Reflections: ‘Mission Building’ standing


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Driving around Cardington I notice the buildings that withstood the 1981 tornado and are still functional. There are seven and perhaps the oldest is the “Mission Building” on East Second Street. This two-story brick building was constructed in 1910 by J. W. Shaw.

It was the site of a buggy shop which made carriages and farm wagons. Later it was a bicycle shop. The small apartment on the east side was used by missionaries who stayed in the area for a time, giving it the name of “The Mission Building.”

The second floor was used as a gym where games were played. In 1924-25 when the Cardington School was under construction, boys basketball games were played there. The late Lowell Patterson, a member of the Class of 1925, related to me his memories of playing games there.

There was no room for spectators, he noted. Patterson went on to be principal and then superintendent of his alma mater.

During that same construction period, because the building was not completed by the fall of 1924, classes were held in the upper level of various business places downtown, including “The Mission Building,” where classes were conducted on the first floor..

The building changed ownership many times through the years, with businesses ranging from a bank, dry cleaning business, a pool hall and game room. The building’s owners remodeled the upstairs into apartments during the 1960s oil boom. At the present time there is no business room in the building, only upstairs apartments.

Seeing the damage inflicted in that area by the 1981 tornado, I find it a miracle this “Mission Building” stood intact and can be pointed to as part of the village’s history.

80 years ago January, 1938: A popular target of thieves this month in Morrow County were electric vacuum sweepers from homes in Cardington and Mt Gilead and reported to the sheriff, Oscar George. Valued at about $25 each the thieves would peddle them door to door and offer to sell them as second hand appliances.

70 years ago, January, 1948: First classes in religious education for grades three to eight inclusively, began for the second semester at the Cardington school. Enrollment was voluntary. Five local pastors were the instructors.

The classes were held once a week during the school day. No academic credit was given for the classes.

50 years ago, January, 1968: One girl and 21 boys, ages 8 to 15, all from Cardington, completed the ten week course in hunter safety. The course was offered by the Morrow County Sportsmen’s Club.

Stories in the January, 1968 edition of the school newspaper, The Searchlight, were written by Becky Klinefelter, Kelvin Trefz, Debbie Walck, Sheryl Heacock, Mike Wilson and Dianne Davis.

Present Day: Cardington resident Joanne Mathews is featured in the January-February issue of the Good Old Days magazine. In the article she relates her experience as a 5-year-old suffering from peritonitis and the diagnosis by Cardington physician Lowell Murphy.

Her story describes the emergency surgery during which her pastor was present, and the warning by her physician that she may not live. In later years she painted a portrait of Dr. Murphy (which accompanies the story) and it hangs in the lobby of the Murphy gymnasium at the Cardington-Lincoln High School.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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