CHESTER — To help kick off the Meigs County Bicentennial weekend the Meigs County Commissioners held their regularly scheduled meeting at Meigs County’s first courthouse — the Chester Courthouse.
The commissioners in attendance were President Tim Ihle, Randy Smith, and Jimmy Will along with County Clerk and Grants Administrator Betsy Entsminger.
Ihle explained the Chester Courthouse was built in 1823 and is the oldest standing courthouse in Ohio. The very first Meigs County Commission meeting commenced on April 30, 1819. Smith read aloud the minutes of the inaugural meeting which discussed bond issues of approving officials. Ihle commented these are still issues that come up at meetings.
The commission had a visitor from across the river offering congratulations to Meigs County on its bicentennial celebration — Mason County Commission President Rick Handley.
Handley, on behalf of Mason County Commissioners including himself, Tracy Doolittle, and Sam Nibert, read aloud a letter to the Meigs County Commissioners, “On behalf of the citizens of Mason County, we would like to congratulate you as you celebrate the 200th anniversary of Meigs County. The Bicentennial celebration plans detailed in the newspaper indicate it will be a fun and informative time for all to celebrate the rich history that Meigs County is today. As fellow county commissioners, we would also like to personally congratulate you each individually as you all begin to lead Meigs County into the next 200 years of growth and prosperity.”
Mason County also recently offered sponsorship to Meigs County in congratulations on its bicentennial.
The commissioners gave recognition to the members of the Chester-Shade Historical Society who aid in the upkeep of the Chester Courthouse and the Chester Schoolhouse.
Bicentennial celebration activities for Friday include “Student Education Day” at the Meigs County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. and then in the evening starting at 6:30 p.m. the Chester-Shade Annual Benefit Dinner will be held at Meigs High School. The cost of admission is $20 at the door and $15 for advance tickets, there will be speakers telling historical stories of their townships within the county. Following dinner and the speakers, reenactors will be firing their artillery and cannons.
In other business, the commission approved a proclamation celebrating the Belles and Beaus Square Dance Club’s 50th anniversary. Past and present members were in attendance to celebrate this landmark including an original member, Roger Gap, from the 1969 group. Belles and Beaus member Jim Stewart commented their oldest member is 94 years old with the youngest members being in their 50s. The Belles and Beaus hold their classes at the Gavin Employees Clubhouse in Cheshire. The club will be receiving a commemorative certificate on behalf of the commission for this occasion.
The commission approved a lease agreement between the Meigs County Commissioners and the Athens-Meigs-Gallia-Lawrence Farm Bureau’s office. The Farm Bureau will now have an office in each of the four counties. The Meigs office will be located at 113 East Memorial Drive Suite D in Pomeroy. The office will located between the Meigs County Extension Office and the Meigs Soil & Water Conservation Office.
To officially close the meeting, Smith rang the Chester Courthouse bell as the commissioners before him did many years ago.
Following the meeting, guests were encouraged to mingle and delight in refreshments provided including Meigs County shaped cookies and drinks.
More on the Commissioners meeting will appear in an upcoming edition of the the Daily Sentinel.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.