Two Generations Ago: September 1967

Editor’s note: The primary source for these monthly articles is the old Beavercreek News, a weekly then daily forerunner of the News-Current. It was run by Chris & Ruth Mitsoff, later edited by their son, and sadly finally sold … with the complete archival hardcopies donated by Ruth to the Historical Society.

Suburban road names have sure changed in fifty years. The original road-namers apparently weren’t very imaginative; they just connected two places, like New Germany-Trebein, Bellbrook-Fairfield, Dayton-Xenia, Alpha-Bellbrook, etc. Some of these places don’t even exist today (e.g., Fairfield combined with Osborn to create Fairborn), and it’s ironic that although they crisscross Beavercreek none mention this city that now outdoes them all.

In September 1967 Ohio Bell extended “local calling privileges” for seven Dayton suburbs, including Beavercreek. (Telephone service is a major changer in two generations; some of us remember princess phones, collect calls, calling cards loaded with minutes, long distance areas that weren’t very long distances at all …) No smart phones here.

And local sports commentator Lefty McFaden called Pete Rose “obnoxious” in his popular newspaper column Southpaw Slants. (Well, he is, isn’t he?)

Dunnigan Hardware (now there’s another iconic Beavercreek name: Paul Dunnigan was later to become the city’s first elected mayor.) Anyway, Dunnigan Hardware, now Barney’s True Value, advertised your choice of a refrigerator or range for $199.90.

And Beavercreek’s own Pamela Robinson won Miss Ohio 1967! She had previously won Ohio’s Junior Miss in 1963, after a local Junior Miss pageant sponsored and run by the Beavercreek Jaycees. Bringing it forward, the “Junior Miss Pageant” is now called the more-correct “Distinguished Young Women Program.”

The 1967 Beavercreek News reported that Pam “anticipates thousands of dollars for expenses and wardrobes and other expenses preparing for the National,” including “six daytime ensembles and three evening gowns.” No mention of bathing suits. Maybe we’ll see if people stepped up next month.

8000 Beavercreek kids started skool on September 11th (a date that had not yet achieved its infamy.) Bringing it forward, I at first found it strange that enrollment is only about 7800 now, fifty years and (I believe) two schools and some expansion later. However, two generations ago the schools were very overcrowded, with very large classes and classes in trailers and even off-campus facilities. But why is enrollment lower now with all our new residential development? I dunno … maybe people have fewer kids now. Ideas?

Oh yes, in that first football game of the season against Troy, the Beavers trounced ‘em.

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By David A. Shumway

David A. Shumway is a resident and guest columnist for the Beavercreek Historical Society.