Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Hebron Crossroads 6-16
By Jeff Gill

Lakewood's girls softball team made us proud with their 24 and 7 run to the state final game. As impressive as their 2nd place finish out of 192 teams was, even more impressive was what principal Dennis Neff noted at the next day's commencement exercises for the LHS Class of 2002: the four senior girls on the team had a combined GPA of 3.675! One of those young women, Abby Daubenmire, was class salutatorian, and spoke at graduation about "stepping out of your comfort zone," and the blessings and rewards that can come from that step, which she's experienced in her own life these last few years.

Kristi Hoskinson, the class president, dedicated the afternoon to "LS Soop" Lou Staffilino, who retires at the end of 2002. She credited Mr. Staffilino with helping keep the class together and on the right track through the transitions from split sessions to a new building. Kimberly Lynn Kirk was class valedictorian, and Alexis Shelley Vance was recognized as Outstanding JVS student this year.

Breaking News, Traffic and Weather, all here on your Hebron Crossroads page!
OK, so this isn't the best place to get current updates, but as this is National Trails Raceway's Pontiac Excitement weekend, you can fairly well assume that the traffic around US 40 and Rt. 37 is heavy (watch for delays!), and that you need to use sunscreen in the direct sunlight alongside the asphalt unless you're in the middle of a thunderstorm. . .which will pass soon anyway, so reapply that sunscreen.

Truly, you do want to avoid going from Luray to Kirkersville by way of the National Road if you at all can help it until next Tuesday. Jim Layton and the gang do an amazing job of keeping the traffic moving into the parking areas and fields north and south of US 40, and the family-friendly atmosphere last year made for an overall calmer atmosphere around the track, but tens of thousands of cars and trucks and trailers can get backed up a bit. Remember, no coolers allowed this year into the track, as security concerns filter right on over into NHRA events, just like at Ohio Stadium.

Many of our Lakewood music and sports support groups will be working the concessions, the ticket-taking, and the parking out at National Trails, as kids and parents try to raise the money for both their activity and, in many cases, to help cover "pay-to-participate."

Licking Baptist Church, nestled in the hills north of Hebron, starts their Vacation Bible School on June 17 at 6 pm, running evenings through June 23. For more info on their programs for pre-school through adults, call 928-3586. A special feature on June 18 will have to be seen to be believed, so just show up and believe it!

Finally, don't forget to watch the sidewalks and crosswalks as you drive; school is out, and the kids are way, way out, and we all need to drive alertly and walk safely. As the saying goes, Hebron doesn't have any kids to spare.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church, and always looks both ways when crossing the street; if you have other summer safety tips, call him at 928-4066 or e-mail disciple@voyager.net.

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Booster cover story -- Grand Homes of Licking County

Just south of Hebron's Main Street, which as the National Road was once known as "America's Main Street," one of the oldest buildings in Licking County graces the corner of 7th and Deacon.

Built around 1826-8, what is still known as "the Madden House" in Hebron once stood downtown, just west of Porter's Barber Shop. After the Ohio and Erie Canal was planned to cross the National Road at the spot we call Hebron, a settlement sprang up. The original purpose of the structure is not known, but by the 1850's it was a dance hall.

From dance hall to preacher's house may be a bit of a leap, but that matches the trip the home made in 1880, when it was about to be torn down to make way for a National Guard armory (later replaced by the interurban power plant). Family and local legend has it that Thomas Madden, with nine children already born to him and his wife Nancy Virginia and four more yet to come, was walking by when he saw a cluster of men from the Lyons family discussing what to do with their property. Hearing that the house had to be moved or torn down right away, he walked up to them and said, "If I can have that house for what I've got in my pockets right now, I'll take it off your hands." The deal was closed with a handshake then and there, but the story closes by pointing out that while he got a house for $25 that way, it cost him $40 to move the house with a team of horses and a rope winch.

The Maddens had three sons and six daughters who survived infancy, and two of those daughters who never married, Letha and May, stayed in the Madden House the rest of their lives, and are buried across from Thomas and Nancy in the village cemetery. Charlie and Marian McDaniels, the owners, bought this beautiful home from other Madden relatives who lived briefly in it after the sisters' passing.

As active members of the Hebron Historical Society, the McDaniels have graciously shared their home with many different visitors, including long-lost Madden relatives passing through, village residents, and the historical society Christmas dinners. Charlie and Marian are still thankful for a decision made by Letha and May long before the McDaniels' moved to Hebron from Whitehall.

"Somebody offered them hundreds of dollars for that curved, cherry stair-railing, but they said 'No,' their father helped make it and it stays with the house," tells Charlie, "and since Marian had always wanted a house with a winding staircase, that just clinched the deal." Along with the warm, rich tones of the cherry bannister is the soft glow that only comes from hundreds of years of children's hands polishing the wood to a luminous smoothness.

Thomas Madden came to Hebron after the Civil War, where he rose almost immediately to the rank of sergeant in the 178th O.V.I.; his leadership skills also showed in how he helped organize a church right after he got to town in 1867. The fellowship he led often called lay preachers without formal education "Deacon," and while he went on to make ministry his full-time profession, and was one of the first "settled" pastors of both Hebron Christian Church and later Central Christian Church in Newark, the title "Deacon" Madden seems to have stuck, staying with us as the name of the street adjoining the Madden House.

Education has long been part of the vocation for both the Madden House and its residents; Letha and May frequently boarded teachers who worked at the Hebron School just west of them, and many of the Madden children and their spouses went into education . . . those that didn't go into the ministry, that is, and even some of those were involved in the early Sunday School movement, and one son-in-law, O.G. White, who married Lena, was an early state offical with the Disciples of Christ out of his work at West Virginia University.

Don't think for a moment that this home hasn't stories to tell beside hymn-singing and teacher's teas! Even beyond the dance hall days of Hebron's wilder past, one of Marian's prize possessions is a picture of Clara Madden, looking very prim and formal in a vast, sweeping bonnet, with an accompanying letter from Florence, the youngest surviving Madden. The letter asserts that, with her brother Arthur, Clara climbed the 150 foot tall smokestack of the old Hebron Power Plant, placing her high above the spot where the Madden House once stood. It was as if Clara and Florence wanted to tell a later generation, such as our own, that they knew how to cut up and have a good time even if their dad was a preacher!

Clara and Arthur, the smokestack and the Maddens are all gone from here, but the home they made and the influence they had in their church and community is still quite visible in Hebron. You can drive by 7th and Deacon and salute a living monument, still serving as a house and a home just as Tom and Nancy and the kids would have liked best.

And of an evening, if you squint just right at the sky behind Hayman's Dairy Bar, you might just see a blossom of crinolines perched near the top of a shadowy cylinder of brick, gazing out proudly across the rooftops of Hebron long ago.