Sylvania–Then and Now–6742 Maplewood Avenue

by Gayleen Gindy

Skipping the next two houses on Maplewood Avenue, because they are not 100 years old yet, the next house that is over 100 years old was built in 1902. When this house was built the property was owned by Mary Peak. She was the wife of Fred O. Peak. They were married in 1878 and had three children, but only one lived to adulthood, and her name was Blanche Peak. Mary died in 1905, and in 1909 Fred Peak was remarried to Belle Spenker. That same year Fred’s daughter, Blanche, was married to George Palmer. The owners of this house, according to county records, include:

•1902 ­– Mary E. Peak
•1905 – Frederick O. Peak
•1919 – Blanche Peak Palmer
•1919 – William W. Margaret Brint
•1921 – Kenneth T. & Hazel V. Cosgrove
•1931 – Kenneth T. Cosgrove
•1949 – Talbot H. & Mary E. Cooper
•1953 – Edward R. & Elouise B. Brown
•1966 – Raymond F. & Delphine M. Biedron
•1968 – David & Sharon L. Lindau
•1977 – John W. & Gail M. Dunn
•1985 – Eric F. & Suzanne L. Westberg
•1989 – Eric M. & Elizabeth L. Turin
•1992 to current – Kevin A. & Robin M. Armstrong

About the same time that Peak built this home he and John Crandall were operating a livery stable on the northeast corner of Main and Monroe, where Key Bank is today.
In the 1910 census the following were listed living in the home: Frederick Peak – head of household – 55 years – married twice – currently married one year – employed as a farmer working on his own account – owned home – free of mortgage; Belle Peak – wife – 35 years – married twice – currently married one year – two children born – two children still living; Roland Spenker – step-son – 12 years – single – attending school; Inez Spenker – step-daughter – 11 years – attending school.
In 1919, Fred Peak died and this house was willed to his daughter, Blanche, and she sold it that same year. Fred’s second wife and step-children were found renting a home on North Main Street in the 1920 census.

William and Margaret Brint purchased the home in 1919. They only owned the home for two years and sold it in 1921 to the Cosgroves. In the 1920 census, Kenneth and Hazel Cosgrove were already living in this home. Kenneth was listed as 29 years old, employed as a physician in general practice. His wife Hazel was listed as 30 years old, and his two children are listed as Betty J. Cosgrove – 3 years old, and Kenneth B. Cosgrove – one-year-old.

Dr. Kenneth Cosgrove was the fourth and last generation of Cosgrove physicians. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather had been physicians before him in Sylvania. Kenneth started his career with offices on the second floor of what we call the J & G’s building today. He later had offices at 6623 Maplewood Ave. He grew up in Sylvania living in the old home that used to be located on the NW corner of Summit and Maplewood. He then attended college, obtained his medical degree, and in 1914 he married Hazel V. Blair in Mercer, Pennsylvania and brought her to Sylvania. He served as a doctor in Sylvania for 52 years.
Dr. Cosgrove was elected to serve on the Sylvania School Board from 1916 through 1918, then as Mayor of Sylvania from 1918 through 1921 and then served two years on Sylvania Village Council in 1924 and 1925. During the Depression years Dr. Cosgrove provided medical services to the poor residents of Sylvania as well.

In March of 1926, their son Kenneth Blair Cooper died at the age of seven years old. Family records said that Dr. Cosgrove rocked his son for two days and nights before he died in his father’s arms. In October of 1926, a building permit was issued to construct a 20 x 22-foot garage, behind this house, with Louis Coutchure as the builder.
The Cosgroves were found living here in the 1930 and 1940 census with their two daughters. In 1933, a building permit was issued to K.T. Cosgrove for E.C. Holt and George Thompson to remove the old fireplace mantel and construct a new face.
The Cosgroves lived here until 1948 when they constructed and moved into their new home at 6853 Eleanor Court in Sylvania, which Dr. Cosgrove and his brother Maynard Cosgrove designed. They sold this house on Maplewood in 1949 to Talbot H. & Mary E. Cooper.
Talbot and Mary Cooper lived here from 1949 until 1953. He worked as a foreman for the Doehler Jarvis Corp. for 38 years, retiring in 1972 according to his obituary notice in The Blade on April 21, 1995. This notice also reported that his wife Mary survived him at that time.
In 1953, the Brown’s purchased this house. Edward Brown and Eloise Creque were married in 1937 in Wood County. In 1938, they purchased a home at 5351 South Main Street which they owned until 1950. I was unable to determine where they lived from 1950 until 1953 when they purchased our subject home. They owned this home from 1953 through 1966. Edward and Eloise had the following children: Margaret, Robert, Edward, Raymond, Kenneth and Thomas Brown. In 1964 the Browns purchased the home at 5851 Central Park Drive in Sylvania. The 1964 and 1965 Suburban Directories showed that this home on Maplewood was vacant for those two years until 1966 when they sold it. According to Eloise Brown’s obituary in 1988, she was the past president of the Sylvania Democratic Club and was very active in the Woman’s Relief Corps in Sylvania. Edward Brown’s obituary notice in 1993 said he was a top local and national official of the UAW and was one of many Toledoans who helped organize and strengthen UAW locals in Ford, GM and Chrysler plants and dozens of auto parts companies.
In 1966, after the house sat vacant for two years, the Browns sold this home to Raymond and Delphine Biedron. Directories indicate that they lived in the home for the two years they owned it.
The next owners were the Lindaus from 1968 to 1977. David Lindau was a pharmacist in Sylvania at the Lindau Drug Store, which his father started in 1945 at 5645 Main Street. David graduated from Burnham High School in Sylvania in 1954 and from Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 1958. He worked as a partner in his family’s drug store until he died in 1994 at just 58 years old. He also volunteered for a number of years on the Sylvania Township Fire Department during the 1960s, working his way up to a lieutenant. He was also active in many of Sylvania’s civic groups. Also living in the home were their sons, Steven and Matthew, and daughter, Laura. They sold this house in 1977 after purchasing a home on Angleview Court in Sylvania.
In 1977, John and Gail Dunn purchased this home and lived here until 1985. John was employed as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and then 20 years as an engineer with Owens Corning Fiberglass in Toledo. He and his wife Gail then traveled the world buying and selling antiques.
Eric and Suzanne Westberg owned and lived here from 1985 through 1989. They came here from New Jersey and returned to New Jersey after selling this house. Suzanne worked for a short time in the offices of the Sylvania Township Fire Department, covering for me while I was on maternity leave in March of 1986.
Eric and Elizabeth Turin were the next to own this home, from 1989 to 1992. They moved to Sylvania from Ottawa Hills, where they owned a home on Bexford Place, just before purchasing this house. After selling this house in 1992 they moved to Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
The current owners, Kevin and Robin Armstrong, purchased this home in 1992 and have lived here since that time.
Focusing on just the property where the farmhouse and farm buildings are the following are the recorded owners:
Sept 2, 1835 – John S. Leonardson and wife – Federal land grant
April 19, 1865 – Francis Little – E ¼ of SW ¼ and W ¼ of SE ¼ = 80 acres
Feb. 20, 1866 – Thomas and Mary Garry 80 acres
May 21, 1869- John W. Jerome – 80 acres
May 18, 1906 – Heirs of J.W. Jerome – 80 acres
May 18, 1906 – Lovina Jerome – 80 acres
May 28, 1906 – Charles F. & Helen M. Dewey – 80 acres
March 4, 1910 – Samuel I. & Margaret Wyant – 80 acres
Oct. 15, 1915 – William N. Smith – purchased the 80 acres, plus another 20 acres
June 8, 1925 – Floyd C. Smith (son of William) – 100 acres
Aug. 4 1978 – Robert C. Smith (son of Floyd) .94 aces split off for farm house
Oct. 2, 1985 – Robert C. & Else M. Smith
May 12, 2003 – Else M. Smith
Dec, 9, 2003 – Else M. Smith and Robert A. Smith (son of Robert C. & Else Andersen Smith)
March 30, 2005 – Robert A. Smith
The Smith family has documented every building that was on the property over the years (past and present), and all of the additions and architectural design information on this home. I would love to share all that info with you, but there just isn’t enough space here.

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