Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum

Tuttle Logo

Andrew L. Tuttle, a lifelong resident of Defiance, Ohio, bequeathed his extensive collection of Native American artifacts, coins, documents, stamps, military memorabilia, and other artifacts, to the city of Defiance with the stipulation a museum would be established in his name. The City accepted the entire collection in 2003 and steps were taken to catalog and stabilize the collection. The Tuttle, as the museum has been nicknamed, officially opened to the public in May 2011.

Although the museum bears Tuttle’s name, the museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the city of Defiance and the surrounding area. The exhibits tell Defiance’s story by highlighting the who, what, when, where and how. Therefore, the exhibit topics change from time to time to allow more of the story to be told.

Come and view first hand why the city of Defiance has become a “Great Place to Live.”

The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum has been created to foster an understanding and appreciation of the history of the city of Defiance and its immediate surrounding area by responsibly collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting items from the area’s natural and cultural history for the benefit of present and future generations.

Randall L. Buchman

The Tuttle Museum staff is celebrating the life of Randy Buchman, City Historian. The Tuttle Museum was his vision and now his legacy. Our staff will continue the museum’s mission to responsibly collect, conserve, interpret, and exhibit the history of Defiance.

DEFIANCE – Randall L. Buchman passed away peacefully at Glenn Park of Defiance on July 28, 2022, at the age of 93 years.

“Randy” is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Marilyn, his daughter, Debby Coffman and husband, Tom, eldest son, Randy Buchman and wife, Sonia, and youngest son, Kevin Buchman. His grandchildren are Jon and Ben Coffman, children of Debby and Tom, Melissa and Grant Buchman, children of Randy and Sonia, and Natalie and Nathan Buchman, children of Kevin.

Randy was born in Fremont, Ohio, on May 12, 1929. He graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1947, went on to earn a B.A. in History from Heidelberg College in 1952, where he met his wife, Marilyn, during his freshman year in college. He received his M.Ed. at The Ohio State University. After teaching and coaching at the high school level at West Jefferson and Ravenna, Ohio, Randy moved his family to Defiance where he served as a professor, coach, administrator, archeologist, historian and author at Defiance College. Randy also became the first historian for the city of Defiance and curator of the Tuttle Museum.

A private service was held with immediate family.  A celebration of life service was held Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 9 a.m. at St. John United Church of Christ. Schaffer Funeral Home was honored to assist the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to The Buchman Scholar’s Endowment through Defiance College, the Tuttle Museum, the future Buchman Park on the Glaze through the City of Defiance, or St. John United Church of Christ. Online condolences can be given at:

Andrew L. Tuttle and His Legacy

portrait of young andrew tuttleAndrew L. Tuttle is remembered in Defiance as a unique individual who had a passion for collecting fine objects, and who became the primary impetus and benefactor of the current Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum.

Andrew L. Tuttle was born in Defiance, Ohio on August 24, 1918.  During his early years he lived at 211 East High Street, in Defiance, overlooking the Maumee River.  Perhaps his father or grandfather sparked his interest in Native American tools and culture as they trekked the fields of Northwest Ohio looking for artifacts to collect.

Andrew Tuttle graduated from Defiance High School in 1937 and served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945.  He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in business from Harvard University in Cambridge.

Many facets of Tuttle’s life are a mystery, but he definitely was a world traveler whose excursions allowed him to expand his intriguing collection of coins, stamps, sculptures, Native American artifacts, and much more.

Unfortunately, in 2003 Andrew L. Tuttle died in a car accident while returning home to Defiance from Florida.  It was his final wish that his entire collection be a gift to the City of Defiance providing the city would establish a museum in his name.  The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum opened proudly to the public in 2011.

large safeHome Saving and Loan Building

On April 18, 1888, several local businessmen founded The Defiance Home Saving and Loan Association, which grew to serve the financial needs of the community as well as play an important part in the city’s development.  By 1917, the Home Saving and Loan occupied an impressive classic Roman style building at 514 West Third Street.

The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum is proud to call this historic Defiance landmark its current home.


Click on the circles to navigate through the exhibits.

Defiance Machine Works, 1850-1949

Defiance Machine Works had its start as a small foundry by the Miami and Erie Canal. It grew to one of the largest factories in Defiance, producing machinery for manufacturers around the world and had an important role as a war plant in WWI and WWII.   This exhibit is sponsored by the Defiance Chamber of Commerce.                                              


Dinner Bell Foods Inc. grew from a small beginning as Defiance Sausage Works to be a large Defiance area employer with a loyal and dedicated work force. Old photos, documents, dinner belladvertising,and artifacts document Dinner Bell Food, Inc. story.


Journey back in time through the lens of Henry Roehrs in an exhibit of his photographs of Defiance at the turn of the last century.

As cameras and film became available to amateur photographers, Henry Roehrs joined others, like Edward Bronson, snapping pictures of his hometown. Roehrs documented public buildings, businesses, the canal and railroads, and events in Defiance from the early 1900’s. Thanks to a donation of these photos by his granddaughter, Rita Meier, we are able to share them with the community.

Downtown Defiance

Clinton Street Bridge

Locks of Defiance on the Miami and Erie Canal

The Miami and Erie Canal played an important role in the early development and growth of Defiance. Photographs and artifacts give a glimpse into the canal’s history that once was very prevalent in the Defiance downtown area.


Defiance’s Attic, a continuing exhibit of items from the Tuttle’s collection, is now featuring some favorite memories of summer in Defiance. Attend Chautauqua or camp at Island Park; swim at the pool and follow up with ice cream at Conomos’ or Elmer’s Root Beer Stand. Share a picnic of Dinner Bell lunch meats and Bunny Bread, washed down with a Coke or Diehl’s Centennial Beer. Check out these and other Defiance summer memorabilia in Defiance’s Attic.


The Great Black Swamp

This exhibit describes the Great Black Swamp and answers questions regarding its formation, location, size, and impact on the region. Where did it go?


The Turnbull factory once occupied an expansive plant on the south bank of the Maumee, where for over 50 years they produced wagons, wheels, and motor trucks. Follow the story of this Defiance manufacturer in this exhibit. This exhibit is sponsored by Thomas E. Keller Trucking and affiliate of Keller Logistics Group.


Bridging the Maumee River was an important step in the growth of the city of Defiance. Exhibited are images and information about the history of the Clinton Street bridge in its many forms. The exhibit on the Clinton Street Bridges has been updated with items discovered during construction by ODOT personnel. See what’s been dug up!

The Big Three –

Rivers in Defiance

This exhibit describes the impact of the Maumee, Auglaize, and Tiffin Rivers on the Defiance area. The confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers is a major natural feature of the area, used by Native Americans and early European traders and soldiers to identify the region.

Native American Artifacts

The Native American artifacts currently on display represent only a small part of Andrew Tuttle’s collection of ground stone objects and pottery. The items are believed to be artifacts of the Archaic, Glacial Kame, and Adena cultures.

Bird Stone


The German heritage of Defiance from 1800 to 1900 is central to the story of our community. The German immigrants came to the Confluence (Defiance) seeking freedom from the oppressions of their German state. They brought to their new home the energy and ingenuity that created the growth and development of Defiance and its surrounding area. German coins from the Tuttle collection stories and images of the families that settled in the Defiance area are highlighted in this exhibit.


Booze, Ballots, and a Better World

One hundred years ago, women in the United States won the vote and celebrated their first nationwide participation in the 1920 presidential election. The focus of the Booze, Ballots, and a Better World exhibit is the Temperance Movement and the fight for Women’s Suffrage. The exhibit features the stories of women in Defiance and how their activism changed society, and society’s view of women’s place.


The outbreak of America’s Civil War brought great changes and challenges to the money system on both sides of the conflict. The governments of the North and South needed to find ways to keep the economy running, while dealing with paper and metal shortages, and the rising costs of war. These pressures changed our form of currency to this day. Historical figures and classical symbols on coins and paper money expressed the values and ideals of both sides. Come explore this interesting era through a variety of Civil War era currency. The exhibit includes examples of paper money, coins, and other forms of exchange.

Defiance City Hall of Fame

Defiance City Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Nominations

City Historian Randy Buchman and Mayor Fred Schultz created the Defiance City Hall of Fame in 2003. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize the individuals throughout the history of the city of Defiance who have made an impact on the community and beyond.

In order to qualify, a Hall of Fame candidate must be deceased for 10 years and meet two of the following criteria: born in the city of Defiance; lived in Defiance for at least eight years; died a resident of the city; or buried in the city. In addition, the nominee must have brought recognition to Defiance and been associated with a significant activity in the areas of history, culture, humanitarian service, community service, science, education, business or philanthropy. Anyone wishing to nominate a person is asked to provide detailed biographical information, as well as newspaper articles, testimonials, letters, commendations if available, and a photo.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2023 Defiance Hall of Fame through October 2022. Nomination forms are available at City Hall, the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum,, and the Defiance Development and Visitor Bureau. Completed forms need to be returned to the Tuttle Museum by Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

Those chosen by the Hall of Fame committee to be inducted will be honored on Friday, May 12, 2023, at the Stroede Center for the Arts, 319 Wayne Avenue, Defiance, Ohio. Defiance High School students, under the supervision of social studies educator Hans Zipfel, prepare biographical presentations on those chosen for the upcoming Defiance City Hall of Fame induction. The ceremony is held in conjunction with the annual Lilac Festival Saturday, May 14, 2023.

Hall of Fame Nomination Form


2022 Class Defiance City Hall of Fame


Vincent J. Polce

1944 – 2011

Instrumental Music Educator, Director/Conductor, Musician

Vincent Polce, Defiance’s own John Phillip Sousa, enriched the lives of his students and instilled in them a sense of pride through music and by extension the Defiance community.

Class of 2021

Richard W. Stroede

Class of 2020

Pearl Dowe

William A. Diehl

Class of 2019

Leslie Brooke

Evelyn Ryan

Robert Switzer

Class of 2018

Dan Batt

Robert Boehm

John T. Rohrs

Class of 2017

M. Ben Gaeth

August A.W. Martin

Lester Snyder

Class of 2016

William Daoust

John Deindoerfer

Jane Martin Small

Fern Cunningham Stone

Class of 2015

Milt Buckner

Goldie Maag

Justin Coressel

Michael Schultz

Elizabeth (Betty) Wurst

Class of 2014

Thomas Boyd

Robert Bruce Cameron, M.D.

T. T. Shaw

Class of 2013

Reinhard Brown

Jonas Colby, M.D.

Lester L. Schmunk

Class of 2012

Jane Bohlmann

Richard R. Seibel

John H. Shock

Dr. Flossie E. Whitney

Alexander H. Wyant

Class of 2011

Asel Hagerty

John Kissner, Sr.

Gen. Delbert Schultz

Eugene H. Smart

Karl H. Weaner

Class of 2010

Jacob Ballreich

Nicholas Conomos

Erwin Clemens

Paul Goldenetz

Father Charles Ruess

Class of 2009

Nellie Gary

Jonathan Hale

Karl Hench

Claude Henkle

Florence Palmer

Class of 2008

Jacob Greene

Theodore Hench

Oscar W. Jones

John Nolan

Robert Whitaker

Class of 2007

Emilie Brown

Reeder Hutchinson

Joyce Parker Jackman

Alexander Latty

Don Miller

Jane Weisenberger

Class of 2006

Ronald Baringer

William Davison

Ralph Peters

Lee Serrick

Robert Zeller

Class of 2005

John Cameron

Bert Davis

Clarence Derricotte

Harold Palmer

Lee Tustison

Class of 2004

Fred Brown

Robert Compo

Peter Kettenring

Kevin McCann

Horace Sessions

Bud Widmer

Class of 2003

Edward Bronson

John Fauster

Wm. C. Holgate

Augusta Kehnast

Charles Slocum

Major Exhibit On Display:

Defiance During Times of War and Conflict

Defiance During Times of War and Conflict is a major exhibition illustrating the impact that the Great Black Swamp, the rivers, and the wars of national prominence had on the growth and development of Northwest Ohio and Defiance.

Beaver WarsThis exhibition is made up of several different exhibits. The first two exhibits look at the Great Black Swamp and the rivers near Defiance. A third exhibit is the Beaver Wars. These wars were actually a series of conflicts in Northwest Ohio and the Great Lakes region among Native Americans, the Dutch, the French and the British, fought between 1638 and 1700 to establish control of the lucrative beaver pelt trade.

With these exhibits find answers to what the Great Black Swamp was and how it impacted the area. Learn how important the rivers are to the region, and from the Beaver Wars exhibit why beaver pelts were so valuable to the Europeans, what items were being traded, and who was doing the trading. Learn who the voyageurs were. Discover the effect that the Beaver Wars had on area people. Learn how the Native Americans came to depend on the European traders.

The fourth exhibit in the Defiance in Times of War and Conflict is the American Revolution, 1774-1783. This exhibit features text, photos, and reproductions of art work to explain the impact of the American Revolutionary War had on Ohio and especially Northwest Ohio. The major events that took place in Northwest Ohio and the significant personalities from the Native Americans, the British, and the patriots are described.

The final exhibit of the exhibition highlights the Indian Wars, the War of 1812 and the Native American removal. The timeline of events show that the culmination of both the Indian Wars and the War of 1812 resulted in the transfer of control of the northwest Ohio territory to the young nation of the United States and forced the Native Americans from their ancestral home.

This major exhibition is designed to make the museum guests aware that all major conflicts in North America between 1628 and 1843 had some impact in Northwest Ohio and even the area near the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers.

TOWN AND GOWN  – History of Defiance Programs

Free and Open to the Public

2022 Schedule

Tuesday, October 11

Ike Comes to Defiance – Eisenhower’s 1953 Visit
Presenter: Barb Sedlock, Defiance College Archivist
Stroede Center for the Arts – 7:00 P.M.

U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower visited Defiance on October 15, 1953 to lay the cornerstone for the new library at Defiance College.  The presentation will include slides of preparations made in the city and on campus for his visit, pictures of the motorcade, the crowds, and Ike at the
podium.  Selection from the radio recordings made that day and a selection from Ike’s speech will be played as part of the presentation.

Did you know????

–One of the duties of the plainclothesmen in the crowds was to watch for pickpockets.

–The Defiance Automobile Dealers’ Association provided the cars for Ike’s motorcade.

–40 White House newsmen and Ike’s personal physician accompanied him to Defiance.

–108 school buses were used to bring children to campus to see the President.

–The railroad built special flooring and a ramp at the depot for Ike to disembark from, and freight trains were cleared from the area during Ike’s visit.

Tuesday, November 15

Defiance MadeProducts Made in Defiance
Presenter: Ethan Plummer, Collector
Stroede Center for the Arts – 7:00 P.M.

2023 Schedule

Thursday, February 16

Defiance in the Beginning – Early City History
Presenter: Richard Rozevink, Historian
Stroede Center for the Arts – 7:00 P.M.

Thursday, April 13

Road to Wapatomica – Early History of Northwest Ohio
Presenter: Bob Hunter, Author
Stroede Center for the Arts – 7:00 P.M.

The Stroede Center for the Arts is located at 319 Wayne Avenue. An accessible venue entrance is on Third Street.

The Town and Gown programs are sponsored by the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum are open to the public and are free of charge.

Fifty Years and Still Going

rettig family organ

Rettig Family Organ

The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum honors Defiance city businesses that have been operating for over fifty years in the community. Each business is recognized at a civic program hosted by the Defiance City Mayor at the Stroede Center located at 319 Wayne Avenue.

The Rettig Music Store is one example of this. Founder Emma Rettig’s family Miller organ is exhibited inside the museum, along with a timeline of the business’s development. The organ is played as part of special programs.

Contact Information:

The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
514 West Third Street
Defiance, Ohio 43512


Admission to the museum is free and open to the public.

Open Thursdays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
First Sunday of the Month 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tours by Appointment
Closed Holidays


Richard Rozevink, Director

Jan Bechtel, Curator of Exhibits

Herman Dally, Curator of Collections

Judy Dally, Director of Education

Special Events

Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum

Thursdays from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
First Sunday of the month from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
By appointment

“Turnbull: Wheels, Wagons, and Motor Trucks”
“Booze, Ballots, and a Better World: Women’s Activism in Defiance”
“Defiance City Hall of Fame 2022”
“Defiance Machine Works”

Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
514 West Third Street, Defiance, Ohio


Dear Tuttle Guests and Friends,

The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum has resumed its Thursday and Sunday hours. Wearing masks are at the discretion of the visitor and the Tuttle volunteers.

Please keep updated by visiting the Tuttle website and Facebook page. If you need to reach the Tuttle, call 419-782-0746 or email

The Tuttle appreciates your patience during this time of uncertainty for not just our institution but for our nation and globally. You will be apprised as the Tuttle’s future plan unfolds.


Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum’s Staff

Richard Rozevink, Jan Bechtel, Herman Dally, Judy Dally


Sunday, July 3, 2022 –  Independence Day Weekend

Sunday, September 5, 2022 –  Labor Day

Thursday, November 24, 2022 – Thanksgiving

December 22 and 29, 2022 – Christmas






  • Defiance Bank Notes – Collection of AMM LLC. Hamilton Trust, Sponsored by – Premier Bank
  • The History of Defiance Banks – Sponsor, State Bank


  • Booze, Ballots, and a Better World
  • Defiance’s Attic
  • Defiance City Hall of Fame 2022

Turnbull: Wheels, Wagons, and Motor Trucks
The Turnbull factory once occupied an expansive plant on the south bank of the Maumee, where for over 50 years they produced wagons, wheels, and motor trucks. Follow the story of this Defiance manufacturer in a new exhibit. – Thomas E. Keller Trucking, affiliate of Keller Logistics Group – Corporate Sponsor

Defiance’s Attic
Defiance’s Attic, a continuing exhibit of items from the Tuttle’s collection, is now featuring some favorite memories of Goldenetz Grocery store, Vivian Keenan’s dress shop, Defiance Dairy and much more.

Defiance City Hall of Fame
The Defiance City Hall of Fame exhibit now includes a display of photos and materials honoring the 2022 inductee Vincent Polce, Ph. D.

General Anthony Wayne’s Defiance: Images of Fort Defiance

Exhibited July 2019 to July 2020

As part of this year’s commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the building of Fort Defiance, the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum presents “General Wayne’s Defiance: Images of Fort Defiance.”

Many people have found inspiration in the early history of the Defiance area, imagining how the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers might have looked when General Anthony Wayne’s Fort Defiance took shape. No drawings or paintings exist of the Fort as it was when constructed in August of 1794, and no archaeological evidence can tell us exactly what existed above ground. However, local artists have produced paintings, drawings, and other works that try to bring that time to life.
The earliest image that we have of Fort Defiance is the plan drawn by its architect, Major Henry Burbeck. It is included in the exhibit, along with works by local artists Louis Simonis, Lathop Berry, Fern Cunningham, and others. Paintings, drawings, and prints, as well as commemorative plates, tokens, advertising images, and other printed materials display a variety of visions of old Fort Defiance.


A Morning at Fort Defiance, 1794-1796

Artist, Louis Simonis

Defiance’s Attic

The updated exhibit features a miscellaneous collection of items from Defiance businesses of the past and present including pharmacy and beverage bottles, advertising give-a-ways, and decorative pieces. Commemorative plates featuring Fort Defiance and other Defiance sites and institutions are also on display.

Simplex Aircraft Corporation

In 1928 the Simplex Airplane Corporation began manufacturing an airplane it would soon fly and advertise as far away as California. For as little as $3500, a person, even in small Defiance, Ohio, could own a plane of his own – but where was an airport to accommodate this marvel? The Defiance Chamber of Commerce proposed to build that airport and planned to purchase forty acres of land, twenty acres on either side of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, east of Squires Avenue and south of the Children’s Home on Second Street. The Chamber eagerly suggested a community fundraiser – a “flying circus” for Labor Day 1928. A temporary runway was constructed just to encourage other aviators to fly in and show off. Twenty thousand folks crowded the flying circus, so many that the National Guard and local police kept order, and a hospital tent sat close by just in case of accidents. The B & O Railroad sent ten policemen to keep the crowd from overflowing onto the train tracks. The Diehl Brewing Company set up a concession stand selling “Chocolate Baby” for a nickel. There were two bands, a zeppelin, a parachutist whose lines tangled up, thirty airplanes, flying races, but, alas, “wing-walking” was not allowed. The entire story of the Simplex Corporation is the current feature exhibit at the Tuttle Museum.

Tuttle Coins from the American Colonies

The Andrew Tuttle collection

1765 mexico pillar dollar

of coins and currency is extensive, including traditional and nontraditional coinage and currency from many countries and time periods. Presently coins from the United States Colonial Era are displayed in the massive vault that was part of the former Home Saving and Loan, and which now is an attraction of the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum.

Odd and Curious Money

Katanga Cross

Katanga Cross

Money includes more than just paper bills and metal coins. For thousands of years, countries and cultural groups have developed their own unique forms of exchange.

Andrew L. Tuttle collected currency,coins and various forms of money from countries all over the world. Featured in this exhibit are some of the oddest and largest pieces from his collection, such as a piece shaped like the body of an alligator, shoe money, pieces pierced with holes and those shaped like knives or straight razors. The exhibit attempts to answer questions regarding the history of money and how it has been used through the years.

apothecary jars

Apothecary Jars


apothecary jars

Apothecary Jars


Jazz Greats Milt Buckner and “Wild Bill” Davison

The lives of Milt Buckner and “Wild Bill” Davison, two noted jazz musicians from Defiance, are highlighted in this exhibit. Their contributions and innovations to the world of jazz music are presented with photographs, posters and their music.

Milt Buckner
"Wild Bill" Davison

Edwin Phelps Memoirs

Edwin Phelps was an early pioneer in Defiance County. As an entrepreneur and a civic leader holding city and county offices, Phelps was instrumental in the county’s development. He recorded his life’s journey in a memoir.
Some of the Phelps memoirs were published in the Defiance County Express in 1886 and 1987 and reprinted in the Defiance Crescent-News in 1934. Another portion was published in the Northwest Ohio Quarterly in 1945.
Those articles, in PDF format, can be accessed through the Defiance County Genealogical Society at

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Help the Tuttle.

Residents can share local history-related items with the Tuttle by calling 419-782-0746 to arrange an evaluation time with a staff member.

Monetary Donations

Thank you for supporting the Tuttle Museum with your monetary donation. Please consider including the Tuttle Museum as part of your estate planning.

Your donation will perpetuate the museum’s mission to responsibly collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit the area’s natural and cultural history for the benefit of future generations.

Tax deductible monetary donations can be made to the Tuttle Museum by check or cash. Donations can be sent to the Tuttle Museum, 514 West Third Street, Defiance OH 43512.