The 95th Jefferson Township School Alumni & Friends meeting was held June 9 at the Westboro United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Westboro. Alumni and friends gathered for refreshments and socializing at 4:30 p.m. with the dinner/meeting beginning at 5 p.mPM.
Guests enjoyed viewing the class composite pictures from 1923 to 1959 and the Alumni Association picture albums. Also on display were a Jefferson cheerleading outfit and a baseball uniform shirt.
After a delicious dinner by McCoy’s Catering, the meeting was called to order and a recording of the Jefferson bell ringing 12 times was played bringing back many good memories. Election of 2018-2019 Officers of the Association was held and the new officers will be: Dick Miller, President; Eddie Pagett, Vice President; Joyce Barker, Recording Secretary; Melinda Danenbergs; Treasurer, Darlene Kassner; and Necrology, Frances Sharp.
Very special recognition was given to Jim Rankin by President-Elect Miller. Jim Rankin, Class of 1959 has been inducted into the 2018 Clinton County Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored at a banquet held on June 14t. President-Elect Miller, presented a “Jefferson Cardinals” shirt commenting, “This is long overdue.”
The audience noted their agreement with a hearty round of applause for Jim.
Honor Class members present were Dorothea Hibbs Kratzer, Class of 1943 (75 years); Robert Walker, Class of 1948 (70 years); and Class of 1958 (60 years) Jess Combs and Jerry L. Osborn.
A meaningful tribute was conducted by Frances Sharp and President Chamberlin for those Jefferson Alumni who passed away since the 2017 Alumni Meeting/Dinner. Those members included Kathleen Osborne Haywood Chaney, Class of 1939; Patsy Hatch Bentley, Class of 1959; Evelyn Conover Slocum, Class of 1940, Vicki Garrison Mallison, Class of 1962; Janice Inlow Tedrick, Class of 1952; Wanda Wells Bills, Class of 1955; and Bonnie Renner Weaver, Class of 1946.
Marilyn Kuebler Powell Swift, Class of 1957 was recognized as having traveled the furthest to come to the Alumni. Marilyn came from Palmyra, Michigan. Recognized as the oldest alumni present was Stella Strider Boring, Class of 1936.
President Chamberlin recognized all of the alumni who worked diligently to make the eveningsuccessful and gave special recognition to Dorothea Kratzer for doing all of the “Picture Tents.” Dorothea has retired from this project after many years of designing and putting the “tents” together as her personal donation. Dorothea’s daughter, Andrea, has also contributed her talent to this project.
President Chamberlin introduced President-Elect Dick Miller as the speaker for the evening. Dick related that he moved to Midland when he was five years old with his parents Logan and Dovie Miller. The Millers purchased the white grocery store that was located next to the present day Midland village building.
Dick recalled that the fifth-graders organized a carnival to raise money for the fight against Polio and they made $67 for the charity!
Impromptu basketball games were always fun at Doug Hatton’s barn on Route 28. Boys from the area would come to play friendly informal games. Basketball was a big part of Jefferson School days. After the high school games, the Crossroads Restaurant was packed with fans.
Also packed was the Jefferson Gym with people standing four deep in the hallway outside the gym doors trying to see the game. Jefferson won the league and county tournament in 1957 in baseball. Jefferson’s record for basketball in 1957 was two losses during the season, one to Sabina and one to New Vienna.
Of course who could forget the 1959 Clinton County League Tournament final game, won in the final seconds by a long shot by David Garrison? The last high school basketball team Jefferson would ever have went home that night as the Clinton County Tournament champs!
In closing, Dick remarked, “I know today’s larger schools offer more opportunities and expanded programs; we can’t deny that, but the small community schools like Jefferson had a closeness and a feeling of belonging that is missing in the larger schools. We can’t go back — but there was something special about being in the smaller schools.”
President Chamberlin thanked Dick for his remarks about Jefferson and introduced Darlene Kassner, who came to the microphone to play a recording of the Jefferson High School.
fight song. There were 74 in attendance for the evening.