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Thursday, December 4, 1986


PIX #1 - Photograph shows some of the VFW Band trophies which they won the many times they participated in the VFW annual conventions, staged in various U.S. cities. One room at the museum is devoted to VFW.

PIX #2 - A variety of musical instruments at the museum shown in this photograph are all used by those who participated in musical activities in this area. The violin "fiddle" in lower left of photo was used by Milton Wiseman, who played for dances in this area (see article). Pictures at the top of this photograph are the Wainwright's FHS band, in front of the high school, and of the Ohio State Fair Band directed by Wainwright.

PIX #3 - The display case is full of clarinets and flutes which Ernie Duffield has collected.

PIX #4 - Two kettle drums used by Jack Wainwright's FHS band during its early years

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The Oct. 6, 1986 issue of The Review Times carries the first in a series of Potluck articles about the Fostoria Historical Society. In the author's note in that first article, it suggested that readers with relatives or friends who once lived here would probably be interested in the series. Save and send the articles to them, so they will know about the Museum and plan to visit it when in town.

There has always been a great interest in all varieties of music activities in Fostoria, and much of that subject has been reviewed in the newspaper published here in the past.

Quite logically, the subject of music is also part of the memorabilia displayed in Fostoria's Musuem. One area is the repository for relics from the National VFW Champion Band of Fostoria, as shown by one of the photos with today's article.


The history of the VFW Band was told in the Potluck article Feb. 23, 1984, at which time the local VFW was observing its Fiftieth Anniversary. Today's article with photos shows artifacts from the band's successful victories throughout the U.S.

In another area of the museum are displayed relics from other musical organizations and individuals in Fostoria, and foremost being the Fostoria High School Bans, goind back to Jack Wainwright's National Championship Band of 1923.

The two kettle drums in the one photo with today's article were used by the FHS Band for many years, going back to its earliest days.

Visitors to the music area will see a music copy-box, made by local residents Richard and Charles Switzer, both FHS students and graduates, back in the days of Wainwright. The music box was used by the FHS Band on its field trips all around the country, playing in contests and otherwise participating in musical events.

There is also one of the first tubas and the original sousaphone used by Wainwright's FHS Band. There are displayed photos of Wainwright's Ohio State Fair Band of the 1920's.


Through the years, Ernie Duffield has been involved in music in Fostoria and throughout this area he has used and collected many clarinets and a large collction is displayed in the museum. Incidentally, Duffield is a Board member of the Fostoria Museum.

To refresh memories, the story of the FHS Band and Jack Wainwright, was printed in a series of five POTLUCK articles in The Review Times back in 1979 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5.

One of Fostoria's unforgettable musicians was Bid Kuhn. He headed up the local Federation of Musicians for many years. Bid played piano, organ, mandolin...maybe other instruments too. On display at the museum are Kuhn's 39 badges he wore at that many National Annual Conventions of the A.F.M. he attended.


Another item on display is an old "fiddle" (violin), used by Milton Wiseman, a local musician in the late 1800's and early 1900's. His instrument was donated by Miles Hengsteller, N. Union St., Fostoria. He was a great nephew of Wiseman, a carpenter by trade, working throughout this area, and playing for dances whenever called upon.

Also on display are three trumpets, used during the Civil War and a flute dating back to 1893.

Other musicial instruments of interest are two clarinets and a saxaphone, owned and used by Everett Sanderson, a very talented musician who at one time was very popular. In his late years, he settled in Fostoria.

It is about those later years that Ernie Duffield told this author about Sanderson. Duffield said that at one time Sanderson had a 7 piece band, and played much like the famous Ted Lewis.


One of Sanderson's great feats was to play three instruments at one...two clarinets and a saxaphone. It may seem quite impossible, but Duffield knew Sanderson personally and vouched for the authenticity of his ability.

The period of time in which Duffield knew Sanderson was when he (Duffield) was first starting his music store. Sanderson was aged then, with no income, but played at the Black Cat, his pay being free meals. Duffield kept Sanderson's instruments in repair for free. Sanderson's instruments came to the Museum through Duffield.


Readers will recall the series of Potluck articles, (April 1985) about the Jimmie Richards Orchestra, and the Big Band era, when he and his musicians were very popular, playing all over the U.S.

Not on display at this time, but as soon as space is made available, the music area will include memorabilia about Richards.

There are probably many other items pertaining to music in Fostoria that should be on display in the Museum. Perhaps as readers see the importance of preserving history of the past and how it can influence the future other relics will be donated for display there.


A recent donation pertaining to music has come to the museum from the estate of the late Vivian Pearson. She was Wainwright's secretary from the earliest days of his introduction of instrumental music in the Fostoria Schools.

Eventually much of the material will undoubtedly be displayed in the music area at the museum, but this article will provide some information for those who may never get to visit the museum.

One of the most welcome items were catalogs pertaining to the Wainwright Band and Orchestra Camp, located on Oliver Lake, La Grange, Indiana. Readers like this writer may have known about the camp, but without any real knowledge of its size, scope and location. It was located south of U.S. 20 and west of Indiana Rt. 9 on Lake Oliver, near the towns of Valentine and Wolcott, the latter being the present residence of Mrs. J.W. Wainwright.

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