The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Eighty-One


Alumni Association Formed

People were horrified at the insane act of Frank P. Heipley, who in a frame of mental derangement went down to the old Baltimore and Ohio passenger station and deliberately threw himself in front of an incoming train, which crushed the life of the young man on the evening of March 16, 1909. His terrible screams as the wheels passed over his body unnerved the spectators who witnessed this fearful act of self-destruction. He came to Grafton in the latter 80’s and found employment in the tailor shop of John H. Gerkin, o West Main street. An expert coat maker, his services to Mr. Gerkin was one of great value in the production of these garments for men’s wear and just what was the cause of mind for his rash act was a mystery to his employer, his fellow members of the establishment and friends that he counted in numbers. Of pleasing appearance and with a fine singing voice his services were in demand in the many musical concerts staged b the young people of the town.

His mangled and torn body was gathered up by friends as soon as the moving train could be stopped and taken to the parlors of Undertaker John A, McCabe on East Main street and his remains prepared for burial and after services by his fellow members of Grafton Lodge No. 308, Order of Elks, the body was conveyed to the passenger station and shipped to the family home at Newark, Ohio.

Sixty graduates from the different classes since the establishment of Grafton High school met in the rooms of the Y.M.C.A. to consider plans for organizing an alumni association to keep alive the traditions of their alma mater and do honor to the institution in which they as youth began their education. The idea appealed to those present and it was decided to form such a society and solicit memberships from all past graduates and extend an earnest invitation to the graduating classes of the future to become members of the alumni and perpetuate and keep alive memories of this old historic school, where they and those who come after them cherish and treasure the memories of any happy hours spent between its walls and sent them out into the word to take their places in the affairs of the town, county, state and nation.  It was decided to put the society in motion at a dinner to be held on the last day in the year 1909 and at this meeting Samuel R. Jenkins was unanimously elected president of the Grafton High School Alumni, Floyd J. Patton elected vice president, Grace White secretary, Mrs. Estella Jenkins treasurer, Mrs. Lillie Holverstott, Miss Mattie Jaco, W. Merle Watkins, Jed W. Robinson and Harry Friedman, the executive committee of the new organization. The minutes of the various secretaries if available would list many names of those who began and ended their education in old Central school and who later entered mane of the higher school of learning to prepare for their chosen professions and vocation of life. And many of them acquitted themselves with honor to their old alma mater.

Council appointed N.C. Musgrove, Perry Collier and A. Hood Phillips commissioners, Daniel Shaw and Edward Finch, challengers in precinct No. 1; Clyde Miller, Durard O. Swain and J. H. S. Barlow, commissioners, Clarence Green and Howard Jackson, challengers in precinct No. 2. In the first ward; William H. Adair, Samuel J. Heflin and George H. Green commissioners, William H. Bailey and Alph Shaw challengers in precinct No. 1, George W. White, David G. Kunst and John A. McCabe, commissioners. William G. Lake and Oliver C. Huhn, challengers in precinct No. 2 of the second ward; Philip C. Press, W. Ferrell Ware and Thomas P. Kenney commissioners, L. K. Solomon and Charles E. Compton, challengers in precinct No. 1, William L. Shaffer, J. K. Murphy and Charles Stolzenfels, commissioners in precinct No. 3 in the third ward; Jacob R. Morgan, S. E. Demoss and W. T. Bartlett, commissioners, J. Oscar Jaco and J. C. McFarland challengers in the fourth ward; J. Cark Lewellyn, William H. Willhide and L. H. Humphries commissioners, Virgil T. Gandley and T. E. Moran challengers in precinct No. 1; Alonzo D. Pratt and Eugene Sommervile commissioners, E. F. Redinger and John J. Hamilton challenger n precinct No. 2 in the fourth ward to conduct the town election on Tuesday, March 22, 1910, who at the close of the polls reported the following votes cast:

For Mayor, James W. Love received 818 votes; C. C. Lawson received 699 votes. For council in the first ward, Harry L. Baker received 160 votes, J. Lee Evans received 102 votes. For council in the second ward, Joseph J. Remlinger received 219 votes, R. L. Rogers received 131 votes. For council in the third ward, John L. Hechmer received 202 votes, John A. Carroll received 137 votes. For council in the fourth ward, Oscar N. Rosier received 106 votes, William Barnard received 87 votes. For council in the fifth ward, Fred C. Graham received 217 votes, W. Merle Watkins received 205 votes. For collector of taxes, Harry J. Pracht received 874 votes, Burr H. Thomas received 698 votes.

Thomas E. Joyce was appointed town clerk, Frederick T. Martin, town attorney, and William J. Mays chief of police. No vote was taken for the sale of intoxicants, the two-year ordinance on this question was still in effect at the council found themselves in straitened circumstances for the means of operating of the various municipal needs of the town and it was proposed in the council to close the light plant and operate the water system part time. This brought strong protest from the citizens who appealed to the Board of Trade to take these matters up with the members of the town council.

President Harry W. Chadduck of the board asked for a joint meeting of the board and the town council to arrange n some matter to keep both the light plant and water system in full time operation. At the meeting Councilman Hechmer moved the matter to be referred to the tree members of the finance committee, Messrs. Wilkinson, Redinger and Graham and have them prepare a statement for the Board of Trade at the next meeting of the council.

Chairman Wilkinson, of the finance committee, submitted the report prepared by his committee, which read:

“The undersigned finance committee, to which was referred the joint meeting of the town council and the Board of Trade, respectfully submit that the report contains nothing relative to the condition of the water plant that was not made public a year ago. And in respect of the necessary improvements, their report fell far short of the real necessities of the plant. The voters refused twice last yar to provide necessary money to secure what the council thought should be done. The present council can lay claim to no more financial ability, nor to any greater share of the public confidence than its immediate predecessor, and it is doubtful whether if an issue of bonds can now be voted. We are thoroughly convinced and have been for a good while that it is only a matter of time when the plant will give out, but we are opposed to calling a special election for an issue of bonds insufficient to procure ample plumbing capacity and an extension of the intake pipe, to a point above the sewerage pipes to build a new reservoir, and to pay off all floating indebtedness that is bearing six percent interest. It is the part of wisdom to try to stop a leakage by plugging one hone and leaving two others.