History of The Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS®

Organization and Early History – 1909-1916

The Canton Real Estate Board had its inception in the early years of this century. President Williams McKinley was interred at West Lawn in September 1901.  Canton was then a small town of 31,000 people.  Due to McKinley’s election as the 25th president in 1896, and re-election in 1900, Canton was well and favorably known throughout the nation. By 1909, three energetic men known in Canton business circles as Charlie Dougherty, Tom Harris and Mark Hambleton, among others, were active in the real estate business. 

In that year they created the first organization known as the “Canton Real Estate Board”.  Charles A. Dougherty was its first President; Thomas K. Harris was the first secretary, and Mark Hambleton was the first treasurer. The Canton City Directory for 1909-1910 listed the office at 200 Market South – location of the Alexander-Harris real estate and insurance office.  Mr. Harris had worked there since 1907. In 1914, the Canton Chamber of Commerce was organized to take the place of the Board of Trade and the Business Men’s Association. 

Through Louis Deuble, Secretary for the Chamber, the Canton Real Estate Board was re-organized as a subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce.  A director for the chamber was to be the president an Honorary President; while the vice president, from the Real Estate Board membership was the active executive officer who appointed the committees and presided at most of the meetings.  This arrangement lasted only for the years 1914-1916. In September 1914, officers for the balance of that year were elected. 

The Board office was the same as the Chamber of Commerce – 312 N Market.  An outing and picnic were held at Congress Lake Club that fall, with guests from the Akron and Cleveland Real Estate Boards, to arouse enthusiasm. At a meeting on October 7, 1914, a Constitution and Bylaws were adopted.  At least twelve meetings were held, and the membership reached 39 by the end of the year. Until this time the Board had only been a local organization but in December 1915 applications were made for membership in the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards and in the National Association. 

Mark Hambleton made a loan of $25,000 for one year without interest, to the Board, with which to pay its dues for entrance into the National Association. At least three Canton members attended the National Convention at New Orleans in March.  Several attended the State Convention at Cincinnati in October.  But definite proof of membership in these higher organizations for the first time is shown by resolutions to pay dies to both in January 1916. Mr. Hambleton appointed nine committee, most important of which were Arbitration and Appraisal.

During the year, at the request of Mayor Charles Stolberg, the Board rendered a fine service for the city by making a piece of piece appraisal, without compensation, of all the real property belonging to the city and to the Board of Education.  The city was divided into four sections and four separate committees worked at this job for several weeks. City Hall, Auditorium, Sewerage Plant, Water Works, 6 parks and 23 school properties comprised most of them, with a total appraisal of only $2,922,700. At this time the Board consisted of about 60 members, composed of office owners and salesmen, all known as “Real Estate Men”.

Development Under the National Association Charter 1917-1930 Part 1.  Period of War and Post War

Frank L. Cole became President for 1917.  The Code of Ethics of the National Association was adopted, and the Arbitration Committee heard and decided several interoffice disputes. The war had been going on in Europe since August 1914, and the United States had declared war in April, ,1917.  There was a great demand for products from Canton’s factories.  Inflation had already set in.  The cost of construction was up some 15 percent and a big demand for new houses was on. Speculation in vacant lots was rampant.  The average Canton family was making pavements on three lots.  The use of land contracts was all too common and led to legal entanglements.

According to Attorney Wendell Herbruck, in a speech before the Board some land contracts had as many as six assignments on them, indicating six sales before a deed and abstract could be demanded.  Finally, the Board opposed their use and requested its members to close deals with Deeds and Mortgages instead of Land Contracts. Use of the coined and copyrighted word “Realtor” was brought out by the National Association in 1918 and applied then, as now, only to members of a Nationally Chartered Board.  Others are real estate brokers, or salesmen, not “Realtors”.

Because the war, building was at a standstill, but some allotments were laid out and sold.  Easy terms of $5.00 to $50.00 down with small monthly payments on a land contract were common.  Pressure salesmen used the “one-call” system to make sales on evening calls to clerks, workmen, teachers – anybody! Only a few of the many allotments laid out before 1920 can be mentioned here. Fulton Heights was promoted by a group of Central High teachers.  It was poorly done as was often the case before the days of City Planning and Zoning.  Lots were small, no conveniences, and streets consisted of an oval of topsoil. 

Such allotments grew up to brush and briars until STARcity of lots brought building to them 30 years later. Mt. Vernon, brought out by B.T. Steiner was slow in developing but had proven to be a high-class allotment. The Timken Addition, from Fulton Road to Monument Road, north of Tenth Street, was sold by Realtor Frank McGowan and it built up rapidly with a fine quality of homes. Colonial Heights was handled by the Mark Hambleton firm of Realtors.  It had sidewalks, city conveniences, and the boulevard was beautified with grass and shrubbery.  It has become a great credit to its promoters. During this era a prominent firm of Realtors known as Zettler Brothers made a heavy impact on the growth of Canton. 

The three brothers were Ferd, William and Vincent.  They were developers, builders, and salesmen.  They laid out and sold several allotments on both sides of West TuSTARawas St from Harrison Avenue as far out as Montrose Avenue. Growth of the large steel mills in the east end of the city and moving of the Pennsylvania Railway Shops from Alliance to its then present east end location induced the Zettlers to move their operations to the east also. First, they sold a small allotment at Belden and 4th Street NE then laid out the gigantic Fairmount Park Addition of 1200 lots. 

Within the course of three or four years, they had built 185 houses.  Approximately one-fourth of these homes remained unsold during the 1921-1922 depression.  This was a heavy blow to Zettlers, who went out of business a few years later.  It should be said, however, that with sanitary sewers installed, the Fairmont Park area experienced a revival and was eventually well built up. In downtown Canton, H. H. Timken built the Daily New Building (later called the Mellett Building), the new YMCA building – erected in 1915 and McKinley High School – finished in 1918. In 1918, B. B. Beck, then a salesperson for the Zettler Realty Co., won the State Oratorical Contest at Columbus and went on to take second place at the National Convention in St. Louis.  Later Mr. Beck was County Clerk of Courts and a Massillon Realtor. His oration follows:

I rise to speak of Canton, the master city of the Middle West – Canton, the Sheffield of American.  In so doing, I would not take a jewel from the crown of Glory, or a flower from the garden of beauty from any other city, so ably represented tonight, but rather to recite in simple terms how nature, and native thrift have combined to make Canton the brightest star in the constellation of the great Buckeye State.  Dr. Frank McVey of the University of Minnesota has well written that the four fundamental factors having to do so with the growth and development of a City are:  Health, Schools, Morals and Business.  Let us review them briefly.  First, our splendid Water Supply of never failing palatable water – distributed by a city owned system – at the lowest of cost of any Ohio city; our fine Park Systems, with our main Water Works Park in the center of town; our elevation, permitting adequate drainage have combined to make our folk not only healthy but happy.  Second, our schools both Public and Parochial are noted for their fine modern facilities and finely trained instructors.  The recent completion of McKinley High School – one four largest and finest in the nation has brought not only our children, but to our citizens the finest equipment and curricula as well.  Our night schools at McKinley and our special courses in Americanization have given to our fair city, nationwide acclaim.  If, as Dr. Calvin Chubb, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Ohio University had written, “Education is the ability to meet an emergency”, then indeed our city has met the test.  Third, regarding Morals.  Our fine churches – one with the largest Sunday School in America – our new Central YMCA with a fine branch in our Industrial District – have all contributed a master part in our spiritual life and development.  A fine city owned Auditorium has given us an impetus in our cultural life.  Last, in Business, our diversified industries with steel as a basis have given to use world wide prestige.  The Timken Roller Bearing Co., the United Alloy, The Diebold Safe and Lock Co., and the Hoover Co., are household names all over the civilized world.  Our people are happily and profitably employed, and Labor and Management have long since recognized the salient fact that their interests are mutual.   We are not only located on the world’s greatest highway, but on America’s greatest Railway with two other fine railroads at our service.  We are in the heart of America’s great industrial system surrounded by an unexcelled farm and dairy area – giving us fine food with a never-failing supply.   But our Master City has not lived for herself alone.  She has given to the State and Nation her dearest and her best.  Not only the martyred McKinley, not only the Associate Justice William R. Day, not only the illustrious U.S. Senator the Hon. Atlee Pomerene and our gifted congressman Roscoe C. McCullough but many others of our citizens have played a master part in the great American Drama.  In times of national stress, during the Civil War and the Spanish American conflict, Canton and Stark County gave more of her sons to the cause in proportion to their population – than any other area in this wide, wide land of ours.  Here indeed is a Master City, here indeed is America at its best – here is Canton – the Sheffield of America.  

With the war over, both building and brokerage were at boom state in 1919. The area between Canton and North Canton was now in a state of rapid development, due largely to the efforts of Realtor Charles A. Kolp who bought acreage from which he carved allotments and tracts for re-sale.  Later with his sons Louis and Charles, Jr., as C.A. Kolp and Sons, this firm, with offices in the Kolp Bldg., 222 Cleveland Avenue NW., has done a fine business in every line of real estate endeavor.

In 1920 commission rates were increased from 3 percent to 4 percent on sales up to $10,000 with 2 ½ percent on all above that amount.  A mid-year campaign for new members, added a dozen new offices to the Board. Canton had been picked as the place for the 1920 state convention.  Frank Snell was appointed the general chairman for this event, which was held at the City Auditorium in October 1920.  It was well attended by Realtors from Boards throughout Ohio.  Many of those who attended fondly remembered the unusual stag party given by the Canton Entertainment Committee at the old German Club.

Part II.  Period of Post War Depression 1921-1922

By 1921 the post war depression was upon us.  It was severe but short lived and confidence was restored within two years. The Timken Company could not find housing for its many new employees since the war, so it arranged in 1920 for the construction of 250 new frame houses in Maryland Park Allotment.  Some thirty-odd houses were finished and sold to employees before the depression set in.  For a short time, the Timken factory was down to about 300 employees.  Work on the housing project slowed up; but in October 1921 when more homes were finished, the Canton Real Estate Board got a contract to sell them.

Chester Seran made 65 sales and won the grand prize of $250 and a silver cup. As a down payment Timken took anything of value – vacant lots, automobiles, stocks or jewelry.  The Timken Land Co. took the mortgages and land contracts. The Geo. D. Harter bank sold its building on the square to the Citizens Savings and Loan Co. and during 1922 erected its new 12 story bank and office building.  Unemployment was severe at this time, so the construction company paid laborers .30 per hour, with many in line offering to work for .20. Frank Snell was president in 1921. Upon the advice of former president T K Harris, a Board office had been set up in the Canton Bank Bldg. at 215 Market Avenue.  H.E. Beuhler had recently been employed as a permanent secretary at $150.00 per month.  He held this position for seven years, doubling his salary during the period.

An essay contest was conducted in January 1921 by the Board in the Canton Schools above the sixth grade on the subject, “Why Every Family Should Own Its Home”.  Jason Kling was Chairman of the committee which distributed a total of $500 in prizes among the winners in each eligible grade of each building.  Prizes ranged from $2 in the 7th and 8th grades to $50 in the high school.

In June 1921 Stanley McMichael of the Cleveland Board gave a splendid address on “Long Term Land Leaseholds.” At an October meeting the Board went on record as being opposed to the showing or sale of real estate on Sunday. Much study was given by a Building Code Committee to the proposed new code and recommended many amendments to prevent a great increase in cost, but still save the sanitary and safety measures. It was during 1922 that the Eagle Block, home of the First National Bank, was razed and the new 13 story office building erected.  Then, Canton had three skyscraper office buildings:  Renkert Bldg., Harter Bank Bldg., and First National Bank Bldg.  The Brant Bldg., erected in 1925, added 8 stories of fine space.

Part III.  Expansion through a Multiple Listing Exchange 1923-1930

The Multiple Listing Systems, with exclusive listing contracts, had been under discussion for several months and was now approved to be put into operation by March 1.  It followed largely the pattern of that in use successfully by the Toledo Board in recent years.  Jason Kling was chairman of the committee sponsoring this innovation. Despite some violations of the adopted rules, and many arguments, this exchange of listings was made to work to the great advantage of seller, buyer, and Realtor, because it increased the liquidity of real property. Multiple Listing remained a valued asset of the Board until business was halted by the depression in 1931.

In the spring of 1923, President-elect Clyde Corbett and Henry Young built and sold “The Model Home of the Canton Real Estate Board” at 1304 17th St NW for $11,500.  A profit of about $1500 went to the Board treasury. Also, early in 1924 the Board bought a vacant lot on Broad Avenue near W. TuSTARawas St. and later sold it at a $300 profit. Up to this year, salesmen had equal voting powers with the brokers.  A committee with Frank Snell as chairman, worked out an acceptable revision of the Constitution and Bylaws which was adopted.  It provided for:

  1. Active members to be brokers with one vote per office.  Annual dues $30.  Initiation fee $65.
  2. Salesmen lost their vote.  Dues $10 per year.
  3. Associate members, as interested business men, at $5 per year.

Due to a heavy migration of African Americans from the South to supply labor for our factories, a problem of segregation arose.  After some difficulties in this respect the Board passed a regulation which forbade the sale of houses to African American families in all-white neighborhoods.

The Stern and Mann store and the Onesto Hotel were built between 1924-1926. The Multiple Listing Exchange was doing so well that Secretary Beuhler had to have an office assistant.  With around 65 offices in the Board and an operating expense of $6000 per year, including office rent of $45 per month, necessary funds were raised from dues, multiple listing taxes, initiation fees, and profit from the occasional purchase and sale of a home. By then several Canton Realtors had offices in Florida.  The stories of their operations were fabulous.  The Florida boom was booming.  Our friends became wealthy in Florida “paper profits” and so haughty that they said we were “pikers” to work so hard in Canton for such small rewards.

When the Florida bubble burst in 1926, the old saying “He laughs best who laughs last” was in order. Everything list, they returned meekly to re-open their Canton offices. Albert Fink was made President in 1926.  He continued the Practice Appraisal Committee, which went out and examined most of the new listings to see if they were worth broadcasting.  If a property was listed for more than 10 percent over the committee’s figure, it was withheld for adjustment. A new committee was named each week. Commissions on inter-office sales were divided this:  two-thirds to selling office and one-third to listing office, after the Board had taken out 5 percent of the commission as a tax.  No fee was charged when a property was sold by the Listing office. Three high class allotments had been laid out in or near Canton since 1920:  Ridgewood, Hills and Dales, and Avondale.


Hills and Dales, located in Jackson Twp., three miles northwest of Canton, was developed from 220 acres of very hilly and partly wooded farm land by the T. K., Harris Co.  Among its several winding roadways are 130 beautiful homesites, averaging better than an acre for each, and two wooded parkland areas.  One these sites, sixty-eight fine homes have been built, leaving 29 unimproved tracts by 1956.

To obtain gas service, and to gain certain other advantages by corporate process, the whole allotment was incorporated into the Village of Hills and Dales in 1929. The Hills and Dales Owners’ Association through its committees, passes upon the acceptance of prospective purchasers, upon plans for new homes, and has charge of the maintenance of vacant lots and the parks, which are kept in lawn-like condition. Many who can know say that Hills and Dales is the best maintained allotment to be found anywhere.  What more can anyone say?  What greater reward could be bestowed upon the proprietor and developer of this beautiful allotment? I.A. Pierson, secretary for the T.K. Harris Co. states that his firm has been responsible for the development of the Maples at North Market and 37th Street of Orchard Acres on 54th St NW., of Tam O’Shanter Golf Course, a 36-hole public course and West Dale Allotment.


Ridgewood No.1, was developed and sold by the Leonard Agency Co.  It is west of N. Market Avenue from 19th to 25th streets.  Lots were large; all conveniences were in, and paving done.  Adequate restrictions controlled construction.  This allotment was such a success that the same agency put on Ridgewood 2 and 3 on the east side of Market a few years later.  Many of the finest homes in Canton are in these allotments.  In all there were 488 lots.


Avondale was conceived and developed from a group of farmers by Clarence G. Herbruck, a prominent Canton lawyer.  It was an ambitious enterprise requiring a lot of thought, courage and capital.  It lies on both sides of Fulton Road beyond the city limits in Plain Township.  Mr. Herbruck employed Proctor Noyes, a Cleveland engineer and landscape artist to lay out and develop the land into highly restricted home sites.  He then engaged the Wm. J. Uebelhart Agency to sell them. 

Later Realtor Wm. J. Sweatt took over after Uebelhart’s death in 1936.  He made the final sale of Avondale’s 409 lots in 1955. The Avondale Home Owners’ Association controls restrictions and has charge of the maintenance of the few remaining vacant lots.  Purchasers and house plans must be approved by a committee before a deed can be delivered. Beautiful homes now occupy about seventy percent of the sites, and the Avondale school has twice, in the fifties, enlarged both its grounds and its building to accommodate and attendance of over 700 pupils.

New and well built-up allotments now adjoining Avondale and known as being in the Avondale district are West Avondale, Ridgedale, Belvidere, Parkridge, Applecrest, Lindenwood and Lakeview Heights. A city park called the Arboretum adjoins along the creek on the north. St. Michael’s Catholic Church and a United Presbyterian Church were being built in this area in the 50s. In 1927 the Ohio Real estate license law became effective with a $1000 bond required of broker, who were held responsible for acts of their salesmen. 

Since then the State Board of Real Estate Examiners has held written examinations for all new applicants, and employed investigators to consider complaints.  In recent years a $5000 bond was required. In 1928 business was faltering as financing became more and more difficult.  Building and Loan Associations got 7 percent interest on 10-year loans, up to 60 percent of the appraised value.  To make sales it was common for the seller to take back a second mortgage to be paid out in three years by means of a re-financing if necessary. 

This made trouble for both parties later. Some life insurance money was available through local agents at 6 percent on the better class of homes and on some business properties.  During this period from 1917 to 1930, it was a common practice to sell land contract equities and second mortgages to individuals and to mortgage discount companies at a discount from 10 percent to 30 percent depending on the date of maturity and other factors.  Builders usually needed to cash in on this “junior equity” paper, to continue operations.

The Title Mortgage Co. headed by Jerome Krider and Mark Hambleton was the best known of several such financial concerns in operation.  This company once held $800,000.00 in face value of securities, but the ravages of deflation cause great losses – as much as $250,000 in one depression year.  It was one of three such companies in Ohio able to survive the depression. For 1929 Edwin Gehman was President and Miss Walther served her last year as secretary.  By this time investments in real estate were suffering from competition with the stock market. 

Almost everybody was speculating in common stocks, on margin, in a rampaging bull market. This bubble burst on October 29, 1929. That was the beginning of the Great Depression which lasted for ten years until the World War II started in Europe in 1939. Jason Kling was the 1930 choice for President and Wm. Armstrong became secretary as the Board office had to be closed due to lack of sales.  Board expenses were curtailed.  a $1000 bank loan was made with which to pay over-due bills. 

With an unsold property on its hands, the Board rented the house at 1603 Olive Place NE after taking it back from two would-be purchasers.  Finally, in 1936 it was sold at a small profit. The taxation committee was trying to get a 10 percent blanket reduction of the Stark County Tax duplicate, but the County Auditor refused to make it.  As a result, he was defeated for re-election and the new Auditor cooperated with the Board to get tax relief. At the end of 1930 the membership of the Board consisted of 35 members.

Period of the Great Depression 1931-1939  

With the advent of 1931 the depression was producing some dire results.  Unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosures, delinquent taxes, a vicious spiral; down and down went everything.  Families doubled up wherever possible, leaving houses and apartments vacant.  Rents went to one-third their former rate, yet many could not pay anything. The Board brought Mr. Braden, chairman of the State Tax Commission here to explain what could be done locally for tax relief.  E. B. Cranston circulated petitions requesting a 10 percent blanket reduction and turned them in with over 5000 signatures to the County Auditor in 1930.

Lester Lash, the new County Auditor, employed what was left of the Board members to help make the county wide re-appraisal of 1931.  This resulted in substantial reduction of the duplicate, and in future taxes. Since there was no available financing, not many sales could be made.  A good trader could make occasional deals. The Board’s office equipment and records were then stored on the 11th floor of the Renkert Bldg. for the next 10 years.

In October 1931, the Geo. D. Harter bank closed.  People, without grief, were those who held their property clear of debt and had some means for food, fuel and clothing.  Realtors strove for solvency by doing a rental and management business. To protect landlords from imposters, The Canton Property Owners’ Rental Association was organized with Hayes Putnam of the Citizens Savings and Loan Co. president and C. H. Corbett, secretary.  The members were building and loan associations, who now owned hundreds of houses, apartment building owners and Realtors.  This group held semi-monthly meetings in which ideas were traded and cooperation encouraged, thus rendering a valuable service for several years.

During several months of 1932 and 1933 one might have $100,000 or any other sum, on deposit yet be unable to draw out more than enough for the necessities of life.  Finally, by March 3, 1933, practically all the banks of the country were closed and President Roosevelt, just inaugurated, declared a bank holiday and decreed that they might reopen only as they could meet the requirements of the Federal Reserve Bank of their district. The Board membership reached a low of 15 staunch and hardy Realtors in 1933. 

By the fall of that year, the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) was in operation to save home owners from foreclosures or to help recover homes already lost. Joseph Conrad was appointed manager for this district of four counties:  Stark, TuSTARawas, Wayne and Holmes, with offices in the Canton Post Office bldg. Local Realtors were employed to make the appraisals.  Thus, thousands of families were able to refinance at 4 percent, with future easy monthly payments. 

These houses were required to be put in good repair, which gave work to the building trades and material dealers. National Recovery Administration and Work Projects Administration provided employment to added thousands and provided income and purchasing power to these families. Authorities ignored the law on foreclosure of properties when taxes were delinquent, and the Ohio legislature came to the rescue with the Wittemore Act.  It allowed all delinquent taxes and assessment to be paid out in ten equal semi-annual installments. During 1933 some far-sighted Realtors urged the founding of the FHA – Federal Housing Authority – for the insurance of mortgage loans by the Federal Government, and for the general improvement of allotment and housing standards. 

By 1936 this wonderful bureau was extending its helping hand to the mortgage loan business of this area, from its Cleveland offices. Recovery was slow indeed, but it was on its way.  The financial institutions of Canton were the unwilling owners of around 4000 properties. By 1937 many of these homes had been repaired and put on the market to be sold by the real estate fraternity, at 10 percent down. 

Realtors ad salespeople were able to earn their bread and butter again. The Board was able to survive on a small budget since it had no office and paid Mr. E. C. Roberts only $15 per month as secretary for several years. State and national dues were the largest items of expense. To be the president of the Board meant the expenditure of much time and energy, but all so honored, did the job well without complaint.  They needed – and received – loyal support from the various committees of this, a fine business and professional organization.

In January of each year the past year’s president has a banquet given in his honor at which time he is presented a plaque of appreciation from the entire membership.  In his final report he summarizes the accomplishments of the past year.

First Home Show

There had been very few homes built since 1929, and the Board authorized Ralph S. Cook and C. A. Seran to put on a Home Show in the old City Auditorium.  The show was held in 1938, and the entire space was sold out to builders, architects and building supply dealers.  It was well attended and stimulated considerable interest in home building.  When the show was over the displays, decorations and some material owned by the Board was auctioned off, and Mr. Seran, who bid the amount of the deficit, saved the Board from any loss.

The Second World War 1940 – 1945  

The drafting of young men for defense service in 1940, and for the war after December 1941 brought on a rush to the marriage mart.  These young couples filled up the vacant homes and apartments.  At long last inflations had set in.  It was a welcome change. Albert Fink was the president in 1940.  John Bonsall in 1941; and Carl F. Wise for the next two years – 1942 and 1943.  Wise had served a previous term in 1931.  This makes him the only three-term president the Board had had since the Board was organized in 1914. 

T. K. Harris had served three years as president of the previous board 1911-1913, and two terms at the head of the new board 1920 and 1936, besides his 1942 term as president of the Ohio Association. This record of service plus his continuous work on the important committee since 1909, undoubtedly makes T. K. Harris the esteemed dean of the canton Real Estate Board. The first important accomplishment of the Carl Wise administration in 1942 was the opening of a Board office on the 3rd floor of the Citizens Bldg., and a multiple listing exchange was voted into operation, using the pattern of the Grand Rapids, Michigan board. 

With much argument and occasional amendments, it has been a popular instrument of service for the past 14 years.  Normally about 30 percent of the listings are sold and at least 25 percent of sales are inter-office sales.  The Board takes 5 percent of the commission on inter-office sales, and 1 percent on sales by the listing office. From 1942 to 1951 the listing office got two -thirds and the selling office one-third of the net commission.  Since 1951 the division has been fifty-fifty. Carl Wise represented the Ohio Association of Realtors Washington Committee for the years 1942 and 1943.  This committee opposed Federal Housing, rent control and government interference in the field of private enterprise.

State Convention at Canton May 25-27, 1942

For the first time since 1920, the Canton Board entertained the other boards of Ohio at the 33rd Annual Convention.  This was quite appropriate since Thomas K. Harris was president of the state association, and was doing a fine job of rehabilitation and improvement of its financial status. Ralph S. Cook was made chairman of the convention committee. With the loyal aid of several committees and all the members, elaborate arrangements were made and carried through for a highly successful convention.

War restrictions on travel cut the attendance somewhat, but the Board sustained a loss of only $200. Rent Control under the Office of Price Administration (OPA) was set up in June 1942 over protests of all the real estate boards across the country. As administered, it was quite popular with tenants, but very unpopular with landlords who fought it locally and through the Realtors’ Washington Committee at the National Capital to the bitter end about nine years later. Builders were limited to war housing under permits from the War Control Board.  If the builder could get his houses completed with the amount of materials allowed, he must sell only to approved war workers at a pre-construction fixed price. The Federal Government moved in with housing projects of its own, despite all organized objections as to quality and location.

Don Mellett Homesteads, consisting of 300 units was hastily erected and eagerly occupied by workers from the new Navy Plant less than a mile away on Raff Rd SW. Crescent Garden Homes with 217 single-family frame houses, near Genoa, on the Canton-Massillon Rd.  were nice looking and really a credit to the builders.  They were erected under the Lanham Act of Congress which permitted the sale to individual purchasers, as soon as the war was over. Near Sherrick Rd and Warner Rd SE in Canton, was the Sherrick Court and the Jackson Park project which added 320 units of cheaply built, temporary housing.

Now, ten years after the war ended, they are all occupied and seem to be becoming more permanent than temporary. Up until this time, the Board had been an unincorporated association of Realtors®.  The officers now decided that a corporation – not for profit, would better serve the organization and relieve individual members of liability.  Consequently, the change was made, and a state of Ohio charter received under the date of April 27, 1943. At the end of 1943, the Board consisted of 55 active broker members. By now sales commission rates had increased from 4 percent to 5 percent and annual dues from $30 to $50 per year.

Under the subject of arbitration, it should be stated that from the very beginning the Board has had an arbitration committee to hear cases between members, who are required to submit their disagreements rather than resort to courts of law.  The records relate many cases heard and amicably settled throughout the whole recorded history of the Board. Around 1940 the Board of Directors decided to be the arbitration committee and had many borderline cases to decide. One case had a serious kick-back when a prominent member refused to abide by the decision. 

When the directors tried to expel this member, legal action for reinstatement and damages was brought against the Board.  The Board’s counsel advised the bylaws would have to be amended to give the directors authority to expel a member. Whereupon this recalcitrant member was reinstated and was paid some damages. It was in 1944 that Charles Dougherty, dean of Realtors at that time, died at the age of 93. His name had been prominent in real estate and business circles of Canton since 1884 when he gave up dentistry due to ill health.

As the spark plug for the old Canton Board of Trade, he was chiefly responsible for raising the necessary funds to bring prospective industries here.  He closed his office for three weeks to canvass for the $100,000 needed to bring in Dueber-Hampden Watch Works in 1888. In 1901 he engineered the famous Opera House lot sale to get the Carnahan family and its east-end industries into Canton.  The sale occurred on Sunday afternoon in April when several hundred enthusiastic prospects were enticed to the Grand Opera House on 3rd St SE. 

Mr. Dougherty made a rousing speech showing the great benefits accruing to Canton, then offered for sale, by lottery, 290 lots in the Carnahan addition along 8th St NE.  As the lot numbers were drawn C.H. Slabaugh, acting as secretary, recorded the purchasers with their numbers and their down payments.  It proved to be a huge success. Mr. Dougherty is credited with inducing the Timkens to bring their axle company here from St. Louis.  As president of the Board of Trade, he raised the $2500 necessary to purchase the original site of the Timken Plant on Harrison Ave SW and it was secured for Canton. Mr. Dougherty finished his career, as manager of the Renkert bldg., where he had his final office.  He was a loyal member of the Board from its inception to his death.           

The Woman’s Council

The Woman’s Council is a national organization, but its members are required to be from the local real estate board.  Canton Women’s Council was organized in December 1944.  Its purpose was to improve women in the field of real estate, professionally, socially, and culturally. Olivee McCoy, the canton chapter’s second president was state president in 1947 and helped organize the Michigan and Kentucky state chapters.  She also held offices in the regional and national organizations.  In 1951 and 1952 Mrs. McCoy represented the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards as Ohio’s only member on the Realtors’ Washington Committee.

Post War Building Boom – Inflation 1946-1956

With the war over, the boys were returning home, seeking romance and jobs.  In this recovery period, they soon found both.  With controls and rationing removed, the big post-war boom was on.  Prices were rising, and inflation was rampant.  With so many marriages, the demand for housing was astronomical.  Realtor builders had long GI waiting lists without advertising. 

Such were the conditions when Atlee Evans was elected president of the Board for 1946.  he and his successor, Al Scheetz for 1947 both did their jobs well in this transition period from a war to a peace economy. The STARcity of good lumber, as well as of all other materials, made the building of new homes extremely difficult.  There were not siding or interior trim available, fir to use. A shortage of rock lath and plaster delayed many a house for months. Bathtubs and nails were at a premium. Builders often took trucks and scouted around the villages and cities of northern Ohio for STARce items.

The Veterans’ Administration had opened offices at Cleveland to process and approve GI applications for mortgage loans in much the same way as FHA had been doing the past ten years, except that the term was easier. No down payment was required, the interest rate was only 4 percent and terms up to twenty-five years, on new houses, were common, if one could find some bank, building and loan company or insurance company to take the loan – and many of them did. The current interest rate for FHA loans was also 4 percent and for conventional loans, it was 4.5 percent. 

In 1953, GI and FHA rates were increased to 4.5 percent, making all three kinds of loans at the same rate. In 1948 the Board had seventy-five active members.  Multiple listing was improved.  A uniform purchase contract for inter-office sales was adopted.  Picture listings became available for an extra fee of ten dollars per listing. At the state convention held in Columbus in 1948, the National Association of Real Estate Boards awarded the Canton Board an unusual prize for having a special “Constitution Day” observance in the year this ceremony was inaugurated.  The prize was a gavel and case made of metal from the USS Missouri and of wood from two famous American homes, Mount Vernon and Monticello.

Resume on Rehabilitation by E.L. Cutler, Realtor

In 1952, it became apparent to the trustees of the Canton Real Estate Board that Canton and Stark County, in general, were faced with the same problem of many other older communities in America; namely a cancerous deterioration through premature and unnecessary slums. In discussing the problem, it was soon found that the Board was not alone in its thinking. 

The Home Builders Association, as well as business and industry, were also concerned; so, a small committee, comprised of Richard and Earl Lawrence, representing the building industry; Herbert Markley, secretary of Timken Roller Bearing Company; Hayes Putman, Vice President of the Citizens’ Savings and Loan Company; Councilman Paul Barthelmeh; and the President of the Board, E.L. Cutler, met with Realtor Mayor Carl Wise to discuss the problem. From this early meeting, a basic plan was formed. A general committee of some thirty-five people, representing industry, business, churches, and labor, as well as other social and business factions, was appointed by the Mayor to support and make further study of Canton’s rehabilitation problem.  This committee became known as COR – Committee on Rehabilitation. 

It was interesting to note that, along with President Cutler and Board Secretary, Sheldon Moore, that Realtors Fred Broad and Al Scheetz also served actively. To provide motivation, knowledge and publicity, a bus tour of Canton’s slums was made under the supervision of Harold S Goodrich, past president of the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards.  Mr. Goodrich also served as guest speaker on this subject at the fortieth Annual Banquet at the Canton Board a month later. During the years 1953-1955, studies of other cities were made, a sea of written material was digested, special committees were formed, and an office established for COR by the good graces of the Timken Roller Bearing Company, with Gervis Brady as Director.

Early in the year 1956, a program was completed with a summary of the many studies of Canton’s present and future slum problems, and with recommendations for the necessary changes in the building code and for an outline of a publicity program for the citizenry. This study, as intended, was given in total to Mayor Wise who, in turn, will put the plan into operation as a new city function. It is expected that, within the year, an Urban Renewal Committee, or Housing Commission, will be established within the city administration, and that active work will begin no later than early 1957.  The possibilities of this program are great:  its actual accomplishments will, of course, be controlled by administration and funds, available as time goes on.

A report on Foto-Listings by H. Sheldon Moore, Executive-Secretary

The Canton Real Estate Board started a three months trial period of Foto-Multi-Listing service in July 1954 during the presidency of Augustus Dannemiller, in order that the membership could experience the actual use of the system in their daily business activity. There was an immediate favorable response by the public and the members.  The multiple listing committee, with Graham Sharick as chairman recommended to the Board of Trustees that the issue be put to a vote of the members. The trustees authorized the vote and it was later favorably passed by the membership. 

The system was then permanently installed at a cost of $3500.00 in September 1954. During 1955, 4000 listings were processed thru the Foto-Multi-Listing Service and aided substantially in establishing a record high in servicing the buying and selling public. The sales volume of residential properties almost doubled to 19 million dollars in a three-year period.  There was an increase from 30 percent to 40 percent n the number of listed properties sold. The year 1955 produced a record of 1588 homes sold by members at an average sales price of $12,000 each. The Canton Real Estate Board has been a pioneer in offering the finest service to the buying and selling public and has kept faith by improving its system to keep up with the most modern trends in merchandising.

Women in Real Estate by Olivee McCoy

Until the period of the second world war, there were few women in the real estate field.  The Canton Board had only one lady broker in 1931, and only five in 1943, but as of 1956, there are eleven women. Of the 230 associate (salespeople) members, 103 were women and the percentage gradually increased. With all the modern household appliances in efficiently planned homes, with smaller families and extra cars at their disposal, most women like to get out and earn something. 

It helps balance the budget. At the selling of homes, these ladies are very successful.  Mrs. Ivy Baker Priest, the first woman to ever hold the high office of Treasurer of the United States has envisioned – “women playing an increasingly greater part in all fields of work during the next half-century.” If one were to prophesy it would seen certain, that in the future, women will do more and more in the fields of selling, renting and building.  This is only natural since they have an interest at heart, in homemaking, and in the security of homeownership.

1957 witnessed 2 milestones in the history of the Canton Real Estate Board – Emily Drusilla (Dru) Whipple was elected as the first female president and board membership reached 100-member offices for the first time since the board’s inception.  These membership figures were historic as few brokers had more than five sales agents.  In fact, many offices were one-person operations. Active in many community groups, the Canton Real Estate Board voiced its concern and opposition to the Public Housing issue and agreed to allocate $1,000 to defeat this issue. 

Chester Seran was voted to represent the Canton Real Estate Board on the Citizens’ Committee for the referendum vote against Public Housing. The Canton Real Estate Board also expressed its displeasure with the group advertising for owner ads appearing in The Canton Repository’s classified section.  Trustee meetings were held at the Canton YMCA and sometimes the Onesto Hotel while board officers were in the Kolp Building on Cleveland Avenue until 1964. The Board’s 20th president, Chester Seran, had previously served as secretary in 1932 and as president in 1933 and 1934. 

Throughout his leadership roles with the Canton Real Estate Board, Seran constantly searched for new sources of revenue to finance local governmental operations.  He sought to ease the tax burden on property owners who he believed paid an unfair share of the cost of schools, city and county buildings, streets, and sidewalks. Legislatively, the Canton Real Estate Board monetarily supported the National Association of Real Estate Board’s fight in defense of the MLS tax fight.  Seran believed renters should also be responsible through some method of taxation. 

During Seran’s third term, the board permitted Associate (sales agent) members of the Canton Real Estate Board to become Associate members in Women’s Council of Realtors.  That year, the board also conferred honorary membership upon John Bonsall and endorsed Miller Foulk of Lake Milton, OH as a candidate for the 1959 Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards Treasurer. In 1959, James Durkin spearheaded the construction of the board’s new facility at 19th Street and Fulton Rd. 

Some members voiced concern over the board “owning” a building.  However, those who believe professionals in the business of selling homes ought to have a home of their own prevailed.  Additionally, the board officers began organizing various committees. Prior to 1959, the Trustees and Officers were the only group to meet on behalf of board business.  The new committees provided members with a kind of “ownership” in their organization. 

Luncheon programs, initiated several years prior to 1959, continued a weekly basis at the St. Francis hotel. Factory managers, superintendents, business owners, school officials, politicians, bankers and others who dealt with any aspect of real estate addressed the Realtors at these programs. The board also addressed efforts to improve communications to members about board business and related information.  As a result, members were updated about legislative issues pertinent to the real estate industry through articles in the Canton Realtor. 

Furthermore, all salespersons utilizing the MLS photo service began receiving a copy of the publication.  Additionally, the Trustees endorsed the Ohio Association of Real Estate Board’s group life insurance plan issuing the board membership access to a statewide health insurance plan. At the national level, the board endorsed 1958 president Chester Seran for a position as a National Association of Real Estate Board Director. In 1960, a Board Speakers’ Bureau was created to provide other organizations the opportunity to find out more about the real estate industry.  An excellent public relations medium, the Speakers’ Bureau made available educational information regarding real estate transactions and their impact on and benefits to the community.

As membership grew, the Board leadership realized changes needed to be made in day-to-day activities.  The Trustees granted the Associate Realtors Division authorization to meet at their discretion and to report progress to the Trustees. This authorization gave the Associates independence they had not experienced prior to this ear.  Additionally, Logan appointed a committee to hire an attorney to serve as the Board’s legal counsel, mainly for advisement for clarification and modification of the Board’s Constitution and Bylaws.

The Board leadership also saw the need to examine the financial status of the Multiple Listing Service in relation to the Board as a trade association.  As a result, the Board examined the exact cost to members of the trade association versus the MLS expense and income.  As for change in the daily MLS operation, the membership voted to eliminate “fifty free listings,” supported by the MLS committee. 

In June of 1960, the Board of Trustees elected Clyde Corbett as an Honorary Member. In 1961, under the leadership of President Atlee Evans, the Canton Real Estate Board adopted a policy instituting a fee for Associate members (agents) transferring from one office to another. Upon transfer, associate members were then required to make reapplication for Board membership as defined under new member candidacy and had to again go before the Membership Committee for consideration. 

Additionally, a $25 processing (application) fee was assessed to each associate candidate seeking board membership.  The Board also decided to appropriate the necessary equipment and funding to preserve all Canton Real Estate Board historical material.  The Trustees appointed Clyde Corbett, the Board’s historian and author of the first board history, as chair of the committee to oversee this process. In October, a group of members, chaired by James Durkin, were appointed to the reactivated building committee to continue exploration of a board-owned facility. 

The Trustees approved the committee’s proposal and preliminary plans board building at 1900 Fulton Drive.  Furthermore, honorary life membership was extended to Ralph Cook for his contributions to the Canton Real Estate Board and to the real estate industry. In February 1962, under the leadership of President Ralph Steele, the Canton Real Estate Board accepted the Building committee’s proposal to option 2 lots at 19th Street and Fulton Rd NW.  In March, the Trustees accepted the Education Committee’s recommendation to implement an indoctrination course for new Associate members, thus establishing a formal orientation for new members.

Also in 1962, the Trustees allowed one part-time associate from each office membership in the Board.  Previously no part-time associates were applicable for membership. Other significant events included planning for the yearlong celebration in 1963 of the 50th anniversary of the Canton Real Estate Board; legislative support of a 1% income tax for the City of Canton; and streamlining the board’s complaint process. 

The president appointed a Professional Standards Committee to investigate, conduct hearings and make recommendations to the Trustees on matters of complaint and arbitration to more efficiently structure the process. In 1963, the Canton Real Estate Board celebrated its 50th anniversary.  The highlight of this celebratory year came when the cornerstone of the Board’s new building at 1900 Fulton Rd NW was laid.  This construction brought years of planning the new building to reality.  President George Edwards had the distinct honor of cutting the ribbon at the new building site. In celebration of 50 milestone years, the board participated in Canton Future Week sponsored by the Canton Chamber of Commerce through a special 50th anniversary insert and in the Stark County Fair. 

As in previous years, the Board donated funds commemorating the anniversary to purchase trees in celebration of Arbor Day activities.  As for changes in MLS operations that year, the board adopted publishing Savings & Loans’ foreclosed properties without reference to the listing broker.  The Trustees then instituted an Appraisal Committee to define the “fair market value” for the sale of these listed foreclosed properties.  The board revamped its indoctrination program, requiring applicants for junior membership to complete the indoctrination course prior to their membership approval.

In October 1964, the Trustees approved a name change for the board and the MLS.  The Canton Real Estate Board became known as the Canton Board of Realtors (CBR) while the MLS became know as the Realtors Multi-Photo Listing Service, Inc.  Both name changes were approved by the National Association of Real Estate Boards and thus were official as of 1964.  The new MLS instituted the photo listing process. Prior to this point, MLS listings were printed on cards with descriptions.  This new process now included photos of the house or building on the MLS cards.

To advance fair housing standards and practices the trustees approved withdrawing the terms “colored or white” from all classified advertisements appearing in The Canton Repository.  This seemingly small and insignificant action laid the groundwork for the future of fair housing practices within the real estate industry and undoubtedly ranked as a milestone in the Canton Board of Realtors’ 51-year existence.  Additionally, the Trustees appointed two new committees – one to handle charitable contributions made on behalf of the Board and one to explore and devise a Blue Cross group insurance plan for the membership instead of relying on the National Association of Real Estate Boards’ plan formerly endorsed by the Canton Board of Realtors.

Another service for the membership, the Education Committee began offering a 9-week pre-licensure course for new applicants. During Charles Burson’s second term as Board president in 1965, the Canton Board of Realtors experienced several changes.  Burson agreed to a consecutive presidential term to ensure the new photo listing process was implemented successfully. In June, the Trustees replaced the indoctrination course with a mandatory 30-hour pre- and post-license educational course for Associate member applicants. 

This course was opened to the present membership on a voluntary basis for no fee beginning in January 1966.  In July, the board adopted a Code of Practice regarding race, creed, color, etc. for the membership.  The code’s development as a direct result of recommendations by the Ohio Association was a direct result of recommendations by the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards to employ various written practices within the local boards throughout the state.

The Board continued its partnership with the Canton Chamber of Commerce through its participation in Industry Appreciation Day.  Also in 1965, the Trustees established an election committee to assist in nominations for officers and trustee positions. In 1966, Fred Minor began his role as president of the Canton Board of Realtors, the only president ever nominated by petition. While a nominating committee selected a candidate for president, the membership did not choose to elect this candidate, due to tremendous dissension among the membership.  To resolve this issue, several members successfully pooled a petition to elect Minor as president.

Throughout 1966, the board began making additional mortgage payments on the Board building, a move that would prove financially beneficial in 1967.  Once dissection settled, the Trustees focused on the board’s future.  In March of that year, the Brokers began a discussion on the abolition of the Membership Committee’s “part-time rule.”  The current policy allowed only one part-time associate to join the Board per company. In June, Executive Secretary Sheldon Moore resigned, and Trustee Oris George replaced Moore.  Larry Williams agreed to fill the Trustee position vacated by George. During the year, the Board purchased new printing equipment that allowed the Board to update the production of its own multiple listings, a feature not many other Ohio MLSs had. 

As a result, the Canton Board began printing the Akron Board’s multiple listings in addition to their own. In January 1967, Martin Polsky assumed the office of President for the Canton Board of Realtors.  Probably the single most important event of the year happened in November when the board paid off the mortgage on the building, $12,268.58.  The board had begun making extra payments in 1966 to accomplish this. Also, that year, the Trustees voted to oppose House Bill 913, consisting of a 1% transfer tax, and urged the membership to contact their legislative representatives and Senators voicing their opposition. The Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards also became heavily involved in fighting this issue. 

Additionally, on the legislative front, the Board supported an increase in local income taxes, Issue #5. Later that year, the Trustees established the last Wednesday of October as the annual meeting and election.  Also established was a new membership policy.  Now, applicants for membership were required to complete a pre-license course (sponsored by the Board) and have a valid Ohio real estate license prior to membership approval. At the request of 1968 board president Charles Bailey, the first Past Presidents’ luncheon was established to recognize and honor the past board’s leadership.  The Past Presidents’ luncheon went on to become an event for many years.

In recent years, many changes were on the horizon for the Canton Board of Realtors.  The Trustees called for a constitutional change prohibiting a non-Realtor from sharing an office with a Realtor member.  Once again, the board fine-tuned the membership guidelines. New members were first required to appear before the Membership Committee for approval before approval by the Trustees and completion of the pre-licensure course, the state examination and the post-licensure course.  These new applicants were then listed each month in the Canton Realtor. Fair housing issues arose when a Realtor member proposed the Fair Housing Ordinance to city county and, in turn, requested board support of the ordinance from the Trustees. 

When no formal support by the board was issued, the ordinance brought the current fair housing situation to the attention of the board. Additionally, in 1968, the Canton Board of Realtors endorsed Charles Burson as Treasurer for the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards. During Charles Bailey’s second term as board president, the board joined forces with the Massillon and Alliance boards of Realtors, the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards and the local Home Builders group to fight the proposed county 3 mill increase of the transfer tax.

This issue consumed the groups for much of the year. The board also made a change to the pre-and post-license courses.  They assigned 3 days of the pre-license course to mathematics and moved the legal information section to the post-license coursework.  Hospitalization and group insurance programs from Equitable Life Insurance of New York were made available to the Canton Board of Realtors members. The National Association of Real Estate Boards had recently approved the programs to offer members. 

Additionally, a proposal for a “sold” book, listing all sales in the county verified by county records, was presented to the Trustees.  Once again, the board participated in Realtor week activities and conferred Honorary Life Membership upon John Rowe. In 1970, efforts to merge the Canton and Massillon Boards of Realtors began through a series of informal discussions. President Klinger was instrumental in beginning these talks.  1970 also saw the release of “Under All is the Land,” a literary project of the National Association of Realtors.  Klinger distributed copies to every Stark County high school and college at a special luncheon at the Onesto Hotel. 

The book, detailing the history of and projections for land use in America, was created to explain how land was developed for housing, commercial ventures, highways and recreational facilities such as parks and entertainment centers.  It was regarded as a valuable resource guide for the real estate and land development industry.  Many educators considered the book a great asset for their students. The Trustees, after member complaints, began looking at ways to improve the Canton Realtor magazine. 

They soon turned this project over to the MLS committee.  Klinger appointed a Personnel Committee to begin the search for a replacement for Oris George, the Executive Secretary. In 1971, one of the most significant meetings in the Canton Board of Realtors short history took place. The first joint meeting to explore merger options between the Alliance, Massillon and Canton Boards of Realtors occurred in March.  While mergers would not be completed for many years, the board leadership knew it was time to look to the future of the organization. 

The board faced two additional undertakings in 1971:  1) redefining the Board’s Constitution and bylaws and 2) an investigation of appraisal procedures for FHA required repairs.  Roy Klinger was tapped to head the investigative appraisal group.  New Broker applicants were required for the first time to pay the entire application fee upon submission of their applications for membership.  Legislatively, the board became politically active in voicing support for House Bill 132.  The Trustees issued a formal letter of support to the Senators and Representatives and encouraged all members to follow suit.  Additionally, the Trustees conferred honorary life membership upon I.A. Williams and established a committee to formally investigate other deserving candidates for honorary life membership.

1972 was a year of change and exploration.  Merger possibilities between the Canton and Massillon Boards progressed forward as formal merger discussions between the two entities began.  At the beginning of Dale Marks’ presidential term, the Board’s Executive Officer, Oris George, resigned, leaving Marks to operate the board office himself for six months until William Kistner was hired. One of Marks’ most significant contributions as president was the Board’s evolution to a member-orientated organization.  For the first time, members volunteered to serve on committees and in leadership roles.  Marks also urged members to become more active in promoting and following fair housing practices.  Furthermore, the Board established an evening post-licensure class to appeal to the part-time sales agents.

Throughout the year, members and the Board itself, became more involved in local legislative issues.  The Trustees agreed to support repealing the Stark County transfer tax with the assistance of the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards. The Board also supported a legislative amendment to regulation “Z” which regulated the Truth in lending act.  The amendment aimed at assisting homebuyers in shopping for the best credit terms.  Additionally, the Trustees abolished requiring agents transferring from one office to another to appear before the Membership Committee before transfer status was granted.  However, the $25 transfer fee remained in effect.

In 1973, Stephen Ginella’s leadership was credited with two significant accomplishments:  increasing the board’s visibility within the community through National Realtors® week (now known as American Home Week) and formally recognizing the Women’s Council of Realtors® within the Canton Board of Realtors®. Prior to 1973, the board never “officially” celebrated National Realtors® week.  Ginella was the first president to emphasize the week and establish events to involve the community.  The first Mayor’s Breakfast kicked off a full week of activities that sparked public interest and enthusiasm.  Throughout the week, many Realtors® manned exhibit booths at local shopping malls.  A banquet recognizing Realtor® and Associate Realtor® of the year capped off the celebratory week.  This recognition banquet soon became an annual awards dinner.

Under Ginella’s leadership, the Board formally recognized Women’s Council of Realtors® as a standing committee with an annual budget.  Finally, female Realtors® had an equal voice in the Canton Board of Realtors®. Also established in 1973 was the first Meet the Candidates night.  This event provided Realtors® the opportunity to discuss various legislative concerns over zoning, city planning, taxation, annexation, public utilities and others with local politicians. 

Additionally, the MLS Committee worked throughout the year researching implementation of a computerized MLS system.  For the first time, the MLS book contained property pictures. The Canton Board of Realtors® focused on harmonizing the membership in 1974 under the leadership of Fred Carter.  Finally, after a period of turmoil, the board was successful in re-establishing harmony within the membership, largely due to Carter’s influence. 

Equal opportunity and anti-discrimination programs were studied and implemented. The National Association of Realtors, focusing on rules and regulations conformity, heightened their standards, making it more difficult for just “any” board and its members to be approved by NAR.  As a result, NAR’s focus began to turn toward equal opportunity and affirmative action programs.  NAR, OAR and the Board began a review of the Affirmative Marketing Agreement.

Also during this year, the board began providing a complimentary copy of the weekly computer MLS digest to the city of Canton via the Mayor to form a formal data link between the city and the local real estate industry. Additionally, the state association authorized local boards to collect dues on behalf of the state.  As a result, the new state dues collection process was added to the board’s constitution and bylaws. In August, the Trustees passed a motion to merge with the Massillon Board of Realtors®, with a name change to the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®.  However, the merger would ultimately be delayed from 1975-1977. Although the Canton Board of Realtors® voted in 1974 to merge with the Massillon Board of Realtors® and a preliminary vote by the Massillon Board indicated they too would approve the merger, the Massillon Board voted NOT to merge with the Canton Board in February of 1975, thus delaying the anticipated union for almost two years.

Consequently, the Canton Board, under the direction of President Roy Zengler, began pursuing merger talks with the Alliance Board of Realtors®.  President Zengler hired Jerry Fetters as Executive Director to replace William Kistner who resigned to pursue other employment. Spurred by the National Board of Realtors® fair housing interests, the board signed the Code for equal opportunity in housing, a formality since the board has been in conformity with the code for several years.  Legislatively, the Board opposed Senate Bill 170 and endorsed Jack Boesh of the Dayton Board of Realtors® as a candidate for the OAR President-Elect position. 

Civically, the board donated to the Philomatheon Society for the Blind from the proceeds raised through the Project Pride program.  The Trustees conferred honorary life membership upon Wanda Keyser and Atlee Evans. Additionally, the board began work on its first membership procedures manual. In the wake of the country’s 200th birthday, the Canton Board of Realtors® appointed a committee to suggest programs the board could initiate for the Bicentennial celebration in Canton during the Hall of Fame week.  Always concerned with civic needs, the board contributed to the much-needed restoration of the McKinley monument.

The Political Affairs committee relied on members’ enhanced patriotism that year by striving to increase voter registration among members through various voted awareness programs.  Various membership programs underwent some minor changes in 1976.  The Realtor® and Realtor®-Associate of the Year recipients were recognized during Private Property Week celebrations. New guidelines for associate member applicants were implemented.  The guidelines no longer required the applicants to present themselves to the membership committee one at a time but allowed the new associates to come together as a group for Orientation. 

Additionally, each new members’ broker was no longer required by invited to be present with the new associates.  The membership procedures manual was completed and approved for distribution.  Additionally, the board sent its legal counsel, Jerry Baker, to Atlanta to attend a legal seminar, sponsored by HUD, on how individual Realtors® and boards could protect against legal suits. Also, that year, the board endorsed Donald Fender, Jr., Highland Board of Realtors®, for 1977 OAR Treasurer and Fred Carter for District II Vice President.  But the finale of 1976 came in November when broker members of the Canton and Massillon Boards of Realtors® approved a merger of the two boards, effective January 1, 1977 as the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®.

On January 27, 1977, at the beginning of Robert Good’s presidential term, the Canton Board of Realtors® merged with the Massillon Board of Realtors® forming the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®.  Later that year, the board included Carroll County with its membership.  In December, Good appointed a building committee, comprised of E.L. Cutler, Glenn DeHoff and Roy Zengler, to investigate the possibility of a new board facility.  Additional space was needed as the membership had more than doubled in the previous 2 ½ years.

Good also sought to improve the Board’s endorsed publications by switching from the R.L. White Company magazine to the Homes Guide. To improve Realtors® communications with potential clients and customers, the Board began pursuing computerized MLS vendors and programs.  In June, the Trustees voted to present Planning Research Company (PRC) Realtronics’ computerized MLS program to the membership.  This proposed system would enable members to access MLS listings via the computer for the first time.  However, the membership and leadership could not come to a comfortable agreement about the new MLS system.  So, to reconcile existing conflicts, they renewed the current MLS contract through December 31, 1978.

Also during 1977, the Board hired its first full-time director of education. Richard Miller, who was employed as an Administrative Assistant at the board, was now responsible for teaching and coordinating continuing education classes for Realtors® with are colleges and universities.  Legislatively, a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have allowed state and local governments to issue low-interest loans for low and moderate-income housing was defeated, much to the disappointment of the membership. Probably the most significant event for the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® in 1978 was member approval of a computerized MLS system. 

The vote had been a heated subject of discussion among the membership for several months.  Those in opposition believed the new system would not be cost-effective in comparison to its benefits and, because of cost, it would not be equitable between large and small member offices.  Consequently, to curb this inequality, they provided a hot sheet for all new listings to those offices without a computer.  Then, they, too, could have “instant” access to the MLS daily.  After months of debate among the membership, the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® signed a contract with PRC Realtronics on November 30, 1978, forever changing the day-to-day MLS operation. 

This contract provided the board’s first on-line MLS computer service with instant access to MLS data. The Board once again approached the Alliance Board of Realtors® about merging with the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®, hoping to attract them with the new computerized MLS but it would take several years before a merger would take place.  An active participant in the Canton Window Art Works program, the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® organized a contest to solicit citizen-submitted entries to display on downtown windows. 

The contest was organized in cooperation in the Downtown Commission and the Downtown Canton Association Environment Committee to enhance downtown buildings and provide a creative outlet for resident artistic talents. Also, that year, Realtors® were permitted to list and sell previously titled mobile homes. One of the biggest accomplishments of the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® in 1979, was the approval to purchase a three-acre site in Belpar (Belden Village area) for the board’s new building.  Signed in September 1979, President Beverly Luke viewed the purchase agreement as one more step in making the new office site and space a reality. 

A building committee was selected to start working on actual plans for the new facility. Another major change for the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors, and long overdue according to many members, was the discontinuation of the professional standards threshold rule in compliance with the new procuring cause guidelines. Additionally, the Board implemented the first MLS on-line computer service, an exemplary move for this period.  The new system was a much-needed addition to the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®.

At the officer installation, MLS Secretary Betty Ferguson was recognized for 25 years of continuous service to the Board. The ground breaking, as well as actual construction, for the new board facility at 4848 Munson Street NW began in 1980.  The new facility would replace the outdated and undersized building on Fulton Road.  1980 also brought about a change in Realtor® member status and structure. Prior to this year, only brokers could hold office or vote on board issues.  Now all members, including sales associates, obtain Realtor® status.  Some opposition greeted this policy change. 

As a result, the Board looked to the Dayton Board of Realtors® for assistance, who had previously implemented the same change.  A representative explained the pros and cons and how the change had worked to the advantage of all parties involved.  Ultimately, the membership approved the change. Also, this year, OAR recognized the board for its participation in the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  This program was designed to help stop the blight and decay of existing homes in local communities.  Another community awareness program the board focused on was a radio series presented in cooperation with WHBC radio. 

“Household Hints” provided tips on mortgages, tax information, housing, and other areas. 1981 has been earmarked as a historical year for the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® with the dedication of its Belpar building in the latter part of the year. The board facility was the first structure built in Belpar, part of the Belden Village area.  However, the year proved disappointing for individual members – home sales were down considerably.  The board recorded many new listing but virtually no sales, largely due to high-interest rates (18.5%).  Adding to the turmoil was the board’s “temporary” status – living between buildings, working out of boxes. 

Then the Executive Vice President, Jerry Fetters, who always managed to make things flow smoothly, was out for an extended period due to an unexpected illness. Amidst the turmoil came many changes, many of them daily.  The new Realtor® status took affect at the beginning of the year.  Trustee meetings were held on a weekly basis to stay on top of all the changes.  Meetings were held with lending institutions to find way to blend old rates with new ones to make mortgages more affordable.  The board leadership was struggling to keep the industry alive. 

Finally, in July, Jerry Fetters returned to work and submitted a letter of resignation, effective September.  Walter Baczkowski, Executive Vice President of the Greater Pittsburgh Board of Realtors®, was hired to replace Fetters, who left to pursue ministerial studies. Later that fall, as the new building was almost complete, a wall caved in, delaying the opening. Ultimately, more than 300 members were present at the building dedication, giving the board hope for the future. 

“While some saw dirt, they saw the future.  The difference was they were Realtors®.  Developing the future is the outlook of the Realtor®” (reprinted from a program describing the new building).  The first signing the Affirmative Marketing Agreement with HUD to eliminate discrimination in housing was one of the year’s last accomplishments. During Glenn DeHoff’s presidency in 1982, official “affiliate” membership was established, permitting those companies and businesses affiliated with the real estate industry to obtain membership in the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®. Additionally, several new committees were created. 

These new committees came under the direction of DeHoff, who wanted to educate and encourage newcomers to the real estate industry.  Some of the committees included:  (1) the Indoctrination Committee which planned and presented a monthly indoctrination (orientation) course for new applicants; (2) the Membership Solicitation Committee to solicit new affiliate members; (2) the Membership Solicitation Committee to solicit new affiliate members; (3) the Continuing Education committee which was designed to offer courses to assist members in completing their continuing education requirements; (4) the Speakers Bureau Committee which promoted the real estate industry by offering real estate speakers to area businesses and organizations; and (5) the Special Events Committee.

The 1982 Realtor® awards reflected the change in Realtor status.  For the first time, honors were given for Realtor-Broker and Realtor-Salesperson of the year. Richard Miller succeed Walter Baczkowski, who returned to private business in Pittsburgh, as Executive Director of the Board  Miller joined the Board staff in 1977 as Administrative Assistant and Education Director. In 1983, the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® expanded the lower level facilities to provide much needed additional space for board functions and programs.

To build a relationship with the community, President Norma Good contract the Jackson High School Construction Vocational class to do the painting, wiring, and other construction needs in expanding the meeting facilities.  The board, in cooperation with area home builders, attorneys, lenders, Realtors®, and others sponsored a homebuyer’s forum during Private Property Week. 

Again, efforts to end discrimination in housing were a priority as a federal attorney addressed the membership on the Affirmative Marketing Agreement. Good also initiated the introduction of new members at monthly meetings. Previously, new members were featured in the newsletter only.  The Community Services committee was recognized by OAR for its community-orientated activities.  The board introduced a real estate news segment on WHBC radio.  This informational program was designed to educate the public about their rights to buy, own and sell real property, the Fair Housing Act, and board involvement in the community. Also in 1983, the Ohio Division of Real Estate amended its license reinstatement policy. 

The amendment still allowed licensees 2 years from the date last licensed to apply for reinstatement without re-examination but were licensed for the entire year for which they last paid renewal fees. In 1984, Fred Carter assumed his second term as board president, 10 years after his first term.  During his second term, he focused on two key areas:  modifying the board to be more member-oriented and adhering to national policies and guidelines.  The board also became more active in the state organization, something Dale Marks had initiated in 1972 and that Carter wanted to continue.  As a result, the board won its most awards ever at the OAR annual convention – Community Revitalization, Vandalism Program, Private Property Week, and three Ben Franklin writing award winners.  Work began on the first Board policy manual.

The Membership Committee compiled a study to determine qualification and clarification processes for honorary life membership.  Additionally, to promote historical properties, the board established the Historical Preservation Committee.  Summer home sales were up considerably from the previous year.  Average home sale prices were at $51,456 with an average market time of 121. days. The board endorsed Phil Barnes, Cleveland Board of Realtors®, as 1985 OAR Treasurer and Sony Taylor as District 1 Vice President. 1985 was a year of “first”. 

Throughout the year, President James Bray stayed busy ensuring the first board-owned online MLS system would be operational in 1986.  The board signed a contract with Moore Data Systems Management for the new MLS system. Another first came when the board co-sponsored a float with the Community Housing Resource Board (CHRB) for the Hall of Fame Parade.  The float depicted “fair housing at work”.  Because the board was jointly involved with an organization that promoted affirmative action and equal opportunity in housing, an article appeared in the NAR publication, NAR News, the first article ever featuring the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®. 

Additional strides in fair housing practices helped mold the board’s future.  As past chairman of the Equal Opportunity in Housing Committee, Bray and the committee convinced the Board to work diligently with Stark County fair housing organizations to promote fair housing practices. Consequently, the number of HUD affirmative marketing agreement signatories increased from three to sixteen firms, representing 44% of the board membership. The board also instituted two new programs supporting crime prevention.  The board united with the Stark County Crime Watch Program to provide crime prevention for Realtor® clients.

A “Realtor Watch” program was instituted to reduce crime risks facing Realtors® with business and/or listings in vacant or crime-ridden neighborhoods. Additionally, the Education Committee held its first joint meeting with Stark County colleges to assess the educational needs of current real estate curriculum.  The board also experienced some facility changes.  The lower level, previously unfinished and used for storage, was completed to provide additional classroom and meeting space.  Jerry Fetters returned as Executive Vice President. Kathleen Cook began her presidential year in 1986 with the following statement, “A new year with renewed spirit and enthusiasm – let’s keep it going…coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

As the first sales associate elected President, Cook and the board membership worked together as the new MLS system went online.  Consequently, this system led to a new MLS book.  New listing profile sheets and purchase agreements were also developed.  As the economy strengthened and interest rates dropped, the real estate industry began improving.  More families could again afford a higher monthly payment.  This activity was also evident in membership numbers.

The board grew from 863 members in 1985 to 960 in 1986. Also in this year, NAR President-elect Bill Moore visited the board and participated in a call-in program over WINW radio.  Additionally, the board was afforded exciting educational opportunities through national speakers Danielle Kennedy and Bob and Zonya Harrington. More than 400 Stark County fifth graders participated in a poster contest co-sponsored by Wendy’s restaurants and the Board as part of American Home Week, renamed Private Property Week in 1986. During Donald Maltese Sr.’s presidency in 1987, the board focused on two major issues – a conservative approach toward board monetary issues and a liberal approach for community involvement. 

Interest on the board’s building loan was restructured to obtain lower financing.  Additionally, the board received a loan for extensive interior remodeling for the entire board facility. The board established an account for members through the Ford Credit Union which provided better access to savings and loan interest rates. The board also elected preemptive action regarding the sale of properties near the Uniontown landfill.  The board initiated disclosure and proximity of the landfill for all properties marketed and sold by members. 

The board also wanted to be more involved in the community.  As a result, members participated in many Chamber of Commerce activities. The Community Services Committee organized a property improvement project fundraiser to provide maintenance (painting, repairs, etc.) to the home of an elderly woman in Canton. Much of 1988 and 1989 were spent focusing on agency disclosure (which would change the future of real estate); a common goal between 1988 president Sandra (Sony) Taylor and 1989 president Richard Motts Sr. 

With Taylor the board also resigned the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement (VAMA) in a commemorative ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of the signing of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The board first signed the VAMA in 1981.  The re-signed agreement remained in effect until 1992.  In May of 1988, Taylor resigned her office to pursue an out-of-state real estate management position.  President-Elect Dick Motts assumed the presidency vacated by Taylor. 

Additionally, the board began work with the American Rescue Workers and Shelter Ohio Project, ultimately setting the stage for one of the most successful fundraisers in Stark County, the Have A Heart Benefit. The Education Committee invited representatives from Stark Tech, Malone College, Walsh College and Kent State University (Stark Campus) to sit on the committee in the hopes of improving and increasing Realtor® educational opportunities at area institutions of higher education. 

The board continued support of area Realtors® nominated for state and national leadership positions.  The board endorsed its own Don Maltese Sr., for NAR Director and Norma Good for District 1 Vice President. Throughout his twenty-month presidency (which began in 1988), Motts witnessed and implemented many significant changes in the real estate industry and at the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors®.  In January 1989, agency disclosure went into effect. 

Throughout 1989, the board celebrated its 80th anniversary and continued to further itself technologically with the purchase of a fax machine and an evaluation of its computerized MLS operations.  The MLS system was updated to allow lender access to the mortgage database, enabling them to input changes in mortgage rates and points.  MLS “hot sheets” (printouts of lenders and rates) first appeared in June 1989.  1989 also marked the first annual Community Services Committee Have A Heart Valentine benefit, a fundraiser aiming to assist with the housing needs of Stark County. 

Because of the board’s involvement with the renovation of the American Rescue Workers home through proceeds raised at the benefit, the board received a “C-Flag” to symbolize its participation in President Bush’s program for private sector initiatives.  The program recognized outstanding contributions to the American spirit of volunteerism and community action.

President Robert Ramsier remembers his presidential term as a year without much significance; no major changes, no major battles.  “We started and ended the year, and everyone was still in business.”  However, several key tasks were at hand in 1990. Ramsier established and chaired a task force to begin work on the merger with the Alliance Board of Realtors®.  When the two entities reached an agreement, the new board was established as the Stark County Association of Realtors®, effective April 1, 1991. 

This new Association included all stark and parts of Carroll, Columbiana and TuSTARawas Counties. Following approval from the Canton-Massillon and Alliance Boards of Realtors®, boards in the surrounding counties approved the merger.  Following OAR’s acceptance of the merger, the National Association of Realtors® approved the merger in February 1991. The Board leadership also expanded the number of Trustee representatives from 11 to 12, adding a representative from Alliance, effective January 1, 1991. 

Additionally, 1990 saw the introduction of a revised uniform purchase agreement as well as a binding agreement with MULTACC lockbox corporation for lockboxes. The agreement allowed the Association to provide on-site lockbox availability as a membership service. In 1991, under the leadership of President Jack Clubbs, the merger between the Canton-Massillon Board of Realtors® and the Alliance Board of Realtors® was finalized, forming the Stark County Association of Realtors®, comprised of more than 1200 members making it the seventh largest board in Ohio. 

Because of the merger, revision of the standardized MLS profile sheet, commercial listing contract and purchase agreement began. The Education committee implemented course evaluations for all board sponsored education to better evaluate the educational programs.  The committee also began developing criteria for the board educational scholarship, later to become the Norma L. Good Scholarship. In 1992, Marlene Lewis tried to focus on and complete projects and ideas previously implemented by former officers.  She re-instituted communications between the Association and the Akron Area Board of Realtors®.

With the area between Canton and Akron rapidly developing through the influx of commercial/industrial employers, a partnership only seemed natural.  Both board established task forces to determine ways the two entities could work together.  Most of 1992 was spent establishing the two task forces, whereas actual work got underway in 1993.  The Association was also heavily involved in developing a publication to provide detailed information about each Stark County public school district. 

This project was a cooperative effort between the Realtors® and Stark County educators.  The publication, originally printed in 1993 and revised and reprinted in 1994, became a vital tool for Realtors®. In 1993 Realtor®-Industry Day was established as the Association’s annual convention and trade show.  This event provided Realtor® and Affiliate members the opportunity to network and exchange industry information.  The trade show encouraged the affiliates to display and market their wares and services. 

R-Day became the primary fundraiser for the Norma L. Good Scholarship fund. As 1993 president, Carol Ann Bonk lead the Association through several mandated changes with HUD, NAR, and the Ohio Division of Real Estate.  NAR made over 19 policy changes regarding agency and, more specifically, buyer-broker and sub-agent compensation.  The state of Ohio mandated financing regulations for first-time homeowners and forms for property disclosure.  As a result, Professional Standards procedures and the NAR Code of Ethics along with the Association’s Constitution & Bylaws were dated to reflect the modifications.

The first Complete Guide to Public School Districts in Stark County was completed and distributed.  The publication, a joint venture between the real estate industry and the Stark County public schools, began under the leadership in 1992 president Marlene Lewis.  During Bonk’s term, the publication was updated and reprinted in 1994.  Once again, Association committees saw restricting in the form of name changes to better identify goals and objectives.  Indoctrination became the Orientation Committee; Political Affairs, the Legislative Affairs committee; and Membership Committee, the Member Services Committee.

Additionally, Bonk organized a Long-Range Planning Retreat ici. Bonk continued partnership communications with the Akron Area Board of Realtors®.  This partnership led to an investigation of MLS information and technological needs, and was the first step in exploring a regional MLS system.  Bonk encouraged a change from the use of keys to show properties to mechanical lockboxes.  As a result, the Association entered into a reciprocal lockbox agreement with the Akron Area Board of Realtors®, TuSTARawas County Board of Realtors®, Warren Area Board of Realtors®, Wayne County Board of Realtors® and the Youngstown-Columbia Association of Realtors®.

As the Association’s 85th president, Rick Perkins initiated planning for the second edition of the Board History. While examining the past, the Association simultaneously began looking toward the future.  The Association facilities underwent an extensive interior renovation, the first renovation since its occupancy in 1981. In addition to these aesthetic renovations, the Association facility experienced additional changes. 

The on-site print shop was closed due to MLS operation changes.  The monthly newsletter renamed the Realtor® Network News, began incorporating paid advertising to help offset printing costs and provide additional revenue.  Additionally, the Association’s first Realtor® store was established to provide members with a means of purchasing real estate-related items such as brochure boxes, informational videos and Realtor® fashion. The Board of Trustees selected Michael S. Gruber of Day, Ketterer, Raley, Wright and Rybolt as the Association’s legal counsel.

The Association’s reach expanded when Perkins endorsed the Stark County Homes Magazine as the official publication of the Stark County Association of Realtors®.  Realtor® Industry Day, the Association’s annual trade show and convention, expanded in its third year by moving from the Association facility to the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts and the Canton Memorial Civic Center. Likewise, the Association’s annual golf outing was designated as the Jack A Clubbs Memorial Golf Outing in honor of the past president who passed away in March of 1994.

Yet the Association’s most important endeavor in 1994 was the exploration of a joint MLS venture with the Akron Area Board of Realtors®.  Perkins chaired the task force that worked to expand the current MLS systems of both Stark County and Akron, consolidating them into one of the most state-of-the-art MLS systems available.  After extensive software testing, members would eventually choose a new MLS vendor in the spring of 1995. In 1995, James Camp took over the reigns as president. That year, the regional MLS project was finalized as Centralized Real Estate Information Services (CRIS). 

Participating boards included the Akron Area Board, Coshocton Board, Portage County Association, Stark County Association, TuSTARawas County Board, Warren Area Board, and Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors®.  These boards serviced Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and TuSTARawas Counties.  CRIS signed a contract with T-III Real Estate systems for the new regional MLS system. Because of the approaching regionalization, the Association had spent the previous two years preparing for the changes in the Association’s financial structure. 

With the dissipation of the Stark County MLS, a substantial amount of Association income would be lost. Consequently, the Association strove to and succeeded in paying off the facility’s mortgage in 1995, thus alleviating this as a financial burden.  The Association celebrated with an Ice Cream social and mortgage burning celebration. One of the fewer social activities, another goal for the year was to consolidate committees, moving away from social activities toward more business-related meetings at the request of members.

Another issue facing the Association, and all boards/association throughout Ohio, was the Board of Choice issue.  Prior to 1995, members were required to join the board/association that served the geographical area in which their respective offices were located.  Board of Choice allowed each member to choose in which board/association to hold his/her primary membership.  The implementation of Board of Choice allowed STAR to better service its membership; to be more responsive to the needs of its members. 

Perhaps the most significant event of 1995 was not an event at all. 1995 surpassed all other years in the history of Stark County home sales.  Home sales statistics reflected home sales more than 3,300 with an average sale price exceeding $100,000 marking 1995 as a banner year for the Stark County real estate industry. 1996 saw many significant legislative changes affecting day-to-day business in the real estate industry.  Under Charles L. Webster’s leadership as president, the Association met these challenges head-on by keeping its members informed throughout the transition process.

In March of 1996, House Bill 354 – Ohio Agency Law – was signed into law by Governor Voinovich.  The legislation, effective in December 1996, revised various aspects of Ohio real estate license laws by redefining agency relationships and requiring such relationship disclosure in writing to consumers.  Also in March, federal lead-based paint disclosure regulations were enacted. In September, regulations providing disclosure, record-keeping and contract requirements for property owners of fewer than 4 residential dwellings. 

The requirements applied to all target housing, for lease or sale, constructed prior to 1978.  In August, after months of work and discussion with affiliate members, President Chuck Webster appointed Kathy Rainieri as an Affiliate Representative to the Board of Trustees, a non-voting position to maintain communication lines with the affiliate membership.  As a result, the Affiliate Exchange Group was formed, a non-standing Association committee made up of voluntary affiliate members. Realtor®-Industry Day raised more than $10,000 for the Norma L. Good Scholarship Fund, its greatest proceeds to date. 

Eileen Hill, Chair of the Have A Heart benefit since 1993, received the OAR Excellence in Community Service Award for her commitment and involvement with the Have A Heart Benefit which had donated over $250,000 to the housing needs of stark County. At the end of November, the T-III/CRIS Parallel Run and training began, bringing the new regional MLS system a step closer to reality. The Parallel Run gave Realtors® the opportunity to explore and become familiar with the new system prior to cutting over to T-III and turning off the current MOORE system. 

Throughout the year, Webster focused on implementing the new T-III MLS system, making the process a priority for the Association leadership, membership and staff.  And because Realtors® had enough “new” to worry about, Webster also focused on reducing demands of members’ time through unnecessary and unproductive committee meetings. In March of 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court rules Ohio’s school funding process unconstitutional. 

The court mandated the Legislature develop a proposal by May 1998.  OAR submitted a proposal for legislative review later that spring.  Locally, the Legislative Affairs committee was actively involved in monitoring this issue, which developed into one of the most intensely debated state issues in years.  Also during the first quarter of 1997, NAR dropped the Voluntary Affirmative Marketing Agreement (VAMA) and entered into a new Fair Housing Partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Realtors® now agreed to abide by the Realtor® Fair Housing Declaration. The Have A Heart benefit in February raised over $52,000, the most proceeds to date in its 9-year history.  Monies were again donated to area non-profit organizations aimed at helping with the housing needs in Stark County.  Arden Lingenhoel, Vice Chair of the Community Services Committee received the 1997 OAR Excellence in Community Service Award for its involvement in the Association’s annual 7th grade essay contest.  The award was presented at OAR’s annual convention in September where President Gene Courtney was also elected as OAR District I Vice President.

In October, the Affiliate Trustee representative became an elected position with voting rights, effective January 1, 1998, and an Affiliate Committee was officially formed. In the middle of August, the Stark County MLS officially cut over to the regional MLS service of T-III/GTE.  The cutover, while not without problems, was the result of several years of research and teamwork with area boards/associations and MLSs.  Chuck Webster, 1996 Association President, was elected as 1997 president of CRIS, the regional MLS.

Our Past Presidents

2020         Rich Cosgrove

2019         Joey Marino

2018         Lenny Lawrence

2017         Debi Zeren

2016         Beth Campbell

2015         Joe Lorenz

2014         Dave Maltese

2013         Sony Taylor

2012         Carol Ann Bonk

2011         J. Richard Perkins

2010         Delyte Matthews

2009         Martha Galentine

2008         Michael Kozinski

2007         Paul E. Courtney*

2006         Lennard Lawrence

2005         Bruce Schorsten

2004         Linda Parker

2003         Byron Stavrou

2002         Arden Lingenhoel

2001         Richard C. Motts II

2000         Lennard Lawrence

1999         Mary Lou Bendroth

1998         Jay L. Cutler

1997         Paul E. Courtney*

1996         Charles L. Webster*

1995         James H. Camp

1994         Rick Perkins

1993         Carol A. Bonk

1992         Marlene F. Lewis

1991         Jack A. Clubbs*

1990         Robert L. Ramsier

1989         Richard C. Motts*

1988         Sony Taylor

                   Richard C. Motts*

1987         Donald Maltese, Sr.

1986         Kathleen M. Cook

1985         James L. Bray*

1984         Fred R. Carter*

1983         Norma L. Good

1982         Glenn F. DeHoff*

1981         Michael M. Schmidt*

1980         Richard J. Baier*

1979         Beverly J. Luke

1978         Robert R. Tschantz

1977         Robert C. Good

1976         Cedric L. Guest, Jr.*

1975         Roy C. Zengler*

1974         Fred R. Carter*

1973         Stephen A. Ginella

1972         Dale W. Marks

1971         William J. Norris*

1970         Roy J. Klinger*

1969         Charles A. Bailey*

1968         Charles A. Bailey*

1967         Martin A Polsky*

1966         Fred W. Minor*

1965         Charles W. Burson*

1964         Charles W. Burson*

1963         George B. Edwards*

1962         Ralph Steele*

1961         Atlee O. Evans*

1960         Howard E. Logan*

1959         James W. Durkin*

1958         C.A. Seran*

1957         Dru Whipple*

1956         James C. Bumpas*

1955         Homer L. Greene, Jr.*

1954         Gus Dannemiller*

1953         E.L. Cutler*

1952         Donald Hambleton*

1951         Atlee O. Evans*

1950         Joseph L. Conrad*

1949         John Strayer*

1948         C.G. Sharick*

1947         Al Sheetz*

1946         Atlee O. Evans*

1945         Paul Krider*

1944         Fred H. Broad*

1943         C.F. Wise*

1942         C.F. Wise*

1941         J.W. Bonsall*

1940         Albert Fink*

1939         William S. Kinney*

1938         William S. Kinney*

1937         Ralph S. Cook*

1936         Tom K. Harris*

1935         A. Ray Walters*

1934         C.A. Seran*

1933         C.A. Seran*

1932         Joseph L. Conrad*

1931         C.F. Wise*

1930         Jason L. King*

1929         E.L. Gehman*

1928         William Armstrong*

1927         Joseph Biechele*

1926         Albert Fink*

1925         Henry J. Young*

                   Carroll T. Clark*

1924         Clyde H. Corbett*

1923         Ellwyn C. Roberts*

1922         W.J. Uebelhart*

1921         F.A. Snell*

1920         Tom K. Harris*

1919         William N. Richards*

1918         William N. Zettler*

1917         Frank L. Cole*

1916         H.S. Renkert*

                   Mark Hambleton*

1915         H.S. Renkert*

                   A.T. Denis*

1914         Elmer Gibbs*

                   Joseph Bergold*

1913         Tom K. Harris*

1912         Tom K. Harris*

1911         Tom K. Harris*

1910         J.L. Robb*

1909         Charles A. Dougherty


Our Past Award Recipients

2019 Anna Barrick-Lavy 2018  Scott Wyler 2017  Monica Santucci 2016  Christine Schell 2015   John Ring 2014    Sharon Barker 2013    Amy McIntire 2012    Pam Travis 2009    Sharon Barker 2006    Rob Shardy 2005    Scott Wyler 2004    Bill Yates 2001    Flo Iacobucci 2000    Dana Motts 1999    Tim Faherty 1998    Karen Hough 1997    Judy Rice 1996    Tim Harbert 1995    Kathy Rainieri 1994    Joyce Holz* 1993    Trudy Hart 1992    Bonnie Bandi* 1991    Cecelia Kapilovic* 1990    Virginia Zeller 1989    June Sims 1988    Michael S. Gruber

2019 Lenny Lawrence 2018    Debi Zeren 2017    Joe Bridges 2016    Beth Campbell 2015    Sony Taylor 2014    Betty Niebel 2013    Arden Lingenhoel 2012    Marty Galentine 2011    Dee Matthews

2009    Linda Parker 2005    Joyce Cameron 2004    Debi Zeren 2001    Pat King 2000    Ava Clark 1999    Arden Lingenhoel 1998    Ronni Cones 1997    Evie Miller 1996    Mike Kozinski 1995    Joe Grady 1994    Linda Parker 1993    Marty Galentine 1992    Pat Gerber 1991    Eileen Hill* 1990    Gerald Mazanec 1989    Marlene F. Lewis 1988    Jack A. Clubbs* 1987    Marchy J. Klee 1986    Ellen J. McNally 1985    Kathleen M. Cook 1984    Jean A. Rothermel* 1983    Sue Seivert 1982    Carol Ann Bonk 1981    James H. Camp 1980    Norma L. Good 1979    Edd Matako 1978    David Clatterbuck 1977    Claude F. Guynup 1976    Miriam Whiteman* 1975    James C. Rice 1974    John “Tony” Reeves 1973    Montieth R. Bilkert 1972    James F. Keogh 1971    James L. Bray* 1970    Inez Miller 1968    Pauline Anthony* 1967    Fred R. Carter* 1966    Cedric L. Guest, Jr.*

2009    Mike Kozinski 2004    Betty Gray 2003    Ina Hatfield 2000    Rich Motts 1999    Lenny Lawrence 1998    Claude Guynup 1997    Charles L. Webster* 1996    Carol Ann Bonk 1995    Rick Perkins 1994    Gene Courtney* 1993    Joe Grady 1992    John J.  Schumacher* 1991    Marlene F. Lewis 1990    Kathleen M. Cook 1989    Ellen J. McNally 1988    Sue Seivert 1987    James H. Camp 1986    James L. Bray* 1985    Norma L. Good 1984    Richard C. Motts* 1983    Donald Maltese 1982    Sony Taylor 1981    Fred R. Carter* 1980    Glenn F. DeHoff* 1979    Ardis J. DeHoff* 1978    Elizabeth Boebinger* 1977    E. John Boebinger* 1976    Michael  Schmidt 1975    Carl F. Wise* 1974    Cedric L. Guest Jr.* 1973    Stephen A. Ginella 1972    Dale W. Marks 1971    George B. Edwards* 1970    E.L. Cutler* 1968    Charles A. Bailey* 1967    Martin A. Polsky* 1966    John F. Strayer* 1965    Vera Elliot* 1964    Beverley Luke* 1963    John F. Strayer, Jr.* 1962    Harry O. Smith* 1961    Ardis J. DeHoff*

2015    John Niebel 2014    Toby Hoy 1997    John Niebel 1996    Kathleen M. Cook 1995    Norma L. Good

2015    Jim Camp 2014    Don Maltese Sr. 2013    T K Harris* 2013    Linda Parker 2012    Mike Schmidt* 2012    Richard T Kiko* 2011    Jim Bray* 2010    Betty Boebinger* 2010    Gene Courtney* 2007    Dale Marks 2007    George Swallow* 2007    Charles Webster* 2006    Ardis J. DeHoff* 2006    Norma Good 2005    Charles Dougherty* 2005    Carl F. Wise* 2003    E.L. Cutler* 2003    Glenn F. DeHoff*

Thomas Baier, Carol Ann Bonk, James Broad, Margaret Ciron,e Jay Cutler, Edward Fernandez, Anthony Flex, Marty Galentine, Ina Hatfield, William James Jr., Eugene Kiko, Don Maltese, Mark Michel, Evelyn Miller, Larry Nettle, Joanne Nicholas, Betty Niebel, Carl Oser, Rick Perkins, Thomas Petry, Robert Princehorn, Tommy Riggle, Dorothy Rudick, Wanda Schuckert, Rita Snyder, James Tanner, William Weber

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