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July 5, 1979


PIX #1 - The Eger's "buckster wagon" in front of their home on McDougal Street at Caples. The older brothers are in the wagon.



EDITOR'S NOTE--This article is another profile about people who grew up in Fostoria were successful in their careers. Although the profiles are intended to be of interest to all, especially long-time residents, they are primarily intended to stimulate the young to seek work for which they are best suited, then apply their best efforts through devotion, training, hardwork, and pati- ence to become successful. Perhaps adult readers will make a special effort to pass these profile articles on to young acquaintances.

Dean Eger was not born in Fostoria, but in a small community in northwestern Ohio called Pleasant Bend in the year 1896, to Charles A. and Lucy E. Egerl Pleasant Bend is still on the Ohio map, population 150, seven miles from Hol- gate on Ohio 115 in Henry County.

Dean's father had a general store in that farming community, and supplied the farmers with all the things they could not produce, such as butter, eggs, chickens, vegetables etc. It was a kind of barter system, which benefitted both parties. If the farmer had a poor year with the crops, he traded what he could for necessities, or bought on "tick," pay later, in cash or barter.

Eger had two "huckster wagons" that Dean's older brothers, Henry, Lewis and George, took turns driving throughout the farming community carrying whatever the farmers needed in exchange for produce.


Dean remembers that as a young boy he culd occasionally go along on the wagon trips with his brothers, stopping to have lunch at one of the farm homes. It was always a hospitable action on the part of farmers to feed those who hap- pened by.

That was the environment into which Dean Eger was born and had his early training. Undoubtedly he helped around the store with various chores, which had some bearing on his decision to enlist with F.W. Woolworth Co. in later years.

The writer has been acquainted with the Eger family for many years, and knows about their habits and qualities...hardworking, industrious, extremely faith- ful and devoted, honest...qualities which must have been ingrained in the parents and passed on to the Eger children.

In 1906, Dean's parents, with Dean and his two sisters, Carrie and Vera, moved to Fostoria. The three olders brothers had already left Pleasant Bend for "greener pastures." The brothers Lewis and George having migrated south, and Henry had already moved to Fostoria.

Some of the Eger's furniture was shipped here in a railroad car. Some was brought in one of the huckster wagons. The family came either in the horse drawn wagon or their buggy. It took two days to make the 50-mile trip. (See accompanying photo).


It wa 1912, while attending Fostoria High School, that Dean started to work part-time for the local Woolworth store, which was mentioned in last week's "Potluck" story.

Another of Dean's boyhood experiences here was to get a job carrying papers for The Fostoria Daily Times.

One of Dean's boyhood friends who also carried The Times was Roscoe Fletcher Good, who later became an admiral in the Navy. (See "Potluck" article Jan. 11, 1979). Dean recalls what a good boyhood friend Fletch was. While waiting for their papers they would often go to the Gerlinger Bakery at 209 N. Main St. to buy a roll or cookie for a penny. The year 1912, when Dean was at FHS and started to work at Woolworth's, seems to have been significant, even though he wasn't aware of it then.

It was 1912 when F.W. Woolworth and Co. consolidated with S.H. Knox and Co., F.M. Kirby and Co., E.P. Carlton and Co., and W.H. Moore, to form F.W. Wool- worth and Co., the giant merchandising company. And, it was 1912 that con- struction of the Woolworth Building in New York City was completed, the place where he would finally land after 31 years, moving from one responsibility to another in his climb to the executive level as executive buyer.


Dean graduated from FHS in 1915. In September, he started to work for the Woolworth store in Findlay. Then he was transferred to Detroit, and later to Battle Creek, Mich., where he stayed until being drafted into the Army in 1918.

Upon being discharged in 1919, Dean worked for Woolworth in Toledo as assistant manager. He was store manager in 1920.

He moved to Batavia, N.Y. as manager in 1921, then on to Binghamton, N.Y., again as manager.

It was in 1927 that he was elevated to district manager of a group of stores and was moved to the regional offices in Buffalo, N.Y.

When a new regional office was opened in Albany, N.Y., in 1929, Dean was transferred there as district manager, a job he filled until 1936, when he was made a merchandise manager. He stayed in that position until 1946, when he moved into the slot he held until his retirement, executive buyer in the New York main office.


One of the secrets of success for Woolworth was knowledge of the type and variety of merchandise to make available for customers. This can only be accomplished through successful relations with customers, suppliers and manu- facturers. Dean Eger's 31 years experience as store manager, district mana- ger, and merchandising manager prepared and qualified him for the extremely important job as executive buyer.

At a testimonial dinner when he retired in 1962, he was described as, a man en- dowed with consideration for his friends and associates. His years of service are a tribute to outstanding loyalty, fairness, and integrity to all with whom he had contact.

In 1965, when Dean retired, he and his wife Martha moved from their hme in Bronxville, N.Y., to Florida where they have lived since.

The Egers have two sons and a daughter...Dean C. Eger Jr., with his wife Ethel and son Dean Carlton III live in Scarsdale, N.Y.; Jack L. Eger, whose wife is Catherine and daughter is Lynne of Lakewood, N.Y. (he is manager of a Woolworths store); a daughter, Mrs. Martha Jean Davis, who has a daughter Mary-Beth and sons Rex and Jack, Atlanta, Ga.

Fostorians know Vera Eger, Dean's sister, as a respected and competent teacher in local schools, for many years, as was another sister, Carrie, deceased. Vera still resides in the family homestead on McDougal Street.

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