From the Past


A Brief History Moment…

Clayton R. Coblentz was born on Nov. 12, 1876, to John Henry and Mary Elizabeth Coblentz. Growing up in a log cabin four miles north of New Paris, Coblentz learned to love nature and along with his dog, they would explore the fields in the area once his chores had been completed. In the evenings Clayton would spend his time reading and studying.

Walking up to four miles each way, Coblentz would attend country schoolhouses and New Paris High School. He graduated from New Paris in 1894 but realized he needed more formal education and attended the Terre Haute Normal School for teaching. Coblentz would also attend classes at Earlham College and Miami University. He Graduated magna cum laude from Miami University in 1932.

Mr. Coblentz began teaching at New Paris High School and in 1894 was named principal before taking over as superintendent in 1897. In 1900, Mr. Coblentz moved from New Paris Schools to Jackson School in Campbellstown.

The Jackson Township schools were consolidated in 1911 and Mr. Coblentz became the first superintendent of Jackson Consolidated schools. Mr. Coblentz was often referred to as the “Father of Consolidation.”

He would return to New Paris in 1917, where he served as superintendent for Jefferson Township Centralized Schools until 1923. Mr. Coblentz then became superintendent of Preble County Schools where he would remain until his death on August 22, 1956.

Mr. Coblentz was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1954. An avid fan of Abraham Lincoln, he tried to model his life after him. He would speak of Lincoln often in his speeches.

He was dedicated to learning and that led to a lifetime in education where he impacted many of the lives and people of Preble County. He was dedicated to educating and it was that passion and leadership that would benefit the people of Preble County.

25 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 1998

Eaton City Council continues to research ways to alleviate traffic flow problems at five-points intersection prior to construction on North Barron. A traffic study was done to reduce traffic flow. Included in the study was a look at extending Cherry Street and closing inbound and/or outbound traffic on Eaton-Lewisburg. Council also approved the use of one-hour parking limitations for downtown.

50 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1973

Bob Braun, host of WLW-C’s 50-50 club will be the grand marshal of the 1973 Preble County Pork Festival Parade. Jaycee Earl Parker, parade chairman, said the 1973 parade should be the largest ever in Preble County with more than 100 units plus 25 bands expected to participate.

75 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1948

At the regular meeting of the Eaton Village Council Monday evening, the proposed construction of two new buildings in the uptown area were approved. The new home of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 2202, of Eaton, to be erected near the corner of Maple and Main streets and the new Kroger Market to be erected on the southwest corner of the same intersection were both given an “O.K.” by the council.

100 years ago…

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1923

Mr. James Larsh of Union City paid The Register-Herald a call last Saturday and exhibited some old election ballots dating back to the period of over a half-century. Ballots bearing the names of men who were giants in the days of long ago. The ballots of Lincoln and Johnson, Hayes and Wheeler…all tended to carry the mind back to the civil war days and the years following close thereon. These old ballots are interesting souvenirs and time will make them more valuable and raise them to the dignity of heirlooms.

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