WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society will host its first quarter membership meeting on Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul United Church of Christ, Wapakoneta (catercornered from the Auglaize County Courthouse). All are invited for a brief business meeting, followed by the fascinating illustrated program, “The Railroads of Auglaize County,” presented by Daniel Meckstroth. Attendees should use the Mechanic Street door to access the church hall.
Meckstroth, a native of New Knoxville, has been a train aficionado ever since he can remember. His fascination began as a young boy, when he would watch trains with his grandpa, “Pop,” who lived along the Erie Railroad between Lima and Spencerville. Later Meckstroth became interested in the Nickel Plate Railroad as he heard the locomotive’s steam whistle for the Minster local. While pursuing the Boy Scout railroading merit badge, he was required to interview a train crew. After the interview, Earl Adams, a member of the crew, invited him to ride in the cab of the steam engine from St. Marys to Minster, and return in the cupola of the caboose.
From 1967 to 1969 Meckstroth worked three summers as a locomotive fireman on the Norfolk and Western Railway between Frankfort, Indiana, and Bellevue, Ohio, while teaching school during the nine-month academic year.
Today Meckstroth remains active in railroading as a Trained Presenter for Operation Lifesaver, a national volunteer organization dedicated to safety awareness at railroad grade crossings and right of ways. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Nickel Plate Road Historical and Technical Society, where he is communication director and edits the monthly electronic newsletter. Meckstroth belongs to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, volunteering as a car host on the steam powered excursions pulled by Lima built locomotive, Nickel Plate 765. In addition, he is an avid railroad modeler with an O gauge layout.
Meckstroth holds degrees from Ohio Northern University, Xavier University, and the University of Cincinnati. He retired from education as a high school principal, and then entered the insurance business. Meckstroth and his wife live in northwestern Clark County.
The Auglaize County Historical Society was founded in 1963. The Auglaize County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history of Auglaize County and its people through exhibits, programs and publications.
For more information about this program or the Auglaize County HIstorical Society, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-738-9328.