Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker
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52-18 Library Entrance

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Side A: William E. Telling. William E. Telling (1869-1938) was one of ten children born in a farmhouse on this property. As a boy he sold strawberries and milk door-to-door and worked in a local sandstone quarry until at age 23 he purchased a milk route. He and four brothers formed the Telling Brothers Ice Cream Company in 1895 with William as president. A merger in 1915 formed the Telling Belle Vernon Dairy Company that was the first local distributor of pasteurized, glass-bottled milk. Their unique bacteriological laboratory (later Sealtest Laboratories) developed the baby food S.M.A. His recipe for success was "just work and work and work some more; do the work of two and draw the pay of one." Side B: William E. Telling Mansion. In 1928, William E. Telling began construction of the 26-room, 20,000 square foot mansion designed by John Sherwood Kelly. The residence is on the original Telling family homestead. Its style is a mix of English Tudor and French Normandy. The interior includes an abundance of marble, hand carved wood door panels, and hand adzed beams and rafters. Telling enjoyed the greenhouse, aviary for exotic birds, mushroom cellar, and conservatory for tropical plants. The house was the first air-cooled residence in the area. Telling occupied the home until his death in 1938. The Cuyahoga County Public Library System purchased the property in 1951. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.