Society Board Members Retire After Long Tenures of Service
C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley
Constitution-Tribune, Friday, October 16, 2009
Dr. Frank Stark (left) accepts a plaque of appreciation from Marvin Holcer (right) for serving as
president of the Grand River Historical Society for 26 years.
Two long-time officers of the Grand River Historical Society board of directors have retired. Dr. Frank Stark, who has served as president of the society for the last 26 years, and John Cook, who has served as treasurer since almost that long, have retired.
Both were presented with plaques of appreciation by interim board president Marvin Holcer on behalf of the board during the society's quarterly meeting Tuesday night at the American Legion Hall.
Their departures follow last year's retirement of Dr. Jack Neal, who served as the museum's curator for 35 years.
"They provided wonderful help in getting the museum going,"
Neal said of Stark and Cook. "They were really steadfast and we really appreciate all they did for us."
Dr. Stark, a Carroll County native, moved to Chillicothe in 1960.
He became a member of the Chillicothe Kiwanis Club and soon was recruited by fellow Kiwanian Dr. Neal to join the historical society. A few years later, Stark's wife, Jane, became the museum's co-curator and served in that capacity until her death in 1990.
As president, Stark saw many changes within the museum, including construction of a new addition on the back side of the museum as well as the annex building to the east.
Stark said a highlight during his tenure as president was receiving the Churchill parade truck, a 1932 Ford tractor and a 1934 trailer from Chillicothe-based Churchill Truck Lines which were often part of local parades.
Other additions to an ever-expanding museum inventory included lighted display cases, the Miller Soda Fountain and much more.
After 26 years as board president, Stark, 77, said it was time for him to step back, but complemented the board of directors.
"They have always been easy to work with because they are
interested in preserving the history of Chillicothe," he
said. He also applauded the community support for the museum.
John Cook (left) accepts a plaque of appreciation from Marvin Holcer (right) for serving as treasurer of the Grand River Historical Society for many years.
lifelong Chillicothe resident, took over the board's treasurer
post from Charlie Adams. "Sometimes, you realize that there
are things in Livingston County that future generations need to
know about," Cook, 74, said. "Museums such as this can
preserve some of what we have. If we can show what things were
like in the past, it will help for the future."
passing year, bits of history are lost by those who pass away.
But, with each passing year, the museum's inventory grows in an
effort to preserve that history. For example, the old dental
equipment from Dr. Lee Jackson's clinic is now displayed at the
museum. That equipment is familiar to Cook. "Those things I
remember when I used to go to the dentist, but some people don't
know what it used to be like," Cook said. He also noted
the Rainbo Bread screen door that is part of the museum's
inventory. "At one time, there was a huge number of corner
grocery stores in Chillicothe," said Cook, who worked at
Cauffman's Grocery at the corner of McNally and Bryan streets in
his early teenage years. "All of the grocery stores had
those Rainbo Bread screen doors."
certified public accountant who has been involved in a number of
civic organizations - often serving as treasurer - said he was
retiring from the historical society post because he wanted to
slow down a bit. He plans to continue his involvement in
Operation Help, a local organization which financially helps
individuals and families in need. Cook said he has enjoyed his
time on the board and has appreciated working with veteran
society members Stark and Neal. "The museum has been a love
of Dr. Stark and Dr. Neal," he said. "The amount of
time they spent with the museum was overwhelming."
will install officers in January. Marvin Holcer currently serves
as interim president, and Jerry Nibarger is serving as interim