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December 23, 1982


PIX #1 - Mann Bros. Funeral Home when it was located at 217 W. Center St. from 1916-1959.



PIX #4 - Doe's Model Laundry, once located at 228 W. Center St. Note de- livery wagon beside building and Big Four Rail car on LE&W tracks in back- ground. E.O. Doe, laundry owner, was standing on right. Beside him is his wife, Gertrude, and next to her is Doe's mother. Others in photo are un- known. Photo taken in 1907.

PIX #5 - Looking west on West Center Street from post office. The Rogers Co. is gone but building is still there in foreground. Arrow shows where Doe's Laundry once was.

PIX #6 - First Christian Church as it appeared when first constructed.

PIX #7 - Houses on Corner of Center and Wood--Mary Ellen Row, current owner.

Today's article is the last about Center Street. Readers are reminded that material about the street has appeared in other articles, too, in addition to the current series.

One of those articles, about the post office, appeared May 6; one about the First Lutheran Church at Center and Countyline Streets July 23, 1981; and another showing the Center Street School April 30, 1980; and also about John E. Rogers Producing Co., March 9, 1977.

One of the accompanying photos with today's article shows an up-to-date view of the north side of West Center Street, looking west from Wood. Where the post office was built 50 years ago, there was once a building which was used by several manufacturers, including Allen Motor Car Co., Fostoria Machine & Tool Co., Atlas Safe Co. and perhaps others.

A photo of the John B. Rogers Co. was not included with the earlier article, but the building that housed that important business for Fostoria can be seen in today's current photo. Briefly, John B. Rogers Co. was started in 1903 by John B. Rogers, a native of our town. The company sold its operations in 1977 and is now headquartered in Pittsburgh. In its three quarters of a century of activities it staged home-talent shows and centennial programs for communities all across America and Canada.

Today, the Rogers Company's previous office space is used by William Munsey, the last president, as his office, also by LaNier, Weber and Henry Realty and Weber-Kline Insurance Agency. The rest of the building is used as a ware- house space.

In the early part of this century, there were two residential properties in the area where John B. Rogers Co. later built. An old-time photo of these properties is not available, but those known to have lived there were: the W.H. Frizzel family, a plumber, at 214; his daughter and son-in-law, R.B. Mills, at same address. At 220, resided Steve Stavropoulous, proprietor of Fostoria Candy Works.


Just west of where the John B. Rogers building is today, there once was Doe's Model Laundry (No. 228), owned and operated by Eldon "Toddy" Doe, as he was known to most Fostorians. Doe, as he was known to most Fostorians. He was an uncle to Roger Doe, 819 N. Union St., who identified those in the old photo and told me about him. The laundry is shown in another accompanying photo.

After he quit the laundry business, Doe had a grocery at 122-124 W. Center St. He was also a volunteer firefighter here for many years until Fostoria had full-time firefighters. In later years, he became Fostoria's fire chief, a position he held until his death.

"Toddy," in later years, lived at No. 230, just west of his old laundry loca- tion and that two-story residence can be seen in the extreme left of the cur- rent photo. That property is now owned by William Munsey and has been made into three apartments.

The remainder of that side of Center Street to Union consisted of residential properties. A few of the old-timers and families whom your author can recall who lived in that area years ago are: J.J. Cramer, E.W. Schaufelberger, W.F. Bevington, W.H. Priddy, J.N. Eckerle, Alvin E. Shultz, R.R. Dillon, Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Bryan, Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rowe, Mr. and Mrs. Byron Stearns, Isabel Kinney, Mr. and Mrs. Lajoie Gregory, Mr. and Mrs. Adam Dicken, Mr. and Mrs. John Gutknecht, Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Gibson and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert J. Coffman.


Crossing the street and going back to the corner at Wood Street, a reference is made to an old photo showing mostly residential properties' all of them originally owned by Nicholas Burtscher. The one in the extreme left has been remodeled on the outside, thus readers may not recognize it.

It is a two-family dwelling, each on one level. For many years, it was the home of the George Schlatter family and the Fletcher family. Currently, the property is owned by Mary Ellen Row, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Lamber- jack, previous owners. Others who lived there were L.D. Wilson of Kiebel and Wilson Dry Goods Store on the first floor and A.L. Morris, president of Atlas Cooperage on the second floor. C.C. Kinsey of Fostoria Review also lived there.

Next to the corner house was a vacant lot on which a house was built after the photo was taken (about 1905). The Sterkel Kuhlman family lived there for many years. Today, that property, No. 209, is occupied by Marilynn's Floral Boutique. Next to it, No. 211, was the residence of O.E. Kipka family. Virginia, a daughter, became a well-known doctor and resides in New York City. Others to live there were Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Wineland and Kathryn Peltier. Today, Mr. and Mrs. Paul G. Peltier reside there and he operates a locksmith business from that location. The third house from the corner, as shown by the old photo, was the residence of Nicholas Burtsher.


In 1916, after the death of Burtscher, the house was purchased by the Mann brothers, Asa and Jay, for their funeral home. They remained at that loca- tion until 1959 when they moved to North Countyline Street, the former George M. Gray home. It became known as Mann-Hare Funeral Home in 1980. At that time, Richard Mann retired from the company and Thomas Hare became a princi- pal, with John still associated. John and Richard Mann, brothers, had oper- ated the business after the originators, Asa and Jay, had died.

One of the accompanying photos shows the Mann Bros. Funeral Home after they located in the former Burtscher home. In later years, the property was re- modeled to better suit thhe funeral home requirements.

When the Mann brothers, Asa and Jay, moved their business to the Burtscher property, they and their father, Charles, a woodworkers, started to make wooden caskets. The manufacturing facilities were in a building in the rear of the funeral home. Their line of caskets were supplied to funeral direc- tors in a number of states.


Another accomplishment by the father, Charles, and first for Fostoria was a motor-driven hearse, replacing their old horsedrawn vehicle. He built a hearse cab on an Allen car chassis, which was being made here at that time.

There are many good properties on the south side of West Center Street from Wood to Union, all of them dating back to the early part of this century or earlier.

William Jaeger who was secretary of The Fostoria Stave & Barrel, which was located on Findlay Street when it existed many years ago, lived in the prop- erty of 225, next to the Nicholas Burtscher home. Today and for a number of years, that property has been used for professional and business purposes. It accommodated Dr. G.H.W. Bruggeman, physician; Dr. John Slosser, optome- trist; Dr. Kenneth Rowe, optometrist; Chas. Hess, osteopath; Virgil Gase Agency; Fostoria Real Estate Board; William Emmert, attorney. Today it houses the local Prudential Insurance office and RFD News offices.

Frank Deckelman still owns and resides in the property at 237, where he has been for more than 40 years.

The large old home at 237, formerly the residence of the H.E. Hall family and the Pat McGahey family, is where the Center Street Tax Service is now located.


Harry E. Kock resides at No. 239 where John Longacre, the plumbing and heat- ing man and his family lived for many years.

The property at No. 243, next to the First Christian Church, was the Angeline Fruth home for a number of years. She purchased it from the church during the late 1920s. The Rev. Norman Johnson, pastor of the church, owned the property from 1910 until sometime in 1914 when he moved to Columbus and sold it to the church. In about 1972, the church again became owners of the prop- erty, buying it from Frederick and Dorothy Shallenberger, grandchildren of Angeline Fruth.

Now, the old home is used by the church as its educational building.

There is one final photo reference-- the church. When the photo was taken, that congregation was known as Church of Christ, the name change to come later. The exterior appearance today is somewhat different from when it was built. Satisfy yourself by driving by for comparison.

I'll write the history of that church some day, it a great one. The present pastor is the Rev. Robert McVicar.

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