• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

Do you need a smoke alarm in your home? The Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross is partnering with Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift, emergency service agencies in Woodford County (county fire department, ambulance service and emergency management; and the Midway and Versailles fire departments) and other community partners to install smoke alarms where needed in Midway and the county. Midway residents can sign up in advance by contacting Jerald Wash at 873-5829 to have a volunteer team from the Red Cross to come to your home. The installation date is Saturday, Sept. 10. They will start installing at 10 a.m. and finish up around 3 p.m. Statistics show that home fires are responsible for seven deaths a day, not including the injuries cause by fires or pet population deaths. Installing these smoke alarms cuts the risk of these deaths and injuries. So take advantage of this program and call the number above to sign up for this free installation. ••• This announcement is for all you golfers. A group of adults from the Midway community have organized the 2016 Locally Grown Youth Golf Scramble. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 2016-2017 Locally Grown Youth Program. The Locally grown Youth Program is a new cooperative youth ministry for sixth graders to seniors in high school from Midway and the surrounding areas regardless of church affiliation. This program began this summer with strong community support and is looking into the future with fundraising opportunities. If you like to play golf and would like to support this youth program, mark your calendars for Sept. 9. The scramble will begin at 1 p.m. at the Moss Hill Golf Course in Woodford County, 3495 McCowans Ferry Road. Teams are already being formed and are registered. So get your golfing buddies together and form up a team of your own. Register online at www.locallygrownmidway.com/support. Registration forms and sponsorship forms can be down loaded from the website and sent by mail. ••• As you probably have already heard, it looks like Midway is going to get its first big business in its history. Lakeshore Learning Materials is planning to provide 262 jobs, with that amount increasing to 400 jobs on a seasonal basis. The company, which is an educational products company, plans to build a distribution center in the heart of the industrial zone of Midway Station. It seems there are a few things to work out before it is a done deal but there doesn’t seem to be any deal-breakers in the works. The Lakeshore Learning Material Company would be the largest business that Midway has ever had. It is true that all the horse farms combined around Midway have employed more than 262 jobs and their total probably has reached the 400 job level on a seasonal basis. Even though the farms were located just outside of town the people working on those farms enhanced the economy of Midway. What effect will these employees have on Midway? I would like to think that it would play an important part in the development of the town. Ever think about who is the biggest employer is in Midway? The answer to that would be Midway University. The college, now university, has been Midway’s biggest employer throughout the history of the town, except for the times when in 1840 when Midway had a woolen factory where it is reported that the factory carded wool into rolls that were spun into yarn. The yarn was used to produce knitted stocking or woven into jeans. Jeans became the major portion of their production. In 1875, the biggest employer for Midway was a paper mill where the mill produced 6,000 pounds of paper made from straw a day. There was a rope factory in Midway (exact date unknown) that was located near town. There was one company by the name of Starks and Company, a company that employed chemists and compounders to produce headache powders and similar products. The original company was organized in 1873 but was still active in the ’50s. I remember going to the drive-in with my parents and there would be an advertisement for Starks Headache Powers in Midway. The powders were sold all over the world. The company employed 5 to 10 people. The first Midway factory or business to employ more than 100 people was the Midway Development Company that was formed in 1955. It was organized by Midway business men to sell stock to build a factory to help improve the unemployment situation in Midway. The first president was former Midway Mayor Owen Rouse Jr. The company produced blouses and shirts. The company later became Tococo, Inc., in 1970. At times, the company employed over 100 workers. All these businesses that came along in the town’s history were essential to keep Midway a viable working town. However, there was one other Midway business that had a major impact on the little town of Midway and they didn’t have a large number of employees. More about that next week.

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