Reflections: Letter to the editor from 1874

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I love reading letters to the editor from years past. Writers held nothing back and at the same time the editors printed their thoughts.

I want to share this letter written to Editor Brown, The Independent, and published May 21, 1874.

“Mr Editor:

We have a railroad in operation and two more in our mind’s eye.

We have a navagable river (for turtles); We have a beautiful park to look at but not to walk in;

We have a grand school house, with a first class corps of teachers; We have under construction, a large brick church; We have factories and foundries, mills and warehouses; We have stores of all kinds, and the very best market for produce and provisions in Ohio;

We have a bank and two shaving shops; We have a go ahead mayor; We have a wise council; Some say they are all sanctified but I don’t believe it.

We have a whiskey ordinance that puts the state law in the shade; We have a beer ordinance by which temperance men are forced to drink behind the screen and beer drinkers to gargle theirs in the street and in the alleys;

We have temperance men by principle We have temperance men for the sake of notoriety; We have teetotalers who are ready for the millennium; We have had a large fire; We have the best fire company on the globe as all our good citizens work with a will and determination; We have high taxes but cannot afford a Hook and Ladder Company or a fire engine.

And so, I might go on and tell you all, this time, but I am getting sleepy (if you don’t, it is not my fault). Hence, I bid you good night and dream well of your OLD FRIEND:

PS: We have a brass band who keeps silent on the question. — Old Friend.”

This letter was published alongside a story titled “Fire! Fire! Fire!” and describes in detail the devastating fire that destroyed five buildings with a loss from $5,000 to $10,000.

Destroyed were Samuel Snyder’s clothing store, the office of Dr. I. H. Pennock, the store house of Wm Shunk the boot and shoe store of A. Taylor and Hanson Wagner’s dry goods store.

All of these buildings were attached. The Galion Fire Department also came to help. The story details who had insurance and didn’t. Somehow this event prompted the letter to the editor.

70 years ago, February, 1951: The Cardington High School varsity basketball team won its second straight Morrow County League basketball championship by defeating Chesterville in the final game.

Pvt. David Earley of Cardington was assigned to the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

60 years ago: February, 1961: Five-year-old Dana Winchell of Cardington was selected as the Ohio 1961 Easter Seal Poster Child. Miles A Smith, 1926 Cardington High School graduate, was named arts editor for the Associated Press newspaper wire service in New York City.

U.S. Air Force Airman Third Class Earl E. Smith, 1959 Cardington High School graduate, was killed in an auto accident near Madrid, Spain.

Charles Jackson was sworn in as a new member of Cardington Village council. He replaced Joe E. Dick who moved from Cardington to Florida. Virgil Guiher joined the law practice of Thomas E Ray, Cardington.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist