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Thursday, February 7, 1985


Pix #1 - People who worked at Jackson Underwear Co. in 1913. This segment of the original picture, completes the total photo which has appeared in two previous segments. See list of names in last week's article.

Pix #2 - The Ghaster Block, built in 1896, as it appears today.

Pix #3 - Ohio Bell's building, built in about 1939-1940, as it appears today.

Pix #4 - Building originally built for Kotterman, car dealer, now houses Fostoria Automotive Supply, Inc.

Author's Note: Today's article is the third of the series about East North Street. The large photo at the top of the page is to be the last segment of the photo, taken in 1913, of the people who worked at Jackson Underwear at one time. Note, one man that appeared in the first segment, is also in today's. The photo was taken with a revolving camera to provide a panoramic view. When the left part of the picture was taken, the man then hurried to the opposite end and was snapped again.

The available space with last week's article did not permit the use of the rest of the photos and data about the southside of East North Street to the point where Potter Street bisects it.

Photo #2 shows the building just east of the Boto Block, built by S.L. Ghaster in 1896. Outwardly, it appears the same today as it did approximately 75 years ago, according to my early recollection of it.

Ghaster was the creator of Ghaster Poster Advertising Co, and had an office at 113 1/2 in that building. He was Fostoria's Postmaster in 1909 and 1910.

At some period in time, Ira Cadwallader purchased the Ghaster Block and he still owns it.

The following are those who occupied that building in earlier and later years:

No 113: Star Glass & Supply; Universal Merchandising; Direct Furniture Store (H.P. Boubouble); Beaches Cycle & Marine; Moore's Auto Store; currently Hope Fellowship Church; Gold Bond Furniture also used it for storage.

No. 115: James Franke feed and seed store; Goodwill Industries; Ohio Beverage has been there for many years.

No. 117: Ohio Bell Telephone office...both first and second floors; Gillig Electric; Fashion Fabrics; currently True Word Tabernacle.

A series of articles about the early telephone companies in Fostoria including Ohio Bell, with photos and data about the company and the people that worked there, appeared in Potluck Feb. 17, 24, and March 3, 17, 1983.

Before Ohio Bell Telephone was located at No. 117, its predecessor, Central Union Telephone Co. was at that location. They were listed in the 1915 directory and I have a postcard showing one of their line and installation crews taken in 1909. More about that another time.

Photo #3, a current one, shows the Ohio Bell Ameritech Company building on East North Street, where all of the mechanical and electroic equipment is housed for handling telephone calls for this area.

When the series of articles about the telephone history of Fostoria was written in 1983. I visited that building and saw the complicated system and the personnel who maintained it. At that time I was told that all of that equipment would be replaced with a much more modern and sophisticated system. Work is progressing and probably some time in 1985 it will be completed. It is said the new system will speed up calls, eliminate many disruptions and improve service.

Looking backward many years before the building in Photo #3 was erected that land had a large two-story brick house on it...that would be nearly 70 years ago, when I carried the Fostoria Daily Review on that street, and others in that area.

An elderly lady named Sarah Mihime lived in that house. No. 121. She would answer the door when I collected for the paper. She is the only person I ever saw there. She must have been of German heritage, coming to this area at the time when immigrants from many Europeon countries settled here. I recall that when she opened the door there was always the smell of German cooking in the air.

Across the alley from the telephone building there is one more business in a building built originally for Cal Kotterman's car agency, Hudson-Essex. Bus Hartsock was his mechanic. Photo #4 shows that building as it appears today, with Fostoria Automotive Supply, Inc., a NAPA parts store owned by Dave Purnell, housed in it. I examined directories up into the 1940s but could not find listings for other businesses occupying that building after Kotterman was there. Scotty McDermid told me that about the time of World War II, Ohio Automotive Supply occupied the building and that there has been an auto store there continuously since then.

That ends the story as far as business locations, however, some mention should be made of the people who lived from Potter to Poplar streets back in the years when I carried papers there, and continued to live in that area for a few more years.

Next door to the NAPA store there is a house which has been there for many years. Back then Bob Keefer, who later married Helen Johnson, lived there. I carried papers to that address and it was a residence offering rooms to rent. Keefer lived there with a relative Mrs. Woolenschneider.

Others living in that block starting in 1915, from Potter to Poplar, were J.P. Boyher, B. Youngblood, Louisa Nusser, A.E. McCarthy, M.A. H.M. Youngston, Herman Otten, Noah Stahl, W.W. Weaver, A.E. Mergenthaler, C.O. Becker, Herman Cooper, L.L. Longfellow, Fred Kinker, Mark Stevenson, Geo. Sparks, Dallas Clark, T.C. Deckard, M.A. Holopeter, Ward Cooper, Earl F. Berry, Lou Stockwell, Park Munger, Dr. L. Baugher, Alice C. Anderson, Andrew Bisner, Ormal Jones, Harold Copsey, Chester Lust.

I have many memories of that block...the houses and the people since I lived in that end of town and carried The Review to many of the houses.

The first three houses on the north side of the street, starting at Potter, were once owned by Chalmer McDonel. They were willed to him by his grand- parents who lived in the 300 block east. I knew Chalmer, though he was some years older than me. He conducted a business on Main Street.

Andrew Mergenthaler, an officer in First National Bank, lived at 230, a fine home with the tower in front. He was a tall, dignified appearing man, who always had a cigar in his mouth. He was the son of the Mergenthalers who lived next to him on the corner. His sister Rella Becker was the last of that family to live in the yellow house on the corner.

Mr. and Mrs. Wylie Weaver lived in the fine house west of Mergenthalers... the one that sits out to the sidewalk, with the porch across the front. Wylie was the last of the Weaver family who once had a furniture store in town. The Weaver family residence still stands at the southwest corner of North Main and Elm. Wylie worked in the city office for many years.

When Wylie died, his widow continued to live in the East North Street house. At her death I am told, valuable antiques of furniture, silverware, etc., were discovered.

I have many happy memories of that block of East North Street as probably others will too as they read these paragraphs.

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