by Polly Horn
Based on the format used by her father for his weekly column in The Sunbury News titled "Around the Community," Horn has produced a Powerpoint of photos as a backdrop for the history of the buildings around the square. Using the highwheeler Bill Whitney used as his logo, Polly and later her brothers rode it in parades around the square advertising the column.
Horn has spent most of her life in the community leaving to get a college education at Lake Forest College north of Chicago and then to Cleveland as a social worker in the Hough slums during the early days of the racial riots. She married Jack Brehm and moved to Delaware where she worked for the American Red Cross and Scioto Village School for girls and still had time to help her husband and family with The Sunbury News. In Delaware Jack and Polly spent evenings and weekends renovating a four family apartment house on William Street as an investment for their children's education.
Having lived in one of the richest communities and one of the
poorest, Polly was happy when they purchased the old Willison home
on Letts Avenue which brought her back to Sunbury only a few blocks
from her childhood home. While the house was condemned at the
time of purchase, the Brehms began a ten year renovation to make a
very comfortable home for their three children.
During this time Harold McMilllan bought the Hopkins House and
donated it to the Community Library in memory of his wife Mapledell.
It was to be used as part of a new library and a local history
The Hopkins House was no longer close to the Community Library so
the Board of Trustees wanted to sell it. When the only
buyers were hoping to open B & Bs, it became apparent the building
might be lost for lack of funds. Some of the Library Board
members and Horn rallied the community to form the Big Walnut Area
Historical Society and take over the renovation o the building.
To schedule a Program, call 740-965-1154
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