It Happened Years Ago

By Patrick D. Kennedy - Archivist

25 Years Ago: August 2 – 8, 1990

Middle East – Oil and territorial disputes were the causes given behind the Middle Eastern country of Iraq’s invasion of its small neighbor Kuwait. Kuwait’s ruler has fled to Saudi Arabia, according to the country’s ambassador to the United States, who also stated Iraq is running his whole country. The ambassador, Sheik Saud Nasir al Sabah, has asked for help from friends of his country saying, “We don’t stand a chance if we don’t get help from our friends. My country is under occupation and my people are suffering.” The UN has called on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to withdraw all of his troops.

50 Years Ago: August 2 – 8, 1965

West Milton – This village in the southwestern portion of our county has taken a leading step in their decision to allow the voters of the community decide whether the water of the village should be fluoridated. This issue has caused heated debates throughout the region whenever the subject has arisen. If the voters of West Milton would respond in the positive, then it would be the first community in Miami County to do so. Although an informal Troy Daily News poll showed many in favor of fluoridation, there are still many in West Milton that have voiced their concerns. Most of the objections have to do with adding something else to the village water. (Columnist’s Note: Fluoridation is still a hot topic in some areas. In recent years, studies have tended to indicate that fluoride in city water may not be a good thing. Although, may still support the move. Some communities, such as Troy, that have never fluoridated their water.)

Piqua – Tragedy hit this community and the French Oil Mill Machinery Company when company executives Andre H. Burner, 37, and Edward E. Potts, 41, died in a airplane accident in west central Maryland yesterday (Aug. 4th). Burner, the pilot, attempted to land their light aircraft in a cornfield during a severe thunderstorm. Police are theorizing that the aircraft may have been hit by lightning because just before or just after landing the plane exploded and disintegrated. The men were returning home from a business trip in Delaware.

75 Years Ago: August 2 – 8, 1940

Miami County – Troy Chief of Police E.J. Smick and Miami County Sheriff Kenneth V. Miller, as well as other law enforcement officers are attending Federal Bureau of Investigation meetings throughout the region. The Bureau is holding meetings in order to inform and equip officers of the law about espionage, sabotage, neutrality and other matters relating to national defense. Chief Smick and Sheriff Miller were to be in Dayton today (Aug. 2nd) attending the meetings there. The meetings are being held throughout the country, but the Miami Valley is a key location to successful implementation since it is the center of industry which the government is developing for the national defense program.

Tipp City – A dog bit a child earlier in the week and authorities were very close to calling for a countywide dog quarantine, but state medical authorities were able to determine that the stray dog did not have rabies. There was a bit of alarm in the county when young Maynard Watkins, 12, was bitten twice by the stray because there were reports of a couple canines causing concern in the West Milton area. Authorities believed that a quarantine might be needed to stem the spread of rabies. Warden James Grunden tried to capture the stray dog, but eventually had to resort to shooting the animal.

100 Years Ago: August 2 – 8, 1915

Ginghamsburg – The home, barber shop, pool room and ice cream parlor of Martin Hill located in Ginghamsburg was destroyed by a conflagration early Tuesday morning (Aug. 3rd). Lightning is believed to be the cause. The building was one of the oldest in the village and was like tinder, being quickly reduced to ashes. Approximately $1,500 in damage was done to the property. Mr. Hill and his wife were awakened by a loud clap and immediately realized there was smoke in the house. With no time to dress, they fled their bedroom and had barely reached the first floor when the second floor, from which they had just descended, burst into flames and was completely engulfed. The Hill family lost almost everything in the fire and it is unknown whether they carried insurance to cover any loss.

Dayton – It was announced in the paper today that the Miami Conservancy District (MCD) will purchase the whole village of Osborn for $1,000,000. The MCD recently changed some of its flood prevention plans and the new plans necessitated the abandonment of the village of 900 for the purpose of the developing the Lower Mad River reservoir. “The property of the corporation itself, the streets and all, will be bought and paid for at a fair and equitable price, as well as every privately owned lot, house, building and factory, the school building, four churches, business blocks and all.” (Columnist’s Note: In order to make room for the reservoir and the construction of what is now called the Huffman Dam, many of the houses from Osborn were relocated to a site near Fairfield and later the two neighboring communities merged and became Fairborn, Ohio. Within the city, there is an historic neighborhood which contains many of the original homes that were removed from the original site of the village.)

By Patrick D. Kennedy


Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to

Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to