One hundred years ago, the Sandusky County Pioneer and Historical Society printed its Golden Jubilee Yearbook, a fact that I find interesting since the official organization of the society is said to be 1874.
However, the 1922 yearbook list officers from 1873.
At any rate, the yearbook offers some interesting insight into life at the time.
“At the annual business meeting of the Sandusky County Pioneer and Historical Society held August 2nd 1922 at Birchard Library for the first time in its history women were accorded equal rights with men and several were placed on committees.”
B.B. Overmyer, who was elected secretary pro temp because of the death of Basil Meek, recorded that “it was decided to have the annual picnic on Saturday, September 9th at the High School Auditorium (Not Known as Ross yet), Fremont, Ohio, and to arrange for a regular picnic dinner at Standpipe Park.”
Frank Seager shared insights on 'remarkable changes'
Frank Seager, speaking at the anniversary celebration said: “What remarkable changes have taken place within the period of my memory, changes in the form and manner of living and working. The wheat binder, corn planter and harvester, potato planter and digger, side delivery rake, hay loader, milking machines, cream separators, automobiles, tractors and telephones have made farming a genteel occupation. Electric lights and power, the gas engine, electric street and interurban cars, flying machines, submarines, adding machines, typewriters, the marvels of the wireless telegraph and telephone, and many, many other inventions have come into existence and daily use during my lifetime.”
It was reported in that yearbook that “A new 11 cent postage stamp, peacock blue, with a portrait of Rutherford B. Hayes, will be placed on sale Wednesday in Fremont, in connection with the commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of the former president.”
Historical Society dropped the word 'Pioneer' from the group's name
A few years later, one of the speakers at the annual reunion had this to say about the name of the organization: “When the society was founded it was given the name of ‘The Sandusky County Pioneer and Historical Society,’ but during the past year it has been renamed and is now called and known as ‘The Sandusky County Historical Society,’ the word ‘Pioneer’ being left out of the title.”
In what seems to be a mild protest, the speaker went on to say: “I am a native of this county and have been a member of this Society for several years and have always been proud of my membership … the county in which I was born and reared and in which county I have helped to cut some of the timber and clear the stumps from some of the best farms upon which the sun has ever shone.”
The change actually came in 1924 with the 1925 yearbook saying “At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Pioneer and Historical Association of Sandusky County, Ohio, held on July 19th, 1924, at Fremont Ohio, it was determined by the said trustees to take steps to change the name of said Association to the Historical Society of Sandusky County. It was determined to drop the word ‘Pioneer’ as the original pioneers have passed on and the younger generation are averse to being ‘classed with the aged.’”
Roy Wilhelm started a 40-year career at The News-Messenger in 1965 as a reporter. Now retired, he writes a column for both The News-Messenger and News Herald.
This article originally appeared on Fremont News-Messenger: Wilhelm: Women allowed to participate in historical society in 1922