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Bluffton's brush with history

By Fred. Steiner

A Bluffton News item from Oct. 29, 1896, states that J.S. Jennings of Armorsville received a letter from his cousin, William Jennings Bryan, Democratic candidate for president.

Point of interest: Armorsville no longer exists. At one time it was located on the County Line Road between Bluffton and Ada.

The interesting connection between this Bluffton area resident and a famous politician put us on a search of other residents with similar brushes with history.

Here’s what we found, each printed in the Bluffton News:

Oct. 31, 1907 - George Lewis returned Monday from Washington where he attended the postmaster’s convention. Of course, George shook hands with Teddy Roosevelt.

July 29, 1920 - Many local Republicans journeyed to Marion Thursday to see Senator Warren G. Harding accept the nomination for the presidency.

Making the trip were M.M. Murray, John Rogers, Roy Rogers, J.A. Thompson, Fred Tripplehorn, Edgar Jackson, Lloyd Murray, Hod Murray, George Lewis, A.C. LaPort, Dr. and Mrs. R.E. Hughson, Robert Hughson and Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Hauenstein.

March 4, 1937 - Captain Rene R. Studler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Studler of South Jackson Street, was recently presented to King George of England, at a reception held at St. James Palace in London.


Captain Studler is assistant military attaché at London. He was presented with members of the diplomatic circle.

Other members of the Royal Family present were the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, the Marquess of Carisbrooke and the Lord Louis Mountbatten.

March 16, 1950 - A former Bluffton woman, the only one who appears in “Who’s Who,” celebrated her 87th birthday anniversary last Thursday. She is Dr. Helen Barnes, now of Findlay. She was a member of the Bluffton High School’s first graduating class in 1881. 

She is beyond a doubt, Bluffton’s most traveled woman, having crossed the Atlantic by boat 13 times three times around the world during her years as international secretary of the Y. W. C. A.

Her acquaintances extended to noted world figures, including the former Queen Mary of England, the three Chinese Soong sisters, when they were students at Southern Methodist College at Macon, Georgia, one of whom later became Madam Chiang Kai Shek, wife of the Chinese generalissimo and nationalist leader.

Read about more Bluffton residents who met world leaders at