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Thursday, October 7, 1982


PIX #1 - Dr. Charles Henry Jr.

PIX 2 - Nicholas Burtschber

PIX #3 - The building at 111 W. Center St. is where Dr. Henry practiced for many years, now owned by Sam Hammonds, attorney.

PIX #4 - Dr. Charles Henry Sr. with granddaughter Josephine, now Mrs. John Lee.

PIX #5 - Photo shows two buildings on Main Street built by Nicholas Burtscher and still owned by that family. Corner is West Center Street.

Last week the second installment about West Center Street was completed. We had covered the north side from Main to the first north-south alley.

Today's article starts at Main on the south side of the street. History that cannot be shown through pictorial views from the past will perhaps be made up by descriptive copy.

A photo that was used with a Potluck article more thant two years ago (August 1980), accompanies today's article. The reason for reprinting it is because additional information about the Burtscher family, which I did not have at that time, is associated with today's information. Our look at West Center Street begins with the corner building where City Loan & Savings is now. All informtion with the earlier article is not repeated.

The two buildings shown in the photo, where the two separate City Loan Offices are located, did not always appear as they do today. Both have been remodeled extensively in past years by the Burtscher family.


Going back to the turn of the century and for many years thereafter, the Hollinger & Sayre Millinery Shop occupied the second floor of the corner building. In later years at various times, the following were located on the second floor of the building.

NO. 105 1/2

C. Willard Glassburn, chiropractor; Dr. G.H.W. Bruggeman; Dr. Walter A. Geiser; Dr. George A. Gehlert; Foxie Beauty Salon; James Ford, attorney; and C.C. McKay, attorney.

NO. 107-109

On the first floor of the corner building there was, through the years: People's Credit Clothing Co.; Emmet Sheeran, physician; Leon Beebe, music teacher; August J. Vogel, tailor; C.C. Crawford, insurance.


The patriarch of the Burtscher family to whom much credit must be given for real estate developments and business activity in Fostoria was Nicholas Burtscher.

According to Helen Burtscher Wright, 400 N. Main St., his granddaughter, he was born in Prussia in 1838 and was brought to this country by his parents the next year. They were the Adam Burtschers.

In 1857, at age 17, Nicholas arrived in Fostoria, having walked from Perrysburg. Mrs. Wright recalled that his family kiddingly asked in later years why he didn't walk north to Toledo, a shorter distance instead of to Fostoria. The latter decision would have been Fostoria's loss.

In 1876, he built the Burtscher building and started a grocery store where the City Loan is now, south of Chapman's Jewelry Store. He was also associated in the Burtscher & Ash Shoe Store at the corner of Center and Main streets, another building that he owned.

Nicholas was also active in politics, having served seven years as a county commissioner and on the city board of public service.

He also had built and once owned the building where Elsea TV and Appliance is now at 117 S. Main St.

With great faith in the future of Fostoria, he joined with the McDonel family in developing a large tract of land in the eastern section of town, east of the Hocking Valley Railroad, which is now the Chessie System


One of Nicholas' last projects was the building of a bridge across Portage Creek, west of Reservoir No. 2, according to Mrs. Wright, while assisting at the site he was bitten by a mosquito that caused massive infection for which there were no known antibotics to combat it. The infection that he suffered for nine days caused his death on August 19, 1912, at age 74.

The next subject as we move west on Center Street is the two-story building shown on the left in the accompanying photo.

Today that building is owned by attorney Sam Hammonds and houses his law business, as well as that of attorney Lester Stewart.

The building was originally erected by Dr. Charles Henry Sr. in the early part of this century, perhaps 1905, according to Mrs. John (Josephine) Lee, 700 N. Main St. She is the daughter of Dr. Charles Henry Jr.

The father and son team occupied that building (111 W. Center St.) for all of their years of practice, which amounted to more than 80 years of combined service.


Charles Henry Sr. was born in West Millgrove in 1844. He became interested in medicine when he served as a medical helper in the Civil War. According to Mrs. Lee, he had a natural aptitude for that profession, being especially skilled at bone setting. He later graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School.

Charles Henry Jr. served in World War I at Fort Riley, Kan., where hundreds of young men died of the flu.

The Henry's had a large local practice. The devoted mornings to making house calls, a practice that has faded from the medical scene.

She said both were very fond of animals and at one time had what amounted to a small zoo in the lot beside their home, which is the actual location of the house where the Lees now live.

At one time, the menagerie consisted of deer, pheasants, horses, ponies, rabbits, ducks, and many other species. Down through the years they owned between 20 and 30 dogs, including seven or eight Great Danes.

Mrs. Lee will be remembered by readers as an art teacher in the Fostoria School system for a number of years and an accomplished artist herself.

Jean Henry, residing in Stewart Fla., is also a daughter of Dr. Henry Jr. She has the same love for animals as her father and grandfather and for many years worked with the humane society when she lived in Vermont as she does now in Florida.

The building where the Henry's practiced medicine for many years was purchased by Dr. M.E. Seiple, dentist, where he was located for many years up to the time of his retirement. Sam Hammonds purchased the building in 1975.

NO. 111

Others in later years occupying the structure built by Dr. Henry Sr. were: Dr. Spooner; Dr. N. Gordon Hartnett; Dr. M. Seiple.

NO. 111 1/2

The second floor of the building was once the office for Kleinhen & Son Real Estate. It was also a residence apartment at one time for Mrs. Georgia Wagner and later for Mrs. W. Ellis Sr.

NO. 113

The small one-story building shown in the right of photo where Drs. Henry had their office was built by the Burtschers in later years after the death of Nicholas.

The following used that building at various periods of history up to the present: Kissing Millinery, owned by Mrs. A.E. Gregg; Mrs. E.A. Eakins, art goods; Court Motor Supply; Gribble Insurance Agency; Carl Reed Insurance Agency; Callender Sewing Machine; Rillia Hatfield, corsets; Mac & Swartz Barber Shop and Baker's Lock & Key Service.

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