This Week In Toledo History Week Of 9/20/2021

Lou Hebert

Sept. 19
1863 - Battle of Chickamauga begins as Toledo’s 14th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Gen. James Blair Steedman, took many casualties in this deadly Civil War battle in Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. Steedman was credited with helping prevent the Union defeat from becoming a slaughter of Union regiments that were in grave danger. Steedman himself was wounded and had his horse shot out from under him. He would return to Toledo and serve as Police Chief for a few years. A statue was erected in his honor in downtown Toledo and later moved to what is now Jamie Farr Park in North Toledo.
1864 - A daring plot by Confederate conspirators, living in Canada, to hijack passenger boats on Lake Erie and use them to free the prisoners at the Confederate prison of war camp on Johnson’s Island is thwarted. The master mind of the plot, John Yates Beall is executed by the U.S. the next year.
1884 - Earthquake tremors felt in Toledo and throughout Northern Ohio.
1894 - Prairie Depot Observer newspaper started in the community now known as Wayne, Ohio.\
1910 - Toledo Public School houses are opening this year with new equipment including brand new white porcelain sinks in the bathrooms, complete with linen towels. And this year the school says there will be an adequate supply of toilet paper. Many schools had indoor toilets, but did not supply toilet paper in years past.
1929 - Roger Conant, curator of reptiles at Toledo Zoo, is bitten by rattlesnake at the zoo. The bite is very serious and Conant develops lock jaw, loses a thumb and suffers other long-term complications.

Sept. 20
1864 - Toledo ends its era of the "volunteer" police force and begins formation of a paid police department.
1898 - Toledo’s deadliest fire occurs when flames race through the Paddock and Hodge Grain Works in East Toledo. Fourteen workers die in the explosions and fires. Some of those killed were the children of the workers who happened to be visiting their fathers at the time.
1909 - Toledo News Bee reviewer labels the current burlesque revue at the Empire Theater as "smut." Says the "comedians are about as funny as pallbearers" and the only way they can get a laugh is to engage in "indecent conversation.”
1954 - Toledo woman rescued after she is stranded in Lake Erie for 40 hours after husband dies aboard their disabled motorboat.
1958 - Toledo fireman Ken Williams killed in blaze at S & S Distributors on Central Avenue.
1956 - Northwest Ohio is hit by a massive electric blackout when the wrong valve is thrown on a turbine at the Bay Shore Power Station. Power is severed for 150 area communities.
1985 - Michael Palicki becomes a Toledo policeman on this day. In doing so, he joins the first father-mother-son police family in the Toledo police ranks. Father is Dan Palicki, who joined in 1963, while his mother Barbara Palicki joined in 1972.

Sept. 21
1904 - Home rental ads in Toledo list a small cottage in East Toledo at $6 a month, or a new two-story home on Cherry at $30 a month.
1908 - Mrs. Pauline Steinem of Toledo (Gloria Steinem's grandmother) reported to be attending the International Council of Women meeting in Geneva Switzerland and finds the meeting "exceedingly interesting.”
1911 - A large bull being led to the slaughter pens in the West Toledo stockyards escapes his bonds and goes on a rampage down Phillips and then to Cherry and Franklin, ripping up fences and lawns, smashing wagons, breaking gates, terrorizing neighbors, children and small animals. Police gave chase and finally cornered and lassoed the restless beast which sold the next day for 8 cents a pound.
1921 - It's announced that a huge boatload of grapes will be arriving in Toledo's riverfront from Kelly's Island. They are to be sold at $3.25 a bushel. The grape producers, affected by prohibition, are now selling product directly to consumers to use as they might during this time of prohibition.
1934 - Waite High School’s new 15,000-seat football stadium is dedicated. Waite Indians defeat visiting team from the Mooseheart School for Boys in Illinois, 6-3.
1947 - Gale force winds hit the Toledo area, sinking a coal barge in Maumee Bay. Eight crewmen are rescued by Coast Guard. Eighty other boats are damaged by the 56-mph winds.
1949 - Gibson gas ranges are selling at Home Furniture Store for $269.

Sept. 22
1907 - Toledo police officers arrest a very large man from Maumee for lying down on the scales at the city market in an effort to weigh himself. The officers said he was so large the scales were unable to register a weight.
1910 - It’s reported that the so-called “farm school” in the 3300 block of Cherry Street of Toledo is the only one of its kind in the world. It is located on an old farm and orchard area where 177 children learn about fruits, vegetables and gardening in addition to their regular schoolwork.
1914 - It is announced that the giant Milburn Wagon Works in Toledo will begin producing electric automobiles at the factory. The first Milburn Electric automobile was produced the next year. The company turned out 4,000 electric vehicles before it was sold in 1923.
1924 - Seven Toledo area men are held by police for staging a nighttime armed raid on several farm homes near Lambertville, looking for a stolen alcohol still. The homes were riddled with bullets and the families narrowly escaped harm, however one of the farmers was wounded, as was one of the attackers.
1930 - Two suspected bootleggers and two other men are killed in the violent explosion of an alcohol still at the Weber Manufacturing Plant on Champlain Street.
1945 - Emergency gasoline rationing is ordered by Mayor Lloyd Roulet of Toledo as a result of a severe shortage.
1950 - Thousands of proud Toledoans attend the opening of Toledo’s new Union Station in South Toledo. Within a few years, though, most passenger trains running through Toledo would cease operating as the era of train travel lost out to the growing popularity of airplane and interstate car travel.
1958 - Heatherdowns neighborhood is annexed into city of Toledo.
1985 - WUPW, channel 26 begins operations and goes on the air.
1990 - Six years after it opened, the once busy Portside Festival Marketplace in downtown Toledo goes dark. The city padlocked its doors and closed it down for good.

Sept. 23
1858 - Balloonist from Adrian accidentally is taken aloft in giant balloon in Riga Township, Michigan, never heard from again.
1917 - An East Toledo woman kills her three young children and herself while in Detroit. They are brought back to Birmingham area of East Toledo for burial.
1919 - Toledo motorcycle patrolman George Zapf dies after his motorcycle is hit by a streetcar at Madison and Superior Streets.
1921 - Pearl diving is becoming a new pastime on the Maumee River after it was revealed that Adam Rose, keeper of the locks at Defiance, found a 41 grain (10 carats) pearl in a freshwater clam in the river. It sold it for $200.
1967 - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Bono, Ohio is dedicated.
1968 - Toledo Zoo officials report that a full Samurai warrior’s armored suit has been stolen from the Zoo’s Museum of Science. Zoo officials place the value at over $5,000. It was eventually recovered.

Sept. 24
1898 - The Bishop of Cleveland visits St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Toledo.
1911 - Three immigrant quarry workers from Italy are found dead at Kelly's Island. The men are believed to have been victims of murder, their bodies were found washed ashore. A month later two co-workers, also Italian immigrants, are charged and later convicted and executed for the murders.
1915 - Toledo water treatment plant begins using natural gas as fuel for generators to eliminate the “tarry” taste of the water.
1930 - Toledo Police take a Toledo News Bee reporter on an “inspection” tour of four gambling halls in Toledo to see how they hide their activities.
1936 - Teamster Union leader Jimmy Hoffa drives down to Northwest Ohio from Detroit and gets married in Bowling Green at the Wood County Court House because there is no waiting time for marriage licenses in Wood County.
1937 - A 12- year- old Toledo boy, Robert Snyder shoots and wounds the principal at Arlington School in Toledo, June Mapes, and then flees the school grounds and shoots himself. Both student and Mapes recover. Police say the young boy had violent delusions of radio gangsters and movie bandits. The boy claims he just wanted the principal to take him and a girl to get some ice cream. When she wouldn't comply, he shot her.
1964 - Historic old fire station at Lagrange and Everett is being torn down.
1967 - Advertisement for McDonald’s in Toledo says they can feed a family of five for $2.55.

Sept. 25
1895 - Much of downtown Haskins in Wood County is destroyed by flames.
1911 - Toledo police officer Harry Smith dies from injuries sustained while trying to arrest two men six weeks earlier.
1917 - Silent film “The Birth of a Nation” plays at Auditorium Theater in Toledo and is given rave reviews by Toledo News Bee. The reviewer says it is thrilling and the acting is "admirable.” It also calls the climactic scenes with the white robed riders of the KKK on horseback, "wonderful, reckless, riding.”
1921 - Waite High School is dealing with severe overcrowding as student population reaches 1,875, which is 600 more pupils than what it was designed for. Many classes are being held in the auditorium.
1926 - City of Toledo starts construction on new system of electric traffic signals. The first one scheduled for completion is at Bancroft and Upton.
1934 - City health officials report the 10th death in Toledo from “sleeping sickness,” which has been a problem for about 60 days. It is very contagious and city health officials are hoping it ends by October.
1936 - Toledo's "gas bomb terrorists" strike again. This time they toss a gas grenade into an ice cream social being held at the "South Side Workers Alliance" Hall at Page and Knapp Street. 75 men, women and children are left gasping and choking in the fumes of the gas. It is the fifth such attack in recent weeks and comes after the city promises to track down the culprits and arrest them.

Column courtesy of Toledo History Museum, 425 N. St. Clair St. Open Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.


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