A Story from Myrtle Ruf
Myrtle Ruf is a local resident, especially well-known for her work with the Brunswick Garden Club and with the Senior Citizens. She reminisced about the days she spent in school in Brunswick after seeing a picture of her former roommates published in the Brunswick Times.
The teacher, she remembers, was the first one to come out from Cleveland on the new bus line. A single lady, of course, and school for her was at the center in what is now the Family Pizza building.
Myrtle's grandparents traveled west from the east coast in a covered wagon and settled in Huntington Township near Wellington. Sometime after that, they re-settled in Brunswick. They had a daughter, Elsie Newton. When she was eight years old, the family moved to a home on Substation Road at Stop 66. Later they moved to the site where the Inner Circle office building is now located. Elsie married Teho Chapman, who carried the mail in Brunswick along with Carl Usher and Louis Peck. During their early married years, they purchased a farm from Charlie Gibbs. It ran along Carpenter Road almost to the corner where St. Mark's Lutheran Church is located and eastward to where the high school is now situated.
For many years the family lived at the Inner Circle home of Mrs. Chapman's parents and rented the farm. They had two children, Myrtle and Howard. Howard later bought the farm and then sold it in parcels. Some of it went to the school and four acres were donated to the First Christian Church.
Howard now lives in Strongsville where he is one of the most prominent citizens and active in forming its historical society. The Chapman home is the site of the Strongsville Historical Society and the Baldwin House, built in 1823 where it has been fully restored and furnished. The property also includes the former Miss Gilbert's Academy, a private school established in 1842 moved from its home on Westwood Drive. A log cabin from Hale Farm also graces the property. Howard and his wife Velda, who was the daughter of E. N. Drake (who taught here for several years and was superintendent of Brunswick Schools), have willed their property to the Historical Society. If the names sound familiar, you might recognize two schools in Strongsville named for the couple. Chapman school for him, Drake for her father who returned there after his stint in Brunswick.
Mrs. Ruf graduated in 1922, missing the ceremonies at the new high school because of scarlet fever. She was married in 1923 to Harry Ruf. Ruf would pick up milk in his wagon to take back to Cleveland and along the way he would give rides to the local youngsters going to school. That's how the couple met. They moved to Cleveland and then returned to Brunswick in 1940 taking up residence on the portion of the farm remaining along Carpenter Road. They had four children for whom they built homes along Carpenter Road. Mrs. Ruf now lives in one of those small homes, vacated by the larger families of her children. In 1975 she was the grandmother of 16 and the great-grandmother of five. Her sons followed their father in the milk business and helped farm a little - which was nearly impossible, Mrs. Ruf recalls. The property was filled with rocks.
Mrs. Ruf is shy when asked to talk about herself, but she is an avid CB radio listener and creates many lovely handworked items.
Some of her fellow classmates were Herbert Ridiker, Steve Kling, Clyde Freese, Morris Case, Maude Judson, Ida Chidsey, Marian Brant, John Osterhouse, Paul Rollyee, Fred Gall, Calla Chidsey, Willia and Freda Johnson, Gertrude Hunt, Mildren Kling, Eula Lee Stephenson and Nellie Brant.