Cardington homes rich with history

Reflections - By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel

I don’t know about you readers but I love reading the history of houses especially those in my town or in Morrow County. There are many, many homes that have survived decades and have fascinating histories.

One of those in Cardington is on South Marion Street located the first house past the Post Office building on the west side of South Marion Street. This house was brought to my attention reading a piece in the Independent written September, 1955. It had been sold to Art Kinsell by Mrs. Mildred Murphy Cuber.

According to the 1880 Morrow County History, it was 1842 when one of the village’s early founders, Leumas Cook, was given a contract by those seeking to build a church for the Methodist Protestants. With sufficient funding given him he built a 30 x 40 foot “house” on the corner of South Marion and West Second Streets at a cost of $650.00. It was prepared for “divine worship.” After a few years the church decided to build a larger edifice so this building was purchased by Mr.Cook who moved it a few lots south and “fitted” it as a dwelling. That is where it still stands.

Cardington’s Episcopal congregation bought the property in 1860 and continued worship until 1917 after which the Diocese of Ohio purchased it and it became the “Church of the Good Shepherd.” In 1917 Johnson Maxwell bought the property who then sold it to William Hayes in 1921.

In 1924 The house received statewide publicity as the home of Miles A Smith, a Cardington High School senior who had won a scholarship for writing an essay on conservation. The scholarship was offered by the Davey Tree Surgery Co of Kent. Martin L. Davey was later a successful candidate for governor of Ohio. The Davey firm gained statewide publicity from Smith’s article and also pictured the home with a large front porch.

Ora Hayes inherited the building from William in 1923 and sold it to Cora Woods in 1941. She sold it to Dr. Lowell Murphy in 1947 who practiced medicine from that site until 1978 when it was sold to Art Kinsell.

The building was later purchased by Lori Plotner who remodeled it into the Murphy House, a dining establishment. It was later sold to present owners Pat Drouhard and Terry Roberts who have converted it into apartments.

The stone engraved “Church of the Good Shepherd” still sits at the property and for many years stained glass windows from its time as a church could be seen.

The next time you pass this building, remember that it has stood on that site since 1842.

90 years ago, September, 1925: A Cardington barber, S L Smiley, had shaved a man whose description tallied with that of George “Dutch” Anderson, mail robber, jail breaker, pal of Gerald Chapman and wanted for murder of Ben Hance and his wife at Muncie, Indiana the previous week. Smiley said the man told him he had driven from Cincinnati during the night and was “all in.” He expected to get a room at the hotel as soon as he was shaved and “get some sleep,: He dozed off while being shaved, said Smiley. Morrow County Sheriff was notified by Smiley immediately but when the sheriff hurried to Cardington he could find no one matching that description at the hotel or anywhere else. On the case was a private detective from Cleveland, Wm J King, who had received two threatening letters purporting to be from Anderson postmarked Cleveland. King was well known in Mount Gilead, and at one time several local stores were subscribers to his service.

82 years ago, September, 1933: A Cardington girl, Ulah Deane, better known as Ulah Cavert here, was to be a guest artist at the Rex Theater in Mt Gilead with her vaudeville partner, Roy Gordon. They had toured Publix Theaters in five southern states. She was described as a second Gracie Allen. She “will show Mount Gilead audiences that Cardington also turns out its share of theatrical talent.” She was born and raised in Cardington.

60 years ago, September, 1955: The Long sisters, Patricia and Roberta Jean, daughters of Mr and Mrs. Walter Long, were enrolled at Ashland College, Patricia, a junior and Berta, a freshman.

Mrs. Paul Miller was hosting a piano recital by her students.

Anna Thompson, 1955 Cardington High School graduate, was granted a teaching cadet scholarship providing $500 a year for two years. Others awarded the scholarships were Phylis Bush of Edison; Marilee Brannaman Mt Gilead and Paul James, Chesterville.


By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel