The Franklin Oil and Gas Company was established in 1903 by Frederick B. Senter, the founder and first president of the company. Located at 40 South Part Street, between Willis Street and the Wheeling and Lake Erie railroad tracks, the company grew to become one of the major manufacturing plants in Bedford.
A 1910 publication (“Beautiful Busy Bedford”) stated that Mr. Senter had built a “splendid business”. The growth of business at Franklin Oil apparently required the perodic expansion of facilities along Willis Street. An article in the Bedford Times in 1929 referred to a new building under construction by the company, and a 1941 article in the Cleveland Press stated that the company was one of thirteen large diversified industries in the community. Photographs taken in 1903, 1933, and 1973 show the growth of office and plant facilities.
For 93 years the Franklin Oil company maintained an important presence in Bedford. This came to an end in 1996 when the company was purchased by Fuchs Lubricants Co., and the operations in Bedford were discontinued.
References: Additional references may be found in “Bedford Village Views” by Dick Squire, 1992 See index p. 366 for page numbers.
Written by R.W.Bell
Frederick Baldwin Senter was born April 6, 1864 in Bedford, Ohio.
He is the son of John and Jane Boyle Senter. John Senter immigrated from Londonderry, Ireland in 1840 and settled in Northfield Township.
Frederick Senter received a “common” education went to High School and graduated from Spencerian Business College. After graduating he entered the oil business. Then continued with the establishment of Franklin Oil and Gas Co. in Bedford, Ohio. Franklin Oil was a producer of high-grade cylinder oil, engine oil and boiler compounds.
Married Kate Donaldson on Dec 25, 1889 in Middlefield, Ohio. They had 2 children, daughter Margaret and son Talmadge. (She died March 5, 1956 in Lakewood, Ohio)
He took an active part in Bedford civic improvement.
– Promoted the establishment of public water works and sewage system.
– Organized The Bedford Supply Co., general merchandise.
– Bedford Board of Trade, raising membership from 2 to 125.
– Trustee of the Bedford Baptist Church
Also active in Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Automobile Club, Golden Rod Lodge, Knights of Pythias
Personal recreations include Hunting and Fishing.
Frederick B. Senter died June 1, 1915 and is intered in Bedford Cemetery.
By W. Rhine
The book of Clevelanders By Burrows Brothers Company, Cleveland, 1914
The Cleveland Necrology File, Cleveland Public Library