Morrow County was one of the last counties to be formed in Ohio (1848) with settlers moving into the area as early as 1808. As the population grew, they found it inconvenient to travel to Marion, Mount Vernon, Mansfield or Delaware to transact business.
In 1847, residents sent a petition to the Ohio State legislature requesting the formation of a new county.
After agreement was reached on what territories, Marion, Knox, Richland and Delaware Counties would give up to form the new county, a dispute arose over the name for the new county with Marshall being suggested to honor Chief Justice John Marshall. Some of the legislators did not like Justice Marshall and refused to vote for the new county.
Finally, the name of Morrow was suggested in honor of Jeremiah Morrow, the ninth governor of Ohio. Morrow County became the 83rd county to become part of Ohio.
Pageants and a huge parade highlighted that July weekend in 1948 when Morrow County celebrated its 100th birthday. The five-mile long parade took place July 5. Queen Ramona Graham riding on a float was attended by 10 ladies in waiting.
The oldest man present at the parade was Norvel W. Heskett, 91, of Cardington. Mrs. Sarah Rhodebeck, 99, of near Mount Gilead, was the oldest woman present. Mr. and Mrs. C. W. McFarland of Mount Gilead, 87 and 83, respectively, were the oldest couple present.
Four former Morrow County representatives to the General Assembly, ages 80-90 years, were introduced at the grandstand. They were J. D. Emswiler, 80, and Walter Vaughan, 82, of Cardington; and C. W. McFarland, 87, and Henry Ault, 90, of Mount Gilead.
Among those pictured in the parade were four members of the Gilead Grange float, Irene Phillips, Mildred Barler, Katy Bennington and Helen Mildred. Also pictured were the following veterans: Charlie Phillips, Benny Shipman, Paul Woodruff, Herbert Schoonover, John Hickman, Leslie Hildebrand and Willard Jackson.
Among the 12 pageants presented at the grandstand that weekend was one titled “That Wedding,” with the following Cardington cast: Maxine and Bill Snyder, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Long, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Schneider, Mr. and Mrs. Paul B. Maxwell, Mr. and Mrs. Frank S. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Knachel, Walter Aslpach, Florence McCurdy, Joanne Curl, Maxine Kelley, Dorotha Stephens, Jean Bond, Barbara Anderson, Pat Barton, Audrey Barton, Bill Maxwell, Warren Davis, Alton Roach, Arnold Beam, and Dalton Jenkins.
Pages to the Centennial Queen were Harriet Campbell and Susan Logan and Terry Hunt was the crown bearer.
There were 300 units from all Morrow County villages in the three-mile long parade. It was noted in the Morrow County Sentinel the week following the celebration that the committee had netted $1,000 from the event.
The county also marked the Sesquicentennial year in 1998.
Some information on the centennial and Morrow County history, courtesy of Stan Sipe and the late Jim Miller.
Cardington news June, 1948: The village fathers purchased lots 108,109 and the southwest part of lot 107 from George and Kathryn Frew as the future site of Cardington’s new municipal building located at the intersection of Second Street and Park Avenue.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.