POMEROY — Meigs County Pomona Grange recently held its annual banquet at the Meigs Local High School cafeteria, with Margaret Parker as guest speaker.
Charles Yost, of Racine, was the evening’s emcee, and introduced dignitaries Patty and Opal Dyer, Meigs County Deputy Masters; Keith Ashley, Pomona Grange membership chair and assistant steward of the West Virginia State Grange; Charles Yost, master of the Racine Grange; Patty Dyer, master of Star Grange; and Rosalie Story, master of Hemlock Grange.
Ohio State Grange youth ambassadors Olivia Yost, of Racine, and Asa Houchin, of Logan, were special guests at the banquet. Yost is the sixth youth ambassador from the Racine Grange, which has the most youth ambassadors in the state.
Grange members who had attained at least 25 years of continuous membership were announced by Ashley: Charles and Nita Yost of Racine Grange and Janis Macomber of Star Grange received a certificate and pin for 25 years of continuous membership, and Kenny Bolin, Sherri Might, Daniel Midkiff and Linda Montgomery of Star Grange and Clifford Ashley of Racine Grange each earned their Gold Sheaf for 50 years of continuous membership.
Hemlock Grange members recognized for long memberships were Charles Caldwell, who has 59 years; Janice Weber, 62; Pat Holter, 64; William Smith, 66; Rosalie Story, 68; Genevieve Burdette, 70; Roy Holter, 71, Roy Grueser, 76.
Star Grange members recognized for long memberships, they included Maxine Dyer, who has 62 years; Rose Barrows, 60; and Marilyn Wilcox, with 55 years.
Recognition went to June Ashley of Racine Grange with 70 years of continuous service.
With 80 years of continuous membership, Sarah Caldwell and Sarah Cullums were recognized for having the longest memberships.
Junior members presented their Ohio State Grange first-place talent acts from the Ohio State Fair. Ella Kitty, of Logan, and Crockett Dennis, of Thornville, performed their acts for the group before the introduction of the guest speaker.
Margaret Parker, a former member of the late Rockspring Grange, is currently a member of the Hemlock Grange. She is the past president of the Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society, and spoke on the importance of documenting one’s life with written stories and photographs and encouraged everyone to do so. She told some of her personal history, and shared some interesting stories from older Meigs County newspapers.
At the close of Parker’s presentation, Emma Ashley, Meigs County Pomona lecturer, made a surprise announcement. The Meigs County Pomona Grange had unanimously chosen Margaret Parker as the 2016 Community Service winner in recognition for her service to Meigs County.
As the longest serving president of the Meigs County Pioneer and Historical Society, Parker served in the position for 30 years. She and her husband, Leland Parker, became trustees in the Society in 1975, and she served as secretary from 1976 to 1983. She became vice president in 1983 and became president in 1985, with her through 2015.
During her tenure, the Society published several books on Meigs County, including “A Study of Meigs County History,” “The Underground Railroad” and “Meigs County History Volumes one, two and three.” The museum saw the addition of the Nolan Annex.
Parker has been a member of the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums since 1989. She served a secretary for the Ohio Association and was recognized by the group in 1994 with an Outstanding Achievement Award.
She is a charter member and current treasurer of the Meigs County Genealogical Society; member of First Families of Ohio, Athens County Historical and Genealogical Society, Ohio Historical Society, Meigs county’s U.S Bicentennial Committee, and charter member and secretary of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Group.
She is a member of the Winding Trail Garden Club, and has been a 4-H advisor, as well as a Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader and the mother of seven children.
Parker will be entered in the Ohio State Grange Community Service finals.
In closing, Meigs County recorder Kay Hill and Meigs County auditor Mary Byer-Hill were recognized for their attendance at the banquet. Meigs County treasurer Peggy Yost, a Racine Grange member, was also acknowledged.
Hemlock Grange will be celebrating their 100th anniversary with festivities later in the year, and said they will announce plans and dates for the observance at a later time.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext. 2551.