Historical Society revisits Sesqui festival, honors Whittington

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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Members of the Decatur County Historical Society gathered for their monthly meeting at the Kirbo Center on Monday night. The main program for the evening was “One Last Look at Sesqui Before Our Bicentennial”, a recollection of Decatur County’s Sesquicentennial, with Mary Miller and Penny Reynolds presenting.

Miller spoke first, recounting how she and her husband Jean tried entering the Sesqui parade in an old horse-drawn buggy. “It had been there for years, old wheels, old seat and everything… I said, ‘Jean, that thing is rotten and no good,’” she said. Regardless, the couple still entered the buggy in the parade, which as Miller recalled, ultimately ended up losing a wheel along the route. Miller went on to go over trivia about various founding figures, historic locations and events from the county’s history, from battles to schools that no longer exist.

Following Miller, Penny Reynolds, Sesquicentennial Queen, spoke in-depth about her experience with Sesqui. “It was just a time of excitement, pageantry,” she recalled. Reynolds described how she had been signed up to sell tickets for the Sesqui historical production, “D.C. 150”.

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Following the main program, Historical Society president Rosalyn Palmer took to the podium to address various points about the upcoming Bicentennial festivities, including a need of histories on local churches, as well as the need for framed old family photos for the Bainbridge Middle School Wax Museum program. The Bicentennial historical production will also now be held at the Kirbo Center.

Palmer also recognized a new society board member, Fields Varner, who took the place of his father-in-law, Royce Whittington. Whittington was presented with a declaration from Palmer, appointing him director emeritus. “It has been an honor for me to serve here,” Whittington said, “and I think you as members should realize, I hope you know, that you have a wonderful president. You have a wonderful board here. They work at what they’re doing, and they’re interested in this county.”

After Whittington’s recognition, Palmer updated the members on two projects that had been completed since the last meting, namely the marker dedication at Hutto, as well as the distribution of Karen Grimes’ book to local 4th graders.

The evening’s events concluded with a raffle giveaway.