Reflections: Morrow County’s 100th birthday party


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Excitement was building in June, 1948 as plans for the commemoration of the 100th birthday of Morrow County continued.

The Morrow County Sentinel, The Union Register and Morrow County Independent kept the public informed as plans for the parade and the pageant developed.

Posing in one photo was William Piper, Morrow County treasurer, with an old-fashioned, high-wheeled bike that was exhibited during the celebration.

A greased pole contest was held at the fairgrounds with Danny Gattshall shimmying to the top with the help of Jimmy Sweeney, Allen Squires, Bill Heimlich, Rex Shaffer, Harold Keeran, George Wolcott, John Staley and Kenny Heimlich. Winning the greased pig contest that day were Jimmy Sweeney and William Dewey, who ganged up to catch the 85-pound porker.

Winning the pet parade held earlier was Ronnie Osborne of Mount Gilead with his large white collie.

A Centennial Broadcast on WRFD radio included Cardington residents who entertained in two separate broadcasts. Mrs. Rudolph Weise played a vibraharp solo; Kay Williams sang a vocal solo; Patricia Long sang a solo; and Rudy Weise played a piano solo. Others performing were Eugene Schneider playing a cello solo; and Betty Betts, a vocal solo.

Addresses were given by Mayor Paul Richeson, Superintendent Lowell Patterson and Vern Merriman, president of the Cardington Businessmen’s Association.

Pictured in front of the Cardington log cabin was James Lightner of Mount

Gilead with a bass horn. The horn and the top hat he was wearing were part of the collection of articles to be viewed in the cabin.

Pictured wearing their Centennial Hats were Mount Gilead Mayor Ray Bennington; H. E. Nelson, chairman of the Centennial committee; Max Craven and G. S. Granger.

Ramona Graham, Chesterville High School senior, was named Queen of the Centennial and was present at all events. Officials attending included Governor Thomas Herbert; Congressmen Frederick C. Smith and Representative W. Masters, who introduced Governor Herbert’s wife. Thomas Dewey, then Republican candidate for president, sent congratulatory wishes to the county.

Next week will be the parade and pageant highlights. More than 34,000 people attended the celebration. I wonder if that will be topped in 2048.

Other news from the past: 80 years ago, June, 1938: Approximately 125 men were employed on WPA Road projects in Morrow County. One project recently completed was the grbbing and cleaning of ditches on the Wald0-Ashley Road west from Schaff’s Corners to the Marion County line.

70 years ago, 1948: Of the 197 students in the county school system whoparticipated in the annual state eighth grade exams, Dwight Bean of Cardington, ranked first in the test with a score of 164.

60 years ago, 1958: Several candidates were considered for the position of Cardington village marshal after Robert Dodds resigned. Annual salary for the job was $4,800.

Laurie Dion, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Dion, was presented with the God and Community award, the highest award conferred on a girl scout for knowledge of and service to her church. She was presented the award by Rev. Ronald Eppler of the First United Methodist Church in Cardington.

Laurie was a member of Troop 826, and completed two years of study and service to the church.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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