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February 7, 1980


PIX #1 - Cover of Paul Sprout's life story which includes much about his boy-
hood in Fostoria.

Paul V. Sprout, born and raised in Fostoria, has written an autobiography,
about his life, and the interesting happenings in his lifetime while living
here and elsewhere.

The title for this homey, down-to-earch mini-book, "First Quarter...20th Cen-
turn"...was dedicated to Sprout's grandchildren, "big" Mike who urged him to
write it, and Toby, Linda, Jeff, Judy, Barry and "little" Mike.

The book starts, "They told me it snowed on Oct. 11, 1898.  It is unusual to
snow that earlyin October, even in Northwestern Ohio.  That happened to be
the day I was born.

"That was the same year people were shouting 'Remember the Maine' and the
short Spanish-American War was fought.

"Born in the 19th Century, I believe my generation has lived during a period
of more changes of a life-span than any other in history of man.

"The telephone and electric light came a little while before us, but they
were just beginning to be used by the average family, along with the many
other inventions electricity had provided.

"We saw the introduction of the automobile, the aeroplane, radio, tractors,
television, satellites, computers, self-propelled missles, rockets.

We were born in the age of the horse and saw this worthy animal relegated to
riding and racing.


"Our youth were entertained by natural pleasures, many of our own inventions.
Our grandchildren find their thrills in man-made contrivances.  Their spare
time is consumed by television, movies, trips to amusement parks.  Thank
goodness, there are still athletic games, baseball, golf, that build their
bodies and keep them healthy.

"But they will never know the exhileration on a frosty fall morning of hitch-
ing up one of grandpa's old "nags" to his old two-seated surrey with the
frayed fringe on top.  Four boys, with lunch with a brown paper bag on the
floor, setting out to hunt hickory nuts in the country.  The excitement of
being chased by the farmer out of his woods, and the carefree of being on
our own.

"Because they would never know aboutthis and all the other boyhood pleasures
that were part of our youth, this story is written."

Sprout's book is full of interesting events that happened when he was growing
up in Fostoria.  The games which all of us of kids played back then...the
names of people back then which older Fostorians will remember...the business
men of that era.  He tells about his dad L.O. Sprout who had a bicycle shop
in Fostoria for many years.


Sprout has given POTLUCK permission to reprint any parts of the book, which
I will do by excerpting certain information from time-to-time.

The Kaubisch Memorial Library also has a copy of the book and it is available
on loan.

In 1927, when he was coaching football at Marion, his team beat Fostoria 6-0.
That same year he left Marion and accepted a job at Frigidaire, Dayton, where
he continued until his retirement in 1959.

It is with great pleasure that I reintroduce Paul Sprout to Fostorians again
after so many years.  EDITOR'S NOTE Vacationing over the holidays resulted in
a buildup of much "feedback" from readers of POTLUCK.  The following items
will clean up some mail, but lack of space will not permit all of it in to-
day's column.


The Dec. 13 column which provided still more photos about Main Street, and
comments from readers, prompted others to call or write.

Mrs. Carl Rinebolt, formerly Violet Stephans telephoned to say she worked as
bookkeeper at the Oldsmobile dealership shown in the one photo.  She is shown
in the left of the auto, next to Harry Stroman, owner of the agency.  Rinebolt
says the man next to Harry Richards in the center ofthe photo was a Mr. Hook.
The man directly back of the car is still unidentified.

Carl Rinebolt came into the salesroom to look at cars and that is how he and
Violet Stephans met and were later married.

Lester Kisabeth wrote too about the Main Street story.  He recalled that the
building now used as a church, was the Nestlerode garage at one time.  He
said when Dillon had his car agency there he had work done there, and that
Pius Bloom worked there at one time.  Kisabeth also said he purchased an
Oldsmobile from Harry Stroman, similar to the one shown in the photo, except
it was a sedan.

Mrs. Harry Stroman, still living, was the sister John Yeasting, deceased, who
married Ruth Kisabeth, sister to Lester.

In the article I mentioned the old mill that showed up in the background of
the one photo, but I didn't name it.  Kisabeth remembered it was the Bushman

Kisabeth also added some information unknown to me, "One of the buildings,
back of The Times was once owned by Merton Gray who had a wholesale paper
business in it for a short time."


Charles Hunt, who grew up in Fostoria, wrote recently:  "Dear Paul:  I have
been meaning to write you for quite some time to let you know how much we en-
joyed a number of your articles in the Review Times.  Particularly, I have
enjoyed the article about the railroads and the one about Fostoria High
School Band.  Those brought back many memories.  Your article about the Fruth
home was of interest since their home was close to my folks place on Jackson
street.  My sister, Isabel sends these articles to us from time to time."

Hunt was a member of the FHS band and later worked for The Nickel Plate Rail-
road, which accounts for his interest in those articles.


More than a year ago I wrote about Blanche Allen and her intown missionary
activities.  A photo of Mrs. Allen, furnished by Clara Allen Swedenborn, was
borrowed from Allen L. Swedenborn, and used in the article.

Before the article got published Clara Allen Swedenborn died, and I did not
have her son's address to return the photos.  Many months passed and after
much sleuthing I got his address and returned the photos and copy of the ar-

The following is the interesting letter received from the descedent of the
once prominent Allen family:

"Dear Mr. Krupp:  It was very kind of you to return the snapshots of Blanche
Allen to me.  I appreciate the effort it took to track me down.  The article
was very interesting, and I'm glad you sent it.

"You asked if I had ever been in Fostoria.  Yes, I merely passed through
once, probably 1946 or '47 and stopped in front of the old Allen home, which
Clara had told me so much about.  Even then it had been converted into a
funeral home, but very well kept up.

"And I wish I could say that I was the owner of the old Allen automobile you
inquired about.  If there is only one in California then it belongs to a dis-
tant cousin of mine, name of John Allen, who lives yet I believe in San
Rafeal, near San Francisco.


In that article I mentioned there was reported to be an old foundry that was
located in the west part of town back in the latter 1800s or early 1900s.

Recently, Cloyd Lott told me that when he was a lad of 6 or 7, the man who
then canvassed our town in a horsedrawn vehicle, selling ice cream cones,
told him that there was an old foundry on Lunt Street and that he had worked
there when he was young.  He had pointed out to Lott the location, and in
later years pieces of foundry metal were found on the site.

Other readers may remember the old ice cream vendor.  He was a very heavy man,
crippled, and I believe he was bald.  He required crutches to walk.  I recall
he always had quite a time getting in and out of his vehicle.  I don't remem-
ber his name but it seems like it was Schreiner.


In the POTLUCK article about the Fruth Heritage House, I mentioned Carl Dri-
ver, but inadvertently said he lived in Tucson.  Don Kinnaman wrote to cor-
rect me that he lived in Phoenix, the same city where Don resides.  Don looks
like Diver, who is 86 and resides in a rest home.  Anyone wishing to write
Diver should send the letter c o Don Kinnaman, 6746 N. 10th Ave., Phoenix,
Ariz., 85013.

Diver, Kinnaman reports, often talks about the old Fostoria High School which
he attended.  Ruthie and Bill Daub, the Balmers and others mentioned in the
Fruth article.


Dorothy Tong, Wharton, wrote about several POTLUCK articles.  Dorothy was one
of my schoolmates graduating with our class of 1923.  Her brother, living in
Wayne is a RT subscriber and passes the articles on to her.

She was interested in the story about the Fruth Heritage Home.  Bill Daub's
mother, according to Dorothy, grew up close to the Tong residence near Whar-
ton.  Dorothy's next door neighbor, Mrs. Ward, was a cousin to Bill Daub, and
visited in the North Union Street resident many times.

Another POTLUCK article which interested Dorothy was the Perry Street story,
which included a photo of the Church of God.  She remarked, "I attened that
church when I was a child; we came by horse and buggy from near Bascom. 
Loved the picture.  I descended from Church of God folks.  My great-uncle
Wagner taught Greek at Findlay College long ago."

Dorothy was also interested in Karen Hayes' story about the Valentine log
cabin...made trip to see it but didn't find them home.

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