Editor’s Note: Below is information provided by Jim Hooker and the Payne Sesquicentennial committee about the Grand Marshals that will be both honored and will represent the village of Payne in Saturday’s parade marking the 150th anniversary of the village. The parade begins at 3:30 p.m at the school and community park.

When it comes to selecting this year’s Grand Marshals, it didn’t take long for the Event Committee to come up with these very special individuals. Because we knew the old 1944 Ford Fire Truck that these twelve GM’s rode on in the parade would not handle more than these twelve, we decided that the many others in the Community who could have also been included in this year’s Class ofHonorees will undoubtedly be recognized in the coming 50 years.These individuals have contributed to our community in many different ways throughout the last fifty years plus…so join with me as we reflect on just how they helped make the Payne Community a great place to live and grow…….

In alphabetical order…

Don Benschneider….Brother Mason; long time farmer, business man, Landmark Board Member, Chamber member…served as Mayor in 1970 when our current firehouse was built for the sum total of two, $50,000 payments……

‘Mac’ Brigner… arrived in the Payne area back in 1962 when hired by the ‘elevator’ to truck grain for them. He, now followed by his sons Mike and Chris, and doing business as Brigner Trucking, is perhaps the longest continuously running business in Payne…(along with one of our other GM’s who’ll soon be introduced). ‘Mac’ moved to Payne in 1965, and he is a long time member of the Payne Chamber and has served the Village on its Board of Public Affairs for years.

Gary Cadwallader…is certainly no stranger to the business community, beginning his ‘career’ pumping gas back in 1969 for his father Don at the local Shell Station…then becoming the owner/operater of the Payne Pro Hardware followed by the Blues Boys Pub. Gary was a mover and shaker in the Payne Jaycees and then the Chamber throughout the years.……among other things working with two of our other GM’s who’ll soon be introduced, with making sure the Christmas decorations and flags in the downtown were put up in a timely manner. Gary also served eight years on the Wayne Trace School Board with former Payne Mayor Ted Rosswurm.

Keith Carter….another Brother Mason; long time barber in the Payne Community ….worked with Payne’s long time friendly independent hometown funeral director George Slade, while serving the Payne Fire Department as its Secretary/Treasurer and together helped procure Payne’s first EMS vehicle actually two of them…with the second going to Antwerp. Keith is also remembered by many as the Chairman of the St. Paul UM building committee chairman back in the early 1980’s; Master of Flat Rock Masonic Lodge and 50 years ago was a ‘Brother of the Brush’!!

Ron Etzler …..is certainly no stranger to the inner workings of the Payne Village, having served as the Village’s clerk for 32 years and four years on its Council; has served on the Paulding County Carnegie Library Board and has been a long time member of the Friends of the Payne Branch Library group. He also worked many years for Lutheran Social Services in Ft. Wayne.

Roger Gerber…career long and successful farmer in the Payne Community….member of the Payne Chamber of Commerce serving as its President in 1971…at which time Roger shared his idea of a community park with the other Chamber members and because of his inspiration and dream, and the overwhelming support by the entire Community, the Payne Community Park was established and became the beneficiary of all future fund raisers - including the 1972 Centennial activities.

John Hall….I remember John from over 53 years ago….when John came to Payne and was boarding at Barbara Gunn’s home on West Merrin Street…working at the alfalfa mill, east of the Mercer Landmark grain silos. John has served unselfishly for years on the Payne Fire & EMS Departments and the Board of Public Affairs. Also a very long time Chamber member, John worked with GM Gary Cadwallader and another of our GM’s soon to be announced with the Christmas decorations and flags year after year.

Jim Henriott…will best be remembered for procuring Payne’s current water tower while serving as Mayor. Jim was also responsible for helping the Village’sadministrative offices enter the ‘digital age’……. Along side his wife Ellen, Jim operated the Payne Community’s Food Pantry at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

Bob Lichty….this ‘outdoorsman’ will forever be remembered for his serving as the Community’s long time barber for 65 plus years and counting!! A long time member of the Payne Community and Chamber of Commerce, Bob could always be counted on to support the summer ball programs with team sponsorships, etc. This man always had his finger on the pulse of our Community and could readily bring you up to date on national news and politics. May he forever affectionately be referred to as ‘Butcher Bob’.

Jim Miller… Another brother Mason, long, long time member of the Payne Volunteer Fire Department, having obtained his training under Fire Chief Joe Adamski; Payne Village Council and even the Payne Police Department, who, along with others, served under Chief Henry Hook and Mayor Ted Rosswurm. For years…dating way back in time, Jim always helped with the erecting the Christmas decorations in the downtown area…..riding precariously atop Garry Young’s front end loader as each decoration was placed on the downtown poles.…… and working alongside GM’s Gary Cadwallader and John Hall these last 25 plus years!! But to me, Jim will best be remembered for obtaining his employer’s permission to erect, illuminate and maintain ‘Old Glory’ high atop the grain silos of the former Payne Equity Elevator and now Mercer Landmark.

Dr. Don Snyder..personal family physician to me and many, many others in the Payne Community, began his medical practice in Payne on July 15t, 1959. Practiced medicine for 46 years, grew that practice to include over 9000 families and delivering more than 3,700 babies at the Pauling Co. Hospital…..retiring at the age of 71. During these years, Don served the entire County as its Coroner and Health Commissioner..and also served on the Paulding Co. School Board and a long time Chamber Member. Dr. Don was also very instrumental in creating the Community’s Youth Center known as ‘The Rock’.

Nancy Speice……life long resident of Payne; two term Mayor and now in her third term on the Village’s Council, may best be remembered for procuring the Dollar General Store that we all have come to appreciate very much. And, Nancy, working with Jim and Emily Munger and others, was instrumental in creating Payne’s version of the Fall Festival at the Community Park that ran for 10 years. To many, Nancy will also be remembered as the bus driver that got them to School, safely, day after day.

The 2022 Sesquicentennial Committee asks that you join it in recognizing and thanking these outstanding members of the Community for their commitment and dedication to the success of the Village throughout the years. The Payne Community has been enriched by their selflessness.