Reflections: Wrapping up the Christmas holiday

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I find it interesting to read how Christmas was celebrated in Cardington in past years — for instance, in 1899 there was a Soldiers Feast which “closed out the year.”

Held in the G. A. R. Hall on Christmas Night the writer described those attending as “marching along the streets to the hall but with no guns on their shoulders nor knapsacks on their backs.”

Instead they were carrying baskets of food as they walked with their wives and children to the hall. Following the dinner, there were songs and recitations and speeches by past commanders and pastors before a vesper quartette closed the program.

In 1939 the Cardington Rotary Club held a party and Santa Claus distributed candy to 300 children. A string ensemble composed of Glenn Osborn, Donald Osborn, Raymond Heacock and Walter Ruggles performed from the park bandstand which was decorated with lights.

The Rotary Club also gave baskets of food and toys to 23 families in the community. Added to these baskets was a loaf of bread from Gandee Bakery and a sack of coal from Jones Coal Yard. The Current Topics club gave 20 baskets of fruit to shut-ins.

Each of the village churches was holding special programs and they included St. John Lutheran, St Paul Lutheran, Bethel Church, the Nazarene Church and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The service at the local Methodist church included a cantata directed by Mrs. H. W. Clapper. Solo selections were given by Lucille Sellars, Paul and Mrs. Fleming, a duet by Wanda Rose and Mrs. Herbert Campbell, and a quartet number by Frances Westbrook, Clara Coulter, Paul Fleming and F. O. VanSickle.

The December, 1985 Independent describes the kindergarten program held at the Cardington school where Jeremy Gale was pictured with Santa Claus. Also pictured were Jacqui Verity, Tommy Kincaid, Scott Ebert and Tara Meadows who had painted a giant Poinsettia on the wall outside their class room. Also pictured were Greta Roberts and Bobby Dowalter with their gingerbread houses.

As we approach a new year, I wish each of you readers and your families good health and all that brings happiness — and a prayer for the end of the COVID-19 virus.

Looking back

December, 1950: The temperature near Cardington on the morning of December 27 plunged to 27 below zero. In downtown Cardington. The temperature hit 16 below zero. Morrow County’s oldest resident, Sarah Khodebeck of Cardington, turned 102 this month. The leaders of Cardington Boy Scout Troop No. 30 were chosen for 1951. They were Scoutmaster John McCutchen, assistant scoutmaster Joe Richey and Explorer Advisor, William Van Horn.

Cardington Firemen were called early on the morning of December 8 to assist Marengo firemen battling a blaze that destroyed the Ford Dealership there.

December, 1960: The 1960 U S Census for Morrow County showed a total population of 19,405. Cardington’s 1960 census was 1,613, up from 1,475 ten years earlier. Failure of the county to reach a total of 20,000 population denied elected county officials automatic salary increases.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist