VERSAILLES — As part of the Versailles Bicentennial, the committee sought the oldest and youngest Versailles residents as of the 200th anniversary. Based on submissions the Bicentennial Committee has identified the following two notable residents.
On July 2, at 11:53 a.m., Theodore Jay was born and became the youngest resident of the village. The son of Tatiania and Russell Jay and sister of Alexis Jay, Versailles, turned 200 years old on Aug. 28 and Theo was just seven weeks old. In recognition of Theo’s significant place in Versailles history the Bicentennial Committee has named him an honorary member of the committee for the 250th anniversary of the village on Aug. 28, 2069.
In 1913, Europe was still ruled by kings and queens, this included Great Britain, Russia and Germany which were ruled by Emperors who happened to be cousins. During 1913 tensions were building and armies were growing as the world was less than a year from the outbreak of the “Great War”, now known as World War One. The United States wouldn’t join the war until 1917 the results of which would change the face of Europe and catapult the United States a world power. In the United Stated there were celebrations over completion of the nation’s first paved coast to coast highway, the Lincoln Highway even passed through Ohio 50 miles north of Versailles. The 16th Amendment passed which gave the federal government the right to levy income taxes, the temperance movement was forming which and would eventually lead to Prohibition. In March of 1913, Ohio experienced the worst natural disaster in its history. The Great Dayton Flood killed 360 people and destroyed 20,000 homes with waters reaching 20 feet deep in downtown Dayton. Many notable people were born in 1913; On the political front Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford were born. In sports Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, and Ohio State’s Jesse Owens were born. Burt Lancaster, Lloyd Bridges, Irwin Shaw would become entertainers while Rosa Parks would join the world and later refuse to take the back seat.
Amid all this change on Sept. 10, 1913, Mildred Miller was born in Fontana, Kansas, to Isaac and Nora Miller. Mildred’s mother died when she was nine and she was the oldest of five children. Her father remarried and had five more children. All siblings are deceased. Mildred originally moved to Lima and married Noah Leichty in 1932. Noah was a farmer and lived near Bluffton, Ohio, until 1945, when they moved to Versailles. In 1945 Mildred lived just outside of Versailles near Webster and Jamison Road on 185 and farmed with her husband. By this time Mildred and Noah had five children, Forest, Evan, Lester, Rochelle and Keenan. Forest and Lester are deceased. Noah died in 1979 and Mildred married Joe Dill and lived in Greenville for seven years. When Joe passed away Mildred moved back to Versailles.
Mildred worked for 25 years at G.C. Murphy in Greenville and volunteered at Wayne Hospital for another 25 years until she was 95. Mildred was 105 years old on the Versailles Bicentennial and has since reached 106. Mildred resides in Versailles and last summer was the oldest attendee at the Great Darke County Fair.
Annabel Subler is 102 years old and with her late husband Basil contributed to Versailles as a leader in transportation. Earl Grilliot was born in 1921 near Frenchtown and after serving in World War II purchased a farm outside of Versailles before moving to town in 1996. Virginia Goubeaux was 96 on the Bicentennial and is the daughter of Paul Gasson who started the poultry industry in Versailles by ordering Leghorn chicks from Europe and starting Gasson Poultry Farms.
Mildred has experienced a tremendous amount of history and the committee can only imagine the changes Theo will witness. In addition to this recognition, both received congratulations from Congressmen Warren Davidson and commemorative carvings donated by Ron Marshal.
Photos of Mildred and Theodore will be included in a time capsule to mark the bicentennial which will be placed by the Bicentennial Committee with the assistance of Edwin F. Nichol Monument and the Village of versailles. The capsule will be identified with a granite marker donated by Edwin Nichol Monuments and kept safe by the village to be opened in August of 2069.