The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo Records, 1920-2011


Size: 10 linear feet

Provenance: Received from the Ability Center of Greater Toledo, July 2004, May 2008, and July 2014


Access: Open

Collection Summary: The collection includes photographs, board minutes and administrative materials, fund raising material, programming material, publications, newspaper clippings, and awards. 


Subject(s): Disability History, Social Welfare


Related Collections:

Processing Note: 


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: Dan Wilkins, July 2004; revised by Kimberly Brownlee, November 2004; Tamara Jones, October 2009; and Brandi Sharlow, January 2010; reformatted and revised by Tamara Jones, June 2013; updated by Tamara Jones, July 2014

Historical Sketch


The Ability Center of Greater Toledo began its charter under the name Toledo Society for Crippled Children.  Born out of the national and international “Society for Crippled Children” movement founded by Edgar Allen, the Toledo Society for Crippled Children was part of a broad, nationwide Rotarian mission to develop facilities to aid in the care and treatment of children living with disabilities.

The history of the Toledo Society for Crippled Children began thirteen years prior to its founding in 1920. On Memorial Day, 1907, a streetcar accident in Elyria, Ohio injured 80 (many suffering traumatic amputations) and claimed the lives of nine, among them Homer Allen, son of prominent businessman and later Rotarian Edgar Allen. Because the lack of proper hospital services had led to the deaths of some of the victims, Edgar Allen began fundraising efforts to build Gates Memorial Hospital in Elyria the following year. Later, upon realizing the statewide lack of care available for children with disabilities, he worked to establish the Ohio Society for Crippled Children, of which the Toledo Society for Crippled Children was one of the first chapters.  Over time, the organization underwent several name changes, becoming known subsequently as Opportunity Home, Opportunity Kindergarten, and, prior to its present incarnation, Toledo Society for the Handicapped.  These changes in name, philosophy, and approach were driven by societal mores; treatments and terminology common to the time; community health needs; and attitudes toward people living with disabilities with regard to their assumed place in society.  Over its 80-year history, the agency has also functioned, in accordance with the needs and conscience of society, as a convalescent home for children with disabilities; a polio and tuberculosis center; a hospital; a school; and a social service agency.  Since 1990, the organization founded by Toledo Rotarians Wilbur Owen, A. M. Tillinghast, Lewis F. Smead, Charles Feilbach, and Louis Kern has functioned as a Center for Independent Living (CIL).

What follows is a transcript of a history written in March 1945 by the Crippled Children’s Committee of the Rotary Club of Toledo (this document can also be found in the collection). As it is a recollection of the time and vernacular, and historic in its own right, it has not been altered.


Opportunity Home:  Made Possible by Understanding People


The Toledo Society for Crippled Children owes its inception to Toledo Rotary, which has the distinction of being one of the first clubs in the world to pioneer in aiding crippled children, begun in 1916.

On November 19, 1920, Rotarians Charles Feilbach, Charles Hartmann and Wilber Owen were appointed a committee to draw articles of incorporation for a society to operate without profit for the benefit of crippled children. On December 10, 1920, The Toledo Society for Crippled Children was formed “for the purpose of charitable care and treatment of crippled or otherwise physically defective children and of adults requiring orthopedic treatment; to establish, conduct and maintain a home or hospital for said purposes; and to acquire, through donations and otherwise, and to won, all property and funds necessary or convenient therefore.”  As trustees of the new Society, Wilber Owen, A.M. Tillinghast, Dr. Lewis F. Smead, Charles Feilbach and Louie Kern were elected (as original incorporators) with Dr. Burt G. Chollett and Edward R. Kelsey.  These trustees, on February 7, 1921, elected the following officers:  Charles Feilbach, president; Burt G. Chollett, vice-president; and A.M. Tillinghast, secretary and treasurer.  All were active members of Toledo Rotary.       

And thus came into being, an idea and an ideal cherished by many thoughtful men and women of Toledo – to aid and care for crippled children regardless of race, creed or color.  A total of 44 Rotarians had joined the Society and signed its membership roster by July 1, 1921.

Rotarians Frank Mulholland and Ed Kelsey carried the message of the reasons for aiding crippled children throughout the country, and as a result many other Rotary Clubs became active participants in their communities.

For the next six years, 1921 to 1926 inclusive, the movement to aid crippled children gained momentum steadily in Toledo.  The Society gained new members and friends, while the Rotary Club joined with the Board of Education in establishing the School for Crippled Children now known as the Charles Feilbach School.  But the proposed “home or hospital” was still an unrealized goal, though the Society had been accumulating funds steadily for such a purpose.     

On May 1, 1927, Treasurer A.M. Tillinghast reported that its assets consisted of $17,311.60 in bonds, certificates and cash, and that it enjoyed the annual income from an additional $27,632.44 in bonds and savings accounts which were “earmarked” by the donors for the eventual use of the Society in acquiring a home or hospital.

Due to the interest of Wm. S. Walbridge, an honorary member of Toledo Rotary, the Society was selected by the executors of the will of Edward D. Libbey to receive $50,000.00 from the Libbey estate.  On May 18, 1927, a check for $50,000.00 was turned over to the Society by Charles J. Wilcox, James C. Blair and Charles A. Schmettau, Executors.

After many visits to other cities and considerable investigation of the problems involved in caring for youthful patients, the Society leased the property of the Old Ladies’ Home at Collingwood and Central Avenue.  Upon remodeling, this became the “hospital and home” for treating convalescent crippled children.  The opening of the Home on June 8, 1931 represented more than ten years of work and the co-operation of many individuals in and out of Rotary.

The facilities of the first Convalescent Home were soon taxed to the limit.  Within a year 45 patients were being cared for, with a waiting list of 11.  Every day baths, sun treatments and physical examinations were given by the nursing staff consisting of two full time therapists and one part-time therapist under the direction of Dr. Burt G. Chollett, home physician.  The Board of Education furnished three teachers, Miss Margaret Freund, Miss Wanita Gafner, and Miss Margaret Haas, so the education of the children might be continued during the many months of convalescence.  Many prominent physicians gave their support to the Home and its work.

Rotary contributed $3,000 a year for five years, 1932 to 1936 inclusive, from the Good Fellowship Fund, to meet the operating deficits of the Home.  A bequest of the late Charles Carroll of the Club, upon the approval of Mrs. Carroll, was turned over to the Society shortly after the Home was opened.

Through 1932 to 1936 the Home increased its services to crippled patients, and by 1935 plans were under way for erecting a permanent home designed specially for housing, treating and educating crippled children.  The experience gained in caring for several hundreds of boys and girls was a valuable asset in making these plans, also in selecting the site chosen for the new home, consisting of 9-1/4 acres on Central Avenue west of Monroe Street, which was purchased January 14, 1936 from the Board of Education.  The treasurer, A.M. Tillinghast, reported at that time that the Society held more than $125,000.00 in assets.

On March 27, 1937, under the leadership of Rotarians George C. Shepard (who succeeded the late Wm. S. Walbridge as president) and George Funck, campaign chairman, a campaign for funds to erect the new permanent home was inaugurated.  With the aid of some fifty civic leaders, both men and women, including many Rotarians, the campaign was successfully concluded, and the construction of the home began.  Over 1400 persons from all walks of life shared in making the home possible.  Many individual Rotarians were listed among the contributors.  Due to the good work of the volunteer solicitors, who gave unsparingly of their time and effort, the expenses of the campaign to the Society was less than 2-1/2%.

The Rotary Club of Toledo contributed $10,000.00 to the building fund, plus an additional $2,500.00 to apply against the first year’s operating deficit (Toledo Rotary as a club has contributed to the Society a total of $44,000.00, surely a fine record.)

The new Home, representing an investment in excess of $300,000, was completely paid for when it was occupied in 1938, but funds for operating it were low indeed.  Therefore, the directors of the Society, including many Rotarians, devoted their efforts to secure financial support through memberships, gifts and endowments so the Home – Hospital – School would not become a burden on the community.

The Ladies Auxiliary to the Society, which was formed in 1935, took over the responsibility of providing linens and furnishings for the hospital and clothing for the patients if needed.  In addition, they have undertaken the responsibility of the Society’s policy to maintain an interest in the patients after they leave the Home.  They have greatly increased the public understanding of the social and vocational needs of crippled children.

Until 1943 the financing of the Society was through the gifts of understanding people.  In that year the Society joined the Toledo Community War Chest (as a matter of war time co-operation), receiving $14,500.00 for 1943.  This contribution from the Community Chest was increased to $18,000.00 for 1944, and in 1945 will be $20,000.00.

In 1944 the Lucas County Chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, headed by Rotarian Kenton D. Keilholtz, contributed $5,000 in recognition of “the capable manner in which the Toledo Society has been handling numerous ‘polio’ cases”.  This amount was to apply upon the operating deficit for 1943.

The Society operates at a considerable deficit for the reason it follows the unusual policy of sharing in the cost of every patient.  During 1944, for example, actual cost per patient per day amounted to roughly $6.00.  The top rate to patients was $4.00 per day for those who could not pay.  The Society seeks to help families whose children are crippled and must be hospitalized for many months, rather than to place an impossible financial burden upon the family incomes.

On the medical board of the Society are outstanding Toledo doctors, among them Dr. Burt G. Chollett, Dr. A.L. Bershon (in service), Dr. Barney Hein, Dr. Berman Dunham, Dr. Paul Holmes, Dr. E.J. McCormick, Dr. Maurice Schnitker (in service) and many others are on the active medical staff.

Though more than fifty different types of crippling diseases have been handled, the work of the Home in caring for “polio” or infantile paralysis victims has been outstanding.  In the year of 1944, 151 of the total of 220 patients were “polio” cases.

The tasks performed by the medical staff and the Home personnel (ably assisted by splendid Red Cross volunteers) during last year’s polio epidemic were highly praised by a prominent surgeon who stated “I don’t know what this community would have done without your institution”.  The members of the Society may feel pride in the accomplishments of the Home, together with other agencies of the community, in meeting the polio emergency of 1944 so capably.

In September, 1944, the Society opened a fine Department of Physical Medicine, as part of a post-war planning program.  The services of this new Department are also open to outpatients.  “The practice of physical medicine includes the employment of the physical and other effective properties of light, heat, cold, water, electricity, massage and manipulation, exercise and mechanical devices in physical and occupational therapy.  It is a rapidly growing branch of medical practice” states the bulletin issued in December, 1944 by the Baruch Committee on Physical Medicine.

In this review of the history and development of the Toledo Society for Crippled Children and the “Opportunity Home” which it operates (but not the only project of the Society by any means) no attempt has been made to describe its splendid facilities.  These are shown in the booklet which will be distributed at the Rotary Meeting of March 5, 1945, when the program will be presented by the Crippled Children’s Committee.

Since its founding, the Society has had many Rotarians serving on its board.  At the present time, the five officers and fifteen of the thirty-two directors are members of Rotary.  Many other Rotarians take an active interest in the Society, and the opportunity for service is wide open to every Rotarian.  If YOU are not a member of the Society, and if your Rotary Ann is not a member of its splendid Auxiliary, the Society’s directors cordially invite you and your Rotary Ann to become members.  The membership fees are nominal, to as much as you wish to give.  The important thing is your ACTIVE PERSONAL SUPPORT in caring for crippled children.  In this great cause you will find a personal opportunity that challenges the best efforts of us all.

Developed by the Crippled Children’s Committee

Rotary Club of Toledo

March 2, 1945


Not long after the above writing, Opportunity Home’s Board of Directors was faced with philosophical and financial issues. The promise and subsequent creation of a vaccine for polio, the disability which represented the largest percentage of the facility’s population, forced the Board to discuss a new incarnation: an expanded rehabilitation hospital.

In Eastern Europe at the time, a nephew of Board President George Shephard befriended a former German soldier, Otto Kniffke, who was an injured prisoner. Mr. Kniffke worked as a mechanic at an Army camp. To aid his new friend, the nephew convinced TSCC to sponsor Mr. Kniffke and his wife Margaret for five years (at the time, Germans needed sponsors to immigrate to America). Kniffke came to America in April 1954 and began work as a full time maintenance worker at the Society. To express their gratitude, he and his wife gave over thirty years of service to the Society.

In 1956, Salk’s polio vaccine had all but eliminated new cases of polio, leaving TSCC few options for financial survival. They decided to convert to a hospital. Over the next four-and- a-half years, the Board and medical staff worked to evolve and find niche populations to serve, and later changed their name to Children’s Hospital of Toledo.  However, in 1963, after back-to-back financial losses, TSCC closed Children’s Hospital and sold the property to St. Anthony’s Orphanage.

In 1964, Opportunity Kindergarten began at Grove Patterson School in response to the Board’s desire to enlarge programming for educable “crippled and handicapped children” of pre-school age, including, in principle, a recreational program for children. The organization provided up to $2,500 per year for care and treatment of “handicapped” children 16 years of age or younger who were in need of medical or surgical care or hospitalization, including braces, wheelchairs, and special shoes.

On October 21, 1976, the Society name changed to the Toledo Society for the Handicapped (TSH).  In 1980, TSH moved to its current home at 5605 Monroe Street in Sylvania. From this location, TSH continued its mission, evolving to provide recreational programming, Camp Cricket, and many other opportunities for northwest Ohio’s citizens living with disabilities.

In 1990, Toledo Society for the Handicapped, under pressure from advocates and staff, changed its name to The Ability Center of Greater Toledo (ACT) due to negative connotations associated with the term “handicapped.”  This name change coincided with the programmatic and attitudinal transition in becoming a Center for Independent Living, part of a network of centers federally mandated to serve its community through the provision of four core services: Advocacy, Independent Living Skills Training, Peer Support, and Information and Referral.  

Today, ACT continues to grow and evolve.  Along with the education and empowerment of adults, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo continues the mission first defined by the initial group of Rotarians by operating Camp Cricket – a summer day camp for children living with and without disabilities – and by providing advocacy and support with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to children, their families, and schools in the northwest Ohio area. The Center has gained national and international prominence and respect as a strong supporter and powerful voice within the Disability Rights Movement. Its staff continues to secure grants and develop a series of “best practices,” which are disseminated across the nation. Many of the staff have received national recognition for the advocacy work they do. ACT continues to expand its horizons and influence, working closely with local government and partnering with The University of Toledo in the development of a Disability Studies Program. This partnership also includes the development of a Regional Disability Archive Project.


History of The Auxiliary to The Toledo Society for Crippled Children

(Source:  Auxiliary Program, 1956)


The Auxiliary was organized on July 15, 1935, with Mrs. Phillip Trost serving as its first president. Arrangements for this initial meeting were prepared on July 9, 1935, when Mrs. Trost, serving as Chairman, met with 19 women. This became the nucleus of the present Auxiliary, which continues to support the agency.



1. To serve as an auxiliary to the Toledo Society for Crippled Children.

2. To provide linens and furnishings for patients and staff, clothing for patients and to contribute in every possible way to the welfare and happiness of the patients in the home.

3. To provide informative programs regarding crippled children’s work for monthly meetings.

4. To spread an understanding of the social and vocational needs of crippled children and young people.

5. To keep in touch with former patients of the Home, and their progress.







Mrs. Phillip Trost

July 15, 1935 – February 1, 1938

Mrs. Gideon Spieker

February 1, 1938 – February 1, 1940

Mrs. C. Lowell Haskin

February 1, 1940 – February 1, 1942

Mrs. Robert Mikesell

February 1, 1942 – February 1, 1944

Mrs. L. Jay Gifford

February 1, 1944 – February 1, 1946

Mrs. Adolph F. Seubert

February 1, 1946 – February 1, 1948

Mrs. Louis G. Hill

February 1, 1948 – February 1, 1950

Mrs. Joseph B. Smith

February 1, 1950 – February 1, 1952

Mrs. Kenneth H. Cunningham

February 1, 1952 – February 1, 1953

Mrs. Wm. E. Fillmore

February 1, 1953 – February 1, 1954

Mrs. E. Y. Flanigan

February 1, 1954 – February 1, 1956

Individuals Important to the History of The Ability Center of Greater Toledo




Wilbur Owen

- Jan. 7, 1921

Charles Feilbach

Jan. 7, 1921 - 1930

William S. Walbridge

May 27, 1930 - November 23, 1935

Waldo Bowman (acting VP)

Dec. 1935 - February 13, 1937

George C. Shepard

February 13, 1937 - March 20,1955

Gerald P. Openlander

April 28, 1955 – 1974

Edward B. Wright, Jr.




Tom Dussell


Tom Daney

January 2000 – January 2001

Daniel Wilkins

January 2001 – January 2003

Dawn Christensen

January 2003 – January 2004






Mary Ferguson

- January 1943

Melissa Dailey

January 1943 –




Children’s Hospital of Toledo


Dr. Fred B. Hawkins


Dr. Gwyn H. Start


Dr. Arthur Dalton





Opportunity Kindergarten


Dorothea M. Shock





Toledo Society for the Handicapped


Robert Roberts, Executive Director

Edward B. Wright, Jr. President


Richard Gunden, Executive Director





The Ability Center of Greater Toledo


Richard Gunden, Executive Director


Tracy Justeson


Timothy J. Harrington



Scope and Content Note


This collection is arranged in seven series based on record type or subject.  These series include:  Photographs, Board Minutes and Administrative Materials, Fundraising, Programming, Publications, Newspaper Clippings, and Awards. 


Series 1:  Series 1 consists of photographs, slides, and negatives dating from 1937. These items, mostly 8” x 10” black and white photographs, capture life at the various facilities serving the Toledo Society for Crippled Children, and include images of the children, the staff, and activities.

The series is divided into three subseries: People; Activities, Events, and Programs; and Places and Things. The people subseries is further divided into photographs depicting classroom and school scenes, photographs of individuals, photographs of pairs and groups, and photographs of children during therapy sessions. The photographs in each folder are arranged chronologically, although there are several undated photographs as well.  The Activities, Events, and Programs subseries depicts a variety of scenes including Homecoming, parties, and protests. The folders are arranged alphabetically by type of activity or event. Places and Things is a small subseries consisting mostly of photographs of the organization’s facilities – including the Libbey House, former site of Opportunity Kindergarten and the Toledo Society for the Handicapped.

Slides and negatives are arranged alphabetically by subject and primarily focus on the construction of the Monroe Street facility in 1979 and the organization’s various activities, respectively.  There is also a miscellaneous section consisting of contact sheets that include both people and activities.

Additional photographs will be found scattered throughout the other series.


Series 2:  This series comprises administrative files, including correspondence, documentation regarding the Opportunity Home property, complete board and committee minutes, and other miscellaneous material documenting the administration of the organization. It has been divided into subseries based on each era or facet of the organization’s history: Toledo Society for Crippled Children, Opportunity Home, Children’s Hospital of Toledo, Toledo Society for the Handicapped, and Ability Center of Greater Toledo. Also included are miscellaneous administrative files that span multiple eras or otherwise cannot be directly attributed to a single incarnation of the organization.  Folders containing minutes also contain correspondence whose dates may fall outside the dates indicated in the folder list.       


Series 3:  Series 3 comprises information pertaining to fundraising for the various incarnations of Toledo Society for Crippled Children. This series offers insight into the expansion of Toledo Society for the Handicapped (TSH) and The Ability Center of Greater Toledo (ACT) in the 1980s and 1990s. Much of the documentation pertains to TSH’s desire for recognition and awareness within the community, along with its efforts to build its endowment.


Series 4:  Series 4 includes information pertaining to programming at the Ability Center of Greater Toledo. The files are categorized by core service area. This series contains materials associated with programming at the Center, including such long standing activities as CP Sports and Camp Cricket, as well as newer programming, such as the Youth Leadership Institute.


Series 5:  Series 5 consists of newsletters and miscellaneous publications, including annual reports, special event invitations, and posters.  These are grouped alphabetically by article or publication title (where applicable) and chronologically within publications. The publications reflect the faces and stories of those people the agency worked with and for, as well as its activities. They capture the human side of the agency’s mission.


Series 6:  Series 6 consists primarily of clippings from newspapers and newsletters reflecting events in the life of the agency, including social events, legal battles, and news of people served by the agency. These clippings show not only what the agency dealt with but also the emergence of new issues related to the disability rights movement.  The clippings are arranged by topic.  Most do not include dates.


Series 7:  Series 7 consists of awards and recognitions received by the Center. 


Folder Listing

Box Folder Item Description
Subseries A: People
1 1 Class/School Scenes, 1938-1939, 1950, 1964, n.d
1 2 Individuals, 1941, 1950s, 1984-1989, 1994, 1996, n.d.
1 3 Pairs and Groups, 1944-1995, n.d.
1 4 Therapy, 1937-1996
Subseries B: Activities, Events, and Programs
1 5 ADA Rally, Portside 1990
1 6 Columbus ADAPT Action 2000
1 7 Easter Party, April 6, 1950
1 8 Ed Roberts Information Center Opening 1999
1 9 Greyhound Protest March – Toledo 1987
1 10 Homecoming 1948
1 11 TSH Building Dedication 1980
1 12 Miscellaneous Activities and Events
Subseries C: Places and Things 
1 13 Libbey House (1963), Monroe St. (1977; before construction of new facility), Monroe St. Facility (n.d.; includes site plan), Van Fleet at Monroe St. facility (1986), Misc. Artwork (n.d.)
Subseries D: Miscellaneous 
1 14 Miscellaneous contact sheets
Subseries E: Slides
1 15 Ability Center van
1 16 Camp Cricket
1 17 Celebrity Taste-off
1 18 Ice skating
1 19 Junebug Clark Photoshoot
1 20 Monroe St. facility
1 21 Monroe St. facility – construction (1 of 2)
1 22 Monroe St. facility – construction (2 of 2)
1 23 Monroe St. facility – groundbreaking
1 24 Scottwood House
1 25 Sunshine Home
1 26 Unidentified people & events
Subseries F: Negatives
1 27 Board meeting, activities, Terry, December 1980
1 28 Camp
1 29 Camp Cricket, 1989
1 30 Cathy, September 1983
1 31 Dale Abel (staff)
1 32 Exercise testing, bus lift, Lowel, January 14, 1984
1 33 Family hobo dinner, October 12, 1980
1 34 Handicapped building, February 1, 1979
1 35 Handicapped summer camp, July 18, 1979
1 36 Head trauma
1 37 Humberstone, Wolford & Millie, June 1982
1 38 Ice skating, April 1983
1 39 Joyce, February 1981
1 40 Kids on the block at library, March 22, 1984
1 41 Klein gift, Jackie, Dan, November 1984
1 42 Membership Day, September 1982
1 43 New Games Day, September 11, 1983
1 44 Play rehearsal, October 5, 1983
1 45 Ramp, Lewis Ave., March 3, 1981
1 46 Sandy, April 1983
1 47 T.S.H.
1 48 Unidentified
1 49 Wheelchair race, unidentified
1 50 Women's Auxiliary, April 1985
Subseries A: Toledo Society for Crippled Children
1 51 Auxiliary to the Toledo Society for Crippled Children, 1955-56
1 52 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 12/10/1920 
1 53 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 7/8/1936
1 54 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 1/10/1950
1 55 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 2/9/1960-11/22/1963
1 56 Board of Trustees Annual Meeting Minutes, 2/11/1965-7/11/1974
1 57 Board of Trustees Minutes, 1/8/1942-12/19/1949
1 58 Board of Trustees Minutes, 6/16/1965, 10/1975-10/1976
1 59 Board of Trustees Minutes, December 1976-July 1977
1 60 Board of Trustees Resolutions, 3/28/1968 and 2/11/1970
1 61 Board of Trustees Special Meeting Minutes, 10/22/1964-7/3/1975 
1 62 Care & Treatment of the Handicapped Committee Minutes, April 14, 1961
1 63 Certificate of Continued Existence, State of Ohio, 1964
7 1 Code of Regulations 
7 2 Correspondence – Board Chair, 1962-63
7 3 Correspondence – Dedication of New Building, 1938
7 4 Correspondence – Gerald P. Openlander/AAMCO (1961-1977)
7 5 Correspondence – Robert Roberts, 1976
7 6 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 3/10/1964-4/23/1971
7 7 Executive Committee Minutes, 3/3/1960-2/10/1964
7 8 Executive Committee Minutes, 1/8/1976-3/31/1976 & 4/27/1977
7 9 Finance Committee Minutes, 3/11/1971-7/9/1975 
7 10 Finance Committee Minutes, 6/3/1976-7/14/1977 & 5/15/1984 (agenda only)
7 11 Inventories of Property, n.d.
7 12 Lease, Mortgage, Legal Paperwork on TSCC Property, 1963-1967
7 13 Liaison Committee Minutes, 11/10/1960-10/25/1961
7 14 Managing Members Committee Minutes, November 1975; April, July, & September 1976; & April 1977
7 15 Monroe St. Property, 1976
7 16 Nominating Committee Recommendations, February 23, 1967 and March 28, 1968
7 17 Planning & Efficiency Committee Minutes, 12/18/1959-3/2/1960
7 18 Publicity Committee Minutes, February & April 1958
2 5 Scottwood Ave. Property – Title Papers (includes will of Florence Scott Libbey)
7 19 Taxes – Easter Seal Society, 1971-1972
Subseries B: Opportunity Home
7 20 Appraisal, ca. 1963
2 2 Buyers Agreement, 1963
2 3 Documentation of Sale, 1963 
7 21 Medical Staff Agendas and Minutes, 11/5/1956-10/3/1960 (includes hospital)
7 22 Opportunity Home in Nationalite, October 1952  
7 23 Personnel Policy, 1955  
7 24 Public Announcement of Sale, 1963
Subseries C: Children’s Hospital of Toledo
7 25 Audit Committee Minutes, 2/24/1961-10/20/1961
7 26 Correspondence – Closing of Children’s Hospital, 1961
7 27 Correspondence – Frank M. Sutton, M.D., 1962-1963
7 28 Credentials Committee Minutes, 2/4/1957- 10/3/1960
7 29 Credentials Committee Minutes, 2/6/1961- 10/2/1961
7 30 Employees Seniority List, 1963
7 31 Executive Committee Minutes, 9/11/1957-6/8/1960
7 32 Executive Committee Minutes, 11/7/1960-12/4/1961
7 33 Liaison Committee Minutes, 12/19/1957-10/21/1959
7 34 Medical Staff, 3/1958-3/26/1960
7 35 Medical Staff – Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations 
7 36 Medical Staff – Meeting Attendance and Minutes, 1960-1962
7 37 Nominating Committee Minutes, 2/1/1958
7 38 Pharmacy Committee – Correspondence and Lists, 1959-1960
7 39 Surgical Advisory Committee Minutes, 3/10/1957-10/2/1959
Subseries D: Toledo Society for the Handicapped (TSH)
7 40 Annual Giving Committee End of the Year Report, 1987
7 41 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 10/21/1976; 9/15/1977-7/17/1980  
7 42 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 9/18/1980-8/19/1982
7 43 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 11/18/1982-1/19/1989
7 44 Building Committee Minutes,  8/9/1977-4/26/1979 
7 45 Building – Design, Proposal, Additions, & Furnishings, 1977, 1982-1997
7 46 Building – Plans, Receipts, Purchases, Designs, etc., 1988 
7 47 Building – Proposal, Committee, Plans, & Costs, 1978
7 48 Capital Campaign Steering Committee Minutes, 12/16/1986 & 12/23/1986
7 49 Consultants, 1983
7 50 Easter Seal – Correspondence, 1979
7 51 Easter Seal Society/Para Transit Program Articles of Incorporation, 1977 & 1986 
7 52 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 10/14/1977-8/14/1980; 10/9/1980
7 53 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 9/9/1982-7/31/1985 
7 54 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 8/22/1985-1/11/1989 
8 1 Executive Committee and Finance Committee Agendas and Minutes,   9/9/1980-8/17/1982
8 2 Executive Director’s Report, 1987-1988
8 3 Finance Committee Minutes, 9/8/1977-8/26/1980 
8 4 Finance Committee Minutes, 11/4/1982-11/10/1988
8 5 Financial Report, 1976-1977
8 6 Fund Raising Committee Agendas and Minutes, 3/27/1984-1/13/1987 
8 7 Hope Village Resolution, 1983 
8 8 Long-Range Fund Raising Committee Agendas and Minutes, 2/19/1985 & 3/28/1985
8 9 Long-Range Planning Committee Agendas and Minutes, 5/27/1983-11/1/1989
8 10 Long-Range Planning Committee End of the Year Report, 1987
8 11 Managing Members Agendas and Minutes, 11/17/1977- 9/18/1980
8 12 Managing Members Agendas and Minutes, 9/18/1980-11/20/1986 & 11/17/1988
8 13 Needs Assessments Reports, 1983, 1989
8 14 Nominating Committee Agendas and Minutes, 3/2/1982- 9/24/1985
8 15 Nominating Committee Agendas and Minutes, 11/8/1989-12/3/1997
8 16 Nominating Committee Minutes, 3/29/1977 & 4/20/1977
8 17 Personnel Committee Agendas and Minutes, 4/27/1982-3/14/1989
8 18 Personnel Committee Report, 1987
8 19 Planned Giving Committee Agendas and Minutes, 11/6/1986- 1/29/1987 
8 20 Planned Giving Committee Report, 1987
8 21 Program Committee Agendas and Minutes, 4/5/1983-11/13/1989 
8 22 Program Committee End of the Year Report, 1987
8 23 Property – Plans, Appraisal, & Remodel
8 24 Public Relations Committee Agendas and Minutes, 4/3/1984-3/10/1987
8 25 Public Relations Committee End of the Year Report, 1986-1987
8 26 Rehabilitation Center – Site plans, Invoices
2 4 Scottwood Ave. Property – Purchase Offer and Insurance Binder
8 27 Self-Evaluation of Compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
8 28 Special Events Committee Board Report, 1987 
8 29 Taxes – Paperwork, Correspondence, Legal Consultants
Subseries E: Ability Center of Greater Toledo (ACT) 
8 30 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 1/30/1989-5/21/1992 
8 31 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 7/16/1992-11/29/1995  
8 32 Board of Trustees Agendas and Minutes, 1/24/1996-12/3/1997 
8 33 Consumer Connection Newsletter, August 2000
8 34 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 2/1/1989 – 4/11/1991
8 35 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 5/1/1991 – 12/9/1992
8 36 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 1/13/1993-5/11/1994  
8 37 Executive Committee Agendas  and Minutes, 6/15/1994-12/14/1995 
9 1 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 12/21/1995- 1/15/1997 
9 2 Executive Committee Agendas and Minutes, 2/13/1997-12/30/1997 
9 3 Finance Committee Minutes, 2/10/1989 -2/19/1991
9 4 Finance Committee Minutes, 3/21/1991 -9/10/1997 
9 5 Greek Housing – Lawsuit, 1989-1991
9 6 Greek Housing – Legal Motions, Depositions, etc., 1989
10 1 Managing Members Agendas and Minutes, 11/19/1987- 11/29/1995
10 2 Managing Members Agendas and Minutes, 10/25/1996 – 11/4/1997
10 3 Steering Committee Agendas and Minutes, 2/15/1989 – 4/5/1989
10 4 Three Year Strategic Plan & Vision/Mission/Values Statement, October 2006 – September 2009
10 5 U.T.- Ability Center Relations and correspondence, 1990
10 6 U.T. Buildings – Accessibility for Disabled
Subseries F: Other Administrative Files 
10 7 Accommodation Guidelines for Buildings
10 8 Attendance Record of Active Medical Staff at Monthly Staff Meetings, 1958
10 9 Board of Trustees Annual Meeting Reports, 1974-1989, 1995
2 1 Cerebral Palsy Classrooms – Equipment Inventory, 1963
10 10 Correspondence – Gale F. Greulich, 2005
10 11 Easter Seals Recommended Uniform Bylaws for Local Service Members, n.d.
10 12 Executive Committee Procedures, Regulations, Officers, 1976-1977, n.d.
10 13 Executive Summary, “The Role of the Sheltered Workshops in the Rehabilitation of the Severely Handicapped,” July 1975
10 14 Financial Records, 1975-1976, 1978-1979
10 15 Fire and Electrical Information, 1976, 1979, 2000
10 16 “His story Goes Beyond the Well-known Facts.” Article in The Shield (Libbey-Owens-Ford publication), October-November 1975  
10 17 Irving Zola Curriculum Vitae, n.d.
10 18 Lawsuit- Common Pleas Civil Action, 1975
10 19 Legal/Business paperwork, forms, correspondence for TSCC property, 1963-1965, 1969, 1980
10 20 Ohio Centers for Independent Living – Agendas and Minutes, 11/12/1982- 1/9/1994
10 21 Ohio Centers for Independent Living – Alert System
10 22 Ohio Centers for Independent Living – By-Laws/Membership
10 23 Ohio Centers for Independent Living – General 
10 24 Ohio Centers for Independent Living – Roster
10 25 Ohio Centers for Independent Living – RSC Correspondence 
3 1 Annual Campaign, 1986
3 2 Annual Campaign, 1987
3 3 Annual Campaign, 1988
3 4 Capital Campaign, 1987
3 5 Capital Campaign, 1987, Correspondence
3 6 Capital Campaign, 1987, Memos
3 7 Capital Campaign, 1987, Miscellaneous
3 8 Capital Campaign, 1987, Steering Committee
3 9 “Communicating positive attitudes towards people with disabilities through sensitive terminology,” John Dattilo & Ralph W. Smith, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, First Quarter 1990
3 10 Easter Seal Campaign Costs, 1977
3 11 Fund Raising – Correspondence, 1976 – 1982 
3 12 Fund Raising – Grants, 1980 – 1984
3 13 Fund Raising – Miscellaneous, 1980 – 1984
3 14 Historical Timelines
3 15 Mock up of a brochure from artist, 1972
3 16 Opportunity Home brochure and slide, 1940
3 17 Otto Kniffke’s 30-Year Highlights, 1984
3 18 Receipts Sheet from 1978 Campaign
3 19 Services for children Information Sheet, 1973
3 20 Special Events – ADA Celebration, 1998
3 21 Special Events – Auxiliary Style Show, 1986
3 22 Special Events – Auxiliary Style Show, 1987
3 23 Special Events – Auxiliary Style Show, 1988
3 24 Special Events – Celebrating 70 Years, 1990 
10 26 Special Events- Dedication Committee/Open House, 1980
3 25 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1986
3 26 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1987 
3 27 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1987 
3 28 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1987, Photo
3 29 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1988 
3 30 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1988 
3 31 Special Events – Ice Cream Extravaganza, 1988, Photo
3 32 Special Events – Miscellaneous, 1986 – 1998
3 33 Special Events – Name Change Celebration, 1989
3 34 Special Events – PGA Tournament, 1986
3 35 Special Events – Rally by the River, 1987
3 36 Special Events – Rally by the River, 1988
3 37 Special Events – Rally by the River, 1989
3 38 Speech given to the Defiance Rotary, June 14, 1971 
3 39 Summary of ACT redesign conference data
3 40 Various Center Brochures
4 1 ADA Information, 1991-1999
4 2 Camp Cricket, 1980
4 3 Camp Cricket, 1985-1994
4 4 House Bill 215 – Ohio Personal Assistance Act, 1999
4 5 Independent Living Project, 1994
4 6 Maggie Shreve- IL history/philosophy workbook, n.d.
4 7 Managing Managed Care Info, 1996 
4 8 National Disability Rights material, n.d.
6 - Seventy-fifth Anniversary with Dave Dravecky
4 9 Traumatic Brain Injury Art Project, 1994 
4 10 Traumatic Brain Injury Art Project, 1994 
4 11 Traumatic Brain Injury Art Project, 1994, photographs
4 12 United Cerebral Palsy Games, 1982-1985
4 13 Youth Leadership Institute, 1999
4 14 Youth Leadership Institute, 1999 
4 15 Youth Leadership Institute, 1999 
10 27 “Access For All” disability building design book
4 16 ADA Implementation dates poster, 1991
4 17 Annual Report, Flower Hospital, 1957
4 18 Annual report to the Board of Trustees, Toledo Society for the Handicapped, Nov. 15, 1984
4 19 Brief history of Toledo Society for the Handicapped, Feb. 27, 1985
4 20 “Building Five Star Communities” 2010 Strategic Plan
4 21 Community Connections (online newsletter), December 2011
4 22 The Echo, 1937
4 23 Expansion of services. C. July, 1958
4 24 In Touch newsletter, 1979, Jan./Feb.
4 25 In Touch newsletter, 1980, Oct.
4 26 In Touch newsletter, 1981, Jan.-Feb., May-Aug. & Nov./Dec.
4 27 In Touch newsletter, 1982, Summer & Sept./Oct.
10 28 In Touch newsletter, 1983, Mar.-Apr.
4 28 In Touch newsletter, 1984, Mar.-June
4 29 In Touch newsletter, 1985, Mar./Apr., Sept./Oct., & n.d.
4 30 In Touch newsletter, 1986, July-Dec.
4 31 In Touch newsletter, 1987, Mar./Apr.
4 32 In Touch newsletter, 1988, Jan.-Apr.
4 33 In Touch newsletter, 1989, Nov./Dec.
4 34 In Touch newsletter, 1990, Aug./Sept.
10 29 In Touch newsletter, 1991, Apr.-May
10 30 In Touch newsletter, 1996, Spring
4 35 In Touch newsletter, 1998, Annual Campaign Special Edition
4 36 In Touch newsletter, 1999, Winter
10 31 In Touch newsletter, Winter 1999 – Spring 2000
4 37 Independent living skills brochures
10 32 Magazine/ TV articles, 1992-1998
4 38 Marketing Brochure for the Children’s Hospital, 1961
10 33 “Opportunity Home: Made Possible by Understanding People,” March 2, 1945
4 39 Publications, 1986
4 40 Publications, 1987
4 41 Publications, 1988
4 42 Publications, 1989
4 43 Publications, 1990
4 44 SILC Threads, 1998, Spring, Summer, & Autumn
4 45 SILC Threads, 1999, Winter/Spring & Summer
4 46 SILC Threads, 2000, Winter
4 47 SILC Threads, 2001, Summer & Winter
4 48 Toledo Rotary brochure, 1993
4 49 United Health Services annual report, 1987
10 34 Wags & Wheels newsletter, Spring/Summer 2014 and Spring/Fall 2015 (joint publication of The Ability Center and Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence)
4 50 World Institute on Disability, 1992
10 35 Miscellaneous Pamphlets and Brochures, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1989-1991, n.d.  
4 51 Ability Center of Toledo
4 52 Advocacy
4 53 Advocacy
4 54 Advocacy
4 55 Reverend Wade  Blank obituary
5 - Empowerment (3 ring binder)
5 - Empowerment (3 ring binder) 
4 56 Finkbeiner, Mayor Carty, comments re:  deaf at airport
4 57 Miscellaneous, 1980s
6 - Miscellaneous, 1990s
4 58 Obituaries, other
5 - Ohio Statehouse (3 ring binder)
4 59 Opportunity Home misc., 1938
4 60 People
5 - People First (3 ring binder) 
4 61 Programming articles
4 62 Roberts, Ed, interview, 1990
4 63 Roberts, Ed, obituary
4 64 Inclusive Education
4 65 University of Toledo fraternity house lawsuit
4 66 ADA and Homecare Advocacy articles
4 67 Kelly Dillery Trial
4 68 Transportation Advocacy articles
4 69 Employment – Housing
4 70 Independent Living articles 1989
4 71 Deaf Advocacy 
10 36 Newspaper Clippings – 1979-1980, 1989-1993, 1995, 1998
10 37 Newspaper Clippings – 2000-2001
10 38 Newspaper Clippings – n.d.
4 72 Physical Fitness and Recreations 1984
4 73 Support Groups
4 74 Local Human Interest Stories
4 75 Sight Center
4 76 Wheelchair Dancing 
2 - Disability Rights Advocate Award (never used), 2003
2 - Dorothea M. Shock Volunteer Award, 1994
2 - Ohio Rehabilitation Association Outstanding Organization Award, 1987
2 - NWORA Outstanding Facility Award, 1983
2 - Rotary Club of Toledo Distinguished Service Award, 1990
2 6 State of Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission Resolution of Appreciation, 1990
2 - Sylvania Schools Employability and Life Skills Program, 2000
2 - Sylvania Schools Work Study Program, 2000
2 - Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, 10 year Membership Award, 1999
2 - Toledo Metroparks, Resolution of Appreciation, 1988
2 - United Way Community Builder Award, 2001
2 - United Way Scouting for Food Worksite Campaign award, 1997
2 - United Way Scouting for Food Worksite Campaign award, 1998




The following is a list of significant historical events documented in the Board of Trustees’ minutes of the Ability Center of Toledo and its predecessors.




• May 10, 1927: as per his last will and testament, executors for Edward Drummond Libbey give $50,000 for use in the construction of a children’s convalescent hospital.


• July 29, 1930: Board considers the leasing of The Old Ladies House, located at Central Avenue and Collingwood Blvd. Voted and accepted on September 17.


• September 17, 1930: The Old Ladies House is leased in five-year contracts commencing Jan. 1, 1931 for $150.00 per month, with option to purchase at any time for $95,000.


• September 17, 1930: At the same meeting, Dr. Bud Chollett presents photographs of “crippled children”. A photograph of “Chester” is chosen to adorn paperweights to be purchased.


• December 8, 1930: Vote is taken to create annual memberships for individuals and fellow civic organizations such as Kiwanis, Exchange Club, and Knights of Columbus.


• January 19, 1931: TSCC sees its first contribution by The Toledo Rotary, $3,000. The contribution is earmarked for first year’s operating expenses; additionally, $5,000 given as “legacy” to Toledo Rotary for crippled children. Rotary president was Ed Bayer.


• March 2, 1931: TSCC and Libbey executors redefine use of Libbey’s bequest to allow $40,000 of original money to remain for the building of the hospital while redirecting $10,000 for use in remodeling the Old Ladies House.


• June 3, 1931: A sign is approved: “Toledo Society for Crippled Children - Convalescent Home”


• August 18, 1931: Treasurers report indicates cost per patient for June was $4.54 and for July, $2.38.


• February 1932: Alice L. Walbridge, wife of Wm. Walbridge, Board President, dies suddenly.  She was instrumental in the day-to-day philanthropic and charitable enterprises of the community, including activities at TSCC. Mr. Walbridge is noticeably absent for some time to come.


February 10, 1933: Due to prevalence of contagious diseases in the Home, the decision is made to immunize all patients against Scarlet Fever and Diptheria.


• May 18, 1933: Consideration of the provision of recreational programming is put forth by staff/teacher, Miss Freund.


• August/September 1934: Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitation, of the Dept. of Ed., promises to begin educational aid to TSCC.


• May 4, 1935: the TSCC Board first considers the parcel of land on Central, just west of Monroe Street, belonging to the Board of Education.


• August/September 1935: Ladies Auxiliary formed.


• September 10, 1935: Thanks to efforts of Louis Eppstein and The Lasalle and Koch Company, TSCC receives $2352.10 raised from those paying to view silent screen star Colleen Moore’s Doll House, on cross-country tour in 1935, during the depression, to help disabled children. Today on display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, it was shown in Toledo at the Lasalle-Koch building.


• October 8, 1935: The Board extends its lease with The Old Ladies Home in preparation for purchasing 8 1/2 acres on Central from the Board of Education. The architect of the proposed convalescent home states cost of building should not exceed $300,000.


• November 23, 1935: William S. Walbridge, President of the Board, dies.


• December 10, 1935: Board honors Wm. Walbridge with standing moment of silence and a touching written tribute (included in minutes).  President’s seat is left vacant in honor of his contribution and vision. Waldo M. Bowman, Vice-President, directs meetings.


• January 14, 1936: Sale consummation for the new property is announced to the board. Purchase price is $9,260.00.


Also, “Auxiliary Fund” is created to have a place for monies raised by Ladies Auxiliary.


May/June 1936: Book One ends with discussion of transferring deed for land back to Board of Education in order to take advantage of using the W.P.A. for building the new structure (W.P.A. required a “civic entity” be in control of land for duration of the project).


The Spieker Co. is retained to develop project. The cost is $15,000.

William Levis is approached with an invitation to become the new Board President.




• February 9, 1937: Book Two begins with an interesting Superintendent’s Report for a period ending December 31, 1936. Submitted by Eina J. Robinson, it is a real window into the hospital’s daily life over the year and includes case statistics, types of disabilities treated, activities and programming reports from Physiotherapy, School and Industrial Arts Departments, and the functional support of the Auxiliary.


There is also a section exhibits the Society’s By-Laws with working notes beside each Article, noting amending.


• February 13, 1937: George Shepard is elected President. He remains involved until the mid- 1960s


• March 11, 1937: President Shepard urges Board to “line up ‘high-grade salesmen’ and hand in their names,” at least four names per Board member as the “Building Fund Campaign” is kicked off by the running of ‘human interest stories’. On March 22. A goal of $300,000 is set.


Board also applies for a federal grant for construction costs through the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works.


April 13, 1937: Citing a relatively dismal Building Fund Campaign (to date) and fear of alienating or “antagonizing” friends with the Community Chest Campaign close at hand, the board opts to discontinue Building Fund Campaign until fall. President Shepard and board member Chollett meet with Architect Hoke, to “reduce the plans very materially.” Red penciling whole wings, a surgical room, and certain school room facilities, work is done to reduce cost from $360,000 to $200,000.


• February 8, 1938: Annual meeting includes two reports of note: The Board President’s Report and the first Annual Auxiliary Report for 1937.


• July 12, 1939: An endowment fund is created, “The Crippled Children’s Foundation,” to be devoted to the welfare of crippled, maimed, disabled or physically defective children, without regard to race, color, or creed.


“Opportunity Home” is adopted as new name for Convalescent Hospital and it, along with the slogan “Made Possible by Understanding People,” is placed on a new sign and installed.


• January 15, 1940: Ms. Lula Tuttle resigns as second superintendent of Home. In March, Mary E. Ferguson replaces her.


• 1941 and 1942: TSCC begins to build its endowment through the purchase of stock in large US companies and gold mines.




• January 13, 1942: George Shepard submits a letter of resignation as President of Board and TSCC due to his appointment as Defense Coordinator for the City of Toledo. Board refuses resignation, instead working to limit his “active” participation while he serves.


Board approves establishment of a Boy Scout troop at the Convalescent Home.


Board approves providing whatever is needed in the country’s defense efforts.


• May 25, 1942: TSCC sends two nurses and a physical therapist to the University of Minnesota to study new infantile paralysis treatment under Sister Kenney, who was becoming well-known for her breakthroughs.


• July 6, 1942: Because of the escalation of wartime jitters, the Convalescent Home is insured against bombing.


• August 11, 1942: Announcement to board of the Convalescent Home being chosen by State Dept. of Special Ed as the place for new program designed to educate children with Cerebral Palsy. As part of Rehabilitative effort, costs covered include “extra” costs for education, as well as transportation to and from school. This is the first attempt in the country to go to such lengths to assist disabled children.


Toledo Rotary works with TSCC and others to cover costs for “lost” children, those in outlying counties covered by home who do not have the money to participate. These children have historically been “hidden” and consequently have not been afforded necessary medical treatment.


President Shepard speaks of a proposed plan to merge financial requirements of charitable organizations and war organizations into a “War Chest.” TSCC discusses further exploration and desire to become part of Toledo’s War Chest


• February 7, 1944: Miss Margaret Fruend, head of the school reports that, from October of 1931 to June of 1943, the school has served 583 children.


• November 3, 1944: After much consideration and concern, Board votes unanimously to begin paying George Shepard $400.00 per month plus expenses to continue in his position of President and “manager” of TSCC.


• January 15, 1945: Report that 1944 Polio epidemic, second largest in history, taxed the Home with 151 new patients with Polio (of 220 total patients) and care be taken for 1945.


• December 1945: Charter Board member, Albert “Bert” Tillinghast, passes away. Bert was also involved in the founding of the Ohio Society for Crippled Children in 1919, the National Society in 1921 and the International Society in 1923. He also served as Ohio Society’s President, worked with Charles Feilbach School and was largely responsible for the formation of Lott Day School for Handicapped Children.


• February 4, 1946: Interestingly, at the same meeting as the official celebration and memorializing of Mr. Tillinghast, discussion ensues as to a rift that has formed between TSCC and the Ohio Society for Crippled Children. The rift is so great as to cause long time board member, C. Lowell Haskins, to tender his resignation. Frank Mulholland, an original organizer of the Ohio Society, speaks to the original intent of OSCC to be nothing more than a lobbyist for positive legislation for crippled children and how it has deviated from that purpose as he had feared it would from the start. Dr. Bershon concurs.


There is a suggestion by Mr. Mulholland to have Toledo Rotary pull its funding of OSCC. President Shepard is quick to squash such action, suggesting instead that the Board watch OSCC closely to see that they do not profiteer their Easter Seal campaign into TSCC’s area. With both the Toledo Rotary and Toledo Community Chest supporting TSCC’s position by requesting OSCC not to impinge upon TSCC’s area with their seal sale, it appears to have been a turf issue.


• January 14, 1947: The Board begins contemplating a separate wing for adult patients in an effort to serve this population without affecting services and mission to children.


The operating room nears completion, lacking only a few pieces of equipment.


• February 3, 1947: Quoting Board President George Shepard, in summarizing the work of the various departments, “the home endeavors to provide our patients with medical treatment, spiritual guidance according to creed, recreation, education and social training. Every patient should feel that they belong and are welcome in the home as long as they need its services. There should also be a helpful and practical interest maintained in the child after they have left the home.” [Ed. Note. This philosophy is pretty progressive for the time. Reading this quarter’s board minutes, with further attention to the latest equipment (crutches, chairs, etc.) really shows the Board’s vision with regard to “Best Practices.”]


• July 8, 1947: Discussion is made relevant to Opportunity Home working with local hospitals, such as St. Vincent, in a post-acute capacity, relieving hospital of patients not needing critical care and, thereby, freeing up beds.


February 9, 1948: Decisions are made as to the procedure to follow for Easter Seal campaign. Ultimately, it is decided that there be only one campaign, with monies collected and divided between agencies working with Crippled Children in Toledo area, including Lott Day School, and including some to National Crippled Children’s Society … but nothing to Ohio SCC.


April 13, 1948: This entry explains in detail the strategy of the agreement regarding the Ohio Easter Seal Campaign and also mentions support information for Camp Cheerful in Strongsville, Ohio.


Through these long summer months of 1948, much attention is given to the burden of TSCC as it attempts to deal with the huge increase in population of patients with polio. It is seen as an emergency situation. There is also recognition of shifting percentages with regard to age of patients.


The Ladies Auxiliary plays an important role in serving the agency. It is duly noted during these months and in 1949.


December 28, 1948: TSCC joins forces with Lott Day School and the Lucas County Chapter of the Ohio Society for Crippled Children to begin a new “seal” campaign to be called “the Crippled Children Seal Campaign.” The funds raised will be held and distributed among the three charities by the Toledo Community Chest.


July 12, 1949: Board notes and reflects on the passing of long-time board member Frank Mulholland.


Mention is also made of a “color film” of kids with polio at Walbridge Park. This film is the first in a series planned to document the various activities for crippled children available in the City of Toledo.


December 22, 1949: Again mention is made of “color films” being made available to organizations such as Toledo Rotary and Rotary International. These films would be important finds should they be discovered.




• March 16, 1950: The talk about a cure for Polio is on the horizon. Since Polio numbers are dropping and polio patients have been the principal source of revenues, 1950 finds the Opportunity Home Board scrambling to find alternative financial opportunities, e.g. providing blood bank and intern services for the other hospital popping up in the coverage area.


• April 11, 1950: There is discussion of changing from a children’s home to an “efficiency” hospital. There is an urgent need in Toledo for 150 to 200 convalescent beds for elderly people.


Interestingly, Dr. Chollett gives his opinion that surgery is dying off and due to the new drugs and serums being developed, surgery would be considerably less during the next 25 years.


There is much to consider but, with the low patient load, “remaining static” is not one of them.


• May, 1950: The Board considers expanding to become a full-fledged hospital, per input from the American Hospital Association and the American College of Surgeons. This will involve a complete reorganization. Work is begun of compiling a list of surgeons and doctors to staff the facility.


• May 31, 1950: Something happens to put TSCC in an unfavorable light with Toledo Community Chest, resulting in a “highly unsatisfactory” decision by Waldo Bowman against TSCC and subsequent penalization, most likely financial, from the division of the Easter Seal net. The Board writes a letter to the Toledo Community Chest outlining their frustration and disagreement.


• July 11, 1950: Board Member Fred Douglass dies. Name is added to Memorial Column at Opportunity Home.


• July 11, 1950: The Board goes on record unanimously opposing The Physically Handicapped Children’s Education Act of 1950.


Due to high operating costs and low occupancy, the first five months of 1950 show above average operating losses.


• September 7, 1950: The corporation sells off $10,000 in government bonds to help with addition being added. The addition would answer problems of difficulty for staff sleeping in extremely hot condition in the existing flat roofed quarters. Also operating room had to have new tile and air conditioning due to major condensation problem.


• October 10, 1950: With assistance of 40-50 volunteers from the Red Cross and the Polio Emergency Volunteers, including two volunteers each day from the Women’s Auxiliary, Opportunity Home meets the demand of the Polio Epidemic of 1950. With a census of 29 in mid-August, the patient load swells to 80 by mid-September. Patients range in age from 5 months to 41 years old.


The Ladies Auxiliary also expends nearly $10,000 to assuage cost of “charity patients,” to furnish the new solarium, and to buy mattresses, sheets, etc. for the hospital.


•• December 20, 1950: (Interestingly, Thirtieth Anniversary of Incorporation) Special Meeting of Executive Committee convenes to discuss and resolve paying Board President George C. Shepard for service performed in connection with the management of the Convalescent Home and his work with procuring endowments of the institution an increased sum of $6,600 per annum.


• January 24, 1951: A very impassioned letter, more like a personal journal entry, from President George Shepard to his Board, sheds real light on the inner workings of this humane and generous leader. He questions himself and the Board to consider the import of continuing the provision of low rates to patent’s compared relatively to other area hospitals, amid pressures to raise prices. A nice read.


• January to July 1951: A power struggle ensues over moral/fiscal issues concerning the per diem rate charged to patients. It is complicated by a national rate freeze by the government.


• April 1952: George Shepard begins touting the need for a regional rehabilitation hospital or center.


• January 21, 1953: 1952 is a successful year financially. President Shepard’s annum is raised to $7,500.00.


• May 18, 1954: Opportunity Home has first experience on television, March 21, on Master of Ceremonies, with Judge Henry Middleton, and again on April 11, with Mr. Openlander as Master of Ceremonies. Both were well received.


After a few years of wrangling, City Council approves the building of a shopping center across Central Avenue, against protestations of Opportunity Home Board.


• February 7, 1955: Reference is made to a color film of the operations of Opportunity Home taken by the Crippled Children’s Committee of Rotary.


• March 20, 1955: George C. Shepard, President since 1937, dies. The minutes shower him with praise, stating Opportunity Home’s building complex on Central Avenue stands as a memorial to his legacy.


• April 28, 1955: Gerald Openlander replaces Shepard as President.


• September 27, 1956: Discussion begins to rename Opportunity Home to include the word “Hospital” in the title. The two names most discussed are “Opportunity Home & Hospital” and “Opportunity Hospital.”


There is also an interesting synopsis of the agreement between Lucas County and Toledo Society’s for Crippled Children as to how to divide the monies generated from the Easter Seals Campaign. This agreement supersedes the November 27, 1950 agreement.


It also involves the closing of the East Toledo Cerebral Palsy Center, whose patients will all be transferred to Opportunity Home.


• February 7, 1957: With fewer patients transferred from East Toledo CP center, Board looks for ways to bolster patient load by contacting parents and through publicity.


There is also a push from outside pediatricians to make Opportunity Home a pediatric hospital.


• May 16 and 22, 1957: There is great concern as to the direction of the Home. Looking at other children’s hospitals, there is concern about the cost of changing the physical plant, the $100,000 deficits being run yearly by others requiring an estimated $2,500,000 endowment. There is a consensus to work with an architect and the medical staff to ascertain approximate costs.


• February 6, 1958: After receiving a letter from doctors objecting to the use of the word “Home” in name (elicits negative stereotypes associated with those institutions that care for the “aged” and “infirmed” rather than medically treat patients toward wellness), Board approves new name for opening of hospital: “Children’s Hospital of Toledo.” “Toledo Society for Crippled Children” is retained and included on letterhead, etc. because of its value and history.


Bids for rehabbing come in from $82,000 to 100,000.


Suggestion is made to have big media splash in either Blade of Times.


• November 6, 1958: Pages of stock purchases and sales.


• February 6, 1959: Toledo Camera Club takes and supplies a number of pictures of the hospital (these would be nice to find)


• June 4, 1959: Founding Member Wilber Owen dies.


• September 17, 1959: The Board is approached by the Toledo Board of Education requesting a day school for “Cerebral Palsy” Children. The Board desires to try on a year’s trial basis, handling everything but transportation.


Book Four closes with a record of the passing of Wilbur Owen. Condolences are expressed to the family.




This is the first book to divide minutes into Board, Executive, Liaison, and Finance Committees.


• November 25, 1960: Women’s Auxiliary discuss with Board opportunity to take over the Lucas County Unit of Ohio Society of Crippled Children and the Easter Seal Campaign.


• Report that dropping of Camp Easter Seal will hurt fund raising.


** From the Executive Committee report, June 15, 1961:

Pres. Openlander announces the formal organization of the Easter Seal Society of Lucas County, replacing the Lucas County Unit of the Society for Crippled Children


• July 20, 1961: “Pool Room” to be converted to a Recovery Room.


Discussion is made to admit psychiatric patients should pediatric psychiatric beds be needed.


TSCC votes to withdraw from the National Health and Retirement Association, Inc.


• February 7, 1962: Tension begins to show as low census has doctors and board talking about options. There is mention of selling the building and relocating or rebuilding.


• June 20, 1962: Board approves SSOE Architectural survey of Society’s land in connection with a fallout shelter study by the US Corps of Engineers.


Board discusses and resolves that, given hospital’s low attendance and operation at loss, executive committee has authority to terminate inpatient services and, if necessary, kitchen and food services.


• February 14, 1963: President Openlander speaks of talks with Bishop Rehring who expresses a desire to purchase grounds and buildings to relocate existing St. Anthony’s Orphanage. An offer of $500,000 has been made.


• May 7, 1963: Resolution is made for sale to Bishop of Toledo, George J. Rehring, for $600,000 with therapy, school and some office equipment exempt from sale.




Book Six covers March 10, 1964 to 1975.


• February 9, 1964: Work is begun to open Opportunity Kindergarten at Grove Patterson School in the Fall in response to Board’s desire to a) enlarge programming for educable “crippled and handicapped children” of pre-school age, b) include, in principle, a recreational program for children, once school is up and running, and c) provide expenditures up to $2,500 per year for care and treatment of “handicapped” children, 16 and under in need of medical or surgical care or hospitalization including, braces, wheelchairs, special shoes, etc.


• February 11, 1965: George P. Crosby (of Crosby Gardens) dies, leaving the Society a 1/5 residuary beneficiary resulting in approx $50,000.


• July 1965: Edward Drummond Libbey Home is purchased for $22,500 with an additional $7,500 for remodeling. It will become home of Opportunity Kindergarten.


• July 19, 1965: Decision is made to move primary school from Grove Patterson to Glendale Feilbach, effective beginning Fall term.


• March 20, 1969: Opportunity Kindergarten’s official title expands due to confusion with a government program which also had the word “opportunity” in it. It is now known as “Opportunity Kindergarten for the Physically Handicapped.” The name “Toledo Society for Crippled Children” was to still appear below it on the sign.


The Fall classes will expand to include Blind and Partially sighted children.


• March 19, 1970: Board votes to drop the word “Opportunity” from the Kindergarten’s name because it was believed that the general public felt it was federally funded.


• March 30, 1972: an outside group approaches the Board requesting funds to develop an “accessibility brochure” identifying all of the area businesses free of architectural barriers to entry and use by people using wheelchairs, etc. The Board turns down the request.




Book Seven is a minute book for the actual Hospital covering November 5, 1956 – June 6, 1960. Meetings brought to order by Chief of Staff. Fred B. Hawkins voted first COS.


• May 1958: There is alluding to July 1, 1958 as day hospital acquires a new name: Children’s Hospital of Toledo.


• August 9, 1958: There is a moving documentation of a death and autopsy of a three-year-old girl, Mary.


• January 1959: Dr. Gwyn H. Start assumes role as Chief of Staff.


• January 1960: Dr. Arthur Dalton assumes role as Chief of Staff.




Book Eight consists of correspondence, executive reports, and nursing reports from the first three years of operation.



Last Updated: 6/27/22