Lee McCutchan’s 1984 Interview with Flossie Triplett Wilson
The dates and places noted are as they were remembered and may not be strictly factual. They were not researched for accuracy.
Flossie Triplett Wilson, born February 1893 in her grandparent Triplett’s farm home just outside of Halo, Ohio. The house built of logs to which, over the years, three frame rooms had been added.
It was not long after that, her parents built and moved into a little house close to the Lumber Company’s office. (This is the little green shingled home, now standing practically under the 27th St. viaduct.)
When Flossie was sixteen they moved again, up onto 8th Street.
Her father “dabbled” some into real estate, but he left his mark in Kenmore in that he and Jake Enders laid all the original cement sidewalks along new Kenmore Blvd. They left their names inscribed in each block.
When Flossie was five she was enrolled in the Tamarack District School, located at Manchester and Waterloo Roads. It was a long way for a five year old to trek, especially when it was all across open fields and over fences.
Within a couple of years another school was built, the school zones redistricted and Flossie became eligible to attend the new Summit Lake School. This was a little red brick building built on the east side of Manchester Rd., facing Summit Lake, just across the road from where later stood the Porter Nursing Home.
Though the distance to these two schools was approximately the same from Flossie’s home, though in opposite directions, her father thought it best she transfer to Summit Lake. There was a straight and sandy road she could walk along all the way and no longer have to make a cross-country trip.
It was about this time that Mr. M. C. Heminger came to Kenmore from Clinton, Ohio, moving into a house on 8th St., close neighbors of the Tripletts.
Mr. Heminger had been a highly respected member of the Clinton School Board and it was not long before he was elected to serve on Kenmore’s School Board.
Shortly after his election, it was felt that Kenmore could use another school. The site was picked. The majority of the Board felt a two-room structure would be sufficient. Mr. Heminger felt nothing should be built with less than four rooms. “Mr. Heminger was a very well educated man, a brilliant man, and a very determined man!” Despite all arguments and even a move to impeach him for proposing a wanton waste of the taxpayers monies, he stuck by his demand and won.
Though they did proceed with building a four-room structure, Mr. Heminger didn’t entirely get his way. They only finished two of the rooms, saying” never, never would they need those others.”
The school was named “Central” – later renamed for M. C. Hemginer, honoring this same man they had fought so hard against.
Flossie was one of the first students to enter Central School. (On the occasion of the dedication of the gymnasium built on some years later, an effort was made to locate all of the original students for a reunion. At that time only five could be found. Today (1984) only Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Zilla Lonsbury remain – and both are still in Kenmore)
The town grew and the population flourished until it was no time before they had to finish the third room at Central. Then, within another year, they had to finish the fourth….proving to the embarrassment of many, that M. C. Heminger knew of which he spoke.
Within a short span of time later, Pfeiffer, Smith and Lawndale schools were all built.
About the time they decided to layout and put Kenmore Blvd. through, many in the Village of Halo thought it was also time to change the name. This brought about another big controversy. Austin Triplett was much against the change. What had been good enough for him and a lot of others all those years, should be good enough for anybody. But despite objections, the Village of Halo became the Village of Kenmore.
There were two doctors who served early Kenmore: Dr. Carr with offices on Wingerter St., and Dr. Alsbaugh with offices on the Blvd.
A special Saturday treat for Flossie and a few of her friends was to get to ride a big horse-drawn wagon from Kenmore down to neighboring Manchester to the coal yard. There the men would load the big wagon high with big chunks of black coal and Flossie and her friends got to ride back to Kenmore, in style, high atop the coal. This was the greatest!
When Flossie was small, there was no church in Kenmore. This bothered quite a few residents. To get one started, Flossie’s grandfather, Austin J. Triplett, offered to donate the land for a site, if monies could be gotten together to build the church.
By chance, it was soon learned that a church in Manchester was up for sale.
Five farm families; the Austin Tripletts, the Allen Kipplingers, the Watters, the Witners and the Sours got together, pooled their monies and bought the church.
With almost total volunteer labor, the church was dismantled, brought to Kenmore in sections and reassembled on a site on Manchester Rd.
This church was an Evangelical Church, later merging with the Methodist.
This building served the congregation well for several years; until it was outgrown.
A new stately brick structure was built on Kenmore Blvd. at 7th St., the church became known as the Boulevard United Methodist, now pastored by Rev. John Beatty.
The original church moved from Manchester, was again moved. This time to a site nearby, just down 7th St. It was remodeled, turned into apartments and some of the current church members are living there.
While the pieces moved from Manchester were being reassembled, church services were held in the downstairs of the Watters store. Services were held Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and Prayer Meeting on Wednesday nights.
Virtually all of the fittings of the sections back together and the renovation of the interior was done by church members donating their labor and equipment, so the process was slow. To accommodate those working on the project, one of the first things done, was the building of a shelter along the backside in which to house the workers horses and buggies to keep them out of the weather.
A vestibule was built onto the front of the church as a place to “park” the congregation’s lanterns. People coming to church in the evenings carried their own lanterns to light the way. A place was needed to“park” these lanterns during services to keep them handy for pick-up to light their way back home.
Flossie remembers her grandmother always giving her a little piece of an old sheet or a towel when she left to walk to Sunday School, “to wipe the dust off your patent leathers when you get there.” One didn’t want to be caught in church with dirty shoes.
The following was also written about Flossie Wilson in 1984, who would have been 91 years old.
Mrs. Wilson is a very energetic, busy lady; active in her church and a number of other organizations and clubs. She only last year gave up her driver’s license and sold her car.Though she had never had an accident, or even a near-miss, she felt it “inappropriate” for anyone her age to still be driving. She only recently retired from the election board, having served in Kenmore’s election booth for over fifty years, never missing an election. She has gone through all the Chairs and served the Daughters of America on local, state and national committees. She is still the local chapter’s Record Keeper. An amazing lady!