Ladies and gentlemen, in late 1942, the United States was in the process of raising $9 billion for a victory loan drive to help win World War II, and Highland County had a quota of $882,000 to come up with in just a month’s time.

Anyone want to place bets to see if the county could pony up what amounts to $13.4 million in today’s dollars?

A week after a newspaper editorial and an ad from the local financial institutions exhorted residents to give generously to the drive, a meeting of the Highland County Victory Loan Fund Committee and volunteer workers was held on a Tuesday night at the Masonic Temple in uptown Hillsboro. About 50 were in attendance.

A report was compiled of the progress made and was divided into two sections: the amount purchased by banks and building and loan associations and the amount sold to corporations and individuals.

The banks had purchased or had pledged to purchase $500,000, while individuals and corporations had purchased $60,975. That makes a grand total of $560,975. This left still to be raised in the month $321,625, approximately $100,000 a week – and all of that amount must be purchases of individuals and corporations as the financial institutions had met its part of the quota.

Earlier, we noted that folks could expect to have a knock on the door from representatives asking for residents to give to the drive, but it was reported that aside from Hillsboro and Liberty Township, there had been practically no solicitation on the drive due to a delay in getting the county organization formed.

The local newspaper reported that, “With almost a complete organization now formed and work going on throughout the county, much better results should be secured this week and in the future weeks.

“Every member of the Victory Loan Committee and all volunteer workers are representatives of the U.S. Treasury Department. They will make a strenuous effort to insure Highland County making its quota. It is a big job, but as the people have the money, it should be accomplished.”

The members of the committee were: Granville Barrere, chairman; J. Ed. Shannon, cashier of Merchants National Bank; C.T. Perin, cashier of Farmers and Traders National Bank; Conrad Roads, president of Hillsboro Bank and Savings Co.; Oscar Heidingsfeld, president, and Paul Fairley, cashier of Peoples National Bank, Greenfield; T.G. Goldsberry, cashier of Citizens Savings Bank, Leesburg; and H.G. Rossellot, cashier of Farmers Exchange Bank of Lynchburg.

Also making news that week, in order to save even more money and metal, it was announced that instead of issuing new license plates in 1943, to “clear off a space five and five-eighths inches wide and two inches deep on your automobile or truck for another sticker.

“Red stickers for passenger cars and yellow stickers for trucks are to be used next year in Ohio in lieu of new license plates. They must be displayed by April 1 in the lower right-hand corner of the windshield. There will also be red stickers for motorcycles and yellow ones for trailers.

“Present license plates on all automotive vehicles and trailers must be kept on the vehicles throughout the next year. Only stickers will be used on each car or truck. The sticker may be purchased after March 1 at any deputy registrar’s office. No reservations, special number or initial combinations will be available next year. Present plates of that character are to be used.”

Turns out, 1943 would be the only year in Ohio that the stickers would replace yearly license plates. The plates were back in 1944 and would be issued yearly until 1974, when license plates would be kept for a longer period of time with stickers used to update the year.

On that note, let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at roush_steve@msn.com.