Reflections: Changes in reporting through the years

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Periodically, I like to “change courses” and author a column that is a little different. This week I am focusing on the type of news that was once printed before it evolved into today’s news focus.

For instance, the news in an 1897 Cardington Independent was printed in small paragraphs (and very small printing) and the editor didn’t hesitate to reveal his personal feelings: “Cardington has a nice little cemetery but the inhabitants appear to be in no hurry to go there. Some of them are living at a pace that will enable them to reach it before they are aware.

“While that statement is true in every way, it does not imply that Cardington people live at any worse pace than do the denizens of suburban towns. Tonight I saw a Gilead man courting a Cardington girl.”

That paragraph leaves me scratching my head! Then the editor concludes two columns of comments “Cardington’s population is greater than that of any town in the county. May the Lord prosper the good people of Cardington.”

Stepping back a year, the August, 1896 edition of the Independent: Cardington residents defeated a proposal for the construction of a new town hall at that day’s (Aug. 3) special election by a vote of 148-121. Just one month later, September, 1896, a small article noted “Village Officials in Cardington decide to build a new two-cell town jail!”

Moving to September, 1939: a four day celebration and homecoming sponsored jointly by the Cardington Fire Departrment and Rex D. Jenkins Post of the American Legion was taking place. Guy Mathews, with the American Legion and Ralph Sanderson, with the fire department, were general chairmen of the event.

The following week’s paper noted there had been 3,000 people in town on Saturday night of this four-day event with 928 automobiles parked in town.

That same month it was noted there were 87 more students enrolled in the county schools than the previous year. There were 2,990 students enrolled in the county school compared to 2,903 same time in 1936. Mount Gilead led the county with 599 students.

September, 1959: The Evans Roadside Market on Route 42 south of Cardington, was reopened by Bill Stillings, who had remodeled the building and had vegetables growing near the market

The Cardington Fire Department celebrated its 100th anniversary 45 years ago in 1974. An open house recognized the department members who were pictured; Jim Humphrey, Raymond Shipman, John Cooney, Charles Seitz, Dennis Haycook, John DeLauder, Jim Morris, Mel Maceyko, Brad Watts, Bill Lingrel, Dannie Osborne, Leslie Armstrong, Leonard Benson, fire chief, Darrell Bowers, John Bennett, Dave Hickman, Jim Ullom, assistant chief; Floyd Morris, Don Reed and Fred Osborne.

The five living retired members were presented commemorative plates: Walter Long, James Thomas, Kenneth Haycook, Cecil Levings and Bernard Morris.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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