Tony Scheffler: Morenci's famous guy 2007.12.05

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Who is the most famous person to come out of Morenci?

Old timers might point toward E.D. Stair—as in Stair Public Library, Stair Auditorium and Stair Gymnasium. After growing up in Morenci, Stair became the owner of the Detroit Free Press and served as publisher throughout the 1920s and 1930s.tony.scheffler.jpg

The auditorium and gymnasium have both faded into memory here, just like the man behind the name of the library.

Today, the name Tony Scheffler is the one some residents are citing as Morenci’s claim to fame. After all, it’s right there on Wikipedia and various sports profiles. Tony Scheffler: home town, Morenci, Mich.

Every now and then someone will stop in the Observer office to point out this fact. Last week Ron Eller came in with Scheffler’s profile printed from Yahoo Sports.

First of all, who is this Scheffler guy? If you’re not a professional football fan, you’ve probably never encountered the name.

Scheffler was an All-State football and baseball player at Chelsea High School, graduating in 2001. He earned a marketing degree at Western Michigan University (3.63 GPA) and was a three-year letter-winner in baseball. He set records at WMU as a tight end on the football team and ranked third nationally in receptions per game.

He was a second-round draft choice of  the Denver Broncos in 2006. Now in his second season with the NFL, his career continues to blossom.

But back to this Morenci connection. Is Tony Scheffler really from Morenci or is that just an error?

Profiles list his birth date as Feb. 15, 1983.  That was back in the days when the name of anyone entering and leaving Morenci Area Hospital was printed in the paper as news.

A look through the Observer archives shows that Mrs. Anthony Scheffler was admitted as a patient Feb. 15, 1983. She was discharged three days later with her son.

So Morenci really is Scheffler’s birth place, but is “home town” an accurate description?

What does the Observer’s telephone book archive indicate? In 1983, Anthony Scheffler lived at 10636 Ingall Hwy. If any Scheffler fans want to see his childhood home, now you know where to go.

The 1979 phonebook shows no Schefflers. The 1980 book is missing. The 1981 book shows them living on Ingall. They’re still listed in the 1984 book but they’ve moved on by 1985. This means Tony Scheffler was about two years old when the family moved—a big loss for the future Morenci sports teams 15 years down the road.

So it’s true, Morenci is where Tony Scheffler came from, but claiming him as our own only goes so far.

In a 2006 story in the Chelsea Standard, Scheffler talks about how nervous he was concerning the upcoming draft, but he also mentions his roots in Chelsea.

“You’ll see me around,” he said. “I’ll never forget where I came from.”

Scheffler was probably too young to remember much about where he came from, but he does know where he was born: Morenci, Mich.

  • Front.bridge Cross
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  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
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  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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