Architects Joseph Yost and Frank Packard in Ohio: Crawford, Hardin, Marion and Wyandot Counties

NOTE: The blog contains quite a few pictures so give it several minutes to download. The pictures download haphazardly.

This blog showcases the known designs of Columbus architects Joseph Warren Yost & Frank Lucius Packard in the region of Crawford, Hardin, Marion and Wyandot Counties of Ohio. These two architects were in partnership during the years 1892-1899; each practiced separately before and after this period of time. The history of these structures has not been studied. The blog’s purpose is to generate local appreciation of these treasures, inspire research/promotion of them, and save/value those that remain. The Yost & Packard firm, nationally recognized, would likely be considered one of Ohio’s most significant.

A couple comments regarding this blog:

  • It’s rare to find three Yost & Packard commercial designs on the same street and even rarer to find them in a small town. But this blog features such a rarity. West Johnson Street in Upper Sandusky has two churches and a Carnegie library all designed by Frank Packard. One of the churches is built of pink sandstone quarried in Mansfield, Ohio. That structure and three more pink sandstone churches by Packard are the subject of their own blog linked below. The library is one of nine Carnegies designed by Packard also subject to a separate blog linked below.
  • Marion was at one time a manufacturing powerhouse in Ohio, and its downtown reflected that prosperity. Like so many small towns in Ohio that lost manufacturing to cheaper labor outside the U.S., population and wealth declined resulting in commercial centers giving up historic buildings to empty lots. Marion has been particularly hard hit. An effort is underway to add its downtown to the National Register of Historic Places. At least two Yost & Packard designs in the downtown area appear threatened to me: the Edward Huber Block on West Center Street and Sawyer Sanitorium on South Main Street. The Elks Lodge (Packard design) and the adjoining former Grand Opera House (Packard remodel) on South State Street appear underutilized and thus threatened as well. Perhaps the National Register effort will lead to saving these.

I would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance in contributing to this blog: Steven Flower for providing the picture of his third great grandfather Joseph Yost; Marion historian Stuart Koblentz; Glenn and Gayle Hayman for showing me their house…and their neighbor Donna Mattix for making that happen; Bobbie Hooper of the Marion County Historical Society; John Kurtz of the Bucyrus Historical Society; and Sheena Striker of Hardin County Historical Museums, Inc.

Published 12/14/2021 by Don Foster.

Crawford County

Bucyrus: St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. 130 South Walnut Street. Built circa 1902/03.
Designed by Packard.
Located at 119 South Walnut Street right across from St. Paul’s at 119 is this unique Ohio treasure that is well worth a visit. D. Picking & Company (now known as Bucyrus Copper Kettle Works) has been in business since 1874...and in this building since 1874!!!
The copper kettles of various sizes are still made by hand.
Bucyrus: Colonel Kilbourne School. 1130 South Walnut Street. Built 1912/13. Designed by Packard (as indicated in the above rendering). Initially called South Side school, it was renamed in honor of James Kilbourne who gave Bucyrus its name and plotted the town. Razed.
Photo credit above: Bucyrus Historical Society.
Bucyrus: Lincoln School. 170 Plymouth Street. Packard designed a 4 room addition in 1914. A picture of the building with the addition has not yet been obtained.
Perhaps a reader of this blog can assist. Photo credit: Bucyrus Historical Society.
Just south of Bucyrus: Monnett Memorial Methodist Episcopal Chapel. 999 State Route 98. Built 1904. Designed by Packard. The rendering appeared in The Bucyrus Evening Telegraph 8/29/1904.
The chapel, above and below, circa 1985. These two photos courtesy of Marion native Stuart Koblentz who wrote the nomination to place the building in the National Register of Historic Places. Added successfully, 1986.
Today the chapel is still in use.
Many Monnett descendants are interred, in a striking row, at the cemetery located behind the chapel.
Tiro: Tiro Consolidated High School. State Route 39. Built 1921. Designed by Packard. Razed.
With consolidations, area students today are served by the Buckeye Central Local School District.

Hardin County

Ada: Ada High School. North Main Street. Built circa 1892/93. Designed by Yost & Packard. Razed. The above illustration is from the Y&P promotional publication Portfolio of Architectural Realities.
Ada: Lehr Memorial Hall at Ohio Northern University. 525 South Main Street. Built 1913 to replace the previous Lehr Hall destroyed by fire. Designed by Packard.
Alger: Alger High School. North Main Street. Built circa 1922. Designed by Packard. Razed.
This picture is from the 1953 AHS yearbook.
The school is now part of the Upper Scioto Valley School District.
Alger High School was connected to the grade school.
The architect of this building is unknown. Razed.

Marion County

La Rue: 2nd Ward School. High & School Streets. Built 1890. Designed by Yost.
The school was left a shell following a fire in 1907. The rebuild design by Packard made use of that shell (the article below is not correct), but without the third floor. The building no longer stands. Today, the La Rue area is part of the Elgin Local School District.
Marion Star 4/10/1907.
Above…the fire damage has been removed.
Below…the finished rebuild minus the original 3rd floor auditorium.
At the southern edge of La Rue along State Route 37 stands this marker that is almost completely hidden by a pine tree. The local barber described how to find it. I first learned of La Rue’s Oorang Indians while scanning historical material for the Digital Commons at Otterbein University. Albert Exendine (pictured below) played his final season as a member of the Oorang team alongside first year legend Jim Thorpe. In 1909 he was named head football coach at Otterbein, a team that had been a lackluster 45-74-10 since the program’s inception in 1890. He lead the team over three seasons to a 17-7-3 record. Note how the young girl behind the coach is dressed. As this is a postcard, her identity is unknown.
During Coach Exendine’s time on the Westerville campus, he lived a block away at the Hotel Holmes. He is pictured in his room below…the only interior picture of the building discovered so far. An uptown icon today, it was coincidentally designed by Yost!!
I got sidetracked. Back to Marion County with the next picture.
Marion: Sawyer Sanitorium. 241 South Main Street. Built 1895-99. South wing designed by Yost & Packard in 1896. It’s directly across the street from the town’s very attractive former Carnegie library now part of Trinity Baptist Church.
The picture above and the one below of Dr. Sawyer are from local native Stuart Koblentz’s Images of America: Marion.
Marion: First Presbyterian Church. 143 South Prospect Street. Built 1893.
Designed by Yost & Packard.
Today. Same picture as above, but with the north end extended in 1925.
This illustration is from the Y&P Portrait of Architectural Realities.
Marion: Marion High School. West Center at Oak Streets. Built 1893.
Designed by Yost & Packard. Razed.
Edward Huber was president of Huber Manufacturing Company in Marion. Among its products were steam engines, threshers, farm tractors, road rollers and graders. He was also president of Marion Power Shovel. According to an article in the 8/21/2021 Columbus Dispatch, his company “created machinery to dig the Panama Canal, build the Hoover Dam, and move Apollo and NASA’s space shuttles into position for take-off.”
The museum at the Marion County Fairgounds is well worth a visit…
and you just might get shown around by Ed Huber, great-great grandson of Edward Huber.
Eventually, Huber Manufacturing departed Marion for South Carolina. Once again relocated, today Huber Maintainer MFG LLC makes road rollers at its plant in Valley City, North Dakota. The Huber name lives on!!!
Marion: Pearl Street School. Built 1913. Designed by Packard. Razed.
The playground picture below is the Pearl Street School first grade class of Mary Marshall Heppa taken in 1953.
Marion: Silver Street School. Built 1893. Designed by Yost & Packard. Razed
Marion Weekly Star, 8/3/1912.
The Elks-owned opera house eventually became a theatre, but is mostly empty today. Elks Lodge #32 still occupies the building on the right. The Marion Star of 7/13/1912 stated that the lodge building on the right “will be constructed on different lines, giving the impression that it is simply an adjoining building.” Per the Elks website: this was the first Elks lodge in the U.S. to have a President, Warren G. Harding, as a member. The former opera house on the left appears threatened.
A parade proceeding past the Grand Opera House/Elks Lodge.
Marion: Jail. 118 North State Street. Built 1878. Severely damaged by fire. While the original architect is unknown, Packard was hired to put the building back in order in 1902/03. Razed.
The above article appeared in The Columbus Dispatch of 7/22/1906. At that time, the Marion Star was located at 227-229 East Center Street, shown on the left below. It moved to the building on the right, below, a number of years after both President Harding and architect Packard had passed away (1923). Packard’s 1906 design was never built. The reason is unknown.
Marion: The National Wagon Company. Oak Street. Designed by Yost & Packard, this rendering appeared in the Marion Star of 4/10/1897. Very attractive front with a limestone base and the wagon wheel on top. Never built. The Marion operation “packed up” and moved to its existing Chillicothe plant as indicated below in the Marion Daily Star of 1/7/1898.
Advertisement in the Marion Star of 4/28/1896.
Marion: Union Station serving the railroads of the Big Four, Erie, and Hocking Valley. 532 West Center Street. Built 1902. Designed by Packard.
The Marion Weekly Star 1/19/1901.
Union Station today is a railroad museum/event center…and very popular among those, like me, who love watching trains.
I like trains so thought I would add this random great old picture of an Erie Railroad passenger train at Marion Union Station. Likely circa 1950. Photo credit: I just don’t remember.
Marion: Evans Block. 121 East Center Street. Built 1895. Designed by Yost & Packard for John Evans. Razed. The above rendering is from the Marion Daily Star of 1/4/1896. I have been unable to locate an actual photograph of this building. The postcard below will have to suffice for now. Perhaps a blog reader can assist.
Evans Block to the left of the United Electric Co building. Photo credit: I believe this is from the Mike and Linda Perry collection.
Marion: John and Mary Jane Owens Evans residence. 328 West Center Street. Built circa 1885-1890. Designed by Yost. Mary Jane was the daughter of John and Mary Belle Owens whose Yost-designed house is shown further down in this blog. Razed.
The Evans residence later housed the local offices of The Standard Oil Company. Photo credit: Mike and Linda Perry collection.
Marion: President Warren G. and First Lady Florence King Harding front porch above rebuilt in 1903 as shown below. 380 Mount Vernon Avenue. The First Lady and Jumbo are pictured in this photo from the archives of the Marion County Historical Society. Designed by Packard for Harding who campaigned for the presidency from his front porch to massive crowds. (The house itself is not a Yost & Packard design.)
The Harding Home has been restored by the Ohio History Connection and is open for tours as is the Harding Presidential Center at the back of the property as shown below.
The Harding Memorial is just minutes from the Harding home and is surrounded by a tremendous setting of open space and gravestones.
Photo credit: Rick L. Mahaffey, Facebook.
President Harding died unexpectedly in August 1923. As stated above in the Richwood Gazette of 8/16/1923, Harding had been consulting with Packard about a retirement home in the tiny burg of Blooming Grove. Packard died unexpectedly two months later in October. Yost died in November. Harding’s Blooming Grove childhood home, razed, is marked as shown below.
Don’t think appointment to the above position ever came to be, but it shows the regard President Harding had for architect Frank Packard. The Cincinnati Enquirer 1/8/1922.

Article above is from the Marion Star of 5/2/1916.
The article below is from The American Contractor of 9/2/1916.
Marion (formerly Owens Station): John and Ann Jones Owens residence. 1659 Owens Road West. Construction year unknown. Designed by Yost for John Owens, owner of Owens Quarry located in southern Marion County. The entryway roof has been removed. It’s possible this house was built by Owens son John D. (and Mary Belle Osborne Owens).
This concrete structure housed the safe for the Owens Quarry operation. It remains standing.
John Owens built a self-contained town to support the quarry operation. Among structures were a general store, hotel, opera house, employee housing, and a train station…hence early on the town was called Owens Station. “Station” was later dropped.
Today this would likely be considered a ghost town.
This is the Wyandot Popcorn Museum located in the old post office building at 169 East Church Street in downtown Marion. Unique!!
The Popcorn Museum shares space with the Marion County Historical Society & Museum pictured above and below.

Wyandot County

Upper Sandusky: Wyandot County Courthouse. 109 South Sandusky Avenue. Built 1899-1900. Designed by Yost & Packard. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The above illustration is from the Y&P Portfolio of Architectural Realities.
Upper Sandusky: First Methodist Episcopal Church. 130 West Johnson Street. Built 1899.
Designed by Yost & Packard.
Renamed John Stewart United Methodist Church and with a later addition at the rear.
Upper Sandusky: Carnegie Library. 224 West Johnson Street. Built 1913. Designed by Packard.
Now a doctor’s office.
Upper Sandusky: First Presbyterian Church. 129 West Johnson Street. Built 1900.
One of the four pink sandstone Ohio church designs by Packard.


  1. Mary Marshall Heppa says:

    The picture of the playground of Pearl Street School , marion, was taken in the spring of 1953. That children are my first grade class.


    1. Thanks so much for letting me know this, Mary!! I will add this to the blog!!


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