PREBLE COUNTY — In 2011, the Preble County Historical Society and The Register-Herald established the Sara Swartsel Hall of Honor to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Historical Society and to recognize individuals who had made significant contributions to Preble County or to their fields of endeavor during their lifetimes.
The first set of inductees into the Hall of Honor in 2011 included the following:
Helen J. Felton (1918–2011) and M. Heber Felton (1912 – 2001) each individually through many different organizations, and together through their mutual love and support, lived in the county for a total of 180 years. Heber, as CEO and President of Eaton Home Loan and Home Aid Company, and Helen, as an educator, both enjoyed history and were proud of their heritage.
Andrew L. Harris (1835–1915) was a Civil War hero as colonel with the 75th OVI. He was a servant at local, state, and national levels, serving Ohio as judge, state representative, state senator, lt. governor, governor, and chairman of the United States Industrial Commission under President McKinley. Harris was a “farmer-statesman,” a graduate of Miami University, and lived in Preble County for 77 years.
Seth S. Schlotterbeck (1898–1985). As Preble County Highway Department Superintendent (1937-66), Schlotterbeck was instrumental in preserving the county’s covered bridges, historic steel truss bridges, and the Lewisburg Log House. His detailed photography and recording of historical details provided records that otherwise would have been lost. A World War I veteran, Schlotterbeck spent his entire life of 87 years in and documenting Preble County.
Sara Swartsel (1914–2003). The Hall of Honor is named in honor of Sara Swartsel, county native, educator, artist, and environmentalist, who donated her family farm to the Preble County Historical Society with four objectives: beautify the grounds through plantings and horticultural activities; encourage and provide space and facilities for activities of cultural and educational nature, environmental studies, musicals, lectures, and the arts; conduct farming operations and demonstrate agricultural activities of the past and present; and generally encourage the widest possible use of these objectives and purposes to cooperate with schools and groups in bringing children to the center and to promote and encourage its use.
If you are interested in nominating an individual to be considered for induction into the 2021 class of Hall of Honor inductees, visit www.preblecountyhistoricalsociety.com and download a copy of the nomination form. Or call 937-787-4256 to request a copy through the mail. The deadline for submission of nomination is May 1.