The Courier's look back on 200 years of Findlay history. Ups and downs over the decades but progress continues.
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The Courier’s Sports Department undertook the task of selecting the area’s top 100 sports figures of the 20th century in 1999. Hundreds of nominations were processed. Hundreds of names were considered. Hundreds of careers were researched. The initial list included renowned names like Peg Kirk Bell, Ray Harroun, William Elsworth “Dummy” Hoy, “Tot” Pressnell. Now, as Findlay celebrates its bicentennial, the Courier Sports Department pared down the original list to those who are […] Continue reading →

FDR was in the White House, pot roast was selling for 16 cents a pound, and Findlay had a professional baseball team. The year was 1937 and Findlay was a mem­ber of the short-lived Ohio State League. The team was known as the Browns. The conference, a loose-knit organization of minor league teams who often switched alle­giance from one season to another, began play in 1936 and folded in 1941. But for those six years, towns like Findlay, Fostoria, Fremont, Lima, Tiffin, Sandusky, […] Continue reading →

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Sports: Peg Kirk Bell best of the best

By DAVE HANNEMAN Staff Writer In her unique, pioneering way, Peg Kirk Bell knocked the skirts right out of women’s sports. And in the process she epito­mized, in Findlay at first, then on a much grander scale, the trend that saw the emergence of women’s athletics overall. “Women’s golf (results) used to be on the society page,” Bell said during a return to Find­lay some years back. “I guess it was considered more of a social gathering than a sport. “But when I won the […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF Staff Writer As Findlay entered the 1990s and the twilight of the 20th centu­ry, it was business as usual. Progress continued to be the or­der of the day in all areas of the community. But the decade arrived with a wintry blast as a February 1990 storm glazed northern Ohio with ice, bringing down tree limbs, electric poles and lines. Thousands of homes lost electricity during the storm. Damage-related costs totaled more than $250,000 locally. Later that month, […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF Staff Writer The decade of the 2000s — as well as 2011 and the first half of 2012 — have been a time of extremes in Findlay. The new millennium began with a sigh of relief when the feared computer bug Y2K failed to materialize and all of the computers didn’t go haywire as predicted. Local electric companies reported no Y2K problems because of extensive and ex­pensive preparations. The same was true at Ameritech, at local banks, at Blanchard Valley Hospital, and […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF STAFF WRITER The decade of the 1910s began quietly enough. But change was on the horizon. Within a few years, World War I would begin, and the calm that had ushered in the 20th century would disappear. Findlay entered the decade with a population of 14,858, its lowest since 1890. The development of oil interests in Indiana and Illinois was blamed, in part, for drawing men and families away from the area. City leaders, believing that more jobs would mean greater […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF STAFF WRITER The 1920s were golden years in Findlay. World War I was over and the post-war depression was brief. It was not long before the communi­ty was back on its feet. New industry was arriving, the school system was expanding and the population, which had dwin­dled during the 1910s, returned to the 17,000 mark. The chamber of commerce was established at the start of the dec­ade to take the place of the old Findlay Business Men’s Associa­tion and Findlay […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF STAFF WRITER The first decade of the 20th cen­tury dawned with great hope and promise. The New York Times said: “We step upon the threshold of 1900 … facing a still brighter dawn of civi­lization.” The Cheyenne Sun-Leader: “Never has a year been ushered in with more promise.” As it turned out, those really were “good old days.” The Wright Brothers made the first successful airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Henry Ford introduced the Mod­el T, the […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF STAFF WRITER The decade of the 1950s may well have been the boom years of the 20th century in Findlay. The discovery of gas and oil some 60 years earlier had transformed the small county seat into a thriving metropolis. But progress in the 1950s did not depend on mineral resources and luck. This time, the community made a conscious effort to create its own success. Toward the end of World War II, an organization called the Post-War Planning Committee was de­veloped in […] Continue reading →

By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF STAFF WRITER The 1960s was a decade of firsts for the Findlay area. The city’s population topped 30,000 for the first time. An interstate highway first passed through Hancock County. The first ultra-modern shop­ping center was opened here. And Findlay first earned the ti­tle of “Flag Capital.” A new artery of transportation called Interstate 75 opened between Michigan and Florida. The limited access roadway followed the general route of old U.S. 25 (Dixie […] Continue reading →

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