Sylvania–Then and Now–5231 Main Street

by Gayleen Gindy

In the last article, we reviewed one of the homes that Bernard Clark built in 1907, north of his father’s home on the west side of South Main Street, just north of Convent Blvd. In this article, we will visit the second home that Clark built in 1907. For purposes of reminding everyone of the original Owen Clark home and Bernard Clark home, which were once just south of our subject home, photos are provided. These two homes were demolished in the years indicated.
The recorded owners for this property are listed as follows:

  • 1905 – Bernard Clark
  • 1914 – Benjamin Franklin & Blanche Fallis
  • 1965 – Blanche Fallis
  • 1974 – Bernard & Helen Ashner
  • 1978 – Arnold D. & Elizabeth L. Lewis II
  • 1979 – Daniel & LuAnn Lewandowski
  • 1985 – Daniel Lewandowski
  • 1992 – Brenda S. Childers, et al.

The first family to purchase our subject home from Clark was Benjamin Franklin and Blanche Fallis in 1914. Frank Fallis, as he was known, and Blanche Cherry were married on June 18, 1908. In 1914 they moved here with their daughter Elizabeth, who was three years old. In that same year, Arthur was born and then came Helen and Florence.
In 1917 when Fallis completed his World War I registration card his occupation was listed as an electrician for the Toledo & Western Railway in Sylvania. He reported on this card that he had a wife named Blanche, and three children. This would have been Elizabeth, Arthur and Helen.
In the 1920 census they were listed living in the home and he was listed as Frank B. Fallis, 33 years old and employed as a lineman for the electric railroad. Blanche was 31 years old. Living at home were their children Elizabeth – 9 years old; Arthur – 6 years old; Helen – 4 years old; and Florence – 7 months.
In July of 1928, a building permit was issued to B.F. Fallis for the construction of an 18 x 20-foot garage at an estimated cost to the owner of $100.

By the 1930 census, Frank and Blanche were still living in this home. He was listed as 43 years old, employed as a line foreman for the electric company. The home was valued at $3,000. His wife Blanche was 41 years old. Living at home was Arthur – son – 16 years old; Helen – daughter – 14 years old; Florence – daughter – 10 years old.
In 1931 their daughter Florence died at the age of 12 years old. Her obituary notice appeared in the Sylvania Sentinel and read: Florence C. Fallis, beloved daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Fallis, at her home, Friday, October 23rd at 12:30 a.m., aged 12 years. She is survived by her parents, two sisters, two brothers, her grandmother, Mrs. A.J. Cherry and grandfather J.C. Fallis. Funeral services were held by Reeb Funeral Home from the home on S. Main Street Sunday. Interment was in Ravine Cemetery.
In June of 1938, a building permit was issued to B.F. Fallis allowing him to add a 14 x 20-foot addition to the garage at an estimated cost to the owner of $75. It was about this time that Fallis converted the garage into a small home for rental purposes.
As of the 1940 census, Frank and Blanche Fallis were still living here. Frank was 53 years old and employed as a line foreman for the electric light company. Blanche was 51 years old. Living at home was their son John – 14 years old. This census also listed Homer and Minerva Gallup renting a home at this same address for $10 per month in the “back.” Homer was listed as 52 years old and employed as owner and manager of a gas and oil filling station. Minerva was listed as 56 years old.
In 1942 when Fallis completed his World War II registration card he listed himself as 55 years old, married to Blanche, and his employer was Toledo Edison Company. His home address was 5231 S. Main Street.
In 1946 B.F. Fallis was issued a building permit allowing him to tear down the front porch and rebuild it with a new floor and sidewalls, using the same construction. Suburban Directories starting with 1957 show Mrs. Thelma McConnell renting the home behind this home from the Fallis family through 1969.
Frank and Blanche continued to own this home until he died in 1964 and she died in 1973. His obituary notice said that he was 77 years old when he died. An article about Frank Fallis was published in the June 2, 1955, Sentinel Herald saying that he was retiring after 45 years of service to the Toledo Edison Company. Blanche’s obituary notice in 1973 said that she was 85 years old, of 5231 South Main, and died in Montrie Country Care Center. They were both buried in Ravine Cemetery. In 1974 the home was sold after the Fallis family had owned it for 60 years.
In 1974 Bernard and Helen Ashner purchased the home and only owned it for four years before they divorced in 1978 and sold the home that same year. The 1974 and 1975 Suburban Directories show Mrs. Janice L. Otto living here. The 1975 directory shows the rear home vacant.
In 1978 Arnold D. and Elizabeth L. Lewis purchased the home and only owned it for one year. They sold it to Daniel and LuAnn Lewandowski in 1979. Daniel is shown graduating from Sylvania High School in 1968 and enlisting in the Army that same year. He was discharged in 1970 and re-enlisted the next day, and served until he was discharged in 1974. He is shown married three times, with LuAnn being his second wife. The home transferred into just his name in 1985, and he continued to own the home until 1992. He died in 2003 at the age of 53 years according to his obituary notice and had two children: Daniel and Dawn.
In 1992, Brenda Childers purchased the home and still owns it today. Marriage records indicate that she was married to David Kuntz in 1993. The 2017 Suburban Directory shows David and Brenda Kuntz living at this address.

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