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Ceremony honors Smithsburg leaders

April 02, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - In anticipation of Municipal Government Works Week later this month, Smithsburg officials on Tuesday honored town leaders dating back to 1882.

About 30 people attended a ceremony at Town Hall to remember Smithsburg leaders' contributions to the town. Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers - the only female mayor in the town's history - unveiled a plaque engraved with the names of the burgesses and mayors who served the town over the past 121 years.

Smithsburg was incorporated in 1841, but records are not available before 1882.

Town historian Charlie Slick and family members of past town leaders shared stories about former mayors as Town Manager Betsy Martin read the list of names on the plaque.

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Elwood "Woody" Hauver, son of former Mayor Stanley Hauver, remembered getting "drafted" as a child to read the town's water meters. His father was devoted to improving the Smithsburg's water system, Hauver said.

Former Smithsburg police officer Homer Myers remembered Mayors Stanley Hauver and Paul Boswell as hard-working leaders who "made up their own rules." In an act that gained nationwide publicity, Boswell once turned off the water to the Smithsburg post office during a dispute with the postmaster over mail delivery to Town Hall, Woody Hauver recalled.

"He said, 'You don't have any water because I don't have any mail,'" Hauver remembered.

Slick said former Mayor Hoy D. Newman, a personal friend of Henry Ford, made the first phone call when the dial system came to Smithsburg in the early 1950s. Former Mayor Louis Hershberger, whose two daughters attended the ceremony, owned the town's first ice cream fountain. And former Mayor John W. Ferguson, whose descendants were also present Tuesday, was known as the "Boy Mayor of Smithsburg" because he was first elected at age 21, Mildred Myers said.

Martin remembered learning the town office ropes from former Mayor John O'Neal, who bought the town's first computer. O'Neal's son, Doug, thanked Smithsburg officials for remembering the contributions of his father and other past leaders.

Several audience members also thanked Myers for her devotion to the town.

"It's a wonderful job," she said. "It gets tough at times, but there are many rewards."

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