Hannah Jane Ashton (1901-2000) graduated from Reynoldsburg High School in 1920, one of a class of sixteen. Four years later, she received her bachelor's degree from Ohio State University. For two years she taught at Scotia, a Presbyterian boarding school for African American girls in North Carolina.
In May 1928 Hannah was hired by the Reynoldsburg Board of Education to teach seventh and eighth grade and high school. For the next 34 years she served as teacher, confidante, job counselor and administrator. Her relationship with students - and her understanding of them -- went far beyond class time activities.
Teachers were expected to take part in all sorts of social events bearing the faintest connection with school. Hannah took pride and pleasure in having groups of students as guests in her home . They had to behave; but loving Hannah ruled with a light hand, and everybody had fun and hoped to be invited back.
For many years the townspeople knew whom they could get to do tasks which might prove long-range or burdensome. The rallying cry was, “Ask Hannah.” Hannah's reply was always, “All right.” She served as librarian winter and summer; she chaperoned dances - and was an excellent square-dancer herself - she was an officer in every organization she ever belonged to. She taught a Sunday school class of young women, the Bonne Foi Class, which in 1946 became the Good Will Club.
In August 1944 Hannah was appointed high school principal. From then until she resigned in 1962, she served in an administrative capacity.
When she decided the school needed a library, she visited every library in Franklin County to ask if they had any duplicate books to donate. The result of her efforts was a school library so popular that it was opened to the public.
During her younger years, one of Hannah's great joys was traveling. She has visited many countries, circling the globe twice, and going on safari in Africa to photograph fast-vanishing wildlife. After retirement she lived on ancestral land in Fairfield County until her death in 2000.
Having no children of her own, Hannah loved hundreds of other people's sons and daughters. Those of us who are lucky enough to have homed in on her steady beam will always hold this remarkable woman dear in our hearts.
In the fall of 1980, she was honored by the ReynoldsburgTruro Historical Society with the Hannah J. Ashton Commemorative Plate, a gold-rimmed porcelain plate of generous size bearing her likeness and one of the Reynoldsburg School.
The former high school is now a middle school named in her honor - the Hannah J. Ashton School.
Dorothy (1918-1992) was a Registered Nurse from Ohio who served in executive and leadership positions in nursing. She was the only person to be president of the American Nurses Association, the International Council of Nurses, and the American Journal of Nursing Company. Dorothy was appointed to national committees by United States Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon.
In 1963 Dorothy was the first women to run for city council in her home town of Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She held other local positions including ward chairwomen and membership on the Reynoldsburg Planning and Zoning Commission. Cornelius was named one of Ohio's Top Ten Women in 1963. She received commendations from the governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives.
Other awards include the American Red Cross National Award for distinguished service, and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1977. Cornelius was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 1981, the American Nursing Association Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 1997.
Cornelius was honored as an Ohio State University Local Legend in 2008. The Ohio Nurses Association headquarters building was named after Cornelius in 1977.
Jo Ann was born in Findlay, Ohio in 1927. She settled in Reynoldsburg where she raised her family and embarked on her political career in 1967 when she was elected to the Reynoldsburg City Council. She always served with distinction.
In 1977 she was elected to the office of Truro Township Clerk. In 1980, Davidson was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and served as House Minority Leader in the 120th General Assembly.
In 1995 she was selected as the first female Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, a position in which she served until her term was up in 2001.
Davidson continued to serve Ohio on a variety of boards and charity organizations. During her many years of service, she has served her state and community with dedication, led by example, and earned the deep respect and gratitude of the many individuals she has represented.
Mary Ann is pictured in her kitchen at the age of 100. Born November 15, 1837, she died July 23, 1941, just four months shy of her 104th Birthday. Mary Ann is believed to be the oldest person who has ever lived in Reynoldsburg.
(Photograph by James O. Ruvoldt for the Reynoldsburg Press.)
Vivien Hickman (1894-1976) lived with her family on a farm at State Route 256 and Graham Road. She was all the following:
Harriet Kirkpatrick (1877-1962), a fourth-generation Ohioan, was born in Reynoldsburg and grew up in Columbus with her four brothers. After graduating from Columbus Central High School, Kirkpatrick began her art studies at Columbus Art School. She had her first exhibit in 1910 in Chicago.
She had her first New York Art League Show in 1913. That same year, she married William (Billie) Kirkpatrick, became one of the pioneer residents of Grandview Heights and was hired as the art critic for The Ohio State Journal.
She founded the Ohio State Fair Exhibition and remained its director until 1927. Harriet began teaching privately from her home as well as at Columbus School for Girls to supplement her income when her husband died suddenly and left her with a teenage daughter to rear.
After her retirement from CSG in 1946, she continued to teach from her home on Westwood Avenue. A group of Tri-Village women who attended Kirkpatrick’s classes became known as the 'Westwood Painters.'
Kirkpatrick continued with her art until her death in 1962.
Born and raised in Truro Township, Maebelle Weber (1920-1998) graduated from Reynoldsburg High School in 1938 and was one of four Reynoldsburg women to serve in the military during World War II.
In 1943, she answered the call to duty and enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), reporting for duty at Fort Hayes in Columbus before being shipped to her first duty station in Daytona Beach, Florida.
While at Daytona, she attended noncommissioned officers’ school and became a first platoon sergeant after only one month in the service. Her primary jobs at Daytona were as a drill master and physical training instructor. After Daytona, she was assigned to the Army Airways Communications Service (AACS) at Godman Field in Fort Knox, Kentucky, where she went to Radio Control Tower School to become a tower operator.
She served in the Army for three years and fourteen days, and according to a note she wrote, “I loved it all.”
Born in Casey, Illinois, Connie McNary came to Reynoldsburg in 1941. She was the editor of the very first Reynolian Yearbook, and a 1943 graduate of Reynoldsburg High School.
In 1956 and 1957, Connie was the Reynoldsburg Presbyterian Church Secretary. From 1958 to 1962, she was secretary to Robert P. Heischman, executive head of Reynoldsburg Schools.
Since 1966 she has been a professional writer, selling articles, short stories, brochures, books, and more. As Day Taylor, she is the coauthor of two best-selling paperback historical novels. The Black Swan was on the New York Times Best Seller List for 10 weeks, and Mossrose was the sequel.
In 1981, Cornelia wrote the History of Reynoldsburg and Truro Township, Ohio, which is currently used in local schoolrooms. She has been published in several countries and is still writing.
A 1941 graduate of Reynoldsburg High School, Eleanor Mae Wilson (1924-2019) was an attractive teenager who loved to dance. The only child of James Henry Wilson and Lola Blanche McNaghten Wilson Wright and granddaughter of Blanche Holcomb and Stewart McNaghten; her roots in Truro Township reach back to the late 1700s.
Growing up, Eleanor was fascinated by family history and started to collect information and artifacts as early as she can remember. As an only child, relatives naturally handed everything down to her. If it wasn’t, she hunted it down or asked for a copy.
When Eleanor's eyesight became impaired it made research virtually impossible and after she was moved from her home on Merritt Island in Florida to an assisted living facility, the storage space was limited. Rather than allow her life-long collection of genealogy and artifacts to end up destroyed, Eleanor’s good friend, fellow genealogist, and former neighbor, Phillip Thomas, contacted the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society (RTHS). We made arrangements to move everything from Florida to our museum. And now you know how we acquired the ‘McNaghten Collection.’
RTHS now possesses over 300 binders of genealogy covering thousands of families, scrapbook material, postcards, photo albums, plat maps, graveyard maps, township maps, county maps, court records, letters, books, greeting cards, high school yearbooks, historical society periodicals from areas surrounding Truro Township; the list goes on.
Artifacts include furniture, a Civil War mess kit, portraits, girls’ clothing, hand-woven fabrics, baby gowns (a baptismal gown from 1844), tablecloths, bonnets, hairbrushes, combs, napkin holders, Judge David Pugh’s gavel, bead purses, Masonic Lodge items, Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, tintypes, and more ….
RTHS probably has one of the largest and most professionally researched single genealogy collections in Central Ohio; possibly in the State of Ohio.
Now, in Phillip’s words, let’s meet Eleanor:
"She was a master seamstress and made most of her children's clothing. In her younger years, she mastered the art of tatting. I believe it is a form of delicate lace making. She had many talents. In painting, watercolor was her favorite medium. I have several of her paintings in my home.
An only child and one who loved her family and all items related to it. Her memory for detail was phenomenal. As family died she was the one who stepped forward to gather the family photos and historical items. I suspect that had it not been for her dogged determination to preserve them, most of the items would have been trashed long ago. She also is the one who took the time to research and make the notes on all the pictures, cloth items, etc. That took dedication and a whole lot of time.
Eleanor was an expert on photography and its development, as well as gravestones. She was a walking encyclopedia on both subjects and gave classes on both.
I was a budding unorganized genealogist when we met some 30+ years ago. As they lived across the street and I worked nights, I would go over when I got home in the morning and have coffee and chat several days a week. We became fast friends.
Eleanor's genealogy research knew no bounds. She was blessed with beautiful penmanship and an inquiring mind. Even in her advanced years she surprised me with her recall. A month or so ago she broke into a song that was a favorite of hers during her school years and she sang the whole song!
Eleanor was an officer in the Central Brevard Genealogy Chapter for many years. She was the primary person who manned the genealogy department at the County Library. She gave lectures to any organization that asked and several times was a welcome visitor to our SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans) Camp in Melbourne FL, Capt J. J. Dickison Camp #1387.
Eleanor was the treasurer for her sorority. If I recall correctly she was also active as a volunteer in the Fire Department EMT program. in Delaware Ohio.
Eleanor's father was a radio man in the navy. Once he and his family were stationed in a remote part of Panama and she told us about her memories of the local tribes and her adventures in the jungle.
One more Story: It was some years ago, at the Genealogy section at the Melbourne Library on Fee street in Melbourne. A man came in and asked her to come outside as he had something in his trunk that he wanted to show her. It turned out to be a Confederate Cross of Honor that he said he had found in a field out in the countryside. Eleanor, realizing that he had desecrated a soldiers grave lit into him and it took another library staff member to keep her from calling the police. She made the man promise to return the relic where he found it. If he did no one knows. Eleanor was an even handed and honest caretaker of the past and I have always respected her for that and the other fine qualities she has."
If it wasn’t for Phillip Thomas, the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society would not have this incredible collection. When he found out that Eleanor’s family planned to destroy the binders and artifacts, Phillip took the initiative to contact a historical society over 1,200 miles away to see if it could be saved. We will be forever grateful for this wonderful gift.
Through good times, depressions, and wars, the Reynoldsburg Civic Club is a living history of our town.
In the early 1900s as villages grew to cities, women residents addressed the need for a variety of civic improvements by establishing clubs to address those needs. They were called Women’s Clubs, and still exist in many communities.
In November of 1922, Jesse Weiberg, a woman of action and decision, who lived at the corner of Rose Hill Road at U.S. Route 40, decided the village of Reynoldsburg (then 600 inhabitants) needed a civic improvement organization in the form of a women's club. Women had been granted the right to vote only several years earlier. To take on the civic improvement of a village was no small thing. Mrs. Weiberg was no ordinary lady. She was a joy – an alleluia from head to foot. When she talked about Reynoldsburg you knew it was a combination of the Garden of Eden, The Promised Land and all Seven Wonders of the World.
On November 17, 1922, the first organized meeting was held at her home. The group was named Reynoldsburg Civic Club. The motto chosen was "These Things We Will Do"; song, "America The Beautiful"; colors, Yellow and White; flower, Chrysanthemum. Refreshments were to be served at all meetings. These women were no "Sunbonnet Sues." They were as different and varied as the pieces of a patchwork quilt. They lived in the village and on surrounding farms. They had one common goal – work for the betterment of Reynoldsburg.
Since its inception, the Civic Club has raised funds for a variety of civic projects and served as an innovative force for many community services.
Their first project was to start a library, the FIRST one in Reynoldsburg. The State Circulating Library delivered books to Esta Lunn's Dry Goods Store. Reynoldsburg Civic Club established the FIRST kindergarten. Classes were held in the United Presbyterian Church. Pupils paid $2.00 per week; the teacher received $10.00. Mothers furnished cookies and kettles of hot cocoa.
Civic Club started the FIRST Tourist Camp, establishing it on the school grounds. They furnished tables, benches, wastebaskets, running water and outside toilets. Another FIRST was furnishing the teachers' lounge at the Reynoldsburg school. (Then all pupils were in one building.) They also provided the FIRST pay telephone.
In 1932, when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were deflation, demoralization, destitution and despair, they worked even harder.
Automobiles were becoming fairly common, so the town needed a traffic light. Civic Club bought and maintained the FIRST traffic light. One summer they donated petunia seeds to every resident. The whole town was abloom. They organized the FIRST PTA, and FIRST pre-school clinic with a nurse and doctor in charge.
Members of Reynoldsburg Civic Club launched the American Field Service. Their support helped build the Truro Township Fire Safety House and bring the Vietnam Moving Wall to Reynoldsburg. They purchased the flagpole for the Municipal Building; pulse tachometer and rescue kit for the Fire Department; large “Welcome to Reynoldsburg" signs; athletic equipment for the schools; sponsored Girl Scout troops; sent representatives to Buckeye Boy’s and Girl’s State; gave to the fund to refurbish the Middle School's auditorium, to Helping Hands, Cancer Fund, Heart Fund, United Appeals, 1976 Bi-Centennial, German Measles Vaccination Program, Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society, Recreation Department, Visual Aid Program, Teen Center, etc.
In recent years, the projects supported by the Club have been the Holiday Banners on the major street utility poles, the mural on the building wall at the corner of south Lancaster Avenue and Main Street and a scholarship to assist a local resident with their education. The Livingston House, the Tomato Festival and various charities have been given funding including two yearly contributions to Helping Hands.
In 2016 the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society, Keeping Reynoldsburg Beautiful and the American Legion Fallen Veterans Memorial were recipients of financial contributions.
The Reynoldsburg Civic Club provides women in the Reynoldsburg School District with an opportunity to stay connected and continue to serve the community. As the Club nears 100 years of existence it is appreciative that the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society preserves the Club’s records.
This organization covers the span from Model-T cars to space ships. Its members have touched many lives. They dream the impossible dream. Some women see things as they are and say, "Why? " . . . Women of the Reynoldsburg Civic Club dream things that never were and say, "Why not?"
The Club meets the first Tuesday of the month, September thru June for lunch and a guest speaker and welcomes new members. If you are a civic minded woman that is interested in attending a meeting, please contact the Reynoldsburg-Truro Historical Society President, Mary Turner Stoots at (614) 902-2831, or email RTHSCourier@aol.com and Mary will connect you to a representative from the Reynoldsburg Civic Club.
Virginia Williams (1921-1999) played the processional at her Reynoldsburg High School graduation in 1939 and went on to attend the Conservatory of Music at Capital University. At the same time, unbeknownst to her parents, she joined the Civil Air Patrol and started taking flying lessons.
On December 7, 1941, she heard about Pearl Harbor over the radio and rushed to the Sullivant Avenue Airfield with a new urgency.
In 1941, over 25,000 people applied for the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) program; 1,800 were chosen, with only 1,000 graduating from the rigorous seven-month course. One of those women was Virginia.
WASP pilots ferried planes from coast to coast, transported military goods, and towed targets for gunnery practice, among other duties, freeing up male pilots for overseas combat.
Thirty-eight WASP were lost in aircraft accidents. After the war, Virginia married Carroll Hubbard.
In 2010 the 200 surviving WASPs were each presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. Virginia passed away in August 1999, but she posthumously received a Congressional Gold Medal that was presented to her family.
REBECCA TOBIN YOUNT
from her husband, David Yount
Rebecca Yount (born Rebecca Way Tobin on June 17, 1944 in Columbus, Ohio), was an American author, known for her series of crime novels featuring Scotland Yard inspector Michael ("Mick") Chandra, also a Facebook series on home cooking, entitled “Crime and Cottage Pie”, and historical novels set in England. She was the daughter of journalist Dallas R. Tobin, who later worked for the U.S. government, and teacher, Nelle McCoy.
Becky was educated at public schools in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, then Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she received a four-year proficiency award; then the graduate schools of Indiana, Binghamton, and New York Universities. While pursuing doctoral studies, she received her master's degree and was awarded a teaching assistantship in music at Binghamton.
Becky began music studies in conservatory at the age of eight, aiming at a career as a concert pianist. As an undergraduate, she had already published poetry and co-edited the campus poetry magazine. Later she wrote music and verse for voice: “Three Songs of Transition,” which was performed at Lincoln Center in New York.
Turning to research, she served as associate editor of the annual “Political Handbook of the World”, published by McGraw-Hill. Moving to Washington, D.C. she edited publications for The Society for Values in Higher Education, then became director of development for the Partners of the Americas, leading to a series of leadership roles for the Council of Chief State School Officers, whose members are responsible for the quality of public education across the U.S. and its territories.
In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of the Census, she created the very first comprehensive map of the nation's school boundaries. She also directed a nationwide program to invest private funds to strengthen America's public schools, soliciting grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enrich public education in a series of states and territories as disparate as Alaska and the Northern Mariana Islands. She lectured widely. Her model programs persuaded state legislators to increase public funding for public schools.
In the 1980s she drafted education legislation for the Congress that became public policy. She was personally honored by grants from the Exxon Education Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Her interest in public policy and governance can be traced to her leadership in the Girls State of Ohio, where she served in the governor's cabinet.
In her writing life, she mentored young women in Afghanistan who aspired to be published internationally.
Becky married David Yount, a multiple award-winning author, journalist, and foundation president, in Washington, D.C. in 1978, adopting his three pre-adolescent daughters, who call her "Mom."
For decades the Younts resided in a small lake-front home in Northern Virginia with three cats and a series of Scottish Terriers. While still raising the children, she began writing historical fiction set in England, where the family continued to live for part of every year.
Early on, when exchanging homes with an English couple in a small Essex village, she learned of the unsolved violent murder of a wealthy neighbor with his own kitchen cleaver. She resolved to solve the crime by way of her first novel, which introduced Anglo-Indian Mick Chandra, styled after a real Scotland Yard inspector who was a neighbor during yet another home exchange.
By 2018, her Mick Chandra series had expanded to six e-novels with more on tap, each awarded four to five stars by reviewers, including Amazon, Kindle Books, and Goodreads.
Rebecca underwent successful open-heart surgery at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital in January 2010 and continued her writing undiminished until she died unexpectedly and without pain while sleeping at home on May 23, 2019. She had just completed her seventh Mick Chandra mystery, “The Mirror of Naples”, which was delivered to her publisher only a week later. – David Yount
ABOUT REBECCA YOUNT by Rebecca Yount
Who is Rebecca Yount? I frequently ask myself that question. This much I know for certain: I hail from a literary family. My mother’s cousin, Julia Peterkin, was author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Scarlet Sister Mary”. Another cousin, Nella Braddy, edited most of Helen Keller’s books. Nella also wrote the first definitive biography of Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen’s beloved teacher.
For many years, my father was an editor/journalist for UPI, as well as a writer for the “Columbus Dispatch”. One of his first assignments with the “Dispatch” was to review burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee’s act at the Gaiety Theater. Mother was not amused.
With such a literary heritage, my parents would no more allow me to write sloppy prose than walk blindfolded into heavy traffic. So I suppose you could say that writing is in my blood. Even though I studied music from the age of eight until twenty-one at the Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus with the intent of becoming a concert pianist, I never shook the writing bug. From an early age, I wrote stories, poetry, and even a novel about my beloved Springer Spaniel, Mac. When I wasn’t actively writing, I was making up stories in my brain, which rarely shut down.
After graduate school, I worked for a research center as associate editor for “The Political Handbook of the World”, a compendium of the world’s political systems. Afterwards, I moved to Washington D.C. where I found myself working at a series of grant-funded projects that included everything from advising members of Congress on education policy to working with the Inuit and Athabasca Indians in Alaska and the Blackfoot tribe in Montana to improve communication between state education agencies and their far-flung tribal villages.
I wrote legislative language for Title V (Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act), and through a series of private grants, worked to reduce the dropout rate of children at risk of failure in schools.
Along the way there was a bad marriage, divorce, then a good marriage, plus three loving stepdaughters. And what became of my music and writing? Sadly, they both fell by the wayside while my husband, David, and I concentrated on our Washington careers and raised our three children.
Then came early retirement: me first, followed closely by David. Unlike many retirees who haven’t a clue what to do with all of that free time, we both knew we would return to the thing we both loved the most: writing. And so we write, in separate home offices in our little Hobbit house just outside of Washington D.C. While I hammer away at my crime novels, David continues to write and publish his books on religious faith and practice.
Finally came that fateful date in Essex, England, when I sat under a solitary tree in a fallow field and developed the plot for “A Death in C Minor”. After a highly diverse and scattered career, that late summer afternoon marked my true beginning.
MICK CHANDRA MYSTERY SERIES BOOKS by Rebecca Tobin Yount
Book 1 – “A Death in C Minor”, 2012
Book 2 – “The Erlking”, 2012
Book 3 – “The Ravenhoe Cauldron”, 2013
Book 4 – “The Oracle of Baal”, 2014
Book 5 – “When Half Spent Was the Night”, 2015
Book 6 – “The Mouldwarp Prophecy”, 2017
Book 7 - “The Mirror of Naples”, to be released sometime in 2019