Carolyn and Harry Foglesong recollect
By John A. Ballentine
Carolyn and Harry Foglesong are life-long residents of Toulon and have been in retirement for a number of years. The News asked the Foglesongs to bring back memories of how Toulon used to be in the past.
Carolyn began, “Old Settlers’ Celebration! It really was something people looked forward to every year. I can remember the chicken pie dinner. All the women had dresses and aprons on who cooked and they cooked on the west side of the courthouse yard.
“Tables were set up all the way through the courtyard and it was full of people. I can remember they solicited residents in town, and out in the country, for food to prepare,” Carolyn added. “I remember people from the churches coming out to our farm and they always wanted tomatoes and we wondered every year if we would have them by Old Settlers’.”
Harry said, “I remember we always gave them a chicken. They always wanted chickens!”
“The dinner was the best! The best chicken pie you could find anywhere,” Carolyn exclaimed.
The News: When was that?
“We kids were little. I can remember I was in the third grade,” Carolyn recalled. “That would have made me nine or 10-years-old, so that would have been in the early 1940s. But it was great! It really was. It went on for a long time, but I don’t know when they quit doing that.”
Harry added, “That was when there were trees around the courthouse and there was lots of shade.”
The News: What else was there about Toulon?
Carolyn started, “We came to town every Saturday night, dressed up, at least we thought we were dressed up. Mother made sure we had clean polished shoes. I remember her polishing shoes. They had to be just so on Saturday night because we got to go to town.
“And when we came to town, it would be for the band concert that evening and they had those long benches that we would sit on. The courtyard was full! I think everybody just went to town to look at everybody else.”
Harry said, “I remember sitting in front of Charlie DeBord’s hardware store on the curb and we would look at people.”
Carolyn continued, “When we would come to town, we would always go to Lehman’s store and we must have gone in there for chickens. Ben Parker was always in there and was always chewing on a cigar. Harry clarified, “He would dress the chickens for sale.” Carolyn finished by saying, “Saturday night was the biggie!”
Changes in Toulon
“There is not a whole lot left as far as businesses. There used to be gas stations on almost every block downtown. Dean Blair’s business is where Tom Pearson has that building now [Where FBFM is located today],” Carolyn described.
“The bowling alley is where The Stark County News is now. The pool hall that Bob and Grace Pyle ran was underneath of that,” Harry stated. “The Dugout was up from there to the north, where the laundromat is now. Les Roberts had his restaurant at the west part of where the bank is. Marion Burcham had his oil station just west of it at the end of the block.”
“Across the street was the tavern and still is one there today. There was the Wiggie-Man…” Harry laughed. Carolyn laughed, too, “OH! That was another thing on Saturday night! We got a nickel for our treat when we came to town. We would go to the Wiggie-Man… at Broaddus’ Five and Dime store. We would get an orange-pineapple ice cream cone. One dip!”
Both said, “It was where the pizza place was recently. The A&P store was in that block, too, and Archie Smith’s barbershop.”
Carolyn then clarified about the Wiggie-Man, “In the dime store, that’s what we called him, the Wiggie-Man, because he wore a wig (raucous laughter from both). But he had the best ice cream cones, always.”
Other businesses of yesteryear
Harry continued with the stores, “Next to the tavern was the grocery store, then going west, the next place was Mary Churchill’s penny-candy store and the last place on the block was McClenahan’s drug store. He always came from the back when you went in there. Next, was the Dewey Bank in the next block west.
The News: What is the best and worst about Toulon?
“Right now it doesn’t look very good. The appearance, it needs to be cleaned up so badly. So many places around town need to be cleaned up or destroyed,” Carolyn noted. “I really think that’s the worst.”
“Everybody used to know everybody else,” Harry said concerning the best of Toulon. “Now, we don’t know everyone. I used to know everybody in this town when I worked for the city.”
Carolyn described a change, “You used to leave your doors unlocked, but you don’t do that today. This neighborhood used to be the best! The Miller Street Gang was during the best years we had. Every neighbor around here was friendly, trustworthy and would help you out. It was just great! It’s not like that anymore.”
“Earl Turner, the president of the State Bank of Toulon, was memorable because when I was a little girl, I had to borrow money to buy my 4-H hog. I remember walking up those bank steps and I was never so scared of anybody in my entire life, as I was of Earl Turner.
“I had to ask him for money and I thought I was asking for the world,” Carolyn explained. “That was one of the worst days of my life, walking into the bank to see Earl Turner!”
Carolyn added, “I do know of someone else and that was Virginia Keller-Perrin. She really was a peach! We’ve had some good teachers at the school along the way.”
- Open House for Lyndia Meaker
- County Watch — W&Z; Doug and Ann; farmers’ market; sauvignon blanc; Carl and Janet; clown and circus; bird’s-foot trefoil, Kurt