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Photograph of the East Side of High Street in Worthington, Ohio, Circa 1944 from the collections of the Worthington Historical Society (WHS) may be used for educational purposes as long as it is not altered in any way and proper credit is given: "Courtesy of the Worthington Historical Society, Worthington, OH." Prior written permission of the WHS is required for any other use of Photograph of the East Side of High Street in Worthington, Ohio, Circa 1944. Contact WHS at firstname.lastname@example.org to request permission.
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It was created in 1944.
Worthington Historical Society is the Contributor.
This circa 1944 streetscape shows the east side of High Street between the Village Green on the north side and the corner of E. New England on the south. At this time—the tail end of the Great Depression—businesses in this central Worthington block were small and moved or closed frequently.
High Street has changed considerably since then. Some of the buildings in this photo were demolished in the 1960s, and other remaining structures are barely recognizable today. As you view the photo, it may be easiest to orient yourself by following the rooflines of the various buildings.
The Bonnell building (The one-story building with the arched entryway on the left.)
The information given to the Worthington Historical Society when this photo was acquired describes this simply as “Dr. Bonnell.”
The Bonnell medical practice faced High Street and the southeast corner of the village green (696 High Street in Worthington city directories). The building shared a wall with several other several other businesses attached on the south side, but the structure was commonly referred to as the Bonnell Building.
Dr. George Bonnell, Sr., M.D., practiced medicine at this location from 1919 until his retirement in 1957. Dr. Bonnell’s son, George Bonnell, Jr., M.D., briefly joined his father’s practice in 1940 until he departed to serve in World War II. Major Bonnell was a physician in the army, first at army hospitals in the U.S., then in New Guinea, and Leyte in the Philippines. He rejoined his father’s practice in 1946. The younger Dr. Bonnell may have been overseas at the time this photo was taken.
The building and connected house (a corner of the house roof is visible on the photo’s far left) were associated with the medical profession for more than a century. The site belonged first to Dr. Orville Johnson (1822-1896), whose barn is still stands behind the house and office building. The house, which faces the village green, was built in 1906. Dr. Arthur A.B. McConagha bought the property and enlarged the dwelling for use as a private hospital. Dr. McConagha sold the practice and the buildings to Dr. Bonnell, Sr., around 1919. At the time this photo was taken, Dr. Bonnell, Sr., had his practice in the front office area behind the arched entry. Dr. George Bonnell, Jr., practiced medicine in the same space until his retirement in 1975.
Worthington Savings Bank (The center and south sections of the Bonnell Building)
In 1943, Worthington Savings Bank, which occupied the south end of the Bonnell Building, expanded into the middle portion of what had previously been a furniture store owned by Elmer Snouffer. By the time this photo was taken, the bank and Dr. Bonnell’s practice occupied the entire building. The Worthington Savings Bank sign can be seen over the arched window on the right side of the building. Worthington Savings Bank was established in 1892. Worthington Savings Bank merged with Ohio State Savings Bank in 1968.
Although it is not visible in this photo, a tall black water tower—a local landmark—was located behind the bank. The tower had stood on the site since about 1912. It was removed around 1969.
Eicher’s Insurance (Small one-story building with a dark mansard roof next to Worthington Savings Bank)
This small building with a picture window onto High Street housed the Russell Eicher insurance agency. Russell Eicher taught industrial arts in the Youngstown schools for 14 years before moving with his family to Worthington in 1928. He launched his insurance agency at this location, which was numbered 680 High Street at the time, in 1931. His wife joined him at the office daily as his secretary for more than 20 years. The Eichers were active in community activities, especially the Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge. This building no longer exists.
Hardware/Red & White Grocery (The two-story building with the large awning just south of Eicher’s Insurance.)
The information given to the Worthington Historical Society when the photo was acquired describes this simply as Auld [sic] Hardware.
At the time this photo was taken, two businesses occupied this building: a hardware store on the north side and a Red & White Grocery on the south side.
A.L. Johnson operated a hardware store in this location for 22 years, before selling the business to Martin Shindle in late 1944. Mr. Shindle ran a dealership selling dairy equipment and supplies, along with poultry and other animal feed, from the building as well as continuing the hardware business. Joe Ault purchased the store in January 1948. A photo taken in 1948 for the Worthington News shows an “Ault Hardware” sign in the window. According to a December 30, 1954, story in The Worthington News, this building had been used as a hardware store since 1901, although the structure itself dates back to the 19th century when it was owned by the Snow family. “A descendent of John Snow had a drug store here at one time. Captain William Pinney used it for a grocery business after the forty-sixth regiment returned from the Civil War,” according to the News.
Tom Lemley owned the Red & White Grocery from 1939 to 1957. In the 1940s, the Lemleys lived in the second-floor apartment above the businesses below. Red & White Groceries were independent
stores located in small towns. The Red & White Corporation distributed Red & White brand products, which were sold in their stores. Worthington’s Red & White Grocery faced competition from both the Home Market, just two doors to the south, and the Kroger grocery across the street on the west side of High Street.
In the 1940s, the second floor of this building served as an apartment for the Lemley family, “the well-known proprietors of Lemley’s Market,” according to The Worthington News. In 1949, the Eicher family, whose Eicher Insurance business was located in the building next door, moved into the apartment.
This building no longer exists.
The Fuller/Harding building (The tall two-story building with two windows on the second floor and a white façade on the ground floor)
The information given to the Worthington Historical Society when the photo was acquired describes this simply as “shoe store.” In fact, this building appears to have hosted many small businesses over the years, with more frequent changes during the Great Depression. Around the time this photo was taken, the building was sold by the widow of W. W. Fuller, a prominent businessman in Worthington until his death in 1941. Dr. Warren G. Harding purchased the building in 1944, where it continued to house a variety of operations. Several restaurants, including Conklin’s, occupied part of the building around this time, as did an Isaly’s ice cream store and an ever changing rotation of beauty salons. Beginning In 1914 George Waitley ran an antiques store and shoe repair shop in the building, until moving the store across High Street sometime in the 1930s. Beginning in 1948, a shoe store for children also occupied the site. Known as McLeod and Wilson, and, later, McLeod’s Junior Footwear, the store would check the fit of children’s shoes by x-raying their feet.
This building no longer exists.
The strip of High Street between the Bonnell Building and what was formerly the Fuller/Harding building has changed beyond recognition in the decades since 1944. In 1962, the Eicher Insurance building, the former hardware and grocery, and the Fuller/Harding building disappeared to re-emerge as a restaurant at 666 High Street and a parking lot for the adjacent Worthington Savings Bank. The 666 High Street building has housed a series of restaurants ever since. Norma’s Restaurant was the first in that location, and was a local meeting place for many years. The 666 High Street building was also referred to by The Worthington News as the “new Harding building” at the time of construction. The local architectural firm Lawrence & Snouffer designed the building and had their office in the office wing in the rear.
A decade later, Lawrence & Snouffer Architects designed a new two-story building for Ohio State Bank (formerly Worthington Savings Bank) at 688 High Street in the spot between the Bonnell Building and the restaurant. Around this time, the Lawrence and Snouffer firm moved their office to the old barn located behind the Bonnell Building. Both the new restaurant building and the new bank building remain essentially the same as they did when first built, although the tenants of both have changed with time.
The Home Market (two-story building with three windows on the second floor, 660 High Street)
Although the Bachelor family closed the Home Market grocery in 1986 after 57 years in business, the building’s façade remains remarkably unchanged since this photo was taken in the mid-1940s. The Home Market was a family grocery run by Clyde Bachelor and his son David, who joined him in 1953. With a loyal customer base that lasted several generations, The Home Market survived the Great Depression, perhaps helped by The Worthington News’s frequent and effusive praise. This is from the front page, June 7, 1934, “Due to their policy of carrying the best available merchandise, fair and honest dealing, courteous treatment and a prompt delivery system, they have built up an unusually large patronage from the citizens of Worthington and surrounding community.” If there was any doubt of customer loyalty, the community responded vigorously when, in 1984, it seemed that the Home Market was going to lose its lease on short notice because the building owners were selling it to a G. D. Ritzy’s Luxury Grill and Ice Creams. The potential loss of the market—and a fast food operation in the middle of downtown Worthington—brought a boisterous crowd of more than 400 Home Market supporters to an Architectural Review Board hearing concerning G.D. Ritzy’s application for restaurant signage. Within two weeks Ritzy’s had withdrawn its proposal and the Architectural Review Board resolved to develop a zoning plan that would prevent franchises locating downtown.
When the building was remodeled in 1993, the signatures of Home Market employees—about 200 of local kids and adults—still remained on the basement walls marking their rite of passage as new employees.
The Suburban Building (the one-story building just south of the Home Market, 656 High Street)
This building retains much of its original appearance with a classical entryway of pillars and pediment—suggestive of its origin as a bank. The Suburban Savings and Loan Company, incorporated in 1922, opened this building in 1927, with The Worthington News describing it as a “splendid new structure” that “adds much to the appearance of Worthington’s main thoroughfare.” The information given to the Worthington Historical Society when the photo was acquired identifies this building simply as “bank,” but by the mid-1940s when this photo was taken, the bank was gone. State regulators determined that the bank was in “an unsafe and unsound condition”: it was liquidated in 1939. W.W. Fuller, owner of the Fuller Building, was one of the bank’s board of directors. Despite the bank’s collapse, the building did not stand empty. By 1926, Buell’s Dry Goods store occupied the north side of the building, and was still in business by 1947. During the 1930s, Earl Snouffer operated a billiards parlor and bowling alley in the basement during winter months and various businesses occupied available office spaces on the first floor.
Northeast corner of High Street and East New England Avenue
At the time this photo was taken, the Suburban Building formed the south end of this block of buildings, as seen by the clear view of the north side of the Masonic building across New England Avenue to the south. The Worthington Historical Society has included “Heil Ford Garage” In the caption. Until 1934, this “empty” corner was occupied by the Welling family home. The large 19th- century house was home to various businesses, including a sandwich shop and a barber shop, in the early 1930s before it was demolished in 1934. In 1927, the Worthington Motor Sales Company, a Ford automobile dealership, purchased the Welling property, providing the business with a deep lot that fronted 26 East New England and stretched north more than 130 feet into the middle of the block. The Worthington Motor Sales Company was in business by 1925, with Hugh Buell, owner of Buell Dry Goods Store, in charge of the Service Department. Ed Heil, the owner of the dealership, offered a full line of Ford cars “at their display rooms on New England Avenue, some of the in the new colors,” according to a 1929 notice in the Worthington News. As evidenced by a photo in the December 15, 1949, edition of the Worthington News, a substantial garage faced New England Avenue by that date. In addition, Ed Heil opened a Sinclair service station on the corner of High and New England in 1934. In 1962 the dealership moved from its Worthington location to 5300 N. High Street, a lot just north of the School for the Blind. In 1973 the business changed its name to Jim Becker Ford. Becker was Ed Heil’s son-in-law.
Today, one more structure stands between the Suburban Building and the corner of High and East New England. In 1946 Bill Clark, a Chevrolet dealer, built a new concrete-block building adjoining the Suburban Building as a showroom for new Chevrolet cars, a service garage, and storage facility, making the corner the “automotive center of Worthington,” according to The Worthington News. At that time, the intersection of High and New England housed Worthington Motor Sales (Heil Ford), Clark Chevrolet, a Sohio Service Station, a Gulf Station, and Scott Motor Sales. Bill Clark sold his Chevrolet dealership to Mahlon Maxton in 1951.
You can find the original at Worthington Historical Society.
This file was reformatted digital in the format video/jpeg.
The Worthington Historical Society identification code is 97-G-178. The Worthington Memory identification code is whs0619.
The Worthington Historical Society identification code is 97-G-178.
The Worthington Memory identification code is whs0619.
This metadata record was human prepared by Worthington Libraries on May 26, 2022. It was last updated November 16, 2022.