A FITTING tribute for a man most deserving of a such a tribute. That is what played out Wednesday at the Belmont County Courthouse in St. Clairsville.
Arthur St. Clair — the city’s namesake and the initial governor of the Northwest Territory — was honored with an Ohio Historical Society marker.
The long overdue event was a joint effort, as the St. Clairsville Rotary Club, the Ohio Historical Society and the Belmont County Tourism Council all had a hand in enabling the dedication to come to fruition.
The Rotarians sponsored the marker and donated much of the needed funding. The exhaustive research was carried out by the Historical Society while the Tourism Council made a grant in recognition of St. Clair.
Their teamwork and generosity resulted in a gala and first-class affair. Not to be overlooked was the dogged determination of local historian Dick Phillips, as he spearheaded the undertaking.
Phillips noted that Oct. 5 served as a fitting day to hold the ceremony as it was on that day in 1787 that St. Clair took up his governorship. He immediately established the first nine counties in Ohio, with Belmont being the seventh.
Phillips’ endeavor was sparked by the lack of recognition given to one of the most prominent figures in Ohio annals. Phillips tagged St. Clair as a “forgotten patriot.”
Wednesday’s dedication served to help remedy snub. We commend all those who played a part in the ceremony, as St. Clair is an historical heavyweight who is now getting getting his just due.