Grove, Baumbaughs honored

October 18, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - John L. Grove, called "arguably the most influential person who has ever lived in Franklin County," was honored with the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce's first lifetime achievement award.

Grove received the honor at the Chamber's annual banquet earlier this month.

At the same time the Chamber presented its annual James P. Oliver Citizenship Award to Wayne and Sharon Baumbaugh, owners of the Echo Pilot, Greencastle's weekly newspaper.

In 1947 Grove, his brother, Dwight, and Wayne A. Nicarry founded what today is Grove Worldwide in Shady Grove, Pa., a world-class manufacturer of truck-mounted and mobile cranes and aerial work platforms.


The company sold its first crane in 1952. Today, Grove products are sold in 50 countries. At one time it was Franklin County's largest employer.

Grove sold the company in 1966. Manitowoc Inc. of Wisconsin bought Grove Worldwide this year.

In 1970 Grove co-founded JLG Industries Inc., in McConnellsburg, Pa. JLGmanufacturers aerial work platforms.

He co-founded Falling Spring Corp., which operates five hotels in Franklin and Washington counties, according to a news release prepared by the Chamber of Commerce.

On the philanthropic side, Grove created the Greencastle-Antrim Foundation, an endowment fund which operates the John L. Grove Medical Center in Greencastle. He was also the leading benefactor of the John L. Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa., the release said.

"No one has contributed more to Franklin County," said L. Michael Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Authority.

"In my opinion he is arguably the most influential person who has ever lived in Franklin County," Ross said. "No one has contributed more to the county. His company created thousands of jobs and his philanthropy is unmatched."

Dana Given, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber decided to create the lifetime achievement award in honor of Grove's accomplishments and philanthropic works.

"He had never been recognized for his contributions," Given said. "This community would not be what it is today without him. This award is a one-time thing."

The James P. Oliver Citizenship Award, named after the late James P. Oliver, a well-respected local businessman, was created in 1992, Given said. It is awarded each year to someone who exemplifies Oliver's community spirit and dedication and who demonstrates entrepreneurial qualities and volunteer work, she said.

The Baumbaughs bought the newspaper nearly 20 years ago and have expanded it over the years, the news release said.

Wayne Baumbaugh has worked on the paper since high school. He is a founding member of the Greencastle Exchange Club and a past president of the Chamber. He coached local youth baseball teams for 16 years.

Sharon Baumbaugh is a member of the local Lioness Club, Junior Women's Club, the Allison-Antrim Museum Board of Directors, the American Business Women's Association and is a past president of the Rotary Club.

Wayne Baumbaugh served on the First National Bank Board of Associates at the same time his wife served on the Citizens Bank Board of Associates, the release said.

The couple has also been involved over the years with the band boosters, PTA, Old Home Week and the VFW.

The Baumbaughs have two daughters, TJ and Traci.

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