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POST OFFICE ONCE ON SOUTH MAIN
Thursday, May 7, 1981



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Pix #1 - Fostoria's Post Office was once there, but now it is the Firestone Store.

Pix #2 - The Cadwallader Building, now completely occupied by Fruth Hardware.

Pix #3 - John Dell in the restaurant in about 1950.

Columnists's Note: This is the second and last installment about the east side of South Main Street, from Tiffin to South. Last week's article included a listing of the business places from the Tiffin Street corner to the midblock alley. We continue there today.

Only Fostoria's senior citizens, and perhaps not too many of them, will remember that Fostoria's Post Office was once located where the Firestone Store is now.

Photo No. 1 shows the Firestone Store, probably about the time it started in its present location "214", around 1940. But before Firestone, that location was a popular spot for other tire and accessory stores. That photo is the only one I have to depict for readers Fostoria's Post Office at about the turn of the century.

POST OFFICE

The marker at the top and center of the photo shows in Roman numerals that the building was erected in 1901. A city directory published in 1909, listed the post office as there then, and J.P. DeWolfe as the postmaster. In later years, he formed Ghaster Poster Advertising Co. and was headquartered in the building at Sandusky and East Fremont streets, where Wayne Youngston has his furniture refinishing shop.

Other post office employees in 1909 were: mailing clerks, G.H. Meek and W.E. Sponslor; general delivery, John E. Stone; mailing, J.W. Sellers and C.J. Hull; substitute, R.J. Wagner. They are all deceased.

The post office remained there until the early 1920's, when it moved to West Tiffin Street, where the VFW is now.

OTHERS THERE

After the post office moved, the location had other tenants prior to Firestone. They were: Algie Strouse, Paige Motor Sales, Keyes Tire & Supply, Louis Steinman Clothing Co., Factory Outlet Store, Mercedes Dress Shop, Joy Shop-Ladies Ready to Wear, managed by Mabel E. Currie, Joe Brown, Shoestore.

In the rear of "214" was once the Electric Construction & Motor Co., and also Buckete Electric Plating Works.

214 1/2 where Clothes Encounters was until recently, there once was Joe Brown Shoe Repair Shop; "Ma" Zeigler's restaurant; also Swick's Barber Shop for many years.

"216" was an A & P Store; Checker Auto Store; Fostoria Supply and Auto Accessories.

"216-218" was Fostoria's Furniture Co. (O. and C.S. Kuhlman).

"218" was McDonel & Dutt Auto Accessories, Electric Supplies, Radios; Albert J. Bohrer Durg Store; Sears Associate Store Department Store; Spratt Brothers Music Co.; J.L. Barnes, Jeweler; C.W. Wade Lunchroom.

"220" was R.L. Dean Shoe Store.

E.G. & C. CO.

"222" is where Fruth Hardware started a long time ago, expanding until they now occupy four rooms, where many other stores listed above were previously. They now fill "216-218-220-222". See complete story about Fruth Hardware in Potluck June 26, 1980. There's not much more to be said about Fruth except they are in their 74th year and still going strong under the ownership and management of Hal Hoerig.

The business block which is totally occupied by C. Co. (Alonzo Emerine, Charles German and Ira Cadwallader; and is still owned by the Cadwallader Co.)

"216" WAS MORTUARY

There's one more business we must tell you about that occupied "216" in the E, G & C Block. It was a Carey company operating a mortuary, according to Norman Fruth, who recalls Asa Mann, father of John, Richard and Josephine Vance. John also recalls his father's reminiscence.

Mann Bros. hadn't established their mortuary yet, and Asa worked for the Carey Company. Back in those days, according to Asa's story, it was the custom to have someone stay with the corpse during the night, and that was one of his (Asa's) jobs.

Funeral parlors as we know them today were not yet in existence then... funerals were conducted either in the home or church.

I could not find the name of the Carey company in any directory.

UPSTAIRS TENANTS

The second floor of that building has had a number of tenants, including K of C Hall, Fostoria Sportmen, Bricklayers Union, Fostoria Central Trade Council, State-County - Municipal Employees Union, Senca Millworkers Union, Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen, United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Grain Processors Union, Fraternal Order of Police.

"224" was the building at the corner of South Main and South, where Dell's Restaurant is, and was built in about 1904 by Pete Schreiner, according to Ray Dell. Scheiner opened a saloon in it. After Schreiner quit business the records show L.L. Fogg has a saloon at that location and lived upstairs.

DELL STARTED IN 1916

In about 1916, John Dell, father to Ray and Joe, the proprietors of Dell's, came to Fostoria from Delphos and operated a saloon in that building. The Dell family lived on the second floor, and that is where Ray Dell was born.

In 1918, when Prohibition was enacted, Dell quit the saloon business and opened a restaurant and pool room where Columbis Gas is now.

After Dell left the corner, Jess Warner, a veteran meat man in Fostoria, had a butcher shop there. Ruth Dennis barnes remembers stopping there on her way to Whittier School to buy bologna for her school lunch sandwich.

After Warner discontinued his meat marker, Mogles restaurant took over the corner location and stayed until John Dell bought him out in 1934. Dell has been there for 47 years.

Photo No. 3 shows John Dell in the restaurant in about 1950.

It has been a popular location for Dell's resulting in a remarkable longevity exceeded only by Fruth Hardware.

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