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Thursday, October 30, 1986


PIX #1 - Photo shows how some of the Exchangites were dressed for one of the annual Halloween celebration and parde which they started to sponsor and oversee back in 1921. Reading from left to right: front row: Willis Hakes, Hoawrd Timanus, Carl Gillig, Art Miller, Tom Graft, next unknown. Second row: Jack Reeves, Virgil Pfau, Arnold Lundberg, Don Swaim, "Red" Richards, John Bender and Tom Mann. Top row: Lester Stewart, Charles Wagner, Floyd Smothers, Ray Feasel, George Jackman, Judson Rinebold, Ivan Sheffer, Lester Barnes, Harry Losey, Richard Zeyen, Eldon Fruth and Marvin Rupp.

PIX #2 - Five of the six Exchangites shown in the photo were presidents of the club during the years shown with their names. Reading left to right: Edmond Hopkins (1947), when he was general manager of The Fostoria Daily Review; Oscar T. Shank (1928), manager of Woolworth 5&10 Cent Store at that time; Lyman Carr (1930), of Carr Furniture; R.J. Carter (1923), president of Fostoria Pressed Steel; Harry Munsey, and Exchangite at that time, but not a president; Rev. E.D. Fager (1928), pastor of First Reformed Church at that time.

It was October 17, 1921, according to the club's records when a group of 16 men had their first meeting as charter members of the Exchange Club of Fostoria.

Where they met that day, the club's early records do not tell. It was probably at the YMCA, where most of the service clubs in Fostoria met back then, to enjoy the tasty meals prepared by either "Ma" Knowles or "Ma" True.. .as they were referred to.

That first group of charter members consisted of R.J. Carter, (Fostoria Pressed Steel); Robert Coe (Chamber of Commerce); S.J. Dunavan, (profession unkown); Dr. H. Fruth; Homer E. Frye, (Coal dealer); R.C. Guernsey (lawyer); W.F. Maurer, (lawyer); Rev. T.H. McDowell, (Presbyterian minister); Dr. V.H. Michener (dentist); T.C. Morrison, (Ohio Power); Harry Mumma, (National Carbon); Wm. J. Mumma (NYCRR); Harry Munsey (John B. Rogers Co.); E.L. Shervey, (Profession unknown); Carl Smith (Ohio Savings & Loan); W.M. White (Phys. director YMCA).

One week later the following names had been added to the charter list: George C. Crawford, (Dry Goods Store); Glenn Eaton, (Druggist); Gordon Gray (Gray Printing); E.L. Lloyd, (insurance); A.H. yonker (insurance).

Then on Nov. 1, five more members were added to the charter list: Don Mickey (Druggist); T.A. Odenweller (furniture store); Dr. M.W. Seiple (dentist).


Since those early days of the club, 65 years ago, 292 Fostoria men have been members of Exchange, and many of those names bring back a face and a memory to me, as I put together a "Happy 65th Greeting" to its present members and attempt to decide how 65 years of the club's service recrods can be crammed into this let Fostoria know how well it has served the community ...the yardstick, for measuring the effectiveness of any service organization.

A few weeks ago I met with Al Lundberg and L. Speelman, Exchange members, to get an update on the club's service record. It was there I was surprised to have access to a very complete record, going back to the early chapter days of 65 years ago.

It was not surprising to learn their big annual service program...the observance of Halloween to keep the city's youngsters constructively occupied ...started back in 1921.

Quoting from their "history book": "In 1921, the Halloween program was threatened with abandonment. The newborn Exchange Club jumped into the breech, probably little aware that it was setting a precedent that was to become Fostoria's outstanding event".

One of the photos with today's article illustrates how the club members dressed for their participation in the Halloween affair back then.


Further perusal of the Exchange history reminded me of many other activities they sponsored through the years, which I had forgotten...participation in sending FHS High School Band to Chicago in 1923, at which time they became National Champions...their opposition to the sale of Foster property to build a hospital on that site, but influenced the City Council to place a $75,000 bond issue on the ballot for a hospital elsewhere. The pproject materialized in 1925.

A project which Exchangites are particulary proud of is their sponsoring a drive to build a municipal swimming pool, to replace the use of the North Countyline Street quarry, where a number of youth had drowned.

The swimming pool project started in 1930, but did not materialize until Nov. 3, 1937 when a city bond issue was passed. "Exchange has considerable influence in the selection, design and construction and we think we have a right to be proud of that achievement:, says their history records.

Someplace in this article (if not today, next week) readers will get a look at one view of the quarry where kids swam before the pool was built, also a picture of the Exchangites and others who were involved in getting the municipal pool built in Fostoria.

The club's record revealed..."Our greatest contribution to the youth of the community has been the installation of The Freedom Shrine in both high schools, as well as the Kaubisch Public Library".

Exchange history revealed they have a list of members names called "The Durables", indicating those who have been and still are active the longest period of years. The list includes Dr. M.H. Karmazin, Arnold Lundberg, Frances Bormuth, Cy Kuhn, Lester Barnes, Eugene R. Zuber, Raymond Rouser.


FRom 1921 to 1950, the club sponsored home-talent shows to generate revenue for their many activities, and as entertainment for the community. Readers will recall those "show-days" with glee and smiles. Nine O'Clock Review, Princess Bonnie, Seventeen, Flashes of 1927, Her song, Minstrel Ambassadors, Listen Ladies, there are many other projects the Exchange Club has sponsored for the benefit and pleasure of Fostoria...too many to elaborate on, but worthy of mention: Scholarship prozes for Fostoria schools, enlargement and new scenery for the FHS auditorium in what is now Junior High; staging of Fostoria Air Races in 1933; street lighting for Christmas season; Junior league baseball; scholastic awards; banquets for high school athletic events; Boy Scouts; Camp Fire Girls; Girl Scouts.

About the Air Races, The Review Times had this in print: the headline was "Air Races Thrill Thousands" and the story: "Breath taking stunts in the clouds, glider flights, parachute drops and speed galore thrilled the thousands who attended the Fostoria Air Races".

"Field farmed by J.W. Turley and George Graber, served as a makeshift air- field, located west of U.S. 23 and east of England Road, along Stearns Road in Perry Township".

"The air show was a project of the Fostoria Exchange Club, directed by the late Dr. J.J. Blue. The event was the brainchild of William M. Lafferty and Carl E. Doyle, air show promoters who owned the North Baltimore Flying Club, Inc".

"The show consisted of 10 aerial events, including a "parade" over Fostoria by all the aircraft participating and stunts and races".

"A total of 41 aircraft participated. Many of the pilots sold plane rides to people who attended the races. One reporter experienced his first plane ride at the air races".

"But for two days in 1933, Fostoria, in the words of a newspaper reporter at the time, became "the air center of northwestern Ohio"

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