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Canton historically has always considered William McKinley its most important personage and the era of his national political importance a high point in its history. However, McKinley died in 1901 and Canton passed into a new era characterized by industrial growth which began at the time of World War I, and accelerated through the 1920's before faltering with the Great Depression. Nearly all of Canton's important industries were established by 1920 and they were home town owned and financed. Most of them started from humble beginnings and their success was due to the vision, energy and dedication to hard work on the part of their founders and their associates.

    By the time property in the Ridgewood allotment went on the market in the 1920's, many of these men had the resources to purchase a lot and build a house. An amazingly complete summary of Canton's industrial development during this period can be told through the lives of the men who made their homes in Ridgewood.



The Canton-Massillon district has aptly been called the 'Cradle of Alloy Steel' for the first large scale production of alloy steel for automobiles, the first stainless steel heats for commercial application, and the first pressed structural steel were all developed here.    Employees, executives and owners of steel corporations that lived in the neighborhood included

George H. Charles (232 19th Street, N.W.) 
Homer Geissen (125 21st Street, N.W.) Assistant Treasurer
Shirley French (2129 Market Ave. North) President of Berger
John S. Remsen (334 19th Street, N.W.)
Theodore H. Bernhard (409 23rd Street, N.W.)
John W. Alden (806 24th Street, N.E.)
William E. Umstattd (227 21st Street, N.W.) 
John G. Obermeier (132 22nd Street, N.W.)
Henry and Robert Timken
Ralph L. Wilson (301 21st Street, N.W.)
Miss J. R. Murphy (407 22nd Street, N.W.)
Edwin H. Austin (1011 22nd Street, N.E.)
Robert Foulks (1011 24th Street, N.E.)
Mark Downes (1018 24th Street, N.E.)
Anthony Wilson (123 22nd Street, N.E.)
Harry Hutchinson (351 23rd Street, N.W.)
James H. Hughes (148 19th Street, N.W.)
Ralph T. Shipley (2233 University Ave., N.W.)
William H. Harris (255 21st Street, N.W.)
Darwin S. Luntz(231 19th Street, N.W)
Charles T. Luntz (179 23rd Street, N.W.)
Harold G. Smith (414 25th Street, N.W.) 
Harold S. Voges (814 24th Street, N.E.)


In 1950 there were seventeen stamping and enameling companies in the United States and two were in Canton. They represented 18% of the total U.S. production, making Canton the largest center for stamping and enameling production in the country.

CANTON STAMPING & ENAMELING COMPANY by 1930 was the largest producer of gray enameled ware in the world with a capacity of 100,000 pieces per day. Ridgewood residents included:

Ralph Staley (337 19th Street, N.W., 356 19th Street, N.W., 119 University Ave., N.W.)
He built 3 houses in Ridgewood as he advanced from factory superintendent to president!

Sherman Guental (124 21st Street N.W.) Secretary
Homer E. Black (317 19th Street, N.W.) Chairman of the Board
Harvey M. Coyle (427 23rd Street, N.W.)

REPUBLIC STAMPING AND ENAMELING produced 'old English gray ware' and a triple-coated white coat enameled ware. By 1920 output had reached 160,000 pieces per day and they were the largest enameled ware company in the country. Executives building in Ridgewood included:

Ralph M. Fawcett (234 19th Street, N.W.) President and Treasurer
Howard B. Fawcett (223 22nd Street, N.W.) Secretary
Parker M. Seymour (151 21st Street, N.W.) Vice President


Canton was the home of the two oldest and largest producers of water softeners and cleansers in the country.

THE CLIMALENE COMPANY was co-founded by Calvin E. Ball (201 19th Street, N.W.) and the company was guided for close to forty years by George H. Deuble (247 19th Street, N.W.) Its products included 'Climalene', 'Bowlene' and 'Softo'.

HYGIENIC PRODUCTS COMPANY is best known as the manufacturer of 'Sani-Flush' which they began to manufacture using the first automatic packaging machine in 1911. Key management personnel included:

Robert E. Whippy (335 21st Street, N.W.)
Lester C. Roderick (318 23rd Street, N.W.)


Stark County's rubber companies differed from the giants headquartered in Akron in that many did not produce for the automobile market but rather specialty items.

CANTON RUBBER COMPANY produced electricians' gloves, surgeons' gloves and other molded rubber goods. Ralph M. Fawcett (234 19th Street, N.W.) was president from 1927 until World War II rubber restrictions forced the company to suspend operations.

WILSON RUBBER COMPANY was incorporated in 1916 to produce surgeons', linemen's and acid-proof gloves, and within eight years of its founding it was the world's largest producer of rubber gloves. They originated the pure gum centered and the curved finger in linemen's gloves and in 1931 received the first license for the dipping of liquid latex to manufacture latex rubber gloves. Ridgewood residents included:

Fred J. Wilson (240 21st Street, N.W.) Founder, General Manager, and President
Wendell Herbruck (145 19th Street, N.W.) Vice President and Secretary

MONARCH RUBBER COMPANY manufactured solid industrial tires and other automotive rubber. Ridgewood residents were:

Robert J. Himmelright (408 23rd Street, N.W.) President
Ralph M. Fawcett (234 19th Street, N.W.) Vice President
Parker M. Seymour (151 21st Street, N.W.) Secretary

TRIANGLE TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY manufactured automotive tires. Curtis A. Hanner (350 21st Street, N.W.) was secretary of the company.


In the 1950's Canton was the second largest provision center exceeded only by Cincinnati. The major companies all had their beginnings before World War I.

CANTON PROVISION COMPANY marketing its products under the 'Pioneer' trade name has been managed by three generations of the Wade family. Ralph J. Wade (421 22nd Street, N.W.) was Vice President and Sales Manager.


Leo Lavin (356 23rd Street, N.W.) Vice President
Arthur Lavin (256 21st Street, N.W.) Treasurer


One of the strengths of Canton's industries is its diversity. Following are other companies with Ridgewood ties.

WEBER DENTAL COMPANY produced the first modern fountain cuspidor and the first dental unit which organized all the various gadgets required in a dental office into a unit. R. Verne Mitchell (145 19th Street, N.W.) was the son-in-law of the founder and became a director in 1921 and president in 1930.

THE HOOVER COMPANY was the world's largest vacuum cleaner producer. Residents of  Ridgewood included:

John Frank Hattersley (310 23rd Street, N.W.) President from 1951-1953
Herbert J. Hoover, Jr. (123 22nd Street, N.E.) President
Floyd M. Rhed (2316 Market Avenue, North)
Lloyd Taylor (344 25th Street, N.W.)
William F. Bailey (326 19th Street, N.W.)
Henry C. Hettelsater (326 21st Street, N.W.)
George M. Plover (2111 Market Avenue, North)

DIEBOLD SAFE & LOCK COMPANY is one of Canton's oldest companies, having been founded in 1859. Adolph J. Roos (408 19th Street, N.W.) spent his entire career with Diebold and was elected president in 1931.

UNION METAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY  manufactured Ridgewood's beautiful ornamental light standards. William A. Porterfield (325 22nd Street N.W.) was employed by Union Metal.

U.S. QUARRY TILE (SPARTEK, INC.) was led by Davis A. Cable (245 21st Street, N.W.) to become one of the greatest producers of floor and wall tile in the country. Their tile has been used in Rockefeller Center, the Panama Canal, the T.V.A. and the Hoover Dam, and many major tunnels. His home was a showcase for his company's products.  Even the roof was tile.

GEORGE C. REITER COMPANY was for many years the country's dominant manufacturer of gongs and bells used in warning and signal systems for schools, factories and mines. The business was operated by Mrs. Helen Reiter (2226 Harvard Ave. N.W.) from 1927 to 1949.




There were also many other smaller companies in Canton,  some of which supplied the larger industrial concerns and others that manufactured a limited number of products for local or regional distribution. Kittoe Boiler and Tank Company, B. C. Holwick Company, Canton Culvert & Silo Company, Mahoney Sash & Door Company, and the Ney Manufacturing Company are only a few of the companies that fall into this category. Their contributions to Canton industrial growth and development in the 1920's is significant.

Canton's industrial growth was reflected in the growth of the community as a whole and in the proliferation of mercantile establishments to serve the community. Like the industrial concerns they were largely home town owned and managed. Many of the owners of these businesses chose Ridgewood in which to make their homes.

William B. Erlanger (2210 Market Ave. North) President and Founder
Bernard Erlanger (2130 Market Ave. North) President
George Ostrov (1011 24th Street, N.E.)
Jerome Blate (260 19th Street, N.W.)

Harry C. Zollinger (336 19th Street, N.W.)

Harry S. Mann (236 23rd Street, N.W.)
Lawrence Mann (206 21st Street, N.W.)
Philip S. Mann (2410 Market Ave. North)

David L. Livingston (147 21st Street, N.W.)

Simon & Rhea Fischgrund (2303 University Ave., N.W.)

E. J. Heffelman (336 19th Street, N.W.)

Homer C. Deuble (805 22nd Street, N.E.)

Milton L. Hirschheimer (200 19th Street, N.W.)

Clarence Lefkovitz (134 21st Street, N.W.)

George C. Willie (236 22nd Street, N.W.) and (2404 University Avenue, N.W.)

James B. Rose (415 19th Street, N.W.)

In addition to the industrial concerns and the merchants, many other business interests found in our community had ties to Ridgewood. These included real estate companies and agencies, insurance agencies, lumber companies, contractors, auto agencies and transportation companies.  Bankers, lawyers and physicians also made their homes in Ridgewood.

Ridgewood is very proud to have been home to two very prominent educators.  John H. Lehman (140 19th Street, N.W.) was superintendent of schools at the turn of the century. Lehman Junior High School, which has served the neighborhood for fifty years, was named for him. Jesse G. Mason (414 22nd Street, N.W.) was superintendent of schools from 1928 to 1947,  and had the longest administration in the history of the Canton City Schools. Jesse G. Mason Elementary School serves the children in part of the Ridgewood neighborhood.