Reflections: A glimpse of life in Cardington in the 1800’s


By Evelyn Long - The Sentinel



Glancing through old newspapers, every once in a while I find something that leaps out and I want to share it with readers. This week it’s an item I found in a Morrow County Sentinel dated May, 1934. A

Cardington man was sharing his memories of growing up in this village in the mid 1800’s.

He said “As a little boy I was taken into Cardington from the farm by my parents. The ride that made the greatest impression was the jail or ‘calaboose’ as it was called. It was a one story frame shack about ten by twelve feet in size with iron bars at the windows, standing on the river bank on Water Street just south of Main Street. Our route into town led past the jail and I looked upon it with fear and awe; wondering what sort of desperate criminals might be locked up there. Probably nothing worse than one or more of the town drunks. I do not remember just when this lockup was done away but presume it was when the present engine house and jail were built on Mill Street.”

He also recalled being in town on a New Year’s Day and seeing the first trial of the new steam fire engine – The first engineer was Bennett Gray, who had a machine shop in town and was regarded as an expert mechanic, said the man, who did not want to be identified.

In 1880 he became a resident of Cardington coming in from the farm, “a young green country boy.” Cardington was a thriving town of 1500 people.

Much more business was done there than now. The automobile, he said, the enemy of small towns had not yet appeared. The business portion of the town was then principally on Main Street and one block on Marion Street from Main to Second Street. There were two banks, the First National and the Cardington Banking Company on Marion Street. There were six dry good stores, and six grocery stores, three drug stores, two hardware shops, three lawyers, five doctors, five churches and enough “saloons to keep those residents who were so disposed in a reasonable state of moisture.”

More on his memories next week.

October of 1946

Making the news was the discovery of a bumble bee’s nest four feet underground by workmen on a veterinary hospital east of Mount Gilead.

Mary Lou Vail was elected president of the Iberia senior class; Grove Phillips, junior class president; Ivan Sipes, sophomore class president and Gloria Borders, freshman president. Class advisors were Mr Bowman, senior; Miss Maliski, junior; Miss Gilliam, sophomore and Mrs Lelo Hert, freshman.

Sidney Hope, brother of Bob Hope and one of the owners of The Pines, Inc. northeast of Mount Gilead, died at his home in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio.

October of 1986

Pictured were Kenny Grooms and Kindra James, Cardington FFA members in the Cardington FFA Soil Judging contest held on Phil McChesney’s farm on Airport Road.

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By Evelyn Long

The Sentinel

Reach us at mcsnews@civitasmedia.com

Reach us at mcsnews@civitasmedia.com

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