President Secrest??

No, he never was a United States president. But based upon popularity, he could have easily won the nomination. Robert Thompson Secrest was born Jan. 22, 1904 in Senecaville, Ohio. He graduated from Muskingum College in 1926 and Washington College of Law in 1940. After serving several years in the world of academia, he moved on to politics. The former state senator and Federal Trade Commission member served three terms as a democratic representative to the U.S. Congress spanning 1933 thru 1942, 1949 thru 1954 and 1963 thru 1966.

Rep. Secrest served his district with pride and always worked to improve the lives of fellow neighbors and constituents. Those who knew him personally often share how caring and concerned he was about others. He was instrumental in the fight for completion of Seneca Lake and Dam in the 1930’s. His life of public service ended when he died on May 15, 1994 in Cambridge, Ohio.

In 1993, Mr. Secrest donated his collection of American presidential photographs to the Guernsey County Library. The collection includes autographed images of each president from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Bill Clinton. The Truman picture is an illustration from a 1950 Saturday Evening Post. Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter are shown with former first ladies Lady Bird Johnson and Rosalynn Carter.

The Library enlisted the assistance of Harden, Reid & Jahnes Architects, Inc. to design a display worthy of the collection. The 7 foot wide by approximately 5 foot tall oak and glass case was constructed and installed by Carter Construction of Cambridge. Edmiston Art & Frame of Newark, Ohio was given the task of preparing and framing the photographs. Five anonymous donors contributed funds to be used towards completion of the project.

The attractive display is mounted near the front entrance of the Main Branch and is available for viewing whenever the Library is open. Additional information regarding the life and accomplishments of Robert T. Secrest is housed in the Library’s local history department. To obtain further details, please call the Main Branch and ask to speak with the Finley Room (740-432-5946).