larry Schmolt.

She told her children that her mode of transportation was "ankle express," her husband said.

Mrs. Schmolt and her sister, Charlotte Sanzere of Delhi Township, used to walk up Sycamore Street hill to visit an aunt who lived at the top. Along the way they admired the homes they passed.

After their wedding, the Schmolts moved to Price Hill, where they raised three daughters. Mrs. Schmolt loved to walk through her neighborhood, enchanted with its beautiful homes.

"She always admired the many large houses in the area and always would remark, `Wouldn't it be nice to know something about who built them and first lived in them?'" her husband recalled.

Thus was born the idea to create a historical society. Larry Schmolt, who was president of the Price Hill Civic Club, rounded up 10 other Price Hill residents with an interest in its history and the group began researching homes for a book, Price Hill, Preserving Yesterday Today for Tomorrow.

Today the society has its own home where 350 members work on researching and preserving Price Hill's history. It has enlisted the help of Walter Langsam,an architectural historian and art history professor at the University of Cincinnati, who has delivered slide presentations on the history of Price Hill's homes.

The group gave the Schmolts - its first two members - a lifetime membership.

In addition to her husband and sister, survivors include three daughters, Kathleen Blessinger of Delhi Township, and Mary Ann Thomasand Pamela Greely, both of Green Township; and eight grandchildren.

Mass of Christian burial is 10 a.m. todayat St. Lawrence Church, 3680 Warsaw Ave., Price Hill. Burial will be at St. Joseph New Cemetery.

Memorials: Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati 45242; or Price Hill Historical Society, 3640 Warsaw Ave., Cincinnati 45205.


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