Dickas named Historian of the Year


Rich Wallace, of Sidney, speaks during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.

Rich Wallace, of Sidney, speaks during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

The ribbon cutting of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Dr. Albert Binkley Dickas, left, of Blacksburg, Va., gives Shelby County Historical Society Executive Director Tilda Phlipot a hug after Phlipot presented him with the Historian of the Year 2022 award. The award was given during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — The Shelby County Historian of the Year was presented Thursday night during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center.

Rich Wallace presented the award to Albert Binkley Dickas. The award is the Shelby County Historical Societies most prestigious one presented to one indiviual each year. Sidney Mayor Mardie Milligan read a proclamation stating the that Dec. 15, 2022, would be known as Albert Binkley Dickas Day.

Dickas was born in Sidney to parents Lionel and Helen (Binkley) Dickas. He graduated from Holy Angels High School and went on to earn his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Miami University. He then earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University.

He worked 10 years as a professional petroleum geologist before joining the staff of the University of Wisconsin. There he taught geophysics for three decades and founded an environmental analysis center, concluding his career as Vice Chancellor of Research.

He never lost touch with his Shelby County roots and has written several publications for the Shelby County Historical Society. Passages, An Anthology of Shelby County History contains 50 articles Albert wrote over a 10-year period for the Society’s Historical Highlights newsletter. Dickas has dedicated his life to education as well as promoting Shelby County’s rich history.

Wallace and his wife, Susan, along with their daughter Katie welcome every guest at the door during the opening of the learning center. Later in the evening the Wallace thanked everyone for helping to make the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center a reality.

The trio cut the ribbon to officially open the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center. The center will not open to the public until later in January 2023.

Rich Wallace, of Sidney, speaks during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_8470.jpgRich Wallace, of Sidney, speaks during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

The ribbon cutting of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_8462.jpgThe ribbon cutting of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Dr. Albert Binkley Dickas, left, of Blacksburg, Va., gives Shelby County Historical Society Executive Director Tilda Phlipot a hug after Phlipot presented him with the Historian of the Year 2022 award. The award was given during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_SDN121722HistorianYear.jpgDr. Albert Binkley Dickas, left, of Blacksburg, Va., gives Shelby County Historical Society Executive Director Tilda Phlipot a hug after Phlipot presented him with the Historian of the Year 2022 award. The award was given during the soft opening of the Wallace Family Learning and Innovation Center on Thursday, Dec. 15. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News