Reflections: A little fair, a little football

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Last week I described the prodding that the editor of the Morrow County Sentinel did to promote bigger attendance at that year’s fair, the 80th in 1930. It worked and the attendance soared.

The fair which began in 1850 celebrated its Diamond anniversary in 1925 and the three day-event was attended by a total of 12,096. Admission was 25 cents for those attending in the day time and 50 cents for those attending the evening event.

There were 93 horses exhibited, 117 head of cattle; 146 head of sheep and 235 swine entries. In addition, there were 46 dogs in the dog show and 100 horses entered for harness racing.

This fair was hailed as the diamond anniversary and a diamond ring contest was offered to the girl receiving the largest number of votes in a popularity contest. However, interest lagged and there was no ring awarded.

The story does say that the 1921 fair was one of the largest in gate receipts and attendance.

Mount Gilead Vocational Agricultural student George Bennett took a large number of prizes in the 1925 fair with his Chester White pig litter. He won 13 prizes including six firsts and a grand champion.

The Morrow County Fair has continued to grow and it’s fascinating to look back to see from where it came.

Reading the Dec. 7, 1899 front page of the Morrow County Independent I am puzzled while reading the results of the football game hosted by Cardington when they played Mount Gilead on Thanksgiving Day that the game ended at 8 p.m. I’m sure dusk fell long before 8 p.m. and I’m puzzled as to how the game was played without lighting, which of course there was none.

This game decided the championship of the county and was a “strong rivalry.”

The story notes a misunderstanding between managers caused a delay in the game and then it was called. There was a large crowd watching the game,which was won by Cardington 14-6. Liggett was captain of the Cardington team and Matthews captain of the Mount Gilead squad.

There are 11 boys listed on the Cardington team and 10 on the Mount Gilead team. I assume this was six-man football. The play-by-play description is interesting.

This is just another page from the past that helped to get us to where we are today.

80 years ago, September, 1939: Frances Maxwell and Rudolph Weise were united in marriage on Sept. 3 near Fremont, Ohio.

70 years ago, September, 1949: Charles Edwards, 1949 Cardington High School graduate, enlisted in the U S Navy Forest Smith, whose farm was located just west of the Bethel Methodist Church, built an 11,000-gallon fire cistern on his place. Mrs. James R. Rhineberger, Eugene Schweider and Franklin Curl were invited to play with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra

60 years ago: September 1959: Judith Hall was elected senior class president of Cardington High School. Sondra Weaver, junior class president; Ted Weise, sophomore class president and Roger Strine, freshman class president.

50 yeas ago, September 1969: Jane Logan, 19, of Mount Gilead, was crowned as Miss Ohio State Fair of 1970.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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