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This and That - Landeck stories and ‘The Village People’ PDF Print E-mail
Monday, July 16, 2012 10:12 AM

The Village of Landeck has a group of residents called Landeck Community Pride. Anyone from the whole wide area can be a member. There are no dues, just coming to a meeting can make you a member.

Members take a lot of pride in their community and show it with their activities and projects. They have put up Welcome to Landeck signs and they hold village clean-up days, picking up trash which has blown into town by the wind or thrown out of a passing car. Their big project in the works is playground equipment.
Their big spring project was putting on a Senior Citizens Appreciation Day. This event took place on May 18 and a good time was had by all. Doc and Dorothy Miller offered their family party room for the event which was attended by 80 guests.

The idea was first mentioned by Jim Illig. Say no more! The ball got rolling. Ruth Hammons served as emcee and hostess, along with several other “young” ladies with Landeck roots. Father Mel Verhoff opened the gathering with prayer and a delicious buffet lunch was served by the group.

Marilyn Gengler entertained with organ music and everyone joined in singing some of the old tunes. There was reminiscing about the old businesses and the more recent businesses in town. Jim Illig told how they started I & K on North Main Street in Delphos in the Yoder Building. The ladies made potato salad in bathtubs.

Joan Minning told of how Lou Minning and Tom Sever started the Town Tavern and Doc Miller spoke of how D & D Grain began. They reminisced about the Youngpeter Hatchery, Suever Stone Quarry, the Landeck Elevator and the famous Race Track, west of town. They all mentioned how “Lonnie” hollered out of her upstairs window at the kids on the school playground. Ruth Hammons also displayed a collection of newspapers featuring Landeck articles.

Sam Bonifas gave a very interesting and informative presentation of the Landeck community during the years 1910 to 1939. Sam is the official Landeck historian who has searched the old newspapers for anything and everything about Landeck. He has compiled a 2,200 page book to include all this info. That’s 1,100 sheets of paper on both sides in one large book.

Sam opened with 1910. On the world scene, that was the year Haley’s Comet was discovered. On the local scene, Youngpeter’s traction engine plunged through the  bridge over the Jennings Creek. The hitch broke so the separator stayed up on the bank. They just drove the machine out on the other side of the creek. It was also the year Joseph Wilhelm was assigned to the Toledo State Hospital. John Williams was his guardian. While going through Joe’s home they found $7,000 in gold silver and bank certificates.
1911 — John Meyers was buncoed out of $1,000. It took two full pages to report this story. You can find more facts of this story in the 8 August 1911 Delphos newspapers.

Landeck oil derrickIn 1912 Father Lang arrived in Landeck to be pastor of the Catholic Church and Ferd Schwinnen had a barn fire. The big thing in world events was the sinking of the Titanic.

1913 and 1914 were bad years for Landeck farmers with several farm accidents. In

1913 John Heidenescher (son if Gus) was injured in a barn raising accident and Frank Pohlman was run down by a binder, being pulled by a team of runaway horses. In

1914, Peter Wagner was run over by a loaded wagon — another team of runaway horses. The loaded wagon left Pete with a badly crushed chest, but it was not fatal. Also in 1914, John Vondran broke his neck when he fell out of a haymow. His accident proved fatal. During that same year John Kimmet died of Tetanus.

1915 — ”Lefty “ Williams was playing baseball in the big leagues. He was in the Texas League with the New York Giants farm team.
Then in 1916, Nick Ley, who was the contractor for the local school, was killed in a auto accident on his way home to Auglaize County.

1917 — World War I began. The Landeck School was completed at a cost of $19,000. It was taught by the Franciscan Sisters out of Syracuse, New York and the student enrollment was 125.

1918 — The year of the BIG Blizzard. Even the trains stopped running for almost a week. As the days passed, the mail was delivered by a horse drawn sled.

1919 — This was the year of the World Wide flu epidemic. Also the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.

1920 — Prohibition begins! There was also another blizzard. Father Lang was transferred and Father Jansen arrived. Women also earned the right to vote.

1921 — The first regular radio broadcast was made from Pittsburgh and the first baseball game was broadcast by radio from the Polo Grounds in New York over WJZ, a Newark, New Jersey radio station.
Also in 1921 the Landeck Dramatic Society staged a play.

1922 — Father Lang was playing baseball in Defiance. The coach chose him because he knew Father Lang was a former big leaguer. Also, the Beekeepers held a big meeting. Where are all the bees now when we need them?

1923 was a big restart of the local oil wells.

1924 — The Schaffer Sawmill was started by Jacob Schaffer. It was later owned by Raymond Schaffer. Landeck Oil & Gas Co. stock was offered for $25 per share.

1925 — A young man from Landeck was arrested for fighting and a drug ring was busted in Cloverdale, thanks to the postmaster noting strange mail arriving from the city. The postmaster was a Landeck native.

1926 — Lots of baseball stats in the newspapers. Local baseball was really big back then

1927 — Landeck High School presented a play. Gus Scharf and son were arrested on a liquor violation charge. There was a fire at the Schaffer Saw Mill. It had been operated by steam but was recently electrified and it is believed dust got hot, causing the fire. A big fox hunt was organized by the local hunters (to save the poultry).

1928 — Big sleet storm, followed by a flood, shutting down all communication.

1929 — The Middle Point Fire Department came to Landeck to demonstrate their new pumper truck. This was also the year the stock market crashed.

1930 — Another sleet storm and flood. Then there was the Landeck Road Improvement and Father Clement Falter said his first Mass in Landeck. There was also an earthquake in Anna, which was followed by more quakes in 1931 and 1937.

1931 — The Pope forcefully denounced birth control. There was a big Magic Show in Landeck and grasshoppers were a big, big problem. Father Ralph Mueller said his first Mass and Albert Kill had a tire and rim stolen from his car.

1932 — There was a big fish kill in the Jennings Creek and chickens died from drinking the creek water.

1933 — There was a big “bank holiday.” Dillinger escaped from the Allen County Jail and one of his gang killed Sheriff Sauber. The Falter family stated that the Dillinger Gang spent an evening at the  Blinking Owl. 1933 brought an end to prohibition in the USA and on the world scene, Hitler began his big “threat.”

1934 — Dairy Farmers in the USA went on strike. John G. Gengler bought the Landeck Store from John Bonifas and Francis “Shorty” Gengler was in charge of the store.

1935 — While tearing down an old barn, the barn fell on Ferd Miller. There was a big meeting in the area in regard to electrification. Now what would we do without electricity? Many people found out just how bad it can get without electricity, from the big June 29 storm.

1936 — Luke Kill helped organize the Landeck Branch of the National Union for Social Justice. He was elected president. Another snow storm with very low temps. This was followed by a drought. Temperatures soared to over 100 for over a week. On July 6, it was 101, followed by 108 on the 7th. On the 8th and 9th, the temp was 107, followed by 106 on the 10th and 108 on the 11th.

1937 — Another earthquake hit Anna, Lima and the area. On the world scene, the Hindenburg crashed.

1938 — Father Mueller died in Ottoville and one-room schools were abandoned.

1939 — The Delphos packing plant was canning peas and by this time Hitler was really setting the stage for World War II.
Sam added that the above mentioned events were not necessarily the most important things that happened in the community but just a touch of the many interesting people and events.

He mentioned that Landeck once had a butcher shop, operated by the Schaeffers on the Landeck Road, just west of town. It was in operation for about 10 years in the 1930s. Then they converted the building into a chicken coop. Linus and Henrietta Bonifas bought the place in 1940. Just recently, when Sam and his brother were tearing down the building, they found a 30 August 1926 newspaper under the cement.

Sam also showed a microfilm copy of the newly-released 1940 US Census. He noted that names are not always listed correctly. Genealogists who are searching for Klaus ancestors, might find it rather difficult because the census taker transposed the surname and the given name. The family of Oswald Klaus is listed with the family name as Oswald. So beware!

A big thanks to the Landeck Community Pride people. Their aim is to make Landeck an even better place than it already is. They just sponsored their second “clean-up day.” The group is now working on the playground fund. They will accept donations from anyone for any amount. Just mail a check to Landeck Playground Committee, at 5423 N. Kill Road, Delphos OH, 45833. Checks can be made out to Landeck Community Playground Fund.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:44 PM

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