Last updated: June 11. 2014 1:49AM - 313 Views
By Charlie Miller Contributing Columnist



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June 12, 1914

Madison County Democrat — From John Roberts — We are now fairly started in the good old summer time. The trees are all in full foliage. The time of the singing of the birds is here, and, by the way, it is said that there is to be a census or counting of the birds. If some of the bird counters will go into a forest, before the rising of the sun, and sit still a few minutes, he will imagine there are a million birds singing, and see the futility of trying to do so as it would be impossible to count them even if they stood up to be counted.


This writer has seen a marvelous change in the bird life in Ohio. We saw myriads of pigeons in 1851-1852 and 1853. We saw a big tree more than a foot in diameter broken off at the root by the weight of these birds — the tree was green and thrifty. My father Charles Roberts had tuberculosis in 1851. He had a capricious appetite and thought he could eat some of these birds. I made a partridge trap and caught quite a number. As my father lost his appetite for them I turned a lot of them loose. These birds were so numerous they darkened the sun. There is not one in all North American now. I also saw 25 or more wild turkeys at that time. They are all gone now, not a native wild turkey in Madison County.


— John Clark and wife and baby, of Columbus, spent Sunday with his brother, James Clark and wife. (James “Jimmy” Clark was the village lamp lighter for a number of years.)


— The members of the Embroidery Club gave a garden party at the home of Miss Florence Kelley on Friday evening.


— The members of the First Baptist Church Sunday School will give a Children’s Day program at the church next Sunday evening. (The Baptist Church sat on the southwest corner of Main and Center streets until 1972.)


Part II

The Madison Press, July 22, 1954 — John Stickel who has been in the U.S. Navy for the past three years was discharged on July 18. He returned to his wife, Marian and their son, Johnny. Mrs. Stickel is the former Marian McGlaughlin, daughter of Wilbur McGlaughlin, of Lilly Chapel.


— John E. Frey, 70, a lifelong resident of West Jefferson, died Tuesday at University Hospital. He had suffered a stroke a week ago. Surviving are a sister, Miss Margaret, and a brother Daniel of West Jefferson. Funeral services were at Sts. Simon and Jude Church. Interment in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. (John’s father, Peter J. Frey, had given the land for Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Peter’s father had been born in France and his mother in Germany.)


— The Youth Fellowship of the West Jefferson Methodist Church, sent a representation last week to the Summer Institute of the Church at Delaware. The following members attended: Mrs. Robert Meredith, Eugene Ellinger, Barbara Hockenbery, Mary Ann Skeen, Arlene Geyer, Helen Schellhass, Sue Bradley, Rosemary Kent, Bob Sidner and Tom Lankford.


Charlie Miller is the former mayor of West Jefferson and local historian. He has been writing West Jefferson 100 years ago off and on since 1976. He can be reached at Charlie_m_miller@yahoo.com.

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