Reflections: More about Col. Jack Short


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



Last week I focused on Col. Jack Short, a regular contributor to the Morrow County Independent from 1927 to 1941. Most of his comments were “tongue in cheek,” but popular with the paper’s readers.

The July 3, 1941 edition of the paper featured a three-column pen and ink drawing of the Colonel, finally describing his true identification.

This drawing and description of Blakely appeared in the previous Sunday edition of “The Buckeye Basket,” a cartoon feature by Harry Keys in the magazine section of the Columbus Dispatch. This story described Blakely’s columns as focusing on activities of his neighbors but adding considerable local history and comments.

Blakely turned 82 years old on July 4 and made this comment the day after his birthday: “Awfully busy this morning. I dictated a few bright (!) ideas and left the smart saying to my unsophisticated secretary. I don’t like it altogether, I never could lift myself by my bootstraps”

The pen and ink drawing of Blakely was made by C. A. Swayer of the Ohio Bell Telephone Company of Columbus. Mr. Swayer was the father of Mrs. Marie Schuliger, widow of Rev. George Schuliger who died while serving as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Windfall.

In one of his last columns, December, 1941, Short eulogized his neighbor, David Stovenour, who had passed away the week before. A good friend, he described Stovenour as “a man of sterling character always ready to lend helping hand, a man without a temper, honest, upright and liberal.”

He described in detail the preparations being made for Christmas at the Fulton school. “Overstuffed rocking chairs are reserved for any and all bachelors who wish to attend. No admission charges.”

Because World War II was being fought, he used the column to take a swat at Adolf Hitler. “It is wicked to rejoice at the death of one, great or small, but if Hitler should pass away by accident or otherwise and his many friends would importune me to write his obituary, it could not be gotten in print!”

Wm. Blakely, described as a retired farmer in his obituary, passed away December 23, 1951 at his birthplace on the Worthington-New Haven Road, 2 1/2 miles east of Cardington. Survivors included his widow, Annabelle, two sons, Vinal F. Blakely, Lincoln Township Clerk, Hugh O. Blakely and three grandchildren. He was the last of eight children.

Looking back

80 years ago, August, 1941: All eight high schools in Morrow County were granted new charters as first grade schools by the state’s Director of Education.

50 years ago: August, 1971: A census revealed that a total of 2,807 horses were owned in Morrow County.

40 years ago: August, 1981: A photo from the home of Steve Maceyko, Jr. destroyed in the June 13, tornado, was found in a garden in Kidron nearly 70 air miles from Cardington. The photo of Maceyko’s father and three Army buddies taken in World War II was returned to Steve less than two months after the tornado.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist