Left, Stanley Sr, Stanley Jr, David, and Alta Stiver, 1924. Right, David, Marion, and Stanley.
Stanley L. Stiver was born on June 29, 1921, in Youngstown, Ohio. His father had found work in the steel mill. After the wedding, Stanley Sr. brought his young wife to the city from rural Pennsylvania. A few years later, his brother, David Scott, was born on August 15, 1923. His sister, Marion Helene, was born on September 6, 1926.
From A Brief History of the Stiver's
Stanley and Alta Stiver purchased land in Youngstown early in their marriage. They eventually built a four-room house on Sunshine Avenue. He worked mostly in the steel mill as a crane operator, like his father. But work was spotty.
In the early 1940s, when work was good and money could be earned, he left the mill because of emphysema. To earn a living, he built a greenhouse in which the two of them planted cuttings, sold plants and depended upon holidays to manage financially. As they aged, they received considerable help from Marion and David and his children to keep Stiver Greenhouse running.
Just a block from our house on Sunshine Avenue, there was a portable one room school house in an area called Kirkwood Terrace. There I went to the first grade. In the 1920s, a Lutheran mission was started in this building with services in the afternoon. This was the beginning of Faith Lutheran Church, where we all attended Sunday school and worship services. My parents as well as my grandmother, Jenny Stiver, were charter members of the church.
With Jennie Stiver just out the back door, we spent time there. She had space—a front hallway, living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedroom upstairs, on lower level downstairs, a kitchen, living room and bedroom. She always had grandchildren around and to feed them must have been a real chore. She used to make what we called "Egg Bite." She would take one egg and break a slice of bread in it, and then fry it. This way she fed two grandchildren with one egg. To this day I still think this tastes good. She would have us go out and pick dew berries, blackberries, or elder berries. She would then make a big cobbler that could feed many of us.
Often her windows were up and we could hear her singing hymns. She would often say, when I die, I want the hymnals passed out and everyone sing. When she died at 71, we all sang hymns, including her favorite, "Rock of Ages."
After the one room school was closed, I attended Lincoln Elementary School, a good mile walk. I then attended East High School, which was a ten or more minute walk. Never believing that financially I would be able to go to college, I took commercial subjects, typing, shorthand and bookkeeping. In those days, only men were hired in steel mill offices. I enjoyed being on the debate team and became a member of the National Forensic League. In my senior year, I became a member of the National Honor Society. All of the seniors home room was held in the school auditorium. Every Friday morning I arranged a program of one kind or another (175 seniors). As I look back, that was a wonderful experience.
Many a night on Sunshine Avenue under the street lights we played kick the can. The street was not heavily traveled with cars. We had to be home by a certain time. If we were late, the doors were locked and we had to get mother out of bed to let us in.
Our parents were always fearful that we three would get hurt. We were limited in what activities we could participate.
Stanley, East High School, 1939.
Faith Church had Boy Scout Troop 66. The scoutmaster was a kindly man named Carl Shallenberger. He spent hours with this troop of sixty fellows. Once I even got to scout camp for two weeks. The church also had an active Luther League. Over radio station WKBN, we gave several special religious programs. Quite an experience for us.
The newspaper in Youngstown was called The Vindicator. I had a route for three or more years with 50 to 60 customers over a two or three street area. This gave me some spending money. I bought a $60 Royal typewriter and paid for it at $5 a month.
After graduating from high school, I worked in the Isaly Dairy Company as a male secretary. I worked several other jobs and began attending night school, taking academic subjects to enter college. Through money saved and other sources supporting those interested in the ministry, I applied to Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, and was accepted.
His parents lived in the same house into their late seventies. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1970. Alta died first, on November 2, 1978. Stanley died almost two years later on October 21, 1980.
His brother David became an engineer gunner in World War II, assigned to the 8th Air Force 34th Bombardiers Group. He flew in B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators and completed 31 missions over enemy territory. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and the Air Medal. After the war, he returned to Youngstown and worked for 42 years at The Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Campbell works, retiring as payroll supervisor in 1984. He died in 2005 and is survived by his wife, Ethel; children, Lynn, Allen, Lucille, Larry, Kenneth, and David; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
His sister Marian married Ed Struble and lives in Youngstown, Ohio.
Back to Top