CAMDEN — On Monday, June 21, the Camden Archives was thrilled to receive a now cherished donation from Illinois couple Steve and Patty Wolfe.
The couple drove to Camden to deliver an item Wolfe had been discussing with the Archives since he first contacted them in mid-March. He had explained in March that about 15 years ago, a co-worker had found along a neighborhood curb in the Village of Northbrook, Illinois, a pencil cartoon appearing to be in its original frame, drawn by someone named Myron Scott. The co-worker, knowing that Wolfe was a self-proclaimed “lover and collector of antiques, treasures, and all things old,” gave the drawing to Wolfe. At that time, Wolfe did a cursory web search on Scott before storing away the cartoon drawing. In March 2021 as the Wolfes planned a trip to the Dayton area, he remembered the cartoon drawing, looked up Myron Scott again, noticed that he was a Camden native, and contacted the Archives seeking information on the drawings’ date and subject matter.
Archives volunteers’ intensive research resulted in many finds: the most important to this quest being a lengthy play-by-play article in the Dayton Herald on Nov. 30, 1923 that detailed the very same muddy, rain-soaked Stivers/Steele high school football game featuring James Thompson’s performance that the cartoon appears to depict. Their research also revealed that Scott, though only a 16-year-old Steele High School student at the time of that game, was already a rising young cartoonist and protégé of two Dayton newspaper cartoonists, and that Scott’s artwork had appeared on the cover of a local Dayton commercial magazine, the Metrope (Preble County News, Jan. 5, 1922). So, with this and other information, the Archives reported to Wolfe that Myron Scott was very capable of creating – and very likely did create circa 1923 – the drawing featuring James Thompson, now in Wolfe’s possession.
Although neither the Archives nor Wolfe had any idea how this framed Myron Scott cartoon drawing ended up in Northbrook, Illinois, Wolfe shared his desire to donate the article to the Camden Archives, stating, “I just feel it needs to be returned to where it will be displayed and enjoyed by others.”
On June 21, Wolfe, now retired, and his wife, an elementary teacher on summer break, delivered the framed Myron Scott drawing to Camden Archives volunteers, who received it with much appreciation and enthusiasm. The volunteers present enjoyed a long conversation with the visiting history buffs, who in turn, were treated to a tour of both floors of the Camden Town Hall. The Wolfes then spent nearly an hour exploring more of Camden using Camden’s Walking Tour pamphlet, and shared afterward that they look forward to another visit sometime in the future.
Author’s Note: Camden native Myron E. Scott attended the Dayton Art Institute, worked for the Dayton Daily News as a staff artist and later as a photographer, is credited with founding the All-American Soap Box Derby, and was associated with this event for many years. As a member of the Chevrolet’s advertising department, Scott is credited by Chevrolet as the person who named the Corvette sportscar. As of June 29, the Preble County Historical Society confirmed that Scott has been nominated for the Preble County Hall of Honor, but has not yet been selected.