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OLD GLASS PAPERWEIGHT CREATES TODAY'S STORY
Thursday, August 19, 1982


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PIX #1 - Old paperweight which belonged to a Keef, a member of the Maccabees.

PIX #2 - Marguerite Sanders - oldest Maccabee in Fostoria

PIX #3 - Margaret Koons - Maccabee recordkeeper in Fostoria

PIX #4 - Maccabees headquarters in Southland Michigan

A telephone call from Fostoria fireman Richard Coppler, Hammer Road, revealed that he had a glass paperweight with information molded on the inside which he didn't understand.

He went on to explain that the information was "Detroit Hive No. 45, L.O.T.M. H. Keef, Fostoria, Ohio" The "H" could be "G" since the hand lettering is not too easy to read.

Instantly, I knew that the paperweight had originally been made for someone who belonged to the Maccabees, a fraternal lodge which was formed in 1882 and is still in existence.

Since the last four letters of the lodge had a ladies auxiliary and it was called Ladies of the Maccabees (LOTM), with that information being part of the paperweight.

Old city directories revealed there was a Hattie Keef, the widow of William, who lived at 614 S. Main st., and a Gertrude Keef at that address. According to Ray Coburn, he remembered the Keefs who lived at that address. He was also fairly sure that they belonged to the Maccabees.

Which of those two people the paperweight belonged to or to whomever it belonged will never be known unless some reader can verify with certainty. According to Margaret Koons, 239 S. Town St., recordkeeper for the local Maccabee unit, old membership records are not available.

The paperweight was, without doubt, made by one of the glassblowers in Fostoria back in the era when there were 12 glass producing factories here (see Potluck article August 13, 1978) and given as a gift to the person whose name it bears. The paperweight was difficult to photograph since the lettering on the inside was done with silve, which tended to reflect light.

HISTORY OF THE MACCABEES

The purpose of the Maccabees and hot it got its name is an interesting story and worth telling. The Maccabees Bee Hive, published quarterly, provided data which is excerpted here in this article:

The lodge was founded upon the traditions of a Jewish family, the Amsmonaeans, in the period of BC 167 until the time when Judas became a province of Rome.

Judas Maccabeus (BC 161) the third son of Johanan, was one of the leaders of that tribe and a great warrior. In their fight to maintain their freedom from Rome and other warring tribes, the Bible relates in the Books of The Maccabees the precepts up on which they fought and lived.

As told in one portion of the Maccabees literature: "The ancient Maccabees were truly the first civilized and humanitarian example we have in history of those who provided for the disabled and helpless, from the treasures of their victories. They retained a part which they set aside for those in need. They succored the helpless among their enemies the same as those of their own household. In neither ancient nor modern history do we find a more sublime character in courage, devotion and scarifice than in the life of Judas Maccabeus".

"He can truly be 'Patron Saint", not only to the Maccabees of the present day, but to all men who believe in human love, devotion and loyalty to God, home and country. He it was, who demanded of his soldiers that in the dividing of the fruits of their victories they should reserve a part of the widows, the orphans, and the disabled".

"Judas Maccabeus made the supreme sacrifice upon the altar of freedom in defense of his country. The ancient Maccabees were lovers and defenders of their homes, their wives and children".

LODGE FORMED IN 1878

The Maccabees started with a small group of men with the basic idea expressed above. They met in the back room of a jewelry store owned by W.J. McGloghlon in London, Ontario, Canada, in 1878. Originally, it was planned that every member should contribute 10 cents at the death of a member to be given to the widow.

The lodge underwent several reorganizations. In the later years, the 10 cent levy on members for death benefits was dropped and the American Mortuary Table of Rates for insurance was adopted as a full scale insurance program for men, women and children.

Today, The Maccabees International Fraternal Society is headquartered in the building in Southfield, Michigan, shown in the accompanying photo, which also is headquarters for the Maccabees Mutual Life Insurance.

According to the International office in Michigan, The Maccabees is approaching its 108th birthday. In 1961, the insurance operation was separated from the fraternal society and a trust fund was set up at that time to provide benefits to the members then paying dues and who continued to pay dues.

The oldest living member (age wise) living in Fostoria is Marguerite Sanders, 565 N. Poplar St.

Miss Celia R. Lieb, Sandusky, is the great commander for the State of Ohio. She is said to have a Maccabee as far back as anyone can remember.

Many readers will remember Dora Ziegler, a Maccabee for many years until her death. She was also the local recordkeeper. Her son Harley, also remembered by many readers, was employed at the Maccabees in their office in Detroit, but is now retired and living in Florida.

FEEDBACK FOSTORIANS HAVE TOKENS

After the Potluck article of July 1, pertaining to merchants' tokens, A.J. "Am" Sendelbaugh, 534 N. Main St., telephoned to report that he had tokens from long ago. One group was used by The Pastime Poolroom and another by Grand Mission Poolroom.

Back then Pastime was located where Burger's Shoe Store is now. It was started by Johnny Williams, grandfather of G.R. Willians, DDS.

Grand Mission Poolroom was located at 224 S. Main St., which today is one of the rooms (farthest north) where Fruth Hardware is now.

Sendelbaugh said he got the tokens many years ago from his brother-in-law who at the time was doing some work for Pastime, when they moved to another location on South Main. He found a box of tokens and the owners allowed him to take them.

Carl Cole, East Lytle Street, although not a collector of tokens, has some which he has had for many years, some of which are local and others from elsewhere.

WRITING ARTICLE ABOUT 49TH OVI

Richard Mann, a Potluck reader, is writing an article about Seneca County's Civil War Regiment, the 49th OVI. He is interested in photos of soldiers in uniform from that regiment for use with the article, and asks that anyone having then, address letters to him at 827 N. Main St., or telephone him at 435-4890. He will have photos copied for his use and return originals.
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