By Dean Shipley
It was too much history to allow to slide into the abyss. Oak Run Township trustee Wayne Holland did not want the high school composite photographs in the former Madison Rural High School to be lost.
His father, Francis Holland, aunt and uncles had graduated from their in years past. So to honor their memory and the memories of hundreds of others in Madison County, Holland and fellow trustees, Chuck Farmer and Kelly Manns, found a way to preserve them.
Township fiscal officer Jane Berry wrote the Madison-Plains Board of Education to obtain release of the framed photos, which spanned a time period from 1943 to 1956. Once that release was approved, the trustees took the photos-in-frames to Wilson Printing and Graphics.
The prints were removed from the frames and scanned at high resolution and stored in a computer file. Their sharpness is high quality. With digital images on file, copies may be ordered through Wilson Printing and Graphics.
To take it one step further, all the composites, and a few other items, will be compiled in a booklet, which will also be made available after Feb. 16.
“No one’s making a dime off of this,” Holland said.
Charges for the copies and booklet cover expenses only.
The prints were then re-framed in the original frames, glass cleaned, backed with new backing paper. The 15 portraits will be hung in the township hall.
Other Madison County townships have also made the effort to preserve composite photos from schools on operation prior to the consolidation. Range and Stokes Townships have preserved photos from Midway and South Solon respectively.