Reflections: The death of President Harding


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



Reading past newspapers I found one that headlined “In Memoriam,” and it was announcing the death of Warren G. Harding, the 29th president of the United States, on August 2, 1923.

President Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio on November 2, 1865.

I found the following notices in the August 9, 1923 edition of the Morrow County Independent related to the president’s death:

• A full page ad by Jay Smith, Cardington Clothier, bore a pen and ink drawing of the president and the date of his birth and death.

• Hildebrand and Gates, grocer, ran an ad saying, “Store closed all day Friday in honor of our dead President, Warren G. Harding.”

This was noted beneath the prices of Post Toasties, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Post Bran — 12 1/2 cents a package and Jello, 10 cents.

• The Logan Gas Company ran the following: The office of the Logan Gas Company of Cardington, will be closed Friday, August 10th, on account of the funeral of President Harding. Signed W. N. Edgell, superintendent.

• “Notice: The hotel will be closed Friday on account of the funeral of President Harding. No meals will be served except breakfast.”

• The Mayor’s Proclamation: “To the Citizens of Cardington and the adjjacent farming community: In the wisdom of Divine Providence, Warren G. Harding has been called to his final reward, thereby, our country has lost a fine, loyal wise statesman; and the people of America, a trusted friend. It should be the desire of all true Americans, in some manner, to express their affection and respect.

“Now therefore, I, W. W. Vaughan, Mayor of the village of Cardington, do recommend the closing of all places of business, on Friday, August 10, 1923, both day and night, as a last tribute of respect to our one time neighbor, our beloved president.”

That was 98 years ago this week.

The mayor also published a warning as part of his mayoral duties:

“For the safety of the public and for the good of those who carelessly or knowingly violate the laws of the state or the ordinance of the village, thereby endangering the lives of our citizens, let this be a warning.

You are reminded of an ordinance forbidding the riding of bicycles on the sidewalk. Let your motto be SAFETY FIRST. Otherwise you will be held responsible.”

— W. W. Vaughan, Mayor.

Looking back

80 years ago, August, 1941: The scrap aluminum drive for national defense ended this month with over 130 pieces collected in Cardington, according to J. J. Kientz.

50 years ago, August, 1971: The 16th annual Camp meeting at Camp Gilead Bible Camp on State Route 529 east of Cardington opened on Aug. 26.

40 years ago, August, 1981: After being decontaminated, between 10,000 and 15, 000 books in the Cardington Library at the time of the June 13 tornado, were returned to the shelves in the undamaged portion of the building. Many books were lost when the east wall of the library was blown out by winds that approached 200 miles per hour.

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By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist