Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Things I’ve Wondered About

As I’ve written about my hometown over the years, there are things I’ve wondered about. After eight years of writing about Youngstown, the city still holds mysteries for me. Here are a few:

  1. We had a Schenley Theater and street on the West Side. I’ve never figured out if there was a Schenley after whom they were named.
  2. How did the crack occur in Council Rock?
  3. Renner Brewery was once a big deal. I’ve seen the Renner Mansion. But I wonder what Renner Beer tasted like.
  4. How did Dike Beede hang onto his coaching job at Youngstown through so many mediocre seasons? It can’t be because he invented the penalty flag.
  5. I know Butler’s bequest established the Butler and its policy of free admissions. I’d love to know how they have managed to do all that, make expansions and acquire so much great art. Wouldn’t it be great if all museums were able to do the same?
  6. I know Italian food from Youngstown is just the best. I cannot say why. It just is.
  7. Why is it called the Spring Common Bridge and when did Mr. Peanut take up residence? I don’t remember that as a kid.
  8. I wonder what ever happened to the little Baptist church up the street from my grandparents on Cohasset. It was a spiritually significant place for me.
  9. Where does the name DeYor come from? It was just Powers Auditorium when I lived in Youngstown. It looks like the combination of two names–but maybe not.
  10. We had to learn Ohio history in school. Why didn’t we learn Youngstown history?

I could come up with a longer list but I thought I’d leave room for you. What are some of the things about Youngstown you wonder about?

To read other posts in the Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown series, just click “On Youngstown.” Enjoy!

15 thoughts on “Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown — Things I’ve Wondered About

  1. #9. DeYor is a combination of DeBartolo and York (Dr John York, married to Denise DeBartolo York). As I recall – Powers was about to fold when the DeBartolo-York family bailed it out.

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  2. #4. This is speculation but I did know Beede’s second wife, Mary Bartram, at the time of their marriage. Youngstown College was a pretty mediocre school in the 20’s and 30’s and then there was the war. Dike Beede grew up in our town, graduated from South as class president and a very good football player, lots of local friends. And yes there was the penalty flag. Bit of inertia, bit of personal popularity. He loved Youngstown.

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  3. DeYor is a combination of DeBartolo and York-DeBartolo’s daughter’s married name. I believe she put some big bucks into the addition to Powers Auditorium.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fun article. I’ve wondered about #1. And #10 is a very good question. There’s a YouTube channel called Everyday Adventures with Jim that has dealt with #2 and #7. I don’t know how authoritative his information is, but there are videos about the Spring Common and Council Rock. As for #6, yes. I’ve lived in 5 states, including two years in New Jersey and, yes.

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  5. #10. At least for us, in the Canfield school system, we learned about the history of Canfield and Youngstown. We also learned about the Mahoning Indians in social studies.

    This would have been in the late ‘70s at Canfield Middle School.

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  6. From my memory (oh boy) Renner beer was quite similar to Pittsburgh’s hometown brew, Iron City. Since the brewery was located on the Mahoning River, people had plenty of fun with that fact.

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  7. Council Rock is located in Youngstown’s Lincoln Park. According to legend, Native Americans from several tribes met at Council Rock in 1775, to celebrate a recent victory over the British in a French and Indian War battle. During the celebration, lightning struck the rock and caused it to split

    Liked by 1 person

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