A “View” of Old Cardington


I hope you remembered to fly the flag on Flag Day, June 14. I did.

Because Saturday, June 13, was the 34th anniversary of the tornado that swept through Cardington, changing its skyline forever. I want to look back and note some snippets about the “Old Cardington.”

Founded in 1836, the town had a huge celebration marking its Centennial in 1936 with six days of events. There were nightly programs of the Scioto Valley exposition shown, with features of the week including a noon picnic on Friday, Homecoming Day. There was a Mardi Gras one night, entertainment comparable to a circus with strong man, comedy acrobats, and carnival rides. Speeches were given by those recalling the early days of the town as they recalled them or as they had heard other folks tell. Only 21 more years to the Bi-Centennial!

Did you know there was once a concrete post in the middle of the square to encourage buggy owners to make a wide turn? It remained there until the early 1920s when a stranger passing through town in his automobile attempted to pass someone and did not see the post, mowing it down. It was never replaced.

Did you know there was a pump and watering trough at the southeast corner of the square for both man and horse? It was replaced by a water fountain installed when the village water works was constructed in 1936. At the same time the water tower was constructed on Second Street (where the Farmers Bank is now located).

How many of you remember the “free shows” in the park every Wednesdaynight in the summer months of the 1940’s and 1950’s? Sponsored by the village’s business people, the movies attracted young and old. Early arrivals got the front bench or the best in the diagonal parking with a good view of the screen, which was stretched between two trees. When the passenger trains went through, the projector was shut off because one could not hear the dialogue until the train passed. I remember seeing the train passengers sitting in the lighted cars and wondered where they were going. It was our fervent prayer that it would not rain on Wednesday because if it did – no movie.

June, 1915: Lester Fleming, from north of Ashley, was driving his brand new Maxwell automobile for the first time and had his son with him when he went over a 12-foot embankment at the Westbrook Bridge in Oxford Township. He suffered a fractured shoulder and his son, pinned under the car, had a badly bruised jaw. The machine was demolished. Mr. Fleming used a fence rail to pry the machine off of his son.

June, 1935: Dr Florence Goodhue was retiring after serving as Morrow County’s only woman physician for 51 years. She had served the people of Cardington where she was the attending physician at more than 3,000 births all within a few miles of her home on Route 61 south of Mount Gilead.

Almost all of her calls to minister to the sick were made on horseback or in horse drawn carriages. Following an accident 20 years earlier, she was forced to confine her practice to her Cardington office At one time she kept a stable of five horses, four for carriages and one for the saddle.

She gained her medical diploma from Cleveland Homeopathic Hospital earning the four year degree in three years. She graduated at age 22.

(Note: There is much more to this story that is fascinating) She retired to Sanibel Island, off the coast of Fort Myers, Florida.

June, 1945: J L. Patterson was named superintendent of Cardington School, his alma mater. He had graduated from CHS in 1925, earned his AB degree from Mt Union College; his MA from Ohio State and had been Cardington principal for 13 years.

June, 1955: Maj Dale R Lowther, son of Clarence Lowther of Cardington, was one of 837 students awarded degrees during the annual commencement of George Washington University. He was an ROTC cadet at Ohio State University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserves in 1941. During the second World War he had served with the Southwest Pacific Wing of the Air Transport Command.