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AMSDEN HOUSE WAS ONCE A BAGGAGE CAR ON A TRAIN
Thursday, September 20, 1984


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PIX #1 - The above picture shows the (1) the smokestack...all that remains of Amsden elevator destroyed by fire in 1939. (2) The building in the center is the old LE&W depot, which was moved to its present location when the railroad discontinued operation. Remodeled, it is now the home of Mrs. George Wildman and her children. Her husband is deceased. (3) The building on the left is a new home built by Wilbur Wildman, George's brother, who resides there. The location of all of these sites is along the defunct railroad adjacent to Main Street.

Pix #2 - John R. Reed, the LE&W agent from 1907-1917, is the tall man in the foreground wearing bib overalls. The rest of those shown here may have been prospective passengers or just train station buffs.

Pix #3 - Converted baggage car was home for the Reeds in Amsden across from the station.

Pix #4 - John R. Reed

Pix #5 - Mrs. John Reed and her daughter Clarissa Went, right.

One historical record said "The first train travelled on the Lake Erie & Western through Amsden on Feb. 1, 1859". At that time David Cox was the agent for that railroad in the village.

Who the succeeding agents for the LE&W is still unknown. It is known that in 1907, John R. Reed, father of Clarisa Went, 911 Independence Ave., was appointed to that position.

One of the accompanying photos shows the Amsden station and one of those early trains with a steam engine. Agent Reed is on the platform in the foreground...the man with the bib overalls.

The Reed family had a long tenure of service with the LE&W. Mr. Reed continued as the agent in Amsden from 1907-1917, the time of his death. Mrs. Reed was then appointed as the agent and she had the job until 1930 when the station was closed. Mrs. Reed resides with her daughter.

REEDS LIVED CLOSE TO STATION

Another photo with today's article shows the living quarters the railroad provided for the Reed family when they could'nt find a house to live in Amsden.

The house has once been a train baggage car. It was moved in on a flat car and located directly across from the station, according to Mrs. Reed. She also said that the car partitioned into living room, kitchen and sleeping quarters made a comfortable house close to the station.

Mrs. Reed still recalls that there were certain daily routines carried out as station agents. These included, seeing that the mail got out on the trains, handling express and freight shipments in and out of town, keeping the station warm in winter as well as the section-hands quarters, sale of passenger tickets, and a daily check of all empty or loaded card in the yards.

TELEPHONE REPLACED TELEGRAPHY

For many years all messages at the station were received and sent by telegraph, Mr. Reed being the telegrapher. When Mrs. Reed became the station agent a telephone was installed since she couldn't send messages Morse code. Mrs. Reed recalls that there were six section hands employed at the station.

Clarissa Went recalls that once a week a barrel of fish arrived from Sandusky by train and the fist were sold to the residents of Amsden.

Because of Mrs. Reed's experience and long service with LE&W, she was appointed as the agent for the Elwood, Ind., station when the Amsden station closed. From there she went to Mt. Cory as the agent for its station. Altogether Mr. and Mrs. Reed were employees of the LE&W for 42 years. Mrs. Reed retired in 1949.

Now 96, Mrs. Reed was acclaimed as the oldest living railroader in 1983 at the "Toot For Fostoria" celebration and she rode in the parade.

CLARISSA WENT BORN IN AMSDEN

Clarissa Went was born of a railroading family in the village of Amsden, as was her sister, Mildred Hummel, former Fostorian now living in Carey.

As a retired employee of the Ohio State Bureau of Employment Services, Clarissa spends some of her time collecting memorabilia and data about her birthplace.

When I spent a day in Amsden with the photographer for The Review Times, we looked eastward down the abandoned right of way. It reminded us that once it was an active village with good train service. Now the look eastward discloses only a tall growth of vegetation.

The station building was moved years ago to a location across Main Street, but still close to the right of way. It was converted into a house.

No more do people gather at the railroad station to watch the trains arrive and depart...except in the memories of those still living there who were a part of the era.

They say its progress. Sometimes I wonder.

The following items are just a few of the many in a scrapbook which the mother of Willis Wyant preserved for many years.

The board of education has hired the following teachers for the winter term of school: Willie Wyant, C.W. Latshaw, J.F. Hartline, Jennie McAllaster, George F. Putnam, Willie Yochum, C.A. Latshaw, Mamie Strouse.

A number of Amsden people attended the performance of Our New Minister at Andes Opera House in Fostoria.

If the person who lost his teeth last week will call at Hartline's store he can have them.

AMSDEN HAS TWO P.M.'S

Fred Thompson received the appointment of postmaster at Amsden March 30, 1914, with orders to assume his new duties at once, but the postmaster, J.F. Hartline, who has held that position for 14 years, received no notification of a change and feels that he should not relinquish his office till he had received notice from the P.O. Dept. Needless to say, the matter was resolved by Washington.

Both Hartline and Thompson conducted general stores in Amsden. Thompson was also the agent for the Fostoria & Fremont interurban line. Harold Thompson, son of Fred, became the editor of the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune in later years.

Morton Craun had two acres in beets and he reaped forty tons. He received five dollard a ton for his crop.

A sleighing party consisting of W.A. Mowry, wife and duaghter of Zenith Dillon Ames, wife and son Charles, John Powell, wife and son John, Mrs. A.J. Stahl and son Wilbert, and Rolland Hill, drove to the home of Eli Pankhurst family, four miles north of town, Saturday evening. The evening was spent in conversation, and oysters were served.

Billy Byers and Lulu Kissling drove over to Bettsville Sunday morning and were married by Rev. J.S. Snodgrass. after the ceremony they returned to the bride's homw where they were served a wedding feast. Fifty friends greeted them.

COOK - HARTLINE

This morning at the home of the bride's mother, Mrs. Saddie Cook on W. Fremont St., Fostoria, Miss Illie May Cook and groom, Edward E. Hartline, marched to a corner of the room banked with ferns, cut flowers and leaf decorations, the wedding march being played by Miss Lulu Shupe. They were preceded by Dr. C.G. Martin and W.H. Ilsley, grandfather of the bride who performed the ceremony.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hartline and son of Pittsburgh arrived at the J.F. Hartline home for a several days visit. Hartline is an instructor in a Pittsburgh college.

OLD ARK SUNDAY SCHOOLD REUNION

Mr. and Mrs. Ross T. Sour, Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Wormwood and John Kinsey of Fremont were among the sixty-four persons who attended the 1938 reunion of "The Kids of 1880" at Amsden M.E. Church Sunday.

The organization is comprised of those who attended the Old Ark Sunday School near Amsden, between 1875 and 1890.

Officers elected for the ensuing year were: Mrs. Amelia Gregg of Fostoria, president; J.P. Kassing of near Fostoria, V.P.; and Mr. Wormwood of Fremont Secretary.

After a fried chicken dinner at noon, members gathered for a short program of music and talks, and the remainder of the day was passed recalling experiences at Old Ark.

Leland Sours and family are getting settled in their new home which they purchased recently. The purchase was the eighty acre farm formerly owned by Mr. Sour's grandfather, Uriah.

The local church is preparing for a lawn fete to be held on the lawn Friday night. There will be free movies, horse shoe pitching and corquet. The films will be Don't Park There featuring Will Rogers, and Just What The Doctor Ordered.

Little Joan Shaw acted as flower girl and Jean Shaw as train bearer at the wedding of their aunt Gladys Coppus to William Paine in St. John's Evangelical church near Fostoria.

Wilmer Kunkleman is in Fostoria City Hospital having been taken there Friday after fracturing his leg in playing football.

LT. D.M. MCHAFFIE HONORED

Lt. Doyle McHaffie concluded a 15-day leave with relatives and has left for Brook Field, San Antonio. He was honored at a dinner given by Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Rouser and Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Rouser. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Rouser entertained with a birthday dinner and Mrs. A. Yentzer with an au revoir party. Lt. McHaffie received his silver wings at a graduation ceremony at Frederick Oklahoma.

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