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Director's Column

PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.

Mayor Miller's Scrapbooks

By Alan Hall, Director, PLSJ
Publish Date - Sunday, March 13, 2005

The second volume of the Mayor Miller scrapbooks has been completed and is now in the Local History Collection of the library.

Andrew W. Miller was the mayor of the City of Steubenville in 1962-63, and again from 1966-71.  During his term of office, he maintained scrapbooks of the activities of the city and community.

Today, forty years later, that information is valuable local history, which the library is restoring into bound volumes in the library collection. The second volume covers 1966-67, and provides interesting information on that era in area history.

His new term began with an 18-inch snowfall on January 24, 1966.  City officials reported that the biggest problem was cars parked on narrow streets hindering the operation of snowplows. 

By the end of January, the John F. Kennedy Apartment Building began taking tenants. Plans for the Earl Rogers Plaza Apartment Complex were approved on February 1, 1966 with the relocation of 156 families and 11 individuals from the site on S. 6th and S. 5th Streets.

Highway construction was a big story in 1966.  The "High Street Thoroughfare" commonly known was State Route 7, had opened in 1962 thru Steubenville. ODOT began a study of the four-year old highway to determine what improvements could be made to the dangerous intersections with Washington Street and Stony Hollow Blvd. Plans for the new Washington Street hill and railroad underpass were underway in 1966, with controversy regarding how to connect Market Street to the "new way up the hill."

The Pennsylvania Railroad announced that its train, "The Spirit of St. Louis," would be discontinued on April 24, 1966.  The Interstate Commerce Commission ordered the train to continue with its stop in Steubenville. Passenger train service continued through Steubenville until 1970, when Penn Central ended the service.

The City purchased the H.C. Cook Property next to the City Building in June 1966, and constructed the city parking lot in 1967 after buildings were cleared from the site. A new City-County Building was proposed by Mayor Miller in August 1966 to be constructed on the new city property and the city annex building.  Nothing further developed on the project.

Plans for a new U.S. Route 250 were reviewed as part of a 1966 Transportation Study.  One route has the highway going down the Short Creek Valley from Cadiz to Rayland.  The second route connects Cadiz to I-70 at St. Clairsville.

Contracts for the West End Sewer Project, one of the largest projects in city history, were signed in August 1967.  The new sewers would serve 1,000 homes in the West End of the city.

The Steubenville Holiday Inn opened in January 1967 on Stony Hollow Blvd. (now University Blvd.)   The owner-developer was Hy Sachs of Springfield, Ohio. The County Infirmary is being prepared for demolition in 1967, to make way for the new Jefferson County Technical Institute, today's Jefferson Community College.

Former Steubenville mayor Lon Ralston visited the city to attend a family reunion.  Mr. Ralston, a resident of California at the time of his visit, was elected to Steubenville City Council in 1909, becoming Mayor in 1915.

The Fort Steuben Bridge closed on September 28, 1967 after highway officials found a hole in the bridge floor.  The span was closed for about a month for repairs, during which time all traffic used the Market Street Bridge, causing horrible traffic jams. Highway officials promised to "speed up" the construction plans for a new bridge, which had been planned in 1961.  It actually took another 23 years for a new bridge to open.

Mayor Miller probably did not realize the importance that his scrapbooks would have in the long-term history of the area.