Telling the Story of a Street

Staff Writer

No one attending the Minster Historical Society’s and Civic Association’s historical walk had to wonder what the homes along Frankfort Street would say if they could talk. Minster Historical Society’s Mary Oldiges gave the street its voice.

Oldiges told tales of the rich history of one the Minster streets that’s been home to the ancestors of hotel magnates, nationally-renowned sportswriters, the estates of industrialists and business owners, the home to nine Herkenhoff families, a home bought from the pages of a Sears Roebuck magazine and shipped to Minster by rail and the everyday life of generations — all with her encyclopedic knowledge of the village.

“What a handsome property, and it doesn’t take Mrs. Harmeyer very long to mow the grass,” Oldiges said as the group passed by 21 N. Hanover.

The second-annual event, originally scheduled for earlier in the summer before inclement weather caused a postponement, drew a good crowd on a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. The walk was a follow-up to last year’s successful stroll down Fourth Street.

Whether it was the property at 71 N. Frankfort Street and the Laufersweiler’s early ties to popular syndicated sports writer and cartoonist Woody Laufersweiler and the family’s eventual ties to the Hilton hotel chain fortune, the kit home bought via catalogue,  a photo of one of the first cars Linie Hausfeld sold back in 1947 at 96 N. Frankfort where he started, or the proud family and military photos of families like the Busse’s at 95 N. Frankfort or a photo of grocers Willy, Andrew and Fred Boeker standing in front of the handsome brick home built in 1932 at 21 N. Frankfort just “a hop, skip and a jump” away from work at their market, the images of the people who made us this neighborhood  was yet another testament to the dedication of the Minster Historical Society to document the village’s past in unique, engaging ways and to the generations who made that documentation a priority.

The group met at the corner of Fourth and Frankfort Street.  Oldiges, seated in the back of a pick-up truck and amplified by a microphone, shared the history of various properties, with an easel filled with historical photos and information about the property sitting in front.

The street tour also included tours inside the Minster High School annex, the Miami & Erie Bed and Breakfast and the home of Mary and George Brown.

Where the tour began is the next step for the society, as it continues it renovation on the building at the corner of Fourth and Frankfort. The building, which housed a clothing store, saloons, a hardware store, grocery store, meat market and a decorating store will this week have work done on the main floor by Weigandt Construction.  

The historical society plans to do another part of town next year.