History of South Vienna

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The Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America were organized in South Vienna about 1947 as Troop 19.  Dr. E. H. Long was the one person probably most instrumental in making this happen.  John R. Garringer was the first scoutmaster, and the troop meetings were held upstairs in the K of P Hall.  The troop was disbanded about 1950, because of the inability to find new leadership following the resignation of the scoutmaster. The scouts were reorganized in 1956 as Troop 6,and the first scoutmaster of this troop was William C. Nestlerote.  The troop was sponsored by the United Church of South Vienna and meetings were held in the basement of the church.  This sponsorship continued until the church united with the South Vienna United Church of Christ, then the sponsorship continued by the new United Church of South Vienna.  This occurred in 1971, and the troop continued to meet in the Methodist building until the United Church constructed a new building in 1991.  Then, the meetings were moved to the new building.  Two members of the church who were longtime members of the scout committee and active in many of the troop activities were Steve Earley and Ralph Phares. Scoutmasters from Mr. Nestlerote until the present time are James H. Murray, Lee W. Chaney, Eugene C. Shook, Gilmer E. Smith, Ron E. Shoemaker, Charles L. Mathews, David A. Price, R. Michael Phares, Phyllis Stewart, Floyd “Bud” Loeffler, and Richard “Ric” Conard.


     The scoutmaster with the longest term of service was Gilmer Smith.  He was “Mr. Boy Scout” in South Vienna for many years.  He was an active adult scouter for 32 years, and served not only as scoutmaster, but also, for a few years, as cubmaster.  He was presented with the prestigious Silver Beaver Award for his many years of service to the Boy Scouts of America, both locally and with the Lagonda District.  The troop periodically attended summer camp at Camp Birch during the 1950’s and 60’s, then during the mid to late 1970’s had summer encampments at Lake Milakokia in Michigan and at Norris Lake in Tennessee.  These trips were taken every other year, and during the other years the troop attended Camp Birch for their summer encampment.  In 1976, Ron Shoemaker served as an assistant scoutmaster for a provisional troop from Tecumseh Council for a backpacking trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, near Cimmaron, New Mexico.  Scouts who made the trip were Rollie Shoemaker, Kenny Shoemaker, and Roger Wilson.  To date, these are the only scouts from troop 6 to attend this high adventure camp, although “Bud” Loeffler attended an adult training session there in 2005. In 1977, the same group who took the trip to Philmont in 1976, plus Mark Wertz were part of a provisional troop from Tecumseh Council that attended the National Scout Jamboree, held at Morraine State Park, Pennsylvania.  These are also the only scouts from Troop 6 to attend a National Jamboree. Since that time, Troop 6 has gone on many exciting camping excursions, including going to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania, Allegheny River canoe trips in Pennsylvania, New River White Water rafting in West Virginia, Appalachian Trail Hiking, and a trip to the National Scout Museum, with stops along the way at Fort Knox and the General Patton Museum.  There has also been the annual summer camp program, usually at Camp Birch, along with yearly spring and fall camporees and Klondike derbies, yearly merit badge trail drives at Clark State, and dozens of hiking, backpacking, canoeing, bicycling, camping, orienteering, and wilderness survival outings.  The troop also attended the “100 Years of Flight” celebration, held on the runway behind the Air Force Museum.  This was attended by over 8,000 cubs, scouts, and leaders from our tri-state area. Eagle Scouts from Troop 6 include Gilmer Smith, Jr, in 1963; Rolland E. Shoemaker in 1977;  Andrew G. Howell and Kenneth E. Shoemaker in 1981;  Andrew L. Turner and Matthew E. Turner in 1985;  Blake Andrews in 2000;  Matt Farren in 2001;  James Mount in 2004; Michael Farren in 2005;Michael McFall and Joseph Webber in 2006;  Boris Hinderer and Cody McFall in 2008;  Benjamin Justice and Larry Mullins in 2009;  Robert Elder in 2010; and Keegan Justice in 2012.


     The Cub Scouts were probably organized about the same time the Boy Scouts were, about 1947.  Max Stites was the first Cubmaster.  During the 1970’s Gilmer Smith spent several years as Cubmaster, as well as Scoutmaster.  He was followed by Chuck Mathews, who held the position for several years.



     The Girl Scouts were organized about the same time as the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.  Dr. and Mrs. E. H. Long were instrumental in this.  The first leaders were Alice Donkin and Nancy Shook.

Back Row L to R: Bill Stoll, Don Woodland, Bob
Baird, Tom Zettler, Mike Phares, Ron Shoemaker:
Front Row L to R: Rick Brown, Dave Shuey. Tim
Wilson, Wayne Wickline.


 The South Vienna Kiwanis Club was organized Oct. 26, 1966 as the South Charleston Kiwanis Club.  There were thirty-one original members when charter night was held at Southeastern High School on Dec. 3, 1966.  The charter officers were Bill Foster, President; George Dallas, 1st Vice President;  John Garringer, 2nd Vice President; George Ingling, Treasurer; and Bill Swan, Secretary.  The members of the charter Board of Directors were Glen Swan, Jr., Dean Ottoson, Wayne Tipton, Ron Shoemaker, Robert Tehan, Dan Shaw, and Wayne Culbertson.  LeRoy Bishop was the Lt. Governor of Division 3. The other charter members were Virgil Akers, Jr., Dominic Brue, Janson G. Buchert, Walter B. Custer, John F. Dyer, Gordon Flax, Kenneth D. Graves, Robert Ingling, Paul Jackson, Thomas Junk, Richard Kitchen, Marvin Miller, Robert Rhodes, Paul Robe, Roger Runyan, William Stoll, John R. Sullivan, Robert Tindall, and Charles Wright. Of the charter members, 24 were from the South Charleston area and 7 were from the South Vienna area. 


     The meetings were held on Tuesday evenings at the Locust Hills Golf Club.  The meals were catered by Colvin’s, from Springfield.  They catered the Springfield club at noon , and the South Charleston club frequently dined on leftovers. Other meeting places have been the Plattsburg United Church of Christ, also catered by Colvin’s; Blue Point Restaurant, in South Charleston; a restaurant across from the Clark County fairgrounds; Silver Swan Restaurant, at the corner of Rt. 40 and Bird Road;  Meadows Restaurant, on Rt. 40 E.;  and at the Harmony Township building, where the meals were catered by Patty Comer, of Springfield, then later by Shoemaker’s IGA, in South Vienna. Sometime during the 1970’s the meeting night was changed to Monday to accommodate the majority of the members. The name of the club was finally changed to the South Vienna Kiwanis Club in the 1980’s when the membership had changed to the point that virtually all of the members were from the South Vienna area. The first and longest running fundraiser was making and selling fruit baskets.  This was started in 1967, and the members of the club, and their families, constructed the baskets at Locust Hills.  They were later made at Hollandia Gardens and Crawford’s Campground, before moving to Northeastern High School.  During the 1990’s, construction of the baskets was taken over by the Northeastern Student Government as a fund-raising project, but the Kiwanis Club still did the selling and paid the students so much for each basket made.  This project continued as long as the club was in existence.


     A Saturday night beef dinner at the Corn Festival was another fund-raiser that the club used for several years, until the South Vienna school declined to let anyone use their kitchen during  the festival. Service projects that the club was involved with over the years include Senior Achievement Awards.  These were originally given to students from Northeastern and Southeastern High Schools planning to attend Clark Technical College.  Three were given to students from each school each year.  This was finally changed to include students planning to pursue any post-high school training, and then was limited to just students of Northeastern High School, because of a lack of members from the South Charleston area. Other projects included Lifeline Christian Mission, HOBY (Hugh O’Brien), Christmas gifts to needy families, Odyssey of the Mind at South Vienna School, South Vienna Science Fair, Springfield Arts Festival, South Vienna Baseball Assn., Muscular Dystrophy, Clark County Special Wish, Junior Fair livestock purchases, Clark County college night, Clark County cross-country meet, Special Olympics, Washington D. C. Presidential Classroom, M.A.D.D., and Canine Companions.


     There were two Lieutenant Governors from the  club, R. Tim Wilson in 1997-98, and David Shuey later. The club celebrated its 25th anniversary on Dec. 11, 1991, with a ladies night at the Red Brick Tavern, at Lafayette.  There were 27 members at that time, and the officers were Ron Shoemaker, President; Larry Shaffer, Vice President; and Bill Stoll, Secretary-Treasurer.  The Lieutenant-Governor was David Mathias.  There were five charter members present.  They included guests Robert Tehan and Gordon Flax, and members George Ingling, Ron Shoemaker, and Bill Stoll. The other club members at this time were John L. Agle, Robert  Berkshire, Darell Knick, Rodger Martin, Ralph Newman, W. Edward Rice, Mike Scholl, Larry Spahr, Don Titus, Wayne Wickline, R. Tim Wilson, Dwight Zeman, Paul Aukeman, Albert Crider, Edwin Kranz, Robert Mount, Dallas Paul, Doug Runyan, Don Smith, Rick Troxell, Timothy A. Wilson, and Don Woodland. In 1998, Bill Stoll and Ron Shoemaker were presented the Tablet of Honor for their many years of service to the club and its projects. The only members of the club to experience the excitement of attending the International Convention have been Tim and Patia Wilson, along with Ron & Carolyn Shoemaker and Jim & Sharon Perks, when Tim was Lieutenant Governor elect in 1997.  They all attended the convention in Nashville.  Tim & Patia and Ron & Carolyn also attended the next year in Montreal when Tim was Lieutenant Governor.  They also attended the conventions held in San Antonio, New Orleans, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Hawaii, amd Montreal again.  Al & Marge Crider also attended in Hawaii and David Shuey attended when he was Lieutenant Governor.

     The club was disbanded in June of 2009 because a lack of membership left the club unable to carry out the activities and projects the members felt were necessary.