Sylvania–Then and Now–5442 S. Main Street

by Gayleen Gindy

This feature house was built in 1915 while the property was owned by Calistia Crandall. George and Calistia Crandall purchased three parcels along the east side of Main Street in 1899. They lived in a home that they built at 5460 Main St. at the time. Mr. Crandall died in 1911, so our subject home was built after he passed away. Here are the recorded property owners:

  • 1899 – Calistia A. Crandall
  • 1915 – House was built
  • 1924 – Greely D. and Anna Ackerman
  • 1938 – Anna Ackerman 2/3; Betty Lou, Lilia Jean and Arla Mae Ackerman 1/3
  • 1938 – Olen J. and Gertrude M. Ackland
  • 1945 – Gertrude Mabel Ackland
  • 1955 – William H. and Mary Alice Tillotson
  • 1962 – Mary Alyce Tillotson
  • 1990 – Phillip William Tillotson

Calistia was renting out this home when the 1920 census was taken, and then she sold the home in 1924 to the Ackermans.

In 1911, Greely Ackerman married Anna Southward and they lived in Toledo until in 1920 when they were renting a home in Sylvania. Greely is listed as 32 years old and employed as an assembler at a metal wheel company. Anna was 25 years old and their daughter Doris was 5 years old. Their daughter Doris died in September of 1920 at the age of 6 years. They had three more daughters after that, including Betty, Lila and Arla. 

In October 1926 the Ackermans obtained a building permit to build a new 20-foot by 22-foot  garage at 5442 Main St. The 1930 census listed the Ackermans living in this home as follows: Greely Ackerman – owned home valued at $3,000 – 41 years old – employed as a die maker at a stamping company; Anna Ackerman – wife – 34 years; Betty L. Ackerman – daughter – 6 years; Lila J. Ackerman – daughter – 5 years; Arla M. Ackerman – daughter – 3 years. 

Greely Ackerman died in 1932 at the age of 44 years. His obituary notice said they had been living at 1323 Waite Ave. in Toledo at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife, Anna, and three daughters. It wasn’t until 1938 that this home was transferred to his wife and daughters. That same year they sold this Sylvania home to Olen and Gertrude Ackland. 

In the 1940 census, the Acklands were listed renting a home at 1233 Mulberry St. in Toledo. He was 38 years old and employed as a clerk at the U.S. Post Office. His wife, Gertrude, was 39 years old and their children living at home were Arthur – 19 years old; Joann – 9 years old; Judith – 7 years old; Susan – 2 years old. 

When the 1940 census was taken Wade and Alice Woodward were listed renting this Main Street home. He was 53 years old and employed as a laborer at a cement company. Alice was 42 years old and also living at home was their son Charles – 20 years old – attendant at a gas station; daughter Zita – 15 years old; and daughter Maureen Fleig – 18 years old – married. In 1941 when Olen Ackland completed his World War II registration card, he listed his address as 5442 S. Main St.  He was 40 years old and employed by the U.S. Post Office – Railway Mail Service Commission. 

In 1945, this home, and the home to the north, transferred into Gertrude Mable Ackland’s name and she continued to own our subject home for the next 10 years. She sold the home in 1955 to William and Mary Tillotson. William Tillotson married Mary Alyce Grissom in May of 1941 in Webster Groves, St. Louis, Missouri. According to the announcement she was a graduate of Dexter high school in Dexter, Missouri, and for the past year had been employed as a nurse in Oakland Park, Glendale, Missouri, while Mr. Tillotson was a traveling representative for the Davey Tree Expert Company of Kent, Ohio. In June of 1942, he enlisted in the Army during World War II, serving until November of 1945. In 1955 they came to Sylvania and purchased this home. William died in 1961 at the age of 52 years. His obituary notice said he had been living at 5442 Main St. and was a tree surgeon for the Davey Tree Expert Co., for 28 years, with the last 14 years in the Toledo area. He was survived by his wife, Mary Alyce; daughter Patricia; sons Phillip and Jeffrey. By 1962 the home was transferred to his wife. She continued to live in the home until she passed away in 1988. 

In 1990 the home was transferred to her son Phillip and he still owns it today. In March of 1998, Jeff Tillotson obtained a building permit to build a 20-foot by 24-foot garage addition to the home. 

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