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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989

PALMER HOUSE REVIVES MEMORIES
Thursday, March 11, 1982


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Pix #1 - The Palmer House, which once was located at Tiffin and Union Streets where Episcopal Church is now.

Pix #2 - the Palmer Family, beginning in the front row, left to right: Allen and Palmer Jamison, sons of Mrs. John Roger's half sister, Emma Palmer Jamison, and her husban, Joseph T. Second Row: Mary E. Dickerman Palmer and her husband, Charles E.; Marion M. Miller, husband of Mrs. Rogers only full sister who survived childhood; Nellie Palmer Miller; Fannie Palmer, Mrs. Rober's aunt on her father's side; Emma Palmer Jamison. Third Row: Emma Curtis, distant relative of Mrs. Rogers; Myrtle Jamison Trachsel, daughter of Emma Jamison, the only person in photo still living; Helen Miller Mills, daughter of Marion M and Nellie Miller; Nellie Miller; Joseph T. Jamison, Carrie Palmer Lewis, daughter of Fannie Palmer; Mary E. Palmer Rogers, Nettie and Elgia, daughters of fannie Palmer.

Pix #3 - Mrs. Don (Mary Elizabeth) Huffman and mother Mrs. Alice Laipply.

Pix #4 - Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Rogers - Tuscon, Arizona

Pix #5 - Mary Palmer Rogers, seated in her Tuscon garden, now a grassy area of the University of Arizona campus.

Pix #6 - John B. Rogers

Many readers will remember the Palmer house which once was located where the Episcopal Church (See picture) is now at Tiffin and Union Streets. In later years, the John B. Rogers family lived there.

There are three people inparticular who have found intimate memories about the house and the people who inhabitied it. They are John Palmer Rogers, Tucson, Arizona, Alice Laipply and her daughter Mrs. Don (Mary Elizabeth) Huffman, Fostoria.

Palmer Rogers, as he was better known, son of John B. and Mary E. (Palmer) Rogers was born in Fostoria and lived all his life in the house prior to the time when he and his mother moved to Arizona for health reasons.

LIVING FOSTORIAN WAS HOUSEKEEPER

Mrs. Laipply was housekeeper for the Rogers family for 13 1/2 years, and Mrs. Huffman spent much time in the house when she was a child. In fact, she was considered so much a part of the Rogers family that they wanted to adopt her and pay for her education.

Interviewing Mrs. Huffman and discussing the old house and the Rogers family brought tears to her eyes many times. Mrs. Rogers was a second mother to me and I loved her very much, Mrs. Huffman said. Not only that, but Mrs. Huffman was named Mary Elizabeth after Mrs. Rogers.

The house is referred to as The Palmer House, since it was the family home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Palmer, the parents of Mrs. John B. Rogers. Mrs. Rogers was reared in the house and was the last of the Palmer family to reside there. The one accompanying photo shows and identifies the Palmer family.

ABOUT PALMER ORIGINAL OWNER

According to Palmer Rogers, his grandfather and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Palmer, had grown in poverty on a farm near Gower, MO., during the Civil war days and in later years had a horror of any ostentatious display of wealth.

Mr. Palmer in later years was a minor officer in the Dewey Stave Co., based in Toledo. His duties consisted of overseeing a number of small factories located not far from Fostoria, mostly along the B&O railroad. The factories manufactured barrel parts, largely for the American Sugar Co. (now Star Corporation) which had been founded by Mr. Palmer's brother in New York City.

HOUSE SOME READERS WILL RECALL

The house had a fence on the one side and front of the house and an iron fence on the Tiffin and Union Streets side. During World War II, when scrap metal was needed, the Rogers donated the fence for the war effort, even though they hated to part with it.

The two front doors, shaped round, with curved glass, opened on a hallway to the stairway leading to the second floor. It also provided access to the five rooms on the first floor, plus bath and pantry. All woodwork throughout the house had natural finished.

There were five bedrooms on the second floor and a stairway which led to a full attic. There was also a stairway from the attic which led to an area on the roof, surrounded by an iron fence, which permitted a place for sunning and airing.

One of Mrs. Huffman's recollections pertains to the dining room. Under the large dining table was foot-actuated button which rang a bell in the kitchen to summon the person in charge of service. And the table was always formally set with napkins held by silver rings.

Mrs. Huffman also recalls the large mirror in one of the living rooms. It was three or four feet wide and extended from floor to ceiling. She said it gave the illusion of an entrance to another room and often visitors would bump into it.

Palmer Rogers recalls that there were several beds and bureaus in the house that wouls be considered antiques today.

HUFFMAN RECALLS HOUSE AND PEOPLE

Mrs. Huffman's memories go back to the time when she was about three or four years old and later in her teens when she visited there.

She called John B. Rogers "uncle John" and Mrs. Rogers "Ollie Goodie" but doesn't know how the latter came about. She also recalls that Mrs. Rogers was an accomplished pianist, and often played a particular tune which was just right for skipping all through the downstairs of the spacious house. "Ollie Goodie liked to whistle", she said, "and was really a good whistler". the piano was a babygrand.

Palmer Rogers and Carl Vogel (deceased), a very close friend, always vied for the privilege of pushing little Mary Elizabeth in a reed baby buggy.

Mrs. Huffman also recalls that Palmer participated in pranks which "scared me to death". One was making human skelatons of paper, suspending them so they could be illuminated and jiggled to motion. She said another prank was to use rubber insects and spiders to scare her. Carolyn Cunningham Karg lived close by and is remembered as a friend.

CARRIAGE HOUSE HOUSED AUTOMOBILES

The property also boasted a brick structure in the rear, which originally was a carriage house prior to the advent of automobiles. Later it housed an all-electric car, as well as one powered by a gasoline engine.

Mrs. Huffman recalls riding in the electric model. "Very quiet", she said, "and guided not with the conventional steering wheel of today, but with an L-shaped rod which moved right or left".

When the Episcopal Church purchased the Palmer property for their new location, the old carriage house was used until the new church building was completed.

The Rogers family and presumably the Palmers before them, employed a gardener to take care of the lawn and garden and another man to do odd jobs and keep things in repair. On one occasion, Mrs. Huffman recalls that she was spending some time with the Rogers during the summer, her bathing suit got wet, so she took it off and was playing in the nude. The gardener discovered the plight and hurried her into the house to get dressed.

AMOS AND ANDY VISITED FOSTORIA

One recollection of Mrs. Huffman's sticks in her memory and is one which will be informative to all readers. Many readers will remember Amos and Andy of radio fame, but not many know that htye got their start with John B. Rogers Co. in one of the shows they produced. According to Mrs. Huffman, the two radio comedians often visited in the John Rogers home of today's article. On one of those occasions, little Mary Elizabeth was there and sat on the lap of either Amos or Andy...she doesn't remember which now.

The closeness of Mrs. Rogers to Mrs. Laippy and Mrs. Huffman is expressed several other ways: the George Freese family lived next to the Rogers, where the Hoening Funeral Home is now. Mr. Freese tried to hire Mrs. Laipply to work for them at an increase in salary, but was told that the excellent treatment and friendly relationship with the Rogers would not allow her to consider, even for more salary.

When Mrs. Rogers and Palmer moved to Arizona, Mrs. Laipply was invited to visit them, which she did for a lengthy period. Mrs. Huffman said after she had grown, Mrs. Rogers always remembered her with a Christmas gift and kept in touch, as long as she lived.

94-YEAR-OLD FAMILY MEMBER STILL LIVES

The only person shown in the family picture who is still living is Myrtle Jamison Trachsel, St. Joseph, MO. (identified in the photo). According to Palmer Rogers, she is about 94 years old. She shows no sign of senility and still enjoys an active social life. For many years she was an author of children's books, actually historical novels with juvenile characters. Mr. and Mrs. John B. Rogers have been dead for many years.

I have remembered the house of today's story for many years and wanted to do a story about it , but lacked the essential element, a picture of it. It was found among photos in possession of the Episcopal Church when I was doing research for that article. Earlier, Mrs. Huffman, a regular Potluck reader, had told me that her mother Mrs. Laipply had worked for the Rogers. It was then that I knew, I had another story.

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