This Week In Toledo History Week Of 5/16/2022

Lou Hebert

May 15-21

May 15
1907 - The Mayor of Findlay is asking all residents to stop the dandelion epidemic. He is asking all resident to go out to their yards and dig up all the dandelions because the city's lawns are being overrun with the perennial yellow weed flower.
1926 - The safety building in downtown Toledo is officially opened to the public.
1929 - Fire at famed Cleveland Clinic spreads through hospital building, killing 125 patients and staff members.
1973 - Toledo Mayor Harry Kessler calls the old Edison Steam plant in downtown Toledo (present site of Pro Medica Headquarters) “an eyesore.” He and other politicians are urging that it be torn down.
2001 - A runaway train, with a locomotive and 47 cars and no one aboard, gets loose from the Stanley Yards in Lake Township and begins a wild 66-mile journey south on the CSX tracks. The nationally televised drama finally ends when a brave railroad worker hops on the rolling locomotive "8888", (dubbed the crazy 8's) and brings it to a stop south of Kenton, Ohio.

May 16
1855 - The schooner "Visitor" sinks in a storm near West Sister Island. The captain of the boat goes down with it.
1899 - Large scale tornadoes sweep through NW Ohio. Heavy damage is reported. In Montpelier, a school house is blown down with children inside. The teachers and several students are injured.
1912 - Mrs. David Beach, on a walking journey to raise health awareness and eating only raw veggies, makes stops in Port Clinton, Oak Harbor, Elmore and Genoa. She is on her way from New York to Chicago. She arrives in Toledo on Woodville Road by the evening. Eventually completes journey on the 28th of May.
1947 - Smallpox vaccine is rushed to Fostoria area after a migrant worker dies from the disease and others are exposed.
1953 - Springfield Twp. firemen hold a stag party of 1500 that gets out of control at the Secor Road Armory. Toledo Police are called and a small riot ensues with chairs and fisticuffs being thrown. Several women are arrested for indecent exposure and other arrests are made for illegal gambling.
1965 - The new Perrysburg Municipal Building is dedicated in 1965.

May 17
1894 - Devastating tornado hits Williams County as many as 10 people are reportedly killed in Kunkle and Montpelier. Fifty houses and buildings destroyed.
1913 - The first Toledo fire engine is motorized as it is hooked up to a tractor engine and can run at speeds of 25 miles per hour. It is one of three being used on a trial basis.
1919 - Construction gets underway at Bayview Park on the 80,000 seat wooden plank arena to handle the expected crowd of fans for the William Dempsey-Jess Willard heavyweight championship fight.
1927 - It's revealed in News Bee that Johnny Mack of Toledo, imprisoned for a payroll robbery for the past five years is innocent, but the prosecutor and judge will not have him released from custody despite the exonerating evidence. He is eventually released later that summer.
1955 - Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis perform at the Sports Arena to a sell-out crowd.

May 18
1825 - One of the earliest tornadoes in recorded history in Northwest Ohio rolls through areas of Seneca County. Described by witnesses as a "violent fury that uprooted entire forests of large tress, hurled animals skyward and made the ground rumble beneath one's feet." Three people died in that sparsely populated area at the time.
1882 -The passenger ship, "The American Eagle" explodes nears Kelleys Island, killing 10 people.
1916 - Libbey-Owens Sheet Glass Company is formed in Toledo and will revolutionize the methods by which sheet glass is made. The factory that will make the glass is being built in West Virginia.
1929- Forest Park Amusements on Woodville Road near Genoa is billed as "Toledo's Greatest Amusement Park" and opens for business with a special Dentzel Carousel, a roller coaster, skating rink, dance hall and other rides and games. By 1950 most of the amusement rides were shut down and the park was closed.
1941- The new post office opens on 2nd Street in Perrysburg.
1953 - The newly built fire station at Huron and Orange streets opens in downtown Toledo.
1954 - Black leaders in the city of Toledo hail the "Brown v. Board of Education" ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that ends segregation in public schools.
2001 - Ground is broken for the long-awaited Maumee River crossing project. When complete by 2007, it will be called the Veteran's Memorial Skyway.

May 19
1887 - Natural gas is so plentiful in areas around Bowling Green that the gas is given free to local businesses that need it.
1889 - Salem United Methodist Church in East Toledo is dedicated.
1904 - Independent saloon keepers in Toledo ask the police department to start cleaning up the so-called "badlands" or "Tenderloin." They claim these places in this section of town, near Lafayette and Superior streets are morally unfit for consumers of liquor.
1917 - Toledo Mayor Charles Milroy orders police to send all "imported negro laborers" in the city to labor in the stone quarry at the work farm. He claims crime has gone up because of the "Negro labor camps" that have sprung up in the area.
1926 - Defiance police say an 80-year-old woman was wheeled into town on a push cart powered by her husband and son. Mrs. William Saxon said she was touring from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Defiance police however wanted them to tour elsewhere and escorted them back to the Michigan state line.
1931 - Toledo police officer Edward O'Briest is shot to death by an unknown gunman while he was on an undercover assignment in the 300 block of Moorish Avenue.
1953 - Toledo voters approve a 3.5-mil tax levy to fund the construction of the new Toledo Express Airport in Western Lucas County.

May 20
1898 - Dow and Snell wholesale warehouse is destroyed by fire and Fire Captain Oscar Will is killed while fighting the blaze.
1906 - Ice dealers in the city are taking heat from city officials and the prosecutor for price gouging. Many housewives said they had to stop buying ice because of the ice dealer's tactics.
1920 - The Cowboy Hill gang stages a daring daylight bank robbery in Delta at the People's State Bank. Three employees are beaten up by the bandits and in a wild shoot out on Main Street, one by-stander is wounded. The gang gets away with $22,000 in cash. They escaped to Toledo in a Cadillac and Toledo police gave chase but lost them.
1956 - Vice Mayor Ned Skeldon suggests that Maumee and Toledo should consolidate. Maumee and Toledo residents don't seem to like the idea.
1961 - Fourteen Indian bones and skulls are found near Wales Road in Rossford by four boys digging near the Rossford city dump. They found the bones and skulls, buried about three feet under the dirt. An Ohio State researcher confirmed that the bones were aboriginal and he says they were buried face down.
1965 - The Beach Boys play at the Toledo Sports Arena. Opening act is a Toledo group called the Vandeliers.

May 21
1904 - Theater chain owner and well known showman, Frank Burt is shot by his wife in front of his theater on Jefferson Avenue. Mrs. Addie Burt is arrested and taken to jail. Burt manages to survive the bullet wound to the eye and tells police his wife was jealous of a showgirl she believed to be his lover. Addie Burt dies six months later, while Frank Burt would marry the showgirl. He went on to open amusement parks in California and Colorado, and would head up the famous Panama Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco.
1913-Toledo newspaper readers get first look at the proposed new Toledo Club building to be constructed at Madison and 14th streets.
1920 - Three convicted killers escape the Ottawa County Jail in Port Clinton by sawing through the bars of the cells.
1931 - A spectacular fire sends shrouds of flame and smoke skyward at the National Milling Company silos on Front and Paine Streets. The $250,000 blaze was started by a river dredge and took two hours for firemen to bring it under control.
1976 - Governor Jim Rhodes, in a speech to area business operators, promises that Northwest Ohio will get a major state park in the future with lodges, golf courses, camping and recreational facilities. That state park would come to fruition many years later as Maumee Bay State Park.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association