Editor’s note: The city of Marysville will celebrate its 200th birthday on Aug. 10, 2019. In order to help tell the city’s story, we asked local residents of all ages to give us their thoughts on what Marysville means to them. This article is the start of a series we plan to run once a month for the next year and will culminate with a special section we will publish in August 2019, that highlights the 200-year history. If you have pictures or stories you would like to share to be included in this commemorative section please email email@example.com.
One of Marysville’s most seasoned residents has seen a dramatic shift in Marysville’s culture since he’s been here.
Arriving in Marysville in 1965, Le Herron started his life in Marysville as the CEO of O.M. Scott and Sons after the company hired him out of Pennsylvania. He said the company was facing financial trouble, and he felt with the CEO position, like other jobs in his life, “they came after me.”
However, with a population of 5,000 people at the time, fitting in was going to be a difficult task.
“During my first two years at Scotts, I didn’t know if I’d survive,” Herron said. “I was the first outsider in that company.”
His presence as an outsider became painfully obvious when people would see, in the 98 years of the company’s existence, its four presidents were all born and raised in Marysville, “and I didn’t work anywhere else but Scotts.”
As a World War II veteran and a former CEO of American Hardware in Pennsylvania, Herron believed problems were opportunities and sought to fit into the tightly knit community of 1960s Marysville.
He said he didn’t feel welcomed at first, and it took four years before the community began to accept him. He had to prove himself to the community first.
“When I came, people weren’t interested in what I said, and they were interested in waiting and seeing what I was,” Herron said.
Despite the adversity, Herron was a CEO until 1967 and shortly afterward became the company’s president.
Though Marysville is significantly different now than it was 50 years ago, Herron said the identity of the city, the rural, small-town farmer community, still has a heavy influence on what makes Marysville the city it is. He also praised Marysville for its great and unique work ethic.
However, with the population booming to nearly five times what Herron saw when he first moved to Marysville, he said the culture of the city is being lost. He said some people treat the city merely as a suburb of Columbus, as most of them are commuters.
“One thing we take for granted when we continue to grow, I think the concern with that is, if we grow to a point where it would lose its culture,” Herron said. “If it grows, the bedrock of people who make it what it is would become a very small minority.”
Herron said efforts like the Uptown Friday night events and the renovation of the Avalon Theatre will help preserve the small-town identity of Marysville. He also said local businesses play their parts to keep the community close.
“The more you do things to keep people involved and active and doing things here, the better that will protect the city,” Herron said.
Herron retired from being the president of O.M. Scott and Sons in 1983, and he’s spent his time in Marysville since then. In fact, he built one of the first houses in Timber Trails shortly after arriving to town.
Though he has a house in Florida and could go anywhere he wanted, he said he decides to stay here.
“We never once thought about leaving Marysville because we fell in love with it,” Herron said.
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