Kenmore & a Gas Station from the 1940’s
Around 1944, Charles Ramsey, and a partner started Ramsey’s Sunoco Gas Station located at the triangle intersections of Wilbeth Rd., 27th St. and Kentucky Ave. in Akron. The street address was 2366 27th St. S.W.
Charles had a job with Barberton Ohio Brass Company and continued working during the day while the partner ran the gas station daily and Charles spent evenings there. Charles' wife, Dorothy did the housewife duties. Around 1945, the partner ran off with all of the money. The partner’s name has been lost to history. Somehow the gas station survived with Dorothy putting on a pair of pants and going to work daily at the gas station pumping gas and there was a five year old child, also named Charles, that required attention. Charles Sr. continued working his daily job.
On Monday, March 23,1969 an article appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper as “Gals Are A Gas” about Dorothy Ramsey working at the gas station. Following are excerpts from the article:
Hold on to your seatbelt, Men! Here we go again! Akron area residents have witnessed the advent of female letter carriers, lady barbers and lady cab drivers. But it doesn’t end there. In case you haven’t noticed, we have lady service station attendants also!
One attendant Mrs. Dorothy Ann Ramsey, 53, is probably the dean of women service station attendants in this area. She’s been at it for 26 years. "My husband Charles started this place with a partner. The partner ran off with all of the money, so I put on a pair of pants and got busy.”
Mrs. Ramsey (Mom to her customers) operates Ramsey’s Sunoco station at Twenty-seventh and Wilbeth Rd. 13 hours a day. She enhances her service with homemade cake and coffee for her customers. Her son, Charles, 28 was raised in and around the station and is a mechanic. “I’ve done it all” she said “fixed mufflers, brakes, greased cars, everything. And I just love it. My customers are wonderful people.”
(Another lady also mentioned in the article was Mickey Garner, 32, who worked with her husband, Jack, 32, at their Atlantic station at Carnegie and Wingate Ave.)
Continuing the story after the 1969 newspaper article “Gals are a Gas”:
Dorothy continued working at the gas station, keeping the house and raising Charles Jr. In December 1969, she had an accident and ended up with a left foot and leg injury and had to wear a cast for a while. The accident caused her to walk with a limp and use a cane for the rest of her days. Dorothy continued working at the service station until illness forced her to quit. She passed in 1975 at age 59. For unknown reasons, Charles Sr. continued working at the daytime Ohio Brass job through the years until he retired in 1971 verses quitting sooner to help with daytime doings at the gas station. With retirement Charles Sr. turned the gas station operations over to Charles Jr. who continued operating the gas station until he sold it around 1990 and retired.
A footnote of history:
My name is Bruce Ramsey, born in 1937 and I currently reside in Phoenix AZ. My relationship to the above mentioned Charles Ramsey is with my father, William Ramsey being a brother to the above Charles.