LISBON, Ohio – The Columbiana County Historical Association and the Columbiana County Agricultural Society selected three individuals to induct in the Columbiana County Agricultural Hall of Fame: Palmer Freshley, Russell Lippincott and Clifford Shaw.
The individuals are being honored for their contributions in one or more segments of agriculture.
The enshrinees’ families will be honored during the Columbiana County Fair in ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 1 in the new Commercial Building. At that time, framed biographical sketches of each Hall of Famer will be unveiled.
The hall of fame enshrined its first class in 2000. All awards are presented posthumously.
Palmer W. Freshley
Palmer W. Freshley was a prominent dairy farmer, businessman and school teacher in Knox Township near Homeworth. He attended Mount Union College and Ohio Northern University (then known as Ada College), returning to Columbiana County to teach school for five years. He later operated a general store in Homeworth, and worked as an assessor and township clerk. He also owned a livery stable in Homeworth and, until he sold his dairy farm at age 69, he was a well-respected horse trainer and trader.
In the early 1900s, milk from the Freshley Jersey herd was bottled and delivered daily to customers. And for a short time, he used the milk and cream to make ice cream, which was also marketed locally.
A talented musician, he learned to play violin at age 11 and, as an adult, he and his children formed an orchestra that was in great demand.
Never one to slow down, at 70, Freshley attended training at The Ohio State University to become an official milk tester with the Columbiana-Mahoning Dairy Herd Improvement Association. He traveled throughout the two counties testing milk, sometimes staying overnight to test the morning milk, as well. Even after he could no longer drive, he continued testing. Family members would drop him off at a farm and sometimes the host farmers would take him to his next assignment. He retired from milk testing in 1961, at age 85.
W. Russell Lippincott
Russell Lippincott achieved more in 45 short years than many men do living twice as long. An innovative livestock and crop farmer in West Township, he pioneered many soil conservation practices on his farm, plowing his hillside fields in the method that later became known as strip, or contour, farming. Working with longtime county extension agent Floyd Lower, Lippincott offered his farm as a demonstration farm, hosting numerous tours. He became a charter member of the Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District board of supervisors and served as its chairman.
He was one of the first to realize the prosperity and health of the farm community and the nation depends directly on the fertility of the soil. His leadership and ability to inspire others influenced conservation practices on thousands of acres for years to come.
Always willing to try something new, he took his wagon to Lisbon and hauled home fertilizer when most people wouldn’t consider using it. He even tried growing peanuts and sorghum. His crops were the feed for his flock of laying hens and his dairy herd.
Because his farm management yielded such success, Lippincott bought two adjacent farms and converted both to contour farming, one with the contours uniquely laid out in complete circles. Nearly all of his original contours remain today.
In addition to other community events and activities, Lippincott was a dedicated member of the Bayard Grange.
Clifford F. Shaw
Clifford Shaw spent his entire adult life advancing farming, forestry and natural resources projects in Columbiana County. He operated a 240-acre dairy and crop farm in Center Township, and maintained an Oliver equipment dealership from 1945 to 1970. For 10 years, Shaw served the county’s farmers as executive director of the USDA’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, now known as the Farm Service Agency. Prior to that, he served as community committeeman and then ASCS county committeeman from 1942 to 1963, serving as chairman from 1952 until 1963.
Shaw implemented many soil conservation practices on his farm and hosted several field day demonstrations.
Shaw committed many hours to community service, and was a 65-year member and past master of the Lisbon Grange, a 7th degree member of the National Grange and was a member and past president of the Lisbon Ruritan Club. He also served as Center Township trustee and was an active member and leader in the Trinity United Presbyterian Church and Mount Zion Lutheran Church.