Centenial - page7

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1954 Centennial Book

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Page 7


PIX#3 The "Dough Boy" Memorial, High School Lawn

In March, 1919, there met in a Paris Theater a group of American Soldiers and one lone navy man, (who wandered in, to see if there was a show of some kind where he could kill a little time), which proceeded to lay the ground work for the organization of the veterans of World War I, which was soon named The American Legion. Preliminary plans were completed at the first National Convention held in St. Louis early in the summer of 1919. Soon Posts were being organized all over the United States. Post No. 73, named for Earl Foust, the first Fostoria boy to lose his life, was organized during that same summer, with Major George Cunningham as the first Post Commander. For a number of years the Post met in rented quarters, then purchased and occupied the Old Kingseed home at 231 W. Tiffin Street. At the close of World War II, it was decided that these quarters would be too small, so the Post sold this building, and bought the present Home at 134 W. Tiffin Street, which it still occupies. Its quarters and facilities are used not only by the Post and its Auxiliary Unit, but also by several other patriotic groups, and several labor unions. It is the headquarters for the Fostoria Junior Baseball League, and for the past several weeks has been the headquarters for the Fostoria Centennial Committee.

Two activities which make the Legion outstanding, locally and statewide are, the sponsorship and conduct of the Annual American Legion Essay Contest, open to all high school students of both public and parochial schools, in which hundreds participate and to the winners of which, liberal cash prizes are awarded as well as certificates of merit. In past years three Fostoria girls have won first state honors and visited Washington D.C. as guests of the Legion. The other activity is the Annual Buckeye Boys' State. This brings together nearly 1,000 of the top flight 11th grade boys from all over the State, without regard to race, or creed, or any other consideration except scholarship and character. The 1954 Boys' State was held at Camp Perry on Lake Erie, and gave the boys grouped in cities, counties, and the state, a ten-day practical workshop in citizenship, and the political opportunities and responsibilities of an American Citizen. During the nearly twenty years that the Buckeye Boys' State has been in existence, nearly 100 Fostoria boys have been privileged to attend and take part.

PIX#4 Legionnaires cut wood for the needy during the Depression

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When war was declared against Germany in April of 1917, Fostoria was well on the way to being prepared. Its own National Guard unit, Co. D, 147th Infantry, 37th Division, had already been on duty on the Border in the Mexican fracas, and was soon ready to be sent to Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Al.

Its roster reads as follows: Capt. R.O. Nichols, 1st. Lieut. E.A. Kurtz, 2nd Lieut. R.A. Dixon, and H.N. Edgerton, Top Sgt. Ray Kistner, Mess Sgt. Geo. B. Hedge. Sgts. P.J. Koepfer, Curtis Bright, Harry Reiter, Geo. Reed, Henry Boulboulle (one name obliterated). Cpls. F.F. Fockler, L.I. Milligan, L. Molter, R. Stiles, H. Kinnison, D.L. Fuller, A.G. Dillon, R. McClelland, C. Haines, C. Potteiger.
Mechanics: D.S. Hogan and Carl Crowfoot.
Cooks: H.C. Brown, H. Bailey, W. Bennet, W.G. Brant, B. Craun, B. Cross, E. Cunningham, J. Deganck, V. Dixon, R. Dillery, R. Doty, C. Domke, E. Ferguson, G. Good, A. Bauman, J. Huston, M. Kauffman, R. Laney, L. Lawrence, J. Latham, J. Maze, J. Merrick, C. Moore, C. Myers, W. Myers, C. Newlen, S. Notestine, V. Peters, C. Ressler, A. Russell, F. Swartz, E. Shufelt, R. Shultz, J. Starner, C. Snyder, R. Snyder, G. Snyder, E. Stump,A. Thomas, C. Thomas, R.W. Thomas, H. Wells, C. B. Wise, C. Woodruff.

In all at least 600 Fostorians served in the armed forces during WWI, in the Army, the Navy, the Marines, and several women served as nurses.

At the end, Fostoria=s Gold Star Roster carried the following names: Basil Cramer, Garner Jinks, Ross Cline, Orville Rangeler, Floyd Ecker, Wm. A. Wilcox Earl Foust, James Gray, Clarence Butzier, Carl Crowfoot, Chas. Retan, Orvil Daum, Leroy Wilson, Joseph Ingram, Charles Henry, Ray Kistner, W. Lonsway, Kent Ewing, Thornton Hill, Blair Miller, Glenn Clark, Wm. Clancy, Harmon Whitman.


In 1941, Fostoria began to compile another Gold Star honor Roster, and many Fostoria parents and wives became sadly aware of islands and strange places which only a short time before had been known to only a few sailors and geographers; Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, North Africa, Sicily, Iwo Jima, Omaha Beach, Okinawa, Attu, and the Burma Road. Now all these places are a part of American soil, for as Kipling said of Britain, "Wherever an English soldier falls, that is forever England."

Eugene Daugherty, Durward Laney, Arthur R. Wing, Gilbert F. Brendle, Charles W. Mattram, Donald L. Madden, Robert B. Longfellow, Donald M. Keiser, Donald Estes, Harold A. Heinze, Joseph E. George, Gerald L. Lamberjack, Anderson F. Drake, Ernest M. Eckert, Henry C. Florea, Jr., George A. Falewage, Chas. LeCompte, Robert J. Brookover, Donald R. Olin, Robert J. Might, Ralph O. Kwilus, Patrick J. Feehan, Constant S. Bulkowski, James V. Schroeder, Chas. W. Beeler, Robert J. Roller, Williams M. Mosier, John E. Thomas, Irvan N. Frankhart, John Gonyer.

Robert A> Carter, Franklin W. Snyder, Andrew Reinhart, Richard Steyer, Paul K. Stultz, Gerald Wangler, Francis C. Feasel, Richard A. Sendelbach, Gerald Lichtle, Richard T. Leatherman, Chas. W. Wildman, Chas. Rumschlag, Frank C. Sterling, Chas. Reinhard, Anthony O. Scholodon, Wm. A. Moody, Wayne N. Dennis, Robert Clore, Wallace Shaver, Edward Sheets, Paul L. Walter, Ray Lancaster, Thos. Wonderly, John S. Lindiwer, Geo. E. Wilson, Fred Vosburg, Elmer Ritter, Gerold Phillips, Fred Schaefer, Chas. Hartranft, Frederick A. Koss, Robert Brickner, John I. Stultz, Henry Larrow, Chas. Ayers, Myron J. Ziegman, Howard Russell, Geo. Wm. Alge, Vernon Elchert, Elbery Biddle, Jr., Adrain Kleinsmith, LeRoy Haynes, Stanley Minard, Howard Cramer, Edward L. Kinn, James Kinsley, Robert H. Niswander, James Edgar, Paul F. Smith, Edward Seebon, Collin Andrews, Darrell R. Sickels.

A small number of Fostorians were captured during the war, but by virtue of the invasion of Germany, survived to be liberated and come home safely. They were: K.H. Speelman, Carl Bangert, Paul Burgbacher, Carlos Reid. Malcolm Fouts, Thurman Blaser, Robert Smith, Paul Wangler, David Atha, Ronald Love, Walter Hoover, Eugene White, Thomas Snowden, Otis Saalman, and Francis Crowell.

PIX#5 The National Champion V.F.W. Band

PIX#6 One of the trophies won by the V.F.W, Band

PIX#7 1947 cash award won by V.F.W. Band


In 1945, Americans, Russians, Chinese toasted each other as they celebrated a well-earned victory over a ruthless common foe. In 1950, they began hurling high explosives at each other in the Korean "Police Action." Although there was no Fostoria-based National Guard unit to go into this struggle, several hundred Fostoria boys took part. Many are still there in the forces on duty along the Armistice Line. Some are still in unmarked and unknown graves among the tangled hills and rice paddies of that unfortunate country.

The Gold Star honor Roster as of today, contains the following names: Emerson Reffner, Gerald E. Hammer, John C. Corey, Duane E. Goebel, Harvey F. Saxton, George Shank, Tom Pastorius, Robert L. Hill, David P. Mompher, and Paul K. Stahl.

No Veterans' organizations of importance came from WW II. Both the Legion and the V.F.W. opened their membership rolls to the returning veterans, and today both organizations are largely dominated by the younger men. One organization of national scope was founded, but has no active chapter in Fostoria. We refer to the AmVets.

PIX#8 Marker, Lake Mottram; there is one at each of the city lakes named for the first man in each of the Armed Services to lost his life during WW II. They are Mottram, Lamberjack Daugherty, Mosier.


The Disabled American Veterans, The D.A.V. has an active local Post. It limits its membership to those who suffered some degree of disability as a result of their service, and devotes itself to their rehabilitation and comfort. The R.W. Nicholas Post meets in the American Legion Home.


Neither the history nor the success of any men's organizations are complete without paying due tribute to their Auxiliaries, their feminine counterparts.

Each of the Fostoria Veterans' groups has an active Auxiliary, and it is to them that much of any success and influence the Veterans may have, is due.

The Woman's Relief Corps of the G.A.R. was founded soon after the organization of the G.A.R., and now that no Post remains, the W.R.C. carries on such activities as remain. They kept the last records, and when the last member had "been mustered out":, closed the books, furled the flags, and set themselves the task of not letting a new generation "forget what they did here."

The Daughters of Union Veterans was organized in 1885, by five school girls in Massillon, Ohio, who had just witnessed the Memorial Day ceremony of their fathers laying wreaths on the graves of their deceased comrades. Its membership is limited to daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters of Civil War Veterans,.The Fostoria Chapter was instituted in 1938, by the assistance of Mrs. Maude Corey, a past president of the W.R.C. , and one of Fostoria's leading patriotic citizens. Today the D.U.V. is active and with its "brother" organization, Sons of Union Veterans, meets regularly in the Legion Home. Both give active support to the various youths' organizations.

Gertrude Poland Auxiliary No. 19, was organized in 1908, but was forced to disband in 1913, due to lack of membership. It was, however, reorganized in 1922, and has been active ever since. It with the other Auxiliaries, gives active aid to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, The National Soldiers' Home in Dayton, the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans Home in Xenia, and the Ohio Home for Soldiers' Widows at Madison.

The First National Convention of the American Legion, meeting in Minneapolis, Mn, in 1919, gave permission for the organizing of a Women's Auxiliary, and in 1921, the Auxiliary Unit to Earl Foust Post No. 73, was instituted. The membership is open to all women who were or are, mothers, wives, sisters, or daughters of Legionnaires, or of men who died in service, or after honorable discharge, and also to women, who themselves, were in service, although they are also eligible to membership in the American Legion. This eligibility has been extended to those who have similar connections with World War II, and the Korean veterans who are eligible to the Legion. Although the Auxiliary Unit has no purposes apart from the aims of the Legion as set forth in the Preamble of the Legion Constitution, it takes on many projects of its own. Most of its relief projects are financed by the proceeds received on Poppy Day, when thousands of red poppies which have been made by veterans now living at the Sandusky Home, and who, through force of circumstances, have no other income. The veterans are paid for the poppies and the surplus received above the cost to the Auxiliary is used exclusively for various kinds of aid to veterans and their families, and for similar projects. The Unit shares with others, the care of those living in the O.S.S.H. at Sandusky; the O.S.S. Orphans Home at Xenia, the V.A. Hospitals at Chillicothe, Brecksville, Dayton, and Crile. It also assists the Post in the Annual Essay contest; sends one Junior girl to the Buckeye Girls' State at Capitol University in Bexley, and was the original sponsor in Fostoria of the Camp Fire Girls

The Ladies' Auxiliary to the V.F.W. was organized in 1935, with thirteen charter members. Its main objectives are similar to those of other Auxiliaries. It takes part in the annual Poppy Day Sale, and has an especial interest in the care and comfort of those residing in the V.F.W. Home at Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

The Doughboy statue in the yard of the High School building was erected as a project of the Service Star Legion, which developed from WW I, and was erected in memory of all who gave their lives in that struggle.

The Gold Star Mothers, organized in 1945, by the mothers of Fostoria boys who died in service during WW II, asked that the new football stadium be name Memorial Stadium, and it was done. A plaque on the monument at the base of the flag pole, bears the names of all those who died in that war

The Navy Mothers, as the name implies, limits its membership to women whose sons (and husbands) served in the Navy during WW II.

Jane Washington Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution -the D.A.R. -was organized in 1922. Its membership is restricted to female lineal descendants of veterans of the American Revolution. IT holds monthly meetings at the homes of its members. One of its many projects is the awarding of prizes for the best Histories of Ohio as prepared in the eighth grade American History classes of Miss Hazel Stubbins in Fostoria High School.

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Unifying and coordinating the work of the Veterans' Organizations and those of their Auxiliaries, and other patriotic groups is the Federated Patriotic Organization, made up of representatives from all interested groups. It arranges for the Memorial Day program each year and in other ways prevents duplication of effort.

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Information courtesy of Joan Fleming

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