Centenial - page1

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1954 Centennial Book

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Greetings from the City of Fostoria
July 11, 1954

PIX#1 Ray R. Coburn

Welcome to Fostoria, Ohio. Welcome to the city that for 100 years has grown steadily, sometimes leisurely, and sometimes at a furious pace.

We are most happy to have you with us on this great occasion. Birthday parties are always gala affairs, but the 100th birthday is something special and Athe more "the merrier" was never more true.

Our city has been decorated from stem to stern in festive fashion and entertainment of all description has been programmed that all might be amused, edified, and pleased, according to one's individual taste.

I sincerely hope that all residents and visitors to the City of Fostoria during our gigantic birthday week are left with the feeling of good fellowship and brotherhood that is expressly implied and intended.

Welcome to Fostoria. Welcome to the biggest party in the city's 100 year history.

Ray R. Coburn
Mayor, Fostoria, Ohio

H. Robert Bradner,
Safety-Service Director,
Fostoria, Ohio

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Fostoria City Government

Fostoria has operated under the Mayor-Councilmanic form of city government since it became a city in 1889. The present city officials and department heads are:

Mayor, Ray R. Coburn
Safety Service Director, H. Robert Bradner
City Treasurer, C. Richard Fruth
City Solicitor, Lester Huth
City Auditor, Harry Mosier
President of Council, George Peeler
1st Ward, Robert Hil
2nd Ward, Charles Rush
3rd Ward, Marvin D. Rupp
4th Ward, John Steyer
Councilmen at Large,
W.F. Hartsell
Francis Bormuth
Richard Switzer
Clerk of Council, R.V. Hollenbaugh
Fostoria Dept. Of Health:
Health Commissioner, Paul D. Gregory
City Health Nurse, Dorothy M. Carte
Clerk of the Board, Mary D. Shreve
Fostoria Municipal Court:
Judge, James V. Ford
Bailiff, M. Baker
Clerk, Jean Trumpler
Fostoria Municipal Hospital:
Supt., Hal Stout
Supt. Of Nurses, Mary Jane Smith

Technician, Dr. Wm. Maxwell
X-Ray Technician, Dr. James
Pres. Medical Bd., Dr. H.P. Ulicny
Sec'y Medical Bd., Dr. S.R. Markey
Supt. Sewage Dept., Harrison Fling
Supt. City Dump, Archie Fittro
City Chemist, William Lockhart
Streets & Parks:
Supt. Of Streets, Merrill Ward
Supt. Of Cemetery & Parks, P. Munger
Supt. Of Swim Pool, Richard Sprow
Civil Service Commission:
Chrmn., C. D. LaRue
C.W. Gilliard
Ralph Heilman
Sec'y, Ora Wade
Water Works & Sewage Dept:
Supt. Water Works, Herbert Lord
Asst Supt., W. Stewart
Clerk, Ruth Donaldson
Asst. Clerk, Mildred Rumple
Library Board:
Pres., Eldren Layton
V.Pres., Mrs. Eldon Fruth
Sec-Clerk, Ms. Antoinette Baumstark
Blaine Hummel
C.A. Moran

Library Personnel:
Librarian, Mrs. Oscar A. Brenner
Assts.: Mrs. R. F. Glaser
Mrs. Victor Mandorf
Mrs. Lowell Tyson, Marlene Greene,
Ann Porter. Page, Jaynis Clark
Custodian, Charles M. Gase


PIX#2 Fostoria's Oldest House

To answer the questions of those who ask, "Why a Centennial this year? We had one back in 1932." That celebration was the anniversary of the birth of the twin villages, Rome and Risdon, both platted within one week of each other in 1832. Now we are celebrating the One Hundredth Anniversary of that marriage, which took place formally on July 14, 1854.

Seneca County had been organized by a special act passed by the Ohio General Assembly on Jan. 22, 1824, which authorized the first elections to be held on the first Monday in April. Only four townships, Thompson, Eden, Seneca, and Clinton had been organized and held an election. On April 12, 1824, the First Court in the County was held and business transacted. David Risdon was appointed first County Surveyor. In the meantime the County as was all of northwestern Ohio was being surveyed into Congressional Townships and Sections. Much of the land was turned over to the Miami and Dayton Canal Company to be sold to settlers and the proceeds of these sales were to be used to pay for the construction of the canal being slowly pushed northward from Cincinnati, through Dayton, eventually to reach Defiance, and a couple of muddy, nondescript villages along the lower Maumee River, which afterwards became Toledo. These canal lands were entered in 1828. In 1832, Charles W. Foster from Massachusetts, with his father-in-law, John Crocker, and his brother-in-law, Roswell Crocker, entered upon two thousand acres of unimproved lands within and near what became Fostoria. Roswell Crocker took deed to the East 2 of the South West 1/4 of Section 6, comprising the eighty acres, now bounded by College Avenue, Poplar Street, the first alley south of Bricker Street, and County Line. Here on August 31, 1832, the village of Rome was platted. It included the square bounded by North Street, Poplar Street, South Street, and County Line Street.

Only a week later, on Sept. 6, 1832, J. Gorsuch had a town platted, lying half in Seneca County and half in Hancock County. This townsite was bounded by Jackson Street, Union Street, Elm Street, and the Portage River. One of the surveyors was David Risdon, for whom the new town was named.

The two villages prospered. In 1848, in "A History of Seneca County" a Mr. Butterfield wrote, "Rome is pleasantly situated and surrounded by a beautiful county. It contains fifty dwellings, two churches, three stores, two taverns, two steam sawmills, two tanneries, two steam gristmills, two cabinet shops, three shoe shops, three tailor shops, two saddler shops, and five blacksmith shops. There are three resident physicians, Alonzo Lockwood, George Patterson, and Simon Bricker. In 1840, the population was eighty persons. In 1848, it is about three hundres, and is increasing rapidly. It is located on the Lower Sandusky (Fremont) and Ft. Findlay State Road, the Defiance and Tiffin State Road, and the Bucyrus and Perrysburg State Roads." (Note: The first named road is now Ohio 12, and the second, Ohio 18, both following the gravel ridges across the country, which at that time were about the only places higher than the waters of the Black Swamp which covered northwestern Ohio then and for many years thereafter. The third route follows U.S. 23 south from Perrysburg, from the lower rapids on the Maumee River, along the higher ground east of the Eastern Branch of the Portage River and was an old Indian Trail crossing to the upper waters of the Scioto River and on southward).

Writing about Risdon, Mr. Butterfield said, AAmong the earlier settlers were Henry Welch, Jeremiah Mickey and Franklin P. Gordon. In 1848, there were thirty dwellings, one church, one tavern, three stores, one carding machine run by steam power, one wagon shop, two shoe shops, two saddler shops, one tannery, one cabinet shop, one steam saw mill, one foundry, and three blacksmith shops. In 1840, its population had been thirty-nine. In 1848, it has risen to two hundred. There are two resident physicians, Dr. Marcus Dana and R.C.Caples. (Note: In 1832, Dr. Dana built the house now standing west of the Square, north of Summit Street and now occupied by the Kimes family. It is undoubtedly the oldest house in Fostoria.)

Rivalry between the two villages was intense, with many incidents, which to us today seem amusing, but which to them, struggling for mastery and control, were anything but that. Finally in 1853, common sense and reason came to their rescue, and it was decided, that after all, unity and cooperation offered more financial and political rewards than continued bickering. In January, 1854, the people of Risdon petitioned the Seneca County Board of Commissioners for authority to merge with Rome. The petition was granted, and on July 14, 1854, the wedding of the two neighbors took place, but the name of the new town was to be FOSTORIA, a tribute to their most influential citizen, who was promptly elected to be the town's first mayor. This is the anniversary we are celebrating this week.

Information courtesy of Joan Fleming

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