History of the Association of Two Toledos

 

     In 1931, two inspired Toledo, Ohio educators, Dr. Henry Doermann, President of the University of Toledo, and Russell G. C. Brown, a Spanish teacher at Waite and DeVilbiss high schools, formed the Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain.  The formation of the committee was the final step in formalizing what both men had been planning for some time.  In the 1920s Dr. Doermann had visited Toledo, Spain as an affiliate of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes and Historia of Toledo, Spain.  At the same time, Mr. Brown had established personal contacts in Spain by encouraging students in his Spanish clubs to correspond with students of English in Toledo, Spain. Dr. Doermann and Mr. Brown would be joined by Guillermo Perezagua, mayor of Toledo, Spain, and Adoración Gómez Camarero, editor of the city's newspaper, on the Spanish side.  

 

     In 1934, a formal delegation was sent from Toledo, Ohio to Toledo, Spain.  The delegation included a representative of the mayor of Toledo, Ohio as well as Mr. Brown and other dignitaries.  The visit corresponded with an exhibition of Spanish art at the Toledo Museum of Art.  The plan was to have a delegation from Toledo, Spain visit Toledo, Ohio in 1937.  The visit would help commemorate the 100th anniversary of Toledo, Ohio.  But the Spanish Civil War which began in 1936 and later World War II would disrupt those plans.  

 

     It was not until 1958 that the Committee would reactivate its relation with Spain. In 1962, a delegation from Toledo, Spain finally visited Toledo, Ohio as part of the city's 125th anniversary celebration.  In 1965, twenty-eight area high school students visited Toledo, Spain.  A scholarship encouraging intercultural education was established in honor of Russell Brown.  An exchange program came into being in 1971 when a similar scholarship was established in Toledo, Spain.

 

     In 1976, a delegation from Toledo, Spain visited Toledo, Ohio in order to participate in the bicentennial celebrations of our nation.  Both branches of the organization celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their relationship in 1982.  In that same year the name of the American organization was changed from the Committee on Relations with Toledo, Spain to the Association of Two Toledos. 

 

       

 

1934 The Trip That Made Sister City History

The members of the Toledo, Ohio delegation to Toledo, Spain.  We believe the people shown are the following: front row left to right, Mrs. Stephen K. Mahon, Vice-Mayor Charles D. Hoover, Mrs. Grove Patterson; back row left to right:  George Schaiberger, Spanish student and student body president of De Vilbiss High School, Dr. Henry Doermann, President of Toledo University (as it was then known), Stephen K. Mahon, President of the Managing Board of Toledo University, Russel G. C. Brown, Spanish teacher at DeVilbiss H.S. and Grove Patterson, Editor of the Toledo Blade newspaper.  

Delegation members in a large car in front of the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) of Toledo, Spain.

Below:  Spanish hosts and American visitors pose for a photograph.  Toledanos was a magazine published in Toledo, Spain.  A special edition was published in Spanish and English in order to commemorate the American visit.

Photographs courtesy of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections, The University of Toledo (Ohio)