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CHURCH BELL IS 106 YEARS OLD
July 23, 1981


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PIX #1 - The first Lutheran Church building in Fostoria, at the northeast cor- ner of Countyline and Center, where the old bell (shown in the other photo) was first installed.

PIX #2 - Bell retired from service years ago. Inscription, done in German, reads: Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church.

No...it's not in use anymore, having been retired when the church building which preceded the one now in use was demolished...but it is mounted and hous- ed in a semi-enclosed brick structure west of the present Hope Lutheran Church, where any passerby may view it.

All the details about the bell...where it came from, how much it weighed, cost, what it was made of, etc., have been preserved in documents which have been in possession of Ken Smith, 758 Maple St. for many years. He doesn't remember how he came to possess them.

All the old church members who had anything to do with the purchase of the bell have been dead for many years, but the hand-written documents tell the story, dating back 106 years.

The bell was originally purchased for the church that was located at the northeast corner of Center and Countyline. When the congregatin outgrew that facility and built their second church at Center and Wood, the bell wa moved to its new home and continued to be used.

Negotiations for the bell started in 1875. The first exchange of correspon- dence was a letter from Vanduzen & Tift, Office of The Buckeye Bell Foundry, 102-104 E. Second St., Cincinnati, Ohio, dated Aug. 26, 1875, and sent to J. Jacob Eissler, a member of the church.

The makers of the bell, in operations from 1837, expounded in their letter to Eissler all the outstanding points about their company and product, including the "improved rotary hangings, considered the best on the market." They said the bell would be made of pure Lake India Malacca tin, solely; that all bells were tested for quality, tone and durability by ringing trial prior to shipment, with a one-year warranty, and replacement without change within that time.

601 POUND BELL

The quotation finally given was for a bell weighing 601 pounds at 30 center per pound, plus hanging equipment, with shipping charges extra. The total price wa $213.05. The bell was shipped on Oct. 20, 1875, and received short- ly thereafter.

That the bell's manufacturer knew their business was substantiated by the years of service it provided...calling the church members to services, and reminding others in the community of the presence of the church and its in- fluence.

Rev. William Braunwoth was the second pastor of The Evangelical Lutheran Church at that time, and his name also appeared on several of the documents.

J.Jacob Eissler was one of a family of carriage and wagon-makers. He resided at 209 E. Center St., and the house still stands.

Included with the list of documents was a clipping from one of the newspapers published in Fostoria in 1875, but it cannot be identified. The clipping pro- vided a list of approximately 200 names of local residents who donated various amounts to pay for the bell. Older readers looking through the list will find names familiar with that era.

200 PAID FOR BELL

John Frever, Jacob Eissler, John P. Nye, John Thom, Robert Adams, Louis Grum- mel, J.V. Jones, Nick Schmitt, Jacob Lafer, E. Hartley, Fred Fruth, Fred Sass, Herman Axt, William Knissel Jr., Hoyer & Koss, Ema Rothacker, Rosiana Schmit, Lou Liesmann, John Andes, William Blume, William Knissel Sr., Ed Marks, George Schreck, R. Cooper, George Flechtner, J. Schaufelberger, P.D. Caples, R.L. Caples, John Portz, G. Rothacker, C.D. Myers, John Wagner, C.E. Davis, F. Miller, Michel Bangert.

George Henry, S.A. Needham, J.H. Zender, Stewart Bros., John Bricker, W.D. Robbins, Joe Faust, H. Mergenthaler, W. Mergenthaler, A.F. McDonnel, Peter Minick, J.H. Strowman, John Maurer, Howell Bros., Sheridan Logan, M. Konigs- men, J. Mergenthaler, J.L. Kenower, C.M. Lytle, F.H. Conaghan, A. Emerine, J.S. Bechman, B. Wullenschneider, Jacob Schmitt, August Flechtner, R. Hale, Fred Werner, Louis Sass, Joch Stoldt, Andy Liestman, C. Siegchrist, Jacob Appler, Gotluch Marz, John Reber, Henry Ludy, Margrett Reber, Mrs. F. Koss, Mrs. C. Eisler.

Mrs. E. Holzer, B. Evenbeck, Robert Fox, M. Mergenthaler, W.D. Wood, C. Ger- man, C.A. Henry, Christ Gaugel, Christ Bonnel, Fred Graber, J.F. Fulton, A.C. McClean, David Asire, Daniel Beckman, Peter Wilhelm, J.C. Millhime, M. Schmitt, W.G. Upmeyer, E. Padgham, I.N. Mickey, Weaver & Adam, Ben Fosty, Nick Portz, F. Bruchman, H. Fraver, D. Musser, Jas. Bassom, Samuel Ewing, Peter Andes, Charles Musser, A. Kauffman.

L.D. Musseter, John Woolf, L. Woster, John Heilman, Charles Howell, M.P. Skin- ner, G. Morgan, D.L. Snyder, T. Jacobs, Charles Foster, Jas. Mickey, W.E. Sny- der, Yant & Norris, J.E. Wilkinson, W. Beckensto, C. Foster Jr., T.S. Green, W.H. Grapes, J.T. Yant, S.R. Eshriman, E. Fisher, Samuel Maloney, Martin Adams, Jonas Beck, Fred Manecke, Henry Sebon, Jas. Kelley, R. Hale, W. Rigby, J.A. Bradner, R. Crocker, A. Scharf, Isaac Stulz, A. Peter, Jacob Peter, Dan- iel Orshel.

B. Leonard, A. Mohler, John Schmitt, J. Dipplehofer, C. Olmstead, H. Kisabeth, R. Alcott, Martin Green, G. Esselbach, Jacob Hager, Lyda Merz, A. Mike, H.H. Upmeyer, M. Beckle, J. Greisinger, John Stoldt, B.T. Nichols, G. Seigman, Leonard & Son, Jacob Souder, Kate Dritzler, Nick Walter, J.M. Doecke, James Fox, J.A. Heilman, B.W. Bonnel, J. Hoffmaster, J.B. Roberts, Peter Thom, C. Huber, Ben Dritzler, Henry Stahl, M. Fulton, M. Kleney, George Emerine, Ben Wiler, Eva Portz.

Alfred Fraver, A. Cramer, George Acker, John Kichner, D. Umlor, John Greiner, Dr. Williams, Jacob Klein, Fred Koss, J. Mergenthaler.

From the above list there was subscribed $301.65...enough to pay for the bell and some of the incidentals pertaining to installation.

READER FEEDBACK JOHN LEE

...Residing at 700 N. Main St., reminded me that Abraham Abowd, named in the Main Street story, was killed in a car accident in Tiffin, at a young age.

Lee and another friend had been invited to ride to Tiffin with Abowd, but had not accepted, and within 30 minutes after he (Abowd) left Fostoria he was dead. Their refusal to accompany Abowd was a lucky decision.

R. JONES AT POSTAL

In one segment of the Main Street story, I had mentioned that the Postal Tel- egraph office was located in the rear of the Interurban Station. Marie Jones, wife of Russel, 1521 N. Countyline, telephoned to ask if I remembered when Russel worked there in 1921 or 1922. I had to say 'no.'

He learned the Morse code and the telegraph business, later working for Postal in Cleveland, and then returned to be with Postal on South Main here for a time.

Readers will recall that Jones also had a poolroom here and managed the State Liquor Store before retiring.

Mrs. Jones also told me after reading the story about Fostoria Light Car that she discovered among her collection of memorabelia a glass ash tray put out by that local car manufacturer with their name on it...it is the first one ever reported to me.

THE MUSIC BOX

I was also reminded by several readers that Dan McGinnis, now librarian at Kaubisch, was once associated with Carl Vogel in a business called the Music Box, in the first floor corner room of the Alcott Block. They sold record players and associated equipment.

HAYS TAXI

William E. Cline, 2069 MCCutchenville Rd., telephoned about Hays Taxi, men- tioned in the Main Street story.

In that story, I said that H. Cline was one of the partners in Hays Taxi. H. Cline was William's uncle. William's father, Wayne, was also associated with Hays Taxi as a partner. After 19 years, according to William, the business was sold to Blaine Hummel in 1944 or 1945 because it was difficult to buy taxis during the years. However, Hummel could because he had a car agency.

William told me he had always thought he would be in the taxi business too when he was young, but his father discouraged it very strongly.

W. Weber, associated with Hays taxi, started his own business, known as Yellow Cab, after Hummel bought the partnership. Yellow Cab located in a small of- fice built under the outside stairs on the south side of the Andes Building and was there for years. Remember?

ABOUT FOSTER SHOES

Marguerite Hessey, 1010 N. Main St., telephones to tell me about that store. It was a chain owned by Foster O. Narrows, Cleveland, who had five stores in northern Ohio.

Mrs. Hessey's son, Ron, known to many Fostorians, worked for that chain for many years...nearly 40 she thought. Ron, along with Donald Boyer were the Fostoria stores two earliest employees.

Ralph Schreiner also worked for Narrows and managed the Fostoria store, later taking it over and naming it Ralph's.

RICHARD MICKEY DIES

In last week's Feedback, there was a letter from Mildred (Mickey) Hutchinson, in which she mentioned her brother Richard, as being ill since last December.

When Don Murphy read last week's column, he telephoned me to say that Richard, who had assumed the name of Newton, has died. Very few Fostorians knew him by that name.

Murphy said the local Presbyterian church had been informed that they had been named a beneficiary in Newton's will.

'LOST PHOTO FOUND'

...That was the heading of last week's article. Several readers asked where it was found, and possibly many others wondered too.

In the article I said I had searched for the photo, but none knew who might have it, and then I meant to say that recently in looking through Ray Dell's collection of postcards there it was 'looking right at me.'

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