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Opening Wick vault reveals even more

Sunday, July 2, 2017

I had the great chance and luck to bump into a new book about Youngstown’s Wick family written by Lillian Reynolds Reeher of Grove City.

A story I wrote about it ran in The Vindicator a couple of weeks ago.

Lillian found the childhood scrapbooks of Mary Wick – daughter of James Lippincott Wick, a leading Youngstown industrialist who ran Falcon Bronze Co. and was a top civic activist for much of the 20th century. With his wife, Clare, they championed many city and Valley organizations that remain vital still today, including Youngstown College (now Youngstown State University), Mill Creek Park Board of Trustees, Youngstown Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Mahoning Valley Historical Society and more.

Mary Wick’s scrapbooks were left to be discovered at a flea market by a stranger – Lillian – who just happened to be a historian and writer.

“I feel I was meant to find them,” said Lillian.

Sharing the news of Lillian’s book launched a flood of emails to me that I want to share.

Of the many stories we get to publish in the Vindy, we’ve learned that nostalgic items of any kind are instant wins with readers. The new Wick book was no exception.

Here you go:

•••

I’ve always been interested in local history from the local millionaire industrialist families.

My great-uncle lived on the corner of Fifth and Crandall.

My friend owned the mansion on Loganway that was built by Hitchcock – he of one of the big steel mills.

The Vindy did an article years ago about the sundial on the property which I sent copies to my family in California.

I have a great uncle in Los Angeles, who is in his 90s and keeps up on local reading. He recalls all the big names from when he attended and graduated Ursuline in the 1930s. He will get a kick out of this journal.

•••

Most of Mary Wick’s contemporaries are likely long gone, my mother among them.

Mom knew all the Wicks, including Mary, as they all attended The Rayen School together.

As adults, they continued to keep in touch through mutual friends & reunions on the North Side. My mother grew up on Alameda, the youngest of four children born in 1918 to L.B. & Mary Happer Grindlay.

Her oldest brother was the renowned Dr. John H. Grindlay, once a surgeon in the Mayo Clinic.

North Siders had a club called the North Hill Study Club. But to this day, I don’t know much about it.

Mary Wick may have been a member, but I can’t vouch for that. It might be worth exploring...

•••

My aunt was the RN for the Owsley family and my uncle was the caretaker for the estate. They lived on the estate off of highway 304.

I often spent summers there. They were related to the Arms and the Wick families.

As a child, I spent time with the Owsley children and went to their grandmother’s home – now The Doris Burdman Home – to swim.

I have very fond memories of all of them. Mr. Owsley was president of McKelvey department store.

•••

I grew up in Columbiana, lived in Youngstown for years and now am in Baltimore.

I have been fascinated with the barons of the early past century for years since working in the former home of one Judge Ford and having my first apartment on Indiana Avenue in the former home of T. A. Woodman just off Wick Park.

•••

I am a Mahoning Valley history enthusiast. I possess a few items I inherited from my dad and will turn them over to The Tyler History Museum soon. I love to write also and have written a few stories on Youngstown’s past. I am part of the last generation to witness old Youngstown and want to preserve its history for future generations. Thank you for writing such a great article.

•••

The above items from Vindy readers are neat in that they take the opening of one vault by us and voluntarily open more.

In fact, the first email I received about this story was from reader Ann Kurz, and she said:

“Dear Todd – You are going to get quite a fair amount of feedback on today’s article – well done.”

She was right.

When I wrote about Lillian and her Wick book a few weeks back, we were still putting together a book sale plan. We now have one.

If you want to acquire a copy of “Her Name Was Mary Wick,” it’s done simply by making a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown.

Email me, and I will give you the specifics.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at tfranko@vindy.com. He blogs, too, on Vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.