McArthur Civic Club, circa 1930s (Arcadia Publishing)
McArthur Civic Club, circa 1930s (photo: Arcadia Publishing)

Q&A with Deanna Tribe, Author of “Vinton County”

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Deanna Tribe of McArthur is the author of Vinton County, printed by Arcadia Publishing as part of its Images in America book series.

The book features 128 pages of photographs and stories of Vinton County history, with many photos submitted by residents or provided by the county’s Historical and Genealogical Society.

The book was released on May 4 and is available for sale online and in various businesses around the county.

How did this project start?

I was aware of these (Arcadia) books. My husband did one on Meigs County, and knowing it’s the 200th anniversary of McArthur it’s a perfect time for Vinton County to have one.

What other history books on Vinton County have there been?

There’s the Lew Ogan book (History of Vinton County, Ohio, written in the 1950s), the Louise Ogan Biggs book (A Brief History of Vinton County, written in 1950), the Hixon book where families submitted their own history and the Bay book, written about the Bay family and their section of the county. They’ve been mostly out of print.

What is the framework behind this book?

When I talked to Arcadia, they told me I had to write a proposal. They are interested in sales to know where the book can be sold, especially within the geographic area the book is featuring. The market to sell in McArthur is kind of small, and then I thought, what was going to happen to the rest of the county?

Any really obscure finds?

There is a photo of Ethel Cox, who had the Economy Store in McArthur. It was where Salyer and Griffith’s Law Office is now. It was just a place that kids would go because it had all of these jars full of penny candy. I didn’t have a picture of Ethel Cox’s store that I could find, so I tried to find a picture of her. Finally a lady that volunteers at the historical society had this in her personal collection. She actually operated the store for 50 years. She was active in the community, she was active in the McArthur Alumni Association. For people of my age range and a little older than I, around here, Ethel Cox brings back memories.

What are you hoping will come from this book?

What I think this book might do is it will cause people to think, “Jeez, I’ve got pictures that should’ve been in there.” When we’re talking historic photos, some people think, “Gee, you must mean 1850 or 1815 photos,” and we’re not talking that. We’re talking, you know, yesterday is going to be history in the future…it’s important to have some sort of record of photos and details while it is still fresh in peoples’ minds.

Anything planned for the next few weeks?

The first book signing is going to be during the Wild Turkey Festival. We’re having an open house at the village hall. With the historical society, we’re working with the bicentennial committee (that I’m a part of, too) to do an open house on that Friday and Saturday. The books will eventually be all over town.