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Rossford Record Journal publisher Matt Welch with Jeannine Wilbarger, director of the Rossford Public Library, which has digitized the past 74 years of the newspaper.
Digital version of Record Journal now available on library’s website
By Beth Church
The generosity of a late Rossford man will allow the world to share the history of a hometown he loved.
John A. Kachmarik Jr. passed away in October 2013, and bequeathed a portion of his estate to the Rossford Public Library.
His gift has been used to scan all issues of the weekly newspaper from 1939 to 2013 and make them available in a digital version on the library’s website, www.rossford library.org.
“At the time of his bequest, the library had been researching the possibility of digitizing copies of the Rossford Record Journal so that they would be searchable online and available through the library’s website from anywhere via the Internet,” said Jeannine Wilbarger, director of the library.
This project cost more than $3,000 to complete, but perpetuity on the gift will allow the library to digitize the newspaper annually.
“The actual paper copies are utilized often for historical research, however their condition is beginning to deteriorate due to age,” Mrs. Wilbarger explained.
Publisher Matt Welch of Welch Publishing Co., owner of the newspaper, thanked library officials for the expanded service in memory of Mr. Kachmarik.
“As the Rossford Record Journal celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, we are honored that the library would make this commitment for such a rich source of community history,” he said.
Mr. Welch thanked the newspaper’s many loyal readers and advertisers through 75 years.
“We are proud be a source of reliable information to local readers,” he said. “And now, we are glad to see the Record is accessible around the globe.”
He also noted the unique connections of “past and future, digital and print” that come together in this project.
Mrs. Wilbarger said she also is pleased the bequest could enable the library to provide a service that Mr. Kachmarik would appreciate.
He is remembered in the community as an interesting man who enjoyed a variety of hobbies and life experiences.
He was born September 22, 1941, to Janet (Nycz) and John A. Kachmarik Sr.
Valedictorian of the Rossford High School Class of 1959, he went on to graduate magna cum laude from Valparaiso University and was commissioned as a captain in the U.S. Air Force serving in Vietnam and Turkey.
Mr. Kachmarik lived for many years in California working in advertising and once was a contestant on the TV game show “Jeopardy.”
In retirement, he moved back to Rossford and was a member of the Rossford American Legion and the Rossford Eagles.
Mrs. Wilbarger described him as “a patron who recognized the importance of the Rossford Public Library to the community.”
In the late 1990s, he created paper models of famous landmarks and gave them to the library.
He also offered unique artifacts from his personal collection for display to the public.
“He sincerely appreciated all things historical,” she said, as well as the assistance of local history and reference librarian Anne Bushel, whom he recognized in his will.
To access copies of past issues, visit the library’s website at www.rossford library.org and click on the Local History tab.
Scrolling down to the Rossford Record Journal entry will enable users to search editions of the newspaper, using proper names, locations, obituaries and many other search terms.
Users can view copies of the paper page by page, and even zoom in to print particular articles and photos.
“This is so much friendlier to use than microfilm or the bound copies,” Mrs. Wilbarger added.
The newspaper’s first issue was December 15, 1939–then known as the Rossford Record. Jack Avery served as the editor.
In 1969, Robert and Dorothy Welch acquired the Rossford Record Journal and the Perrysburg Messenger Journal.
Mr. Welch served as editor of the Record and came out with his first publication on January 8, 1970.
The newspaper was located at 229 West Sixth Street, Perrysburg, for many years, until the owners moved it to the former historic Perrysburg Post Office, 117 East Second Street, on January 1, 1993.
The printing plant is located at 215 Osborn Street, Rossford.
The newspaper was renamed the Rossford Record Journal in 1978 to reflect its sister Journal publications, the Perrysburg Messenger Journal and Point and Shoreland Journal.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
Liability for errors and/or omissions in publication of any advertisement by the ROSSFORD RECORD JOURNAL, whether due to negligence or otherwise, is limited to rerunning without charge that portion of the advertisement published incorrectly. In case of error or omission, the publisher will, upon request, furnish the advertiser with a letter stating that such error or omission occurred. The ROSSFORD RECORD JOURNAL will not be responsible for errors or omissions in any advertising beyond the first insertion or for errors in electronically submitted ads. Other than as stated above. The ROSSFORD RECORD JOURNAL assumes no responsibility or liability for any monetary loss or damages resulting from any error or omission. All copy is subject to the approval of the publisher, who reserves the right to reject or cancel any submission at any time. The opinions expressed in paid advertisements and/or letters to the Editor which are published in The ROSSFORD RECORD JOURNAL do not necessarily reflect the opinion or philosophy of The ROSSFORD RECORD JOURNAL.