2019 Saginaw County Hall of Fame

Inductees Honored at Special Dinner on October 22nd

Posted In:   From Issue 886   By: Robert E Martin

10th October, 2019     0

The Board of Directors of the Saginaw County Hall of Fame have announced the results of this year’s election and will be honoring these individuals with an induction ceremony at The Saginaw Club on the evenings of October 22nd, with cash bar at 5:30 PM, dinner at 6:00 PM, and program starting at 7:00 PM.

The 2019 inductees consist of the following notable movers and shakers that have contributed profoundly to furthering and advancing Saginaw’s cultural climate:

Clarence Harnden & Moxie Mulrooney

Joint managers of the Saginaw County Fair these two individuals brought the Fair to a new level, resulting in its being recognized in 1965 as ‘Michigan’s Outstanding Fair’.  Under their leadership, the Fair gained the reputation as the ‘Largest County Fair in America, East of the Rockies.’

Clarence exhibited in the very first 1914 Fair and subsequent ones. He lived across from the fair, worked as a truck & nursery stock farmer, and served as Floriculture Department Superintendent from 1934 to 1939. In 1940 he was elected Manager-Executive Secretary of The Saginaw Fair.

Moxie had two years of college, taught one-room schools in Hemlock & Bridgeport, married, raised her own and an adopted daughter, became a foster mother for many disadvantaged youth, and served 30 years as a 4-H Club leader beginning in 1930. 

In 1944 Clarence & Moxie co-authored the current 4-H Club Association’s Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, and Constitution, and the 4-H Memorial Building built on the fairgrounds.

Clarence kept the Fair going during challenging times in World War II and worked with Sam Levy Theatrical Co. of Chicago to bring BIG names to the grandstand. These outstanding attractions were normally brought only to larger cities and attendance increased yearly to almost 500,000 by 1968.

The Fair was awarded the Reid Memorial Trophy in 1965 as ‘Michigan’s Outstanding Fair’. And the Clarence Harnden Memorial Plaque was established after his death and awarded two plaques for commercial & competitive exhibits for all fairs 1973 through 2001. Both individuals were recognized nationally and internationally for their outstanding leadership and expertise.

Arthur C. Newmann. 

The founding father of Trout Unlimited, Neumann served as its first vice president and full-time executive director and is nationally recognized as a conservationist.

When Trout Unlimited was founded on the banks of the AuSable River in 1959, Art was the first national vice president and after taking a 2-year leave of absence from Eaton Manufacturing, became its full time national director. He traveled throughout the United States promoting the TU mission to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s cold water fisheries and their watersheds.

As Dr Bryan Burroughs, current executive director of Michigan TU states: “It was Art Neumann’s singular vision and evangelical zeal that provided the spark necessary to galvanize the membership and overcome obstacles as they popped up. During Arts two plus years as executive director he propelled the organization to national prominence by doubling the size through the addition of 30 chapters.” 

Today, there are over 300,000 members in 400 chapters from Maine to California and Alaska.

What Art did was build an institution that began with him and a handful of people along the banks of the Au Sable River who were tired of the state’s masking habitat degradation through stocking fish. Trout Unlimited blossomed from a ‘Michigan idea’ to a national leader in aquatic conservation. He was a gift to clean water, fish, and fishermen far beyond Michigan.

Peters Oppermann  

This noted businessman was a founder of Pit & Balcony Community Theatre and also served as president of The Saginaw Symphony and a director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Oppermann was a totally untrained, but totally accomplished pianist. He taught himself how to play even though he couldn’t read music and his knowledge of music was evidenced by his roles as President of the Saginaw Symphony and on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Association.

His business career began when he became a founding partner in Radio Center in 1930, a retail outlet located near the current YMCA. As a leading supplier of radios, eventually television sets, high-fidelity sound systems, and phonograph records, Pat played an unsung role in exposing Saginaw youngsters and their parents to music, from classical to jazz.

Indeed, one of my youngest memories was visiting Radio Center with my father back in the early 1960s when my parents were buying a new high-fi system; and my father would also take me shopping with him for new records by Doris Day or Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald at their thoroughly stocked record bins. It was also one of those rare stores where buyers could listen to the records in small booths before buying them.

He was also one of the founders of Pit & Balcony and had a role in its first production.

Jack Tucker

A reporter and photographer for The Saginaw News for 66 years, Tucker is noted for his deep interest in local history, widely known for his Tom McDonald articles that ran for almost two decades, totaling over 900.

For almost two decades, the Sunday issue of the News featured the highly popular Tom McDonald articles, Tucker was also the principal researcher for the News 2000 publication, Reflections: A Pictorial History of Saginaw County.

Tucker graduated from Arthur Hill High School in 1931 and after work at a drugstore, was hired by The Saginaw news in April, 1937. He worked as a photographer until 1941 when he answered the call and enlisted in the Army’s Officer Candidate School. He went on to serve in 161st Signal Photo Co, 21st Field Battalion, in the South Pacific during World War II. During the war he married and was discharged in 1945 and returned to the News.

Tucker was chief photographer until 1952, then picture editor. He later served at the area desk, coordinating news coverage outside Saginaw County and then as business editor and outdoor editor. He also served as ‘Tracker Jack’, posting his daily Saginaw Harness Raceway predictions in the Sports Section.

The menu for this induction dinner will consist of three entrees: Chicken Parmesan, Rainbow Trout, and Braised Tri-Tips. Cost is $25.00. Checks to the following address with menu selection indicated is appreciated and should be sent to Irene Hensginer, 320 Ardussi St., Saginaw, Mi. 48602.

 

 

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