ROCKSPRINGS — The annual Meigs County Grange banquet was held on Friday, April 27, at the Meigs Local High School cafeteria.
As part of the event grange and community members were recognized for their service.
Charles Yost then presented a Golden Sheaf award to Keith Ashley for his 50 years of continuous Grange membership. Others present already with that award were Rosalie Story, and Janice Weber.
Emma Ashley, Pomona Grange lecturer, then presented awards. The first was to Ray Midkiff as an outstanding fireman for over 40 years having served both Wilkesville and Salem Township Fire Departments where he served as chief. Next, an award for outstanding teacher was given to Rosalie Story having taught 37 years retiring in 1993. She taught at Salisbury Elementary.
Lastly, the outstanding community citizen award went to Charlene Hoeflich for her over 40 years service as writer and editor of The Daily Sentinel as well as her other community work. She began her newspaper career with her husband, Bob, for the Athens Messenger. It was noted that she attended many night-time events after her normal working hours. Her own column was noted as a hit of readers. She has been active in numerous other groups and still writes for a local historical publication.
Janice Macomber, Pomona chaplain, gave the invocation. Olivia Yost led the “Pledge of Allegiance.” A catered steak dinner was enjoyed by attendees.
Charles Yost, master of the Meigs County Pomona (i.e., county) Grange, welcomed everyone in attendance. Star, Hemlock, and Racine Granges were present as were Grangers from Athens County, Fairfield County, and Muskingum County. Special commemorative ribbons noting the 150th anniversary of the Grange were given by Keith and Emma Ashley.
The speaker for the evening was Debra Hogue of Muskingum County. She and her husband, Ronald, operate a dairy farm there. She is the newly-elected member of the Ohio State Grange executive committee. She first spoke on the recent move to bring financial stability to Friendly Hills Camp run by the Ohio State Grange members. She credited the unending work by Patty and Opal Dyer, Meigs County Grange deputies, in saving the camp. She compared it to the biblical story of David conquering Goliath. She praised the Meigs County granges for their continued good work for the Grange and the community. She briefly mentioned some history of Grange in Meigs County.
Ronald Hogue provided musical entertainment by singing “The Day the Squirrel Went Berserk” by Ray Stevens.
Bryce Dennis, Ohio State Jr. Grange assistant steward, and Crockett Dennis, Ohio State Jr. Grange steward, gave remarks on the positive reasons for attending camp. They are the grandsons of Keith and Emma Ashley of Rocksprings. Hannah Murphy, Ohio State Grange Female Youth Ambassador, brought greeting from the state youth. Linda Montgomery, Jr. Grange leader of Star Jr. Grange, brought up on the Junior Grangers present. She then presented Opal and Patty Dyer with a plague for 24 years of service as the Ohio State Jr. Grange leaders, a record.
County leaders in attendance were James Stanley and Tim Ihle. Candidates for office included Danny Davis, Chris Tenoglia, and Linda Warner.
Favors were provided by Farmers Bank, Peoples’ Bank, and Home National Bank. Office holders, candidates, and local granges provided door prizes.
Keith Ashley is a grange member and local historian.