Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lee Cavin

Lee Cavin died last week.

How many of you knew who he was?

I knew his name from his books, There Were GIANTS on the Earth  (about the Giants of Seville, Martin VanBuren and Anna Bates) and 1816-1966: A Book About Seville.


But as so often happens when reading someone's obituary, I found out there was a lot more to the man than two small books.

Here is a list of the things I DID NOT KNOW about Lee Cavin:

  1. His given name was Lemoine. I am glad he chose to go by Lee.
  2. He was born in Green Camp, Ohio. This is a small village near where I grew up in Marion County.
  3. He served in the Army as an X-Ray technician during World War II.
  4. He went to Ohio University and earned a degree in Journalism.
  5. He was the publisher and the editor of the Seville Chronicle from 1948-1974.
  6. He was very instrumental in establishing a library in Seville. The library opened in November 1961.
  7. He was a fan of American Circuses.
  8. After selling the Seville Chronicle and moving near Loudonville, he continued writing.
Those are the facts as gleaned from his obituary.

Here are some other things about Lee:

He always had a wiry build as pointed out to me by Shirley McDougal (one time Seville Librarian), and as shown in these photos:

1974 Medina Gazette Photo

1940 Ohio University Yearbook Photo

He was funny, as seen in this article:
Seville Chronicle article on the weather in Seville, let the residents know
that cloudy skies were back

He was a modest man. When he penned the Book About Seville only a single paragraph tells of his founding, editing and publishing the Seville Chronicle newspaper.

Being modest didn't hamper his ability to share his opinions freely in his weekly editorials. A month's worth of editorials included one apology for any hurt feelings.

He contributed a lot to the Village of Seville and they showed their appreciation when he sold the Chronicle and moved to Loudonville.

Seville Chronicle photo showing Lee receiving the
Lee and Gene Calvin Appreciation
Day, January 28, 1974

Seville Chronicle February 1, 1974.

Probably the longest lasting project that the Cavins worked on is the Seville Community Library.


  • March 1961 the Friends of the Seville Library was incorporated with the purpose of "establishing, building, furnishing, maintaining and conducting of a public library in the Village of Seville, Ohio thus fostering scholarship and citizenship in the community..." Lee was the president.
  • May 1961, ground is broken for the new library in Hosmer Park which the village donated for use as a library. The local Lions Club had raised $5,000 and architectural plans were drawn up. Lee Cavin was one of the Library Trustees.
  • June 1961, the library walls were going up. Lee Cavin headed the library committee of the Lions Club. Volunteers conducted a door-to-door drive to raise the rest of the money needed for construction. Much of the labor was volunteer. The county library budgeted to upkeep the building and for the librarians salary.
  • September 1961, donated books were solicited to fill the shelves at the library. The Ohio State Library Board sent 1,000 pounds of books.
  • October 1961, Library staffing and hours are set.
  • November 1961, 9 months after starting, the Seville Community Library opened.
  • Upon completion, the building was given to Seville, who in turn gave it to the Medina Library Board for library use.
  • Lee Cavin wrote a glowing editorial urging everyone in Seville to visit "their library!"

Until the Medina County Library pitched in, Lee bragged
that the Seville Library was totally a Seville enterprise!

Seville Community Library November 1974

Seville Library today

Lee and his wife, Gene, took up farming outside of Loudonville, worked on another paper, and wrote more books.

Both gone now, they will always be remembered for their many contributions to the Seville Community and most particularly, The Seville Community Library.

Well done Lee. 


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this blog post! I love learning about people in Medina County that we know are there, but not too much about them!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow Kathy,
How cool is this.. I didn't know any of this. Now I do, so
thank you.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post, Kathy!