111 East Second Street

The Tyler-Roether Building

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The Tyler-Roether Building:

 

It looks like it might be the oldest building in town, but it isn't. It is an essentially unchanged good example of a small town lawyer's or doctor's office of a century ago. And it has well served both types of tenants.

This simple two-story frame commercial building at 111 East Second was built by Michael Roether, a German born cabinet maker, for James R. Tyler, a local attorney. The exact year of construction is thought to be 1875 -- though a local newspaper item in 1879 states that Tyler and his partner, Thomas Mehan, "have moved into their new office on Second Street" -- suggesting that as the possible year of construction.

house

111 East Second Street

In 1896 Dr. Henry Roether (the builder's son) bought the building for his new medical practice, and it has remained in the Roether family since then, perhaps the longest such ownership in town. It is presently occupied by the House of Tradition, a gift shop owned and operated by Mrs. Lynn Elder and her husband. She is the great- granddaughter of the builder and the granddaughter of Dr. Roether.

Since James Tyler and Dr. Roether are both well- identified with the building; hence the combined name.

James Ray Tyler was born in Fredonia, New York, in 1834 and was educated at Hobart College in that state. In 1857 he studied law under Daniel O. Morton of Toledo and was admitted to the bar a year later. He came to Perrysburg in 1861.

Mr. Tyler was known as an eloquent and forceful speaker and one of the most capable criminal lawyers in the state. He was called on frequently to handle the unpopular defense in highly emotional criminal cases in this county as well as throughout Ohio, Indiana and southern Michigan. He served as Wood County prosecutor in 1862. He was also an active politician in the Democratic Party, stumping the state in its behalf.

In addition to serving as chief of the village fire department in 1873, he was elected mayor in 1870 and again in 1890. Becoming ill, he resigned from office just a few weeks before his death in 1891 at the age of 57.

Henry R. Roether was born in 1867 and was educated in the Perrysburg public schools, graduating from high school as valedictorian of his class. After teaching school in the township for five years, and working odd jobs during the summer, he was able to finance his way through medical school at the University of Michigan. He then spent a year as assistant surgeon of the Aragon Mines in the Upper Peninsula before returning home to open his own practice.

For the next 41 years Dr. Roether practiced medicine here, making house calls by bicycle and horse and buggy before automobiles. He eventually developed an extensive practice in the treatment of arthritis and sugar diabetes and was well-known throughout the area. He served as Perrysburg's mayor in 1910 and again in 1916. 

He also served on the school and library boards, was treasurer of the Township, helped organize both the Perrysburg Grain and Supply Company and the Perrysburg Tile and Brick Company, and was a director of the Citizens Banking Company. Dr. Roether owned farms and was actively interested in agriculture. He was a frequent lecturer for farmers' institute programs in the county. He died at the age 72 in 1939.

During Dr. Roether's occupancy, the original 16½ by 25 foot building was enlarged at the rear to accommodate three small rooms for patients. Behind that was a shed for horse and buggy. These additions were eventually razed and over the years until 1985 the building housed the Herm Berning barber shop, the William Urban lock and key shop and the Edna Harris antique shop. When the Elders took over they made a sizeable addition to the rear and east side of the original building.

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