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Thursday January 20, 1983


Pix #1 - A recent RT photo shows building in extreme rear left was once the 'chicken factory'. In more recent years it was Morrell Smith's machine and welding shop. Aylesworth house was once where the fenced lot is now. The Hatfield house, right, is probably 100 years old.

Author's Note: Today is the last in the series about South Main Street. I have enjoyed this series and appreciate the cooperation readers who have provided information and photos.

The only photo reference of today's article is one taken recently by the RT, but it contains history from long ago.

In the extreme left of the photo, is a two-story brick structure which dates back to the early 1900's or even earlier.

Many years ago, I had heard that building was called the 'chicken factory' where chickens were slaughtered and dressed. Then a few years ago, Morrell Smith who had a machine and welding shop mentioned it too.

I always intended to learn more about the chicken factory from Morrell. He said poultry dressed there was shipped to metropolitan centers. I did not ask about the volume produced, the owner, etc.

Back then, Fostoria had excellent rail facilities - east, west, north and south - so I imagine dressed poultry from Fostoria reached New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit and perhaps other cities in between.

I never did get back to talk to Smith about the operation and now he's gone.

In the center of the photo, readers will note the fenced-in area with several parked cars. The lot is owned by Society National Bank.


At the turn of the century, another of Fostoria's fine homes was located there. The residents were the Aylesworth family.

Mr. Aylesworth will be remembered as a very deaf person who used a hearing aid which looked much like a ram's horn. Hearing aids as we know them today hadn't been invented when I was a boy. I recall Aylesworth holding the "horn" to his ear for people to speak in to.

Real Estate and Insurance was his business from 1890-1926. A tall, slender man, I remember him about town when I was a "newsie" on Main Street.

I do not know first hand, but I believe Mrs. Nellie Aylesworth was an invalid, confined to a whellcahir.

The last residental listing was in 1927 for his wife. Evidently he had died some time that year, since he was listed the previous year.

Ray Dell remembers the house very well. His parents and family lived around the corner on East Crocker Street. Ray recalls "invading" Aylesworth's yard to play around and climb trees.

I am not sure who owned the house immediately after the death of the aylesworths. Somewhere in the chain of ownerships I am told Fred Corcker possessed it, renting it to Willis J. Hakes, Slick Motor Sales and Kreais Foreign Car Sales and Service.

Dr. and Mrs. Pelton have been said to have also owned the property, making it a storage area for their treasures and trash.

As of this date, I have been unable to find a photo of the old Aylesworth home, if a reader has one, please call.


In the extreme right of the photo, can be seen No. 336, a house which the author has been in many times visiting with Edna Hatfield and daughter Helene now both deceased, having died in recent months.

I recall Mrs. Hatfield telling me how she and her husband, Dr. Chalmer Hatfield, rented the house from Mr. M.A. Thomas, then later bought it from him. It is the only house Mrs. Harfield and Helene lived in together.

Originially, the house had a frame structure and smaller, and if I recall correctly, only one story. The Hatfields enlarged the house to its present size, brick veneered it and did further modernization.

When the Fostoria University Club was started, Dr. Hatfield was one of the organizers and initial meetings were held in that house as well as in the home of Judd Asire, 325 S. Main Street, across the street.

When Dr. Hatfield died, at an early age in 1919, it was a great loss to Fostoria. Besides being a fine doctor, a scholar and priminent citizen, he was the grandson of Gideon Jones, prominent in the early days of this area. He layed out and surveyed Fountain Cemetery.

With the death of Mrs. Hatfield recently, it ends the influence of that family here, but both contributed to the history and betterment of this town.

Mrs. Hatfield's keen memory, even at an advanced age, was remarkable. She could recite things from the past, including dates, faster than I could grasp them, let alone take them down on paper.

Hopefully, someone will buy the Hatfield house with the desire to upgrade and preserve it as a fine home, which it can be.


In this closing article about South Main Street, it seems appropriate and the proper time to tell readers about the importance of Crocker Street, in past years and about some of the families who lived there.

That whole area of Main and Crocker was a good residentail area made up of business, professional and industrial people.

The following list is provided through the assistance of Esther Shaffer who has lived all of her life at 241 E. Crocker St. and thus knew, or knew of, those who lived from Main Street to the underpass.

NO 109 - Mr. and Mrs. Morris D. Sharp and son John lived there. Morris was in the realty business and John was a photographer until his retirement several years ago.

NO. 110 - The resident of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cover at one time. He owned the farm east of Ohio 18. Mrs. Cover was Luada Buck before marriage and was pianist at Colonial Theatre for many years.

NO. 112 - The J.W. Sellers family resided there at one time. He was assistant postmaster for many years. The Ed Loomis family also resided there at one time. They had daughters, Lucile, Lulu and Lorraine, all teachers in the Fostoria School District. Another esident there was the J.T. Brightwell family. He owned Service Laundry.

No. 115 - Mr. and Mrs. August Flechtner, a prominent Fostorian, who started Flechtner Meats in Fostoria lived there many years. Other members of the family lived there later.


NO. 128 - That fine home was once the residence of Mr. and Mrs. M.A. Thomas. He was a financier, realtor and active Presbyterians. That location was also formerly the Elks Lodge. It is now the main office of Mennel Milling Co. Mr. and Mrs. James Newson also lived there at one time. He was a stockholder and officer of The Union National Bank and was involved in other business and industrial activities.

NO. 131 - J.F. Williams, a well-known Fostorian, grandfather of Dr. Glen Williams, lived there once. "J.F." had Pastime Poolroom many years, and was also proprietor for Fostoria Daily Review Co.

NO. 134 - Was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Ebersols, a retired rural mail carrier, andd also a clerk in a downtown store.

NO. 135 - The residence of Jacob Preis when that family started the Preis Store.

NO. 140 - The residence of George E. Shaffer family for many years. He was superintendent of National Carbon from its inception until his death in 1921. The family consisted of Florence, Joseph and George Jr. After his death, the large house became home for others besides Mrs. Shaffer, including Glen Eaton, Clo Wilgus, Ethel Reese and others.

NO. 141 - For many years, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. John Weissinger. He was a retired limber dealer from Wood County. He came to U.S. from Strausbourg, Germany, and never lost his accent. Their son Claud had a general store in Kansas. Another son, Ernest, was a farmer east of Fostoria on Ohio 18, and also had tourist lodging and catering service at their Mapleknob Farm.

NO. 143 - Once residence of Dr. Charles Henry Jr., also of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Brant, the latter having a coalyard.

NO 145 - This large house was home of Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Boyer, also daughter Fairy and husband Harry Butterfield. Boyer had a furniture store here, and Butterfield was an optometrist. A son, David was killed in World War II.

NO 149 - Many readeers will remember the Degan family who lived there. Mr. Degan had a car repair garage. They had two sons, Howard and Kenneth.

When the underpass was built, it, resultd in the moving or demolishing of many fine homes including 134, 140, 143, 146,149.

The above are just some of those families readily recalled who lived on West Crocker Street at carious times in the past.



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