Reflections: Celebrating the fair’s centennial anniversary

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

The 100th anniversary of the Morrow County Fair was celebrated in many ways in August, 1950, including a parade, grandstand program and many other events.

One was a huge cake with 100 candles, the symbol of the centennial fair. A pageant, “A Place in the Sun,” was introduced by Beverly Worster, head of the Junior Fair.

Chesterville School won the Centennial first prize float with a large rainbow effect denoting the ideals and good character as the pot of gold.

Today I will focus on comments made by several persons, some who had attended earlier fairs. These were printed in the Morrow County Sentinel and Morrow County Independent.

Clifford McFarland who was almost 89 years old, said it was the best fair he had ever attended in his knowledge. He was a board member in 1898. served for 17 years and was secretary for one year and showed sheep at the fair 80 years ago.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Adams who attended the fair as a couple for over 60 years were most enthusiastic about the part that the youth are playing in the fair program, the Grange and the Centennial Parade.

Mr. Adams recalled walking horses when work horses participated and Mrs. Adams chuckled about the attraction of the merry-go-round and the gold necklaces which appealed to her as a girl.

Mrs. Pearl Henry Barr of Centerburg attended the fair in 1898 and remembered when the first electric lights were installed. Clyde Gregory recalled the time when a big snake got loose and created “quite a commotion.”

Others commenting positively were Arthur Heimlich, chairman of the County Dairy Service Unit and Henry Baker who thought the fair was as good in quality as the state fair. He attended his first fair in 1890.

“Neighbors outdid one another in getting to the fair in their best finery,” he said.

Charles Maxwell. who judged horses at the fair in 1896, said “It’s the best fair of its type in Ohio. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. It is wonderful how the 4-H and FFA how it takes interest and keeps the young people at home doing worthwhile things.”

Next week I’ll have more about the Junior Fair, which was only 25 years old in 1950.

75 years ago: August, 1950: John Paul Gartin, a 1942 Cardington High School graduate and a corporal in the U.S. Army was listed as a prisoner of war in Korea.

60 years ago, August, 1960: The Cardington Board of Education voted to discontinue the annual senior class trip.

50 years ago, August , 1970: Layoff of the entire third shift in both HPM plants in Mount Gilead was announced. A total of 140 men were affected by the layoff, necessitated by economic conditions nationwide and tight money.

Forty three boys reported for football practice, according to Cardington-Lincoln High School head coach Kenneth Fisher.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist