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July 4, 2020

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The Flag Staff from 1914 Ohio Northern Cadets.

(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.)

By David Devier

This is the next installment in the history of Ada and Ohio Northern University shown through memorabilia and artifacts. This find came from the many pieces that were in the American Legion Hall when it closed its Main Street Post. 

This Flag Staff was given to the Ohio Northern University Cadets by S. A. Hoskins in 1914.  I have found that he was a 1911 graduate of ONU and a law graduate of the Cincinnati College of Law. It appears that he was a delegate to the Ohio Constitution convention in 1911. He represented Auglaize County. 

Of most interest is that he was the Chair of the ONU Board of Trustees for ten years. He also ran for Secretary of State in 1909.

The staff is in great shape and is almost ten feet long. As you can see from the photos, the staff is made in two pieces that screw together in the middle. The manufacturer of the staff is The M. C. Lilly Co., Columbus, OH. 

The following is a brief exert from a historic description of the company.

“From modest beginnings in 1864, the M. C. Lilley & Company eventually became world renownedas manufacturers of regalia.The company was founded by four leading citizens of Columbus, Ohio all veterans ofthe Civil War. The Lilley Company produced swords, banners, flags, emblems and uniforms for fraternal societies and organizations such as the Masons, OddFellows, and the Knights of Pythias, as well as police and military uniforms.”

The staff has a crest on the top made of brass and the protective finial on the bottom is also made of brass. The engraving on the brass plaque reads,

Presented by

S A Hoskins


Corps of Cadets

ONU 1914

We can only assume today that Mr. Hoskins from his position of leadership on the ONU Board of Trustees and State gave the staff to the ONU cadets to use with their training and ceremonies.

I plan to give this to ONU in the future along with many other items I have related to the university’s long history.