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.

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.

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


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.


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


The criteria for a nomination are: the person must have been deceased for more than ten years, thus ensuring the legacy of the nominee; must meet two of the following, born in the city of Defiance, lived in the city of Defiance for at least eight years, died a resident of the City of Defiance, or buried in the City of Defiance; in addition, the nominee must be associated with a significant historical, cultural or humanitarian activity in Defiance or must have brought recognition to Defiance.


William A. Diehl

William A. Diehl
1917 – 2009

Philanthropist and Community Leader

Diehl’s philanthropy led to the creation of the Thoreau Wildlife Reserve and Glenn Park an assisted living complex. He served as a trustee at the Defiance College and on numerous local and state boards, foundations, and institutes.

2020 Class

Defiance City Hall of Fame

Pearl Dowe

Pearl Dowe
1886 – 1977

Patriot and Public Servant

Dowe served the United States of America in the Army Nurse Corp during WW I and as a 1st Lieutenant in WW II. As a public health nurse she processed immigrants on Ellis Island. President Eisenhower honored her with a medal of achievement.

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 Wars

This 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.



Between Two Worlds: The Life of Alexander McKee, Buggies and Wagons and Trucks, Oh My!, and Hail  the Purple and the Gold: Defiance College Sports History

A new presentation date will be posted in the near future. Thank you for your patience!

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

Contact Information:

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


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 are not available at this time.
Closed Holidays


Randall Buchman, City Historian

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


The Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum in its effort to keep its visitors, volunteers, and staff safe will be closed when Defiance County is in the red or purple zones. It will be open when the county is in an orange or yellow designation. Updates will be posted in a mass email, on Facebook and on the Tuttle Museum website.

In the meantime, follow the Tuttle Museum on Facebook for the weekly nuggets of Defiance history postings. If you are not a member of Facebook and would like to receive the information, email and state your request. We will add you to the Tuttle.Museum.Facebook email list.

Thank you for your patience as the Tuttle Museum navigates the challenges COVID-19 presents. Please feel free to contact the museum at or by calling 419-782-0746.

For everyone’s safety the following measures have been instituted when the museum is open to the public.
• Enter the museum healthy.
• Six guests may be in the museum at a time.
• Masks and face coverings are recommended, but not required unless there is a state mandate for wearing masks.
• Sanitize your hands at the dispenser.
• Maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.

Dear Tuttle Guests and Friends,

The health and welfare of the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum’s staff, board members, volunteers, and guests are of the utmost importance.  In keeping with the directives and guidelines put forth by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Tuttle will comply with the following postponements and closures.

  • Postponed – Town and Gown Buggies and Wagons and Trucks, Oh My! Thursday, October 8, 2020 to Thursday, April 15, 2021
  • No group visits to the museum will be scheduled indefinitely

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

Randy Buchman, Richard Rozevink, Jan Bechtel, Herman Dally, Judy Dally


November 26, 2020 – Thanksgiving

December 24, 2020 – Christmas Eve

December 31, 2020 – New Year’s Eve




  • Booze, Ballots, and a Better World
  • Turnbull: Wheels, Wagons, and Motor Trucks

Thomas E. Keller Trucking , affiliate of Keller Logistics Group – Turnbull Exhibit Corporate Sponsor



Defiance’s Attic – SUMMER

Bridging the Maumee: Clinton Street Bridges

Defiance City Hall of Fame 2020

While the Tuttle Museum has been closed, new exhibits have been created and old ones updated.

  • 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
  • Summer
    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.
  • Bridging the Maumee: Clinton Street Bridges
    The exhibit on the Clinton Street Bridges has been updated with items discovered during construction by ODOT personnel. See what’s been dug up!
  • Defiance City Hall of Fame
    The Defiance City Hall of Fame induction, originally scheduled for May, was postponed until this fall. However, the display of photos and materials honoring our 2020 inductees William A. Diehl and Pearl Dowe is now up in the Tuttle. We look forward to being able to properly honor these outstanding Defiance citizens Tuesday, September 29, at the Stroede Center for the Arts at 7:00 P.M.


This collection of long guns, pistols, knives, and other related items is from the time of General Anthony Wayne’s campaign and the building of Fort Defiance, and were used by Natives, British, and Americans. Most are authentic weapons of the period, although there are a few modern reproductions.


Queen Anne’s Pistol


Defiance Passenger Depot

Showcased are artifacts from the former Defiance passenger depot, which curtailed services in 1971, and was burned by vandals in 2005.  A variety of related artifacts add to the story of the importance of the B & O Railroad to the development and growth of Defiance.

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

Defiance’s Attic

The Defiance’s Attic exhibit features objects from the Tuttle’s permanent collection that are recent gifts or are items that cannot be used alone as part of a major exhibit. Currently featured are old promotional items from downtown Defiance merchants and businesses, a WW II Civil Defense helmet, apothecary jars, and many pieces of Defiance memorabilia saved in Defiance attics over the years.

Defiance’s Attic

The Defiance’s Attic exhibit presents highlights of the history of the Defiance City Schools and the Defiance College with a display of a variety of articles that offer a glimpse into the education story.

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

The Tuttle is now on Facebook! Please like and follow our page Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum for Defiance history and events.

If you are not a member of Facebook and would like to receive the information in an email, let us know by emailing your request to and you will be added to the list. You may opt out at any time.

Do you have items that may be of interest to others?

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.

Was grandma a suffragist? Next summer marks 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted women the vote. The Tuttle is planning an exhibit to mark this important event, but we need your help. In order to tell the story of the fight for the vote in the Defiance area, we’d like you to share family stories, photographs, and other items. So check your attic for diaries, scrapbooks, and other memorabilia of the movement. Contact us on Facebook, by email at, or call us at 419-782-0746. Thanks for your help!



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.