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August 21, 1986


PIX #1 - The 1932-33 class of 7th and 8th graders at Kansas: Reading left to right, top row: Raymond Bricker, teacher-principal; Evelyn Fry, Etta Prenzlin, Suzanne Yost, Louise Shaull, Matilda Nye, Genevieve Cessna, June Day, Marry De Vanna. Second row: George Rausher, William O'Toole, Carolyn Ackerman, Doris Phillips, Maxine Feasel, Katherine Kiser, Zeila Humbert, Ellis Butzier. Front Row: Earl Prenzlin, Harold Lanning, John Hammer, Paul Humbert, Paul Nye, Lawrence Hedden, Henry Ritter.

PIX #2 - Larry Hedden

PIX #3 - Jack Gee: Born and raise in Kansas, a resident of rural Fostoria.

PIX #4 - This is the house where Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Bricker lived the first year in Kansas. The boy on the porch was Kenneth Cessna, whose mother bought the house after the Brickers moved.

PIX #5 - Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Hedden, parents of Larry, are shown photo- graphed in their Kansas home, across from the Methodist church. Lawrence was employed by the Phizer Corp. Lime plant at Gibsonburg for 43 years. There are other Heddons who have lived in the Kansas area for many years, but the author had no occasion to meet them.

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: Today's article, No. 9 in the series about Kansas, is the last official one in the series. The remainder of the copy in my possession will be used with regular columns in the future).

Why and how does a small community with such a brilliant past as Kansas con- tinue to hold on and function as it has now for many years without the stores and other business activities?

I can only tell what he sees and hears. Kansas is a quiet place to live, within a few minutes from Fostoria, Fremont and Tiffin, even Bettsville. They have easy access to stores, banks, restaurants, etc. They can reach and see the outside world via the telephone, television and automobile, the same as those in the cities.

The two churches there provide spiritual nourishment and association. Doctors and hospitals can be reached quickly in larger towns and cities in the area.

The older citizens still living there who have grown up in Kansas have good memories of their hometown, as evidenced by the contributions which have appeared in the series of articles.


The author of this column, and readers, are indebted to a number of people who have cooperated so willingly in providing information and photos for the history of Kansas.

First on the list is Larry R. Hedden, born and raised in Kansas. When he was attending Bluffton College, he chose to write about his hometown for a gradu- ation credit. Willis Wyant's copy was loaned to me prior to his moving to Carlifornia. Wyant also provided many photos and other information. Hedden is now a teacher and administrator in Tiffin. His father and mother still reside in Kansas. All are shown in photos with this article.

Harry McDaniel, a Kansas native, still living there, also provided many photos and additional data.

Millard Chaney and Don Cessna, active in the village fire department, made it possible to get information and photos about that activity.

Jack Gee, who grew up in Kansas, but now resides at 10214 W. Ohio 12, also provided photos and information which were not included in the series, but will be used later.


During the Kansas series of articles, the author received a telephone call from Mrs. Bricker, wife of the school teacher that appears in the school picture with today's article. Later, I visited with her in her home at 849 Walnut St., Fostoria, and the following is what she agreed to write about Kansas:

"Fifty-eight years ago, Raymond Bricker went to Kansas to teach; his salary was $1,200. He had taught one year in Hancock County for $810, so he thought this was a good move. He was the principal, but taught 7th and 8th grade. He has eight students in the eighth grade. They were the following: Jack Gee, Doeyce Humbert, Jon Anderson, Kenneth Cessna, Ralph Copsey, Willard Null, Charles Humbert and Robert Parks."

"At the end of the school year an 8th grade commencement was held in the school gym and the whole community turned out for the occasion."


"At Halloween, the PTA had a party. Donuts and cider were five cents and pumpkin pie was ten cents."

"The school had a basketball team that played back and forth with Amsden and Bettsville. They didn't go so far away to play then. They had a Christmas Operetta every year with the four teachers in charge and mothers always ready to help make costumes and props. They also gave plays for special occasions."

"Teachers could get room and board for $20 a month and the lady packed a lunch for them when they had ground duty every other week. Lois Dalton, Bessie Brown and Eloise Kissabeth taught the other grades."


"After we were married, we rented a furnished house for $20 a monthy from David Miarer, whose wife had died. We had all the wood we could use in the kitchen cook stove, and plenty of hard coal for the hard coal burner in the living room."

"We even had an Atwater-Kent radio that ran with a battery. We could get station KDKA in Pittsburg. The set looked just like tubes and a dial set on a board."

"Our first electric bill was $1.04, and I still have the cancelled check. Dues to teachers organization were $4.45 and sent to J.E. Sherk, County Supt."

"Mr. Bricker taught there 15 years until the district was consolidated with Jackson Twp...the new name was Jackson-Liberty. They took the 7th and 8th grades to Amsden, and the teacher went also."

"We lived in Kansas 25 years and our first home is now owned by Lloyd Cessna, whose grandmother bought it from David Miarer." the times have changed since then.


"On Sundays we would catch the Fostoria & Fremont electric street car to Fostoria & Fremont electric street car to Fostoria to go to the movies and lunch at N.E. George's restaurant, or later a steak for 50 cents at Bert's. Sometimes we would go to Fremont to see the Opera House, the prize fights, or a show. It was never dull in the little town...there was always something to do or someplace to go.

"In about 1916, Kansas had two groups of roofers in the town, and they all belonged to the fire department. They were always kidded by the other fire- men and locals who said that when they arrived at a fire they always started tearing up the roof to get at the fire so that they would get the job of putting on a new roof."


"With reference to the picture in an earlier article, which reported that Dr. Mumaw owned the house where Del Lewman and his mother were photographed, that was an error. The photo was of Lewman and his mother in front of their house. The Mumaw home was on West Main St. and his now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Jon Nye."

"The picture, in an earlier article, showing Mr. Robert Mattox and his wife. He was one of the best workers I had the privilege to know. He worked on the railroad most of his residency in Kansas, however to supplement his income he would unload coal cars for the C.C. Weissinger and Sons Grocery & Coal Busi- ness."

"Mattox would start unloading a railroad hopper car of coal with a large shovel, and when he got a little tired he would not stop working, but would pick up a smaller shovel and use it until he was rested, and then he would use the larger one again. Men like him made this country prosper; a work day to them was at least five to twelve hours."

"I have awakened in the morning after Halloween, and have seen buggies and farm machinery on top of the railroad station, on railroad cars and in front of stores. One time they upset an outside toilet over on the owner that was waiting for the pranksters with his shot gun."

"Another time, the local boys hauled in a lot of rail fence and made a pen on main street, covered it with corn fodder, then painted one of their friends white horse to look like a zebra. The owner found his horse in the pen the next morning."

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