The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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John and Wanda Bacon leave Fayette house 2009.09.23

Written by David Green.


In November, 1944, John and Wanda Bacon moved into their house at 205 College St. in Fayette and there they stayed for nearly 65 years.j.w.bacon.jpg

According to U.S. Census statistics, one in six Americans moves to a new location every year, with an average of nearly 12 moves in a lifetime.

John, 89, and Wanda, 88, are far from average, but they did move earlier this month. After all those years on College Street, they now live in Bryan near their son and their grown grandchildren.

It was an odd day when the Bacons moved into their Fayette home, Wanda recalls. Three families were moving all at once.

“We were moving in the back door as the Frucheys were moving out the front door,” she said. “And the Frucheys were moving in the back door of their new house as the Clarks were moving out the front.”

John grew up on a farm outside of town and Wanda lived her entire life in the village. When they married in 1939, they moved into a home in what was known as Floppertown on the south edge of Fayette. Their house, Wanda said, stood about where the driveway leads into the new school.

They moved into town in 1944 and rented the College Street home for six months. They paid $12 a month, but John decided they might as well buy the place rather than give their cash away for rent.

“Don’t you know what we gave for that?” Wanda asked. “We paid $3,000.”

The house served them well, thanks to John’s abilities. He added a bathroom and a bedroom and updated the kitchen.

“He made it really comfortable,” Wanda said. “My goodness it was real handy. We had a lot of good times there. And I always had a beautiful flower garden.”

At her new home, Wanda has a rather small area for planting, but that’s her only complaint.

The Bacons’ family members traveled to Fayette frequently for visits, but it’s a lot more convenient now that they’re all in Bryan. It was especially trying when John or Wanda was ill.

“They’re all glad to see us come over,” Wanda said.


After the death of Vivien Ford, the Bacons’ house became known as the place to go for information about Fayette history. Through eight decades, they’ve witnessed a lot of local events.

The College Street home was built in the 1880s and frequently served as a rooming house for professors and teachers at the Fayette Normal University.

“I could go clear back into the 1930s and tell what used to go on around Fayette,” Wanda said.

The biggest change between then and now can be described in two words: Saturday night. Not only for Fayette, but for all small towns in the area, Saturday night was when the farming families came to town for shopping, visiting and entertainment.

“We used to have a great time on Saturday nights,” Wanda said. “We had four or five restaurants and four groceries and four doctors.”

And hardware, furniture, shoe repair—just about everything was available, but occasional trips out of town were taken, either to Toledo on the Teeter & Wobble railroad or farther northeast into Lenawee County on the New York Central.

“It used to be a real busy time in Fayette,” she said, with a canning factory, a pickle factory, a mill and much more.

She remembers playing near the turntable at the New York Central yard over by the stockyard, and watching Elmer Jeffers operating the Western Union equipment at the depot.

Those were much different times, although Wanda says the town hasn’t really changed that much overall.

And now the Bacons have moved on to Bryan and left their beloved home town behind. Moving day was an upsetting one, Wanda said, but they’re rapidly adjusting.

“It’s quite a change, but we enjoy where we are,” she said.

There’s just one more matter to take of.

“I want to move one little bush,” she said. “It’s a Persian lilac, pretty rare. If I get that, then I’ll be home.”

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