308 East Front Street
The Cook-Finkbeiner House
Supporting the preservation and appreciation of Perrysburg's historic architectural heritage
The Cook-Finkbeiner House:
There is some doubt about the builder of this neat house at 308 East Front Street. One source says it is nearly 130 years old and might have been built before 1873 as a speculative property by one of Perrysburg's most prominent citizens, Judge Asher Cook, a self-made man without formal education, who was an early attorney here, mayor, probate judge, constitutional expert known statewide, and world-traveler.
The architectural style of the house is basically Italianate, with single brackets supporting a wide overhanging low-pitched roof. Portions of the foundation are of rubblestone, some of it covered with stucco or brick, and the
308 East Front Street
second floor facade windows have molded pediments while the downstairs are simple.
Double Doric columns support a flat-roofed porch with diamond- patterned windows. A veranda-style porch also with supporting columns and a balustrade is on the second floor on the east side, and stair-stepped-gable extensions have been made in the rear. A one-story bay window is on the west side.
An early resident of this house before the turn of the century was Christopher Finkbeiner, a well-known and interesting Perrysburg (and later Bowling Green and East Toledo) businessman.
Mr. Finkbeiner came here from Germany in 1847, first earning a livelihood driving a dray. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he and three other local teenagers left school one day and enlisted in an infantry company being organized at Stony Ridge. He served in the 72nd O. V. I. regiment under General Sherman. He was sent home with typhoid fever in 1862, but he re-enlisted in the 3rd Ohio Cavalry and took part in battles at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Knoxville, and Atlanta. He was wounded in Alabama and lost a lower leg. He worked for a time in a stave factory here, clerked in a store and in 1867 opened a store dealing in books and notions. Later he merchandised gentlemen's furnishings and furniture and for a time was a traveling salesman in wooden ware.
Over the years Christopher Finkbeiner was Perrysburg's postmaster, a councilman and mayor, township clerk and Wood County recorder. He died in 1926 at the age of 81.