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.

Still a nation of Smiths 11.21

Written by David Green.

What’s the most popular last name in the Morenci area?

Using the telephone book as a guide, Smith is tops with nearly twice as many families as the next challenger, the Williams families.

That makes sense. According to the U.S. name count released last week by the Census Bureau, Smith is still the most popular surname in America.

Morenci falls a little short on Johnson, the second most popular name in the country, but Williams comes in third nationwide, just as it did 10 years earlier in the 1990 census.

There aren’t many changes at all in the top seven names, but after that the Wilsons, the Andersons and the Taylors move aside for the growing number of Hispanic names making their way into the top 10.

Garcia moved up 10 places to number eight and Rodriguez jumped 13 places to number nine. Martinez moves from number 19 to the 11th spot and Hernandez rises from 29 to 15. Lopez and Gonzales aren’t far behind.

An article in the New York Times points out that the number of Hispanics living in the United States grew by 58 percent in the 1990s. By the time of the 2000 census, 13 percent of the population claimed Hispanic ancestry.

That influx hasn’t yet caught up in Morenci.

The city does have a lot of Clarks—25th most popular nationwide—and also a lot  of Blakers and Bortons, but those two names don’t even make the list of the top 5,000 names.

Sallows doesn’t make the list, either, but Davis remains strong as the seventh most popular, Wilson holds on to the 10th spot and Taylor stands at number 13.

Morenci has several Valentines—834th and falling, stuck now between Arroyo and Meza—and a few families of Sutherland—1,128th, just ahead of Fink.

Equally popular here is Jarrell—2,504th, ahead of Certa and Ellsworth—and Ries—4,658th, right behind Peeples.

Reading down the list of the most popular, every name might sound familiar around here until you reach number 57 where Nguyen now stands. The southeast Asia name jumped up 172 places since 1990.

A few of the other rising names that haven’t reached this area include Patel (172nd), Chen (260th), Wong (182) and Maldonado (316).

The 2000 U.S. Census led to a list of about six million surnames. Despite the diversity of nomenclature, a fourth of the population shares only 275 names. There are about 2.4 million Smiths—still number one despite a decline of a million compared to 1984 Social Security Administration data—and there are 1.8 million Johnsons.

On the other hand, four million names are used by only one person each.

• To check out your name on the New York Times interactive chart, visit the Observer’s website (http://statelineobserver.com) and type “census” into the search bar. The post titled “A Nation of Smiths” includes the link to the Times article.

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