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March 26, 1987


PIX #1 - The house at 429 W. Jackson St., as it originally appeared

PIX #2 - The way the house appears today, after undergoing some revamping some years ago.

PIX #3 - This map shows how the 40 acres of land which originally was to be part of the extension of the Miami Canal headed toward Lake Erie, became the village of Risdon. Countyline Street today was Risdon's Main St.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Plans to continue the series of articles about Fostoria schools, superintendents and other supervisory persons was delayed this week to continue the collection and assembly of data. The series will continue next week.

Old deeds to land and property reveal interesting tales, and often provide historical data which would otherwise be unknown and/or lost forever.

Such is the case that came to my attention many months ago, when Willis Wyant historian extraordinary, gave me the tip which led to today's article. Incidentally, Wyant was a resident of Fostoria until a couple years ago, when he and his wife moved to California to be near their daughter and family.

Here's the story, as revealed by a deed, dated March 31, 1831, issued by the State of Ohio, during the years when D. Arthur was Governor, and M.M. Kriby was Secretary of State.

The deed was issued to John Gorsuch, one of the first settlers in that part of Fostoria which was originally known as Risdon, and is appropriately so marked at the corner of N. Countyline St and Summit Sts. Take a look at it sometime.

Never did I know that there was some consideration for extending the Miami Canal through this area to join Lake Erie...but the old deed revealed it:


"To all to whom these presents shall come, GREETING: Know ye, That the State of Ohio, in consideration of the sum of $101.75, paid by John Gorsuch of Ohio to Horton Howard, receiver of Public Moneys at Tiffin for the purchase of the tract of land herein described lying and begin in the County of Seneca and granted by an Act of Congress entitled "An Act to aid the State of Ohio in extending the Miami Canal from Dayton to lake Erie, and to grant a quantity of land to said State to aid in the construction of the canals authorized by law and for making donations of land to certain persons in Arkansas Territory, and granted by Congress to the State of Ohio. Therefore is granted by the State of Ohio unto the said John Gorsuch and to his heirs and assigns forever, the West half of the North-east quarter of Section Six (6) in Township Two (2) North, Range Thriteen (13), containing 81 and 40/100 acres of land, more or less".

Neither did this author know that the land deeded to Gorsuch was once referred to as "Arkansas territory".


The accompanying illustration shows that plot of land and what finally happened to it was surveyed and laidout to become the village of Risdon...and how it divides Fostoria into three counties: Seneca, Hancock and Wood.

The "X" in the upper right-hand portion of the chart shows lot No. 10 at No. 429 Jackson St. (West). On that one plot of ground hung a bit of information from which today's article developed.

One of the photos with today's article shows the house which may have been the first one built on that plot by Abraham W. russel and Emaline M. Russel, his wife, back in 1865.

That early photo, according to Mrs. Masamer, has been in the family ever since they owned the property, and she believes the lady is Grandma Kempher, and grandson Darrel Masamer, deceased husband of Mrs. Masamer, present owner.

The other photo shows the house at it appears today. Currently, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Danner are residing in the house.

History reveals much interesting data for today's readers.

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