Cardington held a six day celebration in October, 1936, marking its centennial anniversary.

Under the guidance of John Kientz, committee chair, a variety of programs, entertainment, and other events were scheduled for the public’s enjoyment.

On Homecoming Day there was a picnic at noon in the Depot Park (that was the name of what we know today as the American Legion Community Park), a community sing, a “womanless wedding,” with a home talent cast.

Mardi Gras Day was observed on another day and the Scioto Valley Exposition Shows of Portsmouth staged the amusement rides, tent shows and concessions.

The ladies were invited to exhibit Zinnias, Dahlias, Asters, and Marigolds with prizes awarded for the best. The farmers were given prizes for corn, potatoes, cabbage, pumpkins, wheat, oats, and popcorn. All exhibits were shown in the Sellars Store Room on South Marion Street next to the Independent office.

According to accounts, the town was full of people those six days. Sadly on the last night there was a tragedy. A Delaware youth was killed and his companion seriously injured when their automobile crashed into the side of a moving Big Four passenger train at the Main Street crossing.

Witnesses said the accident, which occurred about 10 p.m. on the last night of the celebration, happened when the driver drove the car around four other vehicles stopped at the crossing and directly into the side of the moving train. Newly installed flasher lights were working and the other cars were waiting for the train to pass. The automobile struck the train and was thrown sideways into the coach.

There was little left of the chassis and body except the wheels. The driver was decapitated and his right arm severed. He was killed instantly. His passenger, badly bruised, was thrown clear of the wreckage It was thought the men were distracted by the huge crowd in the park celebrating the centennial. Both had been seen earlier at the celebration. They left town and were traveling west on Main Street apparently returning home.

The men were lifelong friends and belonged at one time to the same Boy Scout Troop in Delaware. The accident was witnessed by the crowd in the park carrying on the Centennial celebration.

As a side story, one of the last Cardington Civil War Veterans, Layton Willits had planned to attend the Centennial celebration but the 91-year-old Cardington resident passed away on the eve of its opening. He was born on a farm northwest of Cardington and at the age of 19, enlisted in the Compnay A of the 174 O. V I which was attached to Sherman’s Army.

He served during the final year of the war and was with Sherman at the surrender of General Johnson’s Army at Raleigh, NC.

Willits, who lost two brothers in the Civil War, and his wife were married 69 years. They had one daughter, Mrs.Elsie Poorman. With his death there were only four Civil War veterans in Morrow County. They were Riley Taylor, Seymour Whitney and Craven Jenkins, Mount Gilead; and Isaac Rush, Marengo.

Other newsworthy events published in the paper at this Centennial time included the appearance on a Major Bowes Talent show by Donald Bryant, 19-year-old pianist and son of Mr and Mrs Harry Bryant of Chesterville.

September of 1946

The Fulton Methodist Church was filled for its first service in the new edifice. The original frame church was destroyed by fire on December 1, 1944. The new brick church was completed 21 months later on the same site. Remaining debt was wiped out during that first service with the offering given. Meredith Shoewalter was president of the board of trustees and Walter Heskett was president of the Fulton Woman’s Society of Christian Service.

September of 1966

Carol Ackerman and Susan Messenger, Cardington seniors, were recognized for their high ranking in the National Merit Scholarship tests. Announcement was made by High School Principal Wilbur McAlister.

By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

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