Leesburg Area Historical Society President Kenny Worley announced that as of this week the reconstruction of a Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Fountain is complete other than a few minor touches.
The fountain is located at Leesburg’s train depot, though when it was first constructed in 1929, Dr. Jerry Pausch, who grew up in Leesburg and whose mother was a member of the WCTU, said the fountain was located in a pocket park near the center of town. The original fountain was a tribute to the Highland County Crusaders of 1873, the Leesburg Area Historical Society said.
The Highland County Crusaders were a group of women who went through pre-Prohibition Hillsboro, stopping at saloons to pray for barkeepers and patrons, according to Ohio Memory, a program created by the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio. According to the historical society, the fountain was mistakenly demolished with a nearby building in the 1960s. However, the metal water fountain was saved from the original fountain and is now part of the reconstructed fountain.
The historical society is still seeking donations to help restore the Leesburg train depot. Alice Teeters, the historical society’s secretary, said that the society is still $12,000 away from meeting the $50,000 needed to receive a grant from the government to help with the restoration. The grant would give the historical society an additional $100,000 for the restoration.
To make a donation to help with the train depot restoration, either send a check to the Leesburg Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 63, Leesburg, Ohio 45135 or donate online at gofundme.com/f/leesburgdepot.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.