From the past


A brief history moment…

Lucille Petry Leone (1902-1999), the founding director of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corp, was born near “Frog Heaven” in Monroe Township on Jan. 23, 1902. Her father, David A. Petry, was a teacher at Frog Heaven School before becoming the superintendent of West Manchester High School. Her mother, a native of Eldorado, was Dora Belle (Murray) Petry.

Lucille would begin her education at West Manchester before attending high school in Farmersville, Ohio. Her family moved to Delaware in 1918. In Delaware, Ms. Leone studied at the University of Delaware and completed a double major in chemistry and English, graduating in 1924. She received a nursing degree from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1927 and a master’s degree from Columbia Teachers College in 1929. She became a clinical nurse instructor at Yale University before spending eleven years at the University of Minnesota, where she became an associate professor and Assistant Dean.

In the summer of 1941, there was already talk in Washington D.C. that it may be necessary to enroll nurses to care for the high number of casualties expected if the United States were to become engaged in the war. Officials agreed to try a less radical approach, and the U.S. Public Health Service would start a program to attract young women to nursing. Ms. Leone was selected to lead the program.

The program offered to cover the cost of tuition, fees, room and board, books, monthly stipend, and uniforms. In exchange, candidates would need to participate in essential military or civilian nursing for as long as the war lasted. The Cadet Nurse Corps and Ms. Leone proved to be so successful in meeting recruitment quotas and training over 100,000 nurses that the United States never needed to draft nurses.

In 1949, Ms. Leone became the first woman appointed to lead a division of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Division of Nurse Education. Her rank made her the equivalent of an Admiral. Ms. Leone served in the government from 1941 until her retirement in 1966. She then taught and served as associate dean of Texas Woman’s University until retiring again in 1971. Ms. Leone passed away on Nov. 25, 1999, in San Francisco.

25 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1998

Jean Woodhull, owner of the Preble County Windwood Farm, was recently named Ohio Tree Farmer of the Year. A statewide tour of her farm will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Woodhull received the honor for work accomplished on the nearly 400 acres located at 2610 Bantas Creek Road near Eaton. Woodhull and her husband planted between 8,000 and 9,000 trees and positioned several dug ponds on the farm.

50 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1973

“Tremendous!” That one word sums up the comments of thousands of people who attended and participated in making the 1973 Preble County Pork Festival a success.

Crowd estimates ranged up to 60,000 for the entire weekend as the city and surrounding area was choked with cars, people, school buses, and the things that make a festival.

75 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 1948

Three new faces will be present on the board of directors of the Preble County Agricultural Society when it meets for the first time in 1949. At the election held at the fairgrounds Friday, W.A. Spring of Eaton won over incumbent director and present president John Ernst; Russell Koeller, of Twin Township edged incumbent Everett Jellison, and Carl Fitzwater of Jackson Township will succeed incumbent H.C. Fultz. Members of the board uncontested and still seated are Norman Weatherly, Kenneth DuBois, and Elmer Mikesell.

100 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1923

A bus route extending from Eaton to Hamilton is now in operation and the following explanation from the Preble County News gives the details of the route as follow:

G.A. Campbell, who has been running a bus route between Camden and Eaton since the local railroad service was curtailed several months ago, has started another line between here and Hamilton. Camden people working in Hamilton as well as those going back and forth daily from points between here and Hamilton will welcome the service.

Mr. Campbell has purchased a modern new auto passenger cab for the Hamilton line and will make two trips daily. Robert Newton has been employed to drive the Hamilton bus and Mr. Campbell will continue to drive the Eaton bus.

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