2016-06-29 / Sesquicentennial Edition

First Park In Archbold Unpopular; Ruihley Promotes Second Attempt

Council records of May 5, 1882, authorized issuance of bonds in the sum of $425 to purchase land for park purposes.

A 2 1/2-acre tract was secured from Peter Nofziger Jr., at the west end of Park Street, west of where the Templo Cristiano Church now stands.

In July that same year, John R. Hoffmire, mayor, appointed three trustees to supervise the affairs of the park and in 1884, it was enclosed with a fence.

Because of a lack of interest in the park, it was sold back to Nofziger in October 1900.

For many years, the land was used as a circus grounds; old-timers often talk about the big circus that pitched there in about 1910. It had cages of tigers, lions, and other animals in its menagerie, as well as performing elephants.

Buy Land For Park

August Ruihley, mayor, in his annual message to council in January 1922, urgently appealed for a park and outlined plans for consummation of a project.

On March 1, 1922, council authorized the purchase of 13 1/2 acres in two adjacent tracts at the west end of Williams Street and north of West Holland Street for park purposes.

Eight acres were purchased from Rudolph Seifert and 5 1/2 acres from John Diehlman. The area was enclosed with fences, the land being used for general farming.

Raises Cash Fund

Ora E. Lauber, who had been active in civic affairs for years, volunteered to secure cash donations to buy shrubs and trees for the park. He was successful in raising $1,250.

W.P. Germain, Toledo, who had planned many parks in that city, was asked to draw plans.

He laid out the drive, suggested placing the ornamental shrubs and trees, made plans for buildings and playgrounds, and his ideas were followed.

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