The story of Mount Gilead physician Thomas P. Johnston was told by speaker Tim Sharrock at the Mount Gilead Memorial Day service held on May 29 at Rivercliff Cemetery.
Johnston was a well-liked physician in Morrow County at the turn of the century and served as a physician on a ship, which was transporting the military in World War I. He took care of many who were ill on the ship during the pandemic of 1917-18, known as the Spanish Flu.
Johnston passed away, having contracted the flu just a few days after arriving in France. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.
Sharrock recognized the group that worked on the memorial, which was spearheaded by Ric Lyle. Working on the project were Gilead Township Trustee Dave Lewis, Rivercliff sexton Bill Heiden, and sandblasting by Greg Gompf. Superior Landscaping did much of the work on the monument, the fire department is watering the grass during the dry spell, and Lyle painted the cross and the base.
Lyle said the Rivercliff Cemetery Board approved the project and the Gilead Township Board of Trustees approved the money for the project to restore the memorial. There were also a couple of anonymous donors.
Lyle gave credit to Stan Sipe, who did the background and history on Johnston. Lyle called it a true collaboration of village, township, cemetery, private business, and citizens working on the project.
Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for the Morrow County Sentinel.