EDITOR’S NOTE–This is another article on Findlay-area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier.
By R.L. HEMINGER
A look backward at some of the publications of a varied nature always proves interesting, as well as informative.
We had occasion to peer into a Findlay city directory, published for the years 1892 and 1893, the other day and uncovered a great deal of data of rather unusual interest.
Findlay, it appears, once had a Findlay May festival organization which presented musical treats for the local community during the fifth month of the year.
Dr. M.M. Lown, a Findlay physician and surgeon, was the president of the organization. Mrs. George P. Jones, whose husband was the Findlay banker, was vice president; John W. Zeller, superintendent of the public schools, was secretary, and Prof. A.C. Redding, of Findlay College, served as treasurer. Prof. J.J. Jelley, director of music at the college, was in charge of the festival arrangements. Assisting him were his wife, a well known pianist, and Prof. Leon Wineland, long a prominent Findlay musician and on the college music faculty. Prof. Wineland was an orchestra director and his orchestra was a popular one for a long time here.
THE FESTIVAL ORGANIZATION was formed in 1892, according to the old directory.
There were listed the various public schools in Findlay, with their principals as follow:
Adams School, Carrie Batey; Bigelow, Harry Johnson; Central, John F. Smith; Crawford, D.S. Finton; Detwiler, Rosa Weiss; Firmin, W.F. Rangeler; Gray, A.P. Schoonover; Howard, J.R. Masters; Huber, Fannie Meeks; Paxon, Rosa George; Strother, D.D. Dukes; and Taylor, E.V. Fowler.
At Central, the high school occupied the third floor and the grades the first two floors. Prof. Smith evidently was principal of the whole building at one time.
The roster of the Findlay post office staff reads as follows:
Postmaster, Samuel C. Moore; assistant, William R. Black; clerk, Lizzie Foresman; general delivery, Minnie Alspach; stamp clerk, Frank Young; mailing clerk, Charles B. Wise; distribution clerk, Amanda Platt. carriers, Guy Miller, Cyrus R. Galloway, Halleck H. Hassler, William F. O’Hara, Lyman M. Shannon, Cory Adams, C.A. Saunders and Scott A. Firmin. Substitute, William F. Stockton.
MR. MOORE SERVED AS postmaster from 1889 to 1894. In those days, postmasters changed every time a new president of the United States came into office. Mr. Moore was postmaster during the administration of Benjamin Harrison.
The post office in the early 1890s was in the location now (1968) occupied by the New Royal motion picture theater (510 S. Main St.)
Women were on the post office staff long before woman’s suffrage came in, it appears.
There were no rural routes in 1892 and 1893. Farmers had to go to Findlay or to their nearby villages for their mail. The rural route system came into being early in the new century.
The directory of those early years also had reference to the two libraries in existence in Findlay. One was the public library, over which Nell Baker presided as librarian. The directory said there were 3,000 volumes in the library. The Findlay College library was a small affair back in those early days. The directory said it had 2,000 books and that Julia Pauline Davis was the librarian. She also taught on the college faculty.