ACRTA History

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ACRTA Quilt Panel - 2007

Quilt made from chapter-submitted panels for ORTA's 60th Anniversary in 2007

In 1997 ORTA compiled A fifty-Year Review of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association 1947-1997.  The Review included histories of each of the ORTA chapters.  Here is what was published about ACRTA in 1997, pages 112 – 114:

For over three decades the ACRTA has served veteran public school educators through legislation awareness, health and financial information, and social programs.

ACRTA was founded on September 26, 1963, when 20 persons met at a small restaurant called the Hop-Off Inn, which was then located on the southwest side of Claremont Ave. in Ashland.  The first officers were elected and plans were made for the initial year.  Hilda Carpenter was elected president.  Also chosen were Sidney Boyd, vice president, Minnie Armstrong, secretary, and Florence Bender, treasurer.

Ron Marquette was president in 1996-1997.  Other officers were Jenice Galloway, vice president, Margaret Finney, secretary, Joyce Kiste, assistant secretary, Dorothy Gregersen, treasurer, Diane Messner, assistant treasurer, and Nora Cooper, membership chairman.

ACRTA is a part of District 10 of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association (ORTA).  Frances Sites was elected District 10 Director in 1994.  Two other Ashland members had served with the District.  Sidney Boyd was a member of the Board of Directors for ten years, and James McDowell was Director for a four-year period from 1978 to 1982.

The Ashland Chapter assisted in the formation of chapters in Crawford and Richland Counties.

The organization year ran from March through November.  Four meetings a year with an August picnic was the norm until 1992 when a five meeting schedule with a July picnic to welcome new members was adopted.

Local dues were held at one dollar until 1981 when annual dues became two dollars and lifetime dues were set at fifteen dollars.  There must have been some vocal opposition to the change because a resolution was passed soon after to indicate that dues should never be less than two dollars.  A 1988 attempt by the Executive Board to raise the dues to three dollars per year and twenty dollars lifetime was never enforced.  The previous dues rate held until 1996 when dues became five and twenty-five dollars.

Past presidents included Sidney Boyd, Wilbur Springer, Robert Thornhill, Duane Murray, Olus Schaaf, Virgil Crunkilton, James McDowell, Ann Stanley, Alpha Riddle, Floyd Barcus, Dorothy Wagner, Rodger Hiller, Kate Thornburg, Co-presidents Ben and Alyce Shaver and Cal Leader.

Serving as vice –residents were Hilda Carpenter, Pearl Myer, John Tilton, Earl Driver, Duane Murray, James McDowell, Marlow Kiplinger, Alpha Riddle, Floyd Barcus, Edward Plank, Barbara Bradford, Frances Sites, and Ron Marquette.

Serving as recording secretaries through the years were E. Paxton, Georgia Boyd, Sarah Smith, Mary Doster, Margaret Biddinger, Olive Murray, Phyllis Sanders, Cora Ellen Furniss, Bill Tegtmeier, Martha Bowman, Alberta Holsinger, Majorie McFarlin, Jenice Gallaway, and Margaret Finney, assistant secretary.

Treasurers included Florence Foust, Lois Ballou, Goldie Bomeli, Nova Helter, Helen Rickel, Violet Yeager, Ann Stanley, Eloise Line, Eloise Noonan, Ann Verbsky, and Dorothy Gregersen, assistant treasurer.  Ann Verbsky was honored at the March 1996 meeting for having given valuable service to the organization as treasurer since August 1988.

Legislation chairmen included R. McMullen, Dr. Arthur Gorsuch, Duane Murray, Marlow Kiplinger, Alpha Riddle, Byron Burnett, Linda Urig, Frances Sites, and Colister Malone.  ORTA representatives who visited Ashland included Joseph Endry, Josh Irvine, Hugh Coffman, Margie Ater, Albert Durose, Rita Urig, and Charles Schifano.  Visitors from the State Teachers Retirement System included Jim Prager, C. James Grothaus, and Ann Boneface.  Ashland and State Representative Bill Harris was also a speaker.

Sidney Boyd served as program chairman from 1963 to 1978.  He was followed by Virgil Crunkilton, Marlow Kiplinger, Edward Plank, Richard Wolfe, Barbara Bradford, James McDowell, and Ron Marquette.  A variety of educational and entertainment programs were presented, including healthcare, insurance, investments, exchange programs and special university programs, civic concerns, and artistic performances by local musicians, actors, and artists as well as area high school students.

Those who served as membership chairmen included A. Arnholt, A. Gibson, R. Rosenberry, L. Samsel, Olus Schaaf, D. Dittmar, James McDowell, Robert Furniss, Diane Messner, and Marjorie McFarlin. 

Much effort was made in the 1980s and early 1990s to get members involved in community service through schools, hospitals, and community agencies.  James McDowell was recognized at the 1986 Ohio State Fair for giving outstanding service as a senior citizen.  Arthur Gorsuch received recognition as an outstanding senior citizen in 1987.  Francis Sites was recognized by the City of Ashland as one of its outstanding women.