Goes Through the House and Without Loss of Any Time.
Something of a record for speedy enactment was made by the Dickson Bill, adopted by the senate at Columbus, Wednesday, which authorizes the state armory board to accept a part of the Ice Harbor lot in this city as a site for an armory and to build an armory on the ground. That it went through in a hurry and at a time when the assembly was hard pressed for time was due to the efforts of Rep. W. M. Dickson of this county.
The measure was planned, drawn and adopted in less than a week. On January 29, Rep. Dickson conferred with Gov. Cox in regard to the measure, and Adj. Gen. Wood was called into the conference. The governor said that if Rep. Dickson had a bill drafted that would pass muster at the attorney general's office, he would message it over to the house. Rep. Dickson called A. D. Follett on the phone and the local attorney wrote the bill, with exception of the description of the site, which was secured by Dr. Dickson at the armory board's officers.
Dr. Dickson then drafted the bill and had it approved by the attorney general. He introduced it in the house Monday evening, had the rules suspended and the measure passed to second reading. Tuesday morning under a suspension of the rules the bill was passed by the house and sent to the senate. This body approved it Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock.
As a result Marietta will soon have an O. N. G. armory.
Text of the Bill
The text of the Dickson Bill follows:
Whereas, the state armory board desires to erect an armory building in the city of Marietta, Ohio, and has caused plans and specifications for such building to be made, and land in said city suitable for the erection of such armory building has been offered to the state of Ohio and said state armory board as a gift, and a deed conveying said land to the state of Ohio has been duly executed and tendered to the state of Ohio and said state armory board, which deed conveys to the state of Ohio, the full unencumbered fee simple title to said land except that, under legislation which can not be modified by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, said land can not be used except for public purposes, and any building erected thereon must be occupied and used for some public purpose, such as the proposed purpose of a state armory building, for which reason the state armory board has not yet accepted said deed, and desires that the General Assembly of the state of Ohio act upon the matter of the acceptance of said deed therefor.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:
Section 1. The state armory board is hereby authorized to accept, as the site for an armory building to be erected by it on behalf of the state of Ohio in the city of Marietta, Ohio, and to erect and maintain on such site said armory building, the following described land situate in the city of Marietta, county of Washington and state of Ohio, bounded and described as follows, to-wit:
Beginning at a point on Front Street where the southerly line of the lot deeded to the United States for the purpose of a Lock Tender's house intersects Front Street; thence from said point southerly along the westerly line of Front Street one hundred and eighty-five (185) feet; thence westerly on a line at right angles to Front Street to the Muskingum River; thence northerly along the east bank of the Muskingum River to a point where the southerly line of the property deeded to the United States for a Lock Tender's house intersects the Muskingum River; thence along the southerly line of said United States property to the place of beginning.
Provided, however, that the deed conveying such site to the state of Ohio shall first be approved by the Attorney General as conveying to the state of Ohio a sufficient title to the land included in such site for the purpose of using such land for any and all public purposes, including the erection and maintenance of an armory building.
Speech in the House
In support of the bill, Rep. J. J. Stanley of Portage County, chairman of the committee on military affairs, said on the floor of the house:
"The mere mention of that name 'Marietta' should cause every fibre within us to tingle with pride, and rouse every impulse of reverence, patriotism and devotion. What Plymouth Rock is to the nation at large, Marietta is to Ohio and the vast empire states carved out of the Northwest Territory.
"Around the name cluster memories of a period of history-making incidents and events unequalled in the annals of the world, which pass before us in mental review the valorous conquerors in the French and Indian wars side by side with revolutionary heroes; and close in the wake of the white-winged dove of peace we follow the course down the beautiful river, of the redoubtable Rufus Putnam, and his [forty]-seven intrepid companions to that ideal site at the conjunction of the Muskingum, where they planted the first white settlement in what is now our proud boast, the Grand Old Buckeye State.
"With public attention attracted and centered on the marvelous growths and developments in other portions of the state, Marietta's claims have been sadly overlooked, and she petitions us today for this slight recognition of her just desserts.
"She should have this armory as a fitting monument to her sacred past, as a pantheon for the holy relics of early days, and as an assembling place for the rapidly thinning county contingent of the dear old Boys in Blue.
"We are a long time dead, and to some of us approaching the shadows of life's sunset, it is comforting to think that future generations will bless our memories for bestowing this gift on Marietta, the birthplace of our glorious commonwealth."