OUR OLD BOOK CASE
By Joyce L. Alig, President, Mercer County Historical Society
Most adults are aware of the 1913 flood in Western Ohio, a century ago, not only from old post card photographs, but also from the magazine and newspaper reviews. Every adult today who has lived his life in northern Mercer County is aware of the flooding of the Saint Marys River. I grew up at Fort Recovery and I remember the flooding of the Wabash River.
I was doing research on what happened in Mercer County, in the month of January, over the years. The January 1930 newspapers reported that the flood waters in Mercer and Auglaize Counties were higher than in 1913. The Reservoir was out of its banks. The farmers along Beaver Creek suffered livestock loss. Almost a dozen farmers living along “turbulent” flood streams were forced to put their households on second stories of their homes or move in with neighbors and relatives. The January 1937 newspapers reviewed the flooding of the Ohio River, and stated that twenty-five refugees from the Cincinnati area were sent to Celina. In other weather related news, a cold weather storm of minus twenty degrees in January 1856 froze the paper, which had to be thawed before it could be printed at the Western Standard by the Snyder Brothers. A disastrous fire destroyed Geren’s Master Supermarket, 719 West Logan, Celina in January 1960, but it was rebuilt by November that year. On January 27, 1983, the Third National Bank, 122 West Market St., Celina, was also destroyed by fire. (The Copy Super Center, at that site, has the old bank vault in its place of business.)
The Reservoir was reaching flood stage, at the turn of the century, at Coldwater Creek Landing, driving south on West Bank Road. This photograph was included in the book, "Our Post Card Past, Grand Lake Saint Marys, Ohio," by the Mercer County Historical Society.
What historic events happened in January? January 2, 1824, Mercer County was organized by an Act of Legislature. January 12, 1977, General Hugh Mercer, for whom Mercer County was name, died after being wounded at the Battle of Princeton.
What are a few business events which happened in January? January 29, 1870, Celina Building and Loan Association was founded, which became the Citizens Commercial Bank and Trust Company. January 1, 1972, Dan Schreibman began Male Fashions in Celina. January 13, 1934, Mercer County Landmark, Inc. started business after purchasing Staeger Feed Mill on East Logan and Ash Streets, Celina. In January 1955, Paul and Betty (Fetters) Brown founded Brown Drugs, when they purchased the Kindell Store on South Main Street, Celina; by 1984, the Gallery of Shoes was located in that building. Celina Glass began business in January 1958. Bryan’s Bridals on East Market, Celina, opened for business in January 1972. January 1, 1975, Phil and Candace Cozadd bought the Style Shop from Don and Garnet Coate. January 13, 1977, Mercer County Radio Emergency assistance Citizen’s Team was chartered.
What are a few educational events which happened in January? January 1, 1907, Celina’s Public Library opened. January 28, 1958, President Roscoe D. Riley held the first meeting of the Mercer County Historical Society, with Carleton Reiser as Vice President and C.A. Stubbs as Secretary/Treasurer. January 24, 1962, the Western Ohio Education Foundation (WOEF) was incorporated and began the college, first associated with Ohio Northern University, and later with Wright State University.
A January 21, 1932 story told that raids and arrests were made on a sixty-gallon still and a large amount of “alleged” whiskey was seized during prohibition. Have any of you readers ever heard of “alleged whiskey?” If I would write the stories about prohibition, which you readers tell me, I am afraid we both would be in trouble! The local history stories, which you readers tell me, are priceless!
[The Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig, may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or email@example.com or 419-678-2614.]