This is a follow-up to last month's column about Al. G. Field who established a long-running business, Al. G. Field Greater Minstrels, in 1886. In the early 1900s, he lived on Maple Villa farm off state Route 315.

This is a follow-up to last month's column about Al. G. Field who established a long-running business, Al. G. Field Greater Minstrels, in 1886. In the early 1900s, he lived on Maple Villa farm off state Route 315.

Ray E. Buckingham, who wrote "Delaware County Then and Now," reported that Field's troupe held its pre-season rehearsals in Mt. Gilead in nearby Morrow County. He said they would perform for a week at Delaware's Opera House and a week at the Ohio State Fair.

These local shows were the beginning of their continental tour.

Bill Arter, a writer and illustrator for the Columbus Dispatch Magazine from 1964 to 1971, had a special interest in researching old houses. He featured Al. G. Field's Columbus home on West Third Avenue in the Dec. 15, 1968 edition. He described Field and his wife, Mathilda, as a prosperous couple in 1899 whose neighborhood was aristocratic. The large coach house behind the main house was perfect for them to store the costumes that she designed and made, as well as the minstrel gear.

Arter commented that at the turn of the century, three products made Columbus famous: The Columbus Buggy Co., Peruna, the "feel-good medicine," and Al. G. Field's Greater Minstrels. Field's home office was at 50 Broad St., and Arter described him as a "thoroughgoing Columbusite, active as a bank director, real estate operator and insurance executive."

Arter featured the Maple Villa farm house in a second story. He said "Maple Villa" was spelled out on the slate roof of the barn.

His sketch of the house shows brick pillars with an iron arch, again with "Maple Villa," at the entrance to his beloved farm house.

In the summer, Field would gather the minstrel show cast on the edge of a lake he created on the property, and he would listen to their rehearsals from a row boat in the middle of the lake.

The files at the Powell Liberty Historical Society hold several envelopes with communications between Field and Mrs. Etta M. Case. In 1915, she rented about 60 acres of pasture land to him at $25 for six months. The letterhead from Maple Villa Stock Farm provides evidence of his need for pasture land. He raised French coach stallions, Poland China hogs, and Jersey and Holstein cattle.

Sadly, the house was destroyed by fire in the late 1930s. By then, William Denison of Denison Engineering owned the property and was building a new home. He bought 500 acres, which was more than Field's original land and had a large dairy farm for several decades. In 1975, his widow sold the farm to Ken Manning, who developed Loch Lomond.

Johnny Jones, another Dispatch writer, lived on Olentangy River Road. This columnist, pictured with pipe, hat and horn-rimmed glasses, produced a collection of his work titled "Now Let Me Tell You" in 1950.

He devoted a story to one of Field's song men. Harley Newland had been selected to be the final singer on Christmas night in 1928 when the company finally ended its long run, seven years after Al. G. Field's death. Jones honored Harley Newland with "Minstrel Who Closed Last Show Dies."

When Stephen A. Fitzpatrick produced a history for the Franklinton Centennial in 1897, he described Field as a jolly, rotund man who was "more than a minstrel." He said Field was known for his originality and was a good manager. With regard to Columbus, he lauded him with these words: "He has freely given of his time and money and talent to improve the business conditions of the city, and there are many local charities that know him for the good that he has done."

Liberty Township was a refuge, I believe, for this interesting and successful man in his later years.

He had dreamed of having a farm and living close to nature, and he found it here.

Carole Wilhelm is a member of the Powell Liberty Historical Society.