Sharpshooter Annie Oakley graced the Morrow County Historical Society (MCHS) with her presence at its annual dinner meeting April 13 at Trinity United Methodist Church.
Oakley was portrayed by Jessica Ebert Young, a native of Cardington and graduate of Cardington High School. Her portrayal concentrated on Oakley’s early years and childhood when she began hunting for wild game for her family to eat.
Young’s program followed Oakley as she met her husband, Frank Butler, and their years with Sells Brothers Circus before they began with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Meeting Sitting Bull and Queen Victoria were other highlights of Oakley’s life. She was an icon of her time, entertaining thousands as she traveled with the Wild West Show.
Young’s interest in Oakley grew when she was part of the Marion County Historical Society. She especially appreciated Oakley’s skill in sewing her own clothing.
Young sewed the costume she wore and said Oakley wanted to be modest and also comply with the requests of the show to have a western costume. Her skirt was shorter than the style at the turn of the century and tailored to be convenient for shooting and riding on horseback.
Theatrical costumes were a concentration in Young’s major at Kent State University, and she now works with living history entertainment and Renaissance festivities.
She lives with her husband, Jeremy, in Willowick, Ohio, in Lake County where he is a social studies/history teacher. Her parents are Heather and Doug Ebert of Cardington.
In other business:
• MCHS members voted to approve a change in the constitution to include junior members under the age of 16. This is because of the interest of several youth in working with the History Center this year.
• Members of Boy Scout Troop 35, of Iberia, were recognized for their hard work cleaning the basement in the History Center this winter, where they lugged many buckets of debris and metal up the stairs. Several boy scouts attended the meeting and dinner.
• Phylis Miller gave tribute to members who passed away over the past year: Harold Baughman, Evelyn Long and Beverly Naylor.
• Lee Siegfried and the Curator Committee were recognized for their work in making displays for the museum and repairing and refurbishing the building.
• Robin Brucker and Patti Feustal told about some new displays in the museum, including the Globe Hotel safe, barber shop, and feed sacks and aprons exhibit.
• There will be an Anniversary Party Open House Sunday, April 30 from 2-4 p.m. at the History Center with cake and refreshments.
• Trustees approved for a two-year term were Barb Brewer, Kevin Evans, Patti Feustal, Ellen McMurray, Janet Rhodebeck and Lee Siegfried. Trustees with one year remaining are Robin Brucker, Maggie Clark, Sharon Kincade, Karen McClelland, Phylis Miller, Dan Rhodebeck, Stan Sipe, Myrna Wall and Mike Wilson.
The History Center is open every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. through the summer and fall.
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel.