The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid


Inclusive Dates: 1934-1981, Bulk Dates: 1958-1971



Size: approx. 3 1/2  lin. ft.

Provenance: Received from John W. Yager on September 25, 1996.


Access: open

Related Collections:  Carl and Jacqueline Zerner and Family Association of Two Toledos, 1981 – 1988, MSS-119


Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.


Completed By: Emma Jackson, February 1997

Reformatted by: Arjun Sabharwal, July 2010


Biographical Sketch


John W. Yager, former Mayor of Toledo, was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1920. Yager graduated from the old DeVilbiss High School, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1942. During World War II, he served three years in the South Pacific as a marine. Yager returned home and graduated from The University of Michigan with a Law Degree in 1948, returning to Toledo, Ohio to practice law. Yager rejoined the marines during the Korean War. Yager married the former Dorothy Merki. They had two children, John and Julia. (See: "Familiar Shadows," The Toledo Blade 2/5/56. Local History department, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library)


In 1955, John Yager, a Democrat, was elected to a Toledo City Council seat on his first ballot. Then in 1957, while serving as Vice-president and Trust Officer for the former First National Bank of Toledo and practicing as an attorney, Yager was elected the forty-fourth Mayor of the City of Toledo, becoming the only mayor to ever serve in two wars. He had defeated long-time Republican incumbent Ollie Czelustra by a 5 to 4 vote, during a restructuring vote of the Toledo City Council. Yager served one term as Mayor from 1957-1959. (See: "Yager Elected Mayor, Czelustra Given 2nd Spot as Party Lines Dissolve," The Toledo Blade 12/3/57. Local History Department, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library)


During Yager's tenure as Mayor of Toledo, Dr. Williard Smith of the University of Toledo, Dr. William S. Carlson, then president of the University of Toledo and Russell Brown became interested in renewing the Sister City relationship between Toledo, Spain and Toledo, Ohio that had once flourished prior to the Spanish Civil War in 1936. With the assistance of Mayor Yager, the Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain was reborn.


John W. Yager was elected chairman of the Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain in 1966. The highlight of his tenure was the Russell G.C. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund, a scholarship dedicated to the memory of the committee's first president, Russell G. C. Brown. Prior to his death in 1965, Brown envisioned bringing students from Toledo's Sister City in Spain for a year of study at the University of Toledo. (See: Scrapbook #2, Russell G. C. Brown, Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain, n.d.)


Yager spearheaded the fundraising for the all expense paid scholarship project. In order to raise the money, the Committee agreed to sponsor the American premiere of the movie El Greco, a motion picture directed by and starring Mel Ferrar, which commemorated the life of the famous Spanish artist. The premiere was a success. It raised over $4,000 for the scholarship fund. Maria Moreno was the first recipient of the Russell G. C. Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund. (See: Scrapbook #2, Story of a Long Friendship, n.d.)


The El Greco motion picture premier remains one of the most successful social events in Toledo history. The scholarship continues to furnish students from Toledo, Spain with an opportunity to study at the University of Toledo. (See: Scrapbook #2, Story of a Long Friendship, n. d.)


For the commemoration of the Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain Fortieth Anniversary in 1971, the local committee presented Toledo, Spain with a Toledo, Ohio built Jeep painted with the colors of the Spanish flags. Yager was very instrumental in organizing that project.


John W. Yager was chairman from 1966-1971. He remains an active member of the Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain, now called the Association of Two Toledos.





Scope and Content Note


            The John W. Yager Association of Two Toledos Collection contains four series. These series comprise the following: Printed Materials; Audio Materials; Artifacts and Scrapbook series.


The Printed Material Series contains: programs that commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the sister city relationship between Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain. The publication section of Printed Materials is composed of a "Blockhouse 1933, "(University of Toledo yearbook); "Toledo," a book dedicated to the history and sites of Toledo, Spain and 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz" (Box-1)


"Musica Recuerdo de Toledo," and "Postcards from Spain," are the two 45 RPMs which comprise the Audio Materials Series. (Box-l)


The Artifacts Series consists of mementos and souvenirs: a set of pesetas (Spanish coins), a silver ceremonial letter opener, ceremonial gold and silver overlay swords and Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain buttons.(Box l-2) This series also includes two knights and armor.


The last series of this collection is the Scrapbooks Series. The John W. Yager Association of Two Toledos is comprised of five scrapbooks. All of the scrapbooks contain photographs and news clippings dealing with the Two Toledos, Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain. Scrapbook #1, "The Tale of Two Cities,” describes the history and the founding of the relationship between the two Toledos. Scrapbook #2, "The Story of The Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain," gives detailed accounts of how the relationship between the two Toledos was renewed after the Spanish Civil War and World War II. (See Oversize area)



Box-Folder Inventory

(No folder listings available for collections over 10ft.)








Printed Materials: Programs

"50th Anniversario Hermandad, (yellow) + (7) invitations by "El Comite"



"The 1933 Blockhouse"


"The Burial of Count Orgaz"




Audio Materials: (45 RPM)

"Musica Recuerdo de Toledo"


"Postcard from Toledo"



"Pesetas, " (2)1, (2)5, (2)25, (3)50, (2)100 (Spanish Coins)


"C.U.T Felt Banner"


"Ceremonial Letter Opener" (Silver)


"Ceremonial Gold and Silver Overlay Swords" (3)


"Toledo, Ohio/ Toledo, Spain"



"Scrapbook #1:The Tale of Two Cities" ^


"Scrapbook #2: The Story of The Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain" ^


"Scrapbook #3:Annual Dinners" ^


"Sister Cities: Toledo, Espana , Toledo, Ohio" ^


"Miscellaneous Scrapbook" ^




"Armadura, " knight and armor (arm broken) with sword on a marble base (23cmh x6.5 w cm)


"Armadura, " knight and armor upon a black wooden horse in armor with red felt and orange tassels on a wooden base with gold felt trimmings (33cm h x 33cm w)





R-4 = Range 4

* = oversize cabinet, drawer__

^ = oversize area

** = locked file cabinet









Last Updated: 6/27/22