Site of fire memorial to be rededicated as Chub DeWolfe Park

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 13

After years of confusion, the city of Toledo is being clear: The downtown triangle of land next to The Blade building is Chub DeWolfe Park.

The park was named for William T. “Chub” DeWolfe, a longtime Toledo newspaper columnist, more than a half-century ago. But the park never has had a sign with its name.

For years, many mistakenly have called it Memorial Park because it has a sculpture dedicated to city firefighters killed in the line of duty.

The city will clear up the confusion next month by officially rededicating the park in Mr. DeWolfe’s name.

“The original name of the park was overlooked when it became a home for the monument,” said Ross Hamre, the city’s commissioner of open-space planning. “We wanted to correct that omission.”

The correction will take place during a Sept. 18 ceremony, officials said. A bronze plaque with Mr. DeWolfe’s name will be installed on a gray granite pedestal in the park.

Mr. DeWolfe was a reporter for three newspapers here: the Toledo Bee, the News-Bee, and the Toledo Press. But he became most famous for his years as a columnist for The Blade.

His “Among the Folks” column ran for more than two decades and provided a colorful look at the everyday goings-on of Toledo residents. It was enormously popular across northwest Ohio, and his death in 1948 was mourned throughout the region.

“He was loved, admired, and respected not only by Toledoans but by thousands of residents of other communities,” said a resolution of mourning passed by the Toledo council after his death.

At Mr. DeWolfe’s funeral, the presiding minister said the columnist serviced the “largest congregation in all northwest Ohio.”

It is unclear when the park was named for Mr. DeWolfe, but the name was in use during his lifetime.

His obituary, published in The Blade in 1948, refers to the triangle of land bounded by Beech, Huron, and Orange streets as Chub DeWolfe Park.

The name of the park fell into disuse sometime after 1962, when the city installed The Last Alarm, dedicated to four firefighters killed in a tanker truck blast on the Anthony Wayne Trail in 1961.

Some later news reports have referred to the land incorrectly as “Memorial Park.”

Mr. DeWolfe’s surviving relatives were pleased by news of the rededication.

“I was really surprised, but it’s a very nice gesture,” said Mr. DeWolfe’s grandson, Bill DeWolfe of Morrison, Colo.

He said he recalled his grandfather telling stories of storming San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders while covering the Spanish-American War in 1898.

He also remembered that, even as a child, he was taller than his grandfather, who stood only 4 feet, 11 inches tall.