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Greetings from the City of Fostoria
July 11, 1954

PIX#1 Ray R. Coburn

Welcome to Fostoria, Ohio. Welcome to the city that for 100 years has grown steadily, sometimes leisurely, and sometimes at a furious pace.

We are most happy to have you with us on this great occasion. Birthday parties are always gala affairs, but the 100th birthday is something special and Athe more "the merrier" was never more true.

Our city has been decorated from stem to stern in festive fashion and entertainment of all description has been programmed that all might be amused, edified, and pleased, according to one's individual taste.

I sincerely hope that all residents and visitors to the City of Fostoria during our gigantic birthday week are left with the feeling of good fellowship and brotherhood that is expressly implied and intended.

Welcome to Fostoria. Welcome to the biggest party in the city's 100 year history.

Ray R. Coburn
Mayor, Fostoria, Ohio

H. Robert Bradner,
Safety-Service Director,
Fostoria, Ohio

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Fostoria City Government

Fostoria has operated under the Mayor-Councilmanic form of city government since it became a city in 1889. The present city officials and department heads are:

Mayor, Ray R. Coburn
Safety Service Director, H. Robert Bradner
City Treasurer, C. Richard Fruth
City Solicitor, Lester Huth
City Auditor, Harry Mosier
President of Council, George Peeler
1st Ward, Robert Hil
2nd Ward, Charles Rush
3rd Ward, Marvin D. Rupp
4th Ward, John Steyer
Councilmen at Large,
W.F. Hartsell
Francis Bormuth
Richard Switzer
Clerk of Council, R.V. Hollenbaugh
Fostoria Dept. Of Health:
Health Commissioner, Paul D. Gregory
City Health Nurse, Dorothy M. Carte
Clerk of the Board, Mary D. Shreve
Fostoria Municipal Court:
Judge, James V. Ford
Bailiff, M. Baker
Clerk, Jean Trumpler
Fostoria Municipal Hospital:
Supt., Hal Stout
Supt. Of Nurses, Mary Jane Smith

Technician, Dr. Wm. Maxwell
X-Ray Technician, Dr. James
Pres. Medical Bd., Dr. H.P. Ulicny
Sec'y Medical Bd., Dr. S.R. Markey
Supt. Sewage Dept., Harrison Fling
Supt. City Dump, Archie Fittro
City Chemist, William Lockhart
Streets & Parks:
Supt. Of Streets, Merrill Ward
Supt. Of Cemetery & Parks, P. Munger
Supt. Of Swim Pool, Richard Sprow
Civil Service Commission:
Chrmn., C. D. LaRue
C.W. Gilliard
Ralph Heilman
Sec'y, Ora Wade
Water Works & Sewage Dept:
Supt. Water Works, Herbert Lord
Asst Supt., W. Stewart
Clerk, Ruth Donaldson
Asst. Clerk, Mildred Rumple
Library Board:
Pres., Eldren Layton
V.Pres., Mrs. Eldon Fruth
Sec-Clerk, Ms. Antoinette Baumstark
Blaine Hummel
C.A. Moran

Library Personnel:
Librarian, Mrs. Oscar A. Brenner
Assts.: Mrs. R. F. Glaser
Mrs. Victor Mandorf
Mrs. Lowell Tyson, Marlene Greene,
Ann Porter. Page, Jaynis Clark
Custodian, Charles M. Gase


PIX#2 Fostoria's Oldest House

To answer the questions of those who ask, "Why a Centennial this year? We had one back in 1932." That celebration was the anniversary of the birth of the twin villages, Rome and Risdon, both platted within one week of each other in 1832. Now we are celebrating the One Hundredth Anniversary of that marriage, which took place formally on July 14, 1854.

Seneca County had been organized by a special act passed by the Ohio General Assembly on Jan. 22, 1824, which authorized the first elections to be held on the first Monday in April. Only four townships, Thompson, Eden, Seneca, and Clinton had been organized and held an election. On April 12, 1824, the First Court in the County was held and business transacted. David Risdon was appointed first County Surveyor. In the meantime the County as was all of northwestern Ohio was being surveyed into Congressional Townships and Sections. Much of the land was turned over to the Miami and Dayton Canal Company to be sold to settlers and the proceeds of these sales were to be used to pay for the construction of the canal being slowly pushed northward from Cincinnati, through Dayton, eventually to reach Defiance, and a couple of muddy, nondescript villages along the lower Maumee River, which afterwards became Toledo. These canal lands were entered in 1828. In 1832, Charles W. Foster from Massachusetts, with his father-in-law, John Crocker, and his brother-in-law, Roswell Crocker, entered upon two thousand acres of unimproved lands within and near what became Fostoria. Roswell Crocker took deed to the East 2 of the South West 1/4 of Section 6, comprising the eighty acres, now bounded by College Avenue, Poplar Street, the first alley south of Bricker Street, and County Line. Here on August 31, 1832, the village of Rome was platted. It included the square bounded by North Street, Poplar Street, South Street, and County Line Street.

Only a week later, on Sept. 6, 1832, J. Gorsuch had a town platted, lying half in Seneca County and half in Hancock County. This townsite was bounded by Jackson Street, Union Street, Elm Street, and the Portage River. One of the surveyors was David Risdon, for whom the new town was named.

The two villages prospered. In 1848, in "A History of Seneca County" a Mr. Butterfield wrote, "Rome is pleasantly situated and surrounded by a beautiful county. It contains fifty dwellings, two churches, three stores, two taverns, two steam sawmills, two tanneries, two steam gristmills, two cabinet shops, three shoe shops, three tailor shops, two saddler shops, and five blacksmith shops. There are three resident physicians, Alonzo Lockwood, George Patterson, and Simon Bricker. In 1840, the population was eighty persons. In 1848, it is about three hundres, and is increasing rapidly. It is located on the Lower Sandusky (Fremont) and Ft. Findlay State Road, the Defiance and Tiffin State Road, and the Bucyrus and Perrysburg State Roads." (Note: The first named road is now Ohio 12, and the second, Ohio 18, both following the gravel ridges across the country, which at that time were about the only places higher than the waters of the Black Swamp which covered northwestern Ohio then and for many years thereafter. The third route follows U.S. 23 south from Perrysburg, from the lower rapids on the Maumee River, along the higher ground east of the Eastern Branch of the Portage River and was an old Indian Trail crossing to the upper waters of the Scioto River and on southward).

Writing about Risdon, Mr. Butterfield said, AAmong the earlier settlers were Henry Welch, Jeremiah Mickey and Franklin P. Gordon. In 1848, there were thirty dwellings, one church, one tavern, three stores, one carding machine run by steam power, one wagon shop, two shoe shops, two saddler shops, one tannery, one cabinet shop, one steam saw mill, one foundry, and three blacksmith shops. In 1840, its population had been thirty-nine. In 1848, it has risen to two hundred. There are two resident physicians, Dr. Marcus Dana and R.C.Caples. (Note: In 1832, Dr. Dana built the house now standing west of the Square, north of Summit Street and now occupied by the Kimes family. It is undoubtedly the oldest house in Fostoria.)

Rivalry between the two villages was intense, with many incidents, which to us today seem amusing, but which to them, struggling for mastery and control, were anything but that. Finally in 1853, common sense and reason came to their rescue, and it was decided, that after all, unity and cooperation offered more financial and political rewards than continued bickering. In January, 1854, the people of Risdon petitioned the Seneca County Board of Commissioners for authority to merge with Rome. The petition was granted, and on July 14, 1854, the wedding of the two neighbors took place, but the name of the new town was to be FOSTORIA, a tribute to their most influential citizen, who was promptly elected to be the town's first mayor. This is the anniversary we are celebrating this week.

Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:47 +0000
Centenial - page11 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18795-centenial---page11 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18795-centenial---page11 1954 Centennial Book

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PIX# 36 Personnel of the Fostoria Special Police. Front row, left to right: Bernard Lee, Clifford Stewart, Jim Emerson, 2nd Lt. Carl Harding, Watson Harden, Earl Gaskalla, Sgt. Chris Balsat, 1st Lt. Allen Russell, Capt. George Russell. Back row: Lawrence Jones, Rangemaster; David Custer, Lester Barnes, Noble Bell, Floyd Rumschlag, Gene Hollenbaugh, L.A. Lawless, Sec-Treas. Ben H. Rasey, Cecil Vaughn, Sgt. Lester Raymont, Raymond Rumschlag. Absent from picture: Fred Munger, Alvin Dolch

PIX# 37 Lawrence Jones, Rangemaster, teaching Fostoria boys how to properly use a rifle..

The very useful organization had its beginnings early in WW II, when it was one of three companies of one hundred men each; the other two being at Tiffin and Attica. Originally they were high-powered rifle clubs. They were given extensive training in the use of rifles and small arms, and basically, they were organized for home defense. George Steinmetz, former Sheriff of Seneca County was the prime mover and organizer. When the war ended, the Companies disbanded, with the exception of the Fostoria unit. This was then formed into a group of Deputy Sheriffs, called the Seneca County Sheriff's Patrol.

As time went on, the City of Fostoria began calling on the Patrol more and more frequently for assistance to help out the regular Police Force, when more men were needed than the Force could muster. More and more the Patrol was used as a special force to care for traffic at football games, parades, and like events. Then it was learned that the Special Force could not legally help out the City as the members were sworn in as deputy sheriffs, for special county duty. Mayor Hal Stout, realizing the need for such a force, swore the men into Fostoria service for city duty. Thus the Fostoria Special Police Force came into being.

As the years have progressed, the use of just such an outfit, has proved itself time and time again, that it is very useful and beneficial to the community. The members of the Special Police furnish their own uniforms and equipment, and serve without pay, in most cases. The men have always been called to duty on a voluntary basis, and at no time are they asked to stop work at their regular jobs, unless in extreme emergencies. Compensation is sometimes offered for special service and has been accepted. The city, however, is in no way obligated to pay any wages. During the past three years, however, Mayor Ray Coburn has come to look to the Special Police for men to supplement the Regular Forces, during the period when it is undermanned because of vacations. The men are then paid from a special fund set up for that purpose in the annual city budget, and duly appropriated by the Council.

The men of the Fostoria Special Police Force are very proud to be a part of Fostoria and to be of such service in helping preserve the security and safety of their neighbors and fellow townsmen.

Another activity of the Special Police, is the training of the boys and young men of Fostoria in the proper use of rifles and other small arms. They have a well-built rifle range at Lake Daugherty (City Reservoir No. 1), and hold frequent matches there among themselves and their pupils.

Everybody who has had occasion during these past years to attend any event in the City where traffic is apt to become snarled up, has come to look for and to depend upon the volunteers of the Special Force to keep the cars moving smoothly and as rapidly as possible. You, who are attending the Centennial, either down town or at the Stadium, can appreciate how fortunate we are in having such a well organized, well trained and well disciplined organization to help and protect us.


PIX#38 Volunteer Fire Department, about 1900; City Hall Decorated for a visit of President Wm. McKinley

PIX#39 Horse-drawn equipment ready for action

PIX#40 Horses, men and all, ready to roll PIX#41 First auto-pumpers, about 1927

PIX#42 Present force with their modern equipment

Fostoria's very well-equipped and efficient Fire Department seems to have been organized back i 1872, a Volunteer Department with one hand pumper, hose carts, and a ladder truck, all hand drawn and operated. The fire engine was, itself, burned in 1881. The first steam fire engine was purchased in 1877, and a second, in 1884. The records show that in 1886, there were two Silsby steam pumpers, one hook-and-ladder truck, three hose carts, and one fire team. It was also the custom for volunteers with teams to answer a fire-call and the first team able to hook on and take the apparatus to the fire was paid five dollars. Modernization of the Department began in 1915, when the first auto pumper was purchased from Seagrave in Columbus. In 1919, a full-time driver became the first non-volunteer member of the Department. In 1931, the entire Force went on a full-time basis with E.A. Doe as the first Chief, until his retirement in 1944. Tim Walsh has served as Chief since then.

The present equipment comprises two very modern auto pumpers, with full equipment for all emergencies, including gas masks, inhalators, etc. One of the trucks has an aerial ladder capable of reaching the roof of any building in the city. For life saving in the city lakes, there is an aluminum skiff, mounted on a trailer and donated by the Lions Club a short time ago.

The Force now comprises the Chief, Tim Walsh; three Captains, A.J. Shuck, Ed Garner, and L.E. Gregory; and firemen: C.B. Wise, C.A. Miller, M.E. Walters, R.W. Blake, H.U. Walters, C.E. Switzer, M.W. Geoghegan. W.R. Walker, E.W. Coppus.


1851 C.W. Foster, Sr 1886 Alexander Brown
1852 R.C. Caples 1892 J.M. Beaver
1853 Jacob Fritche 1894 John A. Bradner
1855 David Haves 1896 W.F. Boley
1856 Edwin Bement 1898 C.W. Hughes
1857 James Anderson 1902 G.W. Cunningham
1858 B.L. Caples 1906 C.C. Anderson
1859 J.F. Richart 1910 J. Ross Bradner
1861 W.D. Sherwood 1912 W.M. Ralston
1862 G.A. Hudson 1914 G.W. Cunningham
1863 Jacob Kridler 1916 O.R. Wade
1864 James Leach 1920 F.M. Hopkins
1866 John A. Bradner 1922 E. A. Kurtz
1867 C.C. Nestlerode 1926 L.W. Gibson
.1868 John A. Bradner 1930 H.W. Whitta
1869 F.R. Stewart 1932 George Cameron
1870 J.W. Bricker 1936 F.P. Culp
1872 John A. Bradner 1938 C.B. Shuman
1874 W.J. Rigby 1944 Hal Stout
1876 J.V. Jones 1948 C.A. Latshaw
1878 W.J. Rigby 1950 C.B. Shuman
1882 David Asire 1952 Ray R. Coburn
1884 J.M. Beaver    

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The first recorded meeting of the Fostoria Board of Health was held in Campbell's Drug Store on January 7, 1902. The Health Officer, W.N. Caldwell, gave his report for the year 1901, which included 30 cases of typhoid fever and three of diphtheria. In those early years, the Board was much concerned about smallpox, and in 1903, passed a resolution to establish a pesthouse. The budget for 1903 included the Health Officer's salary of $25.39 for two weeks, $9.00 to W.B. Rollins for one week's service driving the garbage team maintained by the Health Board, and $10.50 for 25 bushels of oats for the horses.

The Dept. Of Vital Statistics was added to the functions of the Health Dept. by act of Ohio Legislature on December 20, 1908 and the first local records were maintained by Mr. Campbell. By the end of 1909 he had recorded 273 births and 131 deaths in Fostoria. Up to the present time, it is estimated that the Fostoria Health Dept. has on record 15,000 births and 7,000 deaths.

On January 2, 1920 the Health Board was reorganized under the Hughes Act and became a City Health Dept. under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Health. Mr. Caldwell continued in the capacity of Health Commissioner, until his death in 1927. Subsequent Health Commissioners were T.M. Bridges, A.V. Parsell, L.W. Gibson, H.A. Devore, E.C. Phipps, and Paul Gregory. Mr. E.O. Sheller was first President Pro Tem under the reorganization and the first Public Health Nurse was Bertha M. Corl. Other nurses were Mrs. R.L. Murphy, Helen Burrel, Lucille Kanable, Marguerite Binley Lord, Marie Baumstark, Clara Rader and Regina Schlachter.

From 1901 until the present time, the Health Dept. has been concerned with sanitation in Fostoria and has maintained inspection of milk and meat products. Through the years additional services to the public have been added to the program, such as restaurant inspection, tuberculosis control, vaccination of school children (minimizing the old problem of smallpox, diphtheria, and typhoid fever), water supply inspection and testing and services to crippled children. The present Board of Health consists of Leonard J. Schreiner, Pres. Pro Tem, S.L. Dever, Dr. H.P. Ulicny, Mrs. Barbara Vilbrandt, Mrs. Jane Adams, and the Mayor of Fostoria, as Pres. Ex Officio.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:49 +0000
Centenial - page10 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18794-centenial---page10 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18794-centenial---page10 1954 Centennial Book

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Probably the greatest single event to bring northwestern Ohio into world prominence was the striking of the world-famed gas well, the great Karg Well just this side of Findlay -roared and burned with a flame over one hundred feet high, that could be seen and heard for a radius of ten miles, and seemed to burn and burn with a never-ending stop. How long it took to cap and control this well, I've never been able to find out but in the period of over a year, the Lake Erie and Western railroad would run excursions to that point and people came from all over to see this marvelous sight.

That was the beginning of the "gas-glass" days in Fostoria in 1887. Well after well was put down - not for gas but for the precious oil. Gas was the by-product. No means had been provided for its storage, use or transportation; so with the abundance of this by-product, natural gas, free fuel was given to any industry who would come and locate in Fostoria. Hastily constructed pipes were laid on the ground with no attempt made to bury them. Gas was piped to all home owners and given all they could use for $1.00 per month.

The Glass Industry learning of the abundance of gas in this locality - free for their use in the manufacture of their product, and gas being the major expense of materials entering into the cost of glass, they were vitally interested so came in great numbers to locate in Fostoria. Among those coming in 1887, 1888, 1889, and 1890 were the following: Fostoria Glass Company located on the present site of the Seneca Wire: the Mosaic Glass Company located on the present site of the Fostoria Ice & Coal; over on Sandusky Street across from the school building was the Butler Glass Company; the Nickel Plate Glass Company was located out McDougal Street on the lefhand side where the street crosses the railroad; the Fostoria Lamp & Shade in the west part of town; the Seneca Glass Company south and east of the Harter Mill. Then there was the Mambourg, the Crocker, and the Caliseum Glass Companies located out on the Hocking Valley railroads.

These nine glass companies represented the main factories flourishing during the period of Free Gas.

As near as I've been able to determine, the largest and most representative of the Glass houses flourishing in our community during the period of 1888 to 1894 was the Seneca Glass Co., which occupied a space of over two and a half acres in the west part of town to the east and south of where the Isaac Harter Mill now stands and in the space between the Nickel Plate, B&O and LE and W Railroads. The officers of the company were: President Otto Jaeger who some of you will remember was an important factor in Presbyterian Church activities - he was leader of the choir many years and a very congenial, jovial man. Frank K. Bannister, another prominent Presbyterian in Fostoria at that time was Secretary of the Company.

The factory gave employment to several hundred men, about one-half of whom were foreigners. The workmen employed were of the most skilled to be found in the country and averaged in wages from $5 to $7 per day.

The articles the Seneca Glass manufactured were known as Blown Lead glassware, made exclusively for table and bar use. Tableware included items such as pitchers, tumblers, goblets, nappies, etc. Bar goods included everything from goblets and wine glasses to soda tumblers.

The large percentage of glass workers, as I have said, were foreigners - the great majority of whom had not learned to speak English. One of my friend's father, who was a clerk in the shoe store at that time, told me of how his dad would study French at night in order to be able to wait on his trade. The fine artisans working with glass seemed to have come from Belgium, France and Austria.

Child labor was more or less common then. In fact, the Glass houses seemed to depend upon a certain percentage of boys to run the errands and do "help-out" jobs, so all of the houses had a number of boys between the ages of 10 to 16. In fact, the present President of the Fostoria Glass Co. now located at Moundsville, W. Va. tells how at the age of 12 started in the shipping and packing room of the Fostoria Glass Co. then located at Fostoria, Ohio - and takes pride in his having mastered the art of blowing glass and of coming up the hard way.

One of the glass companies built a special dormitory and imported a large number of orphans from the east to relieve their labor situation.

The general exodus of the glass industry from Fostoria started in 1894. There seemed to be an epidemic of fires. As the surplus gas played out, it became necessary to pipe the gas from nearby communities to supply fuel. And, naturally, there was a charge required so that the expense of manufacturing glass in Fostoria became prohibitive and one by one they left to go to other localities where they put down their own wells, or purchased coal-producing land for the manufacture of gas, or where other inducements were offered by different communities.

Some of the outstanding personnel of the early 90's in the glass industry going to other communities are:

The Fostoria Glass Company - located now at Moundsville, W.Va. on a site wherein they own and control their own coal mines and manufacture their own gas for consumption.

The Sneath Glass Company - owned and controlled by the Sneath Interests in Tiffin located in Hartford City, Indiana amid the rich surrounding gas area.

The personnel of the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company - located at Wheeling, W.Va. was the outgrowth of one of the nine companies mentioned above. The same can be said of The Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge, the Anchor Hocking Glass Company at Lancaster, which has several plants owned and controlled in different states, and the Duncan & Miller Glass Company of Washington, Pa.

In fact, a few years ago, if you were to go into almost any glass company in the middle west and ask any old timer there about Fostoria, you would find that if they were in the glass business in the late 80's or early 90's they would have had some experience in one of the glass companies previously located in Fostoria.
(Excerpts from a paper read before the University Club by A. Gordon Gray, 1944)

PIX#31 Fostoria's Municipal Hospital -designated the recipient of all profits from the operations of the Centennial.


There probably never has been a time when a communit's hopes were boosted higher, nor dashed more cruelly, than in those days in the late 1880's when the discovery of natural gas in seemingly huge and inexhaustable quantities in the area west of Fostoria between Bowling Green and Lima, centering around Findlay. Gas had been known to be present in and around Findlay for many years, but it was not until 1884, that a well was drilled, obtaining gas in quantity. Then on Jan. 20, 1886, the great Karg well came in with a flow of 20,000,000 cubic feet per day. It soon became the Wonder of the day. Other wells were drilled and a great supply was uncovered. The whole area became a madhouse of excitement. Individuals and communities could see only prosperity and fabulous fortunes to be made, by attracting and establishing new industries, with all the "fringe" benefits, of increased business, inflated land values, increased tax valuations and everything. No gas wells were drilled in Fostoria, but they were so near that gas could be cheaply piped into town for industrial and domestic use.

Immediately, the leaders of the town went into action, in a concerted effort to bring factories to town. In April 1887, J.P. DeWolfe, publisher of the Review, issued one of a series of supplements, advertising the advantages offered by the town. The masthead carried this message. "FOSTORIA, OHIO offers greater advantages and inducements to MANUFACTURING INSTITUTIONS than any other city in the country. It has NATURAL GAS - the great fuel of the future - in overwhelming abundance; five Trunk Line Railways, reaching out in every direction; six Telegraph Companies, Telephone Exchange, three Express Companies, Brush and Incandescent Systems of Electric Light; a College, Business College, Normal School, and many other advantages. The city has practically no debt. If you contemplate a change of location, read these pages carefully." The Northwestern Ohio Natural Gas Company with Gov. Chas. Foster as its president was organized to secure and drill more wells and plans were made to encircle the town with a large gas main into which any industry could tap and secure gas, FREE. About $70,000.00 was raised and the belt main was built. Several factories did make the move to Fostoria, especially glass plants, attracted not only by the free gas, but also by the high quality of the lime being obtained from the local quarries, with glass sand being secured from nearby Silica. Within a year the population boomed from about 4,000 to well over 8,0000. It was incorporated as a city, and entered upon its modern era with high hopes, but, the gas gave out, and with it went a lot of hopes. The city survived the loss, however, and showed that fundamentally the thinking and planning of its citizens were sound. Eventually, the glass plants all moved away. Since then, other factories have come and gone, and probably always will.

In 1888, four glass plants in Fostoria were listed with the number of employees. They were:

The Fostoria Glass Co., 150; Nickel Plate Glass Co., 215; Mambourg Glass Co., 60; and Butler Art Glass Co., 141; a total of 566 people.

The number of glass plants in later years was: 1890; six; 1893, seven; 1896, only one manufacturer listed; 1902, none; 1909, two; 1913, one; 1916, two electric lamp makers; 1923, one.


Away back in 1837-38, two sharpers by the names of Brooks and Bird, began the secret manufacture of counterfeit Mexican dollars, and circulated many of them before the people of Rome and Risdon became suspicious of them. They were arrested and jailed in Tiffin, but cut their way out and made for parts unknown.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:49 +0000
Centenial - page12 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18796-centenial---page12 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18796-centenial---page12 1954 Centennial Book

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One of the features of American life that foreigners find so hard to understand is the vast scope of the work being done by our voluntary organizations. Many of these groups are affiliated with the various churches and render invaluable assistance to the work of the Church. Others are only indirectly connected with the churches, but nevertheless render services to the community for which it and many of its citizens are deeply appreciative. In this limited space, one can do no more than name them. Among them are The American Red Cross; The Senior Hospital Guild; The Junior Hospital Guild; the numerous Parent-Teacher Associations; the Child's Conservation League; the YMCA and the YWCA and their high school affiliates and advisors - the Hi-Y Groups and the Y-Teens, and the younger groups; the sponsors and advisors of the many Boy Scout and Cub Pack groups, the Camp Fire Girls, from Blue Birds to Horizon Clubs; The South Side Club and the Anchor; the many King's Daughters groups; The Mental Health Organization; the local chapters of the American Polio Foundation; Heart Society; Cerebral Palsy Society; Association for the Blind; The Woman's Club, with its many divisions; the Business and Professional Women's Clubs; the Rotary, Kiwanis, Exchange, Lions, Pontiac, Presidents' Club; the WCTU; the Mother-Child Study League; Beta Sigma Phi; and of course, the many, many, working groups which do the Mary and Martha work of each of the Churches. In addition to these named organizations, there are the various lodges and their affiliates, all doing some particular work to make the world a little better place for someone to live in; someone, who otherwise, might find it a pretty rough and maybe, impossible task.


An old town plat of 1870, shows that the town extended to Jackson Street on the north with an extension to Culbertson between Union and Main, to Town Street on the east, to Lytle Street on the south, and to Vine Street on the west. The population was given as 1,733.

The first newspaper in Fostoria was started in 1860, and called the Fostoria News. It was started by J. H. Thomas. After having had several owners, it was renamed The Fostoria Review in 1871.

Fostoria's first store, started in 1832 by Chas. Crocker, St., started with a capital of about $2,000.00 and did about $3,000.00 worth of business, with furs and skins the chief medium of trade. By 1873, the capital had increased to $75,000.00 with the store doing $175,000.00 business across the counter, while the business of buying and selling, grain, wool, etc., amounted to over $1,000,000.00.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Railroads, factories, and business concerns are important to the economy of Fostoria, but most important of all is the fact that the City lies in the midst of one of the finest farming areas in Ohio. From the earliest days of the community, when Foster and Co. handled more than one million dollars worth of farm crops annually, the value of these products have steadily increased.

Without going into figures, which are often not very meaningful, one needs only to view the skyline of the city to read and answers. The Mennel Mill, one of the greatest inland flour milling plants for nearly seventy years, uses millions of bushels of local and trucked in winter red wheat. The great concrete storage silos of the Farmers Grain Co., receive and store wheat and other grains, corn, oats, barley and rye, by the millions of bushels annually. A little farther out the towers of the Swift Soy Bean Plant, tell the world that a new crop, one unknown to Americans a half-century ago, has become an important cash crop. Two meatpacking plants operate continuously to prepare the beef and pork from the many farms which spread away across the old Black Swamp. In turn the trucks from these plants are kept busy distributing steaks, chops, and "Hot dogs" to the towns and homes all over northwest Ohio. The location of two large fertilizer plants on the edge of the city, indicates that the farmers are aware of the necessity for conservation and rebuilding of the soil. (Maybe a method could be worked out whereby the organic matter from the City Sewage system could be returned to the soil of the farms from which most of it originally came). Herds of cattle provide milk for our tables, and flocks of fine sheep tell the story that this is one of the chief wool producing centers in the state.

Town and country are mutually interdependent. They form a unit which is the real strength of the nation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


PIX#9 Bethel Evangelical United Brethren Church

PIX#10 The Pilgrim Holiness Church

PIX#11 The First Baptist Church

PIX#12 The Fostoria Baptist Church

PIX#13 The Church of God


The first church in Fostoria was the Methodist, organized in Risdon, in 1833. That same year, this congregation built the first church building, a hewed log structure north of Summit Street, near the Portage. This was used until 1852, sometimes as a schoolhouse. Then a new frame church building was erected just south of the present Methodist Episcopal Church. (Note: The old histories are rather obscure as to just where it was.) This was sold in 1885, when the present brick edifice was erected, at a total cost of $30,000.00.

We cannot in this short account, name all the worthy men who served this and the other congregations in the community through these years, but that each did his part to make Fostoria a better place to live in, is undeniable. Just by way of comparison, along with the cost of the church, just mentioned, was the salary of one of the early preachers, Rev. J.H. Shannon, who in 1859, received a salary of $200 with $275.00 for incidentals. The first grave in the Fountain Cemetery was for the two daughters of Rev. C.W. Collier, one of these pioneer Methodist preachers.


The United Brethren Church now the First Evangelical United Brethren Church, was organized in Fostoria in 1864, although circuit riders had been visiting the town and holding services at various homes for more than thirty years. It was incorporated in 1876 and the present church was built in 1888.


The Church was organized on the 25th of February, 1856, in the home of Mr. Edwin Bement, with nine members, led by the Reverend W. C. Turner, then Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at West Millgrove, and who later became the First Pastor of the church in Fostoria. At the time of the organization, Caleb Munger, John Milligan, and James Hill were elected the first Elders in the congregation. The first Communion Service of the new church was held on August 31, 1856, and at that service six new members were received.

The Methodist Church very graciously offered use of its house of worship to the young congregation, and with the exception of a few services held in homes, meetings were held in the Methodist Church until the completion of the small brick edifice on West Fremont Street, where the beautiful Andes home now stands, it appearing that the first service was held in the new church in July, 1859. Early records indicate that the membership of the church at this time was around thirty-five.

The Civil War came on and worked havoc with the little church. Enlistment in the service deprived the little body of three-fourths of its male members and it was questioned for a time whether the church could continue. The Pastor resigned to accept a Commission in the Army.

For more than thirty years the church worshiped in the little brick structure, then the growing congregation purchased the site and built the commodious church that now stands at the corner of Perry and West Fremont Streets, costing $50,000.00 including the organ. In 1911, during the pastorate of the much beloved Dr. Clement G. Martin, the Manse was built at the corner of Wood and Fremont Streets, and has been the home of those ministering to the church since that time.

During its ninety-eight years, the church has been served by twenty-five ministers, some of them however, merely as Stated Supplies, for only short periods.

PIX#14 The First Methodist Episcopal Church

PIX#15 The Church of the Brethren

PIX#16 St. Wendelin Church

PIX#17 The Four Square Tabernacle

PIX#18 The Church of Jesus Christ


St. Wendelin Parish originated more than one hundred years ago with the settlement of a group of German Catholics in the village then known as "Rome" In 1844 the Rev. Joseph McNamee of Tiffin administered to their spiritual needs. From 1847-1959 the Sanguinist Fathers from New Riegel directed the parish.

In 1849 the first church was erected on land deeded to the parish by Charles Foster. Ground for a parish cemetery opposite Fountain Cemetery was purchased in 1890. From 1850-1869 the parish consisting of 18 families was considered a mission of Findlay. The Rev. Matthias Arnoldi became the first resident pastor in 1875.

Between the years 1875-1904 the parish developed very rapidly. These years witnessed the ministrations of five pastors; the renovation and enlargement of the church; addition to both pastoral and convent residences; the installation of a pipe organ; and the liquidation of the parish debt.

During the Rev. Ambrose Weber's pastorate of 37 years (1904-1941), the present elementary, high school, and convent were erected. Numerous minor improvements and additions were made to the parish plant.

From 1942-1953 the Rev. Raymond Kirsch, successor to Father Weber, contributed much to the development of the parish especially in regard to the decoration of the church, the addition to the grade school, the enlarging and modernization of the rectory and the acquisition of extensive property to be used in the future growth of the plant.

Since January 1953, the parish of 3,700 souls has been in the care of the Rev. Robert H. Ruffing. Father Ruffing is assisted at present by the Rev. Donald Hunter and the Rev. David Van Horn, C.P.P.S., successor to the Rev. Gerald Pelletier, C.P.P.S., recently appointed to Sacred Heart Parish, Sedalia, Missouri.


The local congregation of the Church of Christ had its beginning at a yearly meeting held in Gibsonburg, Ohio in September, 1889. However, no organization was completed until 1890 when "Brother W.L. Neal of Marion, Ohio held a series of meetings in the M.P. Church House.'

On April 20, 1890 a "Covenant of Membership" was signed by forty men and wemen, constituting the Charter Members of the Fostoria Church.

Services were held in a hall on W. Center Street (located near the present site of the Town House and Service Laundry) and later in the Foster Block on Tiffin Street.

As many of the Charter Members were employed in the glass industry and some of the glass factories left Fostoria when the supply of natural gas was depleted, the membership of the new Church decreased and services were not held regularly.

In October, 1894 a re-organization is recorded and services were held in the "Good Templer's Hall". In 1895, the "school house on Summit Street" was rented for the use of the congregation.

The present Church edifice at the corner of W. Center and Union Streets was constructed in 1896, and on March 1, 1903 the interior of the building was destroyed by fire.

While repairs were being made, Sunday School and Worship services were held in the afternoon in the Sunday School room of the First Presbyterian Church.

Dedication services for the restored sanctuary were conducted on May 10, 1903.

Following the fire, the congregation became more firmly established and has enjoyed a steady growth from the original forty members to the present membership of 350.

PIX#19 The First Presbyterian Church

PIX#20 The Church of the Nazarene

PIX#21 The First Lutheran Church

PIX#22 The First Church of Christ

PIX#23 The First Evangelical and Reformed Church


The First Evangelical and Reformed Church had its beginning, when, back in 1879, its congregation dedicated its first church, a frame structure on East North Street. The auditorium of the present church was dedicated in 1901, and the Sunday school room was added in 1913. Its membership has grown from about twenty-five to over five hundred. In 1934, the E. & R. Church was formed by the merging of the former Evangelical Synod of North America and the Reformed Churches in the United States.


For some time Lutheran pastors residing in Findlay, Ohio, served citizens of Fostoria who adhered to the Lutheran faith. At that time they worshiped in a room in the building, owned at that time by George Lemp, and now occupied by the Ohio Savings and Loan Association on the corner of Main and North Streets. On the 14th of April 1868, the first congregation was organized with the Rev. T.M. Buerkle, the first pastor.

There were only 10 heads of families who signed the Constitution, and yet, before the close of the year this little flock adopted the bold resolution to build a church of their own, and in September, 1869, they had the joy and satisfaction of dedicating their own house of worship, located on the corner of West Center and Countyline Streets, now occupied by the Mrs. Fred Gerlinger residence.

With the growth of the congregation the original church had to be enlarged, which took place in 1885.

In the year 1903 the congregation purchased two lots on the corner of Wood and Center Streets and here erected the church where the congregation is now worshiping. The building was dedicated May 29, 1904. After 50 years of steady growth we again feel the necessity of a larger building. The new church building and planning committees are active in their work of furthering the project of building a new church and also an educational unit.

The old parsonage on Center Street is being used for Sunday School class rooms, Boy Scout meetings and social gatherings. The congregation has a membership today of nearly 1200 baptized members and over 800 confirmed members.

Knowing the need of a lot for further building, the congregation in 1949 purchased the Newson property adjacent to the parsonage and which in 1953 was leased to the A. & P. Company for a parking lot.

At a recent meeting of the congregation it was decided by ballot vote that the new church and Educational unit will be built on the present location.

In 1952, eighteen baptized members and 49 confirmed members of Zion Lutheran Church transferred their membership to First Hope Church. At the same time Zion Lutheran property, consisting of church and parsonage was transferred to First Hope Church. The Zion congregation also contributed about $900 to the First Hope Church Building Fund.

An outstanding feature in the history of this congregation is the fact that during the 86 years of its existence, the congregation has had only seven pastors.

Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
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PIX#43 Old High School Building with new wings
PIX#44 There were giants in those days
PIX#45 Fostoria High Football Squad
PIX#46 St. Wendelin High School
PIX#47 St. Wendelin Elementary School
PIX#48 St. Wendelin High School Band

Public Education in Fostoria had its beginning in a little log school house built by the citizens of Rome in 1833, on the west side of what is now Poplar Street between Tiffin and South Streets. The first teacher, Freeman Luce, of Ashland County, Ohio, was hired for a term of three months at $10.00 per month and "boarded round", that is he lived with each family in turn. Funds were usually provided by Subscription. Twelve years later a larger frame structure was build for the growing school population. Risdon had no building of its own for several years. There was not sufficient wealth in the village to pay the cost of one, and there were too few children to demand it. For several years, the Risdon youngsters attended a school in Washington Township, Hancock County, which was located just south of the present Fountain Cemetery. By 1845, the situation had changed so that the people of Risdon could and did set up their own school system. A "select school" was taught by Rev. Andrew Hayes in the M.E. Church in Risdon, during the years 1844-45.

After the merger of the two villages in 1854, it was agreed to erect a new school house and a two-story four room building was built on a lot donated by Chas. Foster. It was on the north lot now occupied by the M.E. Church. Fostoria=s first public school was opened on Jan. 1, 1856, with John McCauley as Principal. In 1862, the school was divided into five departments, infant, primary, secondary, grammar and high. On March 21, 1863, Fostoria, by unanimous vote was organized as a school district under the general laws of Ohio, and has operated as such ever since. Buildings were erected as follows: the First Grade Building, 1874; Central High Building, 1877; Center Street, 1899; Sandusky Street, 1890; Columbus Avenue, 1891; Union Street, 1893. All these buildings have since either been extensively remodeled, or have been replaced by new modern structures. The Sixth Street Building was erected in 1906. Plans are now being formulated for a new grade building in the fast-growing north end, with a remodeling of the Lowell Building to take care of the Junior High School, and a resultant increase in the capacity of the High School Building to better meet the needs of a very rapidly growing school population which is threatening "to bust out the seams everywhere."

Fostoria's schools have always attempted to meet the ever-changing challenges which constantly confront every healthy, growing, energetic, community. Its courses offered have ever been set up to meet the needs of the times; to serve all the people; to prepare for college, those who wished to prepare for a profession; to prepare for business careers, those who so wished; to help others who have wished to become machinists; or other craftsmen; to meet every need, when and if, at all, possible. To these ends there is a time set aside for the study of religion, the study of art, the study of vocal and instrumental music, the study of drama and speech, the study of health C with interclass and interscholastic athletics; and so on through the whole catalog of human interests.

For more than thirty years, Fostoria has been nationally known for the excellence of its musical organizations. Ever since Jack Wainwright organized the high school band in the early 1920's and it achieved national honors in 1923, until the present VFW Band reached and has held the National Championship for the past eight or nine years, Fostoria has been preeminent in instrumental music. The high school orchestra has often reached the superior rating in State competition. In vocal music, the choirs, choruses, quartets and other ensembles, are given state-wide recognition for their qualities of superior performance, while the extremely high quality of the performances of operettas and concerts presented annually make them something to be looked-forward to by all music lovers.

Likewise, few schools have developed a higher standard of excellence for its dramatic performances. Year after year, classes and organizations present plays, which are nearly professional in both acting and presentation.

If there is one thing the boys of yesteryear like to get together and talk about, it is of Fostoria High=s glorious football record of a generation or so ago. It was in 1897 that the first football team was organized to play teams from other schools. The boys had been kicking a ball around for a couple of years, among themselves, getting the feel of it. We are indebted to Harold Switzer, timekeeper for all high school games, and an old "Grad" for this information. His history of F.H.S. football from 1895 to 1916 is a goldmine of information. The boys played at Victor Field out on Columbus Avenue and "in uniforms of various styles and colors, and no two of them were alike", but they won five out of seven games. In 1898, they played Findlay for the right to use the colors, Red and Black, which Findlay also had planned to use. Fostoria still uses "em". The old athletic field back of the high school building was first used in 1902.

The total points scored by Fostoria from 1899 to 1916 was 4,521, while its opponents scored 309, a yearly average of 266 against 18.

In four seasons the team was not scored on: 1903, 182-0; 1905, 192-0; 1906, 333-0; 1912, 596-0.

Not until 1903 did the team have uniform suits.
1911: FHS, 3C Findlay, 0; FHS, 5C Findlay ,0.
1914: FHS, 112--Tiffin, 0; then beat Ann Arbor, Michigan champs.
1912 Scores: FHS, 87--Tiffin, 0; FHS, 28C Bowling Green, 0; FHS, 131C Crestline, 0; FHS, 58 C Ada, 0; FHS, 74C Mansfield, 0; FHS, 103C Prairie Depot, 0; FHS, 74C Buffalo Central (New York State Champs), 0.

1912: Two of Fostoria's mayors-to-be, Cliff Shuman and Hal Stout played on this team.

1913-1914-1915: Pete Stinchcomb, Fostoria's only All American (Ohio State) played on these three teams.

And the grandsons of those Red and Black players still play the same hard, driving game. They still give all they have and no one can do more. RAH! RAH! FOSTORIA

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


St. Wendelin's history in focus is a story of progress through sacrifice. Established in 1873, the St. Wendelin Grade School was directed by a lay faculty until 1886. Since 1887 the Sisters of Notre Dame have comprised the teaching staff. At present, the combined enrollment of grade and high schools numbers 822.

Early in the pastorate of the Rev. Ambrose Weber the present grade school building was erected. In 1948, under the direction of the Rev. Raymond Kirsch, an eight-room annex was added at a cost of $150,000. Although 13 of the 14 available rooms are now in use, additional space will soon be needed to accommodate the progressively increasing enrollment.

Secondary education was initiated at St. Wendelin on a two-year basis in 1910. During 1920-1921 the third and fourth years were added. Preliminary plans for a new high school building to replace the old structure at College and Wood Streets were made by the Rev. Benedict Burger, St. Wendelin's first priest-principal who drowned accidentally in July, 1926

Successors to Father Burger include the Rev. Robert O'Conner (1926-1936), the Rev. Raymond Osterhage (1936-2943), the Rev. Michael Walz (1943-1950), the Rev. Joseph Schill (1950-1953), and the present principal, the Rev. Donald Hunter. Present plans provide for an addition to the high school in the near future.

Throughout the years, the St. Wendelin schools have been leaders in both parochial and civic activities. In the light of the past, the future holds promise for a still bigger and better St. Wendelin.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


The compiler of this very incomplete history of Fostoria wishes to express his sincere thanks to the many people who have sympathetically heard his request for information, pictures, and whatever goes into the making of a history. Really, only the surface of a History of Fostoria has been scratched. The City has a rich history, and it should be fully recorded and preserved, so that those who prepare for the Sesquicentennial or the Bi-Centennial of the community will have it at hand.

The Committee again thanks all who have in any way helped in this enterprise, and we faithfully promise, that all omission and errors will be corrected, in the next edition, which will be issued about 2,032 A. D.

C.D. LaRue,
Official Historian,
Fostoria Centennial
July 1, 1954

Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
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PIX#1 Civil War Memorial, Fountain Cemetery

Of all the many clubs and organizations in Fostoria, which over the years have been dedicated to the service of the community and its problems, none have been held in higher esteem by the public than the various Veterans' Organizations and their Auxiliaries.


The town of Fostoria was only seven years old when Abraham Lincoln called for thousands of volunteers to rally to the Colors to preserve the Union against those who would destroy it and the principle of freedom. From 1861 to 1865, many hundreds of boys from Fostoria and the vicinity (and they literally were boys) answered the call. Of them, twenty-four made the supreme sacrifice Fostoria's Gold Star honor Roll bore these names:

Thomas Norris James Norris George McEwen
Silas Simon John Yates Joseph Urie
Jacob Blosser Merriweather Burns William Bender
William Conley Hiram Chance John Drake
Henry Ebersole John Leonard Conrad Leslie
Milton Ebersole Elisha Miller Thaddeus Fletcher
Arthur Hayes John Kieffer David Longley
Jacob Miller Moses Parkhurst Alexander Smith

Although the National Grand Army of the Republic had been organized as early as 1866, it was not until 1880 that the Norris Post, No. 27, was organized in Fostoria with 33 charter members. It was named in honor of John Norris and his wife, Rebecca Cuthbertson Norris who had given three sons to the cause. Two gave their lives in the struggle, and the third, after spending 13 months in a Southern prison camp, manage to escape and finally to rejoin his Regiment.

Until Norris Post was disbanded a few years ago by the hand of the Grim Reaper, it had at one time or another, nearly 400 different members. The last member to pass away was "Uncle Johnny" Portz, who as a boy of only 13, had run away from home to join the army. He served nearly three years. He answered "Last Call" in Dec. 1934, being more than 82 years of age.

An interesting sidelight on the fervor and spirit of these Boys of >61, is preserved in the Great Record Book of the Norris Post, No. 27, now in the McClean Library. Rev. William A. Turner was minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Fostoria in 1861. He also conducted a "select" high school for boys. He enlisted in September, 1861, and sixty-five of the sixty-seven boys in his school followed him into the service.

PIX#2 U.S.W.V. Marker, U.S. Route 23


In 1898 the call went out again. "The Maine had been blown up in Havana Harbor, the downtrodden Cubans had to be liberated, and nobody was going to push US around anymore.."

As usual Fostoria had her National Guard outfit, ready and "raring" to go. This was the roster of Co. "D", 6th Ohio Regiment of Infantry

Captain Franklin P. Culp
1st Sgt J.R.McMeen
1st Lt. Howard F. Noble
Q.M.Sgt. R.L.Smith
2nd Lt. A.I. Robinson
Sgts. F.A. Vosburg C. Hollopeter R.O. Nichols & L.A. Briner
Corporals: Opha Bacher
V.W. Stewart
W.C. Ball
T.W. Lea
C.A. Wolf
Charles W. Both
J.A. Bowe
C.W. Ransbottom
Musicians: W.H. Ransbottom
W. Yochum
H.T. Blosser
A.W. Tallman
Privates: G.E. Adams
L.G. Bly
J.A. Burkel
L.J. Class
F.P. Campbell
F. Dutcher
Alex & Ducatt
A.J. Fletcher
F.N. Fullerton
R.D. Heacox
A.G. Hooper
J.A. Huth
J. Kissling
J. McCormick
J.T. Norton
R.S. Pool
Aaron Smith
E. Stamm
L.I. Short
O. Wickerd
O.C. Wilson
L.T. Yates
L.J. Alley
W.J. Bair
Curtis Coral
T.A. Cupps
J.F. Connelly
C.G. Doe
R.C. Ernest
C.W. Foster
J.K. Gollmer
N.E. Hazen
C.H. Hagemeyer
Thos. Jones
Charles Lorah
R.G. Miller
O.L. Overmeyer
L.W. Riedel
Carl Smith
W.H. Sinclair
J.W. Shaffer
D.B. Schlatter
W.V. Williams
R.C. Wymer
D.R. Yates
J.L. Alley
Otho Boyd
W.E. Cook
J.C. Crall
T.W. Davis
T.E. Duffy
E.E. Engstrom
A. Fraver
E.R. Grubb
E.D. Haughey
O.F. Hammond
Louis Jones
A.C. McClead
C.N. Newcombs
J. Poorman
E.L. Riedel
R.W. Smith
C.C. Shoemaker
B. Singer
H. Waggoner
L.A. Williams
O.R. Weber
F. Zuern & E.M. Alley

Other Fostoria members of the 6th Ohio were:

Lt.Col. W.O. Bulger Major-Surgeon P.L. Myers 1st Lt. G.W. Cunningham

Hospital Stewards: D.A. Lynch and E. Speice

Honorably Discharged:

E.E. Garner
R.M. Lance
W.C. Krouse
J.F. Culbertson
L.A. Dubell
F.J. Troutman
T.L. Dodge
F.E. Green
A.M. Culp
M.Singer & L. Woolf

Hospital Corps: A. Holmes and E. Bricker

There were only three names on the Gold Star Honor Roster:

W.W. Dale R.J. Kistner Armitage Green

The Company returned from its Cuban campaign on May 26, 1899 and was given a royal welcome, parade, speeches, and everything. Someone expressed what everyone felt in a poem which we reprint from the Fostoria Times of that date:

A cheer for the men of Company D,
A cheer for their sweethearts and wives; ,
The long year is past,
And they're home at last---,
Praise God for sparing their lives. ,
Fostoria greets her Company D,
With cannon, with flags, and with band, ,
We are making Rome howl, ,
And old Risdon to yowl, ,
While the boys we give the glad hand. ,
We are proud of our Company D,
Of their services beyond the blue sea; ,
But there's no place like home, ,
And now that they're come; ,
"Bien venido, senors, acquire.",

* * * * * * * * * * *


Soon after their return from Cuba and the Philippines in 1898 and 1899, the veterans organized the United Spanish War Veterans. Their program was to advance their interests and to see that proper care was provided by the Nation for the widows, orphans, and their disabled comrades. In 1900 General Poland Camp No. 40 was organized in Fostoria with a charter membership of 25. The Camp has always taken an active part in all patriotic affairs, and done much to uphold the tradition of patriotic service begun by the G.A.R. Joe Shaffer is the present Commander, and at last report, there were thirty-three members still active in the Camp. U.S. Rt. 23 was designated as The United Spanish War Veterans Memorial Highway several years ago, and a photo of one of its markers appeared at the head of this section.


The Veterans of Foreign WarsC VFWC was organized fifty years ago to include in its membership all men who had served in the armed forces of the United States outside the continental limits of this country. Its early membership included veterans who had served in Cuba, Puerto Rico, The Philippines, China, or anywhere else outside the U.S., including naval service. It did not grow rapidly until after W.W.I, when the members of the A.E.F. became eligible to membership. No Post was established in Fostoria until Col. W.O.Bulger Post No. 421 was instituted Feb. 25, 1934 with ten members. It reached its highest membership in 1945 when 1,284 members paid dues. It has occupied quarters in the Old Foster Block since 1934. It has among its other responsibilities taken over the care of the colors of the now disbanded Norris Post No. 27, G.A.R., and also those of the Gen. Poland Post No. 40, U.S.W.V. whose members are no longer physically able to bear them in parades. They are always carried by members of the VFW. During the past eight years the Post has become nationally known as the sponsor of the National Champion VFW Band. (By the time you are reading this, it will probably be the ninth year.) Director Dick Downs and his band have been seen and heard from Miami to Detroit, from Los Angeles to New York. They have brought honors not only to themselves and their sponsor, but upon the entire community and to all neighboring communities which have contributed talent to the personnel of the band.

Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
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The history of Fostoria's financial institutions during the past century closely follows that of the financial "ups and downs" of the country at large. National depressions have taken their toll of Fostoria banks, leaving the inevitable record of ruined and broken hopes. In the main, however, the banks of Fostoria have been able to serve their customers and the community profitably and creditably.


Just when the first bank was started can not be determined with any degree of certainty. Mr. Andrew Emerine, Chairman of the Board, The First National Bank, and formerly its President, has in his possession, checks and notes drawn by his father, Andrew Emerine, Sr., upon the Foster, Olmsted, and Co. Bank, and dated as early as 1868. The name was later changed to the Foster Banking Company. It probably was an outgrowth of the Foster Store business. Old engravings show that was housed in the Old Foster Block, southwest corner of Main and Tiffin Streets. It fronted on Main Street, while the other stores fronted on Tiffin Street. In 1882, it was moved across the street into the New Foster Block into the quarters now housing the Commercial Bank. It eventually failed and was forced to close its doors in 1893, during the depression which swept the country during Grover Cleveland's second administration.


Fostoria's oldest bank still in operation, is the First National Bank, organized in 1882, by a group headed by Andrew Emerine, Sr. The other local stockholders who contributed to the $50,000.00 of paid-in capital, were Alonzo Emerine, J. C. F. Hull, John W. Davis, L.J. Hissong, Fred Manecke, Wm. H. Skinner, William Ash and George W. Hull. Others were from nearby towns. It started business in 1882 in the room now occupied by the Isaly Store, and remained there for over ten years when it moved to its modern new Emerine building on the northeast corner of Main and Center Streets, the site now occupied by the new Kresge Store. In 1934, it moved into its present quarters, the building formerly occupied by the Union National Bank. In its successful history of nearly three-quarters of a century, the bank has had but three presidents, Andrew Emerine, Sr., 1882 to 1923; Andrew Emerine, Jr., 1923 to 1952 and Eldren Layton, 1952 to the present. Its growth in resources and deposits has been steady. Since 1935 its resources have increased from $1,741,749.93 to over $11,318.202.22.

Although the bank has probably had plenty of excitement in its more than three score years and ten, it probably never has had, nor hopes to have, a wilder time than it had on the afternoon of May 3rd, 1934, about three in the afternoon, when the Dillinger Gang staged a daring holdup of the bank. During the almost thirty minutes that the Gang was in possession, more than sixty shots were fired. Among the severely wounded was Police Captain Frank Culp, who however, recovered to become Mayor of the City. The bandits escaped with nearly $17,300.00 carrying away with them as hostages, two of the Bank's employees, Miss Ruth Harris, and the late William Daub. They were released a few miles from town, unharmed. The bank still exhibits a few of the bullet holes as souvenirs.


In 1890 Charles Olmsted, a brother-in-law of Charles Foster, organized the Mechanics Savings Bank. In 1898 it became the Mechanics Bank with William Manecke as president. In 1907 the bank was reorganized by Mr. E.W.Allen and his associates into the Union National Bank. In 1929 it was moved into its new building on the northwest corner of Main and Tiffin Streets. It had one hundred fifty stockholders and every prospect of a successful future but it was caught in the banking crisis of early 1933 and failed to survive.


Fostoria's youngest bank was chartered by the State of Ohio in 1902 and opened for business in its present quarters on March 23, 1903. Among the organizers were E.J.Cunningham, Charles Ash, W.A.Jones, John E. Finsel. R.D.Sneath , N.Saltsman, C.German, Theo. Wertz and John Noble. E.J. Cunningham became the first president and served two years being succeeded by Charles Ash who served for a third of a century until 1938. Mr. Lucien Kinn then became president and served until his death in 1952. Since that date, Mr. John Gutknecht has been president.

The Commercial Bank and Savings Company was organized with $50,000.00 paid in capital and surplus of $10,000.00. Its report for April 1, 1905 showed resources of $325,896.88; while its last statement of April 15, 1954 showed capital of $125,000.00, surplus. $125,000.00 and total resources of $6,540,540.50.

The Commercial Bank's new drive-in branch soon to be built on the east side of Perry Street between Fremont and High, will be an important addition and improvement to Fostoria=s business section. The new bank building will occupy three lots and be about 76 feet long by 48 feet wide with parking space for at least forty cars. There will be two drive-in service windows, where customers can transact business without getting out of their cars. All the other regular bank services will be carried on in the new modern building. This move of the Commercial Bank serves to emphasize the growing trend for decentralization of the march out Perry Street, "away from Rome, and out to Risdon."


Along with these banks, Fostoria's growth has been materially aided by the services of two Savings and Loan Companies, whose particular function it has been to encourage and finance the building of homes.

The Ohio Savings and Loan Association was incorporated in 1915 by L.J. Eshleman, Frank J. Kiebel, A.J.Vogel, Carl Smith, Roscoe Carle, R.W.Solomon, W.J. Wagner, James Cullen, F.M. Hopkins, Frank Gebert, Mahlon Carr, and W.R.Baker. The first office was on West Center Street after which in 1927 it was moved to the then Elks Building (the Old Foster Building). In August, 1948, it moved into its present fine quarters at the corner of Main and North Streets. Although it had a rough time during the depression, it never missed paying interest due its depositors every interest paying period. Since 1937, it has been a depository of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation and is a member of both the Ohio Savings and Loan League, and of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati. It has increased its assets from $812,857.52 in 1940 to $5,093,580.84 in 1954. John J. Seever is the Secretary-Manager at present.


TheCity Loan and Savings Company was founded in 1904, and is one of Ohio's great Savings and Loan Associations. Fostoria is one of the company's three deposit receiving offices and has occupied the same corner of Main and Center Streets since 1926. The local office was opened as a means of broadening the savings facilities of the City Loan. Deposits are received here primarily from the three wealthy counties which join at this hub. Mail deposits are received from many points. In 1936, a loan department was added to the services of the local office. The company maintains 138 loan offices in Ohio and an average of one of every four families have used City Loan financing. More than 20 million dollars in interest has been paid to depositors, and the company is proud of its record- never has a depositor lost a penny nor had to wait a single day for his money. In 1940, the Fostoria office had deposits of $3,146,000.00. This figure has grown each year and today, deposits are over $17,000,000.00. E.R.Houser is the Fostoria manager.

Fostoria is also served by two loan and finance companies; The American Loan and Finance Company, 116 E. North Street, and The Personal Finance Company, 111 E. Center Street.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:53 +0000
Centenial - page5 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18800-centenial---page5 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18800-centenial---page5 1954 Centennial Book

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The history of Fostoria is essentially the history of the development of transportation and industry with agriculture, business, and human relations, closely associated, and no more thrilling chapters can be written than that about Fostoria and the building of her railroads.

One of the strongest features of Fostoria's industrial and commercial set-up has been her almost unexcelled position as a railroad center. Few larger cities can boast of a better situation. Her five great railroads radiate like the spokes of a wheel, with Fostoria as the hub. New York and other Atlantic seaboard cities are less than 700 miles away, and Chicago and St. Louis less than 500 miles to the westward. Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Lake Erie with their new possibilities for overseas commerce are less than 100 miles to the north, while Cincinnati and the fast growing Southland lies only two or three hundred miles away.

The story of how Fostoria's railroads were planned, financed, built, and developed reads like a "cloak and dagger" tale, (far too long for this short account). Taking them for granted, as we do today- unless we are held up at a crossing- it is difficult to appreciate and understand the immense problems faced by the courageous, and it must be admitted, sometimes rash railroad builders of the 1850's, 1860's, 1870's, and 1880's when all the roads were built.

The greatest problem of the frontiersmen and pioneers were better transportation, an easier, quicker, surer, and more economical method of getting their crops to market, so that they could pay for their as yet undeveloped lands, support their families, and build and enjoy schools and churches. Too poor to finance the needed roads, canals, and the railroads out of their meager local resources, they usually vainly attempted to get Federal aid. The States could not do much to help except to issue incorporation papers, so these builders had to borrow, usually from Eastern or European capitalists, and often the over-optimistic, but too poorly-planned, projects failed with disastrous consequences for everybody.

The L.E.&.W.Railroad

The building of the L.E.& W.R.R., the first railroad through Fostoria, was a good example of the problems faced by these early railroad pioneers. Originally named the Fremont and Indiana R.R. Co., it was planned to extend from Fremont, through Rome (Fostoria) by way of Findlay to the Indiana state line, there to connect with other lines which would reach on to St. Louis Construction was begun in 1854, but did not reach Findlay until 1859. Already insolvent, it was sold at sheriff's sale, to another company which became known as the Lake Erie and Louisville R.R.Co. By 1871, it had again run into difficulties and again was sold by the sheriff of Sandusky County. By 1874, the railroad had reached from Findlay to St. Mary's, Ohio, but in 1877, was again sold at sheriff's sale. It soon came under the control of Calvin Brice of Lima, a rising young financier and a future senator from Ohio. Associated with him was Charles Foster, Jr., of Fostoria, then in the House of Representatives and soon to be Ohio's governor. Both men were to be dominant figures in the building of the Nickel Plate a few years later. Finally, in 1879, the struggling road appeared under the name of the Lake Erie and Western, (L.E.& W- often nicknamed the Leave Early and Walk, by the irreverent drummers who had to patronize it.) It was during the next year, 1880, that Sandusky bonded itself for $60,000.00 (a lot of money in those days) to build a line to connect the city with the L.E.& W. at Fremont. More trials and tribulations followed. In 1899, the New York Central took over the road, but sold it to the Nickel Plate in 1922, which still operates it. The six passenger trains which it once operated through Fostoria are long since gone, and it is mostly useful to the Nickel Plate as a part of a double track system between Fostoria and Arcadia.

The Ohio Central Railroad

The experience of the Ohio Central which was organized to haul coal from southeastern Ohio to Lake Erie at Toledo was very similar to that of the L.E.&W. Originally chartered in 1868 as the Atlantic and Lake Erie, it too, ran into all the usual troubles, went into receiverships repeatedly, and like it, finally came under the control of the Brice-Foster group, who completed it from Toledo to Middleport, Ohio in 1882. In 1885, it was reorganized as the Toledo and Ohio Central. It did not do well, and finally in the period of rail mergers during the 1920's and 1930's, it became a part of the New York Central System and has prospered.

The Nickel Plate Railroad

Probably no railroad construction ever caused more excitement and rivalry between towns than did the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis, better known to the railroad world as the Nickel Plate. It was projected by a group of New York and Ohio financiers, with whom Charles Foster was closely associated, to connect Buffalo and Chicago, paralleling Vanderbilt's Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Line, as it was then called, but now the New York Central. It was charged that the whole project was simply a scheme to blackmail Vanderbilt into buying the new line to prevent ruinous competition. (This was before the days of the ICC and its authority to regulate railroad affairs- and the way the various interests cut each others throats was not amusing, especially to the innocent small stock and bond holders.) The road was adequately financed and quickly built, after the route was determined, but the Company's delay in deciding just where the rails should be laid between Arcadia and Vermillion almost caused war between Bellevue and Norwalk, and between Tiffin and Fostoria. However, Bellevue offered better inducements than Norwalk could afford, and Fostoria and Charles Foster won easily over Tiffin and General Gibson, who however, became the first president of the new Road.

Construction began early in 1882, and within two years trains were running into Chicago. What was possibly the first freight shipment on the still uncompleted road was a load of 40,000 bricks made in Fostoria and shipped from Arcadia to McComb for the building of a new school house in Shawtown, a few miles west of McComb.

As had been planned, Vanderbilt had to buy out the Syndicate which had built it and it was operated, but not very well, by the New York Central, until the Van Sweringen Brothers of Cleveland bought it in 1916, as a part of the great system they were planning to put together. Since then, it with the C.& O. with which it was soon merged have become one of the great rail systems of this area.

The Baltimore and Oho Railroad

The construction of the Chicago Division of the Baltimore and Ohio was comparatively quiet and unexciting. In the early 1870's, President Garrett of the B&O decided that the road should be extended westward to Chicago, which promised to become the great railroad center of the United States. Instead of building westward from Pittsburgh, the new line was started at a point on the line from Newark to Sandusky. This became known as Chicago Junction, and then later changed its name to Willard, in honor of the B&O's then great president, Daniel Willard. The actual track laying began in Fostoria, on July 22, 1873, and the work was completed and trains were running into Chicago by November 23, 1874. Since then, the road has been double-tracked, and is one of the busiest carriers in the country.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad

The present Columbus-Toledo section of C&O was built between 1872 and 1877 by the Columbus and Toledo Railroad which later became the Hocking Valley. The line from Columbus was opened to Marion on October 15, 1876 and through Fostoria to Toledo on January 10, 1877.

In 1881 the Columbus and Toledo became the Hocking Valley, which was controlled by the Chesapeake and Ohio after 1910. In 1930 the Hocking Valley became the Hocking Division of the C&O.

There was very little difficulty in building the road, and it is characterized by splendid alinement and easy gradient. Though the surveys for it were made in the 1860's and early 1870's, when little attention was given to the matters of minimum grades and maximum tonnage trains, a very low gradient was easily obtained in subsequent grade revision work.

The Mansfield, Coldwater and Lake Michigan Railroad

One of the railroads planned during these years, but which never was built was the Mansfield, Coldwater and Lake Michigan. Newspapers of the 70's and 80's had much to say about it, and the maps of the period, show it as running from Mansfield to Tiffin, paralleling the B&O to Fostoria and then wandering off to the northwest, presumably toward Michigan. There was also a time which it was planned that the C.H.&D. (Now the Cincinnati-Toledo Division of the B&O) would build a line to connect with Fostoria, but it too was never done.

Seventeen different railroads have at some time or other, been planned to go through or have a terminal in Seneca County.

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The Tiffin, Fostoria and Eastern was one of the first interurban electric railways in the United States. The first cars ran over its lines in 1898. In 1901, the company established Meadowbrook Park, which since that time has continued to be one of the most popular playgrounds in northwestern Ohio, while the electric line which began it, is only a memory.

The Toledo, Fostoria and Findlay Interurban was organized in 1900. It first was built from Findlay to Fostoria. By 1905, it had been extended to Pemberville, and soon thereafter, reached Toledo. A branch line ran across to Bowling Green. Soon after the line was completed to Fostoria, Reeves Park at Arcadia was open as a resort park and was very popular for many years, but has about disappeared, as of course, the T.F.&F. has done.

Fostoria's third interurban electric line was the Fostoria-Fremont Line. It was built somewhat later than the other two, but went out of existence in the early 1930's when the others were forced to discontinue operations and to pull up their rails.

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The Northwestern Ohio Fair Company was established in 1885 and operated a Fair in Fostoria for several years. The fairgrounds were in the south end, north and west of the present Bersted plant. Says an old history, "It was one of the best Fairs in the State, honestly and fairly run." It had beautiful grounds, of about forty acres, including a fine grove. There were 400 stalls for horses and cattle, with many box stalls. The half-mile track was counted as one of the very best in the state with a grandstand seating 1,200 people.

PIX#5 "Fresh Air Kids", starting on an excursion, about 1900.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:53 +0000
Centenial - page4 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18799-centenial---page4 http://fostoria.org/index.php/42-centenial-import/18799-centenial---page4 1954 Centennial Book

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The North Ridge Road ran westward through Risdon and the South Ridge Road ran in the same direction through Rome. There was intense rivalry between the businessmen in the two villages, and in the winter of 1844-45, the businessmen of Risdon petitioned the Seneca County Board to vacate the South Ridge Road. A day was set for the Board to inspect the road. Mr. Charles W. Foster instructed a number of men with sleighs, there being a heavy snow on the ground, to go out the South Ridge and wear down a road on that eventful day. He, himself, rented a front room in a house for the day, hung up a tavern sign, and set up a bar, with what looked like the office of a hotel. When the County Board came along, they were surprised to see that the South Ridge Road had much more traffic than had the North Ridge Road and great was their surprise when they came to the tavern. Mr. Foster "happened along" and asked what they were doing. He was informed that they were inspecting the road with a view to closing it. "What? Closing this road?" said Mr. Foster, "Say, gentlemen, come into the hotel and have something." They went in. The tale of the tremendous traffic was told. They saw the snow packed down by any number of sleighs and the hotel doing any quantity of business. The South Ridge Road was not closed and Rome's business from the west was not cut off.

PIX#3 Charles W. Foster, Sr.

As one reads the rather meager biographies of the Fosters, father and son, one cannot help but be impressed with their energy, their initiative, and the manysidedness of their abilities and accomplishments. They seem to represent the true American pioneer spirit and courage. Sometimes, it may seem to us, of today, to have been a bit ruthless, a bit crafty, but always looking ahead. It was the spirit which conquered the frontier., and made our State and Nation what it is today.

Charles W. Foster, Sr., was born November 11, 1800, in North Braintree, Worcester County, Massachusetts and came west with his parents in 1818, stopping for a few years in Monroe County, New York. Here young Foster seems to have met a girl by the name of Laura Crocker, who with her parents moved into Seneca County, Oho, in 1823. In 1826, the Fosters followed and also settled near Tiffin, where Charles Foster, Sr., married Laura Crocker in 1827. For two years the couple remained in Seneca Township, and here in her father's home, on April 12,1828, Laura Foster bore her first son, who was named Charles W. Foster, Jr. The next year, in 1829, the Fosters moved into Hopewell Township, where they had secured on hundred sixty acres of unimproved land. Mr. Foster sold this land in 1832, and with his father-in-law, John Crocker, who was rather better off than the Fosters, opened up a general store in a log house, located on a town site platted on August 31, by Roswell Crocker, son of John Crocker. This store was just west of the "Old Foster Block" on the southwest corner of Main and Tiffin Streets. The new town was named Rome. The new store, the first in what is now Fostoria, was a partnership under the name of Crocker and Foster. In 1842, Mr. Foster became the sole owner of the store. Two years later, Charles Foster, Jr. left Norwalk Academy, where he was studying, to assist his father in the store, being sixteen years of age. Two years later, at the age of eighteen, he became a full partner, the store being under the name of Charles W. Foster and Son. In 1854, Charles W. Jr., married Annie Olmsted, daughter of Judge Olmsted of Fremont.Two years later, a Mr. Olmsted, a brother-in-law of Charles Jr. entered the firm, and it became known as Foster, Olmsted and Co. Over the years, the firm prospered. Its original capital in 1832, was about $2,000.00, and in the first year, it did a business of about $3,000.00, with furs and skins furnishing most of the medium of exchange. As the years passed, and the area became settled, the Fosters bought and sold wheat, wool, other grains, lumber, or whatever the community produced. In 1873, the capital stock had increased to $75,000.00 with an across the counter business of $175,000.00 and a gross business of at least $1,000,000.00.

Six children were born to Charles and Laura Foster of whom three grew to maturity; Charles Jr., John, and Emily. His biographer says of Mr. Foster, "He was a man of character, and his methods of doing business won him thousands of friends. The House of Foster contributed largely to every enterprise that tended to build up the town and country." Mr. Foster never became the public figure that his more famous son did, but for several years he served as Justice of the Peace of his township, and was postmaster of Rome during the Presidency of James K. Polk (1845-1849). He died in April 26, 1883 at the age of 83 years.

PIX#4 - Charles W. Foster, Jr.

We have already said much about the early life of this, the most illustrious citizen of Fostoria, a worthy son of a worthy father. After his marriage to Annie Olmsted, two daughters were born to them, Jessie and Annie. During the Civil War, Charles, Jr. remained in Fostoria, attending to the duties of the growing store and politics, his Democratic rivals twitted him about this, saying that while other men fought for the country, he remained safely behind the counter selling calico to the soldiers' wives. But his friends took up the challenge and calico neckties became the trademark of the followers of "Calico Charlie."

In his first political trial, he lost the election when the Democrats who controlled one county, threw out all the votes cast for him. In 1870, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Ninth District. After the state was redistricted, he was re-elected for three more successive two-year terms from the 10th District, serving from 1870 to 1879. While he was in the House, he cast the only Republican vote to set up the Electoral Commission which was to decide the contested Hayes-Tilden Election of 1876. He later served as Chairman of the Sub-committee which visited New Orleans to decide the contest in Louisiana. Hayes was elected by one vote, although Tilden had a popular plurality of 250,000 votes. He failed to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1880, the election of Senators at that time being in the hands of the General Assembly. In 1880, he became the Republican candidate for Governor of Ohio, and was elected. He served with distinction and was re-elected to a second term, serving from 1880 to 1884. He was out of office for several years, but in 1891, he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury of the U.S. by President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893). He also served as Chairman of a commission appointed by President Harrison to negotiate a treaty with the Sioux Indians of the West, which he did successfully.

In 1887, he became the President of the Board of Trustees of the Toledo State Hospital, serving the rest of his life, and in 1895, he became President of the Association of Trustees and Officers of Hospitals for the Insane, which office he held until his death in 1904, being in his 76th year. What is his monument? There is no statue of him anywhere. One short street far out bears his name, Foster Park, where stood the Foster homes the community could not afford to preserve, is becoming a parking lot for cars and idlers. It can be said of his memory though, as the inscription in London's great Cathedral of St. Paul's says of its architect, Sir Christopher Wren, "Ye who would seek his monument, look about you!" Fostoria is the monument to Charles W. Foster, father and son.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:53 +0000
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PIX#3 The "Dough Boy" Memorial, High School Lawn

In March, 1919, there met in a Paris Theater a group of American Soldiers and one lone navy man, (who wandered in, to see if there was a show of some kind where he could kill a little time), which proceeded to lay the ground work for the organization of the veterans of World War I, which was soon named The American Legion. Preliminary plans were completed at the first National Convention held in St. Louis early in the summer of 1919. Soon Posts were being organized all over the United States. Post No. 73, named for Earl Foust, the first Fostoria boy to lose his life, was organized during that same summer, with Major George Cunningham as the first Post Commander. For a number of years the Post met in rented quarters, then purchased and occupied the Old Kingseed home at 231 W. Tiffin Street. At the close of World War II, it was decided that these quarters would be too small, so the Post sold this building, and bought the present Home at 134 W. Tiffin Street, which it still occupies. Its quarters and facilities are used not only by the Post and its Auxiliary Unit, but also by several other patriotic groups, and several labor unions. It is the headquarters for the Fostoria Junior Baseball League, and for the past several weeks has been the headquarters for the Fostoria Centennial Committee.

Two activities which make the Legion outstanding, locally and statewide are, the sponsorship and conduct of the Annual American Legion Essay Contest, open to all high school students of both public and parochial schools, in which hundreds participate and to the winners of which, liberal cash prizes are awarded as well as certificates of merit. In past years three Fostoria girls have won first state honors and visited Washington D.C. as guests of the Legion. The other activity is the Annual Buckeye Boys' State. This brings together nearly 1,000 of the top flight 11th grade boys from all over the State, without regard to race, or creed, or any other consideration except scholarship and character. The 1954 Boys' State was held at Camp Perry on Lake Erie, and gave the boys grouped in cities, counties, and the state, a ten-day practical workshop in citizenship, and the political opportunities and responsibilities of an American Citizen. During the nearly twenty years that the Buckeye Boys' State has been in existence, nearly 100 Fostoria boys have been privileged to attend and take part.

PIX#4 Legionnaires cut wood for the needy during the Depression

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When war was declared against Germany in April of 1917, Fostoria was well on the way to being prepared. Its own National Guard unit, Co. D, 147th Infantry, 37th Division, had already been on duty on the Border in the Mexican fracas, and was soon ready to be sent to Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Al.

Its roster reads as follows: Capt. R.O. Nichols, 1st. Lieut. E.A. Kurtz, 2nd Lieut. R.A. Dixon, and H.N. Edgerton, Top Sgt. Ray Kistner, Mess Sgt. Geo. B. Hedge. Sgts. P.J. Koepfer, Curtis Bright, Harry Reiter, Geo. Reed, Henry Boulboulle (one name obliterated). Cpls. F.F. Fockler, L.I. Milligan, L. Molter, R. Stiles, H. Kinnison, D.L. Fuller, A.G. Dillon, R. McClelland, C. Haines, C. Potteiger.
Mechanics: D.S. Hogan and Carl Crowfoot.
Cooks: H.C. Brown, H. Bailey, W. Bennet, W.G. Brant, B. Craun, B. Cross, E. Cunningham, J. Deganck, V. Dixon, R. Dillery, R. Doty, C. Domke, E. Ferguson, G. Good, A. Bauman, J. Huston, M. Kauffman, R. Laney, L. Lawrence, J. Latham, J. Maze, J. Merrick, C. Moore, C. Myers, W. Myers, C. Newlen, S. Notestine, V. Peters, C. Ressler, A. Russell, F. Swartz, E. Shufelt, R. Shultz, J. Starner, C. Snyder, R. Snyder, G. Snyder, E. Stump,A. Thomas, C. Thomas, R.W. Thomas, H. Wells, C. B. Wise, C. Woodruff.

In all at least 600 Fostorians served in the armed forces during WWI, in the Army, the Navy, the Marines, and several women served as nurses.

At the end, Fostoria=s Gold Star Roster carried the following names: Basil Cramer, Garner Jinks, Ross Cline, Orville Rangeler, Floyd Ecker, Wm. A. Wilcox Earl Foust, James Gray, Clarence Butzier, Carl Crowfoot, Chas. Retan, Orvil Daum, Leroy Wilson, Joseph Ingram, Charles Henry, Ray Kistner, W. Lonsway, Kent Ewing, Thornton Hill, Blair Miller, Glenn Clark, Wm. Clancy, Harmon Whitman.


In 1941, Fostoria began to compile another Gold Star honor Roster, and many Fostoria parents and wives became sadly aware of islands and strange places which only a short time before had been known to only a few sailors and geographers; Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, North Africa, Sicily, Iwo Jima, Omaha Beach, Okinawa, Attu, and the Burma Road. Now all these places are a part of American soil, for as Kipling said of Britain, "Wherever an English soldier falls, that is forever England."

Eugene Daugherty, Durward Laney, Arthur R. Wing, Gilbert F. Brendle, Charles W. Mattram, Donald L. Madden, Robert B. Longfellow, Donald M. Keiser, Donald Estes, Harold A. Heinze, Joseph E. George, Gerald L. Lamberjack, Anderson F. Drake, Ernest M. Eckert, Henry C. Florea, Jr., George A. Falewage, Chas. LeCompte, Robert J. Brookover, Donald R. Olin, Robert J. Might, Ralph O. Kwilus, Patrick J. Feehan, Constant S. Bulkowski, James V. Schroeder, Chas. W. Beeler, Robert J. Roller, Williams M. Mosier, John E. Thomas, Irvan N. Frankhart, John Gonyer.

Robert A> Carter, Franklin W. Snyder, Andrew Reinhart, Richard Steyer, Paul K. Stultz, Gerald Wangler, Francis C. Feasel, Richard A. Sendelbach, Gerald Lichtle, Richard T. Leatherman, Chas. W. Wildman, Chas. Rumschlag, Frank C. Sterling, Chas. Reinhard, Anthony O. Scholodon, Wm. A. Moody, Wayne N. Dennis, Robert Clore, Wallace Shaver, Edward Sheets, Paul L. Walter, Ray Lancaster, Thos. Wonderly, John S. Lindiwer, Geo. E. Wilson, Fred Vosburg, Elmer Ritter, Gerold Phillips, Fred Schaefer, Chas. Hartranft, Frederick A. Koss, Robert Brickner, John I. Stultz, Henry Larrow, Chas. Ayers, Myron J. Ziegman, Howard Russell, Geo. Wm. Alge, Vernon Elchert, Elbery Biddle, Jr., Adrain Kleinsmith, LeRoy Haynes, Stanley Minard, Howard Cramer, Edward L. Kinn, James Kinsley, Robert H. Niswander, James Edgar, Paul F. Smith, Edward Seebon, Collin Andrews, Darrell R. Sickels.

A small number of Fostorians were captured during the war, but by virtue of the invasion of Germany, survived to be liberated and come home safely. They were: K.H. Speelman, Carl Bangert, Paul Burgbacher, Carlos Reid. Malcolm Fouts, Thurman Blaser, Robert Smith, Paul Wangler, David Atha, Ronald Love, Walter Hoover, Eugene White, Thomas Snowden, Otis Saalman, and Francis Crowell.

PIX#5 The National Champion V.F.W. Band

PIX#6 One of the trophies won by the V.F.W, Band

PIX#7 1947 cash award won by V.F.W. Band


In 1945, Americans, Russians, Chinese toasted each other as they celebrated a well-earned victory over a ruthless common foe. In 1950, they began hurling high explosives at each other in the Korean "Police Action." Although there was no Fostoria-based National Guard unit to go into this struggle, several hundred Fostoria boys took part. Many are still there in the forces on duty along the Armistice Line. Some are still in unmarked and unknown graves among the tangled hills and rice paddies of that unfortunate country.

The Gold Star honor Roster as of today, contains the following names: Emerson Reffner, Gerald E. Hammer, John C. Corey, Duane E. Goebel, Harvey F. Saxton, George Shank, Tom Pastorius, Robert L. Hill, David P. Mompher, and Paul K. Stahl.

No Veterans' organizations of importance came from WW II. Both the Legion and the V.F.W. opened their membership rolls to the returning veterans, and today both organizations are largely dominated by the younger men. One organization of national scope was founded, but has no active chapter in Fostoria. We refer to the AmVets.

PIX#8 Marker, Lake Mottram; there is one at each of the city lakes named for the first man in each of the Armed Services to lost his life during WW II. They are Mottram, Lamberjack Daugherty, Mosier.


The Disabled American Veterans, The D.A.V. has an active local Post. It limits its membership to those who suffered some degree of disability as a result of their service, and devotes itself to their rehabilitation and comfort. The R.W. Nicholas Post meets in the American Legion Home.


Neither the history nor the success of any men's organizations are complete without paying due tribute to their Auxiliaries, their feminine counterparts.

Each of the Fostoria Veterans' groups has an active Auxiliary, and it is to them that much of any success and influence the Veterans may have, is due.

The Woman's Relief Corps of the G.A.R. was founded soon after the organization of the G.A.R., and now that no Post remains, the W.R.C. carries on such activities as remain. They kept the last records, and when the last member had "been mustered out":, closed the books, furled the flags, and set themselves the task of not letting a new generation "forget what they did here."

The Daughters of Union Veterans was organized in 1885, by five school girls in Massillon, Ohio, who had just witnessed the Memorial Day ceremony of their fathers laying wreaths on the graves of their deceased comrades. Its membership is limited to daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters of Civil War Veterans,.The Fostoria Chapter was instituted in 1938, by the assistance of Mrs. Maude Corey, a past president of the W.R.C. , and one of Fostoria's leading patriotic citizens. Today the D.U.V. is active and with its "brother" organization, Sons of Union Veterans, meets regularly in the Legion Home. Both give active support to the various youths' organizations.

Gertrude Poland Auxiliary No. 19, was organized in 1908, but was forced to disband in 1913, due to lack of membership. It was, however, reorganized in 1922, and has been active ever since. It with the other Auxiliaries, gives active aid to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, The National Soldiers' Home in Dayton, the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans Home in Xenia, and the Ohio Home for Soldiers' Widows at Madison.

The First National Convention of the American Legion, meeting in Minneapolis, Mn, in 1919, gave permission for the organizing of a Women's Auxiliary, and in 1921, the Auxiliary Unit to Earl Foust Post No. 73, was instituted. The membership is open to all women who were or are, mothers, wives, sisters, or daughters of Legionnaires, or of men who died in service, or after honorable discharge, and also to women, who themselves, were in service, although they are also eligible to membership in the American Legion. This eligibility has been extended to those who have similar connections with World War II, and the Korean veterans who are eligible to the Legion. Although the Auxiliary Unit has no purposes apart from the aims of the Legion as set forth in the Preamble of the Legion Constitution, it takes on many projects of its own. Most of its relief projects are financed by the proceeds received on Poppy Day, when thousands of red poppies which have been made by veterans now living at the Sandusky Home, and who, through force of circumstances, have no other income. The veterans are paid for the poppies and the surplus received above the cost to the Auxiliary is used exclusively for various kinds of aid to veterans and their families, and for similar projects. The Unit shares with others, the care of those living in the O.S.S.H. at Sandusky; the O.S.S. Orphans Home at Xenia, the V.A. Hospitals at Chillicothe, Brecksville, Dayton, and Crile. It also assists the Post in the Annual Essay contest; sends one Junior girl to the Buckeye Girls' State at Capitol University in Bexley, and was the original sponsor in Fostoria of the Camp Fire Girls

The Ladies' Auxiliary to the V.F.W. was organized in 1935, with thirteen charter members. Its main objectives are similar to those of other Auxiliaries. It takes part in the annual Poppy Day Sale, and has an especial interest in the care and comfort of those residing in the V.F.W. Home at Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

The Doughboy statue in the yard of the High School building was erected as a project of the Service Star Legion, which developed from WW I, and was erected in memory of all who gave their lives in that struggle.

The Gold Star Mothers, organized in 1945, by the mothers of Fostoria boys who died in service during WW II, asked that the new football stadium be name Memorial Stadium, and it was done. A plaque on the monument at the base of the flag pole, bears the names of all those who died in that war

The Navy Mothers, as the name implies, limits its membership to women whose sons (and husbands) served in the Navy during WW II.

Jane Washington Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution -the D.A.R. -was organized in 1922. Its membership is restricted to female lineal descendants of veterans of the American Revolution. IT holds monthly meetings at the homes of its members. One of its many projects is the awarding of prizes for the best Histories of Ohio as prepared in the eighth grade American History classes of Miss Hazel Stubbins in Fostoria High School.

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Unifying and coordinating the work of the Veterans' Organizations and those of their Auxiliaries, and other patriotic groups is the Federated Patriotic Organization, made up of representatives from all interested groups. It arranges for the Memorial Day program each year and in other ways prevents duplication of effort.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming
centenial import Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:27:54 +0000