City Reacts To Flooding

“Leader Look Back,” is a collection of stories and headlines from 75, 50 and 25 years ago this week. This week’s edition examines stories from Jan. 23 to 30, 1937, 1962 and 1987.

75 years ago: Ohio National Guardsmen from St. Marys and Celina mobilized and left to go to Portsmouth and Cincinnati to assist in flood relief. Company K went to Cincinnati and a medical detachment from Celina also left for the impacted region.

The New Bremen American Legion and Auxiliary collected $98 to help with flood relief. The American Red Cross received $110 through citizens from the West Auglaize County chapter. Lloyd Zink, a distributor for Burger beer, volunteered the use of his truck.

Citizens of New Bremen donated $273.85 in cash to the Red Cross to help flood victims. Four trucks from the local state highway department left Wapakoneta, St. Marys and Waynesfield filled with food and clothes for flood victims in southern Ohio.

In an effort to support the ongoing flood relief in southern Ohio, residents in Auglaize County contributed $1,738.96 to the West Auglaize chapter of the Red Cross. Factories, organizations and individuals responded nobly to the effort.

Three judges were assigned to hear evidence in the murder case against A.C. Edmiston. Edmiston was accused of killing his wife, Glenna Edmiston, in their home in Uniopolis.

Six New Bremen residents — Elton Schelper, A.H. Albert, Alvin Grothaus, Earl Kuenning, Frank Dine and Lee Harmony — traveled by airplane to the affected flood zone in southern Ohio. Each carried a package of provisions to drop from the plane to those marooned by high water.

St. Marys Board of Education members got their first glimpse of the $103,000 in appropriations for 1937. Superintendent C.C. McBroom noted St. Marys Mayor Albert Koch is working with the district to recover lumber swept away by flood waters. The lumber was needed to continue construction of the stadium being built as a WPA project.

Residents in New Knoxville were preparing to gather for a meeting to discuss a new school building. Board of education members encouraged all residents to attend because two previous attempts to get a new building were voted down.

50 years ago: Mr. and Mrs. Gust Vornholt, 504 W. South St., New Knoxville, died from injuries suffered in a fire. Mrs. Vornholt was preparing dinner when her clothes ignited from a gas flame on the kitchen stove. Mr. Vornholt attempted to extinguish the flames but his clothes also caught on fire.

Auglaize County Juvenile Court Judge Tom Danaher ordered a curfew law for all persons under the age of 18. All juveniles had to be off the streets by 11 p.m. unless they were accompanied by a parent or guardian. Danaher instituted the curfew after receiving numerous complaints of boys and girls loitering on the streets and hurling insulting remarks.

Sherman Burgess, of Goodyear Tire and Rubber, and John Herkenhoff, of Minster Machine Company, were named trustees from Auglaize County to serve on the board of the Western Ohio Education Foundation to be established in Celina.

Flood waters threatened to overtake land along the St. Marys River in the west and southwest portions of St. Marys after 1.67 inches of rain fell. The West Spring Street lift station was unable to keep up with flows. The areas of Elm Grove and Gethsemane cemeteries were under water. The ground was frozen at a depth of 14 inches, preventing the absorption of the rain.

The St. Marys River reached flood crest as Ohio 66, Beech Street and Greenville Road were closed. Hundreds of acres of farmland was flooded and water spilled across the football field. The St. Marys Community Public Library, which flooded in 1959, escaped damage. However, water poured into the St. Marys Theater, Kellermeyer’s, Barnhart-Bricker Store and Hotel Fort Barbee.

Mary Sterling, 28, of Delphos, drowned in the Little Auglaize River, located three miles west of St. Marys. The driver of the vehicle Sterling was riding in, Ethel Heffner, 34, of Delphos, was blinded by lights and crashed through a railing.

Dan Nedderman poured in 34 points to help the New Bremen Cardinals defeat Anna 79-59. Nedderman tallied 10 field goals and 15 free throws.

25 years ago: Juvenile Court Judge H. Michael Moser scheduled a hearing for March 2 in the murder case of Betty Marie Head. The hearing will be to determine if a 17-year-old St. Marys boy should be tried as an adult in the case. The teen was arrested Jan. 14 on a charge of delinquency by rape and aggravated murder.

The body of the 11-year-old girl was found near her home west of St. Marys on July 12 after she was reported missing earlier in the day.

Auglaize County ranked ninth in total farm receipts in 1985. According to a report, the county realized $74.36 million in cash receipts for the year. Mercer County came in first with receipts of $150.24 million. Dairy accounted for 24 percent of gross farm income and soybeans were the top cash crop in the county.

The St. Marys Township Fire Department marked its 10th anniversary with a dinner at VFW Post 9289. Fire Chief Larry Durkee gave a brief history of the department and how it was formed — reportedly following a dispute with the city of St. Marys in 1976 concerning the cost of renewing a contract for fire protection in the township.

Plans were unveiled for an improvement at the intersection of U.S. 33 and Hardin Pike in Wapakoneta. The project was expected to be completed in 1989.

St. Marys Safety-Service Director Doug Brookhart provided a report detailing a restructuring of the supervisors in the city. The measure became official with the passage of legislation by city councilors. The plan reduced the number of supervisors who reported directly to Brookhart from 10 full-time and two seasonal to seven full-time.

Brookhart also requested the three-year phase-in of a 0.5 percent income tax hike for the city. Brookhart proposed placing the measure on the May primary election ballot to include a 0.2 percent hike for the last six months of 1987, a 0.2 percent hike for 1988 and a 0.1 percent hike in 1989. Brookhart cited the termination of the Federal Revenue Sharing program for the need of additional local funds. The program cost the city $100,000 in 1987.