SIDNEY — The Shelby County Democrat Party has a new, permanent home in Sidney.
Tom Kerrigan, who has been an attorney for 40 years and staunch Democrat, purchased the house at 214 N. Ohio Ave. for the party to use.
“I purchased the house last month,” said Kerrigan. “I always wanted a place to hold meetings for the Democratic Party. When an election was coming up, we’d have to rent something.”
Kerrigan said he wanted to give back to the community where he grew up.
“The community ha been good to me,” said Kerrigan. “So I decided to buy it and fix it up for a permanent home for the Democrat Party.”
He said there are just over 32,000 registered voters in Shelby County. Only 10,000 of them are affiliated with either the Democrat Party — 2,500 voters — or Republican Party — 7,500 voters. There 22,000 Independent voters in the county.
Kerrigan said the Shelby County Democratic Women will also be able to use the house for meetings. He hopes other organizations such as the NAACP will consider using the house for their meetings.
“There are no meeting places for a lot of groups,” said Kerrigan. “I’ve envisioned this house as their meeting place.”
A “soft opening” of the house was held Wednesday night. Kerrigan said there were around 30 people who attended — 15 members of the Democratic Committee and 15 community members.
The house was built in 1865, he said. The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, so he thinks construction on the house might have started around the same time as the war ended.
Since Kerrigan purchased the house, he, his future son-in-law and a friend have been painting and doing repairs.
“The backyard goes to the alley so it’s going to be great for an outdoor meeting area,” said Kerrigan. “We also have a tent we can put up.
The house includes a kitchen and conference room in addition to what was three bedrooms.
“I think the house has a very good future for the Democrat Party,” he said. “I see it as our ‘club house.’”
Just Sew was previously located at the residence, he said.
“The house needed some ‘tender-loving care,’” he said.
Kerrigan also shared that earlier this year he had been named Democrat of the Year by the Shelby County Democrat Party.
“My dad, Thomas Kerrigan Sr., won it in 1990,” said Kerrigan. “And now I’ve won it in 2022.”
As the saying goes, “like father, like son,” couldn’t be truer for the Kerrigan duo.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.