Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Thomas R. McGeachie

The photograph above, taken by W.A. Bishop, appeared on page 21 of the 1903 publication, What: Souvenir of Sandusky, Ohio and the Islands of Lake Erie. In 1903 Thomas McGeachie was a general contractor, but in 1900 he was a foreman at George R. Butler and Company. The January 21, 1902 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that he had been promoted to superintendent at the company. You can see a portion of this business in the picture below, taken in 1899. Started by Jay Butler, the company manufactured sashes, doors, and blinds in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Mr. McGeachie was also involved in local politics. According to an article in the Sandusky Star of May 18, 1899, he was appointed chairman of the Erie County Republican Party at the Third Ward Republican Caucus. The article stated: “This name is a new one in local politics but it jumped at once into prominence. He is a politician who has studied the art in Cleveland and showed the old timers a few pointers last night.” 

By about 1907, Thomas R. McGeachie and his wife Sarah returned to their native Canada, settling in Welland, Ontario, where he worked as a lumber merchant. Though he lived in Sandusky, Ohio for a relatively short time, his activity in business and political circles caused him to be remembered by many local residents after he left the Sandusky area.  Two sons remained in Ohio after their parents moved to Canada. Percy and Thomas McGeachie, Jr. are buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. 

See the book What: Souvenir of Sandusky, Ohio and the Islands of Lake Erie to learn more about the important people and businesses of Sandusky in 1903. Inquire at the Reference Services desk if you would like to see this historic publication.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Valentines Given to Ralph Spahn

Ralph Spahn was born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1891. He was the son of Fred Spahn and his wife, the former Philipine Hinkey. In the historical collections of the Sandusky Library and the Follett House Museum are two valentines given to Ralph by his cousin Ida Bunsey and another person named Carrie.

Ralph’s father Fred Spahn, a popular Sandusky barber who also had a shop on Johnson's Island, died in 1906 at the age of 38, from an accidental drowning. Sadly, Ralph Spahn passed away less than two years later on February 16, 1908, from typhoid fever. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Ralph’s mother, Philipine “Bena” Hinkey Spahn lived a long life. She died in 1956 at age 90, and was laid to rest in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Mrs. Mary Buyer, Parochial School Teacher


Mary E. McGoldric (sometimes spelled McGoldrick) was born in Sandusky in 1843, to Irish immigrants, John and Ann McGoldric. Mary’s father and several siblings died in the Cholera epidemic of 1849. 

In 1866, Mary McGoldric married Anthony Buyer. Sadly he died in 1868. They had a daughter, Mary Buyer, who was the second wife of Charles J. Krupp, a local undertaker. In her later years, she lived at 404 Wayne Street with her daughter and son in law, Mrs. and Mrs. Charles J. Krupp. (this house was once the home of the Oran Follett family, and now is open to the public as a museum.)

An article in the August 10, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Mary McGoldric Buyer had been a pioneer teacher in the parochial schools. She taught at St. Vincent’s School in Akron, Saints Peter and Paul boys’ school in Sandusky, and at St. Anthony’s School in MilanOhio. In 1898, Mrs. Buyer retired from teaching.

Mary Buyer died at home in 1929 and was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery.