The Morrow County Genealogical Society celebrates Winton Arnold’s 100th birthday

Story and photos by Donna Carver

January 21, 2014

The Morrow County Genealogical Society met on January 18, 2014 in the Mt. Gilead Library Annex Meeting Room and held a surprise 100th birthday celebration for Winton Arnold. Arnold reached this milestone on Dec. 31, 2013

Arnold was accompanied to the celebration by his wife Dolores. The Arnold’s will celebrate 79 years of marriage on February 1st.

Arnold has been instrumental in working as a trustee at the Ohio Genealogical Society through the many years and with the Morrow County Genealogical Society. He was vice president of the MCGS from 1983 to 1985. He served as president in 1986 and 1987.His influence can be seen in the Mt. Gilead Genealogy Library with hand crafted frames surrounding awards, and maps. Programs and events he started are still in place and being used today.

The celebration was organized by Betty Meier, President of the Morrow County Genealogical Society. Arnold and his wife Dolores took a place of honor in the front row for the meeting.

Meier introduced Tom Neel, Director of the Ohio Genealogical Society Library.

Neel started by sharing information about the Ohio Genealogical Society Library in Bellville, Ohio. Neel then shared his memories of Arnold as a trustee and volunteer for the Genealogical Society. During his presentation he displayed a copy of Arnold’s birth certificate as well as a copy of the Arnold’s marriage license. Neel shared that Arnold was the buildings and grounds chair for years “which means he did all the work, everything from cleaning toilets to repairing the roof to putting down carpet.” He said.

Next to speak was Betty Meier. She began by sharing information about Arnold listing his many accomplishments and committees that he had served on. She noted that each year for over 20 years Arnold manned the MCGS display table at the Morrow County fair. She shared that he still helps with the mailing of the newsletter when weather permits.

The final speaker was Deb Jeffers, District Trustee for the Marysville District of Ohio Genealogical Society. Jeffers noted that her father worked with Arnold on the railroad and in fact helped her father obtain the job. Jeffers explained that Arnold was a train conductor on a train that she would sometimes have to take from Marion to Kent for orthodontics. Sometimes her mother could not accompany her and she would meet her Aunt in Kent. She said she always felt safe on the train “because Winton was there.” She shared that the Arnold’s were there for her high school graduation and she once accompanied the Arnolds on a trip to Colorado. She shared that Arnold was an expert clock maker and hand crafted beautiful grandfather clocks.

Jeffers highlighted a few historical highlights from the year that Arnold was born, 1913. “Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Rosa Parks and Jesse Owens were born, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as president, and the Sixteenth Amendment (Income tax) was ratified. The following year, 1914, WWI began.

Jeffers noted that Arnold has witnessed ladies being given the right to vote, Lindbergh’s solo flight, man landing on the moon, the Great Depression, WWII, the development of automobiles, television and computers.

Meier in closing recognized Arnold’s devoted wife Dolores with a dozen roses saying she always puts him first and her concern is always for him. Meier asked Dolores to share something about Winton. She shared that when he was born, his mother had such a difficult time and they did not expect him to live. She explained that they wrapped him in newspaper in preparation to bury him. To their surprise the paper began to rattle and here he is today 100 years later.