Look Back In History

"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. 17 to 22, 1937, 1962 and 1987.

75 years ago: Less than a day after 15 hams and shoulders were stolen from a smokehouse on the John Seewer farm, north of St. Marys, 14 of the hams were recovered by Sheriff William Nieter and his deputy Arthur Lawler. Three were arrested, including one juvenile. Roy Gorman and Gus Hilmer were charged with meat stealing.

Paris Cleaners and Dyers started its eighth year of business.

The municipal light plant in St. Marys furnished the city with $9,563 in free current, which was used to light city streets, traffic signals and two sewage pumps at the disposal plant.

New Bremen's boys basketball team defeated St. Marys 26 to 19.

Jurors heard testimony in the $7,239 damage suit filed by Felix Cook of New Knoxville. Cook filed the suit against Helen Herbert, of Sidney, as a result of an automobile accident southeast of St. Marys on State Highway 54.

Ruth Evelyn McKaye, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Howard McKaye, was judged the winner of the New Bremen Beauty Contest, sponsored by the merchants.

For the third time in a week, the St. Marys River spilled out of its banks. The level threatened to reach the 1913 flood stage. The levels in Lake St. Marys also continued to climb. The lake stood at 8 inches above normal levels — in the last week, the lake rose from 17.5 inches to 25.5 inches. Lake Foreman John Sunderland and his crew patrolled the Miami and Erie Canal in search of weak spots.

The village of New Bremen had its water supply offline for several hours after a car driven by W.T. Martersteck broke a hydrant. Martersteck was driving south on Franklin street and struck another vehicle that was traveling east on Monroe Street.

Five row boats from St. Marys were dispatched to flood-ravaged areas across the region. Lake Foreman John Sunderland and Howard Hunter left with three boats in response to an order issued by Inland Lakes and Parks Director Burt J. Hill. The next night, two more boats were taken by Arnold Yingling, state fish hatchery superintendent, to Indian Lake to serve as part of a convoy headed to New Richmond.

50 years ago: Trotlining was made legal at Lake St. Marys for the first time in years. It was permitted in a restricted area on the south side of the lake between Prairie and Big Chickasaw creeks. Catfish were thought to be the main target of trotline fishermen. Bullheads also could be taken, as could crappie if minnows were used as bait.

Civil Defense Coordinator James E. Price and Auglaize County Civil Defense Director Col. Arnold C. Reiher hosted a tour of the city's facilities to determine which buildings should serve as fallout shelters. G.C. Murphy Store was deemed an ideal place for a shelter as was Holy Rosary School, West School's corridor and the tunnel linking St. Paul's parish hall and church.

Plans for a $227,000 nursing center in New Knoxville were unveiled. The nursing home was to be one-story and include 48 beds with plans to expand it to 100 in the near future.

Auglaize County commissioners appropriated $634,452.78 for 1962, County Auditor Vernon Doenges reported.

Farmers from the south side of Lake St. Marys, along with Lake Improvement Association President Carl Miller, awaited a survey of Lake St. Marys.

Officials continued to discuss the periodic flooding of farmland but state officials had yet to reach a conclusion on how to alleviate the issue.

Neil Armstrong piloted the X-15 rocket to a speed of 3,175 mph for a trip that lasted 97 seconds. Armstrong is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen K. Armstrong, formerly of St. Marys.

The New Knoxville Civic Association announced a slogan contest for the front of a brochure to be printed and used by the industry committee. There was a prize of $1 to the top five entries.

Two Moulton Boy Scouts, Larry Lee and Jim Myers, received the God and Country award during a ceremony at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moulton.

Auglaize County Schools Superintendent L.F. Schumaker announced his retirement from the post, which he assumed in 1928.

25 years ago: A 17-year-old St. Marys boy remained in custody, charged with the rape and murder of 12-year-old Betty Marie Head of rural St. Marys. Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Spees told the newspaper a preliminary hearing would be held at a later date to determine if there is enough probable cause to believe a crime occurred. The teen also was expected to undergo a series of tests to determine if he should be tried as an adult or a juvenile.

Members of the Minster Board of Education met to discuss the need for additions and improvements to Minster High School. Among the items included in a report were: Expansion of the library, building more classroom storage space and create an adequate number of classrooms so that teachers may be assigned to a classroom for the entire day.

Superintendent Hal Belcher also reported news from a meeting in Columbus, which mentioned possible cuts because lottery money was on the decline.

On the Leaderland Scoreboard, Jeff Henschen, of New Knoxville, led the area in scoring at 18.5 ppg and Beth Coil, of Wapakoneta, led the girls at 16.8 ppg.

Auglaize County drew closer to establishing a 911 phone system. The expected cost of the system was $250,000, but later estimates put the cost at $65,000 to $70,000. Commissioner Dow Wagner said one of the challenges facing the system was the ability to coordinate five telephone companies and two cities to develop the system.

Officials in Wapakoneta found out it would cost a worst-case scenario $511,000 to make repairs to the police and fire station. The current structure was 102-years-old and was in need of serious upgrades.

A financial hurdle surfaced in the construction of the St. Marys City Schools vocational education building. Bids for the 18,000 square-foot structure came in at $842,031, $80,000 more than the $760,000 that was allocated for the project.