To some 50 years ago is merely a blink of an eye, to others, a lifetime. Here is what was happening 50 years ago in Greene County when the estimated population was 115,108.
As always one of the highlights of the New Year was announcing the first birth in the county. Jimmy Puckett whose parents lived in Fairborn had the honor of being the first baby born in 1967 in Greene County.
Jimmy was born at Greene Memorial Hospital which later that month raised the room rates from $20 to $31 per day. The next September, rates were again raised, this time the rates ranged from $23 to $36 per day, depending on the room. This was the year Herman Menapace became the hospital administrator and the sixteen year old hospital was planning to make an addition to the structure.
Delmer Bone, who would later serve a number of years as Greene County Commissioner resigned his position as the office manager of the Greene County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee to devote more time to his floral business.
Mrs. Jesse Fuller was chosen to be a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off and William Penwitt was selected Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Township “Citizen of the Year for 1966.”
That was the year Reuben Holcomb became president of the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Irvin Hyman became president of the Greene County Historical Society.
Citizens were pleased to learn that William (Bill) Eichman was the recipient of the Torrance Award.
Joe Kennedy of Kennedy’s Market had been in business for 50 years.
This was the year a new Greene County 4-H agent was hired. Jerry Mahan came from Champaign County to accept that position. Later he became the County Agent for the Greene County Ohio State University Extension Office. Though now retired, he provides helpful information in a column in the Greene County Dailies.
At the Greene County Fair, the championship 4-H steer brought $1.15 per pound.
Schools were often in the news in 1967. The Greene Joint Vocational School Board was accepting construction bids for the facility due to open in September. The GJVS foundation was seeking private donations in the amount of $260,000 to meet the deficit. The first teachers for the new vocational school were hired in June. At that time the Yellow Springs School Board decided not to become a part of the new school which today is known as Greene Vocational School.
In Beavercreek, the school board presented a bond issue for a new junior high school in the amount of $1,385,000. In May, voters approved the request with enough funds to renovate Main Elementary School and acquire land for two new schools.
Cedarville College (now University) celebrated its 80th anniversary.
Wright State University students celebrated the fact that the school had been granted university status. Antioch College received a grant for $150,000 from the Kettering Foundation and the Charles H. Wesley Hall of Arts and Sciences at Central State University was dedicated in June.
Wright Elementary School in Fairborn was opened for students.
In 1967, the City of Xenia imposed a one percent income tax effective October 1. This same year, the city employees agreed to accept a ten percent increase in salaries (those were the days). A contract was awarded for equipment to chlorinate the Xenia water.
Miss Pam Robinson of Beavercreek was selected as Miss Ohio. Pam Robinson Day was celebrated in Xenia early in September, prior to her boarding a plane for the Miss America contest in Atlantic City.
Farmers and Merchants Bank of Jamestown celebrated 100 years of service and Vibra-Corp opened a new business in Jamestown.
The Jaycees planned to raise $10,000 to build an enclosed shelter house at the county park on Dayton-Xenia Road.
The end of the railroad era was near. In September, the last mail was sent by train from Xenia and the Pennsylvania Railroad approved the abandonment of the tracks.
In May someone filed suit in Common Pleas Court to block construction of the Greene County Regional airport, however in June, the Greene County Regional Airport Authority was accepting bids for new runways in an anticipated amount of $141,642.85.
This year marked the beginning of the end of the village of New Burlington. A garage and a grocery closed in the fall. At that time residents were considering rebuilding the community in Clinton County after they would be forced to relocate due to the construction of Caesarscreek Lake.
A campaign was begun to improve US Route 35 between Xenia and Interstate 71.
Of course, as in any other year, not all the news was good. There were 38 traffic fatalities on Greene County roads that year, a new undesirable record for the county.
Greene County residents mourned the deaths of local soldiers killed in Vietnam and prayed for those who were stationed there.
That is a look at Greene County events 50 years ago.
Joan Baxter is a local resident and weekly historical columnist.
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