Greene County officials open 50-year-old time capsule

A time capsule hidden in the cornerstone of the Greene County Jail was opened this morning on the same day it was put away 50 years ago.

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County officials opened the 1969 time capsule, which was placed in the cornerstone when the jail was built off East Main Street in downtown Xenia.

The items inside were removed and will be stored at the Greene County Archives building, 535 Ledbetter Road.

The publications and artifacts placed in time capsules typically represent the cultural, political and religious beliefs of the time period, said Greene County Records Manager Robin Heise.

“Upon opening these copper boxes, it’s almost like traveling back in time,” Heise said. The artifacts symbolize what was important to the generation who sealed the box and provides the generation opening it with a sense of continuity, identity, and their cultural heritage.”

Former Greene County Prosecutor Reynold Hoefflin addressed the crowd at the original ceremony and his speech was included in the time capsule.

Hoefflin, now 84, will be attending Friday’s event and has been asked to say a few words. He said he’s looking forward to reading the speech he gave in 1969 and seeing the capsule’s other contents.

Hoefflin, who only served one term as the prosecutor before entering private practice, said he can’t remember what he said 50 years ago, but he remembers some aspects of the prosecutor’s office used to be like.

“In those days, the county prosecutor was a part-time job,” he said. “I want to say I had three assistants to begin with and four when I was done in four years. … What was really being neglected at that time was the civil side.”

As part of the ceremony, the county archives department has put together an exhibit to highlight local and national events from the “year everything changed.”

In addition to the county jail being built, other notable local events from 1969 include Xenia’s first black mayor being elected, James T. Henry; Beavercreek was hit with a tornado in May of that year; and a section of Arrowhead Acres in Xenia was approved for construction, according to county archives.

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