Hall of Honor
The Hall of Honor Committee recognizes and thanks Scott Everson and The Citizen Bank for being the sole sponsor of the Hall of Honor.
The City of Martins Ferry is establishing a Hall of Honor to acknowledge those citizens whose actions or accomplishments have affected, aided, or brought fame to Martins Ferry. Those eligible for this honor must have been born, lived, or worked in the City of Martins Ferry.
HALL OF HONOR COMMITTEE
John Applegarth; Joseph Bencur; Les Douglas; Frank Fregiato; Warren Hood; Richard Hord; Rev. William Lawrence; Denny Lucas; Don Myers; Yvonne O. Myers; Betty Pokas; Barbara Shrodes; Keith Sommer; Lois Suriano; Tom Thomas; Phil Wallace
ROBERT E. FORSYTHE: Born in Martins Ferry in 1924; 1969 alumnus of the year, Ohio University, 1970, merit award; architect (Pro Football Hall of Fame, MF Public Library, Naples Center for the Arts and much more)
LOUIS GROZA: Born in Martins Ferry in 1924; member 1941 state basketball champs and 1941 state football co-champs, signed with Browns, 8 championship teams, 9 years all pro; “The Toe;” 1974 elected to Football Hall of Fame
WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS: Born in Martins Ferry in 1837; Dean of American Letters; author, editor (Atlantic Monthly), social critic, ambassador; on Bicentennial Plaque in Martins Ferry
JOHN LASLO: Born in 1912; city council for 12 years; mayor from 1959-1983; instituted Model Cities program; 1952, founded Colt league baseball; Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame
EBENEZER MARTIN: Born in Jefferson, Belmont County in 1791; father Absalom was first legal resident of Ohio Territory; operated ferry boat; established Martinsville, Martins Ferry in 1835; incorporated in 1865
HARRY NORTHWOOD: Born in England in 1860; glassworker, etcher; worked for various companies in Wheeling, Bridgeport, and Pennsylvania; opened own plant in Martins Ferry in 1887; started local glass industry known world wide; “Carnival Glass”
ROY RIETHMILLER: Born in Martins Ferry in 1920; artist, painter, educator; taught art for twenty-five years
CHARLES R. SHREVE: Born in Deerfield, Ohio in 1829; educator; first superintendent of Martins Ferry schools from 1859-1888; first graduation class (1869); education for African-Americans
ANNIE TANKS: Born in Punxsutawney in 1912; historian, authority on Martins Ferry history; wrote “A Town of Grandeur,” and “Annie Tanks;” educator, school librarian, sports fan
RICHARD H. WILSON: Born in West Virginia in 1874; bought a practice in Martins Ferry in 1898; horse and buggy doctor; industrial physician; started hospital in 1903, became public in 1908; 60 years of medical service
JAMES A. WRIGHT: Born in Martins Ferry in 1927; taught at the University of Minnesota and Hunter College (NY); books and volumes of poetry; 1972 Pulitzer Prize in Literature; on Bicentennial Plaque in Martins Ferry
ELIZABETH (BETTY) ZANE - Born in Virginia in 1765; family founded Wheeling; daughter Hannah married Ebenezer Martin; second husband Jacob Clarke; moved to Martins Ferry; 1782, heroine of siege of Fort Henry; statue in Walnut Grove Cemetery.
FREDRICK KARL BRUNEY - Graduated from Martins Ferry High School in 1949. Participated in football, basketball, baseball and track. Received All-Ohio Honors in 1948. Was a three-year regular for coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State University where he was OSU's most valuable player on all-big team in 1952. Ranks second in career interceptions for OSU. Played professional football for the Browns, Steelers, Forty-Niners, Rams and Patriots. Coached professionally for the Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Buccaneers and Colts. Participated in the 1981 Super Bowl. Has longest continued tenure in the NFL. Family includes wife Louise and children: Chuck, Susan, Lori, Becky and Richie.
RUTH BRANDT MAGUIRE - Born in 1900 in West Moreland, Pennsylvania. Graduated from Johnston High School and Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital. Came to Martins Ferry in 1923. Served as a nurse, floor supervisor, Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Nursing at the Martins Ferry Hospital, holding the latter position for 45 years. Reorganized the School of Nursing in 1925, which was named for her in 1952. Served in many professional, civic and women's organizations. Retired in 1970 and died in 1986.
ABSALOM MARTIN - Born in New Jersey in 1758. Attended Princeton University. Served as a Captain in the American Revolution. In 1785 & 1786 surveyed the Northwest Territory. Purchased land that is now Martins Ferry, moved there November of 1787, making him the first legal settler in the Ohio Territory. Married Catherine Zane of Wheeling. In 1789, was licensed to operate a ferryboat on the Ohio River. Served as a Justice of the Peace and lead the local militia. Died in 1802. Buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery.
DONALD R. MYERS - Born in 1942. Attended St. Mary's Grade School, graduated from St. John's Central High School. Attended Finley College. Was Director of Development for the Martins Ferry Model Cities Program and Director of Development for Belmont County. Instrumental in acquiring over $500 million in development and improvements, including The Ohio Valley Plaza, Fox Run Hospital, Belmont Correctional Institute, Ohio Coatings, Mayflower Systems and Fox Commercial Park. Member of many civic groups, including the Martins Ferry Rotary Club, boards and councils. Died in 2008. Survived by wife Linda and children Eric and Kelly.
MARGARET S. RIESBECK - Native of Monroe County. Widowed with five children. Opened the first corner grocery store in Woodsfield in 1926. Moved to Martins Ferry in 1928 and opened the first "Riesbeck's" on South Zane Highway in 1932, which was followed by others. In 1936, Riesbeck Food Markets was chartered as an Ohio Corporation. By the 1940's stores opened in Yorkville, Steubenville, Dillonvale, Shadyside, St. Clairsville, Barnesville, Flushing, Smithfield, Bellaire and Mt. Pleasant. Opened first supermarket in 1962. "Grandma" died in 1970, although the corporation continues to grow.
LEROY SEDGWICK - Born in 1844 to George and Hannah Sedgwick. His father was a physician and Baptist Minister in Martins Ferry. Enlisted in the Civil War. Married Sarah Maycox in 1866 and had nine children. Was a storekeeper in Martins Ferry and Sheriff of Belmont County. In March 1891, established the "Evening Times," which would become the "Times Leader." Died in 1942. The Sedgwick homestead was given to the City of Martins Ferry in 1967 for a museum.
REV. FR. CHARLES A. MULHERN - Born in New Jersey in 1861. Came to Martins Ferry in 1898 to serve the St. Mary's Parish. Purchased property for the Parish cemetery. Headed construction of St. Mary's School in 1924. Served as chaplain of the Knights of Columbus from 1901 - 1940. Charter member of the Martins Ferry Hospital Board of Trustees and President of that group for 35 years. Active in the Martins Ferry Fire Department and other civic groups and organizations. Died in 1941 after 43 years of service to the people of Martins Ferry.
WILLIAM AND ANGELA TOLBERT - Natives of Yorkville and graduates of Yorkville High School. Angela was a graduate of The Ohio State University and William served in the Marine Corp during World War II. William operated his first grocery store in Martins Ferry in 1946. The couple was married in 1947. Expanded the business by adding another grocery store and other stores selling toys, children's clothing and women's clothing. Involved in community organizations and activities. The family business continues after 62 years. Angela died in 1994. The family includes children Pamela, Susan, Victoria, Constance and William, Jr.
JOHN VROTSOS - Native of West Virginia. Graduated from Martins Ferry High School in 1946. Was a three-year letterman in football and basketball. Served in the U.S. Army before attending West Liberty State College. Served as Martins Ferry Recreation Department Director and Director of the Martins Ferry Community School Program. Teacher, counselor, administrator and coach for the Martins Ferry School District. Started the MFHS Wrestling program and won 7 OVAC championships. Member of the MFHS Hall of Fame, OVAC Hall of Fame, recipient of OVAC Mr. Mat Award. Died in 2008 and is survived by wife Jackie and children Susan, John and Keith.
HOWARD J. GRAYSON
Born in Martins Ferry in 1913.
Graduated from Martins Ferry High School in 1931.
Worked for half a century as a painting
contractor in the city.
Member of many civic organizations, involved in
numerous civic activities, and served on many city
government boards and commissions.
At the time of his death, he was the oldest
active fireman in Ohio, having been a member of the
Martins Ferry Ladder Company for 70 years.
As a member of the Martins Ferry Rotary Club, he
achieved 55 years of perfect attendance.
Active members of the First Prebyterian Church.
Died in 2006.
Family included Margaret (deceased) and daughter
JAY STOCK –
Native of Dillonvale, Ohio.
Came to Martins Ferry to establish a studio and
Degrees include being a fellow in the British Institute
of Professional Photography, the American Society of
Photographers, the Royal Society of Arts, as well as
being a Master and Photographic Craftsman, Professional
Photographers of America.
Awards include being named a member of the
Photographic Hall of Fame and receiving the American
Society of Professional Photographers International
photographs and photographic studies have been displayed
in major museums and the White House.
He was the first to have his work exhibited in
the United States Capitol Building.
Family includes wife Julia Mae (deceased) and
daughters Georgette, Andrea, and Lorlean.
G. KRONTIRIS, M.D., Ph.D. –
Graduated from Martins Ferry High School as
Valedictorian of the class of 1964. Received a B.S.
Degree in Mathematics at the University of Chicago,
and received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
In 1982, joined the faculty of the Tufts
University School of Medicine.
In 1996, went to work at the City of Hope in
Held several positions there, eventually becoming
Director Emeritus of the Cancer Center in 2008.
Has conducted medical research for forty years
in the molecular mechanisms giving rise to cancer.
He and his colleagues were the first to
identify a gene family activated in human tumors and
conducted the first large genetic studies on the
inherited risk of human cancer.
Has received numerous awards and been named as
a man of distinction by many organizations.
Served on many boards, panels, and groups in
the medical. health, government, education, and
Family includes wife Sue and daughters
Katherine, Elizabeth, and Charlotte.
– Born in Martins Ferry in 1943. Graduated from Martins
Ferry High School where he was a 4-year letterman in
basketball and golf. Graduated from
Ohio State University, where he received a full
scholarship in basketball and golf.
Received a Master’s degree from Rollins College,
where he coached basketball.
He coached basketball at Kent State and became
Head Golf Coach at Ohio State University from1972
through 2009. OSU
won National Championship in 1979.
Was awarded National Coach of the Year twice, won
Big Ten Coach of the Year four times, and inducted into
the OSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was the longest tenured Head Coach in OSU
Coach of United States All-Star Team Overseas.
Family includes wife Tina and five children.
DR. HAROLD MYER
Born in Erie, Pennsylvania in
Graduated from East High in
Erie, in 1929 and attended Ohio University playing two
sports and also attended Edinboro, lettering in
He received a Master’s
Degree from OSU, and a Doctorate from the University of
Lettered in football and
wrestling at Ohio University.
In March 1949 became
Principal of Martins Ferry High School, and became
superintendent July 1, 1950. Served for 12 years on
Eastern Dist. Board of Controls, Associate Commissioner
at OHSAA from 1963-1967 and Commissioner from 1969-1977.
Served in the 7th
fleet in WW II.
Involved with women’s track
and field in 1968 and 1972 Olympics. Family was wife
Sibyl Reese and children Michael, Thomas and Sally Ann.
DAVE ROTH –
Born in Martins Ferry in 1952.
Graduated from Martins Ferry High School and Ohio
University, with an accounting degree.
Became a Certified Public Accountant.
Co-founder of the
Blue & Gray Magazine and the General’s Books with late
Magazine received an award from Southern Heritage from
the Military of the Stars and Bars, and John Newman
Edwards Media Award.
Blue & Gray is distributed in National Park
bookstores at Civil War
Endorsed by Chief Historian Emeritus of the
National Park Service & Pulitzer Prize historian James
McPherson and numerous other scholars, preservationists
and battlefield trampers.
Co-founded Ohio War Roundtable and member of
Motts Military Museum, Ohio Bicentennial Committee and
Ohio Civil War 150 Committee.
Family includes wife Karen, and children Jason,
Jessica and Jennifer.
ROBERT WOOD -
Born in Martins Ferry in 1930,
graduated from Linsly Military Institute.
Continued his college career at Ohio Wesleyan and
received a business degree in 1955.
Served in the Marine Corps. Worked in Chicago for
the B.F. Goodrich Co.
with G & T Industries where he became a partner.
He remains as Chairman Emeritus.
His associations include the American Cancer
Society, President of Michigan Byron Center and he is a
In memory of his mother, he has given generous
scholarships for English and Drama to deserving students
from Martins Ferry High School.
Family includes his late wife Barbara and two
JAMES W. EVERSON
– Born in Martins Ferry in 1939. Graduated from Martins
Ferry High School in 1957. Graduated from Ohio State
University in 1961, with a B.S. degree in Commercial
started work as a teller at Citizens Bank in 1959 and
became Bank President/CEO in 1973.
During his tenure, bank assets increased from 17
million dollars to over 445 million dollars, and he
added 20 bank branches and a banking branch center.
He received many accolades for his community
service for Martins Ferry. He retired in 2004 but still
works for the bank corporation.
Family includes wife Marlene, four children,
Dana, James Jr., Scott, Todd, and 11 grandchildren.
“TONY” SPEAR- Born in
Martins Ferry in 1936.
Attended St. Mary’s school in Martins Ferry and
graduated from St. Johns School in Bellaire in 1954.
Went into the Air Force for four years and then
attended Carnegie Mellon where he earned a BSEE degree
(electrical engineering) and started work at the Jet
He continued his education part-time, earning a
MSEE from USC at LA in 1969 and an ME from UCLA in 1972.
In 1969 designed the Viking Mission Lander and in
2012 worked in World Wide Consulting.
He was a project manager with the Mars Pathfinder
was married and has two daughters, Maria and Kristen,
and four grandchildren.
C. WILLIS BILL TROY –
Born in Martins Ferry in 1931.
He joined the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire
Department in 1956 where his career spanned 41 years in
firefighting, rescue, and emergency medical services
education. In 1970 he joined the Ohio Department of
Education as a specialist in emergency care and rescue
1985 his responsibilities grew to include fire, EMS and
He oversaw the successful transfer of this
section into the Ohio Department of Public Safety in
1991 and coordinated special projects in the
Department’s Division of Emergency Medical Services.
During 26 years of service, he presented hundreds
of instructor training courses in emergency victim care
and rescue instruction to the Ohio State Fire School,
and helped develop the first state emergency medical
services resource manual for disaster incidents.
Family includes wife Ruth Mae, two children,
Bradley, Kathy and two grandchildren.
SIMON BROWN WEST -
Born in Jefferson County in 1812. He graduated from
Medical College in Cincinnati after studying medicine
with his brother Dr. Henry West.
He returned to Martins Ferry where his medical
practice led him up and down the Ohio Valley on
horseback for 50 years.
He was active in community affairs and was very
was always willing to aid in social and material
interest to improve Martins Ferry.
He was Director of the Ohio Nail City Factory.
He married Mary Zane Martin, daughter of the
founder of Martins Ferry, Ebenezer Martin.
They had eight children with only one surviving.
He served in the Civil War as a Union Surgeon and
is buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery.
of the best-selling
Chicken Soup for
the Soul book series.
Holds Guinness Record for most books on
New York Times
bestseller list at one time.
C.B. Messerly, MD –
Founded and served as first chairman of the Martins
Ferry Chapter of the Red Cross.
Community Service includes 18 years as Athletic
Physician for Martins Ferry High School and 25 year
member of the Board of Education.
Calvin & Betty Pokes –Award
Calvin is a member of the Ohio Prep Sportswriters
Hall of Fame and Betty helped to establish Betty Zane
Frontier Days and is Area Editor for the Times Leader
R.A. Raimonde, MD. –
Conducted free clinics to
administer Salk Polio Vaccine in Martins Ferry, Served
as President of the Martins Ferry Hospital Staff and
Belmont County Medical Society.
Ferry policeman known for community service.
Killed in the line of duty in 1928.
Member of the Champion Hose Racing Team of 1895.
May L. Wykle, PhD, RN –First
African American to attend the Ruth Brant School of
Dean of Case Western Reserve School of Nursing.
First Pope Eminent Scholar at the Rosalynn Carter
Institute for Human Development.