Sylvania–Then and Now–6826 Maplewood Avenue

by Gayleen Gindy

The next house that is 100 years or older is the house on Lot No. 20 of Burnham’s Addition subdivision laid out in 1901 by Henry and Celestia Burnham. The house on this lot was constructed in 1917 while still owned by Delia Cosgrove. She was the wife of Dr. T. Taylor Cosgrove and they lived around the corner on Phillips Avenue. In 1918 they moved and lived the rest of their lives in the home down the street at 6754 Maplewood Ave., which I already wrote about a couple of months ago. After the Cosgroves had this home built they sold it in 1921 to the Smiths. The list of owners is recorded as follows:

1921 – Sylvester S. and Harriett I. Smith
1929 – Sylvester S. Smith
1929 – Roy G. Becker
1934 – Lucy Becker
1978 – Roy G. Becker
1981 – Richard and Sara Hively
1989 – Albert and Cheryl Jackson
2003 – Patrick E. Kollars, et al.
2012 – Brian and Julie Kaser

Back in the farming days it was very common in Sylvania for a couple to farm all their married lives, raise their family to adulthood, and then in retirement sell their farm, or turn it over to their children. Then they wouldmove into the “village” to live out the rest of their retired lives. This was the case with Sylvester and Harriett (Mason) Smith. They were married in 1871 and had four children: Mina – 1872; Charles – 1874; Blanche – 1876; and Mary Maude – 1877. Records show that in1874 they purchased their first acreage of farm land in the southwestern portion of Sylvania Township, although they lived in Wood County during this time. Then, in 1886, they purchased more land in Sylvania Township and at that time, moved here and farmed this land until they retired in 1921.

At the 1920 census Mr. and Mrs. Smith were still living on their farmland on Central Avenue and listed as retired. He was 73 years old and she was listed as 66 years old. During his lifetime, while living in Sylvania, Sylvester Smith was very involved in local government and was elected as a Sylvania Township Trustee, Justice of the Peace and Sylvania Township School Board member, among other positions. In 1921, they purchased this home on Maplewood Avenue and lived out the rest of their lives here. She died in 1925 and he died in 1929.
Their daughter Blanche married George Becker. They had one child while married, and named him George LeRoy Becker, but Blanche died giving birth to him. At that time the Smiths took care of their grandson, who they called LeRoy. Four years later George Becker, who was already their son-in-law, married their youngest daughter Mary Maude Smith, and they went on to have many children. In the meantime, young LeRoy stayed with his grandparents and is found living with them at age 6 at the 1900 census, and age 16 at the 1910 census. He was working on the family farm for his grandfather during this time.
LeRoy was married in 1913 to Lucy Utz. At the 1920 census they were living on Central Avenue in Sylvania Township with their two daughters Ariel and Evelyn. He was listed as a farmer and owning his farm. In 1929 after his grandfather died. LeRoy, or Roy as he became known, acquired this home on Maplewood Avenue, and he and his wife proceeded to live here for the next 52 years, raising their children Ariel, Evelyn and Roy S. Becker.
Lucy Becker died in 1978 at the age of 84 years and Roy Becker died in 1980 at 86 years old. His obituary notice said that he had worked as a millwright for the Chevrolet Transmission plant for 20 years, retiring in 1960. We all remember their son Roy “Bud” Becker as a teacher at Burnham High School and coach of basketball and tennis teams. He became an assistant principal and then principal at Sylvania High School, and then principal of Northview High School until retiring in 1984 after more than 30 years in the Sylvania School System. We also all remember their daughters Ariel and Evelyn who each married Edinger brothers. They all lived on Erie Street. Remember!!
In 1981 this house was sold from the Becker family name to Richard and Sara Hively. They owned it for eight years until they purchased a home on Parkwood Boulevard in Sylvania in 1989, which they still own today.
A review of the Suburban Directories from 1989 through 2020 shows that the next three property owners lived in this home while they owned it.

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