Posts Tagged With: jobs

Buy a Ford from Don Foutz

Potschner Ford Dover Ohio 1950s Newspaper Ad

Don Foutz, 1956 Potschner Ford Ad

It’s easier, I guess, to remember my grandpa, Don Foutz, as a steelworker. But evidence suggests he knew his way around cars, specifically as a salesman.

An earlier post shared an item from the Dover, Ohio Daily Reporter on the occasion of grandpa’s retirement from Greer Steel. The 1979 article gave him credit for 36 years of service. Which made sense, to a certain degree, since grandpa followed father Vance and brothers Ralph and Carl into the local plant.

Though those years may not have been continuous service, as his 1942 wedding announcement indicates: a certain Erma Johnson had worked in the Greer Steel offices, where grandpa may have encountered her.

But that announcement also listed him as an employee of Potschner Ford at the time. And grandpa’s 1980 obituary listed him as a longtime employee of Potschner, while also crediting him with just 17 years at Greer.

Newspaper confusion notwithstanding, if you were in the market for a Ford in the mid-1950s, you could look up Don Foutz and buy it from him.


Fred Potcshner Ford Agency Dover Ohio

Old pic of Fred Potschner Ford, Dover, Ohio.


Foutz Don Potschner Ford ad Daily Reporter 6 Aug 1956

A 1956 ad from the Dover Daily Reporter lists Grandpa Don Foutz as a salesman at Fred Potschner Ford in Dover.


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Sherman Foutz Wants Your Fire Insurance Business

Sherman S. Foutz

Second Great-Uncle Sherman S. Foutz

1910 Ads Angle for Harrisburg Policy Holders

This post begins a run where we jump the track of mere milestone-gazing — as fun as it’s been sharing a mere foretaste of the feast of newspaper ink uncovered on ancestors from the 20th century during a recent research binge — and return to some of the chief mysteries surrounding the family and descendants of my great-grandfather Vance Foutz’s oldest brother, Sherman Foutz.

The modern-day “Extra Extra?” I’ve solved a few of them.

Those revelations to come.

Today, we warm up with a return to the Sherman Foutz narrative. From the first post on this blog, concerning Sherman Foutz’s promising life cut short in 1915 by tuberculosis, I’ve had a nagging fascination with my great-great uncle’s family and descendants. Partly, because he was a such a mold-breaker for that first century and a half of farming Foutzes: first to college, first to establish himself outside farming, first to break away to the big city after landing a big-time Treasury Department appointment in Washington.

Sherman’s was a life that garnered praise in history books. After his stint in Washington, he made a name for himself in the insurance business and fraternal circles throughout Reading and Harrisburg, Pa.

His was also a life cut short, at 47. He had the money to travel to a famous Lutheran sanitarium near Denver, Colorado to seek a cure, but ultimately succumbed. Leaving big mysteries and a grieving family in his wake.

What happened to son Oscar and daughter-in-law Florence? Why did daughter Grace elope just months after Sherman’s death and move back to Ohio, where she lived within a dozen or so miles from my family of Foutzes but escaped everyone’s memory? And what of wife Lizzie? Her gravestone shows her buried in Ohio alongside Sherman some 30 years after he died, but census records show her living far beneath the social circles they previously moved in, alternately responsible for grandsons Ralph and Harry Sherman and foster daughter Catherine Foutz Rutt, but seemingly cut off from them as well.

What’s the story? More on that in the coming days.

Burnt Out? Find Foutz for Fire Insurance

But let’s get warmed up, if you will, by reacquainting ourselves with Sherman’s family through the press clippings that chronicled their days in Pennsylvania.

Sherman enjoyed success in the insurance business in Reading before packing the family up and moving to Harrisburg, probably about 1909, according to the April 9, 1909 Reading Times.

Shortly after moving to Harrisburg, Sherman’s new business plans are announced in an April 1910 Harrisburg Telegraph item on the Home Friendly Society of Pennsylvania, which planned to pay out sickness, death and accident benefits to qualifying policy-holders.

But Sherman’s bread-and-butter business offering remained his fire insurance practice, as evidenced by the series of ads running in the Telegraph the winter of 1910-11.

The ads themselves read to me today as practically indecipherable, but at least true in spirit to the core of his Knights of the Maccabees affiliation. Still — “Refuse to pay a policy fee… but call on S.S. Foutz?” “Both phones?” “If you need a calendar, come soon, or the supply will be exhausted?” “If you will do this… a souvenir will be presented you.” “Remember the place.”

I’ve written some copy in my time, and probably could have done Great-Great Uncle Sherman a solid. That said, business was good. Take a look and see if you’d sign up.

Foutz Sherman insurance ad 2 Harrisburg Telegraph 6 Jan 1911 Foutz Sherman insurance ad Harrisburg Telegraph 17 Dec 1910

According to a quick search on Google Maps, this block may be where Sherman Foutz did business in Harrisburg. The door in the middle is 33 N. 2nd St. I don’t know when these buildings date to — the whole area looks revitalized — but take a look and imagine Sherman doing business above the pub or restaurant on the second floor.

31 N 2nd St Harrisburg PA

The block where Sherman Foutz may have done business in Harrisburg, PA.

Categories: Foutz, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Erma Foutz Adjusts to 1966 Switchboard Upgrade

Foutz Erma at Miller Studio 1970s

Grandma Erma Foutz at work as a secretary at Miller Studio in New Philadelphia, Ohio, circa the 1970s.

DDD Switchboard Training for 100 Tuscarawas County Operators

Grandma Erma Foutz must have worked as many different jobs as a secretary as homes she lived in growing up in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Previous posts have documented the many times her parents, Charles and Viola Johnson, moved from 1920 t0 1940. The tally in those decades alone was six addresses.

But newspaper and other records document even more movement for my grandmother, albeit over the course of several decades, as secretary par excellence.

  • Her membership in the Alpha Pi Sigma sorority probably indicated a professional organization for secretaries and that career training, rather than college affiliation, since Grandma didn’t attend school following high school graduation. Several articles noting her affiliation and meetings with the group during her married life also point to the group’s career affiliation.
  • The announcement for Don and Erma Foutz’s 1942 wedding noted her employment in the offices of Greer Steel, probably as a secretary.
  • Articles in the Dover Daily Reporter from the 1950s and 1960s report her affiliation as secretary for the March of Dimes and Tuscarawas County chapter of the national Polio Fund, respectively.

By 1966, she is employed at housewares and hardware manufacturer Miller Studio, in New Philadelphia. The captioned photo below, from the Nov. 18, 1966 edition of the Daily Reporter, announces the training of Erma Foutz, along with nearly 100 other local secretaries and operators, in new Direct Distance Dialing switchboard technology.

Quite a big deal, 48 years ago.

Foutz Erma Data on DDD Daily Reporter 18 Nov 1966

Erma Foutz and nearly 100 other switch board operators in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, were trained on the new Direct Distance Dialing switchboard technology in November 1966.

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bill Weible Named Newspaper Promotion Director

Weible Bill TR1973

A 1973 Times-Reporter staff pic of Great Uncle Bill Weible. Following his service in World War II, Bill joined the Dover Daily Reporter in May 1948 and worked at the Times-Reporter for several decades, managing various advertising departments, among other duties.

Times-Reporter Promotes Great Uncle Bill Weible

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Great Aunt Ann Weible on January 21, a day before her 89th birthday. I’m writing this post a day after her burial in Maple Grove Cemetery, back home in Dover, Ohio, and I find myself longing to be there, with extended family, aunts and uncles and my mom’s cousins, whose names I know well, but company I haven’t enjoyed for awhile.

After nearly 14 years apart, I like to think Ann is again with her husband, Great Uncle Bill Weible, who died during a July in 2000 that also saw the passing of my grandma Erma Foutz Miller. Knowing and remembering Uncle Bill, and the stories I’ve been told, I imagine Ann and Bill and Uncle Arry and Grandma and Grandpa Ley are enjoying a blissful — and knowing them, likely entertaining — reunion.

We’re left with our memories until we all see what there is to discover in life’s mysterious, inevitable next chapter.

From 1973, then, a bit of news in the newspaper career of Great Uncle Bill, and a glimpse back then of the Dover, Ohio, Weibles.

Uncle Bill worked at the Dover Daily Reporter for many years after returning from World War II service and college. He was on hand for the merger of the New Philadelphia Times and Dover Daily Reporter in 1968, and retained his post as advertising manager, as reported by the Mansfield News Journal.

Five years later saw Uncle Bill’s ascent to the role of promotion director of the Times-Reporter. From the Dec. 17, 1973 edition:

Three Times-Reporter advertising men have been given new positions….

William Weible, 50, 1515 N. Wooster av., Dover, has been named promotion director.

Weible, who began his newspaper advertising career with the former Daily Reporter in May 1948, will assume his duties Jan. 2 when he returns from sick leave. He suffered a severe heart attack last Sept. 11.

Weible will be responsible for all Times-Reporter and commercial printing department promotion. The Dover native has served in various capacities on the advertising staff and was named display advertising manager when the Daily Reporter and Daily Times merged in 1968.

He and his wife, Ann, have two children, Beth, who graduated last June from Moravian College at Bethlehem, Pa., and Rob, a student at Wittenberg University.

Read the full article by clicking the thumbnail below.

Weible William production manager Times-Reporter 1973

Categories: Milestones, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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