Labor In Their Own Words
Mary Aberling was born on January 7, 1903. She was an assembler for the Electric Auto-Lite Company for 33 years. She died in Toledo on March 10, 1999 at 96 years of age.
Jennie K. (Hannah) Bsharah was born in Toledo on September 9, 1903. She had to leave school at an early age to help support her family. She worked at The Blade before taking a position at the Electric Auto-Lite Company, where she was appointed to work on the negotiating team during the 1934 strike. In this interview, she speaks of her experience as a union representative, and tells how after 35 years she received next to nothing from a pension she had paid into. She was the widow of Michael Bsharah, a former News-Bee and Blade employee. Mrs. Bsharah died on August 7, 1984 in Toledo.
Margaret C. Byrd was born on September 5, 1897. She was a steward at the Jeep Corporation and Local 12 member for many years. She was also the captain of the Navy Mothers Drill Team and an active member at Regina Coeli Church. She died on November 17, 1991 at the age of 94.
Pauline Gramza was born on November 27, 1907. She was the widow of Edward Gramza. She was a waitress for various Toledo restaurants and also was employed at the Electric Auto-Lite in the 1930s. She was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Mrs. Gramza passed away on August 28, 2000 at the age of 92 in Toledo.
Mary Louise Heban
Mary Louise Heban was born on June 21, 1913 in Springdale, Pennsylvania. She was emplyed with Electric Auto-lite Company for 13 years as a punch operator. Mrs. Heban was a longtime resident of Rossford, Ohio, and a member of All Saints Catholic Church of Rossford. She passed away at 92 years of age on March 3, 2006.
Dorothy and William Knotts
William Knotts, also known as "Slim" was born in Nebraska in 1892. He was a World War l veteran. He was employed by Miller & Shaefer Wholesale Company as a truck driver for 40 years and retired in 1961. His wife Dorothy was born on August 29, 1905. She worked for the Electric Auto-lite Company for 32 years. William died on September 26, 1985, and Elizabeth died on March 15, 1991. Both died in Toledo.
Mary L. Lehman
Mary Louise (Masemann) Lehman was born in Toledo on March 5, 1914. She was a graduate of Waite High School and worked at Electric Auto-Lite until her marriage to Florian (Babe) Lehman in 1929. They were married for 37 years until his death in 1976. Mrs. Lehman died on January 3, 2007.
Mary Micenic Mahler
Mary R. Micenec Mahler was born on April 17, 1909. She was a longtime member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Mrs. Mahler worked for the Electric Auto-lite Company. She passed away in Englewood, Florida, where she had lived since 1993. She died on August 16, 1999. This interview focuses on her experience working for the Electric Auto-lite Company.
Elizabeth T. Nyitrai was born on February 21, 1911 in Congo, Ohio. She is the widow of Joseph A. Nyitrai Sr., to whom she had been married for 34 years. She was employed with Electric Auto-lite Company for several years. Mrs. Nyitrai was also a longtime member of St. Thomas Aquinas. She died on April 26, 2009 at the age of 98.
Bernice E. Rigby
Bernice E. Rigby was born on December 23, 1901. She was a telephone operator with the Findlay Ohio Bell and was a member of the Eastern Star. She was the widow of Charles, who passed away in 1977. Mrs. Rigby died on June 5, 1995 in Toledo at the age of 92.
Kathryn E. Schiever was born on February 8, 1909. She operated a dress shop in downtown Toledo in the 50s and 60s. In the late 70s, she managed a gift shop in the Commodore Perry Hotel. Mrs. Schiever was a member of the League of City Mothers. She was the widow of Harold W. Schiever. She passed away at the age of 82 on May 28, 1991.
Bertha Slaughterbeck was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on April 9, 1910. She moved to Toledo to live with an aunt, and was hired as a strike breaker for the Electric Auto-Lite Company in November of 1933. She decided to walk out with the other strikers, and in her interview she spoke of her involvement with the union. Her involvement as a union steward and inspection supervisor was also discussed. She retired in 1962, and for several years opened her home as a temporary shelter for Vietnam War veterans. She was the widow of Porter Slaughterbeck, and they had a son and three grandchildren at the time of her death on October 10, 1987.
Helen Miller and Rose Strance
Rose Mary Strance was born in Hungary on June 15, 1910. She was employed for 25 years at the Commodore Perry Motor Inn, retiring in 1975. Her husband James Strance preceded her in death. Mrs. Strance died on January 23, 2000 in Toledo.