Centenial - page11

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1954 Centennial Book

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PIX# 36 Personnel of the Fostoria Special Police. Front row, left to right: Bernard Lee, Clifford Stewart, Jim Emerson, 2nd Lt. Carl Harding, Watson Harden, Earl Gaskalla, Sgt. Chris Balsat, 1st Lt. Allen Russell, Capt. George Russell. Back row: Lawrence Jones, Rangemaster; David Custer, Lester Barnes, Noble Bell, Floyd Rumschlag, Gene Hollenbaugh, L.A. Lawless, Sec-Treas. Ben H. Rasey, Cecil Vaughn, Sgt. Lester Raymont, Raymond Rumschlag. Absent from picture: Fred Munger, Alvin Dolch

PIX# 37 Lawrence Jones, Rangemaster, teaching Fostoria boys how to properly use a rifle..

The very useful organization had its beginnings early in WW II, when it was one of three companies of one hundred men each; the other two being at Tiffin and Attica. Originally they were high-powered rifle clubs. They were given extensive training in the use of rifles and small arms, and basically, they were organized for home defense. George Steinmetz, former Sheriff of Seneca County was the prime mover and organizer. When the war ended, the Companies disbanded, with the exception of the Fostoria unit. This was then formed into a group of Deputy Sheriffs, called the Seneca County Sheriff's Patrol.

As time went on, the City of Fostoria began calling on the Patrol more and more frequently for assistance to help out the regular Police Force, when more men were needed than the Force could muster. More and more the Patrol was used as a special force to care for traffic at football games, parades, and like events. Then it was learned that the Special Force could not legally help out the City as the members were sworn in as deputy sheriffs, for special county duty. Mayor Hal Stout, realizing the need for such a force, swore the men into Fostoria service for city duty. Thus the Fostoria Special Police Force came into being.

As the years have progressed, the use of just such an outfit, has proved itself time and time again, that it is very useful and beneficial to the community. The members of the Special Police furnish their own uniforms and equipment, and serve without pay, in most cases. The men have always been called to duty on a voluntary basis, and at no time are they asked to stop work at their regular jobs, unless in extreme emergencies. Compensation is sometimes offered for special service and has been accepted. The city, however, is in no way obligated to pay any wages. During the past three years, however, Mayor Ray Coburn has come to look to the Special Police for men to supplement the Regular Forces, during the period when it is undermanned because of vacations. The men are then paid from a special fund set up for that purpose in the annual city budget, and duly appropriated by the Council.

The men of the Fostoria Special Police Force are very proud to be a part of Fostoria and to be of such service in helping preserve the security and safety of their neighbors and fellow townsmen.

Another activity of the Special Police, is the training of the boys and young men of Fostoria in the proper use of rifles and other small arms. They have a well-built rifle range at Lake Daugherty (City Reservoir No. 1), and hold frequent matches there among themselves and their pupils.

Everybody who has had occasion during these past years to attend any event in the City where traffic is apt to become snarled up, has come to look for and to depend upon the volunteers of the Special Force to keep the cars moving smoothly and as rapidly as possible. You, who are attending the Centennial, either down town or at the Stadium, can appreciate how fortunate we are in having such a well organized, well trained and well disciplined organization to help and protect us.


PIX#38 Volunteer Fire Department, about 1900; City Hall Decorated for a visit of President Wm. McKinley

PIX#39 Horse-drawn equipment ready for action

PIX#40 Horses, men and all, ready to roll PIX#41 First auto-pumpers, about 1927

PIX#42 Present force with their modern equipment

Fostoria's very well-equipped and efficient Fire Department seems to have been organized back i 1872, a Volunteer Department with one hand pumper, hose carts, and a ladder truck, all hand drawn and operated. The fire engine was, itself, burned in 1881. The first steam fire engine was purchased in 1877, and a second, in 1884. The records show that in 1886, there were two Silsby steam pumpers, one hook-and-ladder truck, three hose carts, and one fire team. It was also the custom for volunteers with teams to answer a fire-call and the first team able to hook on and take the apparatus to the fire was paid five dollars. Modernization of the Department began in 1915, when the first auto pumper was purchased from Seagrave in Columbus. In 1919, a full-time driver became the first non-volunteer member of the Department. In 1931, the entire Force went on a full-time basis with E.A. Doe as the first Chief, until his retirement in 1944. Tim Walsh has served as Chief since then.

The present equipment comprises two very modern auto pumpers, with full equipment for all emergencies, including gas masks, inhalators, etc. One of the trucks has an aerial ladder capable of reaching the roof of any building in the city. For life saving in the city lakes, there is an aluminum skiff, mounted on a trailer and donated by the Lions Club a short time ago.

The Force now comprises the Chief, Tim Walsh; three Captains, A.J. Shuck, Ed Garner, and L.E. Gregory; and firemen: C.B. Wise, C.A. Miller, M.E. Walters, R.W. Blake, H.U. Walters, C.E. Switzer, M.W. Geoghegan. W.R. Walker, E.W. Coppus.


1851 C.W. Foster, Sr 1886 Alexander Brown
1852 R.C. Caples 1892 J.M. Beaver
1853 Jacob Fritche 1894 John A. Bradner
1855 David Haves 1896 W.F. Boley
1856 Edwin Bement 1898 C.W. Hughes
1857 James Anderson 1902 G.W. Cunningham
1858 B.L. Caples 1906 C.C. Anderson
1859 J.F. Richart 1910 J. Ross Bradner
1861 W.D. Sherwood 1912 W.M. Ralston
1862 G.A. Hudson 1914 G.W. Cunningham
1863 Jacob Kridler 1916 O.R. Wade
1864 James Leach 1920 F.M. Hopkins
1866 John A. Bradner 1922 E. A. Kurtz
1867 C.C. Nestlerode 1926 L.W. Gibson
.1868 John A. Bradner 1930 H.W. Whitta
1869 F.R. Stewart 1932 George Cameron
1870 J.W. Bricker 1936 F.P. Culp
1872 John A. Bradner 1938 C.B. Shuman
1874 W.J. Rigby 1944 Hal Stout
1876 J.V. Jones 1948 C.A. Latshaw
1878 W.J. Rigby 1950 C.B. Shuman
1882 David Asire 1952 Ray R. Coburn
1884 J.M. Beaver    

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The first recorded meeting of the Fostoria Board of Health was held in Campbell's Drug Store on January 7, 1902. The Health Officer, W.N. Caldwell, gave his report for the year 1901, which included 30 cases of typhoid fever and three of diphtheria. In those early years, the Board was much concerned about smallpox, and in 1903, passed a resolution to establish a pesthouse. The budget for 1903 included the Health Officer's salary of $25.39 for two weeks, $9.00 to W.B. Rollins for one week's service driving the garbage team maintained by the Health Board, and $10.50 for 25 bushels of oats for the horses.

The Dept. Of Vital Statistics was added to the functions of the Health Dept. by act of Ohio Legislature on December 20, 1908 and the first local records were maintained by Mr. Campbell. By the end of 1909 he had recorded 273 births and 131 deaths in Fostoria. Up to the present time, it is estimated that the Fostoria Health Dept. has on record 15,000 births and 7,000 deaths.

On January 2, 1920 the Health Board was reorganized under the Hughes Act and became a City Health Dept. under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Health. Mr. Caldwell continued in the capacity of Health Commissioner, until his death in 1927. Subsequent Health Commissioners were T.M. Bridges, A.V. Parsell, L.W. Gibson, H.A. Devore, E.C. Phipps, and Paul Gregory. Mr. E.O. Sheller was first President Pro Tem under the reorganization and the first Public Health Nurse was Bertha M. Corl. Other nurses were Mrs. R.L. Murphy, Helen Burrel, Lucille Kanable, Marguerite Binley Lord, Marie Baumstark, Clara Rader and Regina Schlachter.

From 1901 until the present time, the Health Dept. has been concerned with sanitation in Fostoria and has maintained inspection of milk and meat products. Through the years additional services to the public have been added to the program, such as restaurant inspection, tuberculosis control, vaccination of school children (minimizing the old problem of smallpox, diphtheria, and typhoid fever), water supply inspection and testing and services to crippled children. The present Board of Health consists of Leonard J. Schreiner, Pres. Pro Tem, S.L. Dever, Dr. H.P. Ulicny, Mrs. Barbara Vilbrandt, Mrs. Jane Adams, and the Mayor of Fostoria, as Pres. Ex Officio.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming

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