Sunday, February 8, 2004

Arthur Milner wrote laws, taught school


Great-grandfather was 101

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEESBURG - Arthur H. Milner, former Ohio legislator, retired educator and farmer, died Feb. 2 at his home in Leesburg, Ohio. He was 101.

He was born in Unita, Tenn., but his family moved to Leesburg shortly after his birth in 1902. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Wilmington College.

He married music teacher Helen Pettyjohn in 1934. During his career, he served as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent. He and his wife taught in every school in Highland County, as well as in schools in Ross, Fayette and Clinton counties.

"He did so much but did it quietly," said one of his daughters, Virginia Milner Purdy of Leesburg. "The thing he was most proud of was, he brought a four-year high school to the small town of Samantha, in Penn Township School in the 1930s. Samantha is now part of Fairfield Schools (Highland County)."

Mr. Milner participated in state and local government. He helped organize the Highland County Fair and was its first president in 1947.

From 1950-58, he served in the Ohio House of Representatives. As vice chairman of the education committee, he helped establish the Ohio State Board of Education and helped write legislation to make it an elected board.

In 1960, he was appointed to the new Ohio Exposition Commission (The Ohio State Fair Board) and served as commissioner from 1960-74.

"I rarely ran into Art that he didn't say to me, 'Have you done anything good for Highland County today?' " said Rich Graves, Highland County Commissioner and a friend of Mr. Milner.

Mr. Milner continued the family's dairy business. He showed dairy cattle and hogs at fairs.

He received awards and recognition from several organizations, including the Lions Club, Masons, Eastern Star and Scottish Rite. He served as the first president of the Highland Co. Retired Teachers and was a member of Farm Bureau. He taught Sunday school at Leesburg Friends Church and was the First Master of the former Leesburg Grange.

He was preceded in death by his wife in 1989, and by four brothers, Alfred, Clyde, Howard and Charles Milner.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Arthur N. of Alexandria, Va; another daughter, Marcia Ann Johnson of Westerville, Ohio; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Memorials: Leesburg Friends Church, 149 South Street, Leesburg OH 45135 or charity of donor's choice.

E-mail kandrew@enquirer.com




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