Columbiana County names trio to Agricultural Hall of Fame

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LISBON, Ohio – Three individuals will be inducted into the Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame on opening day of the Columbiana County Fair.
The contributions of Nathan Cope of Fairfield Township, J. Twing Brooks of Salem, and John S. Morris of Elkrun Township will be recognized in ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. July 31 in the new Arts and Crafts Building next to the fair office.
The enshrinees’ families will also be honored and framed biographical sketches of each individual will be unveiled.
The hall of fame enshrined its first class in 2000. All awards are presented posthumously.
Previous inductees include:

2006: Clifford F. Shaw
Palmer W. Freshley
W. Russell Lippincott

2005: Emmet Baer
Leonard Lowmiller
George Wilson

2004: James T. Darling
Willis J. Zimmerman
Rowena Whinery Zimmerman
Charles F. Mindling
J. Paul Wilms

2003: John Jacob Bowman
R. Dale Miller
Kenneth D. Eells
J. Herbert Thompson
Samuel Tritten

2002: Edwin H. King
Ralph Papania
George F. Copeland
Frank G. Bowman
Ralph J. Schneider

2001: Elden R. Groves
Edmond F. Lippincott
C.T. Shreve
Clifford L. Israel
Joshua Brantingham

2000: Floyd Lower
Willis Whinnery
Harvey S. Firestone
Oliver Sidwell
Willis Rupert
Bartley Aegerter
Hiram Bell
Peter Y. Brown
Dan J. Simmons
Fred Schoeni Sr.

JOSHUA TWING BROOKS
1840-1901

J. Twing Brooks is known to some as a founder and early president of the Farmers National Bank. To others, he’s known as an Ohio senator (1865-1868). And to still others, he’s known as the counsel and second vice president for the Pennsylvania Railroad. But within agricultural circles, he’s known for his love of the Jersey cow and as founder of the Andalusia Dairy in 1897.
In addition to his business interests, Brooks developed a herd of prize Jersey cattle and needed an outlet for his milk. He and four others – George Campbell, Ashbel Carey, Charles T. Brooks and Prentice A. Stratton – incorporated their creamery at Brooks’ farm on the Albany Road (Youngstown-Salem Road).
Like many dairies of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Andalusia Dairy bottled its own milk. An early customer was the Pennsylvania Railroad, because of Brooks’ business connections. When trains stopped in Salem, Pullman cars were supplied with milk, cream and butter for their diners. At one time, Andalusia Dairy also made home deliveries seven days a week. Because it could not keep up with demand, the dairy also bought milk from other local dairy farms. It moved into Salem to the northeast corner of Franklin and Ellsworth avenues in 1907. Andalusia Dairy was one of Salem’s longest-lasting dairies, serving residents until the early 1960s.
A man with numerous community and business contributions, Brooks is also known as the developer of eight downtown Salem buildings and as a founder of Salem’s Grandview Cemetery.

NATHAN COPE
1817-1877

A few years after John Chapman moved across the Midwest planting apple trees, one of Columbiana County’s own planted the region’s first commercial apple orchard.
Nathan Cope farmed in Fairfield Township between New Waterford and Middleton in an area that is now Crestview Road. That 90-acre orchard planted about 1840 became the seed of an industry that was to flourish in both Columbiana and Mahoning counties. Together, the two counties became the most important apple-producing area in the state.
On the forefront of commercial, large-scale apple production, Cope shipped his apples to Pittsburgh, and east from there, on the newly built Pennsylvania Railroad. To better house his crop and extend his marketing season, he built the first fruit storage in this part of the country and obtained a patent on his invention, “Improvement in Fruit Houses,” in 1869. Harnessing a principle still used today, Cope provided for the entry of cool, outside air into the storage house through openings around the walls at floor level. People traveled hundreds of miles to visit Cope’s orchard and see the fruit storage house.
Of special note, Cope’s brother, Joseph, was another early grower who also obtained a patent in 1872 on a similar storage unit.
Nathan Cope and his wife, Jane Hole, had 10 children. He is buried in the Quaker cemetery on Kirk Road.

JOHN S. MORRIS
1891-1953

The entire nation, including the farm community, reeled after the stock market crash of 1929. Here in Columbiana County, John S. Morris was having problems selling his own farm products. He wondered whether selling at auction could help him and other farmers get a fair price. In 1930, he attended the Decatur School of Auctioneering in Indiana and returned home to start a small auction Monday mornings at his farm. The idea caught on and the auction became a strong agricultural marketing option for the region.
The business grew and by 1940, Morrisville Livestock Auction on state Route 154 east of Lisbon drew hundreds of people buying, selling and trading livestock and farm products. The Monday payroll grew to 25 to 30 people.
After World War II, the auction continued to flourish and it is estimated that between 200 and 900 animals passed through the auction ring each week. The produce side of the auction was also busy, with some 500 to 800 lots sold each week.
Morris conducted individual farm auctions from 1932 to 1953, and also sold at the Damascus and Scio livestock auctions. He was well known for his honesty and integrity and became one of the most sought-after auctioneers in the tri-state area.
Morris was active in his church and other community groups. He received the Columbiana County Granger of the Year award in 1947-48, and the Columbiana County Board of Commissioners’ Community Service Award in 1950-51.
He died on Labor Day evening in 1953, after a full day of auctioneering, his passion.

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