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March 5, 1981


PIX #1 - Mose Lamfrom Clothing Store Co, photographed when Moses was still alive and active.


When the store bearing the name "Mose Lamfrom" is no longer known by that name, it will mark the end of a business that has been in Fostoria since 1927.

The Lamfrom name, as identified with the clothing business, goes back to 1889 when Mose Lamfrom opened his first store in North Baltimore, during the oil boom days. The Cygnet Review, published back then, often carried Lamfrom's ads. He signed them as LAMFROM--The Clothier.

I came across one of his old ads recently, when Kaubisch Library had a display about the oil rush days, including one of the old issues from The Cygnet Re- view. Clothing store ads then were different than today. They had "sell" in them...copy which said why the readers should buy well it would fit, the please.

Lamfrom's North Baltimore store was destroyed by fire in 1891, by a major fire that destroyed several stores, but Mose found another location and con- tinued.

He became known through the years as the "dean of clothiers" throughout Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Readers will remember his slogan "Dress better and you'll feel better," and some of those signs can still be found along highways in this area.

In 1921, Lamfrom bought the W.J. Wagner Clothing store at the location of the present Lamfrom store.

Mr. Lamfrom, generally hailed as "Mose" by his customers and friends, was well known and liked. Born Dec. 30, 1867, in Owosso, Michigan, he came interested in baseball when he was 17, and became catcher for the Grand Rapids team in the Michigan State League, which was later bought by the Detroit team in the National League. Even though Mose left professional baseball, he had an in- terest in it all his life.

Samuel Lamfrom, the father of Mose, was a clothing merchant before Mose. He urged Mose to get into business when he was still in baseball. Back then baseball was not the highly paid profession it is today, and Samuel was afraid his won would become a "baseball bum," according to Alma (Lamfrom) Clardy. Mose took his father's advice and set up his business in North Baltimore.

Samuel Lamfrom was born in Germany, and came to America after graduating from the University of Wurtenburg. He settled in Owosso, where he entered the clothing business.

When the Civil War enveloped this country, Samuel Lamfrom joined the Union forces, and when he returned from service he became a member of the L.B. Quackenbush Post G.A.R. at Owosso. Mrs. Clardy showed me a treasured picture of her grandfather Samuel, along with other members of a drum and fife corps representing the G.A.R. post to which they belonged.

When Mose Lamfrom died in February 1955, his daughter continued to operate the store for awhile, then it was turned over to Reed and Betty Zimmerman when they bought the estate in July, 1955. Betty is the daughter of Helen Nieman, another daughter of Mose Lamfrom. The Zimmermans had the store until about 1973, when it was sold to Pete Weimerskirch and he was later joined by Gary M. Weimerskirch, the present owner.


The accompanying photo of Mose Lamfrom, seated at his desk in the store, shows him working on his business ledger. His father studied accounting at Wurtenburg University, and Mose continued to use the methods his father taught him.

Mose was active in the Fostoria Rotary Club for many years, and was especially involved in the crippled children's phase of the club.

By about April 1, the old Lamfrom's Ltd. store, 103 N. Main St., will become Gary's Men's Wear and Sporting Goods. By that time, the store will be re- modeled and restocked with new merchandise.


It has been several weeks since FEEDBACK has appeared, mainly because longer articles have taken up available space. Here is some feedback which has accumulated--mostly about Dillinger--which has been one of the most popular articles presented in POTLUCK. I presume that the popularity stems from the number of people who were living here during the robbery or those who recall the notorious event.


She telephoned to report that her husband Robert, who was working at the Fostoria Lumber Co. at the time of the robbery, had driven the company truck to a location opposite the bank in Tiffin Street that day. He parked near the VFW Bar when the shooting started. For safety, he dashed into a stairway that led to the second floor..."all shook up," she said.


Carbin donated blood for police chief Frank Culp, who was seriously injured with a gunshot from the bandits' fire. Culp was in critical condition for awhile, but recovered. Carbin can probably be credited in part for Culp's recovery for donating his blood.


Hurls and his co-writers thought it was good and appropriate to end the Dillinger story with the positive note about the prodigal son and what might have happened to Dillinger if circumstances had been different.


I met her in the Review Times office buying extra copies of the Dillinger storyh to send to friends and relatives. Many other readers bought extra copies too. Elchert said she is a relative of Frank Culp. One of Culp's daughters is still living, but I do not have the address. Perhaps someone can accommodate me.


After reading the South Main Street story, which mentioned the Golden Hill Saloon, Bauman called to say that he has a bottle opener with the name "Gold- en Hill" on it.


Remember the story about Bertha Wickerd's piano (published in April 1980)? At that time it was in the possession of Ken McClary, Wayne, because he had purchased it in Fostoria from the A.G. Shumaker family at 526 N. Union St.

Mrs. Dale Knauas, 1735 N. Countyline St., called recently to say that she has purchased the piano from McClary. It has been tuned and restored mechani- cally, and soon Mr. Knauss will refinish it. Mrs. Knauas is glad to be the new owner and happy that the fine new old instrument was discovered and now in her possession.


The first installment of that story produced telephone calls from a number of readers and some interesting information for today's column. Here they are;


He remembered when the Presbyterian's first church, 340 W. Fremont St., was still standing, after the Baptists had left it for a new location. He said when it was being demolished, at least one of the stained glass windows was salvaged, perhaps more. One of them finally became the possession of Robert and Jean Hill, North Union Street, both of whom are now deceased. Eventually the Hills installed the window in an addition that was built onto their house.

In talking to Mrs. Gwilym Stearns, daughter of the Hills, it was Mr. Hill's wish that if the house wa sold after he and his wife were deceased that the window by removed and kept in the family.

His wish was observed, and the beautiful 3-by-5 foot window is now installed in the Stearns house on Eagleville Road, north of Fostoria.


I mentioned the Stewart family in the Presbyterian story, and in particular Frank Stewart, who was a prominent Fostorian, as well as leading figure in the Presbyterian church.

Both Edna Hatfield and Bob McMeen reminded me that Frank Stewart's home still stands on East Crocker Street. It is the large house painted green, on the north side of the street next to Kinn's garage. It has a turret shaped tower on the second story.


"Cliff" called to remind me that when the new organ and chancel was installed in the Presbyterian church in 1956, he did the carpenter work...working with Oscar Juergens on the design and installation.


Milo Hensteler, 517 N. Union St., a regular POTLUCK reader, called to ask assistance in reconstructing details about The Lincoln Club, once a prominent Men's activity in the Methodist Church when it was located at Main and Fremont streets. I couldn't help him. If any readers can help him, his telephone number is 435-4716.


Here's part of one letter received in response to that article: "Dear brother in Christ, Thank you for that splended article about Scott. Benja- min's mother is my youngest sister. She would have been proud of that arti- cle. Although education passed her by, she was a bundle of love. Benjamin's father would be 99 years old tomorrow (2-14-81). May God richly bless in your work." Charles Hiser, Van Buren, Ohio.

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