Hall of Honor adds to ranks

Bob McNabb, former principal of Martins Ferry High School, returns to the school — now housed in a new building — to be inducted into the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor on Sunday. T-L Photo/MIRANDA SEBROSKI

MARTINS FERRY — The Martins Ferry Hall of Honor added to its ranks on Sunday, honoring four new inductees during a ceremony at Martins Ferry High School.

City Administrator Chris Cleary, a hall of honor committee member, said the ceremony also served as a memorial for former Mayor Les Douglas. Douglas established the hall of honor to to acknowledge residents whose accomplishments positively affected Martins Ferry. Those who have been inducted have been born, lived or worked in the city.

Tom Thomas inducted Margaret Brainerd as the first member of the class of 2018. Brainerd served Martins Ferry City Schools as a teacher, director of educational research and assistant superintendent.

She also helped established the Martins Ferry Public Library and served on its board of directors.

Brainerd died in 1960, but her award will be held in Martins Ferry High School for all to see.

“Dangerous” Dan McGrew was then inducted by Julian Funari. McGrew was an athlete at Martins Ferry High School and received 10 varsity letters in football, basketball and track.

He then was a three-year letterman at Purdue University. After graduating, McGrew played professional football for the Buffalo Bills and then became a coach for the Wheeling Ironmen.

For 37 years, he coached various Ohio Valley high schools and has a record of 219 wins and 98 losses.

“All the success has come from my wife, my son and my daughter,” McGrew said. “I drug those people through more towns than they would like to remember to do what I had to do.”

Bob McNabb was inducted by former student John Applegarth. In 1960, McNabb accepted a position teaching mathematics at Martins Ferry High School and later became principal, remaining in that post until 1996. Applegarth said McNabb helped shaped the lives of students at the high school and was always fair yet stern.

“Former teachers and former students, I see a lot of people here who have meant a lot to me over the years,” McNabb said. “I could tell some stories, but I am sure some of you are thankful that I won’t. I will say that Martins Ferry High School was like a family to me. It is a family who has made me who I am today.”

The final inductee was John Solovan II, welcomed by Cleary. Solovan served Belmont County as an assistant prosecutor and judge of the Northern Division and Common Pleas courts. He also has received the Golden Gavel Award from the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association. Solovan said he was happy to have the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Brainerd, McNabb and McGrew.

“I want to focus on what today’s award ceremony is all about. It is about the city of Martins Ferry,” Solovan said. “It is about the citizens of the city of Martins Ferry. It is about a place that cares about its people and history.”

Each inductee will have a plaque on permanent display at the Martins Ferry Public Library. Cleary ended the ceremony by saying the the Ohio House of Representatives also honored the 2018 inductees by proclamation.

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