Road might be named for engineer

We see street and road names everyday.

But do you ever wonder how those names are selected, who that person was and why they have a street or road named for them?

During the Summer Arts Festival in Springfield, a gentlemen suggested I write a column about Lammes Lane, where he lives, and said it’s named after Benjamin Lamme. Those familiar with Bethel Twp. in western Clark County probably also know about that road, which connects U.S. 40 and Lower Valley Pike.

Research indicates he was born Benjamin Garver Lamme, on Jan. 12, 1864. Ohiohistorycentral.com says he was born “near Springfield and attended the Ohio State University, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering in 1888. After spending several months as a farmer, Lamme accepted a position with the Westinghouse Company in 1889.”

That website also indicates “Lamme quickly became one of the leading engineers at Westinghouse” and “had 162 patents to his credit at the time of his death” on July 8, 1924. “Among his major credits was the design of the power plant for the Manhattan Elevated Railway in New York City. He also was the primary designer of Westinghouse’s display at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Ill. in 1893. In 1903, Lamme became Westinghouse’s chief engineer.”

Lamme designed a variety of electrical equipment, including some used in what was for many years the largest power station in the world, the Adams Power Plant at Niagara Falls. He also won a number of electrical science, engineering and power industry awards. And he “also engaged in philanthropy, including endowing two scholarships in engineering at the Ohio State University and supporting numerous French children left as orphans during World War I.”

But he was not the only Lamme to make his mark in Clark County. W.H. Beers’ “The History of Clark County, Ohio, 1881” mentions, “John and James Lamme came to Clark County in 1802 (and) settled in Bethel Township in 1806.”

It also states that “William E. Lamme served as county commissioner” and William O. Lamme is listed as a county commissioner from 1867-1870.

Three Lammes are listed as serving in the Civil War. Gustavus B. Lamme was a member of the 3rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company D (formerly the Old Springfield Light Infantry) and was wounded. Edwin H. Lamme was a private in the 110th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. And John F. Lamme was a 2nd Lt. in 1st Kentucky Infantry, Company C.

Beers also mentions “(t)he Lamme Cemetery, in Sec. 14, is quite an old one.”

At this point, I am still trying to verify for whom Lammes Lane is named.

Contact me at Darryl.Bauer@cmgohio.com or 328-0341.

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