The project was spearheaded by two retired Mechanicsburg firefighters, Tim Shonkwiler and Phil McMahill. Both gentlemen donated their time, labor and materials along with guidance to see the project through.
Members of the Trainer family were joined by the Mechanicsburg Fire Department, area fire and law enforcement departments, along with several Mechanicsburg-area residents sharing in the solemn event to express heart-felt condolences and appreciation.
The inscription on the monument reads as follows:
“On July 24, 2007 our brother Jon C. Trainer answered his last alarm. Jon grew up in Mechanicsburg and followed the family tradition of community service, dedicating his time and soul to the protection of others. In 2011 the Mechanicsburg Fire Department was named Station 30 in honor of Jon’s unit number. Today, July 24th 2021, the 14th anniversary of his sacrifice, we gather as a community to honor Jon’s memory and loss. He is gone from our sight but forever in our hearts."
The Leadership Champaign County program offers participants in-depth, “behind the scenes” looks at local government, education, and healthcare, among other exclusive opportunities. Participants tour farms, factories, and other local facilities while learning from business owners and community leaders about a wide range of topics. Hands-on activities throughout the program sessions encourage group collaboration and leadership development.
The program meets the third Thursday of every month from September - May. Each full-day session features a different topic; topics include Agriculture, History and Heritage, Education, Economic Development, Government, Healthcare, and Quality of Life.
Applications are available on the Chamber’s website at https://www.champaignohio.com/leadership-champaign-county and will be accepted through September 6. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the Chamber with any questions by emailing email@example.com or calling 937-653-5764.
Grimes Manufacturing is now part of Honeywell International’s Aerospace Division. Mr. Grimes passed away in 1975. In an effort to celebrate Grimes and his legacy, Mike Major, visual artist and sculptor, published a book on Grimes at Main Graphics, his design shop in downtown Urbana. With the help of writer Nancy Patzer, who grew up in Urbana and has written historical non-fiction throughout her writing career, the book is called “A Light in the Sky: A Biography of Warren G. Grimes and the History of Aviation Lighting.”
Patzer, a 1983 graduate of Urbana High School, currently resides in Columbus, Ohio. She has written a number of articles on Ohio history. She owns a marketing communications company, providing consulting services to the residential housing and healthcare industries. Patzer also dabbles in fiction and has twice received the Thurber Treat Award for Humorous Fiction by the Thurber House Literary Center.
1950 National Plowing Contest
On Sunday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Champaign County Historical Museum at 809 East Lawn Avenue, there will be a program on the 1950 National Plowing Contest that was held in Champaign County. There will be several presenters talking about their memories of this event. The presenters will include: Howard Brust discussing the history of this event, members of the Dean Wilson family relating how the publicity from their father’s success affected their family, Sue Evans Berkemeier covering the conservation project connected with the event, and finally, Sarah Finch will introduce Shirley “Payne” Prosser who was crowned the Queen of the Furrow of Champaign County in 1950.
Information from Champaign County Historical Society.
Grants will be awarded no later than June 30, 2021. Restoration work funded with the matching grants must be completed by December 31, 2022.
During the past five years, CCPA commercial matching grants have been awarded for preservation projects at: Gloria Theater, Sowles Hotel, Douglas Hotel, Carmazzi’s, 38 Monument Square, 123, 221 and 222 N. Main St., 114-116 Scioto, and 115 Locust Street all in Urbana, and 10 E. Maple St., North Lewisburg.
During the past five years, CCPA residential matching grants have been awarded to preservation projects at: 569 S. Main St., 139 E. Reynolds St., 200 W. Reynolds St. , 302 W. Reynolds St., 200 Scioto St., 413 Scioto, 883 Scioto St., in Urbana; 4 High St., in Mechanicsburg; and 202 N. Springfield St. and 259 W. Walnut St. in St. Paris.
Urbana students research history, legacy of Urbana educator
Students at Urbana Junior High School have decided Dr. E.W.B. Curry was a very successful and important part of the history of the education system in the post Civil War era who deserves recognition for his part in our community. The often underrecognized Dr. Curry founded a successful and influential school to teach African Americans important life skills that would help them gain jobs right here in Urbana, OH.
E.W.B. Curry found success from setting up the Curry Institute in Urbana, Ohio. Curry had a dream of helping African Americans get better and higher-paying jobs. He followed through with that dream in 1889, when, while still going to school at the young age of 17, he began to teach African-Americans of all ages in a small shed kitchen in Delaware, Ohio. He taught anyone who could pay the tuition of 25 cents per week, old or young. As enrollment in the school increased, he moved the school to Mechanicsburg for two years. When he began to get more interest in the school, in 1897, he moved it to a building at 325 East Water Street in Urbana, Ohio, and founded the Curry Institute.
At the Curry Institute, course work was offered in elementary, industrial, normal, and religious training. Since course work was offered in industrial training, this helped many African Americans gain the skills needed to work in a specific job of their choosing. The goal of the school was to focus on offering job specific training for African Americans so they could gain employment, but people of all races and genders were allowed to go. Curry opened up his school for all ages people because many African Americans had missed out on an education in their youth, especially in the South.
At the Curry Institute, men were taught in industrial classes, leather working, printing, cement and paving, domestic arts, paper hanging, decorating, house painting, and gardening. Women were taught nursing, domestic science, sewing, hair dressing, and millinery. Curry also owned farm land for the purpose of teaching African Americans farming techniques. E.W.B. Curry said, “Nothing is taught that does not have a bearing upon actual everyday life” (Wilson 1993). Curry only taught his students what he thought they would need to thrive in everyday life. Curry helped many people get employed through his training and worked to foster an appreciation in Urbana’s African American community for striving to increase their position in life through education. He was clearly a great citizen who wanted to make a difference, evidenced from a quote out of his own book detailing the purpose of the Curry Institute as helping, “…form a place of knowledge for old and young to uplift humanity, a school where students could better themselves industrially, spiritually, and culturally.” Curry started this school because he wanted to help African Americans live better lives by teaching them better job skills which allowed them to gain more money. One of Curry’s successes is recorded in an exhibit panel about Curry from the Delaware County Historical Society stating, “The skills described would enable African-American men and women to be employed in a good-paying job, perhaps even leading to owning their own business.”
Dr. Curry opened a school for African Americans when he himself was an African American, which would’ve been no easy task for Curry because he set it up shortly after the Civil War and racism certainly could come into play. Some people would’ve been against the school because it was made by an African American and it was for the education of African Americans, though there is evidence Curry found plenty of positive support in Urbana. Even when there was a lot of adversity coming his way when it came to civil rights and segregation, he made it possible for anyone to attend his school of any race, gender, or age.
Dr. Curry was a very productive man and wanted to help his students by giving them the best resources and materials for them to get the education he thought they deserved. He found multiple teachers who could teach different types of job skills such as religious, industrial, or mechanical training as well as jobs like carpentry, dealing with livestock, and gardening. Since he was making this school for primarily African Americans he brought on several African American teachers including Miss Emma Davis, Mrs. Julia Porter, and Mrs. Mary McWilliam (Curry’s book “The Curry Institute” written in 1889). One teacher, Dr. T.W. Burton, was actually the first African American doctor in Springfield, OH. Curry recruited this doctor to teach the skill of nursing to his students (Clark County Historical Society). “Curry strongly advocated the employment of African-American teachers for African-Americans, citing the importance of self-help, meeting the students emotional and educational needs, and an environment free of racism,” according to an article written about Curry as one of the first African American teachers in the state of Ohio. The passage also states, “...Curry was hailed as one of the most influential spokesmen for African-American education.” (Wilson 1993) Curry wanted to show African American students that they could grow up and do something outside of regular expectations. Curry also wanted to give African Americans confidence and redemption from their past. So, Curry taught what students would need in everyday life to thrive, showing that Curry wanted his students to have equal opportunities.
Dr. Curry and the Curry Institute owned three properties around Urbana, which, as an African American, was impressive for the time period. The Curry Institute was located at 325 E. Water Street, which has now become a private residence. Curry also purchased two additional properties along US-68. The first was 75 acres south of town on Dallas Road that he hoped to use for agricultural education through real farming. The second property was located on US-68, and through our research with the Champaign County Recorder’s Office we have found evidence that it may have bordered property that is now our school (the new Urbana Elementary and Junior High Schools on US-68). This second property was where Curry had plans to build a newer and larger school for his Institute. Curry had started building on this property before he died, but only the outer shell of the building was completed. Curry died in 1930, and the remainder of the bricks and supplies for the new school were gifted to Wilberforce University, the first college for African Americans in Ohio. Through our research with the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center as well as Wilberforce University we have found out that the bricks were used in the construction of an addition to the Wilberforce Carnegie Library, which is now where the offices for the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center are located. We believe the original foundation of Curry’s unfinished school completed could still exist on property in Urbana, and we are hoping to work with current landowners to identify their location and existence.
Dr. Curry was a noteworthy part of our African American history in Urbana, Ohio as a man of imagination, hope, citizenship, and honor. These are the traits that made Curry successful, helped him influence our local history, and allowed him to better people’s futures. Curry worked long hours and juggled many things at a time, but he never gave up. Curry had to overcome many obstacles, but, in the end, he proved many people wrong and stood proud for the people that were cheering him on. This is why Curry needs to be recognized in a huge manner.
Urbana students research history, legacy of Urbana educator
Dr. Curry moved his school to Mechanicsburg Ohio in September of 1895. The school opened with 19 students and 3 teachers. After the first year the school did not have any graduates and it started losing support in the community.So in order to keep up the school's support Dr. Curry and his then fiance held their wedding ceremony and invited everyone to it. Later in September of 1897 the Baptist Association removed the support and closed down the school. Brothers Charles Swayne, W. T. Hill, D. R. Jones and J. H. Chavers recommended Urbana to Dr Curry.
Urbana students research history, legacy of Urbana educator
Elmer Curry was born on March 23, 1871 in Delaware, Ohio. He lived in a log house on South Street with his mother Julia and his father George. His dad worked as a minister at The Second Baptist Church on Ross Street, which had a great impact on his future career in education. African-Americans that were freed from slavery were not permitted to an equal education that would have helped them to live a better life. Elmer was interested in helping solve that situation through education.
While attending Delaware City Schools at the age of 17 years old, Elmer rented a kitchen shed for 50 cents per month to start his own school for African-Americans. His school was called The Place of Knowledge for Old and Young. It was located at 19 Davis Street in Delaware, Ohio. The tuition was 25 cents per week and his first student was a 50 year old man who was a day laborer. After attending Michael College and graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University, he went on to become the first African-American teacher at the desegregated Delaware City Schools.
In 1889 moved to Urbana, Ohio and founded the Curry Normal and Industrial Institute. His school had a traditional education, which focused on reading, writing, and math. It also taught trade school skills, such as nursing, caretaking, farming, printing, and clothes making. The building still stands today and is located at 325 East Water Street.
Dr. Curry passed away June 19th, 1930, in Springfield and was buried at Oakdale Cemetery in Urbana, Ohio. There were over 2,000 students who attended the various Curry Schools. Dr. Elmer Curry’s story illustrates activist African-Americans from Ohio utilizing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments in an attempt to better the lives of African-Americans.
For the next few years, Robert is offering fundraiser opportunities to historical societies. We were fortunate to schedule such a fundraiser at our Champaign County Historical Museum on March 31, 2021 at noon.
The fundraiser will feature a book signing, him telling a few barn stories, offering a few paintings for auction, and a palette knife demo painting that will then be raffled. Half the proceeds from the auction and raffle will be donated to the Champaign County Historical Society.
A great way to get a flavor for Robert’s background, paintings and essays is to visit this website:
THE BARN PROJECTS (weebly.com).
Regarding the Ohio Barn Project itself, visit its Facebook site and news clip airing in December 2019:
By Chelsea Bray - Elle A. Design
Fall is the start of the holiday season and is a great time to change up your dinner menu to reflect the cooler weather. If you are looking to test out new recipes to use for the holidays, or if you just want to change it up a bit, these recipes are a great place to start. They have withstood the test of time and have been passed down through generations, so you know they will be a hit in your household too!
Start dinner with a Cranberry Pork Roast. Nothing says “festive fall meal” like adding cranberries to a roast. Not only is this recipe tasty, it is incredibly easy to make. Take the work out of your weekday dinner and put your slow cooker to good use. The gravy from this roast makes the perfect topping for homemade mashed potatoes. Serve with a side of green beans and it will feel like Thanksgiving on a random weeknight.
Cranberry Pork Roast – Submitted by Sheryl Pena
1 boneless rolled pork loin roast, 2 1/3 to 3 lbs.
1 16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
½ cup sugar
½ cup cranberry juice
1 tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs cold water
Salt to taste
Place pork roast in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mash cranberry sauce; stir in sugar, cranberry juice, mustard and cloves. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove roast and keep warm. Measure two cups of cooking juices and pour into saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine cornstarch and cold water to make a paste; stir into gravy. Cook and stir until thickened.
After dinner, it is time for pumpkin pie – the ultimate fall dessert! If you have tried every recipe for pumpkin pie, but still haven’t found “the one”, you need to try this recipe. Make it in advance, store it in the fridge, and it will be ready for any occasion. Top it with caramel sauce or whipped cream for the perfect end to an easy weeknight meal.
Sweet and Dark Pumpkin Pie – Submitted by Judy Fleming Tullis – Recipe by Viola Northup Corbett
1 large can of pumpkin
¾ cup evaporate milk
2 cups sugar
2 ½ Tbs Cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp nutmeg
Blend all ingredients well. Put into two deep dish pie crusts. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or longer. A toothpick should come out clean when stuck in the middled if the pie is done.
The recipes in this article were sourced from “Champaign Tastes: Champaign County Bicentennial Cookbook” compiled by Champaign County Bicentennial Cookbook Committee in 2005. Currently, there is a copy of the book at the Champaign County Historical Society Museum, in Urbana, Ohio. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 1am-2pm and is full of the rich history of Champaign County. If you are interested in becoming involved with the historical society you can volunteer or donate to help them continue to preserve the history of our amazing county.