February 2001 News

By Fred Thompson

Heeeere's February.  Hi everyone, and welcome to one of my least favorite months.  Normally February is one of those cold, windy, miserable months that isn't fit for man or beast.  Unfortunately, I see no reason why this year should be any different.  Thank goodness it only has 28 days this year.  I wouldn't want it to last any longer than it has to.  If you really think about it, why would you add an extra day to February?  If you had to add an extra day, why wouldn't you add it to a month like May or June?  A month where you could really get out there and enjoy it.   The only thing about February that gives us any hopes of an early spring is if the Ground Hog sees his shadow on the 2nd.  THE OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC said that the tradition of GROUND HOG DAY was started by the Germans back in 1888.  It was in celebration of the Christian holiday of Candlemas.  While most people today don't take this tradition very serious.  I for one would be more than happy to loan ol' Punxsutawney Phil my Foster Grant sunglasses.  I'll do anything to help speed up the process and get spring here as soon as possible.

"SURGEONS GENERAL WARNING: Horses are expensive, additive and may impair the ability to use common sense." 

  I'm sure glad we had a meeting in January.  Other wise there wouldn't be much to talk about.  The meeting was held on January 14th at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Findlay.  There were 24 member that showed up
for our first meeting of the year.  President Roger Higgins opened the meeting by greeting everyone and thanked everyone for coming.  Roger then asked for a moment of silence in memory of past President Mike
Cook.  While the rest of the members were turned loose to enjoy the snacks and to do some socializing, the directors met in another room to take care of business.  The first thing to be discussed was who would
fill the 2-year term that was left empty because of Mike Cook's death. Gary Gillfillan was asked and he gracefully agreed to fill the vacancy. The next piece of business was to elect the officers for 2001.  After
numerous recounts, two arm wrestling matched and the flipping of a two headed coin.  It was finally decided that Joe Bell would be the next President. We thought it only fair since it was Joe's coin that we used. Roger Higgins accepted the post of Vice-President and Sue Murray, being absent, was railroaded it to the Secretary- Treasure position.  Sorry folks but your stuck with me as reporter for another year.  All joking aside, I would like to thank Joe, Roger and Sue for accepting the responsibility of these offices.  In a time when everyone seems so busy, taking on one more job can be trying.  I would also like to give a big THANK YOU to Roger Higgins for stepping in and taking over the Presidency last year.  Great Job!   Roger reopened the meeting by
announcing the new officer.  He then turned the floor over to Tom Shapler.  Tom went around to various restaurants in Bowling Green to check prices for possible places for this year annual banquet.  Gary Gillfillan check on Henry's in Kenton as another possible location. More discussion will take place at next months meeting.

   Joe Bell brought up the topic of holding a safety clinic again this year.  Safety being the most important part of driving, it was agreed that one should be held.  With the years of driving experience in our club, it was felt that we could put on the clinic ourselves.  It was also agreed that we should hold the clinic in March, before the driving season starts.  This will give some of the new member a chance to ask questions and checking the proper way of hitching before they hit the road.  The big question is where.  Everyone felt it should be held
inside, since March weather is anything but predictable.  If anyone can come up with an indoor arena for this event, bring it up at the next meeting.

   The next item on the agenda was a rundown of our drives for this year.  We have one new drive this year, hosted by Randy and Renee Walker of Swanton and the Shaplers from Whitehouse taking on the Oak Opening drive.  It was also brought up about having an outing in July sometime.  This would be a no horse event to give our equine buddies a break in the hot weather.  Again more discussion at the next meeting. 

There was some good news brought up by the Hunters.  If you were at Cornhuskers last year, you will remember that the sacred Mulligan Stew Pot was missing.  Hunting high and low, it was feared stolen.  After
many months of intense and continual searching, our own super sleuth Sara Hunter finally recovered or should I say uncovered the stew pot. It seems that husband John, fearing for the safety of the pot, hid it.
In fact he hid it so well that he couldn't even find it.  I think we all can be thankful the "Great Mulligan Stew Pot Mystery" is over and we all will be looking forward to seeing this old friend in action at Cornhuskers in October.

   That was about it for this meeting.  As you can tell we have a lot to talk about at our next meeting.  If you have any question or can help out on anything please come to the next meeting.     

 Our February meeting will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church on W. Bigelow in Findlay, Oh.  It will be on Feb.11th between 2pm and 4pm. Directions:  From 224, go west over I-75 to the first light which is Northridge Rd. (Cracker barrel Restaurant is on the corner), turn right and go to the end.  The church will be on your right.  Please bring snacks to share and coffee and punch will be provided

Who's Who in the BSDC: Willis and Annabelle Bible

Hello everyone.  As our story starts, Willis Bible was born and raised on a farm 4 1/2 miles north and west of Montpelier, 0H.  He helped his father farm till he went into the Military on Feb. 1, 1945. Up until that time they did all their farming with horses. That's where Willis learned to drive and care for horses.
   When he came home from the service the farm had an Allis Chalmers WC tractor with steel wheels to do the heavy work.  Willis bought a farm milk route, which he operated for 15 years.   He started farming and
milking in 1949.  On Oct. 15, 1950 Willis married Arlieta Michaels and over the following years their marriage produced a family of six girls and three boys.
  Willis started his own dairy herd and purchased his family farm.  At that time he had a pulling team, but as the dairy herd grew the pulling team had to go. As the children grew up and got involved in 4-H livestock projects and school sports, Willis was there supporting and attending their activities.   Willis never lost hope of having draft horses again. Through the years Arlieta became ill and passed away in May 1977. He continued milking cows and farming for two years and realized he wanted to spend more time with the family.  He sold the dairy herd, farm, and equipment and moved to town.   Willis got a job working for William's
County Landmark Inc. driving the bulk feed truck.  That's when he met Annabelle Schott, who had lost her husband Carmen. Annabelle had three children, two girls and a boy. Willis married Annabelle Oct. 6, 1979.
They lived in Montpelier until Willis' children were out of school. They moved to Annabelle's farm 3 miles south of Edgerton, OH. Willis then purchased a pair of Belgian Draft Horse Mares, Cindy and Mindy.
After having a couple of colts Cindy died of birth complications. Then Willis bought two mares at the Topeka Horse Sale, Dot and Carrie, He later sold Carrie because she couldn't get along. We saw her sold at the
Topeka Horse Sale four times. Dot gave birth to twins, which were sold when they were 2 years olds at the Topeka Horse Sale. As time passed, Willis started showing his horses, including a four-horse hitch, at
County Fairs, and winning many classes.
    We spent five years doing Carriage Rides in Acadia National Park in Maine. John D Rockefeller built the trails in the early 1900's and gave them to the National Park.  This was a great experience. Henry and Becky
zumFelde and some of their family rode the trails with Willis.  People from all over the world rode on in the carriage with Willis.
 After the carriage trails, we sold all the horses except Bill and Prince, who were half brothers, they were out of the first mare we had. Willis has been showing them at local Fairs and Shows, giving hayrides, driving in wedding, family get-together, Grand Openings, hauling Santa to town and doing many parades.
  He was asked to come to Farmers Day at the International Draft Horse Show at East Lansing MI. in 1998.  That year he won the Obstacle course, farm team hitch, Barnyard Horse Pull.  They pulled 9,360 lbs. the full
distance of 27.6 ft.  In 1999 he placed 2nd in all those events and in 2000 he won all 3 events.  This time he pulled 9,9 10 lbs. full distance. Willis loves to drive and compete with his horses.  He has only been beaten in the obstacle course once.  Willis got a job skidding logs with the Pike Lumber Co.  Willis used Bill and Prince to skid 560 logs from one farm.
  We have been members of the Black Swamp Driving Club approx. 10 years.  We have a Surrey with the fringe on top, a hitch wagon, and an old farm wagon with grain box that we make into a covered wagon. We have gone on two covered Wagon drives, in Tennessee and Kentucky. We also have a Bobsled, and a cart to skid logs with, and another cart to pull the manure spreader.  We have a 2-bottom plow and a one-row cultivator to work the garden.
  In the winter we go to Florida to see horse shows and horse pulls. Willis would love to have his horses in Florida but haven't found a place to keep them.  Wish you all a Happy Horseman's New Year 2001.

Willis and Annabelle Bible


February 2     Chayton Newman
February 3     Linda Spears
February 7     Ross Knight
February 8     Ken Davis
February 10   Peter Bisel
Februray 13   Al Hohenbrink
February 14   Jessie Evans
February 21   Jim Ruffing
March 1         Marilyn Rasey
March 2         Janet Burghardt
March 3         Wayne Leightey
March 6         Chester Boice
March 11       Diana Darbyshire
March 13       Sarah Yaney
March 16       Denise Ruffing
March 21       Cam Boice
March 21       Pat Kimura
March 21       Pierce Courchaine
March 22       Nancy Smith
March 22       Sheryl Knight
March 26       Daryl Zehlney

Upcoming Events:

*February 11..    Meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church in Findlay
  February 5-7..   Eastern States Draft Horse Sale at Columbus, Ohio
  Feb 28- Mar 2.. Southern Indiana Spring Draft Horse, Carriage and
                             Machinery Sale
  March 6-9 ...      Draft Horse Sale at Mt. Hope
  March 13-16..    Topeka Draft Horse Sale
  April 5-8...          Equine Affair at Columbus, Ohio
*April 22...           Drive at Swanton hosted by the Walkers
*May 6....             Drive at Spencerville hosted by the Fairchilds
*May 20.....          Drive at Van Buren State Park hosted by the Hohenbrinks
*August 26....       Drive at Sandy Young
*September 9...    Drive at Oak Opening hosted by the Shapler
*October 13-14    Cornhusker at Upper Sandusky hosted by the Hunters

* Denotes a BSDC sponsored event