Milestone memories


Diane Claassen introduces the ?gifts to the community? portion of the program to the nice-sized crowd that turned out on a very warm Friday evening for the downtown celebration of HIllsboro?s 125th.

Music, cake, an old-fashioned picnic on the lawn and numerous other activities added to the festive atmosphere celebrating Hills?boro?s 125th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the Wm. F. Schaeffler House Thursday through Sunday.

?We were tickled to see so many people,? said Susan Wadkins, one of the coordinators. ?It sure looked like everyone was having a fun time.?

Events kicked off Thursday at the Farmer?s Market with the local group Four Docs and a Quack providing musical entertainment. Vendors were selling everything from herbs to clothing.


Emcee Sue Wadkins does the ?feel test? on David Loewen?s facial hair as part of the ?Softest Beard? competition in the local contest. Darrell Dalke won that prize. Phyllis Richert photo.


Sue Wadkins chats with Willie Entz, Hillsboro, who arrived at the Schaeffler House celebration on Saturday in this 1928 Ford?one of eight vintage automobiles exhibited along Grand Avenue.


Volunteer models wait their turn to be introduced during the 1870-1937 fashion show by Vintage Fashion Inc. of Abilene on Saturday morning.


Brenda Coryea gives Marcia Williams (left) the envelope Hillsboro State Bank placed in the time capsule in 1984. Helping with distribution are (from left) Len Coryea, Jim Baker and Diane Claassen.

AnniversaryMayorRecognition.jpgFormer mayors of Hillsboro, or their representatives, posed for a photo following their introduction Friday night at the 125th celebration. Pictured are: front row (from left) Patricia Lackey Knut Henderson (great niece of John J. Funk, first mayor, 1884-85), Doris Arnold (granddaughter of J.J. Entz, 1905-07), Delores Dalke (present mayor), Patsy Hett Frazier (great-granddaughter of Conrad Hett, 1915-16), Linda Esau (granddaughter of J.D. Wiebe, 1925-27), Grace Davis (daughter of Charles Thresher, 1953-55), Charles Isaac (grandson of John J. Kizler, 1890-93), Dwight W. Hill (great-grandson of John G. Hill, 1885-89, 1899-00, 1901-02), Jim Hiebert (grandson of Peter A. Hiebert, 1911-13); back row, Harold Wiebe (1971-1991), Bob Hein (1995-97), Jerold Vogt (nephew of Arnold F. Vogt, 1952-53, 1955-61), Virgil Litke (nephew of Levi T. Buller, 1951-52, 1961-1971), Wes Loewen (son-in-law of Jacob V. Friesen, 1943-51), Max Friesen (nephew of Peter F. Friesen, 1923-25), Robert G. Franz (fellow local physician representing Henry Brunig, 1916-22), Clariece Schroeder (granddaughter of the business partner of William F. Schaeffler, 1907-09), Paul Schellenberg (grandson of Abraham L. Schellenberg, 1927-29). Alice Koop was unable to attend to represent her great-uncle, J.F. Hey (1890-93 and 1896-98). Former mayors not represented were Lewis Weidlein (1889-90), Henry H. Friesen (1893-95), Brown Corby (1895-96), Hiram Beck (eight years between 1893-99), Fred Maas (1922-23) and Robert F. Schaeffler (1943-51).Phyllis Richert photo.

The Friends of the Hillsboro Museums served sloppy-joe meals and Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church women hosted a bake sale. Other baked goods also were available.

Friday night the public was invited to a cake-and-ice-cream social with the Schnigglefritz Band performing.

Adding to the mood, participants of the Greater Hillsboro Beard Contest, who started in February with freshly shaven faces, were introduced.

Participants included Mark Rogers, Dale Dalke, Robert Fenstermacher, Darrell Dalke, Matt Jost, Doug Sisk, Ben Steketee, Paul Raugust (present in photographs only), Dustin Dalke, David Loewen, Jerry Engler and Billy Robb.

The prize for Best Thrashing Crew Foreman (most colorful beard) went to Rogers. The Best Teamster (longest beard) and Best Sod Buster (cleanest and softest) both went to Darrell Dalke.

Celebration committee co-chairs, Brenda Coryea and Stan Harder, along with members Watkins, Peggy Goertzen and Diane Claassen, continued the celebration by ?opening? gifts for Hillsboro: Improvement projects to be completed by local volunteers.

With 23 projects on the list, Claassen said, a lot of help was needed. Ten projects were announced.

?We have 300-plus hours pledged,? Claassen said.

Individuals or groups still wanting to volunteer are asked to call Claassen at 947-2222 on or by Monday, July 6.

The evening celebration on Main Street provided an opportunity to recognize past and present leaders who helped form Hillsboro.

Goertzen said it was ?quite a challenge? to search for and locate former mayors of Hillsboro or their descendants.

?I gave it a first-class try,? she said.

She was successful for 19 of Hillsboro?s 25 mayors. (See photo above.)

Among those participating were Patricia Lackey Knut Henderson of Peabody, representing the city?s very first mayor, John J. Funk, and Dwight W. Hill, McPherson, great-grandson of the city?s founder and an early mayor, John G. Hill.

Jim Hiebert, grandson of former mayor Peter A. Hiebert (1911-13), traveled from his home in St. Augustine, Fla., for the occasion.

Dalke thanked Goertzen for all the hard work it took to locate former mayors or family members.

?I would also like to thank the mayors or their representatives for coming,? Dalke said. ?What a great way to celebrate the years.?

With the temperature near 100 degrees, Dalke lightheartedly said the only thing that might have made the celebration better was if the city?s founding fathers had the signed the incorporation paperwork in April instead of late June.

Following the recognition of mayors, many spectators were interested to see what was in the time capsule that had been buried during the town?s centennial in 1984.

Jim Baker, chairman of the capsule committee, described the types of items people could place into the time capsule when it is re-buried in a few weeks.

?Anyone who would like to put something in has until July 20,? he said. ?It can be a DVD, letters or photos.?

Many of the items placed in the 1984 capsule were letters written by businesses, teachers, churches, individuals and organizations such as the Arts and Crafts Fair and the Marion County Fair.

Schaeffler House party

On Saturday, the focus of the celebration turned to the Schaeffler House, which was constructed by the town?s leading business family in 1909.

Events included a vintage fashion show and old-fashioned chicken picnic on the Schaeffler House lawn.

To add to the ambience, about eight vintage cars from the early 1900s were on display.

In the afternoon, people could step back into the past by watching a player-piano demonstration at Molly?s on Main, or a bed-turning program at Quilts and QuiltRacks.

Sunday opening

On Sunday, the opening of the ?Joining the Mosaic? exhibit at the Museum Visitors Center topped off the weekend. Mayor Dalke, Keith Ebel (great-grandson of William and Ida Schaeffler) and Anna Raymond (great-granddaughter of Peter Paul Loewen), gave short presentations at the ceremony.

The warm temperatures didn?t deter people from attending many of the weekend events.

Many at the picnic on Saturday said they could not remember the last time they enjoyed such a delicious chicken dinner.

?I was worried about the heat and how that might affect the chicken, but it was great,? one woman said.

Several women commented on the bed-turning and how interesting it was.

As for 250 or so spectators at the downtown program Friday, Wadkins said the committee couldn?t have been more pleased at how well everything turned out.

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