Times-Reporter Credits Lengthy Service to Foutz
Another couple finds to share quickly, with some brief analysis.
As recounted here previously, my great-grandfather Vance Foutz was first in four generations to leave the farming life in Harrison County, Ohio. This was more likely an accident of tragedy — following his father Jonathan Foutz’s death in September 1900, 13-year-old Vance and 15-year-old brother Charley moved from place to place in rural Ohio, working odd jobs to support mother Rebecca before settling in Dover.
There, Vance quickly settled into steel work, becoming a boiler tender and, eventually, foreman in the local Empire-Reeves mill. According to his 1968 obituary, Vance Foutz retired from the mill in 1960, when he was 73 years old.
All three sons would follow Vance into the mill at various times, beginning with his oldest, Roy Foutz, who was employed as a foreman at the mill in 1953 when he died in a traffic accident. Second oldest son Carl Foutz was already working as an 18-year-old office boy in the mill as of the 1930 census; by 1940, he was a foreman.
But I don’t think the Times-Reporter got it right when they listed my grandfather Don Foutz’s term of service at Greer Steel as 36 years. The picture was probably published in 1979, the retirement year listed in grandpa’s obituary. So that would put his starting date in the mill at… 1943?
- as of 1942 Don was employed at Fred Potschner Ford
- his obituary reports he worked at Greer Steel for 17 years, and prior to that “was a longtime employee” of Fred Potschner Ford
Still, I suppose it’s possible, like Roy and Carl, that his father Vance pressed him into work at the mill from an early age, prior to his time at Potschner. After all, the 1942 engagement announcement does report a certain Erma Johnson as working as secretary in the Greer Steel offices.
From August 1956, below, a Daily Reporter ad lists Don Foutz among Potschner’s salesmen. Probably enough evidence to whittle away at the 36 years of service listed by the Reporter, though countless bowling scores for grandpa throughout the 1950s on the Potcschner team seem to back it up further.