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

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Mysterious bell found in St. Clair County yard 2012.06.06

Written by David Green.

morenci.bell.no.3What’s the connection between an old bell found in St. Clair County, Mich., and Morenci?

A St. Clair County resident believes the bell once hung in the North Morenci school, but that might not be the case.

Mark Peck, who lives in Columbus Township in St. Clair County, wrote to Morenci mayor Keith Pennington seeking information about a bell and the letter was forwarded to Bill Van Valkenburg, head of the Morenci Education Foundation. The Foundation now owns the North Morenci school house.

“The previous home owners were big antique collectors,” Peck wrote in a letter to Van Valkenburg. “I really have no idea how they got the bell. When they moved they left a lot of antiques behind including the bell. I wanted to know the history behind it.”

Peck said he really enjoys having the bell in his yard, but he also has an interest in returning it to where it belongs—and he thinks that might be the school house.

The inscription on the yoke reads “Morenci Mich No 3.” Peck located a similar bell with the words “Perin & Oaff MFG Co Cin O”, noting the name of the manufacturer from Cincinnati, Ohio. Peck figures this was custom made for use in Morenci and he thinks the No. 3 refers to Fractional #3, the North Morenci school.

It’s a size three bell, Peck said, but he believes the size is imprinted in another portion of the yoke where the number three appears with a circle around it.

Van Valkenburg isn’t yet convinced the bell came from the school house, but he’s seeking more information. When John and Peggy Zachel began a renovation project at the school in 2000, they believed the original bell hung in the belfry.

At this point it’s still a mystery, but it seems obvious that the old bell used to ring out somewhere in the Morenci area.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016