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2013 Edition

Visions of Paulding County

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2011 & 20 Ohio New 09 spap Associatio er n

From the Historical Archives of the Paulding County Progress
Fourteenth in a Series h July 31, 2013 h Edited by Melinda Krick
117 West Perry Street, Paulding • 419-399-5099

2 3 “Paulding County Then and Now” Then and Now Photo Gallery - Part 2

• • • •

Lunch & Dinner Menu w/ Daily Specials 8 Beers on Tap: Full Line of Domestic & Imports Game Room: Space Available for Parties Internet Juke Box, Wi-Fi Available & Keno

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Copyright © 2013 by the Paulding County Progress.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher. “Visions of Paulding County: From the Historical Archives of the Paulding County Progress, Volume 14 is published by the Paulding County Progress, P .O. Box 180, Paulding OH 45879; email Web site:

303 West Harrison Street Paulding, Ohio 45879 419-399-3756 OFFICE HOURS: Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday 7:00 a.m.-11 a.m.

Please see Page 4 for details about this year’s cover.

About the cover

To view these and more “Then and Now” photographs, please visit our web site at and search for “Paulding County Then and Now - Part 2.”

More photos online

Visions of Paulding County: From the Historical Archives of the Paulding County Progress, Volume 14 is published by the Paulding County Progress newspaper. A copy of this publication is included free in the July 31, 2013 edition of the Progress for the enjoyment of our readers. We have a limited supply of additional copies, which may be purchased for $2 each at the Progress office, 113 S. Williams St., Paulding. Copies can be obtained by mail for $4 ($2 plus $2 shipping and handling) by writing to: Paulding County Progress, P.O. Box 180, Paulding OH 45879. Or, phone us at 419-399-4015. Inquire about back issues of our Visions Volumes 1-13 published every year from 2000-2012. July 2013

To purchase extra copies

Please call the Paulding County Job Center at 419-399-3345 for Employment and Training Services
Visions of Paulding County — 1

Child, Adult and Family Services are provided to Protect, Strengthen and Maintain Family Units, Promote Self-Sufficiency, Personal Responsibility and Financial Independence

Paulding County – Then and Now
By MELINDA KRICK Visions Editor “I’ll never forget....” “Do you remember....” How many conversations begin with those words? It wasn’t so very long ago that families were lucky to have one car. Homes, schools and businesses didn’t have electricity and indoor plumbing. A trip to Fort Wayne or Toledo and back involved an overnight stay. Childhood diseases were often fatal. Women didn’t have the right to vote. You kept in touch with out-of-town friends and relatives by letter or penny postcard. Delivery men brought ice, coal and milk to your doorstep. No one had air conditioning. Roads were dirt or stone. Air and space travel was only dreamed of in novels. Many everyday conveniences we take for granted today were unheard of or rare and expensive 50 or even 25 years ago. How many of us recall when it was a novelty for a household to own just one black-and-white television that could receive perhaps two or three channels? Or when cars didn’t have safety belts, let alone baby seats? When little girls wore dresses to school? Using carbon paper to make copies, and slide rules to make calculations? Party lines on the telephone? The one-room school buildings, huge red barns and log cabins are slowly vanishing from our landscape. Businesses constantly open, change hands, and close down. Highways move. Schools consolidate. Our constant desire for the more modern and convenient has meant that too many yesterdays have been abandoned and forgotten. Once in awhile, we benefit from taking a brief glance backward to see what has changed, and how much, and how much we’ve changed as a result. To that end, we present a continuation of last year’s “Then and Now” examination of people, events and places that have shaped our lives. “Do you remember....”

Paulding County
This poem was originally published in the Paulding County Fair Centennial Book 1872-1972: ’m glad I was born in Paulding County In the good Old Buckeye State, For it is one of the finest Of all of the eighty-eight. For more than seventy years I have watched our country grow, And the progress it has made Really has not been slow. Woodlands have all been cleared away And the land all filled with tile, And the farmers now all live In regular city style. We were called “hayseeds” Back in the early days, But things have reversed now I’d say We all wish we had a farm or two So we could retire and have an income too. I taught school in my early days And walked county roads of sticky clay, Now would you believe it today That old road of yellow clay Has been transformed into a good highway! The good housewife in the early day Really worked hard in the old fashioned way She pumped the water and carried it in Rubbed her clothes on the board And carried water out again. She baked her own bread And made the family’s clothes She really worked hard goodness knows. She had no time for bridge to play Way back in that early day. She swept with a broom To keep her house clean And away from home She was seldom seen. She worked from dawn ’Till set of the sun And really her work Was never all done. The farmer too, worked different then than now, He used to work with horse and plow Today he rides big machines to do everything, So he can go to Florida and stay till Spring.

–Then and Now
Some farmers keep no stock at all And a horse is a thing of the past, Some still have cows, but they press a button So as to milk them fast. Do you remember way back when They had no lights to turn on the old hen. So that she more eggs would lay And the farmer would make more profit that way! But it does seem in times past People really did not live so fast They spent more time with family at home And didn’t care so much to roam. Fond memories now still linger on Though the good old days are past and gone. I’m sure we’d be lost if we’d change back for one day So I’ll take the conveniences that are


See THEN AND NOW, page 11

July 2013

2 — Visions of Paulding County

East Perry Street in Paulding during the “big flood” of March 1913. This view is looking southeast toward Charloe Trail, where a group of people, two people on horseback and a car are stopped at water’s edge. It appears a woman and child are standing on the front porch of the house at left. Many communities were impacted by the record flooding; Oakwood and Melrose were among the hardest hit.

The same view today. It’s interesting to note that at one time, East Perry Street didn’t follow the same route as it does now. In earlier years, the road curved to the east at Charloe Trail. The first intersection (now East Wayne Street and Klingler Road) was Junction Pike to the north and Van Wert Pike to the south. In the 1913 photo, the large house in the center right is where U.S. 127 runs today. Several businesses now line this section of road. The sheriff’s office and jail is located on the east side of the street closest to the bridge. July 2013 Visions of Paulding County — 3

FROM THE COVER – This photo of the Blue Creek General Store was taken in September 1949. On the front porch of their grandparents’ store were children Gerald, Sue and David Riggenbach. Note the old gas pump, the sign near the door that reads gas 22 cents and the advertising signs. General stores began to appear in the 1850s in rural areas. Before modern supermarkets came in, the general store was the primary means of trade. The Blue Creek General Store, located on Ohio 637 at Road 108 in eastern Jackson Township, was owned and operated by Charley and Hazel Smith. Charley and Hazel purchased the general store May 30, 1909. Charley had a twin brother, Harley, who operated another general store, located in what is now a ghost town called Molasses Gap, three miles north.

The general store today. No old signs or gas pumps anymore. Charley Smith died in 1953, and his wife Hazel continued to operate the store until her death in 1968. The store is weathered with age, and stories of its past creak from the boards. They are whispering to us about days when men could do business with a handshake, and the cash could be kept in a box under the counter. When automobiles and paved roads began to cover the landscape, country stores started falling into decline. Now, cars whiz by the sagging facade on their way to “big box” stores that carry everything from hardware to clothing to food, just like these “mom and pop” crossroads stores that were once commonplace in rural areas. 4 — Visions of Paulding County July 2013

In early 1953, area residents were making plans to replace the Fort Brown monument as part of Ohio’s sesquicentennial celebration. The three men on the left are Charles Estle, superintendent of Oakwood School; Walter May, president of Oakwood Deposit Bank; and Oakwood Mayor Harry Shisler. One of the three men on the right in front of the old wooden monument is Grover Hipp. The woman on the right is Mrs. Dale Davis of the Paulding Library.

Several thousand people attended the dedication ceremonies for the granite Fort Brown monument on Aug. 16, 1953. The site, on the banks of the Auglaize River in Brown Township, marks where a stockade was built by soldiers during the War of 1812. On June 29, 2013, members of the Jacob Stemple Chapter Daughters War of 1812 organized a celebration for the fort’s bicentennial. They dedicated a granite bench they donated for the memorial site. Members who participated in the program were Charlene Hawk, Jean Henze, Gloria Fast, Gladys Donson, Miriam Fetters, Carla Smith, Joan Stripe, Kathleen Foust and Jackie Lynch. July 2013 Visions of Paulding County — 5

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6 — Visions of Paulding County July 2013

of Paulding County

Courtesy of John Paulding Historical Society

A view of the abandoned sugar beet factory, prior to demolition in the mid1970s. The view was taken from Fairground Drive looking north. The mammoth factory, built and opened in 1910, provided employment opportunities for workers as well as giving farmers a steady market for sugar beets. The main building was 607 feet long and up to four stories high; the smokestack towered 200 feet above Paulding. The factory ceased production in the late 1940s. Virginia L. Smith donated the photo to the historical society.

Today, much of the sugar beet factory property is owned by the county. Portions are used for parking for the fairgrounds, located across the street. The driveway remains in use and the stately oak tree is probably the same as in the photo from 40 years ago. Where the factory smokestack and water tower once graced the skyline, now cell phone and radio towers dot the landscape. July 2013 Visions of Paulding County — 7

The Grange, formally known as the Patrons of Husbandry, was an organization created to assist farmers with the various obstacles they faced. By the early 1870s, the group boasted more than 1.5 million members. Paulding Grange No. 332 was established Jan. 2, 1874, according to a history published in 1970. The hall, located at the corner of Ohio 500 and Road 95 in Paulding Township southwest of Paulding, was constructed about 1894. The chapter at that time operated a country store on the first floor, and held its meetings and social gatherings on the second floor. This Grange was dormant from 1920-32, then reactivated. In 1970, the chapter had 118 members.

Today, the Grange hall is shaded by large trees that partially obscure the view from a similar vantage point. Homes now occupy the land to the east of the building. Altogether, a total of 2,773 chapters were chartered in Ohio. The peak was in 1957, when 903 chapters were active in the state. Paulding County had about 26 different chapters at various times. Nine were chartered here in 1874 – Paulding #332, Flat Rock #592, Washington #619, Latty #621, Oakwood #627, Emerald #737, Blue Creek #765, Enterprise #777 and Carryall #896. The last to be organized was Cecil Community #2735 in 1948. The only surviving chapter in the county is Fairview #1666, located north of Antwerp. Paulding Grange closed about 1992. The building was later used as a country-themed gift shop but is now vacant. 8 — Visions of Paulding County July 2013

Payne built a new high school, which was dedicated on Nov. 23, 1923. It was completed at a cost of $200,000 by contractors Baker & Shindler. The old school was then used for primary grades. Hundreds of students, parents and guests attended the dedication program and basket dinner, followed by a football game between Payne and Edon and an evening musical program. According to a report in The Payne Reflector, “The wonderful new high school building of brick and terra cotta, with its imposing exterior and beautiful architecture, is constructed of the most durable material obtainable.” It had an estimated life expectancy of 250 years.

The Payne School has changed little in the past 90 years. An auditorium was added in 1938 as a WPA project. The old school was razed in 1972 and an elementary addition added. Seventy graduating classes received diplomas from Payne High School with the final graduation in 1971. The school district consolidated with Blue Creek and Grover Hill districts to form the Wayne Trace Local School District. Today, the building is home to Wayne Trace Payne Elementary for primary grades July 2013 Visions of Paulding County — 9

Memorial Sunday in Paulding, 1910. At the time, “Decoration Day” was a two-day event, with services held at a church on Sunday, and memorial services and grave decorating on Monday. Here, the Knights of Pythias (K of P) Paulding Lodge #270 marches in a parade of veterans (Civil War and Spanish-American War), G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) and others from the G.A.R. Hall to the Disciple church. Note the procession of women, with their long dresses and parasols, rounding the corner from Main Street to Jackson Street. The image was taken from the three-story Straw Block at the southwest corner of Williams and Jackson streets, looking east on Jackson along the north side of the courthouse square. The store with what looks like a giant pocket watch in front was Lynn’s drug and jewelry store, and next door was a bank.

The same view of Jackson Street today, taken from the third floor of the Straw Block, now home of Don & Perry’s Furniture. Where the pavement in 1910 was brick, today it’s asphalt. The old sidewalks were brick or stone; today they are concrete. In the old photo, the one-story millinery store to the left most recently has been a law office. To its left, the fence covered with advertising was a vacant lot where a two-story stone building was constructed in 1912. 10 — Visions of Paulding County July 2013

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July 2013

Visions of Paulding County — 11

Forder’s Bridge, on Road 73 over the Maumee River, was built in 1889 and named for local resident George Forder, who built the abutments and pier. They were constructed of laid stone without mortar. The bridge was a Pratt Through Truss, one of the first of its kind in Ohio. At the north end of the bridge is Bethel United Methodist Church, which was built in the 1890s.

The current Forder’s Bridge was built in 1995, replacing the old structure that served the traveling public for 106 years. The tree-lined riverbanks give a scenic view of the Maumee as one drives across. Bethel UMC (inset) still overlooks the bridge. 12 — Visions of Paulding County July 2013

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