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Thursday, December 16, 1982


Pix #1 - An early view of West Center Street near Wood. A Mann Bros. funeral procession, consisting of 13 horsedrawn carriages, is the main attraction. In the background are three of the four buildings that occupied the north side the the street to the alley.

Pix #2 - An up-to-date photo of that same area of West Center and Wood Streets, showing in extreme left the YMCA building that was completed in 1914 and adjoining it the more recent addition. Roy Kissing had the two onw-story buildings in the right constructed in 1960.

Pix #3 - J.W. Carter, optometrist, in his office when it was located at 138 West Center St.

Pix #4 - Before the YMCA was built, that area was a vacant lot. In 1912, a city wide revival was held in the temporary buildin shown in this photo.

Pix #5 - Arthur (Art) Klugsberg when he had a jewerly shop at 134 W. Center Street.

Pix #6 - House shown in this photo was once located next to the mid-block alley, where the two one-story buildings are now.

On the north side of West Center Stret, opposite the Lutheran Church and Luther Center there have been many changes too in the last 50 to 70 years.

The accompanying photos, both old and new, help to tell the story of the history of that portion of the street from the north-south mid-block area to the corner of Wood Street.

Today's installment starts at Center and Wood. Prior to 1912, the corner where the Y is now was a vacant lot. In 1912, eight of Fostoria's churches and the Salvation Army, which was active here, joined in an effort to have a city-wide revival service. The cooperating churches were Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, First Reformed, Church of God, Baptist, United Brethren and Evangelical.

There was no place to hold such a citywide event, so a temporary structure was built, as is shown by one of the accompanying photos. The photo shows a few of the willing workers who pitched in to make the building a safe, warm place for the large crowds that were expected to hear Dr. Henry W. Stough, a nationally-known evangelist. A companion photo from Ray Dell's collection (not shown) shows the building under construction with approximately 25 men putting on the roof.


The revival services continuted for several weeks with all of the schools and factories cooperating and participating in some way. Torchlights parades with bands were held. A scrapbook, kept by Nina Keiser, now a resident at Good Shepherd Nursing Home, includes much information about the revival.

The scrapbook reveals that there were more than 1,200 converts during the revival, 60 of them on one night. Prominent business and industrial leaders and professional people also cooperated to make the religious event a success. This brief description of the event is presented to reveal what can be accomplished when churches and people join hands and hearts.

In the background of the photo showing the temporary structure for the revival, can be seen the three-story building that once stood at North and Wood streets and was once used by Anderson's Underwear Factory, Allen Motor Car Co., A.C. Hoyt Seed Co., to name only the most prominent ones though there were others.


The next photo for reference is a current one, which shows the original Y building in the extreme left. The Y building was started in 1912 and completed in 1914.

The new addition, shown in the current photo, was completed in 1967. Plans are to demolish the original structure and replace it with an addition to the 1967 structure in the future.

The Fostoria Y came about when a group of influential citizens felt the need of such a facility for the male youth of our town, to improve an enviroment for improving "spirit, mind & body"...the YMCA slogan. It was not until many many years later that the YMCA's facility was made available for the girls and women in town, when one day a week was set aside as Ladies Day.

For the records is listed those influential Fostorians who initiated the meetings that ultimately led to the plans and raising of funds to construct the building, which served the community so well for many years: J.L. Cruikshank, E.C. Allen, H.J. Adams, Charles Ash, W.O. Allen, D.F. McCarthy, W.E. Ashercorft, Judd Asire, Alonzo Emerine Sr., Dwight L. Rogers, and W.C. Becckwith.

When the Y was completed and functioning, scores of businesses, professional and industrial leaders donated memberships to boys who coud not afford the cost and I was one of them. I can say, without reservation, that the Y and my church played a great part in my early life.

If space permitted, the complete history of the Fostoria YMCA researched and written by Fostorian Dr. John Slosser would be appropriate and provide interesting reading.

Another photo reference with today's article shows a Mann Bros. funeral procession lined up on West Center Street, in the exact area we are considering today. It seems strange that Mann Bros. should be a part of photos for this article, just as last week, nevertheless the author is thankful for the coincidence. The lead horsedrawn vehicle in the procession was positioned in front of the Y.

NO. 142 AND 142 1/2

Many businesses occupied the two-story frame building shown in the extreme left of the old photo. when the photo was taken, the sign on the building shows only the name of Rowles, and it does not indicate the type of business. L.O. Sprout had a bicycle and Fixit Shop there for many years. Others in that building were: E.C. Lonsway, printing. Charles Droll, cream station; Joseph Rigdon, shoe repair; Marietta's Beauty Salon; Dr. D.W. Geohegan; Dr. Harold Fruth; and Dr. James A. Murray.

The second floor of that building (142 1/2) served as living quarters for many people, including: Samuel Beaver, Cora A. Compton, Herbert A. Reynolds, Earl Carson, Don C. Good, Robert Harrison, Floyd Amaugher, Floyd Davis, Mrs. P.S. Foltz, R.B. Spaun, Hazel M. Luzader and perhaps others.

NO. 138

The second property in the old photo was occupied by George H. Sparks for many years, dating back to 1915 and perhaps earlier. In later years, that property was owned by J.L. Carter and Mrs. Carter continued to live there after his death. J.W. (Jim) Carter, OD, their son, had offices in part of the first floor.

Jim maintained offices at that location until Octover 1961 when he built a new office building at 519-521 Summit St., and practiced there until August 1975 when he retired.

The story of Jim Carter's professional career would not be complete without going back to his boyhood when his father was an optometrist at 110 E. Center St. next to The Fostoria Daily Review. Your author can tell this story because he worked at the Review then.

Jim couldn't have been more than seven or eight when his father started to teach him the business. Jim recalls that in addition to being the janitor and errand boy, his father also taught him to grind the glass lenses for customer's new glasses. Jim learned the business from the ground up as the expression goes.

J.L. Carter's slogan was "See Carter and See Better" and some readers will recall that the Carter offices for glasses was located at various places in the uptown area.

Many readers will recall that Jim was a member of Jac Wainwright's band and made the trip to Chicago where they won the national championships in 1923.

Others to occupy No. 138 at various times were Walter E. Smith and David F. Stuck.

NO. 134

The building at No. 134 was a one-story frame building next to the Carter property, but does not show up in the old photo.

In the early part of the century (1903-04), it was occupied by N.H. Swanson, plumbing. In later years, other plumbing shops there were: William F. Iord, Lord & Shirk, Cramer Plumbing & Heating. Still others used that building were Faultless Appliance Store, Hartman's Radio Service, Marietta's Beauty Shop, Frankhard Shoe Repair, Arthur's Jewelers, Art Klugsberg, proprietor. The accompanying photo of Art was found in an advertisement for his business in a special edition of The Review Times, published in 1954.

NO. 130

The last old photo reference was discovered awery recently by Roy Kissling. It is the house that Kissling purchased from the Lucian Kinn estate and where he had built the two one-story structures shown in the accompanying up- to-date photo of that area. In the one on the right, he conducted his shoe repair shop until his retirement on Sept. 29, 1979.

In the other building, The Beneficial Finance Co. conducted its business for a number of years.

Today, Bill Heinsman Agency occupies that building. The other one is occupied by Shawnee Television Sales & Rental.

The house that occupied that site served as a residence for many years and those residing there included Mrs. M.A. Krabill, Fred A. Saliers, Mrs. Pearl Emmons, Harvey Blessing.

Businesses conducted in that property were: Yellow Cab Co.; H.J. Coffman, barber; Fostoria Bus Station; Dr. J.L. Murphy; and LaNier, insurance.

With a magnifying glass, readers will be able to see the taxi sign in the old house photo.

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