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Help sought for Ernsthausen tribute project

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:48 PM

If you have photographs of John Ernsthausen, stories to share about him or interesting facts about his life, a group planning a tribute to the late philanthropist wants to hear from you.

The Norwalk Kiwanis wants to work with the Maple City Heritage Festival and Norwalk Garden Club to construct a tribute to Ernsthausen at Bresson Park located within a half block of his first business on West Seminary Street.

Norwalk Kiwanian Jack Schaffer stressed this is not just a Kiwanis project. However, he said he feels it is a good project for Kiwanis to participate in because the organization's vision is to help children and build community.

"John did that through his whole life and is still doing it today through his foundation," Schaffer said.

Ernsthausen founded Norwalk Truck Line Co., one of the first trucking companies in the country, in 1923. He and his wife, Doris, established the John F. and Doris E. Ernsthausen Charitable Foundation in Cleveland in 1956.

The foundation supports Protestant religious institutions, services for the aged, higher and secondary education and community funds, primarily in Ohio. It funded, among other things, the Ernsthausen Community Center and the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center at Norwalk High school.

Schaffer said the goal is to complete the tribute around the time of the 2008 Maple City Heritage Festival.

"We are very much in the planning stages and are looking for good ideas," Schaffer said. "We want to get as many people involved as possible."

Those who wish to volunteer with the project, should call one of the following: Jack Schaffer at (419) 668-0612; Henry Timman at (419) 668-1122 or Doug Colvin at (419) 668-1534.

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