WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society will present “The Railroads of Auglaize County” with Dan Meckstroth at 7 p.m. Monday, April 20, on the organization’s Facebook Live page.
Meckstroth is a New Knoxville native and train aficionado.
Courtesy of Auglaize County Historical Society:
Presenter Daniel Meckstroth, a native of New Knoxville, has been a train aficionado ever since he can remember. His fascination began as a young boy, when he would watch trains with his grandpa, “Pop,” who lived along the Erie Railroad between Lima and Spencerville. Later, Meckstroth became interested in the Nickel Plate Railroad as he heard the locomotive’s steam whistle for the Minster local. While pursuing the Boy Scout railroading merit badge, he was required to interview a train crew. After the interview, Earl Adams, a member of the crew, invited him to ride in the cab of the steam engine from St. Marys to Minster, and return in the cupola of the caboose.
From 1967 to 1969 Meckstroth worked three summers as a locomotive fireman on the Norfolk and Western Railway between Frankfort, Indiana, and Bellevue, Ohio, while teaching school during the nine-month academic year.
Today Meckstroth remains active in railroading as a Trained Presenter for Operation Lifesaver, dedicated to safety awareness at railroad grade crossings and right of ways. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Nickel Plate Road Historical and Technical Society, where he is Communication Director and Newsletter Editor. Meckstroth belongs to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, volunteering as a car host on the steam powered excursions pulled by Lima built locomotive, Nickel Plate 765. In addition, he is an avid railroad modeler with an O gauge layout.
Meckstroth holds degrees from Ohio Northern University, Xavier University, and the University of Cincinnati. He retired from education as a high school principal, and then entered the insurance business. Meckstroth and his wife live in northwestern Clark County.
States Historical Society administrator Rachel Barber, “We had an exceptional response to our first Facebook LIVE event earlier this month, and are happy to present Dan. We know that folks will love learning about our railroads.”