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March 20, 1986


pix # 1 - Photo is of No. 92 of the LE&W, probably around 1900. Judging from the diameter of the drive wheels, Don Kinnaman, former Fostorian now residing in Phoenix, Ariz., believes this engine was probably a passenger engine and built for speed. Although equipped with an acetylene headlight, it was more than likely a coal burner or a combination wood and coal burner, he believes. The photo should have been included in the 125th Anniversary edition of The Review Times. Kinnaman is a long-time enthusiast of railroads and interurbans.

From Charles Walters, Mesa, Arizona, came a letter to Potluck chock full of things he recalled after reading thoroughly a copy of The Review Times 125th Anniversary edition, sent to him by Dale Mills, 436 Elm Street, a classmate of Walters.

The recollections of Walters included in his letter reminded me of events I had completely forgotten, but to which he attached significance...overlooked by all of us who contributed to that edition.

Here's Walters' contribution to "Potluck" readers, just the same as he wrote to me, excepting a few introductory remarks:


Recollecting some of 'firsts' in Fostoria brought to mind that perhaps the first elevator for public use was in the Keibel and Wilson department store which later was purchased by the H.O. Ahlenius family. The store also featured the big city cash transaction metal cars that followed their tracks to the mezzanine cashier.

Other firsts were: Dawn Doughnuts on East Center Street in the former F.A. Copley bicycle store, operated by William and Walfred Anderson, 1927-28; Ohio Most Beautiful Woman, Dorothy Gerlinger, in a contest conducted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer; Ohio's most Perfect Back.

Fostoria's first self-service grocery store on the southwest corner of Tiffin and Main Street using galvanized pipe at hip level to guide the customer past all shelves and counters and back to the cash register before leaving the store, and admonition by the proprietor for ducking under the pipe to take a short cut. Featured food products were Monarch and Richelieu labels.

Also first: the gasoline station erected by Standard Oil at the northeast corner of Tiffin and Poplar streets easing motorists of getting to the bulk station on West Tiffin before it closed. Carl Herbert was one of the first to operate the station and suffered the first gas station robbery.


Establishing four firsts by himself and his wife, Bess, was Donald Dillon. He held first dealership of the new Chrysler with "balloon" tires, 19 by 6.00 hydraulic brakes, in the garage behind his East Center street home; first dealership of the Pontiac, selling 17 cars in 15 days, one of which was instrumental in naming a new young men's club because the trip to Columbus for organization was made in one driven by one Paul Krupp; first dealer for the new DeSoto made by Chrysler; and the first auto parts store he moved from his home to the former Carl Smith Livery Stable on East Tiffin street, Buckeye Auto Parts.

Memory holds for the Post Office south of the alley next to J.C. Penny, before moving to the Kingseed Hardware location on West Tiffin; Wade, Wagner and Peter Clothing stores for men; the 'picture shows' of Unique, Strand Luna, Majestic and Colonial. Bob Doke Basket Market opened in the Unique space next to the Citizen Telephone office where Chet Klinepeter had a print shop beside the Masonic Temple before moving to Doke area when Doke moved across the street to space behind Peter Clothing. The Book Shop occupied the Strand space and the name 'Strand' could be seen in tile entrance to the store. Burger Shoe located near the Luna area. Majestic and Colonial continued for years later.

How about the $1 for once-a-week summer swimming at the YMCA for teenage boys to learn to swim? And the F.P. Lindsay cement block plant behind his home that he conducted by hand-plunger operation before mechanization, and age, forced his retirement. Also Algy Strouse Fisk Tire Store, next to the Unique Theater. Could he and Milton Book have been the Elk's Minstrels endmen when Sammy Croft was the basso profundo interlocutor? And how about the "Biggest Little Jewelry Store" that O.C. Harding owned behind the Commercial Bank? Or the late-night, early-morning city-wide cruising in an open touring car ( a Pierce-Arrow or Franklin) by Elmer Pfeil and Tony Kiefer on any nice summer evening.


The Huss family, living on East Tiffin, was invited to provide the music to sing the Star Spangled Banner by the children in the neighborhood, which very likely included Mary Noble, Elmer Kellems, Curtis Strouse and myself, as Sam Cadwallader erected a flag pole at the point of the triangle of the Cadwallader property on East Tiffin-Columbus Avenue.

The Huss children had the benefit of an equipped gymnasium on the second floor of the barn-garage behind their home. The H.O.Ahlenius family took over the ownership later.

Oh, yes, another first was air delivery by the Toledo News-Bee of a special edition newspaper after the Dempsey-Willard world heavyweight championship fight in Toledo.

Utility payments were easier for most with the telephone, gas and water offices located on North Street within a half-block either side of Main Street. A number of doctor offices were also located in the same area, but I think that had little to do with meeting the established utility rates at that time.


As a carrier of the Times 1922-23, I'm not sure that I would be the oldest living carrier. I began in September 1924 tutelage of printing under the care of Ray Hartsook, his brother, Roy, the newspaper pressman, Harry Brubaker, Bill Atha, the venerable J.H. (Josh) Williams, managing editor and Roscoe Carle. The editor was John Lockhart who led me to read several books of Republican leaders of the U.S. I still have the press card signed by Roscoe Carle in his fluent Spencerian hand. After 19 years at the Fostoria Times, two years with Orangeburg (S.C.) Observer, 17 years with the Upper Sandusky Chief-Union and 13 years at the Temple (Ariz.) Daily News, 51 years at newspapers, folded up the apron, picked up the line-gauge, the make-up rule and the 6- and 12- point tape rule Oct. 1, 1975, I retired. Assisting three years later when another had surgery, I picked up my linotype prowess as if I'd never left but was convinced retirement is more fun.

(Author's Note: If you like what Walters contributed, why not drop him a note and tell him. He'd be glad. Address: Charles Walters, 2528 East McKellips, Apt. 64, Mesa, Arizona 85203. Since receiving the above interesting memorabilia, Walters has acknowledged my "thank you" note and responded with another collection of interesting things from the past, which will be in next week's column.)



"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give away and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know, I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46)

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