Biography of William R. Detwiler
Franklin County, Ohio Biographies





William R. Detwiler, one of the most popular and best known dancing teachers in Columbus, is a veteran of the World War. He was born at Altoona, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1897, the son of H. G. and Nettie Jane (Estright) Detwiler.

H. G. Detwiler has always lived in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and for thirty two years has been employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in the telegraph and signal department. He has been an ardent worker in the interest of organized labor and had the honor of writing the first charter of the Brotherhood Railroad "Signal Men of America" in 1901. Mr. Detwiler is a member of the Lutheran Church, and belongs to the Sons of Veterans, of which he has served as chaplain for the past fifteen years. He also belongs to the Knights of Pythias. Mr. and Mrs. Detwiler have only one child, William R., the subject of this sketch.

William R. Detwiler obtained his schooling in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and after his graduation from high school in 1916 he entered a normal school at Indianapolis, Indiana. He taught school at Nyack, New York, and during that time studied dancing with Louis H. Chalif in New York City. In 1917 Mr. Detwiler taught at the Henry Street Settlement in New York. In September, 1918, he entered the service of his country and was sent to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, where he served as regimental physical instructor. He also was stationed at Debarkation Hospital No. 5, New York City. He was discharged November 19, 1919, at Camp Dix, New Jersey, by reason of the signing of the Armistice, and the end of the war. Upon his return to Altoona Mr. Detwiler conducted a dance studio for several years. He later was located at Louisville, Kentucky, and in September, 1924, came to Columbus and opened a studio at 329 East Broad Street, where he was located until the following year. He then removed to State and High Streets, and remained in that location until January 1, 1930. At the present time his studio is located at 10 East Lynn Street. Mr. Detwiler has classes for beginners, advanced students, teachers, children and adults, and specializes in ballet, character, and acrobatic work. He also has health classes for women. He is ably assisted by Bernie Sager, who came direct to Columbus from the Jolson Theatre, New York City, and he is in charge of step and tap dancing, as well as all types of social dancing. Mr. Detwiler, himself, has studied under such nationally known dancers as Michael Fokine, Louis H. Chalif, Ivan Tarsoff, Mascagno, Kobeleft, Albertieri, Ted Shawn, and Ruth St. Dennis. He is a graduate of the Chalif Russian Ballet School and was awarded the gold medal in 1924 for advanced technique in the Calif School.

In 1923 Mr. Detwiler was united in marriage with Miss Rosaline Marie Yoder, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Herman E. and Della (Rininger) Yoder, of Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Detwiler have two daughters: Marion Chalif, born October 18, 1923; and Lois Marie, born August 31, 1926.

Mr. Detwiler is a Republican. He is identified with the Dancing Masters of America. His wife holds membership in the United Brethren Church.

From:
History of Franklin County, Ohio
By:Opha Moore
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930


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