Events in the Toledo area over the past 150 years

Lou Hebert

Week of Feb. 14-20

Feb. 14
1838 Toledo City Council sets salaries for city workers. City marshal and city attorney are paid $40 monthly, while the city treasurer takes 20 percent of all money handled.

1848 First regular telegraph service reaches Toledo. This means that Toledo is now connected to the outside world and speeds the delivery of news and business information.

1925 Plans are announced to build the Bell Telephone Building on Huron Street between Jefferson and Monroe. The structure is to cost $3 million dollars and will allow the phone company to automate Toledo's phone switching system.

1940 Tragedy strikes in Ottawa County when a local doctor, his wife and their two children perish when their car plunges through the ice while driving across the "ice bridge" on Lake Erie to Middle Bass Island.

Feb. 15
1888 David Ross Locke passes away. He was the nationally famous editor, publisher and writer of the Toledo Blade. Known by his pen name "Petroleum V. Nasby", a humorous and irreverent character that became one of Abraham Lincoln's favorites during the Civil War. The Nasby building in downtown Toledo is named for his colorful character.

1908 The worst train accident to ever occur in Toledo happens on this day, leaving eight people dead and many more injured. It happens when an Interurban passenger trolley and a freight train travelling 60 mph collide in West Toledo on Phillips Avenue. The News Bee reports that robbers got to the scene and stole items from the pockets of the dead scattered on the ground.

1944 Toledo Airman Sgt. William Provensha of Jackman Road is hailed as hero for shooting down two Nazi planes during a Flying Fortress bombing run over Germany.

1945 Toledo fireman Tim Morrisey dies while battling a house fire in the 1100 block of Dorr Street.

1992 Burlington Air Express DC-8 crashes near Toledo Express Airport. Four crew members are killed.

1929 The grand $2 million dollar Paramount Theater opens on Adams Street in downtown Toledo amid much fanfare and celebration. The massive theater will seat more than 3,000 people. The first movie shown was "Redskin" starring Richard Dix. By 1965 it was torn down for a parking lot.

1984 Scott Hamilton of Bowling Green wins the Gold Medal in figure skating at the Winter Olympics at Sarajevo.

2004 The massive truss style crane being used on the new construction of Toledo's Skyway Bridge, collapses. Four workers are killed others seriously injured in the tragedy that shocked the city and delayed the project more than a year.

Feb. 17
1921 The largest robbery in the history of Toledo occurs at the U.S. Post office building on 14th Street between Jefferson and Madison. The armed robbers were identified as Joe Urabytis gang which made off with over a million dollars in cash, bonds and securities

1949 The oldest tree in Toledo and Northwest Ohio, a 500-year-old white oak, at Detroit and Bryne, is cut down. Tree expert said it was dangerous because it was dying of age and rot.

1981 James Hoffman installed as Bishop of the Toledo Diocese.

Feb. 18
1883 The Maumee River backed up by ice jams in the harbor, creates bad flooding in the downtown area. Many streets and building along Water Street are damaged.

1927 Harvard Elementary School in South Toledo is dedicated

1971 Federal Judge Don Young rules that the Lucas County jail conditions are sub-human and that prisoners' constitutional rights to humane treatment are being violated. His ruling eventually leads to construction of a new and current jail in 1979.

1989 Ice floes on Lake Erie break up and strand more than 175 fishermen who have to be rescued by the Coast Guard.

Feb. 19
1923 A doctor and nurse perish when their car plunges through the ice near Put-in-Bay while they are on a medical run to another island.

1943 Eighty-six dogs from Toledo leave for duty in World War II as part of the "Dogs for Defense" project. Almost all return at the end of the war.

1953 A blaze in a house on Mayo Street in Toledo claims the lives of two children and Toledo fireman Don Timiney

1954 University of Toledo basketball team defeats Ohio University 71-66 to win its first Mid-America Conference Title.

Feb. 20
1919 The 'great booze rush" is underway as Toledo beer and liquor stores are flooded with thousands of Michigan residents. Michigan had already banned booze in 1918, and Ohio was about to do the same, sending Michigan drinkers into Ohio to stock up. The Dixie Highway between Toledo and Monroe is now reported to be crowded with traffic and littered with broken down cars that didn't make it.

1921 Toledo Post Office robber Joe Urbaytis and much of his gang are captured near Chicago on a westbound passenger train.

1948 A large ammonia tank at the Page Dairy plant on Knapp street explodes and shakes downtown Toledo. At least 25 people are injured., 425 North St. Clair St., Toledo, OH 43604/419-215-2437


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