Reflections: Blizzards and other past events


Fleeing the border, Part 1

By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist



This story was published in the March 20, 1952 edition of the Morrow County Independent and because it is lengthy with a story that can’t be shortened, I am going to submit the second half in next week’s Reflections.

The story relates that a native of Cardington, his German wife and 16 year old daughter were principals in dramatic escapes from the Russian zone of Germany late in 1951. This was revealed during the past week- of the publication of this paper. The story continues that “Blonde Christa Koeppe, now 16, daughter of Orto Koeppe, a Cardington native, related her family’s experience in fleeing the Russian zone when she visited Morrow County probate court last week to obtain a record of her father’s birth.

“The daughter fled the Iron Curtain five and one half months ago shortly before reaching her 16thbirthday. This was so she could elect to become an American citizen. Her escape made it imperative that her parents also leave their home community located some eight hours by rail from the American Zone of Germany.”

The story continues that Miss Koeppe who arrived in the United States three months ago, is being sponsored by a Chicago philanthropist organization for displaced persons. Her parents were then at that time in a displaced persons camp in Europe and will be sponsored in their county by the same Chicago organization.”

Christa was taken to the American zone by her mother to visit sick friends. The girl was left in the American zone when her mother returned to her home. According to Christa, her parents were approached by a friendly Communist who informed them that the party was becoming suspicious due to Christa’s disappearance and that they were slated to be sent to Siberia.”

Leaving all their possessions, including a flour mill which Mr. Koeppe operated, Mr. and Mrs. Koeppe through a transportation ruse fled their community and arrived in the American zone where they declared themselves displaced persons.

This will conclude next week when I will describe the family’s connection to Cardington where Charles Koeppe operated a distillery and saloon in Cardington. His son, Otto, the subject of this story, was born in Cardington

in 1895.

News from past Aprils: 1942: Five thousand pounds of scrap metal, paper, rubber and rags were collected in one day in Cardington by the American Legion and the local Boy Scouts. Proceeds from the sale of scrap netted $30 for the American Red Cross – Russell Patterson and Cecil Haycook, both of Cardington, were inducted into the U S Army Air Corps

April, 1972: Gale Slack, a recent graduate of the Ohio State University and formerly of Roseville, assumed charge of the Cardington Locker plant.

April, 1982: Gale Slack was named as the new chairman of the Cardington Community and Improvement Corp.

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Fleeing the border, Part 1

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist