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Darrtown's "Army" - circa 1918
RIGHT and BELOW
Cynthia Mee contributed these two photos. When these images were posted (February 2009), we did not have any documented information about this group. However, Cynthia believes that her father, Kirk Mee II, is the fourth boy from the left, with the strap across his chest).
We have deduced that the third boy from the left in the front row is Paul William Weiss, thanks to the discerning eye of Lori (Lindley) Clendinning and the agreement of Bill Weiss, Paul's older son. Unfortunately, all others are unidentified.
Knowing that both Kirk Mee II and Paul Weiss were born in 1911 and guessing that the boys in the photo are about seven or eight years old, the year of the photograph is estimated to be 1918.
The Darrtown Purple Skunks - circa 1951
Ron Wiley provided the following summary of the Darrtown Purple Skunks.
"During World War II the young boys of Darrtown held many paper and scrap drives. We would collect newspapers and scrap metal from residents of the area and, usually using Harry Teckman’s truck, would sell the collected materials in Hamilton. Under the direction and encouragement of Dale Bufler, we held such drives and saved the money to buy uniforms for the Darrtown basketball team. This team was organized by Dale, and was not affiliated with a school. We purchased the uniforms from Clark Sporting Goods in Hamilton. The color was purple. I believe that I was the one who came up with the name "Purple Skunks." We played area teams such as Somerville, McGuffey, and others. The picture of the basketball team was taken in the Darrtown Lutheran church."
1951 Darrtown Purple Skunks
Standing (left to right): Jerry Quick, Roger Wiley, Coach Dale Bufler, Junior Collins, and Bob Young
Seated: (left to right) Paul Jewell, Bob Quick, Ronnie Wiley, Kirk Mee III, and Jimmy Stevens
Webmaster note: Dale Bufler was 22 years old and a senior at Miami University, when he organized the Purple Skunks. Dale recalls that his aunt, Addie Bufler, (who was an accomplished seamstress) cut and sewed the numerals onto the Purple Skunk uniforms. They look rather professional, wouldn't you agree?
Darrtown Purple Skunks Baseball Team
The photo at the left (circa 1951), which was provided by Dale Bufler, shows the following members of the baseball version of the Darrtown "Purple Skunks."
Standing (left to right): Bob Young, John "Junior" Collins, Roger Wiley, Bob Dees, Jerry Quick, and Harlan Miller.
Kneeling (left to right): Bob Quick, Billy Collins, Ronnie Wiley, Kirk Mee III, and Jimmy Stevens.
2009 - Dale Bufler lauded for creating the Darrtown Purple Skunks
Darrtown native, Dale Bufler has achieved much success, in his career as a Butler County public school teacher and administrator. Yet, several Darrtown locals deem his act of creating and coaching the Darrtown Purple Skunks as one of his greatest feats.
To see details, click .
invade the 2015 Darrtown Fall Festival.
During the September 26, 2009 Darrtown "Gathering," Harlan Miller seized the opportunity to publicly acknowledge Dale's impact on Harlan and other young boys from Darrtown. While speaking to those assembled, Harlan turned to Dale Bufler and thanked him for creating and coaching the Darrtown “Purple Skunks.” Harlan described the valuable role that Dale served in the lives of many Darrtown boys. The audience agreed and a round of applause followed Harlan’s tribute.
During another Darrtown "Gathering" (September 10, 2011), with Dale Bufler among those assembled, Kirk Mee III delivered a similar message of pubic recognition. Kirk, who had a successful career as a high school and college athlete and a coach with the Washington Redskins professional football team, spoke passionately about his appreciation for his Butler County and Darrtown roots. While standing before those assembled, Kirk spoke directly to "Coach Bufler," as he expressed heartfelt appreciation for the time and effort that Dale voluntarily invested in creating and coaching the Darrtown Purple Skunks.
History of E-Dot Park and the Darrtown-Collinsville Boosters’ Association
The following information was obtained on December 14, 2012, during an interview of Don Beckett.
Don Beckett, who has owned and operated Don’s Carryout in Darrtown since 1959 and was recognized in 2010 by the Butler County Softball Hall of Honor for his softball playing and coaching achievements, was instrumental in creating E-Dot Park and organizing the Darrtown-Collinsville Boosters’ Association – although, during the interview, Don repeatedly stressed that many others (see names below) contributed significantly to both projects.
In 1973, Don envisioned part of a farm field, on the west edge of Darrtown, as a ball diamond for youth baseball and softball teams. Acting upon his dream, Don and others (see list below) approached Paul Everhart, owner of the property, to ask that he allow the construction of a ball diamond on the site where E-Dot Park is now located. Mr. Everhart agreed and, as often said, the rest is history.
Today (December 2011), as illustrated by the aerial photo (below), E-Dot Park is a five-acre recreational area on the west side of Darrtown's north West Street that includes ball diamonds, basketball and volleyball courts, a sheltered picnic area, outdoor grills, and parking area.
In the early 1970’s, the land that is now known as E-Dot Park was a grain field. The acreage was part of the farm located on the north side of Schollenbarger Road, just west of Darrtown. That farm had been a part of the former Mee estate, which R. Kirk Mee II sold to Mr. Paul Everhart.
Through a combination of volunteer work, donated money and materials, plus a variety of creative fund-raisers, a ball diamond was built and, in the process, the Darrtown-Collinsville Boosters Association was born. Over the next two and a half decades, hundreds of young boys and girls from Darrtown, Collinsville, and surrounding communities participated in organized baseball and softball leagues.
If one had used numerals to describe the first season, which began in 1974, the numbers would have read:
15: The number of teams that played
04: The number of leagues that were established
00: The number of blades of grass in the outfield.
Fortunately, the grass flourished and so did E-Dot park.
The first backstop was constructed from abandoned water pipe and previously-used cyclone fence. The lengths of pipe, found in a nearby farm field on the Everhart property, had been part of a water-supply system once used to convey water to Linn Place, the home of the R. Kirk Mee II family. "Pony Joe” McDade (see Joe's image at Individuals / Page 1) used his ponies to drag the pipe from the nearby farm field to the ball diamond. The cyclone fence was secured from a donor in Middletown, Ohio and transported to Darrtown. The fence-hauling trip involved several volunteers with pick-up trucks and one memorable stop for liquid refreshments on the way back to Darrtown.
While reflecting on the creation of the ball field at E-Dot Park, Don Beckett offered praise and appreciation to many individuals. In particular, Don recognized Vernon Wilhelm, as Vernon’s knowledge and experience with ball diamonds proved invaluable, as the E-Dot ball field took shape. At that time, Vernon was the Maintenance Director of Thompson Park, located south of Darrtown on Hamilton-Richmond Road. Thompson Park was a recreational facility that the Champion Paper and Fiber Company of Hamilton, Ohio provided for its employees. Champion Paper and Fiber employed Vernon Wilhelm to oversee the maintenance of the property, which included several, quality ball diamonds at the Thompson Park.
As the E-Dot Park ball field neared completion, the facility was honored by a visit from Darrtown native son, Walter Alston, manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angles Dodgers (see image at the left).
Ultimately, Mr. Everhart deeded the E-Dot Part to Milford Township, which maintains the property.
During the 25 or more years of operation, fundraisers included booster memberships, dances, and a pig roast. Expenses covered by the association included bats, balls, umpires, and grounds-keeping tools and products.
An alphabetical list of persons who participated in the creation of the E-Dot Park and the Darrtown-Collinsville Boosters Association includes the following: Don Beckett, Henry Bowling, Al Byrd, Ollie Cooper, Joe Davidson, Roy Felty, Jerry Krauth, Bob McClard, Joe McDade, Carl Price, Ken Russell, Bob Young, and Earl Young.
The Don Beckett emphasized that the above list of volunteer workes was created from memory and may not include all who assisted. If you can suggest other names to be added to this list, please contact the Darrtown.com Webmaster.
Webmaster Note: The following news article, about the construction of E-Dot Park, appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, according to a photocopy of the article that Don Beckett contributed to this website in March of 2013. The date of the news article is unknown; however from statements in the article, it seems likely that it was printed in the mid-1970's.
"Little Darrtown Pulls Off Big Act"
Headline of story printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer
"Little Darrtown Pulls Off Big Act
By Lois Brown
If a kid hits a sharp foul over third base at E-dot Park in Darrtown, his ball lands in a cornfield. A strong side-arm serve with a little wind behind it could send a tennis ball dropping over the fence into what was pastureland a year ago. Chickens wander back and forth, across an access road to the recreation area.
But, the "country" atmosphere ends at the fence line, because E-dot Park is a recreation facility to be envied by communities 10 times the size of this small village located five miles east of Oxford. It is a playground for kids and grownups alike, with a wholesome atmosphere only fitting and proper for the town Walter "Smokey" Alston calls home.
Sports columnist, Jim Murray once commented in an article about the Los Angeles Dodgers' manager, that Alston comes from a place where "If the neighbors pull their blinds, there's nothing at all to do on Saturday night," a statement which did not endear him to the 200 or so residents of this quiet, industrious village.
That they are industrious is exemplified by the recreation park that they have constructed at Darrtown's extreme northwest corner. (No problem locating the park. Drive two blocks down North Street until it runs into West Street.) It's a real community thing," said Don Beckett, grocery store owner, school bus driver, and one of the forefathers of the project.
"The old ballpark at the elementary school was just not big enough, so one day, me and a bunch of fellows said, 'Let's get us a park,' and we went out and got started. Then, the whole community just chipped in."
What followed was material to fill a "How-To" manual n the building of a public recreational facility, without benefit of a bond issue, subscription campaign, or even a formal committee meeting. Six people first put their names on the dotted line and leased four acres of land from Paul Everhart, owner of the adjacent E-Dot Stables. then they faced head-on the inevitable number one hurdle: money.
To start with, they joined with the nearby rural community of Collinsville and formed a booster club, a group which presently has around 200 on roll, who each pays for one year's membership. They sold 19 "fence" advertisements for $100 each. They held a raffle. They counted on additional funds coming in through operation of a concession stand, and they organized softball tournaments another fund-raising idea.
"We had cash donations too," Beckett said, citing the Barnitz Bank of Oxford for a particularly significant contribution toward the community project. Other invaluable help came in the form of supplies and use of big equipment enabling dozens of volunteer workers to build the entire facility free of labor costs.
"Blacktop materials were donated for our tennis court, but we did pay the drivers," Beckett said. "Earl Young, a Darrtown resident, came in with his heavy equipment and dragged ground, seeded grass, and loaned his machinery for other jobs. One family gave us an old building, which we moved over here for our concession stand."
"We went clear over to Middletown and scrounged up old pipe and put it together for the backstop and fence posts. Someone donated cement 'seconds' for the grandstands," he added.
A year ago, when the park was dedicated, it consisted of a topnotch ball diamond, tennis court, basketball court, picnic facilities, and playground equipment for younger children. Since then, they have added another diamond for T-ball players; completed a fence around the tennis court; improved the picnic area with a protective roof, and hope to put in horseshoe pits within the near future. This summer, the park will field 10 organized baseball and softball teams for young people.
The total results are an asset to the entire community, but the real beneficiaries are the kids from the rural areas of Darrtown and Collinsville who use the park regularly.
And it all began, according to Beckett, with a bunch of guys saying, "Let's get us a park!"
The following photos show some of the the teams that played on Edot Field.
If you have photos to add to this collection, please use the link in the footer of this page to contact the Darrtown webmaster.
ABOVE: Red's Kittens - 1975
From the Oxford (Ohio) Press - May 22, 1975 - Section One - Page Nine
"Red's Kittens, composed of Darrtown and Collinsville residents will be playing in the women's Thursday night league this summer. Left to right:
Front row: Mary Hansel, Sheryl Smith, Libby Ison, Bev Stephens, Terry Franchina, and Paula Little.
Second row: Linda Byrd, MIchelle Englehart, Theresa Henrich, Ann Garner, Brenda Richardson, and Lori Lindley.
Back row: Kim Hansel, Val Garner, Rhonda Messer, Robin Brooks, and Karen Bauman.
Standing at the rear are coaches Al Byrd and Larry Richardson."
ABOVE: First Citizens Bank Team - 1975
From the Oxford (Ohio) Press - May 22, 1975
"The First Citizens Bank team in the minor league baseball program is made up of Darrtown and Collinsville residents. Left to right:
Front row: Steve Englehart, Tommy Creech, batboy Mark Richardson, Charley Poe, and Dave Clifford.
Middle row: Stan Feck, Gus Weber, Fred Rahmes, Scott Lindley, Jeff Donner, Randy Stedham, and Tom Hicks.
Back row: Steve Collas, Larry Richardson, Peter Englehart, Scott Brooks, and Mike Hicks. In the rear is coach Bob Brooks."
ABOVE: Ozzie's Restaurant Team - 1975
From the Oxford (Ohio) Press - May 22, 1975
"Another Darrtown-Collinsville baseball entry for this season is the Ozzie's Restaurant team. Left to right:
Front row: Mike Timbler, Jim Oetzel, Rod Felte, Mike Lindley, Jeff Shaw, Jimmy Tipton, and Ronnie Tipton.
Back row: Scott Shaw, Tom Hicks, Chris Keller, Scott Cooper, Steve Coombs, Danny Peters, Todd Madden, and Shane Berry.
In the rear are coaches, Carl Coombs and Ray Felte."