Parade of Progress

The Bellevue Gazette describes the scene: “Moving through a lane of thousands in the business district, the ‘Parade of Progress,’ a couple of miles in length and with several thousand persons including school children in line, was one of the most pretentious which had been seen locally in many years.

Led by the Bellevue High School band, itself one of the educational innovations, the city and nearby township schools were given prominent place in the parade with their pupils marching or riding in the buses while a series of floats depicted the modern methods and curriculums in contrast with the ‘country school-master’ and the education practice in vogue during the days of the ‘little red school house’ of many years ago.

Included in the school floats was one showing scenes from manual training and commercial departments of Central High School and a York Township float portraying the enlarged modernized courses which are offered the pupils in rural schools.

Next in line was the Bellevue Fire Department with two ‘hand pumpers,’ one of which was used in 1851 and the other of the 1856 vintage. Included in the exhibit was a ‘steamer’ borrowed from the Sandusky department and the modern, motorized equipment with which the firefighters fought blazes at that time.

The steamer was somewhat a replica of the one which served Bellevue ‘faithfully and well’ during many years and which was brought into play on a number of occasions even after its retirement. Fire Chief Van Barklow said the ‘old steamer’ of the local department was last used when fires swept the Wright block (now Croghan Colonial block) and the Mutual Aid hall (now American Legion Post) in 1918.

Al Young, then owner of Young Funeral Home, rode on a high-wheeled hearse of 50 years ago (1882) that was actually used by his grandfather. The hearse was drawn by a pair of sturdy horses. The vehicle bore a coffin that was 40 years old, while Undertaker Young rode atop with one of the stove pipe hats which were in style in yesteryear.

Other organizations in the parade included:

Flat Rock Orphan Home (band and children), Thompson Township Schools, Lyme Township Schools, Order Railway Conductors, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers; Gia to B. of L.E., Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, Nickel Plate Veterans, Dodge automobiles (old and new), Ford automobiles, York Grange, Kiwanis Club (Vocational Guidance float);

Buick automobiles, Cecile Beauty Shop, Chrysler-Plymouth automobiles, Atherton Funeral (invalid car and funeral equipment), Chevrolet automobiles, Ohio Cultivator (agricultural implements, old and new), Bellevue Implement Co., American Red Cross, Gust Erf and Son Implements, Zehner Packing Co., Pure Ice Cream and Dairy Co., Klein Steel Co.;

Standard Oil Co. (whose exhibit included a horse-drawn tank-wagon of the type which ‘made the rounds’ of Bellevue residences to supply the need for coal oil before the advent of gas and electricity for illuminating purposes, as well as one of their modern motor truck tanks), The City Ice and Fuel Co. (with an exhibit of clear ice and modern refrigerators);

The Ruppert Garage (with what has become a necessary adjunct to modern traffic – a wrecking truck), Bellevue Manufacturing Co. (whose float illustrated the ‘old and new way’ of transporting luggage), and Pennzoil Oil Co.

But, a none-the-less ironical touch was given the ‘parade’ when a Greyhound bus passing through the city pulled up at the rear of the procession – harkening back to the Greyhound bus-Lakeshore Electric crash that claimed 19 lives Jan. 22, 1929 at the Monroeville Road crossing.”