This Week in Toledo History Week of 4/26/2021

Lou Hebert

This week in Toledo's past: April 25 - May 2

April 25
1861 - Toledo residents by the thousands pour into the downtown streets to send off the first Toledo company of volunteers mustered for service in the Civil War.

1937 - Opening day at Swayne Field stadium, box seats to watch the Mud Hens are selling for $1 each.

1947 - Toledo businessman Virgil Gladieux announces that he will build a new "sports arena" for Toledo at the end of the Cherry Street bridge in East Toledo. It will occupy an area that at one time was a tobacco factory called Cannon's Landing.

1955 - Mass inoculation begins at schools around Toledo with the Salk vaccine to prevent childhood polio.

1959 - The long-awaited link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes officially opens to European ship traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

April 26
1835 - The first military skirmish develops between Ohio and Michigan forces in the infamous Toledo War. Shots are fired at Phillips Corners in Michigan between the opposing state militias in the dispute over the so-called "Toledo Strip". No one is wounded in the "battle" but it brings both sides to the brink of war.

1858 - Land is given to the city of Toledo for the purposes of a public park. It is a small plot of land in East Toledo and is later named "Prentice Park" in honor of Frederick Prentice who is believed to have been the first white child born in the Toledo area. Prentice would later become a very wealthy businessman in Toledo and the Great Lakes region.

1902 - The "M.P. Barkalow", a schooner cargo ship, sinks near West Sister Island in Lake Erie in a heavy storm. Four crewmen are lost.

1907 - Wild police chase in pursuit of a rabid bulldog winds through the streets of South Toledo. The chase started when the dog mauled a woman at Broadway and Segur and then bit six other dogs. Toledo policeman Tiedeman, armed with a shotgun, gave chase on foot and after two miles, he finally dispatched the wild dog and killed the six other dogs it had wounded. All will be checked for rabies.

1956 - Seven children burn to death in a house fire in Whiteford Township just across the state line in Michigan.

1974 - The derelict Earle Hotel on Jefferson Avenue, built in 1891, is ravaged by flames. The blaze could be seen for miles and drew hundreds of onlookers to the downtown area to witness its demise.

April 27
1867 - Toledo's first paid police force begins patrolling the streets of the city. They are called "M.P.'s" which stood for Metropolitan Police.

1898 - Toledo soldiers muster at the National Guard Armory on Spielbusch Avenue in Toledo as they prepare for duty in the Spanish American War.

1923 - Famed British writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle , author of Sherlock Holmes, is in Toledo to attend a seance with the famous Toledo psychic Miss Ada Besinnet. The writer calls the Toledo medium one of the best in the world. The seance was held at the house of Dr. John Pyle on Prospect Street. Dr. Pyle had been Besinnet's childhood doctor and helped her achieve a trance-like state. This was Doyle's second trip to Toledo for a seance with the medium.

1932 - Quite a stir is created in Tiffin when Frank Callahan, well known area sportsman, spends $1,000 to stage a funeral for his beloved Pomeranian pet dog "Baby Ginter." Callahan sobs that the dog was his "best friend" as hundreds turn out at his home to see the dog lie in repose in a $400 casket. Callahan is building a $1,000 vault and mausoleum under the shade of an old oak tree where "Baby Ginter" liked to rest on hot summer days. No minster would do the ceremony, so Callahan hired a local veterinarian for those honors.

1966 - Chicago woman Mary Matz takes a taxi from Toledo to Richmond California to see a doctor there because she says she "isn't feeling good." The 2,640 mile-long trip cost her $1,200.

April 28
1813 - The first shots are fired in attack on the American installation at Ft. Meigs in a key battle of the War of 1812. British soldiers and Native American allies lay siege on the fort on the Maumee River banks for five days of bombardment. Hundreds of American lives would be lost over the following days. Although after another week of fighting, the Native allies lost interest and abandoned the British and the American troops end up winning this first engagement at the fort.

1894 - The first shipment of corn is sent from Toledo to Europe.

1904 - The Ladies Home Journal selects "America's Prettiest Children." Three of them are from Northwest Ohio: Penelope Hubbard of Toledo, Helen Moore of Bowling Green and Beulah Zimmerman of Fremont.

1911 - The state pharmacy board in Columbus claims that Toledo is the "cocaine capital" of Ohio. They say that rampant abuse of the drug is prevalent and numerous "coke" parties are being held by Toledo teenagers.

1939 - Texan Byron Nelson, champion professional golfer, has been hired to become the head pro at Inverness Country Club in Toledo. Nelson, considered by many to be one of America's greatest golfers, won several major tournaments while he was employed at Inverness and lived in Toledo.

1949 - Toledo judges and city officials are given a demonstration of the soon-to-be-used traffic radar device for catching speeders on Toledo roadways. Toledo would become one of the first cities in Ohio to use traffic radar devices.

April 29
1913 - A somber reunion is held at Toledo for the remaining survivors of the Sultana disaster. The Sultana was a riverboat that exploded and sank on the Mississippi River after the Civil War. It was ferrying 1,950 Union soldiers at the time, many of them returning POW's. More than 1,100 perished in the river. Hundreds of victims were from Ohio.

1943 - Car sharing continues in Toledo as part of the war effort to conserve gas. In East Toledo, off Consaul Street, a Blade photo feature shows Mary Olah, Clara and Elizabeth Horvath, and Helen Andrus as they car pool together to their jobs at Champion Spark Plug.

1947 - Toledo Public Schools acquire $750,000 worth of war surplus items to be used in schools, from machinery to a trainload of toilet paper.

1958 - A brand new Pontiac Chieftain is selling for $2,679 at Brown Pontiac in Toledo.

1962 - Chubby Checker and Joey Dee appear together at the Sports Arena to do the Twist and the Mashed Potato dances.

April 30
1891- Tiffin is hit by a tornado as the Sells Circus is underway at the fairgrounds. Tents are blown down. Animals and people are scattered by the storm. One woman was killed by a falling tent pole.

1908 - The Horseshoer's Union in Toledo is threatening to strike over the increasing use of machine-made horseshoes versus the hand-crafted horseshoes.

1914 - An army of 300 women armed with brooms and shovels take to the streets of East Toledo as part of a larger campaign to clean up the eastern side of the city.

1921 - Building lots on Princeton Drive in the Harvard Terrace neighborhood near Walbridge Park are selling for $500.

1947 - Toledo Police investigate the horrific murder of 4-year-old Jimmy Gleason and have set up a desperate search for Florence and Gerald Lehaney who have been charged with the boy's murder. His body was found in their Bigelow Street home. Police say they fear the Lehaney's may have also killed Jimmy's brother in March. The boys were being boarded at the Lehaney home while their mother was working.

May 1

1894 - The all new Toledo High School building opens in downtown Toledo on Michigan Avenue between Adams and Madison.

1884 - Moses Fleetwood Walker plays his first major league baseball game with the Toledo Blue Stockings in a contest against Louisville. That game marks the first time an African American played in a major league baseball game.

1918 - Toledo notorious district of vice known as the "Tenderloin" or the "Badlands" closes down by order of the War Department and the mayor's office. Saloons, gambling resorts, brothels, dope dens are shuttered and residents and workers in those businesses are told to leave. Similar districts in other cities are also closed over fears that soldiers on leave from war will be victimized there or may catch social diseases.

1927 - The newly built Toledo Blade Building on Superior Street opens its door for business and in a special hook-up, President Calvin Coolidge, in Washington, pushes a gold key to start the new presses.

1933 - The steeple at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Maumee is struck by lightning and burned.

1948 -Eight thousand people attend May Day event at St. Francis de Sales Church in downtown Toledo to pray for peace.

1959 - The first ocean going ship, the "Prinz Willem George Frederick" docks in Toledo after using the new St. Lawrence Seaway and canal portal to the Great Lakes.

1966 - Rising lake levels flood much of Jerusalem Township's lakeshore area. Because of possible contamination of the drinking water, over 500 residents have to get typhoid inoculations.

1967 - Lucas County Sheriff's Deputy Herbert Wexler is killed in a two-car crash on Route 2 in Jerusalem Township.

1982 - A small plane crashes shortly after take-off into a student apartment complex near the BGSU campus. Four men inside the plane are killed. The apartments on Frazee Street are set ablaze, but no occupants are injured. The single engine plane had just taken off from the BGSU airport on Poe Road when it went down.

May 2
1903 - Catholic priest Ferdinand Walser of Toledo is charged with the bludgeoning death of a young woman (Agatha Reichlin) in Elyria. He had been staying at her home at the time of the murder. No evidence is found during the investigation, and charges against the priest are dropped.

1937 - The Kelsey and Freeman Lumber Company at 1225 Indiana Avenue in Toledo is destroyed by flames.

1947 - Cowboy night at the Princess Theater in Toledo with Roy Rogers starring in "Home in Oklahoma" and Gene Autry in "Guns and Guitars".

1962 - Dutch Elm disease is reported to be "out of control" in the city of Toledo. More than 5,000 trees have been cut down so far and thousands more may likely have to come down in the near future.

1966 - Buckeye Brewery workers in Toledo, numbering over 220, go on strike for a better wage and benefits package.

1976 - WGTE FM radio station goes on the air in Toledo to begin a new era of public radio for the city.

1978 - The long and bitter Toledo School teachers strike comes to an end after the Toledo Board of Education threatens to fire the striking teachers and other workers if they don't return to the classroom and resume teaching duties.

1983 - Tornadoes reported throughout the Toledo area. A church roof was blown off in Northwood and heavy damage is reported. Later in the day a twister slams into a mobile home park near Weston injuring 15 people and killing an elderly man. More than 50 mobile homes are damaged or destroyed.



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