This Week In Toledo History

Lou Hebert

1820 - Wood County officially formed by state legislature.
1893 - Major oil strike in Wood County’s Middleton Township, reported to be 1,000 barrels a day.
1900 - Toledo Police Court forced to change locations after smallpox fumigation kills rats under floor, creating an unbearable stench.
1906 - The Wood County sheriff apprehends accused killer Frank McGuire during a chase over the ice-covered Maumee River near the Fassett Street bridge. McGuire is wanted in the slaying of Perrysburg Marshal Frank Thornton.
1935 - Hundreds of Boy Scouts from Toledo area visit over 1,300 patients in local hospitals to wish them well and give them flowers.
1938 - Joseph Wehner, 66, of Temperance, reports that his 16-day hiccup spell is finally over. He remains at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Toledo where he has been since his hiccups began.
1999 - Life Flight helicopter crashes into a home in central Toledo, during a snow squall, injuring the pilot, nurse and doctor on board.

Feb. 13
1894 - A massive blaze wipes out much of the Genoa business district.
1903 - Toledo health official says smallpox outbreak in city is depleting funds for public healthcare in the city.
1938 - A large marijuana raid is conducted at Woodville and Walbridge Roads at Jack's Auto Parts. Police found more than 70 pounds of so called “loco weed” in the place. Four people are arrested, and owner of the garage says he has no idea how the “weed” got there.
1943 - Convicted postal robber and mobster Joseph Urbaytis is released from Alcatraz Prison in California and returns home to Toledo. He is shot to death by an assassin a few years later at his speakeasy on Woodville Road.
1956 - Downtown gas explosion kills three people at Higrade Beagle Meat Packing. Numerous buildings are leveled on Superior St.

Feb. 14
1838 - Toledo City Council establishes salaries for city workers. City Marshal, $40 monthly; City Attorney $40 monthly; Treasurer 2 percent of money handled.
1848 - First regular telegraph service reaches Toledo. Will immediately change the speed of news delivery to local newspapers.
1918 - Massive “gorge” of water travels downstream towards Toledo after ice jam takes out bridge in Napoleon. Many bridges are shut down and rail passengers are taking excursions along river to see the flooding.
1925 - Plans are announced to erect the Bell building on Huron Street between Jefferson and Monroe. The $3 million structure will allow phone company to automate Toledo phone system.
1940 - Tragedy strikes as a doctor, his wife and two children perish when their car goes through the Lake Erie ice on a trip to Middle Bass Island.
1945 - Word War II continues to take a deadly toll, as War Department on this day reports that 28 men from Northwest Ohio and 10 from Southeast Michigan have been killed in fighting in Europe in recent weeks.

Feb. 15
1888 - David Ross Locke passes away. Locke was longtime publisher and writer for the Toledo Blade. An iconic American humorist, known to many by his pseudonym Petroleum V. Nasby. His satirical column, in which he wrote from the viewpoint of a lazy and ignorant bigot, was one of Abraham Lincoln's favorites.
1908 - Eight people are killed and 16 injured in a horrific collision between an interurban passenger trolley and a Big Four freight train in West Toledo on Phillips Avenue.
1944 - Sergeant William Provonsha, of Jackman Road in Toledo, is credited with shooting down two Nazi attack planes during a Flying Fortress bombing raid over Germany.
1945 - Toledo fireman Tim Morrissey dies while battling house fire at 1128 Dorr St.
1967 - High winds deal heavy damage to area. Wood County hit especially hard.

Feb. 16
1907 - Weary of saloons that are havens for fights and other misbehavior, Mayor Whitlock orders policemen posted at the door of some saloons to take the names of everyone who enters. Business at Carter's Saloon at Monroe and 11th Street has fallen by half.
1924 - Hunters from the Sandusky area are now on hunting trips to find the wolves that are killing livestock in the area. They think the wolves came from the forests of Canada and were able to travel to Ohio across the ice on Lake Erie.

1929 - The grand $2 million Paramount Theater opens on Adams Street in downtown Toledo amid much fanfare and celebration. First movie shown was “Redskin,” starring Richard Dix.
1970 - Indian Hills School in Rossford opens.
1984 - Scott Hamilton of Bowling Green wins gold medal in figure skating at Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
2004 - Massive truss-style crane collapses on construction site of new Skyway Bridge over Maumee River. Four workers are killed, others seriously injured in the tragedy that shocked the city and delayed the project for more than a year.

Feb. - 17
1867 - Ice jams create havoc and flooding in downtown Toledo. Some bridges damaged and knocked loose by moving ice.
1917 - The Toledo Yacht Club holds a huge so-called "rat dinner" of fresh muskrat. More than 600 people attend to enjoy the culinary delight.
1921 - Largest robbery in Toledo history as the Joe Urbaytis gang robs U.S. Post Office on 14th Street between Jefferson and Madison. The gang takes off with $1.6 million in bonds, securities, and cash. They are all eventually caught and convicted in a series of trials in Toledo Federal Court.
1943 - Fire at 1005 West Woodruff Avenue claims life of Toledo fireman Howard Rippel.
1949 - Oldest tree in Toledo, a 500-year-old white oak, located at Detroit and Byrne, is cut down because of aging and rot. It had a 6-foot- thick trunk and required a crane to take down its main section.

Feb. - 18
1883 - Floodwaters damage many buildings along riverfront in downtown Toledo.
1918 - Record low temperature reported in Bowling Green at -22 degrees.
1927 - Harvard Elementary School in South Toledo is dedicated.
1959 - Fire blazes through several buildings in Curtice, triggering evacuations and the labor of 100 volunteer firemen to fight the flames. Losses totaled more than $300,000.
1971 - Federal Court Judge Don Young rules that conditions at Lucas County Jail are sub-human, and that prisoners’ constitutional rights to humane treatment are being violated.
1989 - Coast Guard rescues 175 fishermen from ice floes on Lake Erie.


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