Book details former Reds owner’s times in Jennings County

The latest book written by Tom Rice details the life of the man after which the Crosley State Fish and Wildlife Area was named.

“The Sportsman: Powel Crosley Jr. The Man and the Land” is Rice’s latest literary effort that also serves as a fundraiser for the Jennings County Historical Society.

“I promised the historical society I would write a book every year as a fundraiser for them,” said Rice, also the county’s historian. “Problem was I was running out of topics that interested me. It was time for a new book, and I thought I was out of good topics when I stumbled across a story about Powel Crosley.”

“The more I learned about him, the more fascinated I became, and the book just came together,” Rice added.

Explaining that his research about Crosley led him into stories about an era of Jennings County history that he knew little about, Rice said he decided his new book would detail Crosley’s life in Jennings County and how it affected the entire community then and now.

Born in 1886, Crosley was an inventor, industrialist and wealthy businessman who lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. He built Crosley automobiles and once owned the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.

Crosley bought more than 3,000 acres of Jennings County property in 1927. He used the property to entertain guests from around the world on hunting trips and outdoor adventures. Crosley built a hunting lodge with eight bedrooms, a swimming pool and developed roads, ponds and bridges throughout the property.

“There were already books about Crosley’s life and businesses. I decided I wanted to do a book about his life and times in Jennings County,” Rice said.

Rice interviewed several people who had once worked on the Crosley property and did extensive research on life in Jennings County during the Crosley era.

“I learned many things about Jennings County that I never knew before, like why the bridge we know as the Dog Farm Bridge is called the Dog Farm Bridge. Writing the book turned out to be a real adventure for me,” Rice said.

The book can be purchased at the Jennings County Historical Society Museum gift shop for $10.