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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989

MAIN ST YEARS AGO
March 31, 1985


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PIX #1 - PHOTO NO. 1--This photo shows the location of A. Weaver's store when it was in the Andes Block. The doorway on the left will be recognized by readers as the same as it is today. The doorway on the right is part of the Quinn Block, where today there is a poolroom, as there has been for 40-50 years. A bowling alley was once in that block's basement.

PIX #2 - PHOTO NO. 2--This photo shows the location of the Weaver Store when it moved into the Emerine Block. Older readers will recall it as the loca- tion of The First National Bank for many years. It was torn down and a new building was built which housed The Kresge Store...the present location of Rite-Aid Drug Store. Again, none of the persons in the photo can be identi- fied, unless some reader has duplicate photos with names included.

PIX #3 - PHOTO NO. 3--Shows the last location of the A. Weaver & Sons Co., in the Cadwallader block, where they continued in business until terminating in 1912-13. Today, this is the location of Smith's Office Supply. It is be- lieved that the man in the center of the photo is one son, Wylie Weaver; the one to his right may be A. Weaver, father, and the others on his right sons, D.D. Weaver, with A. Joy on extreme right. The man in left of photo, with mustache, is believed to be Frank Kiebel.

(Author's Note: Today's article is a historical recitation, resurrected from a book about Fostoria. The book was written by Clyde C. Caldwell, associated with The Daily Review in the early part of this century, and published by the Board of Trade of Fostoria. It is an interesting story about the enter- prising folks who helped business in this town, through their own efforts, starting in the previous century, without the assistance of government loans; and the profits therefrom going to provide employment and associated growth for the town.

It is a story about A. Weaver, and others associated with him in a retail venture in Fostoria's uptown business area. The photos were provided by Ray Dell, one of Fostoria's better known collectors of historical memorabilia. The photos were among the effects found in the Wylie Weaver residence at 226 E. North St., after Lyda Weaver, the wife of Wylie died in 1965, he having died in 1952. Wylie was the son of A. Weaver. The photos reached Dell through Mrs. Ted Elias who had come to possess them.)

WEAVER STARTED AS CLERK

"The story of A. Weaver is a tale of phenominal growth," said Caldwell in his opening paragraph about the retail business which Weaver and others spawned, nourished and pyramided during a period of approximately 32 years.

In 1867, Alpheus Weaver started clerking for J.L. Kenower, who owned a gener- al store where the Hays Hotel was once located. The Park & Shop Lot now oc- cupies that area.

In 1875, the firm of Weaver & Adams (T.D. Adams) was formed and conducted a general store where The Montgomery Ward store is today. Later, they moved the business into the Opera House Block, as shown by photo No. 1.

In 1885, the firm of Weaver & Adams was dissolved, Adams taking the boots and shoes and opening a store in the room now occupied by Dubre' House of Fashion, 109 N. Main. Weaver continued in the room which later was occupied by The Bee Hive Store, owned by John Ballreich, 123 N. Main.

SONS BOUGHT INTO BUSINESS

Business having increased, in 1892, Durant D. and Wylie W. sons of Weaver, were taken into the firm and the new firm of A. Weaver & Sons prepared to move into the new Emerine Block. The night before they moved into the new building there was a fire and about $5,000 of their new merchandise was des- troyed. The firm was then forced to move into the old Andes skating rink on West Center Street.

In the fall of the same year they moved into the Emerine Block. Photo No. 2 showing that location. Their business survived the panic of 1894. In 1900, A. Joy, another son, was added to the firm.

By 1905, business had increased so much that it was necessary to form a stock company, under the laws of the state of Ohio, for $35,000. The firm was then called The A. Weaver and Sons Co. The stockholders were Messs. A. Weaver, D.D. Weaver, W.W. Weaver, A.J. Weaver, O.T. Weaver, W.E. Lynch, J.B. Fosty and Frank Kiebel. The officers were A. Weaver, president and general buyer, D.D. Weaver, vice president and general manager, W.W. Weaver, secretary and treasurer.

BUSINESS EXPANDED IN 1907

Business again increasing, on Feb. 22, 1907, the capital stock was increased to $50,000 and the firm moved into the elegantly modern Cadwallader Block. Photo No. 3 shows the store at that location with principals and clerks.

On March 6 of that same year, J.B. Fosty and Frank Kiebel withdrew from the firm and went into business for themselves.

"The Weaver store has enjoyed the biggest business this year (1907) of any in its history and is still growing," said Caldwell. The home of this mammoth store is modern in every particular, being one of the finest in Northern Ohio.

QUIT BUSINESS IN 1912-13

The Weaver store continued in business until 1912 or 1913, at which time the city directory listed A. Weaver as retired and the store was no longer listed.

Sometime later, the exact date now known, Frank Kiebel, who had been asso- ciated with the Weaver store, joined with L.D. Wilson, to form Kiebel & Wilson Co. They occupied that same location, dealing in all kinds of yard goods, women's wear, and other soft-goods items. In turn, The H.O. Ahlenius Co. took over the store in later years and continued until they too retired from business. The living members of that family are now living in Florida.

In addition to the photos shown with today's article, Ray Dell also has many excellent views of the interior of the Weaver store when it was in its last location. All of those pictures are representative of the store's interior when it was operated by its last two owners.

SMITH OFFICE SUPPLY OCCCUPIES BUILDING

Today, that building, built by the Cadwallader family, is occupied by Smith Office Supply.

J.B. Fosty, associated with the A. Weaver store for many years, was also em- ployed at the store when it was owned by Kiebel & Wilson. I remember him very well, having been served by him as a clerk. He was a small, quick man and resided at 310 W. Fremont St., where Doc Photography Studio is now lo- cated.

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