Student essay contest winners chosen

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A World War I ace, an historic school building and the first pastor to the Ironton City Mission were the topics chosen as winners in this year’s Lawrence County Historical Society essay contest.

Taking the top prize was Savannah Martin of Symmes Valley Elementary. She wrote about her great-great grandfather, Raymond Lightner. Lightner became the mission’s first pastor after its formation in 1944 by C.E. Murphy, Carl DeWitz and Catherine Grant. It was located in a former saloon at the corner of Third and Lawrence streets.

“I picked him because I thought he did a good thing starting the Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners,” Savannah said. “I am really happy he is my relative. I like writing and I thought it would be fun to write something about my family.”

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This is the third year for the essay contest and is open to all fourth-graders in the county.

“It is just to introduce history to the children,” Kay Rader of the historical society, said. “It is important for everybody to know because it is fun to know.”

The museum received 90 entries for the contest this year, the most participants so far. Some of the children learned about their topic through class work, while others did research on the Internet and in libraries.

“I could tell the children had really listened,” Rader said. “There was a lot of detail in their work.”

Second place went to Katie Deeds, a student at Dawson-Bryant Elementary, who wrote about the Monitor School in Coal Grove. The now abandoned structure was built in 1905 and named for the Monitor pig iron furnace. Katie’s grandmother taught at the school until it closed in 1996. Katie would like to see the community come together and restore the structure.

World War I fighter pilot Col. William Lambert was the topic that Trenton Williams of Rock Hill Elementary chose. Trenton wrote about Lambert’s modesty about his war record as well as his work as a civilian.

The first-place winner received $50, second $25 and third $10. Savannah’s teacher is Abby Fowler. Katie’s teacher is Lori Deer and Trenton’s is Connie Evans.

(Students’ essays will be published in The Tribune’s Thanksgiving edition.)