Gov. DeWine speaks at Shelby County Bicentennial celebration


Yearlong celebration is underway

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com



The Shelby County Bicentennial Choir performs Beautiful Ohio during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1, at Sidney Middle School.

The Shelby County Bicentennial Choir performs Beautiful Ohio during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1, at Sidney Middle School.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reacts after the Shelby County Commissioners and Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst presented him with a basket of items made in Shelby County during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1. Watching is his wife, Fran DeWine.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Video:

Source: Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Mayor welcomes in bicentennial celebration

SIDNEY — “Happy Birthday Shelby County! Given your age, I’d say you are looking pretty darned good!” said Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst during the opening ceremony Monday night at Sidney Middle School.

“As hard as it is to believe, we are celebrating Shelby County’s 200th birthday on the actual date that Shelby County was formed – April 1, 1819,” said Barhorst. “While I doubt that few of you came here this evening for an in-depth history lesson, I will mention that much of what today is the great state of Ohio was once claimed by Virginia. Virginia gave up their claim to territory in Ohio in 1784.

“Then in 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, establishing the rules for governing the territory north of the Ohio River and west of the Allegheny Mountains,” he said. “The Northwest Territory was itself eventually subdivided, becoming the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and a part of Minnesota.”

The Ohio Territory’s first county was Washington County – created in 1788 and so large that it covered about one third of the present state – and so large that subsequently 34 additional Ohio counties were formed from what was once a much larger Washington County.

“Similarly, as more and more people migrated to Ohio, other counties were formed. Montgomery County was formed the year Ohio became a state, and Miami County was formed from Montgomery County just five years later in 1807,” he said.

“And so it was that Shelby County was created from what was once a much larger Miami County in 1819, and subsequently, Putnam, Henry and Allen Counties were all formed from what was once a much larger Shelby County in 1820. Auglaize County, our neighbor to the north, was not formed until 1848, borrowing territory from Allen, Mercer and Shelby Counties.”

Shelby County’s 420 square miles includes some of the finest farm ground in the entire country, and Shelby County ranks eighth among Ohio’s 88 counties in agricultural production.

“We also know that Shelby County ranks first among Ohio’s counties in the number of manufacturing jobs per capita,” said Barhorst.

“In short, we grow things, and we make things. Years ago, plows, road graders, butter churns, pots and pans, wagons and buggies and even buggy whips were made here and shipped across the country and around the world.

“Today, automobile engines, air conditioning compressors, refrigerators, Airstream trailers and food products including refrigerated pizza, bread and rolls, cooking oil – all are made here and shipped across the country and in some cases, around the world. And, least we forget, the pop-top can – which now makes opening all kinds of products much, much easier!”

After introducing Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann and Miami County Commissioner Gregory A. Simmons.

“When the county-wide high school bicentennial choir was envisioned, I asked different individuals with ties to high school vocal music which current vocal director would be best-suited to direct the choir,” said Barhorst. “Everyone I asked gave me the same answer. It’s been my experience that such a situation can be a two-edged sword. If you asked and the individual claims they are too busy – there’s no back-up plan.

“Fortunately, when I called Fairlawn High School, Sonya Phillips readily agreed to direct the choir. Not only did she direct the choir, but she found the uniforms they are wearing for the first time this evening, and contacted all the schools in Shelby County to recruit the vocal musicians you’ve already heard sing the National Anthem.

“In addition to thanking Sonya Phillips, I also want to thank the school administrators who allowed their students the time to practice earlier today. I also want to thank Emerson Climate Technologies for their generosity in underwriting the cost of the outfits the choir members are wearing, as well as this evening’s program.”

As the evening concluded, Barhorst thanked everyone who spoke at the celebration– the Rev. Steven Shoup and Reynolds, Gov. Mike DeWine, Sen. Matt Huffman, Reps Nino Vitale and Sustan Manchester, Miami County Commissioner Gregory Simmons, Shelby County Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst.

“Thank you not only for your participation this evening, but your hard work each and every day,” said Barhorst. “And if I may, I feel compelled to especially thank Gov. DeWine for not only his leadership but his accessibility. In the last six months, including this evening, he’s been in Sidney at public events twice.

“I also want to thank the current Shelby County Commissioners for their leadership. They work well together, and they make things happen for the residents of Shelby County. We are fortunate to have them in office.

“I would be remiss if I did not also thank the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee. From the time we began planning the year’s events 18 months ago, the members of the Committee have worked hard to ensure that there will be activities during the course of the year that appeal to a wide audience.” said Barhorst.

SIDNEY — It’s a party that’s been 200 years in the making. The official kick off of Shelby County’s 200th birthday celebration Monday night, April 1, began a yearlong party for county residents.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, the keynote speaker for the event held at Sidney Middle School, said he and Fran were happy to help the county celebrate its 200th birthday.

“Your bicentennial is a big deal,” said DeWine. “You’ve got great plant to celebrate it. You have a great history and you have a great future.”

The county’s history starts with family, he said.

“You have a great work ethic and you’re well situated off Interstate 75,” he said. “There’s no better manufacturing county in the state. There’s no better agricultural county in the state.

“The challenges you face are the same one faced in the rest of the state,” he said citing the lack of workers to fill jobs and the opioid problem.

He said he likes the partnership he sees between the schools and local businesses.

Sidney Mayor and Bicentennial co-chairman Mike Barhorst presented the DeWines numerous items which are made in Shelby County, including a pie from The Spot.

Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann introduced the elected officials at the event.

“We are honored this evening to be joined by our governor, Mike DeWine, Justice Judi French, Sen. Matt Huffman, and State Reps. Nino Vitale and Susan Manchester,” said Ehemann. “Starting today, April 1, 2019, through February of 2020, we will have many opportunities to celebrate Shelby County’s rich history. So tonight, we launch a period of commemoration and discovery.”

“Commemorations will occur as we honor those whose contributions have made Shelby County into what it is today,” she continued. “Discoveries will be made as we explore the beginnings of our county. Who were the people that settled here and what were their attributes that resulted in our hardworking resilient community? How did an area of swamp and wilderness become a powerhouse for manufacturing and agriculture?

Ehemann shared some of the discoveries she hopes everyone learns about:

• That prior to the war of 1812, Shelby County was considered too dangerous to settle because of Indians,

• That Shelby County’s First Settler was James Thatcher and his family who lived along the Loramie Creek in 1805,

• That other groups settled including German immigrants that worked on the Miami Erie Canal,

• That the canal brought persons of English and French backgrounds who farmed and hunted and created commerce,

• That the County was named for Sir Isaac Shelby, a war hero and the first Governor of Kentucky,

• That the first county seat was in Hardin, named for a settler killed by Shawnee Indians,

• That the Village of Rumley was founded by free blacks, the Goings Brothers, who purchased 400 acres which was incorporated in 1837,

• That over 1000 Shelby County men served in the Civil War with 320 of them not returning home,

• That Amos Press began in 1876 when John Amos purchased “The Shelby County Democrat”,

• That other early Shelby County manufacturing included building school desks,

• That the Flood of 1913 destroyed much of the canal system forever ending that transportation mode,

• That today, Shelby County has more manufacturing jobs per capita than anywhere else in Ohio.

“What are the contributions of our community members, past and present, that make Shelby County this special place we call ‘home?’” asked Ehemann. “Tonight, we start the journey of understanding our past and looking to the future of Shelby County. I am so glad you are here to join us on this journey!”

Miami County Commissioner Gregory Simmons presented the county with a proclamation celebrating the bicentennial.

“It is truly a privilege and honor to be here tonight,” said Simmons, who as a child lived close to Lockington and had many friends in Shelby County.

“I look at Shelby County and I see a well balanced county in agriculture and industry,” he said. “I feel like I’m your big brother from Miami County. I wish we could have you back as part of Miami County.”

Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet instructed State Rep. Susan Manchester, R-Waynesfield, 84th District, while Shelby County Commissioner Tony Bornhorst introduced Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, 12th District. During his introduction of Huffman, Bornhorst noted it was Huffman and Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart’s birthdays.

“Happy birthday Shelby County! I love a good celebration,” said Manchester. “This is a tribute to your past and a tribute to your future. I wonder what great ideas will come in the next 200 years?”

Huffman said he was surprised when he was contacted about the birthday celebration thinking the party was for him.

“When I was invited to the birthday party, I was told everybody was going to be here,” said Huffman. “I thought the celebration was a little much for a state senator.”

In all seriousness, Huffman said his parents lived in Sidney for a period of time after his dad returned from the Korean War. He served as a military recruiter in the county.

Huffman presented Ehemann with a proclamation from the Ohio Senate while Manchester and Rep. Nino Vitale, R-Urbana, 85th District, presented her one from the Ohio House of Representatives

Vitale led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Rev. Steve Shoup, dean of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati Sidney Deanery, offered the invocation.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Honor Guard posted and retired the colors. Local Boy Scouts assisted with greeting those in attendance.

The Shelby County Bicentennial Choir sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Beautiful Ohio” and “God Bless America.” Pastor Rodney Reynolds, senior pastor of Solid Rock Pentescostal Church of God, gave the 222benediction.

The Shelby County Bicentennial Choir performs Beautiful Ohio during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1, at Sidney Middle School.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/04/web1_SDN040219Bicentenial1-2.jpgThe Shelby County Bicentennial Choir performs Beautiful Ohio during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1, at Sidney Middle School. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reacts after the Shelby County Commissioners and Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst presented him with a basket of items made in Shelby County during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1. Watching is his wife, Fran DeWine.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2019/04/web1_SDN040219Bicentenial2-2.jpgOhio Governor Mike DeWine reacts after the Shelby County Commissioners and Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst presented him with a basket of items made in Shelby County during the Shelby County Bicentennial opening celebration Monday, April 1. Watching is his wife, Fran DeWine. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Yearlong celebration is underway

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@sidneydailynews.com

Mayor welcomes in bicentennial celebration

SIDNEY — “Happy Birthday Shelby County! Given your age, I’d say you are looking pretty darned good!” said Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst during the opening ceremony Monday night at Sidney Middle School.

“As hard as it is to believe, we are celebrating Shelby County’s 200th birthday on the actual date that Shelby County was formed – April 1, 1819,” said Barhorst. “While I doubt that few of you came here this evening for an in-depth history lesson, I will mention that much of what today is the great state of Ohio was once claimed by Virginia. Virginia gave up their claim to territory in Ohio in 1784.

“Then in 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, establishing the rules for governing the territory north of the Ohio River and west of the Allegheny Mountains,” he said. “The Northwest Territory was itself eventually subdivided, becoming the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and a part of Minnesota.”

The Ohio Territory’s first county was Washington County – created in 1788 and so large that it covered about one third of the present state – and so large that subsequently 34 additional Ohio counties were formed from what was once a much larger Washington County.

“Similarly, as more and more people migrated to Ohio, other counties were formed. Montgomery County was formed the year Ohio became a state, and Miami County was formed from Montgomery County just five years later in 1807,” he said.

“And so it was that Shelby County was created from what was once a much larger Miami County in 1819, and subsequently, Putnam, Henry and Allen Counties were all formed from what was once a much larger Shelby County in 1820. Auglaize County, our neighbor to the north, was not formed until 1848, borrowing territory from Allen, Mercer and Shelby Counties.”

Shelby County’s 420 square miles includes some of the finest farm ground in the entire country, and Shelby County ranks eighth among Ohio’s 88 counties in agricultural production.

“We also know that Shelby County ranks first among Ohio’s counties in the number of manufacturing jobs per capita,” said Barhorst.

“In short, we grow things, and we make things. Years ago, plows, road graders, butter churns, pots and pans, wagons and buggies and even buggy whips were made here and shipped across the country and around the world.

“Today, automobile engines, air conditioning compressors, refrigerators, Airstream trailers and food products including refrigerated pizza, bread and rolls, cooking oil – all are made here and shipped across the country and in some cases, around the world. And, least we forget, the pop-top can – which now makes opening all kinds of products much, much easier!”

After introducing Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann and Miami County Commissioner Gregory A. Simmons.

“When the county-wide high school bicentennial choir was envisioned, I asked different individuals with ties to high school vocal music which current vocal director would be best-suited to direct the choir,” said Barhorst. “Everyone I asked gave me the same answer. It’s been my experience that such a situation can be a two-edged sword. If you asked and the individual claims they are too busy – there’s no back-up plan.

“Fortunately, when I called Fairlawn High School, Sonya Phillips readily agreed to direct the choir. Not only did she direct the choir, but she found the uniforms they are wearing for the first time this evening, and contacted all the schools in Shelby County to recruit the vocal musicians you’ve already heard sing the National Anthem.

“In addition to thanking Sonya Phillips, I also want to thank the school administrators who allowed their students the time to practice earlier today. I also want to thank Emerson Climate Technologies for their generosity in underwriting the cost of the outfits the choir members are wearing, as well as this evening’s program.”

As the evening concluded, Barhorst thanked everyone who spoke at the celebration– the Rev. Steven Shoup and Reynolds, Gov. Mike DeWine, Sen. Matt Huffman, Reps Nino Vitale and Sustan Manchester, Miami County Commissioner Gregory Simmons, Shelby County Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst.

“Thank you not only for your participation this evening, but your hard work each and every day,” said Barhorst. “And if I may, I feel compelled to especially thank Gov. DeWine for not only his leadership but his accessibility. In the last six months, including this evening, he’s been in Sidney at public events twice.

“I also want to thank the current Shelby County Commissioners for their leadership. They work well together, and they make things happen for the residents of Shelby County. We are fortunate to have them in office.

“I would be remiss if I did not also thank the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee. From the time we began planning the year’s events 18 months ago, the members of the Committee have worked hard to ensure that there will be activities during the course of the year that appeal to a wide audience.” said Barhorst.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

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Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.