WILMINGTON — A unique artifact representing a shared lifelong interest of two men with Wilmington ties is now part of the collection at the Clinton County History Center.
The donated item is a telescope made from Ford Model T or Model A parts.
Francis “Frank” Ammi Tener (1898-1982) was many things during his life. He was a 1922 graduate of Wilmington College and in 1930 married his classmate, Senorita Haynie. He was a father of two daughters, a Mason, a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Wilmington and a Wilmington city councilman.
Tener taught high school, was on the faculty of Wilmington College where he instructed mathematics and astronomy, and owned Tener’s Service Station on the corner of Xenia Avenue and North South Street in Wilmington.
Add to the list the role of mentor. He was a mentor to the late Michael Huffenberger, whose hometown was Wilmington.
Shortly after Tener’s death, Huffenberger in a letter stated, “A great number of people can reminisce on how that gentle man opened their eyes to the splendor of the stars. And the corresponding clockwork, he described with mathematics.”
After graduating from Wilmington High School in 1968, Huffenberger went to the Ohio State University earning a BS and MS in mathematics, and pursing graduate studies in astronomy. For many years, he enjoyed leading the astronomy course at the Columbus Audubon’s annual Eco-Weekend.
One of Huffenberger’s prized possessions was a telescope that Tener had made about 1930 from Model T or A parts.
Huffenberger passed away in 2012 after a long battle with leukemia. It was his wish the Tener telescope be returned to Wilmington via the Clinton County History Center.
Earlier this month, Mike’s wife Linda completed that request and donated the telescope to the History Center.
“The History Center is pleased to have this unique artifact that represents two men’s lifelong passion,” stated a news release from the Clinton County History Center.
Kay Fisher is the executive director of the Clinton County History Center.