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Published: Tuesday, 11/8/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Civic Hall of Fame adds 8 who aided community

Lasting contributions are noted in honor

BY CLAUDIA BOYD-BARRETT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Ask sisters Betsy Brady and Mary Fedderke what they learned from their late father, Samuel G. Carson, and they’re sure to burst into radiant smiles.

The former head of Toledo’s largest bank — known previously as Toledo Trust Co. and now KeyBank — and a dedicated area philanthropist, Mr. Carson taught his children the importance of giving back to the community, of not giving up in the face of obstacles, and of keeping a positive attitude no matter what.

“It’s part of our DNA,” said Ms. Brady, who today serves as board chairman for the Toledo Museum of Art.

“His approach was: We can do it and how will we do it?” added Ms. Fedderke, now director of institutional advancement for the Toledo Zoo. “He was always optimistic.”

On Monday, Mr. Carson’s legacy became officially noted in Toledo’s collective memory. At a ceremony at the Rotary Club of Toledo, Mr. Carson and seven other noteworthy locals became the latest inductees to the Toledo Civic Hall of Fame.

Those honored posthumously included a variety of Toledo’s top business and civic leaders whose contributions to the city have lingered long after their deaths.

“These individuals chose to help other people way past what other people would do,” Toledo Mayor Mike Bell said during introductory remarks at the downtown Park Inn hotel. “It makes me very proud to be a Toledoan.”

Now in its 15th year, the Toledo Civic Hall of Fame was started under former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner as a way to recognize worthy Toledoans who have died.

Candidates are chosen by an all-volunteer committee and can be nominated by anyone in the community. Plaques of the now 76 inductees are displayed in local history section of the main Toledo-Lucas County Library downtown.

Each inductee’s profile bursts with civic-minded activities.

In Mr. Carson’s case, the list includes volunteering for the Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Toledo Hospital and serving on the Ottawa Hills Board of Education and as president of the Community Chest of Greater Toledo and the United Appeal (now the United Way). Perhaps his biggest achievement, however, was as board chairman of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo where, according to his daughters, Mr. Carson worked to strengthen the organization by partnering with local schools. Mr. Carson died in 2008.

Also among the inductees is Margaret Anderson (1895-1983), a founding partner of The Andersons and the fourth member of the Anderson family to become part of the Civic Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Anderson fully embraced her role as wife and mother, even writing a manual titled “Raising a Family is a Pleasure.” She also participated in organizations ranging from the Women’s League to the chairmanship of the Women’s Division of the Community Chest Drive.

For the first time in the Hall of Fame’s history, two couples were among the inductees. Ward M. Canaday 1885-1976) and Mariam Canaday (1883-1974) were honored for numerous contributions.

Mr. Canaday, known as the “father of Jeep” for his role as president of Willys Overland Company, helped create the University of Toledo’s nuclear engineering department and served as president of the Friends of the UT library for 40 years.

Mrs. Canaday was among the founding members of the Friends for Music — now the Toledo Symphony — and headed the Toledo Greek War Relief during World War II. She also advocated for women’s rights as an active member of three local women’s groups.

The other couple, Conrad Jobst (1890-1957) and Caroline Jobst (1919-1993), provided long-lasting financial support to several local institutions including the Toledo Symphony, the Toledo Museum of Art, and Toledo Hospital. Mr. Jobst, a mechanical engineer, created numerous inventions including an automatic brush-making machine. After inheriting and selling her husband’s company, Mrs. Jobst made sure the money was channeled into Toledo organizations.

Also inducted Monday were Gordon Jeffery (1901-1978), a former Lucas County clerk of courts who was vice president of the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo and a director of the Ohio division of the American Cancer Society, and Noah Swayne (1847-1922), a pioneer and champion of Toledo baseball who built the city’s first state-of-the-art baseball field, known as Swayne Field.

Toledo Mud Hens historian John Husman said Mr. Swayne was the “father of Toledo baseball” and much more.

“He was a very successful business guy and did very well for himself,” Mr. Husman remarked. “But he also did so much for the community and others.”

Contact Claudia Boyd-Barrett at: cbarrett@theblade.com or 419-724-6272.



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