More on Fostoria 2003
Six Kramb Brothers Honored
(Veterans of U.S. armed services)
From Fostoira Focus Oct. 26, 2003
Article by John Montgomery
Carl Kramb can remember the day he and about 15 others left Fostoria on a bus to join the Navy during World War ll in late Octover 1943.
As he boarded the bus at the Center Street Restaurant, he heard a parade forming around the corner. Kramb thought people in town were getting together for a send off for the group, but he was mistaken.
"I thought it was for me and the other guys" he said "We found out later it was the Halloween Parade."
Now nearly 60 years later, his mistake will become reality.
Sunday, Oct.26, 2003 Kramb and his brothers, all veterans, will be the special guests at the town's
annual Halloween Parade, sponsored by Fostoria Focus and WFOB 1430, when it steps off down Main Street at 5 p.m.
"It's quite an honor, and I'm real pleased that whoever is sponsoring the parade, is reconizing veterans," Ed said. I think that's great.
"I feel honored to be involved, but I think it's great that the parade is honoring all the veteran." he said.
Five of the six Krambs --- Bill, Carl, Walt, Ed and Tom --- will take part in the parade. Bob, the oldest passed away in the mid 1980's
Bob, Bill, Carl and Walt all served during World War ll while Ed and Tom served during the Korean War.
Tom said he can remember his Mom, Anna, being upset when Bob becarme the first to leave home. But he said she and their father, Lewis, were very proud of their sons.
"I do remember when I was still in school that the front window (in the home) down there on College Avenue had four stars. Mom and dad were both very proud of that," he said .
"Dad, worked at the Carbon, and they tell me he was very proud of his sons in the service." he said.
That service began when the Army drafted Bob in February 1942, and turned the 1936 St. Wendelin High graduate into a tank sergeant and forward observer for the 69th artillery Battalion of the 3rd Armored Division.
He was wounded by shrapnel in the Battle of Mons in the fall of 1944 and received the Purple Heard. Bob rejoined his unit just after Christmas that year and saw action in the counterattack of the Battle of the Bulge.
He was in the fourth tank to enter Cologne.
Bob returned home in the late summer of 1945 and he and his wife Elloise, rasied five children and saw the birth of several grandchildren.
Bob also held several jobs, including a partnership in the B&B Cafe in Bettsville. He contracted polio in 1956 and sold his part of the cafe and later went to work for a credit union in Fremont.
He died in the Mid-1980's
Bill, the valedictorian of the St. Wendelin High class of 1941, followed his older brother into the service in late 1942.
He became a pilot and first lieutenant for the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific and flew C46's and C47's to transport troops and supplies.
He served with the 433rd Troop Carrier Group in the 69th Squardron and saw action in New Guinea , the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Japan.
Bill returned home in early 1946, went to college for a couple of years and began a career at Excello.
He and his wife, Maxine, married in 1949. They raised seven children and have 21 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He retired from Excello in 1986.
Carl admits he was sort of the black sheep of the family. An Army draftee like many others, he went to Toledo for his physical, where physicals for the other branches of the armed services were also being held. "That's when thing's got switched."
"When you got to a certain point, they asked you, What do you want to be in?" And I said. "Well I guess it doesnt' make any difference what the heck I want to be in." Carl said.
He was told that they needed people in each branch. So he responded. "I guess the Navy will be all right."
The 1942 SWHS graduate joined the Navy in 1943 and became a plank owner of a troop transport ship USS Gen. M.L. Hersey. A plank owner is a seaman who is part of the original crew of a new ship.
He was assigned to the ship in January 1944 as a radioman second class, but had to wait until that July before the ship ws completed and commissioned. He and others on the ship spent "World War ll transporting troops back and forth across the Pacific.
Carl was discharged in April 1946 and went to college at Xavier for a few years before joining the workforce at Atlas. He retired from Atlas in 1983.
He and his wife, Jeannie who he met at Xavier, raised eight children before she passed away. They also have 15 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Walt, a 1944 SWHS graduate, served as a radioman in the Army Air Corps from February 1944-August 1946.
In fact, he was such a good radioman, that the Army Air Corps turned him into a instructor and he spent his entire tour of duty in the United States.
After earning his discharge, he went to work for the Fruth Machine & Tool for a while before working 25 years for the Post Office and retiring in 1986.
He married twice. His first wife, Joan, passed away after 46 years of marriage. His second wife's name is Jenny. Walt has five children and he and Jenny have a combined 30 grandchildren. 16 of which are his.
Ed, who graduated from SWHS in 1949, attained the rank fo first sergeant in the Army, serving from February 1951 - February 1954.
As a section leader in a mechine gun platoon of Dog Co. in the 32st Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, he saw fronline acton in Korea for a little over nine months and took part in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and the Battle of Old Baldy.
Among his hornors for his service, Ed received the Bronze Star.
When he returned home, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and earned a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Detroit.
Ed. and his wife, Evelyn raised six children and have 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He retired in 1993 after 34 years of working in the electrical industry in Cincinnati. He has since turned his attention to history and writing, and recently published the book "Buckeye Battlefields' about military conflicts that took plave in Ohio.
Tom, the youngest of the Kramb bunch, graduated from St. Wendelin High in 1950.
In 1952, he left his job at Union Carbine and went into the Army in 1952 and was sent to Korea as part of the Army medical corps in April 1953.
There, the corporal was part of the 37th Preventative Medical Co. of the 8th Army, attached to the 7th Division.
A lot of his duties involved helping fellow soldiers deal with mosquitoes and a type of mite that caused hemorrhagic fever.
He was discharged from the Army in September 1954 and worked at Union Carbide until he retired in 1988.
Tom married his wife, Carrie, in 1956. they raised three children and have four grandchildren.
History of the Black Cat Restaurant
"The place to take your best girl !"
From R/t Oct 23, 2003
Article impart by Gene Kinn.
The Black Cat is Fostoria's oldest eating establishment and is the only full-service bar and restaurant within the city. It was originally opened in 1928 by Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Burkhart, and their son, Cecil. Then it was a small barbecue stand. It had carhops, severed milkshakes, and sold gas.
Following the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the first license for the sale of 3.2 beer in Fostoria was granted to the Black Cat.
The business was closed in 1943 when Cecil entered the armed forces and his parents retired. Following the war, Cecil and his wife, Helen opened the Hays Bar in downtown Fostoria and operated it until 1950 when they reopened the Black Cat.
The facility was later sold to Orville and Zip Twining. They divorced and Zip continued to operate the restaurant. Following her death ownership passed to Sip Orians, long-time Black Cat bartender, as stipulated in Zip's will. After several years, Orians sold to Jim McDermott. Later a group, including Terry Swartzwelder and Bruce Theobald, Jr. purchased the facility.
Leah Hipsher bought the Black Cat in 1981 and operated it for nearly 18 years, later in 1998 turned the operation over to her son, Ron.
Earlier this month (Oct. 2003), Hipsher completed and extensive renovation of the dinning area, The re-do includes new wooden dividers, new tabletops and booths, new carpet and paint. A gas-burning fireplace and new ceiling fans. "We wanted to brighten it up and bring it more up to date." he said.
State legislation could quiet Fostoria's trains
Sept. 19, 2003
FOSTORIA - The city soon may have safer rail crossings - without train whistles - if State Rep. Jeff Wagner can add Fostoria to a pending bill.
At a recent city council meeting, Wagner (R-Melmore) and Mayor John Davoli offered an update on the proposed quite zone legislation that would eliminate the day and night train whistles.
Davoli says he gets calls on train whistles more than any other complaint from city residents. The city has 23 grade crossings accommodating 200 trains each day. He said he believes that as "Train City USA," Fostoria qualifies as the perfect test project for this legislation. He vowed to "keep on making noise" until this legislation is passed.
For over one and half years, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) and the Ad hoc Committee on Quiet Zones have been working on the quite zone legislation which would cover several cities in the 10th Congressional District (Brooklyn, Brooke Park, Berea, Olmstead Falls and Olmstead Township.)
These cities were selected as pilot projects to test the feasibility of quite zones and ascertain the safety criteria. Davoli said at first it was thought to cost almost $350,000 to update each railway crossing, but new information now shows there are other ways to develop safer crossings without whistles that wouldn't cost as much.
From R/t Aug. 12, 2003
Article by Gene Kinn
Cline wins Two Gold Medals
Fostoria-area resident Dan Cline recently won two gold medals in table tennis at the Ohio Senior Olympics in Hudson Ohio.
Cline won his division (50-54 year olds) by defeating Jimmy Taylor of Akron in straight sets. He then partnered with Paul Lawrence of Lima to win the doubles medal. They defeated Rich Takas of Toledo and Jim Mills of Indiana in straight sets.
Cline, 50 was participating in his first Senior Olympic competition. He won the privilege of playing in the state tournament by winning the regional competition at Lima
Some Ball History in Fostoria as I know it.
By William "Bill" Cline
How Meadowlark park came into being.
To get the whole picture of the events that took place as to how and why Meadowlark Park was purchased and built one must go back some 50 years to what was then the only decent playing ball field in Fostoria, the Wire Mill Field, which was located North of the B & O tracks (now called CSX) and East of Vine Street.
For many years this field provided entertainment for Fostoria ball fans, whether it be baseball or fast pitch soft ball. Slow pitch was not popular at this early time. The field was small and for years had no fences or lights. Fans would park their cars behind left field just off Vine St. and the bigger the attendance the smaller left field became. Many of the hits in that direction became home runs or triples while the left fielder retrieved the ball from under or between cars. Eventually through the efforts of several citizens. "Red" French, & J.D. Lyons as I recall, and a few other concerned citizens, collected money and material so a fence and even lights for night ball could be installed. Down the right field line and to the alley was 150 feet, plus or minus 10 feet. In this area there were many balls hit over the alley and into the gardens that residents along West Tiffin Street had planted making for some unhappy citizens. Many times when baseball games were played here there were windows broken in the homes on Tiffin Street, some of the heavy hitters would clear the homes on the South Side of Tiffin Street, of course they were home runs. That was then.
I can recall attending games at the Wire Mill field in the mid 1930's when fast pitch softball was popular. On Sundays baseball games were played here. Over the years when this was the only decent playing field in Fostoria many teams played here until 1951 when Wire Mill reclaimed their field for needed employee parking . Some of the teams I recall playing here, were: Peggs Paint a local traveling team, and teams from Wire Mill., Autolite Foundry, Autolite Sparkplug, Moose, American Legion, Bersterd Mfg. VFW, Superette, Miller Drug, Edison Drug, K of C, YMCA, Carbon Works, Fostoria Screw Co., Some teams from City Park Recreation, Area Village Teams, and many Church teams,
Wire Mill Field Lost.
After the 1951 season with the hiring of more employees for the increase production at the Wire Mill it became necessary for the plant to recover the field in order for the employees to park their cars; this left Fostoria without a ball field for some years. The Softball Association at this time had some $400 in their treasurer, but no ball field. In 1952 a group of ballplayers from Fostoria that had played with a traveling team, Peggs Paints , and now sponsored by Stahls Texaco, of Wayne Ohio were playing in Findlay as a host team, playing the feature games on Wed. and Sunday nights, taking on all opponents in the area, plus any traveling team, this team along with Knights of Columbus and Fostoria Merchants comes to mind, decided it was time to bring fast pitch softball back to Fostoria.
When the underpasses were built in Fostoria, some of the unwanted material was dumped on a property own by Payne Brothers Green House at the end of Banister St. This property was offered to the organization, on lease for a $1.00, a year if they wanted to build a field. Looking back at this property with all the old broken up sidewalks and other material that was moved here, one wonders if this was a good site to build a ball field. Another minus would be a Greenhouse behind center field fence if the field was laid out having the sun behind the batters back. Payne Brothers (Bless their Souls) not only offered to repair free any broken glass that occurred while playing ball here, plus they would give the batter $1.00 for his effort. The organization decided to build.
Donations from Local Merchants, Industries, Ohio Power Co. Dick Danner, and with Payne Brothers equipment and gasoline for it, construction began. The light poles, underground cable, concession stand and bleachers, from the old Wire Mill Field were moved to the new Payne Field, all by volunteers. (Fostoria Heating and Pluming is located here now)
In 1954 fast pitch softball was back in Fostoria, and opening night featured a game between the Findlay Moose, the Findlay league leader, and Stahl’s Texaco a Traveling Team, later called "Dick's T.V". Mr. Stahl who was sponsoring the Stahl's Texaco traveling team, believe that a local sponsor was appropriate since Fostoria now had a ball field.. Dick Danner had been waiting for this opportunity.
How City Recreation became Involved
Early in the 1950's slow pitch softball came into play, as an old man's game. At that time there was an age limit, you had to be over 30 years of age. However the lack of quality fast ball pitchers, in the area prompted the younger players to find sponsors and form Slow Pitch teams, with no age limited. At this time almost any player could pitch. Slow pitch teams exploded in Fostoria, City Recreation, YMCA, Churches, Industries, Merchants some ladies teams, plus little League baseball . The request for lighted Payne Field was in great demand.
The fast pitch league was using the field Tuesdays through Thursdays, The rest of the time was open to the public. However, a mater of who would pay for the lights when used came into play? The softball association was paying for lights and umpires via donation taken at the games, (Umpires were paid $2.00 for the bases, an $3.00 behind the plate) and from the concession stand profits. At that time it cost an average of $15.00 a night with a curfew that no inning would start after 11:00 p.m. The City was asked to pay for all the electric used on the field, as city recreation was using it along with other organized local teams on the nights fast pitch was not scheduled. City Council approved it.
According to one source, at one time there were many teams (approx. 60) playing in Fostoria on any open field that would accommodate four bases, and an outfield. Fostoria needed a park with more playing fields
Farm Bought for Meadowlark Park
Some ground became available at the south edge of Fostoria (seeking more information on this. In early 50's Fred Wilch was city recreation director.
By William "Bill" Cline
(Past President of Fostoria
Fastpitch Softball Association)
Farm Bought for Meadowlark Park
Below part of R/t Gene Kinn article
July 25th 2003
In July of 1953, the city purchased the W.J. Sheely farm, an 82 1/2 acre spread in Loudon Township, just south of the city, at a cost of $50,000. Much of the land was rented out to an area farmer until the entire facility could be developed. A contest was conducted in 1965 to name the new park and Mary Bugner was declared the winner with her suggestion of Meadowlark Park. Actually, of the 196 entries, there were two other Meadowlark offerings, but Mary's was postmarked first.
A planning study was completed in 1964 calling for a lighted softball field, lighted baseball field, six Little league ball fields, a swimming pool, four tennis courts, two basketball courts, three badminton or paddle tennis courts, a children's playground, amphitheater, flower gardens a lagoon for boating, fishing and ice skating 12 shelters, picnic areas, camping area and a nine hole golf course.
In 1983, then President of Council, Barbara Marley referred to the public affairs committee a request to rename the facility Schlatter Park in honor of two local brothers, Lt. Gen. David Schlatter and Brig. Gen. George Schlatter. The committee decided not to change the name.
More recently (2003), Councilpeson, Arlen Lowery has suggested changing the name to John Jacobs Field in honor of a local resident who has spent countless hours at the park over many years.
Local Lifesaver Honored
History making Buckeye Football 14-0
Information courtesy of William Cline