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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989

KANSAS STAGED 39TH ANNUAL HOMECOMING THIS YEAR
Thursday, August 7, 1986


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PIX #1 - Two out-of-towners, born in Kansas, came back to the village for the 39th annual homecoming. They were Harold "Toby" Freese, and his sister Mrs. Forrest (Helen) Pressnell, Findlay, shown above in front of the home where they lived as children. Mrs. Freese also accompanied him on the trip back to Kansas, but did not appear in the photo. See accompanying leadoff article nect week about "Toby" during his high school days in Fostoria and the following years.

PIX #2 - Kansas residents Charles C. Hull and wife Melissa (Jarvis) Hull (on left) and Robert Ira Mattox and wife Francis Clementine (Hull) Mattox, See article.

PIX #3 - This photo shows two old Kansas settlers. Dell Lewman and his mother, who owned the farm just across from the old school house. The property is where Dr. Mummaw and wife once lived, and is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jon Nye. the present owners are completely remodeling and decorating the interior.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I never intended, or expected to withhold Potluck, since the last article on June 26. A bout with a bad cold, followed by bronchitis, then recuperation was the culprit. Today's article is Number 7 in the Kansas series and there is more to come. I also didn't expect there was so much to tell about Kansas.

The extemely hot weather this year reduced somewhat the attendance at the village's homecoming, held July 19-20, but it did draw former residents from as far as California, Minnesota and elsewhere.

FORMER RESIDENTS COME FROM CALIFORNIA AND MINNESOTA

From California came Mr. and former Fostorians Mrs. Willis Wyant both of whom were born and raised in the Kansas rural area.

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Freese and his sister, Mrs. Forrest (Helen) Pressnell of Findlay also attended. The Freese's drove in from their summer residence in Dent, Minn. In the winter they live in Texas.

Harold Freese was born and lived in Kansas with his parents and two sisters, Helen and Lelah. At the age of 12, the family moved to Fostoria, where he was active in sports at Fostoria High, from which he graduated. In Reader Feedback there will e more from and about Freese and some of his recollections.

KANSAS AREA FOLKS MEET IN CEMETERY

While the Wyants were visiting the old graves in the Kansas cemetery, during the homecoming, they met up with Freese and his wife, and sister Helen.

Freese's other sister, Lelah Fittro had planned to attend the homecoming too, but became ill just prior, and had to cancel the trip. She resides in Sarasota, Florida.

ALEX MCCLUNG ALSO PROVIDES HISTORY, HUMOR

The following letter from a Kansas reader whom I have not met, provides diversion with two good laughs...something not prevalent in the Kansas series of article. I'll bet the contributor has some other humorous incidents he recalls...perhaps not printable.

"In your third issue of Kansas history you mentioned that Kurt Guernsey held a party for all those that rode the last day of the F&F Electric Ry existence. You were correct about the party, however, it was not for all those that rode the street car on the last day. The Kansas boys road the last run into Fostoria and back, and Kurt had the party in the Electric Work Car, but only for his friends. Harry Frankenfield the motorman for the electric work car parked the party on the side track in Kansas, and had the party in the work car."

WHAT A CHARACTER WASHY MUST HAVE BEEN

"A little history, if it is not too late, that may be interesting...Mr. George Washington Wade, of Kansas, was one of the good citizens of Kansas, operating the harness and show making business in the rear of the Seiger Brothers Hardware Store. On occasions, "Marsh" as he was known would hit the bottle and when he did he would always be singing and very happy. One day a leather salesman came in who was on his first call on Mr. Wade, and "Washy" was feeling his oats. "Washy" looked down, and said, "My darn sock keeps falling sown", he then picked up a shoe hammer and a nail, and drove the nail into his leg. The salesman did not know that "Washy" had a wooden leg, and the salesman fainted.

"Another time "Washy" was hitting the bottle, a native asked him how much paint it took to paint "Washy's" three houses he owned in Kansas. "Washy" had painted all three in the wildest shade of green you have ever seen, and "Washy" said, "I bought five gallons, and I kept pouring water in it, and when I got gone painting all three I had six gallons left". (Water paint was unknown in those days, it was all oil paint).

"There were many characters over the years in Kansas, that made living there a joy, and their wit makes pleasant memories".

(Signed) Alexander K. McClurg

VIVIAN CRAUN CONTINUES

READING ABOUT KANSAS... and also writing me from her home in Bowling Green after each article in the series arrives. Thank you Vivian!

In her last letter, after article No. 6, and she told me that Kansas had four churches at one time. In addition to the Methodist and Catholic she said there was also a United Brethren and Holy Roller, as they were once referred to.

Vivian believes the U.B. was the most attractive, because of the outside appearance and the arrangement of the seating in the sanctuary.

She said the Holy Roller church building was struck by lightning and destroyed.

VIVIAN CRAUN RECALLS MANY EVENTS

Vivian recalls many of the first in Kansas. When she was a small child a fire started in the U.B. Church when she and her mother were there, but it was extinguished before any damage was done.

She recalls when the McDole house next to the railroad tracks caught fire, probably from a spark from an engine, but the house was not destroyed. She said Julie McDole married Dee Lanning, the barber.

Vivian said she had left Kansas when the Weissinger store was destroyed by fire.

She also recalls that two of her five brothers played on the baseball team, and that her brother Jay played tuba in the Kansas band.

HAS MANY SCHOOL SOUVENIRS

She still has souvenirs and memorabilia from her childhood days in Kansas, including the ones the teachers gave at the end of each school year, which included the names of the pupils and pictures of the teacher (s), and sometimes a picture of the school.

One of the school souvenirs she possesses, which was her brother Eugene's had a picture of R.W. Solomon on the cover. He later was the Fostoria school superintendent.

Vivian's sister Rae, was a teacher in Kansas schools and later attended Ohio Northern, Vivian said.

W. VIRGINIA FOLKS SETTLED IN KANSAS

After the Kansas series started, I had a visitor from Toledo, who had heard about the articles. He was Ted Fuller, a grandson of the Mattox family who came to Kansas from West Virginia in the 1800's.

Four of those Kansas settlers are shown in picutes with today's article... The Mattox and Hull family.

Demma Ebersole, an aunt of Fuller is presently living in Arcadia. Many members of that family are buried in the Kansas cemetery.

ANNA A. SCHOENDORFF A KANSAS POSTMISTRESS IS STILL LIVING

Shortly after the Kansas series started, Schoendorff, now residing in Old Washington, contacted The Review Times office and requested copies of the complete series when they were available.

Schoendorff was a resident of Kansas for 50 years, and was postmistress for 24 1/2 years. Her mailing address is P.O. Box 186, Old Washington, 43768. Probably there are readers who will wish to contact her.

I wish her well and hope she will be enjoying the rest of the series.

CORRECTION

In the fifth article in the Kansas series, which included information about the village's fire figting equipment, the one photo was printed in reverse, therefore, the names of the the four men in the photo did not match the listing. Here are the names of the men to match the photo as printed from left to right: Loren McElhaney, Carl Myers, Don Cessna and Millard Chaney.

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