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Thursday June 19, 1986


Pix #1 - Only four of the volunteer firefighters were present when this photo was taken. They are (from left): Millard Chaney, Chief Don Cessna, Carl Myers and Loren McElhaney. The complete list of firefighters is in the accompanying article.

Pix #2 - The main headquarters for the Kansas Volunteer Fire Department is on Main Street in the village. The equipment on the left is the unit which carries and pumps water to put out fires, since in some instances wayer may not be available. The building is where community activities are staged.

Pix #3 - Main Street in Kansas

Pix #4 - Eileen Yoder as she appeared in 1972 when she joined the Kansas Volunteer Fire Department and had her first experience handling a piece of firefighting equipment. Surprised?

Pix #5 - The elevator, a landmark in Kansas for many years, is now known as Rural Services Inc., with headquarters in Fremont.

Author's Note: Today's article, a continuance of the series about Kansas, is the fifth, and there's still more to come. This is the most difficult of any of the articles written about the villages east of Fostoria, to assemble... because of the vast amount of material available. The publisher said "go ahead" if you've got good material.

In the earliest days of Kansas' history, only the simplest equipment was available for fighting fires. By 1936, when the big fires hit the village, the equipment had been upgraded.

Today a crew of experienced firefighters and modern equipment is available to answer fire calls from four townships in that area: Liberty and Jackson in Seneca County, and Jackson and Scott in Sandusky County.

In 1954, the Kansas Volunteer Fire Department built a new fire house. It was made large enough to house fire fighting equipment and to allow for a kitchen and restrooms. The new fire house was provided by Civil Defense. It is also used for fish fries, banquets and a variety of local events.

A second building is located in the rural area of Jackson Township, and fully equipped to answer calls in that area.

When a fire occurring in the Kansas area is reported, at that instance all of the volunteer firefighters are alerted of its location. According to circumstances, available personnel report for duty.


Here are the men and women who have been enlisted in the firefighting program currently headed by Fire Chief Don Cessna:

Clark and Janet Boatman, Earl Broadwater, Dale Cessna, Don and Wilma Cessna, Lloyd and Jerry Cessna, Millard Chaney, Don Conley, Haldon Copsey, Dennis Drenning, Greg Duret, Larry Elchert, Carl Feasel, Martin and Shirley Flagg.

Jim Fruchey Jr., Jim Fruchey Sr., Don Geyman, Ron Hamilton, Jeffrey Hammer, Dave Hawk, Harry and Yvonne Hawk, Helen Kreider, Chris Madson, Loren McElhaney, Carl and Ralph Minich, David Moroschian, Gary Murphy.

Carl Myers, John Nye, Jerry and Jan Paxton, Tom Quaintance, Bert Sabo, John Shatzar, Terry and Joan Wellington, Dale Yoder, Robert and Eileen Yoder, John G. Yoder, Michael Yoder.

Once a year the Kansas Volunteer Fire Department stages a two-day homecoming, drawing hundreds of friends and relatives back home to enjoy fellowship, food, games and rides.

The big event this year will be July 18-19, with Sunday July 20 set as "wash out day", in case of bad weather. The profits from the big event suppport the Volunteer Fire Department.

This is the 39th year the homecoming has been staged. Go out and see how the folks at Kansas can serve fried chicken, pie and all the trimmings...and have a good time. Seven hundred dollars in prize money is offered for winners in various events this year.

Photo No. 1 with today's article is one contributed by Harry McDaniel, which he believes was taken prior to 1910. It is a view looking east on Main Street in Kansas.

Here is a list of the various business in that area at that time: Bill Peach Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant; Jake and Pearl Seiger Restaurant; a pool room; a buggy shop run by J.P. Seiger; K. of P. Lodge; a barber shop; Farmers Banking Company, I.W. Cookson, cashier; meat market, run by Cessna brothers or John Brown; Odd Fellows Lodge and Maccabee Lodge; Lightner Hardware Store.

Seiger Bros. (Charles and Jack) Hardware, representing Int'l Harvester; Harry Hipple Cream Station; Schoendorff Shoe Store; meat market run by John (Fatty) Ash; Drug store and Post Office, run by Lotty and Silas Craun; First National Bank, Ira C. McDaniel, cashier, David Cookson, president.

The auto in the photo was a "Northern", the first one in the village, owned by I.C. McDaniel. The child in the foreground was either Halie or Donna McDaniel.



Myron Snyder, 144 E. Sixth St., told me that his great-great-grandfather Cole was an early settler of the village of Kansas, and built the first house there.

Snyder was born and lived in Kansas until he was 11 years of age, when they moved to Fostoria, where he completed his education in the public schools. In fact, Myron and I were in junior high together, and we both lived in the same part of town at one time. I recall that Myron was a whiz with mathematics in junior high, when M.D. Parks was the teacher.

Myron spent all of his working years at Gray Printing Company from which he is now retired, spending winters in Florida with his wife.


Wayne McAlevy, 110 E. Fourth St., has inquired if the name of Dr. Mummaw was included in the list of doctors that served the village of Kansas. "Mack" as he is better known about town said "yes", so I didn't go back through the data I researched earlier.

Wayne, like so many others now living in Fostoria, resided in Kansas as a youngster until his parents moved here, and he graduated from Fostoria High School.

"Mack" like Dee Lanning, the well-known barber in Kansas, spent many of his years barbering in Fostoria until his retirement. Now to occupy some of his time he works part-time at White Front.


Jack Gee, a native of Kansas who has been very helpful to me in this series of articles, told me that Cliff Shuman, who barbered in Fostoria for many years, learned his trade in Kansas while still very young, and probably from Dee Lanning, who barbered there most of his life.

Gee recalls that while learning the trade, Shuman had to stand on a box to reach the heads of the customers.

It occurs to me that perhaps Wayne McAlevy, another Fostoria barber for many years, also a Kansas native, developed the desire to barber by watching Lanning cut hair.


The only business activity still present in Kansas is the elevator, mentioned in an earlier article in this series. It is now owned and operated by Rural Services Inc., with headquarters in Fremont. Joe Louglin is the manager of the Kansas facility. Mrs. Daniel (Betty) McGough is the office secretary.

The facility still stores grain harvested in that area as has been the function for many years, prior to purchase by Rural Services Inc., Seed, fertilizer, herbicides, and other farm supplies are also sold there. The facility is open five days each week.

Mrs. McGrough moved to the village of Kansas with her parents when she was 10 years old and received her education in the local schools, and has continued to live there since marriage.

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