Boomer Blog: Today in Champaign County History

By Shirley Scott

NOTE: When I was young, the subject of history seemed like a long list of wars and treaties within and between the countries of the world. What I really wanted to know was how just plain folks lived their daily lives against the backdrop of the famous historical occurrences I found in my textbook.

“Today in History” appears daily in this newspaper to remind readers of important world events and accomplishments of prominent people.

Based on my research in the UDC from 1884 to the present, for this one day I have created an alternate compilation of historical items – about us, the “just plain folks” of Champaign County.

Today is Monday, May 23, the 144th day of 2016. There are 222 days left in the year.

On this date:

In 1884, the Perry Brothers Broom Factory received orders for four hundred dozen brooms.

In 1901, Emma Elizabeth Wilkins Scott, grandmother of Shirley Scott, was born in Mechanicsburg.

In 1910, the Sowles Café advertised a good meal and service for 25 cents, while audiences at the Orpheum Theater on North Main Street enjoyed a pianist and singer of illustrated songs for a five-cent admission ticket.

In 1913, Urbana’s Mayor Green, in answer to complaints about speeding automobiles, determined to enforce the eight-mile-an-hour limit.

In 1914, several impatient or misguided Urbanians appeared early in straw hats, knowing full well that May 30th was straw hat day.

In 1921, Union Garage on East Market Street announced a cut in labor prices for automobile repairs from $1.00 to 85 cents an hour.

In 1922, the Ohio Caverns Mt. Tabor Cave, containing hidden beauties never before revealed, would reopen to the public on Decoration Day.

In 1923, the Thackery baseball club and fans motored to Conover to defeat the local team 3-1. Donald Loudenback struck out 13 and allowed only five hits.

In 1924, excursions on the Pennsylvania Railroad from Urbana to Chicago were available for $3.60 round-trip.

In 1925, a team near St. Paris ran away when left standing alone hitched to a corn planter. One horse suffered a severed artery and nearly bled to death.

In 1929, Chapter 32 of the serial “Daphne” by Hazel Livingston appeared on page 4.

In 1930, the Terre Haute 4-H Rabbit Club was organized, the first of its kind in this section of Ohio.

In 1934, the Westville horseshoe team played until 1 AM to defeat International Harvester 22-14.

In 1935, the Health Department lifted quarantines of the remaining six cases of scarlet fever in the county.

In 1937, Christiansburg businessmen, in appreciation for community support, sponsored free picture shows every Saturday evening.

In 1941, “Can All We Can” became the motto for county 4-H girls to “help build up a vitally important people for home and national defense.”

In 1942, the St. Paris CCC Camp closed, and disabled World War I veterans were moved to other locations.

In 1943, Coupons 15 and 16 in War Ration Book 1 were good for five pounds of sugar for home canning, while it was suggested that string beans could be planted in less fertile sections of victory gardens.

In 1945, the public was encouraged to buy a bond at the Gloria and see “The Flying Varieties,” an all-Army stage show.

In 1948, unidentified burglars robbed offices at the Champaign Telephone Company, Urbana Junior College, and the Urbana Daily Citizen.

In 1950, following the Junior-Senior Prom, Urbana High School seniors changed into blue jeans and embarked on treasure hunts to Botkin’s Greenhouse, the fairgrounds, the stockyards, and Muzzy’s Lake.

In 1952, four years after the County Courthouse burned to the ground, fire destroyed the City Building.

In 1953, at the children’s parade opening the St. Paris Vacation Bible School noisemakers and decorated wagons were welcome, but cap pistols and bicycles were not.

In 1954, based on 1539 submitted petitions, the County Board of Education voted to merge the St. Paris, Concord, and Westville school districts.

In 1957, the Salem High School baseball team headed for the state finals.

In 1958, the Lawn View PTO sponsored their fourth annual family picnic for students, who went home tired and happy after many games and good food.

In 1960, Terminal Cab advertised capable drivers and prompt service anywhere in Urbana, 25 cents for riders and 40 cents for deliveries.

In 1961, carhops at Ben’s were available all day long to serve meals to customers in their cars.

In 1962, the Gloria offered an afternoon of fun including 15 color cartoons and a Three Stooge comedy. Admission: 6 Pepsi Cola bottle caps.

In 1963, prospects were bright for new manufacturing facilities by International Harvester on its 500-acre site six miles south of Urbana.

In 1967, Mechanicsburg won the Darby Valley League Northern Division Baseball Championship by beating Triad 3-2 to recapture the league title lost to Triad the preceding year.

In 1968, Bruce Hunt was home on leave after a year in Vietnam, just as his brother Mark reported to Vietnam for his one-year tour.

In 1969, the Kiser Lake Saddle Club sponsored contest rodeos at Kiser Lake Arena.

In 1970, 126 Boy Scouts attended the Spring Camporee near the Champaign County Fish and Game Club north of Kingscreek.

In 1972, a map showed the area covered in the new 484 telephone exchange.

In 1978, Edwin “Red” Haulman donated his 102nd pint of blood, and Homer Ober gave his 100th pint at the county bloodmobile.

In 1980, Wilma Williams was named the best school bus driver in the state.

In 1982, Graham track coach Mike Ludlow expressed jubilation as the girls’ team won the district meet held at the new Lee Ludlow Memorial Track.

In 1983, Brenda Burns, a graduation speaker at Graham High School, promised her classmates even difficult goals could become reality with determination.

In 1985, it was Pick-Your-Own-Strawberries time at Rothschild Berry Farm.

In 1988, Mayflowers Chinese Restaurant celebrated its grand opening.

In 1989, the Champaign National Bank announced plans to open an office in Mechanicsburg.

In 1994, County Extension Agent Jack Sommers reported six farms with 850 acres operating under the precision farming system.

In 1995, Urbana was named the first stop on the annual National Tractor Pullers Association tour.

In 1996, Governor Voinovich’s proposed budget included $500,000 earmarked for a YMCA-type facility in Urbana.

In 1997, ground-breaking ceremonies were announced for the expansion of the St. Paris Public Library.

In 1998, Dawn Hunsberger delivered a motivational valedictory speech to her four fellow Grace Baptist graduates and their families.

Ten years ago

Sue Markley was named Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year.

Five years ago

The Urbana High School softball team claimed the district title with a win over Bellbrook, and the Triad High School baseball team also won at districts by defeating Waynesville.

Thought for Today

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten” — Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book

By Shirley Scott

Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.

Shirley Scott, a 1966 graduate of Graham High School, is a native of Champaign County. After receiving degrees in English and German from Otterbein College, she returned to GHS in 1970 where she taught until retiring in 2010. From 1976-2001 she coordinated the German Exchange Program with the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Springe.

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