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February 23, 2020

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Ada and ONU have been linked together for 140 years

By David H. Devier

This is the second installment of revealing the history of Ada and ONU through the artifacts that have been passed down family member to family member and estate to collector. 

As was revealed in the earlier piece, these collectables may seem so strange to us today but there was a time when a memento of one’s connection to place and/or alma mater was as normal as taking a selfie with the Ada Village sign today.

The artifacts presented in this offering are three china cups of different shapes and sizes, all with the ONU Administration Building and a china plate with the afore mentioned building and four others. 

These include the Old North Ada High School, ONU’s Dukes Memorial, the First Methodist Church, and the First Presbyterian Church. In the center of the plate it states, “Souvenir of Ada, Ohio."

All four pieces of china were made in Germany and the plate states, “Made in Germany for M. S. King, Ada, Ohio." The story of M. S. King may be presented in a future piece.

The ONU Administration Building is still with us and we know it as Hill Memorial today. You may not know that there was a significant fire in Hill, and it was saved as a shadow of its impressive former style. 

Fire of course also had its way with the First Methodist Church in a recent event that left many heartbroken but also uplifted with the construction of a wonderful replacement. For those of us that have memories of our weddings and children’s christenings, the old church will live on in the form of such glimmers of the past as this plate and of course, wedding pictures.

The photos included show the four pieces and the imprint on the back of the plate. I have many other pieces such as these that I may present in later installments. 

In closing, I welcome comments and questions. You may reach me via email at ddevier@glenoaks.edu.


(Dave Devier, Ph.D., attended ONU and lived in and around the community for 45 years. He taught at Northern for 15 years. Currently, he is President of Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville, Mich. While in the Ada area, he and his wife Patty collected Ada/ONU memorabilia. He will write an occasional column for the Ada Icon describing some of their "finds" that pertain to the town and gown.)