Newspaper Page Text
.... ............... 1......."'"" .... .......... Merry ChrMmm VOLUME NO. LXVI BLUFFTON AGLOW WITH LIGHTS FOR YULETIDE SEASON Residence and Business Dis /. tricts Gaily Anticipate Com ing Christmastide Bluffton Stores Show Increased Business in Holiday Christ mas Buying With homes and streets brilliantly illamninated by vari colored lights, the business district filled with shop pers and youngsters keeping a sharp lookout for Santa, Bluffton prepared the first of the week to welcome the Yuletide holiday season. The first of the week found stores filled with late holiday shoppers, the postoffice flooded with an avalanche of Christmas mail and merchants re porting that the largest industrial payrolls in Bluffton’s history were amply reflected in the greatest volume of business since the late twenties. A reminder that this Christmas it is different is seen in the army uni forms of service men home on holiday furlough sprinkled plentifully thruout the holiday crowds. It’s Merry Christmas Notwithstanding the somber shad ow of war, Bluffton will make merry this Christmas, resolutely putting aside for the time those grave prob lems facing the nation. Majority of holiday programs will be presented in Bluffton churches on (Continued on page 8) Badertscher-Merrill Nuptials Saturday Against an attractive Christmas altar banked by white candelabra, took place the wedding of Miss Ed dythe Badertscher, daughter of Mrs. Edna Badertscher and Philip Mer rill, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Mer rill of Painesville at the bride’s home on Grove street Saturday night at 7 o’clock. The wedding vows were received by Rev. Paul E. Whitmer, former pastor of the bride when she at tended the Grace Mennonite church of Pandora. The couple was unat tended and the single ring ceremony was performed in the presence of the immediate families. The bride was attired in a street length light ofue wool dress with ap plique rose and brown velvet flowers. She carried a shower bouquet of gardenias, Joanna Hill roses, nar cissus and stenia. She held a white New Testament and wore a satinora necklace, a gift of the bride’s mother. The living room of her home was attractively decorated for the cere mony with white and Christmas col ors artistically blended. Although entirely unplanned, Christmas carols and appropriate re ligious music were heard throughout the ceremony from the loudspeaker mounted on the roof of the nearby P. W. Stauffer residence. The couple will leave on the day after Christmas for a short honey moon through the southern states after whiun will make their home in Burbank where Mr. Merrill is an instructor and coach in the high school at that place. Mrs. Merrill graduated from Bluff ton High school in the class of 1937 and has been employed at the Trip lett Electrical Instrument Co., since that time. Mr. Merrill graduated from Bluffton college in the class of 1938 and later attended Ohio North ern university and Ohio State uni versity. He has been teaching at Burbank for the past two years. Finishes Course At Parks Air College James Basinger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Noah Basinger of South Lawn avenue, has completed the course of instruction in aircraft maintenance and design at Parks Air college in East St. Louis, Ill. Basinger took his general courses in mathematics and science at Bluff ton college and completed his last two years of specialized work at the Parks school. Mr. and Mrs. Basinger will leave after the holidays at which time he will take a position with one of the aircraft factories in this area. In New Location Jerry Basinger has moved from his farm northwest of Bluffton into the Cherry street property which he purchased from the Wm. Wallace estate. The property was vacated last week by Richard Bixel and fam ily who moved to Findlay. Unusual Display in Heavens Visible at Christmas Only Once in 200 Years ’lanet Will Reach its Greatest Brilliance Sunday Arouses Much Interest While men are fighting in every corner of the globe, nature this Christmas season is presenting her best Yuletide display in 200 years. The planet Venus is now approach ing the sun and will achieve its greatest brilliance on December 28, reminiscent of the heavenly display on the first Christmas. This event occurs so close to Christmas only once in two centuries, according to astronomersat Perkins observatory, maintained by Ohio Wesleyan and Ohio State universities near Delaware. Stab Shown Brightly Astronomical calculations indicate that in the year of Christ’s birth the planet was particularly brilliant at the time of the first Christmas. As it appears in Palestine, the star is more brilliant than the dis play to be glimpsed here, for Venus when seen from the United States never compares with its brilliance in the latitude in which Galilee lies. In that country Venus is so bril liant that a wake is cast on the water, much the same as that made by the moon. The planet will be a brilliant spot of light in the heavens during the entire holiday season and its appear ance has already brought forth much interest among astronomically mind er residents here. WORD RECEIVED FROM FOUR WAR ZONE RESIDENTS Pvt. Don Crawfis and Miss Evelyn Niswander Write To Parents Here Radiogram From Java Received From Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wenger At least four of the score of for mer Bluffton residents in the Ha waiian and Pacific danger zones have been heard from in the past week. Anxiety was felt here for their safety following the recent Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. Evelyn Niswander Safe An airmail letter was received from Miss Evelyn Niswander on Monday by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Noah Neuenschwander of South Lawn avenue. Following the attack on Kahului harbor on the island of Maui recently, concern was felt for the safety of Miss Niswander who is teaching at Paia less than 10 miles away from the naval action. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bowers of Honolulu have been assisting in the care of evacuees made homeless by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, according to a letter received Monday by his father John Bowers of Beaver dam. Mr. Bowers writes that there were no casualties in the immediate residential district in which they lived. Miss Niswander’s school is located in the country three miles from Paia. At the time of the shelling Miss Niswander did not hear the guns and was unaware of what had happened until so informed by the radio. On many occasions, Miss Nis wander stated that she visited the harbor of Kahului to see the British and American vessels slip in and out of the harbor. An air mail letter received this week by Laurence Burkhalter, Bluff ton college student, from his par- ents Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wenger, missionaries from India, gave as surance that they were coming home. Radiogram From Wengers The letter was from the Men nonite mission board which received a radiogram from Mr. and Mrs. Wenger in Java who sent a three word message, “Coming Inform Relatives.” Java is a Dutch-owned island in (Continued on page 8) —. W*"T~ Venus Brilliant This Christmas Similar To Star Of Bethlehem Traditional Christmas Customs Are Blend Of Religious And Pagan Rites Christmas Programs Ebenezer Mennonite—Wed, 7:30 p. m. First Mennonite—Thurs., 7:30 p. m. Emmanuel Reformed—Thurs., 8 p. m. Missionary—Wednesday, 8 p. m. Presbyterian—Wednesday, 7:30 p. m. Christmas programs were present ed Sunday night at the following churches: Methodist, St. Johns Re formed, Lutheran and Church of Christ. $50,000 Bonus To 572 Employes Of Triplett Company Christmas bonuses aggregating more than $50,000 were announced this week by The Triplett Electrical Instrument Co., with 572 employes sharing in the benefits. Each employe with six months or more service on the Triplett payroll received a $25 government defense savings bond. Those who have worked less than six months for the company will receive a similar bond when their continuous employment reaches the half-year mark, R. L. Triplett, president of the concern said. A five per cent general wage in crease also was announced, the ad justment applying to all employes ex cepting department heads. In addition employes will be paid on a time and one-half basis for Christmas and New Year’s holidays, altho they will not be asked to work. Ancient English and Roman Influence are Seen in Festivities Puritans of New England Frowned on Merriment With Holiday Although Christmas is usually thot of as a celebration of deep re ligious significance, this best loved holiday of Christianity is character ized by curious blending of religious and ancient pagan customs. Holly and mistletoe, linked for centuries with the observance of the Yuletide, are survivals of the ancient worship of the Druids in England. Christmas carols, the singing of which are still popular in Bluffton, can be linked with the hymns of the Saturnalia, a pagan Roman holi day. The Yuletide banquet itself is reminiscent of the feasts accorded to ancient gods and goddesses. Pagan Customs When the early Christian church inaugurated the celebration of Christ’s birthday, many pagan cus toms were incorporated to assure that the observance would become popular with the laity. In time these customs became ac cepted as a part of Christianity’s most popular festival. The religious aspect of the season retains all of its significance in the modern ob servance, with many of the pagan customs adding to the attendant gaiety of the season. At first the church had a hard task with the pagan features of the Christmas celebration. Though it aimed only to retain the pagan forms, it found it could not restrain the pagan spirit. As a consequence many of the early Christmas cele brations turned out to be wild revels in which obscenity, drunkenness, blasphemy and license ran rampant. Start in England Merry old England, however, was the soil in which Christmas took its firmest root. In ancient days Christmas was not confined to a single day. It had its preliminary novena which began December 16 and it ended on January 6 or Twelfth Night. It was a democratic festival with all classes mixing in its merrymak ing. Hospitality was universal with the landowners opening their houses to the tenants and the neighbors. The ale was broached, blackjacks, Cheshire cheese, toast, sugar and nutmeg going plentifully around. With the rise of Puritanism Christmas took on a much more sombre tone and the very existence of the institution was threatened. Even the harmless good cheer of the (Continued on page 8) THE BLUFFTON NEWS A NEWSPAPER DEVOTED TO THE INTERESTS OF BLUFFTON AND VICINITY BLUFFTON, OHIO, THURSDAY, DEC. 25, 1941 CIVILIAN DEFENSE GROUP NAMES 14 COMMITTEE HEADS Group Prepares to Handle Situ ations Arising During Pres ent Emergency Preliminary Plans for Action Are Worked Out at First Meeting Held Here Bluffton’s plans for civilian de fense took shape this week, with the organization of 14 committees to work, toward the prevention of dis aster and to handle Miff emergencies which may arise. Preliminary plans for the broad program covering every phase of civilian needs were worked out at meetings during the last week be tween Mayor W. A. Howe and the American Legion executive com mittee. Mayor Howe serves as general chairman of the Bluffton civilian de fense organization, and Clair Fett, (Continued on page 8) Births Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bartholo mew of Lansdale, Pa., are parents of a daughter born last Wednesday. Mrs. Bartholomew was the former Miss Wanda Eversole, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Eversole of Cherry street. Bom to Rev. and Mrs. W. R. Augsburger of Van Orrin, Ill., a son, Grayson Terry, last Wednesday. The following births at the Bluff ton hospital: Mr. and Mrs. Russell Pierce, Beav erdam, a girl, Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Trippiehorn, a boy, Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Wade Shook, Detroit, Mich., a girl, Sunday. Mrs. Shook was the former Miss Bonita Clark, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Clark of Grove street Prune Salad Stewed prunes, stuffed with cheese, nuts or celery and arranged on lettuce leaves, make a suitable salad to serve with chops or roasts. Bluffton community friends who three years ago rallied to the help of Betty Leeson with a Christmas donation to assist in her battle against infantile paralysis, are pleased to learn this holiday season that continued improvement is re ported in her condition. When she was enrolled in Bluff ton college, Miss Leeson, stricken with paralysis while a student at Beaverdam High school, was unable to stand upright, and had to be car ried from classroom to classroom. What though upon his hoary head Have fallen many a winter's snow? His wreath is still as green and red As 'twas a thousand years ago. For what has he to do with care! His wassail-bowl and old arm chair Are ever standing ready there, For Christmas comes but once a year. Miss Catherine Gratz, Former Bluffton Woman, Located In West Africa Concern is Felt for Her Safety Since American-Axis Hostilities Christmas Cheer Conveyed By Letter From Bluffton Missionary To Parents One of the most prized Christmas greetings received in Bluffton this Yuletide season was a letter from Miss Catherine Gratz, former Bluff ton woman now a missionary in West Africa, to her parents Mr. and Mrs. Peter Gratz of South Jackson street* The letter sent by airmail and postmarked on November 19 was re ceived here Saturday, evidently timed to arrive here to convey Christmas cheer. Miss Gratz, a missionary under the board of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, is located in the village of Kankan in French Guinea in West Africa. Under Control Christmas Finds Former Bluffton Girl Winning Her Fight Against Paralysis She left here in 1938 for treat ment at a Chicago hospital, and the of Vichy Due to the fact that the area is under the strict control of the Vichy government, whose policy is one of close collaboration with Nazi Ger many, concern is felt for the safety of all American nationals living and working in the country. No word has been received from Miss Gratz since the war. Since the outbreak of hostilities ports of French Guinea are not be ing used and consequently the port of Freetown in the bordering coun try of Sierra Leone is used for the commercial and mailing requirements of French Guinea. Miss Gratz has charge of Bible in struction and Christian training in the mission station. On one occa sion in making a trip into the back woods of the country Miss Gratz was carried for a considerable part of the journey by hammocks manned by native carriers. The party stopped over night in a Mohammedan village and the former Bluffton resident was a witness to a Mohammedan celebra tion with its fantastic dances and weird celebrations. Intense Heat The tropical climate is one of in tense heat and often is almost un (Continued on page 8) Christmas donation from Bluffton college friends that year helped make it possible for her to continue hospitalization. This Christmas season finds Miss Leeson able to stand upright, and walk with the aid of crutches, and for the last year she has been de livering many of her father’s ser mons for him in a Methodist church at Bethany, near Middletown. Rev. E. A. Leeson, the father, formerly of Beaverdam, has been confined to his home much of the time because of a serious heart ail ment for more than a year. SLIGHT PROSPECT HELD FOR WHITE XMAS THIS YEAR Scant Snow Seen in Bluffton For Christmas During Past Six Years Seventeen White, 13 Green Christmases here in last Thirty Years Mild weather, welcomed with de light by Bluffton area residents so for this winter, lost all its popular ity early this week as it began to to appear Christmas may come and go without the traditional blanket of snow that contributes so much to the Yuletide atmosphere. December’s unseasonably warm weather has brought fears that Bluff ton will have its ninth green Christ mas in the last 14 years unless condi tions change decidedly. With the holiday drawing near the question was being asked, “Will Bluff ton have snow for Christmas?” by children and grownups alike. The odds favoring a green Yuletide did noi. seem to be too well relished. 17 White 13 Green Christmases In the last 30 years Bluffton has had 17 white and 13 green Christmas es, the records reveal. But in the last 14-years period, beginning with 1928, there has been snow for only four holidays and on two of those oc casions it was quite scant. The heaviest snow in the 20-year period occurred in 1916 when a heavy blizzard blanketed the ground with 12 inches of snow. In 1935 the Bluffton district was covered with eight inches of snow. Last year Bluffton experienced the warmest Christmas Day in nearly a decade with sunshine and balmy weather bringing the mercury to 60 degrees just short of the all time rec ord of 1932 when the thermometer corded a mark of 62. Here is the record of ground con ditions on Christmas for the last 30 years: 30 Year Record 1911, no snow 1912, no snow 1913, trace of snow 1914, seven inches 1915, three inches 1916, 12 inches 1917, seven inches, 1918, trace of snow, 1919, one inch 1920, no snow 1921, no snow 1922, trace of snow 1923, no snow 1924, five inches. 1925, one inch 1926, three inches 1927, no snow 1928, one inch 1929, five inches 1930, no snow 1931, no snow 1932, no snow 1933, no snow 1934, three inches 1935, eight inches 1936, no snow 1937, no snow, 1938, no snow 1939, trace of snow 1940, no snow. Sedans in Lead The four-door sedan is the most popular type of American automo bile, accounting for 40 per cent of all sales. The two-door sedan is second, the coupe third. —............................................................. ............................................... ,1. Merry Christmas NUMBER 35 HEAVY VOLUME OF XMAS MAIL SETS NEW RECORD HERE loliday Business This Christ mas Season Will Surpass Last Year’s Mark Flood of Holiday Mail Taxes Facilities of Bluffton’s Post office Staff With letter cancellations already better than 5,000 ahead of last year’s figure, a new all time record for out going mail has been established at the Bluffton post office this Christ mas season, it was announced the first of the week by postal officials. About 12,000 pieces were cancelled Monday altho not all of this mail was dispatched, it was stated. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week, cancellations reached a total of better than 7,000 for each day. 92 Sacks Monday Incoming mail also has been very heavy this Yuletide season with the climax coming on Monday when 92 sacks and pouches of mail literally swamped the local post office. While this is not an all record volume of intake, it was sufficient to necessi tate extra help and overtime work of the regular postal employes. First class mail is received in sealed pouches while second, third and fourth class mail comes in sacks, postal officials stated. Mail in the business section was carried by substitute carriers allow ing the regular carriers, Wilbur Potee and Ralph Reichenbach, to work the residential sections. Behind Schedule Saturday afternoon deliveries were made this year to ease the pressure for the Monday accumulation. Altho the entire volume of mail has beeen (Continued on page 8) Last Rites Held For Hiram Locher Funeral services, largely attended, were held Monday afternoon at the First Mennonite church for Hiram Locher, 72, vice president and di rector of the Citizens National bank and for many years a business man and farmer of this place. He was found dead ia bad Satur day morning at 7 o’clock at his home just north of Bluffton on what is known as the Locher dairy farm, where he has been living alone since his son, Oliver Locher left last fall for Florida to spend the winter be cause of ill health. The body was found by Russel Schaublin, a tenant, residing across the road from the Locher home. An investigation which led to discovery of the body was begun by Schaublin when Mr. Locher failed to arrive at the barn to assist in the morning milking as was his custom. Allen County Coroner Harry Lewis reported that death was due to a heart ailment. The body when found had been dead for several hours. Mr. Locher was born in Riley township, Putnam county, the son of Christian and Verena (Lugibihl) Locher, residing northwest of Bluff ton. As a young man he taught in district schools of the Settlement and was prominent in organization of former teachers and pupils of the Stager school who held their second annual reunion last summer. He was also interested in the mer cantile business here for some time as a member of the firm of Baum gartner, Locher & Co., Bluffton clothiers. His connection with the Citizens National bank dates from the found ing of the institution nearly twenty two years ago since which time he has been vice president and a mem ber of the board of directors. His wife, the former Augusta Green of this place, preceded him in death. In denominational affiliations Mr. Locher was a member of the First Mennonite church, where he served at various times as member of boards and committees and was a former teacher in the Sunday school. His pastor, Rev. H. T. Unruh offi ciated at the funeral service, Mon day afternoon, following which in terment was made in Maple Grove cemetery. Due to ill health his son, Oliver Locher, spending the winter at Clearwater, Florida, did not re turn for1 the funeral. Surviving in addition to the son are two daughters, Ruth Locher of Cleveland and Mrs. Dwain Murray of Marietta a sister, Mrs. Mary Diller of Bluffton and three brothers, Samuel and Chris, northwest of Bluffton, and Milton Locher of i Washington, D. C.