The final run of the Shelby County flag during the yearlong celebration for the Shelby County bicentennial was held Saturday, Feb. 22. Marjorie and Tom Dunnavant, of Sidney, pass the flag to Carlene Pettit, of Piqua. Marjorie’s fourth-great-grandfather, John Blake, purchased the first parcel of land in downtown Sidney and opened a tavern in 1820.
Carlene Petit, of Piqua, passes the flag to Suzanne Lentz, of Anna. Pettit’s great-great-grandfather Philip Smith started a business making wagon wheel spokes in 1859 and a hollow ware plant that was sold to Wagner Mfg.
Suzanne Lentz, of Anna, passes the flag to John Amos, of Tipp City. Lentz said she’s part of the ceremony because of Heinrich Henry Enders, who moved from Germany to Sidney in 1855. He lived at the bottom of Orbison Hill and opened a weaving business. Lentz’s grandmother, Sadie Enders, didn’t work for the weavers, but her father, Christian, and brothers did.
John Amos, of Tipp City, passes the flag to Frank Gleason Jr., of Sidney. Amos is te great-grandson of Gen. James O. Amos, who came to Sidney in 1876 following two terms in the Ohio Senate and a stint as the state’s adjutant general. He published a local newspaper, the Shelby County Democrat. On Jan. 1, 1891, Gen. Amos founded the Sidney Daily News. The Amos family owned the newspaper until it was sold in 2000 to Brown Publishing.
Frank Gleason Jr., of Sidney, passes the flag to Lynn Lindsey, of Sidney. Gleason’s father was a member of the Four Horsemen, who purchased Copeland and brought it to Sidney in 1937. Frank Gleason Sr. became the firm’s president in 1956 and his son took the reins in 1970 when the elder Gleason retired. Copeland became a subsidiary of Emerson Electric, now Emerson Climate Technologies, in 1986.
Lynn Lindsey, of Sidney, passes the flag to Matt Gilardi, of Sidney. Lindsey is representing her father, Robert Sargeant, who founded Sidney Tool & Die in 1954. Her great-grandfather, John Sargeant, was the first child registered as born in Shelby County in 1817.
Matt Gilardi, of Sidney, passes the flag to Steve Wagner, of Sidney. Matt’s great-grandfather, Matteo Gilardi settled in Sidney in 1896 and moved to St. Louis. He returned to Sidney in 1911, fathered 10 children and started a produce business. Matt’s grandfather, Tony, opened a restaurant and began making pizzas in the 1950s. The Gilardi’s were the first in town to offer pizza. The business went from a little restaurant to an international pizza company.
Steve Wagner, of Sidney, carries the flag up the sidewalk at the Shelby County Courthouse. Wagner is a fifth-generation Sidneyite. He is a descendant of Mathais Wagner, who operated the Sidney Arcade, a downtown grocery. Steve’s great-grandfather, B.P., and Milton Wagner, started Wagner Mfg. in 1891. The company’s products became world famous.