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January 21, 2019

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Historical Bluffton

A 1986 Bluffton parade MC

It was a sunny afternoon in July, 1986. Jim Ehrman, former Bluffton school superintendent, is the parade master of ceremonies during the Bluffton 125th anniversary celebration. He's on the review stand in front of the Presbyterian Church. (Dick Boehr photo)

Bluffton's first school buses

Did you ever wonder when Bluffton first provided school buses to rural students? The answer is here.

In the 1930-31 school year two vehicles were put in service. Later in the year another joined the fleet. Two additional buses were added in 1931-32. Here are the first five school buses taken during the 1933-34 school year.

Drivers standing beside their buses from left, Francis Basinger, Jerome Herr, Jesse Yoakam, Robert Amstutz, Chris Gratz and Richard Bixel (absent).

Early Main Street bridge

Here are two photos of a Main Street bridge over Riley Creek - earlier than the present bridge in that location. Both photos are in the book "The Bluffton We Never Knew."

Bluffton pioneer photographer Will Triplett took the two photos in 1895 at the opening of this bridge crossing the Riley on Main Street. A note written on the envelope holding the negative reads “Bridge on Indian Trail.” This confirms the story that Main Street was originally a trail created by Native Americans.

Wayne County Club at Bluffton College 1926

Here's a photograph of Bluffton College students from Wayne County during the 1925-26 school year.

According to the college yearbook, the Ista, Wayne County represented the second large number of students by county who attended Bluffton that year. Allen County had the most studnts.

Like today, the club carried familiar Wayne County names including Badertscher, Smucker, Hostettler, Amstutz, Gerber and Miller.

Names of the students are under the photo.

After 1906, but no motor vehicles

Here's a photo from "The Bluffton We Never Knew." It shows Main Street from the town hall clock tower. Visible are four church steeples, trolley rails on the center of Main Street, hitching posts for horses and awnings on store fronts. This photo was taken sometime between 1906 and 1915. The photo is among 170 photos in the Bluffton photo history book.

Copies are avialable for $19.95 plus tax at the following businesses:
• Bluffton Senior Citizens Center
• Twisted Whisk Cafe
• The Food Store
• Book ReViews
• Bluffton University bookstore

1899-1900 school year - Miss Benroth is the teacher

This is one of over a dozen class photos in "The Bluffton We Never Knew," photo history book now available in several downtown Bluffton businesses.

It's a Bluffton elementary class picture from the 1899-1900 school year taken by Will Triplett. It's Bluffton B Primary No. 2. The teacher is Miss Benroth.

Although the students are not identified, it is very probable that these students could be in the graduating class of 1910.