Fire Captain Retires, Pearl Street Wins Cage Title

Today our sentimental journey is taking us to 1939 for a couple of articles that got my attention.

Our first item appeared in The Marion Star February 21, 1939 with this headline. “Capt. George Kelly Ends 32 Years of Service With Fire Department.” The smaller headline went on, “Pensions Granted Him and Widow of Fireman Simpson; New Board Member Appointed.”

Granting of a retirement pension to Capt. George Kelly and of a widow’s pension to Mrs. Harlan S. Simpson and a change of city council’s citizen representative on the board featured a regular meeting of the firemen’s pension board last night a Central fire station.

The board also continued its discussion of the new pension system, proposed by council representatives but took no action. City Solicitor Ralph E. Carhart was present and advised the board on several legal points.

Capt. Kelly, for 32 years a member of the fire department of which the last 27 have been spent at the West Side station, was granted a pension of $109 a month, beginning on March 1. His salary as captain was $162.50 a month. He joined the department in 1901 serving two years under the late Chief James A Knapp and the rest of the time under Chief T. J. McFarland. He was out of the department from 1906 to about 1912. He is 55 and lives at 310 North Main street.

Mrs. Simpson, whose husband suffered fatal injuries early this year when hit by an auto at the scene of a fire, will receive the regular widow’s pension of $50 a month, beginning as of Jan. 16, the date of her application.

Referred back to the pension board’s claim committee, which approved the applications of Mrs. Simpson and Capt. Kelly, was the application of Willis Hager, disabled firemen, for a disability pension. It was referred back for further investigation.

The change in the city council’s citizen representative was the resignation of C. O. Brown and the selection of Fred L. White of 715 Woodrow avenue. Mr. Brown resigned because his membership on the recently created city hospital board, the rules of which do not permit members to hold other public office. Mr. White, an engineer at the Osgood Co., was appointed by the two councilmen on the board, Hayne Rogers and W. A. Dorsey, and served for his first meeting last night.

Our second item for today appeared in the Marion Star Friday March 10, 1939 with this headline. “Pearl Street Quintet Captures Elementary School Cage Title.”

Pearl Street cagers put the finishing touches on a perfect season when they turned in their tenth straight victory during the final round tilts of the elementary basketball league at the Y.M.C.A. yesterday afternoon. Pearl conquered Oak, 22-7, to win the circuit championship. In other games Oakland downed Forest Lawn 16-9, and North Main romped over George Washington 34-7.

Robert peters of North main was the season’s highest individual scorer, rolling up 104 points. Other among the top five were Brunson of Pearl, 70; Showalter of Oakland, 61; Guy of Greenwood, 58 and Williams of Pearl, 55.

Officials who have handled the elementary games throughout the season today named an All-City grade school team. On the first team they placed Robert Peters of North main and Francis Guy of Greenwood as forwards, Bob Rice of North Main as center and Walter Bartlett of Greenwood and Elvin Beach of Pearl as guards.

Second team selections were Williams of Pearl and Dill of Greenwood, forwards, Pocock of George Washington, center and Smith and Nystrom, both Greenwood, guards.

And from me, what a great program to develop young athletes in elementary school. And accomplished with high school boys as coaches.

Our final item for today was in The Marion Star Wednesday December 10, 1939 with this headline, “Party Given For Edison Jr. High Faculty Group.”

The women of the faculty at Thomas A. Edison Junior High school were guests when Miss Ethel Garn and Miss Jessie Henderson entertained at the home of Mrs. W. H. Pfeffer on Bellefontaine avenue last evening. Red candles accented the Christmas theme. Games were played and Miss Lucille Russell sang “Under the Star,” and “Cantique de Noel.” Lunch was served by the hostesses.

Present were Mrs. J. E. Frew, Miss Lucille Russell, Isabel Uncapher, Mary Gracely, Jeannette Powers, Charlotte Llewellyn, Elizabeth Martin, May Belle Amstutz, Margaret Watrous, Trolla Klopfenstein and Mary Jo Stafford, and Mrs. Pfeffer.

Sentimental Journey Volume XVI, Issue 45A, Nov 19, 2014

About Phil Reid

Phil Reid is a former Chief of the Marion City Fire Department, teacher, and City Council President. In addition to his writing on local history, Reid hosts "Sentimental Journey" on Saturday mornings on 97.5 FM. He is also the author of "The Mystifying Murder in Marion, Ohio." You can learn more at