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The untold story of 'Grandma Grundman'
Thursday, March 23, 1989

Pix #1 - Margaret Kuhn Reimer Grundman photographed on her 105th birthday April 8, 1982 in Lovingston, Va.

(Author's note: \to0day's article was suppoled to be the continuation of the railroad series. It turned out to be a difficult segmet of the series to be completed in time for this week.

consequently, the substitution if about "Grandma Grundman," a resident of Fostoria many years ago, and related to living residents in this area. She died nearly three months ago, but other articles scheduled at that time kept it from appearing in print.

Yes, a short obituary about former fostorian Maggie Kuhn Reimer Grundman appeared in The Rewiew Times, but there's much more to tell about her 110 year life, part of which was lived in fostoria, in the Rowan Apartments on Perry St.

Afterh the death of her husband and other relatives who resided in Fostoria, she went west to be near members of the Kuhn family, including virginia Kuhn clsrk.

Celebrated her 110th birthday

On the occasion of that event, she asked for a acold beer. They gave her a Coors. One does not question the wisdom that so many years bring.

Margaret "Grandma" Grundman attributed her long life to hard work, lots of dancing, lots of coffee, an occasional glass of beer or wine and dauily applications of Pond' cold cream, according to the staff at The Cedars Nursing Home in Charlottesville.

She outlived all seven brothers and sisters and her three childred, according to her granddaughter-in-law, Dorothy Scott. Before her party, "she said she wasn't going to cry ... she was going to grin like the 'cheshire cat'." During the party, attended by other residents of the nursing home where she lived and memebers of her family, she was more interested in eating cake than thalking about her passt.

born in Rushville, Ohio in 1877

Her birth was just 12 years after Lincoln gave his gettysburg Address. She was two months premature, she said, and the doctor told her parents to keep her wrapped up by the stove. She wouldn't breathe, so the doctor went out in the chicken coop and got a festher to stick down her throat to mach her cough and then breathe.

Father was bugle boy in civil War

Mrs. Grundman's son-in-law revealed that her father was a Union bugle boy in the Civil War. Afterh the wasr was over, he had to walk home, from Alabama to Ohio. He later ran a toll-bridge on a turnpike in Ohio, before that kind of road gote its name from the spiked gate that he opened and closed for a living. He moved his family from rushville to Fostoria when his daughter Margaret was eight.

"I get the picture of her as a small child in a very rural part of Ohio on a small farm," Scott said.

Married traveling salesman in 1900

Mrs. Grundman's life story reveals she had not met her husband's parents before marriage -- and it was a surprise to them -- but they all hit it off well. Her family later profited because when she had a hob during the depression years as an interior designer with Sterling and Welch of Cleveland, varioyus cousins came to stay tith them when their family were struggleing to get by. She was a great seamstress, and kept the family looking well-dressed during the Depression.

What was secret of longevity?

A member of her family thought hard work was the main secret for her long life. That was a question that htey asked her a lot. "And dancing" ... she and her husband would go dancing often. "When she came to live at The Cedars in 1985 she danced to soul Train," said Margaret Thacker, activities coordinator. "She got up on Sauurday mornings and danced with the staff."

She outlived her immediate family

When Margaret Grundman died nearly three months ago, she had outlived her husband and three children. She left nine grandchildren, and sicteen great=grandchildren. Other survivors were: Edwin Kuhn, nephew, findlay; James Kuhn, nephew; Orlo Kuhn, nephew, Tiffin; dorothy vanderhoff and Marguerite Hessey, both neices and Fostoria residents.

Grundman's body was cremated and the ashed burried on the family lot at Fountain cemetery. Memorial services were at Wesley Meghodist Church, Rev. Laurence feavor officiating.

On Feb 9, the final note on the lifetime of 110 years for Margaret Grundman came to an end in Fostoria where she had resided for many years, but she will be remember by the living family members and those who have read this lifetime history about her.

Heed God's Word.

Remembering the true meaning of Easter.

"The hearts of christians throughtout the world rejoice in ythe hglorious truth that Jesus Christ was declared to be the son of god with power, according to the spirit of holiness, bu resurrection from the dead. The resurrection was god's sign of approval, and acceptance, of Christ's redemptive work on the cross.

"following His triumphant resurrection He turned to His deciples and said, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. go ye therefore, and teach all nations.' (Matt. 28: 18-19) As the deciples wernt forth preaching the gospel they witnessed His resurrection power in ythe transformation of many lives. On the day of Pentecost 'about three thousans sould' were saved. Shortly after this experience the people gathered to gether once again to hear the apostles teach and preach.

"Luke says, 'they taought the people, and preach ed through Jesus the resurrection from the dead ... and the number of the men was about five thousand' that believed. Bible historians claim that at this time there were about 25,000 men, women and children that accepted christ as Savior. All of them were Jews that had waited for the coming of their Messiah.

"At this Easter season remember 'Salvation is of the Jew' ... and remember our Jewish friends.

PRAISE GOD! "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 15:57)

(This portion of Potluck excerpted form a message from Internation Ministries to Israel.)



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Fostoria railroad history is rich
Thursday, February 23, 1989


Pix #1 - The only know photo of a COLDWATER RAILROAD locomotive. While the mansfield, coldwater and Lake Michigan was being built through Fostoria in the 1870', another segment known as "The Montieth to Allegan (Michigan)" sigment of the road was completed in september, 1871 by contractor Joseph Fisk. The eleven and one half miles was the only portion of the coldwater built and operated in MIchigan. the reference indicates that Fisk built and operated in Michigan. The reference indicates that Fisk built more miles of railroad (over one thousand) in the midwest thatn any other contractor. On June 19, 1871, the coldwater officially took over control of this line. (This information from James Winslow: Pennsy Historical Society.)

Pix #2 - Fostoria "away back when," showing its reilraods and its "Town Hall" in corner.

Pix #3 - This is a copy of a very old railroad map showing what railroads existed in Ohio in 1860. While theprint is very small it can be recognized that the "fremont & Indiania" (later the Lake Erie and Estern) was the first railroad to pass through fostoria. Reader will also not that a short segment of Ohio's first Railroad: The Mad River and Lake Erie, came quite close to early Fostoria, but did not pass through., it is shown passing through Carey, with a branch line heading northwest throught Vanlue and into Findlya. The closest it came to Fostoria was Vanlue.

(POTLUCK NOTE: The author of this column and don Kinnaman, a former fostorian, but a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, for many years, have kept up correspondence, don, in his interesting letters often reminisces about his days in Fostoria, and some of the historical data which makes good reading for today's younger generation as well as the older readers.

In one of our exchanges, don "drew-a-bead" on the subject of reilreads, and had some good ideas for an article, even refenences for data. I think don thought we could cooperatively do the article,.

Knowing don's ability in gathering data then putting it together, I suggested he carry the ball and do the whole job. He did an excellent job as readers will see in the first of a series starting today.

My contribution to this reiaroad series will come later, at the end of the series, in which I will reminsce about my personal recollections, having lived int he vicinity of all the various reilrads: LE& W, B&O. JHopcking Valley and New York central aor T&OC as it was often referred to.

At a later peroiod in my life, I travelled extensively via all of the steam lines going north, south, east and west and thoroughtly enjoyed rail service.

Unfortunately those days are gone as far as passenger service is related.)

Mention the owrds: "trains" or "railroads" to today's ovservers and the first thing that may come to their mind is "dirt, noise and unexplained delays at the corssings." BUt more thatn 150 years ago, these words were fast becoming "household words" as communnities everywhere were vying through financial, pittical or double talk means to get this form of quick, smooth trahsportation to their comminity interests. They were beginning to realize more and more the importance of the reilroad bringing industry, commerce and prosperity to their area.

Railroads born in 1820-30's

this brand new idea in moving passengers and freight by rail was beginning to take shape in the ease with the organization and construction of the nations first railroad: The Baltimore and Ohio. The date was the late 1820' and 1830's. At about the same time pioneers and settlers were clearing land in north3estern Ohio for a commyunity soon to be called Risdon. names for col. O.C. Risdon, the community had its town Square a twhat today is know as Summit and Countyline streest. summit with its park0like boulevard setting became Risdon's Main Street. Within a shore distance to the south another community was springin up know as Rome. (This riter does not know if the name came from the city in Italy, or who named it.) both communities beagn to gow toward each other an in 1854 combined in the city of fostoria. fostoria was named after Charles foster, an early Ohio bovernor. It has been said that foster had a general merchandise store: Thus Toster plus store compounded to gether gives the city "part" of its name. since the store was n "Emporium of sotts," I sould surmise the singular of this would be emporia. which woul dcomplete the name.

In those early days, memn in all walks of life were searching and seeking better transportation met;hods to get their goods to market. Turnpike wagon roads, marked trails and gbarges carrying waterwasys, and canalls were being surveyed and built. The coming of the raeilraod would be relatively quicker to survey and build, and get into operation tahn the canal methods, whic it would soon make obsolete.

Fostoria destined to be RR center?

When Rome and Risdon were serveyed by early platting engineers (including my great-great-grandfather: Gideon Jones), I wonder how much thought was given to the "strategic location" of these two communities which would ultimately become Fostoria. Neighte community was destined to become a county seat, no canals were planned for the area and the nearest wagon turnpike was some distance awasy. The only real feature was good agricultural land and the village lay close to the boundaries of Seneca, Hancock and wood counties. It probably could be argued that they man (ior may not) have had information then that Fostoria was really well centrally located. One can take a pair of dividers and set for scale marked 100 would find the outer circle cncompassing larger cities like Detroit, Columbus, Fort Wayne, Cleveland and Akron. Half this distance would include Toledo, Sanducky, Marion, Mansfield and Lima. Perhaps the early Railroad Planners knew something the local curveyors did not know, since this "Center point" would make a great interchange point for their railroad.

The first railroad west of the Appalachians was the Lake Erie and Mad River which was originated through planning in 1832. It was surveyed to operate between Sandusky and an area near Cincinnati. Unfortunately it did not go through Fostoria, but a brance which ran from Carey to Findlay, passed through Vanlue, a few miles southwest of Fostoria. An early map of the Pennsylvania Railroad (1860) shows the Mad River Line, which by this date had changed its name to the Sandusky, Daytonn and Cincinnati Railroad.

(Cintinued next week.)



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Fostoria's first railroad was Lake Erie and Western
Thursday, March 2, 1989


Pix #1 - This map mainly shows the Mansfield, coldwater and Lake Michigan R.R., and the Pittsburgh, ft. Waynbe and chicago R.R., including the various towns served.

Pix #2 - This map shows other railroads that served Fostoria during a later era, which older readers will still remember them, and the passenger service they provided.

(Author's Note: Today's article is the second in the series about the various railroads in Fostoria many years ago, reseqrch eand written by don Kinnaman, former fostoria resident, now living in Phoenix, Arizona.)


In the early years of the 1850's, fostoria,'s first railroad became a reality. started and financed in Fremont, the early name of the Lake earie and western was The Fremont and Indiana. The Lake Erie and Western went through serveral controlling managements and changes of name and served the area well until it was torn up between Fostoria and Fremont in the 1960's. It might be of intersest to some that trackage through Fremont remains in good condition and is servide dby the old Wheeling & Lake Erie brand of the Norfolk southern. The line is not used beyond the soup plant on Fremont's east side, but continues thorough a weed grown right-of-way to Erlin, where the rails stop.

fostoria became RR center later

The plat maps of the 1870's supplied by Dennis W. Reffner of the fostoria Engineering and Zoning Department show the addition of more rail lines to cross and interchange with the LE & W. One of these was the C&T, which stood for Columbus and Toledo. When the coal fields were tapped in southern Ohio, the line was renamed the Toledo, columbus and Hocking Valley. It was then controlled by the chesapeake and Ohio, and finally CSX Lines. Another line shown on the plat nap was the OC ewhich stood for The Ohio central. This was built sometime in the 1860' or 1870's an dbecame the Toledo and OHio Central, the New Yourk Central,m Penn central and conrail. It was the second modern-day line to be torn out through fostoria. Paralleling the baltimore & Ohio is another railroad, whick very few Fostorians know anything about. This was the MCW&LM RR whick stood for The Mansfield, Coldwater and Lake Michigan Rail road. We'll come back to this very interesting history of this "little known" railroad.

Tostoria was blesse din the 1880's with another fine railroad:" The Nickel Plate Road, whick like the other railroad lines that transversed fostoria, and exchanged rail traffic with the other lines. All of the lines mentioned were operated by steam powered locomotives. the baltimore and Ohio was probably the first line to pass through fostoria with a dieselized name passenter train: |the capitol Limited.

Eklectric trolley cars also here

In the closing years of the 1800's, another form of the transportation came upon the scene. The Electric Interurban. First to carry passengers on a more frequent basis than the steam railroads, it would also carry freight in lighter weight freight cars. They had the advantage of coming right into a community's downtown to take on and/or discharge passengers. As we all know history so well, the demise of this big electric system as the aotomobile. early city maps of the fostoria area show all six of the steam lines and three electric lines passing through the city. The electriacs, of course, were the Toledo, Fostoria and Findlay, the largest elecric reail line. The Tiffin, fostoria, and Eastern, one of the firest electric rail lines in the ocuntry to operate, and the famous extension from Fremont: the fostoria and fremont, which was a branch of the Famous Lake Shore Electric,

When this writer had left home for the services of the armed forces, many times in the converstations with other soldiers o flike interests, the hometown of Fostoria would com up. MOre often than not, I used to heqr "You are from the largest reilroad center for its population in the nation, if not the owrld.:" That always made me feel good, and althought the reilarods were (and still are) a big help to Fostoria;s prosperity, I never heard that from a member of the chamber of commerce. A lot of rail fans were envious that we has so much railroading going on in a relatively smaller city.

MCW&LM born but died soon

Earlied in this article, I mentioned another reilraod, the Mansfield, coldwater and Lake Michigan. In the frenzy of railroad building going on in the 1870's and 1880's, lines were bing projected in all dirextions, and cities and towns were vvying for one or more lines to pass through their comminities. The MCW&LM RR was one of these planned lines. financiers and promoters from Manssfield and nearby comminities had planned a line which would run from their city through Tiffin, fostoria, and head northwest towear Bowloig Green, coldwater, Michigan and terminating at Allegan, Michigan on Lake MIchigan. It was destined to be a First Class Railroad, but underhanded methods by other larger managemtnets spelled its demise before it could really get a good start.

In the 1930's and again in 1954, The Fostoria Daily Review (predecessor of The Reivew Times) publixshed special editions which included information about the reailraods in Fostorai: LE&W, NKP, B&O, T&OC , and the Coldwater.

Track crossed near cemetery

Since then, more information has surfaced onthe latter line, I first heard about this railroad from my dad: Floy Kinnaman. (When I was growing up in Fostorai), he would often pointoout to me wher the tracks crosse dNOrth Ridge Road just west of the cemetery. Then, as recent as five years ago, I asked Paul Krupp of The Review Times what information he had on it. He wrote back he would dig into the matter and dan McGinnis of kaubisch Library came up with a book published int the 1960's outlining the entire history of the coldwater Railroad. In the interim, I mentioned in correspoindence about this line to Howare Ameling, railroad historian of Fremont. He was very surprised as he had not heard of it befoe. He counsulted some old Ohio maps and a coldwater Railroad did indded paralle the B&O into Fostoraia, and beyond. The book is unknown as to publisher or title, but the coldwater account was wtirren as a chapter from this book. The autheor indicated that a constructio line was built from Mansfield, through Tiffin and fostorai and went as far as Weston, south of Bowling Green. It originally was destined to go on into coldwater, Michigan where a lafrge group of financiers had put up money and political clout to have the line run through their city. Grading was completed all the way to Allegan, Michigan on the lake.

Even though the 1960's writer indicated the construction reil line ran only to Weston, the far western segment out of Allegan was also built and operatedf ofr a short distance eastward. Other segments of the graded roadbed were sold to other railraods.

Althoug it has been more that 45 years since I saw the actual roadbed passing throught JJerry City, I often wonder if even though this line was torn out more than 115 years ago, if an occasional "spike" can still be found.

(TO be continued)

Other facts about railroads

The following are interesting facts that I have uncovered, plus recollections from many years ago.

Albert Thornton, S., contributes.

Albert Thornton, Jr., 730 w. Tiffin St., may not remember the following information that his father contributed and was printed in one of fostoria's newspapers many years ago. Thornton, Sr., was the agent for the Hocking valley Railroad, with office on sandushy St. at the R.R. Station. The building that housed the office and the waiting room for the passengers still stands on the railroad's property.

"the B&O ran their first vestibule passenger train to Chicago this morning" (Aug. 21, 1835)


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Ray coburn, 96, recalls galss factory history
Thursday, August 10, 1989


Pix #1 - An 1866 American Flint Glass Workers Union archives photo of glass workers from New York, Pennsylvanin, and New Jersey who met in Brooklyn, N.Y. to form a glass workers' union.

Pix #2 - The factory where Fostoria Incandescent Lamps were located.

Pix #3 - Another one of the factoria in Fostoria during the boom days of the glass industry.

After many weeks without seeing any Potluck articles, readers will probably be astonished to see it back in print.

If excuses are in order, or acceptable, I would only say that I needed to forget schedulse, digging up subject matter, and then attempting to present it in an acceptable and interesting manner. Call the absence a sabbatical if you wish. Then too, don't forget that at 84 years it isn't as easy as when the column was started 12 yeqrs ago.

Corburn honored on birthday

I spent a couple hours with Ray coburn, longtime Fostoria friend, recently, not remembreing his birthday has come and gone, but those from whom he recieved greetings were: Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Howard Metzenbaum, John Glenn, Dwight Wise, Richard Celeste, Verne Rife, President Georg Bush, many other local citizens who didn't forget.

There aren't many, if any residents in the Fostorai area to match the activities of corurn who has spent 66 years of his life in Fostoria, and was once this town's mayor.

The only other aged glass worker that was involved in the glaass industry in Fostoria may years ago was bob Fry Sr., deceased fatehr of Bob Fry, Jr. residing at 10282 W. Louden Twpl. Road 116. From the later, I also received photos and data for this series.

Bob Fry St., the glass worker will be remembered by older readers of this column.

Venon Balls' ar;ticles remembered

with the valuable information provide dby Ray coburn was a series of articles that Vernon Ball researed and wrote that appeared in The Review Times in 1066. BAll was on the staqff at the RT at that time. Ball and this aurthor became friend in more recent years. Mr. and Mrs. ball resid ea t 53 Barcelon aDr.

Coburn's father also glass worker

Ray coburn's earlier yeares ewere spent working in the glass factories loactaed in Fostoria. He had followed in the footsteps of his father who was also a glass worker.

The factories that manufactured glass products diring that erea in Fostoria were: The Incandescent, Louden and the UPpper.

The American Flint Glass Workers' Union is one of the oldest trade unions in America, organized in 1878 in Pitts burgh. Many industrial unions, such as, the United Auto Workers, the Steel Workers, the rubber Workers and others, were organized in the 1930s. The histor of the Ameican flint Glass Workers Union goes back to the birth of orgainzed labor in the U.S.

The father of the modern America Glass industry was Micheael J. Owens, Toledo, inventor of the Owens bottle machine. Mik went into the factory at the age of ten. Edward Libbey, a Toledoan, recognized the mechanical genius of Michawl Ownes and together with Mike's mechanical know-how and Libbey's money, they revoluntionized the making of glass,s turning hand operatinon in the thoe oautomatic machine age.

Keeps infomred of glass industry

When I spent time iwht Ray coburn recently, he gave a ma copy of Archives, published by America flint Galss Workers Union, AFL-CIO, located in Toldeo... the orgainzation that has reperexneted the glass workers since 1878, and of which coburn in a member.

the copy given to this autho was autographed by Rober W. Newell, first V.P. an dGeorge M. Parker, president o th 111-year-old union coburn keeps in touch with.

Edmonds family in glass industry

When the glass industry was at its height in Fostorai, a number of members of the Edmonds family were invoved and coburn remembers them too. Harry Edmonds was an overseer in one of the fostoria plants, and George and two of his sons, whose names, I do not recall, were also glass factory employees, being tool and dye workers.

After leaving fostorai, the edmonds moved to areass where they continued with their trade, principally the Lancaster area.

I kept in touch with the Edmonds for many years, but at this late date doesn now know if any of them are living, or where.

Remember Carol Roland?

Carl Roland, deceased many years, was another glass worker in fostoria,. After the glass factories in fostoria closed, Roland did mainteneance work at one or more of the retail businesses on Main Stree, and was well known.

Roland came to fostoria from denmark as a young man. All of his earthly property was brought oto the U.S. in a trunk form his homeland, and that truck has been in the possession of this author form many years.

Arringing in Fostorai, Roland boarded iwth my aunt and uncle Mr. and Mrs. frank Babcock. Eventually marry, he left the trunk with my and and I inherited it.

Roland carried his danish brogue formhis landing in Fostoria until his death. He was well know and liked. for many years he head usher Presbyterian Church

(Bottom of page missing here0

of their married life at the corner of North main and Jackson Street.

(To be continued)

Heed God's word

Open or closed hands?

A friend sent ma a book..."the Friendship bood." From it I extracted one of the topics thereing which st5ruck me because it expressed such an important thought all of us should consider: "A little while ago I was in church listeneing to a sermon on the text 'Give and it shall be given unto your,' in the ocurse of shwhick the ministrer said, 'Aclosed hand cannot recieve.'

those words have kept recurring to me since, not only in the wasy the minister used them, but becasue they have reminde dme of so many other things a closed hand cannot do. It can't shake hands. It can't wave a friendly greeting... only shake a threatening fist. It can't pat a little child on the head. It can't be laid reassuringly on the hsolder of someone who is discouraged. It can't turn over the pages of a book, aor play a musical instrument. It can't scatter seed

(The rest is missing)



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