Tag Archives: Killbuck

Door-to-Door Sales at 12: A Slice of My Life

Moving to the Small Town

I finished 7th grade at Columbus Ohio’s Linden-McKinley Jr. High in June 1951, and my family (the Kasers) started packing for yet another move. We had bounced back and forth between various places since I was born–New Philadelphia, Ohio, Ames Iowa, Chicago and now Columbus. But always there were periods when we lived in Killbuck with my grandmother, Vera Anderson. But now my father had decided we needed to make a final move and buy our own home in Killbuck. And there flowered my door-to-door sales business.

Killbuck village sign erected in 2019. Photo from Facebook’s Killbuck Gang Group page.

My brother was ready to start second grade, and my baby sister had arrived in March 1949. Dad got it into his head that a small town would be a healthier place for us to grow up than in the city. I think he was looking back with nostalgia at a small town atmosphere that no longer existed, but for whatever reason he decided we should move.

I had always preferred the variety and excitement of bigger city life to what I felt was a restrictive atmosphere where everyone knew me and watched ever move. However, I would probably not have plunged into my first paying self-employed job in door-to-door sales if we had not moved back “home.”

The Itch To Work

At the ripe old age of twelve, I wanted to be independent. I needed more money than the measly allowance my dad gave me every week. More to do than read books all day all summer long–although I was pretty creative at how and where I could read. A job that was all mine. Not just a chore assigned by mom or dad.

Comic books were big at my age. Although I didn’t dote on Super Heroes, I read Classics Illustrated comic books and Mad Magazine. Cover to cover, including the ads in the back.

Body Building Ad
Body Building ad in comic book

In the back of some comic book, an ad caught my eye. Smaller than the big bully kicking sand in the face of the skinny kid who took a mail order body building course and showed up the bully and got the girl–just a tiny ad. Something like “Kids, start your own business.”

The ad outlined the door-to-door business of selling note cards, greeting cards and stationery, even name embossed. The company would send a book of samples and order forms. You would send in the orders and the money. They would send you the finished products to deliver to your customers.

I didn’t tell my parents. It looked like a really good deal to me–much better than all those “Be the first kid on your block to own” magic decoder rings and other plastic junk that I could order by mail from the back of comic books. But knowing parents as I did–they would find all kinds of things wrong with the idea and would talk to some merchant in town and get me some boring job that I wasn’t in charge of. No way. This was all my own idea and I’d do it all by myself.

I was going to be a female Horatio Alger character.

Door-to-Door Sales

So I sent off for the catalogue of stationery. I don’t remember if you had to send the company any money up front, but I actually don’t think you did. And when the catalogue came in the mail, my parents were flabbergasted. They hid their doubts well and were very supportive. They even gave me hints about where people lived who would likely buy and places where they wouldn’t. Of course had we still lived in the city, I doubt they would have been so supportive of me knocking on strangers’ doors. The people were mostly strangers to me who lived along Main and Water and Railroad Streets (the three 1-mile-long north/south streets in town) . But between Mom, Dad, Grandma and Aunt Sarah–there were no strangers.

The fact that everyone knew everybody probably made it more difficult for Mother to grin and bear this crazy undertaking of door-to-door sales by her young daughter. Mother had a sense of propriety and no doubt worried that people would think she was sending me out to slave away selling things because the family couldn’t afford to raise their family. Shades of David Copperfield! Definitely not good for the image she had of herself.

The Benefits

As it turned out, the company was legitimate. The goods arrived on time. The paper was cheap and the print not the best, but they weren’t the worst product I’ve ever seen, either. I was not overcharged or charged hidden fees. I actually made some money and opened my own savings account at the Killbuck Savings Bank. Although some people didn’t answer the door, or quickly closed the door, most were friendly and actually interested, in those pre-Amazon days, in ordering by mail. After all they were used to the Sears “Wish Book” and this was better because they could actually see and touch a sample AND they could get their name imprinted.

Some became regular customers. I counted up the money, purchased a money order, and sent it off. It wasn’t long until the big package arrived at the post office box we shared with grandma and I was delivering everyone’s cards and paper.

I learned so much. It included confidence in my ability to talk to anyone–even strangers. People taught me that they are generally interesting if you take an interest in them and have something they’d like to have. Since they had to pay in advance, they had to trust me. I, in return, had to show that I was dependable and knowledgeable about the product. Math was never my strong suit, but I did all the bookkeeping myself. It turned out to be very educational as well as rewarding.

I am not sure how long I stuck with door-to-door sales, or why I eventually quit. The business started in the summer time, and was still going when it was time for Christmas cards. I think I continued for more than a year, through two Christmases.

P.S.

And, as a side benefit, I learned to spell Badertscher, which came in handy when I had a blind date with the man who would become my husband. His aunt lived in my town and bought lots of name-imprinted stationery. Long before I met my husband-to-be, I had spent much time spelling out my best customer’s name: B-A-D-E-R-T-S-C-H-E-R.

We’ve always said that he married me because it was simpler than teaching someone to spell his name.

What was your first paying job? And what value did you get?

Vintage Restaurant Meatloaf

Hale’s Restaurant, Killbuck, Ohio

Hale’s Restaurant

Hale’s Restaurant stood on the corner of Main and Front Streets–the main intersection of Killbuck Ohio– when I was in school in Killbuck, Ohio. Recently on a Facebook group for present and former residents of that village,contributor “Tootzi” Snyder, shared a special recipe. Claude Hale, the owner of Hale’s restaurant had given his meatloaf recipe to her. Thank you, Tootzi for setting me out on this research and cooking adventure.

[Note: That is not Claude Hale in the photo above, but a person from the Danville fire department. Ironic when you read the history of the restaurant, which I outline below]

Vintage Meatloaf

Hale's Restaurant Vintage Meatloaf
Hale’s Restaurant Meatloaf naked


UPDATE March 2019: Although I cheated and served French Fries instead of mashed potatoes, I did have gravy on the meatloaf I made. Somehow I knew peas and mashed potatoes and gravy had to be part of the meal. Sure enough, the husband of a high school friend of mine posted on the Killbuck group:
The first meal that I had in Hales was meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy. $.70
The side dishes were : Peas,prunes, head lettuce, Apple sauce. cottage cheese and garden salad. [presumably, pick two. And can you imagine prunes on a restaurant menu today? As a side dish?]

Recipe hand written by Claude Hale, owner of the Hale’s Restaurant in Killbuck. Courtesy of Tootzi Snyder. NOTE: “Mango” is Northern Ohio lingo for bell pepper.


And about that “mango” in the recipe–remember it is Midwestern lingo for green pepper. Here’s a good explanation of how that word usage and confusion happened.

Anderson’s Restaurant

My grandmother and grandfather Guy and Vera Anderson (on the left in the picture at the top of the page) ran a restaurant in Killbuck, too. They started serving meals in the mid-1930’s and closed around 1945 when my grandfather began to have heart trouble. So naturally, I was curious to learn whether Hale’s restaurant came along afterwards to fill a void. Or was Hale’s a competitor to the Anderson’s Restaurant just down the street on Main? After all, I’m certain that Anderson’s also served meatloaf.

Hale’s Restaurant Timeline

After some Googling and reading newspaper articles from the period, I can present this history of Claude Hale and his restaurant. Alas, no menus or ads featuring meatloaf.

  • Prior to April 1940: A restaurant called Bob and Bud’s Restaurant operates in the landmark Killbuck building at the corner of Main and Front Streets. [I have no information about Bob and Bud’s, unfortunately.]
  • April 1940: Claude Hale movs from Akron when he buys an interest
    in Bob & Bud’s Restaurant in Killbuck from Fred Teisher . Robert Teischer remains as his partner and assists in operating the restaurant, which becomes Hale’s Restaurant.
  • March, 1943: World War II calls all able-bodied men and Claude Hale signs up to fight. He announces he will close Hale’s Restaurant. [Apparently Mr. Teischer had moved on.] This threatens to leave Killbuck with no restaurant for the first time in 50 years according to the Killbuck columnist for the Coshocton Tribune. [If that is true, the first restaurant in Killbuck started in the 1890s, which definitely was earlier than the Anderson’s restaurant, So whose was it?]
  • In 1943, Mrs Mayme Burton rescues the town when she starts serving meals at her place of business on North Main Street. She also operates a gasoline station and a grocery store. (Sounds just like the combos we have now with gas pumps, shopping and a fast food restaurant under one roof.)
  • 1946: When he returns from the war, Claude reopens the restaurant. In the Killbuck Gang Facebook page, Owen Mellor recalls Hale’s was open in 1946.
  • June, 1958: The newspaper reports that Mr. and Mrs. Claude Hale have repurchased the restaurant from Norman Crandall. I was not able to find a notice of the original sale to Crandall, so don’t know when that took place. As far as I know the restaurant continued to operate as Hale’s throughout the 50s.
  • December, 1967: The Coshocton Tribune announces that Claude Hale and his wife have sold their restaurant to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dobbins. (They sold the business but retained the building, which included apartments.)
  • December 1970: A devastating fire breaks out in the middle of the night. Despite the efforts of 75 fireman and twelve trucks, the restaurant and apartments above are destroyed.

A FIRE Reveals the History of the Building

Newspaper coverage of the fire brings the story back to my own family. A few months ago, I featured a photo of my great-great grandmother, Mary Morgan’s home on the corner of Main and Front Streets. The article on the fire includes speculation that the building was built before the turn of the century. I knew that, because my great-grandfather ‘Doc’ Stout started his first medical practice there when he married Mary’s daughter, Hattie.

Even more interesting, the article says that the building previously served as a dry goods store and a post office. That is all part of my family history. Mary Mogan’s first husband, Asahel Platt operated a dry goods store. I discovered that fact through the probate papers filed after his death. After her second husband, Jesse Morgan, disappeared from her life, Mary served from time to time as postmistress for Killbuck. 

All those activities, plus her business as a seamstress, took place in the same building that later housed Hale’s restaurant. You can clearly see the similarity with the picture of Hale’s restaurant above.

Mary Morgan's house
Mary Morgan’s Killbuck house with Doc Stout office on right. Circa 1880

So much for the history of the Hale’s Restaurant. How about a slice of restaurant meatloaf? Claude Hale’s recipe obviously serves a lot more people than you might at home. In the notes on the recipe, I tell you how easy it is to convert this to 1/3 the size.

Also, this recipe is pretty basic. If you want to try one with a little more pizazz, see my own meatloaf recipe. I believe the use of tomato paste or sauce or catsup probably derives from the Anderson’s Restaurant recipe. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (Although I may add more eggs to the Anderson Recipe next time, because I really liked the texture of Hale’s meatloaf.

Hale's Restaurant meatloaf
Print

Hale’s Restaurant Meatloaf

This is a vintage, mid-century restaurant recipe for a no-frills meatloaf, juicy and flavorful.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, meatloaf, vintage recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 36 slices

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs ground beef
  • 3 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb onion chopped fine
  • 3 cups cracker meal
  • 1 mango (green bell pepper) chopped fine
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 bunch celery chopped fine or 3 tbsp celery seed

Instructions

  • Beat eggs. Mix all ingredients, pack in pan and bake 3 and 1/2 hours. (temperature not given, but for such a long baking time, probably 325)

Notes

This is the full restaurant-sized recipe as written by the restaurant owner.  I made 1/3 the amount and it made an 8″ loaf pan plus a mini loaf pan. Alternatively, it would fill a 9″ loaf pan.
The recipe is easy to divided in thirds.  Just remember that 1/3 a Tablespoon is 1 teaspoon, so don’t overdo the pepper.
Several people on first seeing this recipe thought it was too many eggs, but I found the eggs and cracker meal balanced perfectly with the ground beef for a very good texture.
You can serve it with a brown gravy (mix 3 tbsp melted butter and 3 tbsp flour, and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups beef broth depending on how thick you want the gravy.)  For an authentic mid-century restaurant meal, serve with mashed potatoes and canned peas and a lettuce salad.
 

Will and Maude Stout in Happier Days

Will and Maude Stout did not always fight. Perhaps Maude doesn’t look terribly happy in these childhood photos, but it is heart warming to see that they traveled together with their spouses and individually they knew how to have a good time.

Will and Maude Stout

Will and Maude Stout, circa 1877

Will and Maud Stout

Will M. Stout and Mary (Maude) Stout, May, 1881

The three siblings were together, presumably in New York City in 1900 or 1901.  Here you see the three siblings on the right hand side and the two spouses on the left. Maude looks so sweet in this picture compared to her youthful pictures, and her later reputation.

Vera (center) had graduated high school In May 1899 when she was sent to New York to go to secretarial school and live with her brother Will. The school did not last long, as she was listed on the 1900 census as living at home with her parents.  However, her brother Will, was also at home in Killbuck on June 4 when the census was taken. Perhaps they both returned to New York that month, because surely Will and Jean were married by the time this picture was taken.

At any rate, this beautiful photograph captures what was probably the most joyful time in the lives of all five of them.

The Stout siblings and spouses

Jean Stout, Vera Stout, Maude Stout Bartlett, Carlos Bartlett and Will Stout 1900 or 1901 in New York City

Will and his wife Jean even traveled with Maude and Carlos. Here is a fading tintype from Niagara Falls. It is speckly because I enhanced as much as possible.  Will  and Jean  married in 1900 and Carlos and Maude married in 1898, and the photo was presumably taken not long after Will and Jean’s marriage. I think this photo is interesting because I believe it is taken in a photographer’s studio with the quartet posed against a painted background.

 

Stout visit Niagara Falls

Jean and Bill M. Stout, Maude and Carlos Bartlett at Niagara Falls Circa 1905

And just for fun, here are a couple more vacation pictures–these on the beach.

This picture of Maude Stout Bartlett might have been taken on her honeymoon.  I have not concrete information, but this must be Florida, and her bathing dress indicates very late 1800s or early 1900s.

Maude Stout Bartlett

Maude Stout Bartlett at beach in Florida Circa 1898 (Honeymoon?)

And here are Will and Jean Stout at the beach –probably close to New York City–with a group of friends.  Jean wrote on the back that the photo was taken by Mr. Benedict. There is a couple named Benedict in the photo of Bill and Jean’s dinner party in New York City, which I showed on this post.    Someone has circled Will in the back row and Jean in the next row down.

The other thing that intrigues me about this photograph– besides the wonderful bathing costumes–I wonder who the children are.  For sure one of the girls in the front row must be Jean’s daughter from her first marriage. Which one, I wonder?  I have no other  photos that show her, so would love to know.  In case you know her, I’m looking for  children or grandchildren of Margaret Rogers (born Oct. 1893) Owens. She married in December 1916. Her husband’s name: Temple Hubert Owens. They lived in New Jersey, but in 1952 lived in Georgia. Her husband died and was buried in Earlville New York in 1957, but I do not have information about her death. Can you help?

Will and Jean Stout at beach

Will and Jean Stout at beach with friends

Now you know that Will and Maude Stout did know how to have fun!