Friday, December 21, 2012

Unique Carving Set Presented to President

Marietta Daily Times, December 12, 1922

Unique Carving Set Made By Washington County Man Is Presented to President.

President and Mrs. Harding may carve their Christmas turkey with cutlery made by hand in Washington county, as Sylvester Hoon, aged blacksmith residing near Vincent, has made and presented to the nation's executive a carving set of unique design and of real historical worth.

A number of Mariettans saw the carving set that has been given to President and Mrs. Harding by Mr. Hoon, and join in pronouncing it a creation of real beauty that will be worthy in every way of a place on the festal board at the White House.

The following copies of letters exchanged by the parties interested in the presentation of the gift explain fully the making of the cutlery by Mr. Hoon, and the historical significance that attaches thereto:

Hon. Warren G. Harding
Chief Executive of the U. S.
Washington, D. C.

My Dear President Harding:

I am forwarding you by today's mail a gift which I trust you will receive as a token of the high esteem and regard in which you are held by a plain and humble citizen of Ohio.

Some forty odd years ago I was presented with a steel pick that had been used to dress the burrs in the old Wolf Creek Mill, the first mill in the Northwest territory and the source of supply of the bread stuff used by the colonists who first settled at Marietta, Ohio.  This mill was erected in [1789].
To my mind this historical association gave to the old pick an unusual value and I took great pleasure in fashioning of its steel the carving set which I am sending you.  The handles are of curly maple and were dressed and fitted by me.
In passing judgment upon the workmanship please bear in mind that I am but a country blacksmith and am now 75 years of age; that the gift speaks only of my high regard for you, and carries with it a connection with the early life of our country which I feel will be of interest.
With every assurance of sincere good wishes for a continuance of your health, success and prosperity, I am, Honorable Sir,
Most Respectfully Yours,
Sylvester Hoon.
*     *     *
The White House
November 20, 1922.
My Dear Mr. Hoon:
I was interested and delighted to receive the present which you sent me, in the form of a carving set which you had yourself made from the old steel pick that had been used at the Wolf Creek Mill one hundred and forty years ago.  It is indeed a memento, of especial historic interest to anybody from Ohio, and both for its associations and for the splendid workmanship you have put upon the pieces, I want to thank you most sincerely.
Gratefully Yours,
Signed Warren G. Harding.
Mr. Sylvester Hoon
R.F.D. No. 1
Vincent, O.

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