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Meet Kenneth Hammontree

Call him General Eisenhower or General Patton.  Or call him Tecumseh, legendary Shawnee leader.  How about Daniel Boone?  Or better yet, just call him Kenneth Hammontree.  No, he’s not identity challenged, he’s Mr. Ohio History–a walking historical library.

After college, Ken began teaching American and Ohio History.  He was surprised to learn that many of his students did not share his excitement about our past.  Realizing the students had a difficult time relating to our past; Ken came up with an unusual plan.  He would occasionally teach the class in first person, impersonating an historical figure.  His first performance was as Johnny Appleseed.

That was the humble beginning of Living History Productions.  Through the years, Ken has accumulated various wigs, make-up, costumes and historical characters.  After teaching, Ken decided to go into engineering design with Marathon Oil Company, but wanted to continue bringing living history to Ohio, so he continues to appear at schools, libraries, historical societies and other events throughout the state.

Ken adds a new historical character every few years, but he insists they meet strict criteria before joining his repertoire.  The characters must display integrity, have moral credibility and be someone that young people can look up to and learn from.  Ken thoroughly researches each new addition right down to the clothing and world events that surrounded that character’s period.

Although he has portrayed numerous people over the years, his favorite characters are George Washington, Generals Eisenhower and Patton, and of course, his first character Johnny Appleseed.  In addition to being a thespian and historical role player, Ken is also a published author.  His first book, “There Was a Time” (Available on Amazon) is a historical novel centering on Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed in the battle of Gettysburg.

Harry S. Truman

U.S. PRESIDENT

(1884-1972) Outspoken, sometimes outrageous, always full of uncommon insights with the down-home, across-the-back-fence feeling of a great storyteller. The thirty-third president went into his Presidency completely in the dark on National and international events, and yet had to make some of the most difficult decisions any President had to make up to that time.

Willing to comment frankly on his decision to drop the atomic bomb but typically humble about his own impact on American history. After firing General MacArthur, Truman left Washington with the lowest approval rating of any President in American history. Without any pension or Secret Service protection, he traveled back to his home in Missouri only to borrow money to live on until he could write his memoirs.

Alan Turing

ENGLISH MATHEMATICIAN

(1912-1954) Turing was a brilliant mathematician in Quantum Mechanics, Logic and was the creator of the “Turing Machine,” the forerunner of the modern-day computer.  Upon British declaration of war in 1939, Turing  began full-time work at the wartime cryptanalytic headquarters in Bletchly Park in England.

Turing took up where the Polish work on the Enigma became limited in the very particular way the Germans had been using the Enigma.  The way forward lay in Turing’s generalization of the Polish Bombe into a far more powerful device capable of breaking any Enigma message where a small portion of plain text could be guessed correctly.

From late 1940 through the war Turing Bombe made reading of the Luftwaffe, German Naval and Army communications and open letter to the Allies.  One could say that Alan Turing saved the Battle of the Atlantic, prepared the way for D-Day and shortened World War Two by three years.

Oskar Schindler

GERMAN INDUSTRIALIST

(1908-1974) Oskar Schindler was an ethnic German industrialist credited with saving over 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunition factories, which were located in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic respectively.

George Washington

U.S. PRESIDENT, REVOLUTIONARY WAR GENERAL

(1732-1799) The father of our country is presented in first person with Washington as a surveyor, a fearless explorer, a military soldier, and the first President of the new United States.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

U.S. PRESIDENT, WWII GENERAL

Eisenhower’s thoughts and actions are brought to life as he approaches the eve of “Operation Overlord,” D-Day and June 6, 1944 which was the Longest Day.

General George S. Patton

U.S ARMY GENERAL

(1885-1945) George Smith Patton, Jr. was an officer in the United States Army best known for his leadership as a general during World War II. He also developed a reputation for eccentricity and for his sometimes-controversial gruff outspokenness.

In 1944, Patton assumed command of the U.S. Third Army, which under his leadership advanced farther, captured more enemy prisoners, and liberated more territory in less time than any other army in history.

Daniel Boone

FRONTIERSMAN

(1734-1820) Boone’s Indian name was “Sheltowee” (Big Turtle) and he was known to the various tribes throughout the area as the long hunter or long rifle. Boone was one of the first real heroes on the wilderness frontier, as well as one of the founding fathers of the state of Kentucky. In 1799, he moved his family to Missouri due to the increasing population of Kentucky.

John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed)

PIONEER/MISSIONARY

(1774-1845) John Chapman was a nurseryman, missionary, humanitarian, and early pioneer of the Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana wilderness. Chapman planted over one thousand acres in apple trees across three states and traveled more miles than any other recorded pioneer of his generation.

Tecumseh

SHAWNEE WAR CHIEF

(1768-1813) Tecumseh was know as the “Panther Crossing the Night Sky.” Born in in Ohio in the Kispokotha Sept of the Shawnee Nation, Tecumseh became the war chief of his nation and fought against the expansion of the United States into the Midwest Indian lands.

Simon Kenton

ARMY SCOUT, WOODSMAN, INDIAN FIGHTER

(1755-1836) Kenton’s fame as an army scout, woodsman, and Indian fighter is well documented in the annals of Kentuckey and Ohio history. By the time he had reached the age of twenty-one, his exploits and courage had become legendary throughout the frontier settlements of Ohio and Kentucky. Kenton was also one of the true founding fathers of Ohio.

Corporal Jack Skelly

CIVIL WAR SOLDIER

(1841-1863) Civil War soldier Jack Skelly was the beau of Jenny Wade of Gettysburg, PA. Corporal Skelly was fatally wounded at the Battle of Winchester in June of 1863 when the Confederates advanced North. Jenny Wade was killed on the third day of fighting at Gettysburg. Neither one knew of the others death.

Other Characters

  1. Thomas Jefferson
  2. Andrew Carnegie
  3. Douglas Macarthur
  4. John D. Rockefeller
  5. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  6. Meriwether Lewis
  7. Simon Girty
  8. Reverend David Zeisberger
  9. The Sons of Liberty
  10. Patriots in Petticoats

 

Upcoming Events

  1. Johnny Appleseed

    March 26 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  2. General Eisenhower

    April 3 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
  3. Oskar Schindler

    April 12 - April 13
  4. Thomas Jefferson

    April 24 @ 6:00 am - 7:00 am