Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Lucas County's somewhat battered supervisors

This poor old cabinet card obviously has had a hard life. From the looks of things (nail holes near the top) it was tacked up somewhere and on display for a considerable length of time.

Nonetheless, we're glad to have it in the historical society collection --- there may be other copies out there, but this is the only one we've seen. It came to the society during 1967 from Inda (Van Arsdale) Post, then living in Florida, daughter of Peter Van Derveer Van Arsdale (far left).

These three gentlemen served together as Lucas County supervisors from 1890-1894. They are (from left) Van Arsdale, who farmed on Chariton's eastern edge in Lincoln Township; Hiason M. Finch, a Pleasant Township farmer; and Armsted Mason Wheeler, a Liberty Township farmer remembered by some today because the bridge in his old neighborhood across Whitebreast Creek still is called by some "Wheeler Bridge."

The group portrait probably was taken during 1894 to celebrate completion of the new (and current) Lucas County Courthouse. Construction began in late 1892, was largely complete by the end of 1893 and the structure was dedicated on May 22, 1894.

A project of this scale rarely proceeds without major bumps, but these guys navigated the county over all of them and emerged triumphant --- only to be for the most part forgotten today.

The photograph was taken at Rose Studio, located across Braden Avenue from the courthouse on the second floor of the Mallory Block, a building long since torn down and replaced.

I'm trying to envision Larry Davis, Dennis Smith and Steve Laing dressed in vintage regalia and in a similar pose today. Think about it.

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