Main street in Dunkirk is commonly referred as State Route 68. Blanchard township was organized May 4, 1833, in the same year that the county was erected. It was one of the earliest settled townships of the county. It originally embraced nearly all of the northern part of the county. It is now in the form of a rectangle, four sections wide from east to west and six sections long from north to south, embracing twenty-four square miles, or 15,360 acres.
It is situated in the northern tier of townships and bounded as follows: On the north by Hancock county; on the east by Jackson township; on the south by Pleasant township, and on the west by Washington township. The territory was originally covered by a very heavy growth of timber and required a great deal of labor to clear and bring to a state of cultivation and production. The first settlers were compelled to travel south through dense forests to Logan county to obtain meal or flour. This difficulty induced John McBride to visit the Wyandot indians at Upper Sandusky and purchase a hand mill. The hand mill was regarded as a great acquisition to the settlement as it could grind about two bushels of corn per day.
G.W. Conrad had a Boot and Shoe store in Dunkirk in 1878. The store front had double doors. On the night of July 4, 1878 burglars entered the place by boring out the latch piece of the door lock. In the process they stole $60 in boots and shoes. They believed the burglars were disgruntled parties who had been dismissed from the local railroad stone quarry.
Two supposed robbers of Wharton's stores were captured in April, 1892. The two were said to have hired a rig at Simpson & Fehl's livery stable to go to Grant, but turning north suspicion was aroused and Mr. Simpson followed in another buggy to see where they were going. They went north of town entered a thicket and brought out some goods done up in packages, loaded them in the buggy and went south near Grant where trace of them was lost. When the team was returned only one fellow accompained it. He was promptly arrested and turned over to Wharton authorities, who released him without any trial. He was a slick chap who did not give his name or anything else and as he did not have anything in his possession at the time he could not be charged.
Sometime around 1900 (left) Faze & Moses was photographed along with a selection of the company's wares. The owners were Nelson F. Faze and __ Moses.
In the photograph is a step ladder, what appears to be paint cans, and a table of baskets. The company office may have been on the second floor. There is someone upstairs standing in the doorway. The photograph may have been taken during a holiday as the three gentlemen sitting in chairs at the far left are sitting in the street; possibly waiting for a parade.
There was an E. Moses who ran a general store in Dunkirk and he may have been a partner to Faze & Moses. There was a hardware store at the corner of W. Patterson & Main streets that sold farm machinery. It was on the west side of Main street about one block north of the Big Four rail road crossing. Due to cramped quarters they later built a new building on the east side of the street. Faze & Moses was the first building in town with an elevator. Upstairs they stored farm machinery; hay balers, rakes, etc. The location of the new warehouse was the southern most building burned down in the fire of May 21, 1903. The Society has no photograph of the building at that location.
There is nothing known about Moses but Nelson's parents were, William Faze and Elizabeth (Smith) Faze. He was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on August 13, 1857 and died on January 11, 1941 in Dunkirk as a widower. He'd been married to Austa Curran. She was born on July 4, 1875 and was a lifetime resident of Dunkirk when she died of influenza on December 5, 1929. Austa's parents were Mathew Curran and Maria (Keifer) Curran.
McCloud, Pees Hardware store and A.J. Huston's store were located in the Ruppright block, McCloud & Pees probably sold farm implements. A.J. Huston's shop was located next door.
There was a Huston who was partnered with a Haldeman some time after the Civil War. Before the war John Watters made a frame for a building and intended erecting it on his lot (M.E. Church lot c1901). Before finishing it, however, he sold the lot and then sold the frame to Mr. Brookwalter who erected it on the lot known as Huston property. An addition was built to it by Mr. Brockerman and then Huston & Halderman purchased it. It was used as [a] hotel by Dave Trump shortly after the war, then as a residence by the owners, Halderman later selling his interest to Huston who used it as a residence until the year 1900 when he sold it to Lease Bros. who torn down the dwelling and erected two two-story frame business rooms. Lease sold the south part of his lot to John Beans who build a one-story room for his grocery and restaurant. The Lease rooms are occupied by Dave Smith hardware and W. Teagardin & Son meat market. The second story rooms are used as living quarters.
The type of business of A.J. Huston has not been confirmed, but from the photograph he was probably a butcher shop. He is wearing what looks to be a butcher's apron and in the window are what looks like cuts of meat.
Claude Pees, Frank McCloud, Chase Wilson (4th from the left), William Ruppright (sixth from the left), Jim Hueston (second from the right), and Dale Miller (seated the far right) are in the photograph. The individual wearing the butcher's apron is Mr. Lewis Woods.
John Ruppright was a saloon keeper in town. He may have been the father or brother of William Ruppright. The location of the Ruppright saloon had earlier been occupied by Frank Turner's grocery, J.J. Wood, Pore & French, Lynch & French's groceries, Halderman & Miller's grocery and Post Office, Geo. Kinsey & Son grocery, and Jacob Woods' grocery.
Located in the north half of the building over the years were; Rupprights' Dry Goods Store, Sampsons Grocery, Krogers Grocery, Myers Dry Goods Store, Meeks Health Center, Reams General Store, and the Public Library (see M.E. Church, 1921 below). After Huston's closed the post office moved into the south half. Originally the second floor was not partitioned into rooms. It's first partition was built when Lewis Woods and his wife, Catherine Woods, needed an apartment. Over the years the second floor was used by Dr. Walter Geiser as a dental office, and Dr. C.R. Blosser as a medical office.
At one time Grace Ruppright and Fay Ruppright used the south side until they married. Dr. Geiser's office, located on the south side, was then moved to the north side behind Dr. Blosser's office. They second floor of the building is still currently used as apartments.
The Main Street (May, 1903) photograph was taken after the May 21, 1903 fire which took out much of downtown Dunkirk. The principal part of the town's business section was destroyed. Forest sent men to help fight the fire as Dunkirk only had a hand pumper and bucket brigade at the time.
In the foreground of the photograph is the C.C.C.&St.L. railroad. It later became the Pennsylvania railroad. Currently it is part of the L.E.&W. It is believed that this photograph was taken with the photographer located somewhere south of the tracks and looking north.
Main Street (c1915) is a photographic postcard of how Dunkirk looked around that era. The postcard was postmarked May 25, 1915. The photographer was looking south on what is currently State Route 68.
The second awning on the left in the postcard shows the word barber." About half way down that same side is a livery stable & feed store. In the background is the Big Four railroad crossing and on the extreme right is the Gifford Hotel. D.F. Ripley was the proprietor of the hotel. One of its advertising signs can be seen just below the window on the side of the building next to the hotel.
The postcard was addressed to Miss Marie Kraft, Kenton, Ohio from a Catherine H. and reads: Dear Marie. I am going to write you a card and ask you to come and spend me a visit this week. how are you all. we are, all well having good times. be sure and come ano an let me no.
The M.E. church installed a public library which opened in January, 1921.