Bridgeport Hall of Fame expanding again

BRIDGEPORT — The Bridgeport Alumni Association will induct four individuals during its Hall of Fame weekend next Saturday.

Members of this year’s class include Kellie John Conway (Class of 1934), Arthur Conway (Class of 1935), Judge C. Kenneth Henry (Class of 1941) and Charles Rivers (Class of 1950).

The gala event will be held inside The Skyliner on Main Street. Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner being served at 6 p.m. The induction ceremonies will follow dinner.

– Kellie John Conway graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1934. After serving in World War II, Conway returned to Eastern Ohio and started Bridgeport Auto Parts in a small service station on National Road at Stop 6. Later, a large one-story building was constructed and some time later, a second floor was added. The building now houses Rent-a-Center.

In 1980, the new owners — Kellie and Timmy, the sons of brothers Kellie and Arthur — moved the store to its current location on National Road in Brookside.

– Arthur Conway graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1935. During World War II, he piloted the B-24 Liberator bomber.

He supported countless Bridgeport schools’ sports, clubs, activities and civic projects for many decades. He was proud of his hometown and was active in the First United Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge (Past Worshipful Master Mason), Osiris Shrine, El Tor Grotto, Jester Club and the Ohio Automotive State Association, where he served on the board of directors.

He died in 1980.

– Judge C. Kenneth Henry grew up on Main Street and graduated from BHS in 1941. While in high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society and was also involved in numerous other activities.

After graduation, he went to Baldwin-Wallace College before joining the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he served in Africa to the end of WWII in 1945. Upon returning from his military duties, he enrolled at Bethany College, where he completed his bachelor degree studies. He went on to obtain his doctorate of law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

He returned to Belmont County and began his legal career by joining the practice of Roy Lewis in St. Clairsville.

In addition to his private legal practice, Henry had a long career of public service. He served as legal counsel for the villages of Belmont, Flushing, Morristown, Holloway and Bethesda and as clerk/treasurer for the city of St. Clairsville. He went on to serve as an assistant prosecutor for Belmont County and was appointed to the bench as judge for the Western Division Court. He was then elected Belmont County Common Pleas, probate and juvenile court judge in 1978, serving two terms until his retirement in 1990. While on the bench, he earned the respect of both his peers and those who came before him for his diligence and integrity in the administration of justice.

Henry died on Aug. 13, 2009.

– Charles Rivers started his journey through the Bridgeport school district when his family moved to Kirkwood Heights. He was enrolled in a one-room building containing first through fourth grades with each row in the classroom being a grade level. He finished elementary school in a building attached to the old high school.

Rivers was involved in sports during his high school days. He played football for three years, managed the basketball team for three years and was the lone track participant for three years. He graduated in 1950.

Upon graduation Rivers went to Findlay College, where he played two years of football and graduated in 1954. He received a degree in secondary education and took a position with the Dayton Public Schools system.

After working for the Dayton Public Schools, he accepted a position as assistant superintendent for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was awarded his doctorate from Ohio State University in August 1973. He retired in 2000 after 43 years of service in and for public schools.