During a ceremony held Monday morning in the new Ag Center/Junior Fair Building at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, the late Russell “Toney” Tone became the 20th inductee into the Delaware County Agricultural Society’s Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Don Howard, who heads up the HOF and serves on the Delaware County Agricultural Society Board of Directors, presented a plaque recognizing Tone’s posthumous induction to Tone’s daughter, Linda Diamond.
Reading from Tone’s HOF plaque, Howard said Tone was instrumental in establishing the first Delaware County Junior Fair Sale at the Delaware County Fair.
“Growing up on the family farm, Russell was active in farm life from an early age,” Howard said “…It was here that Russell developed his strong work ethic that drove him for the rest of his life. Toney was the chair of the committee which established the first junior fair sale in 1958, a position he held up until his death in 1984. He wanted to help young people raise money by selling their projects so they could further their education or help them with farming.”
Howard said Tone “always wanted to reward hard work” and felt the junior fair sale was a way to do that.
“He believed in supporting the young people in the Delaware community,” Howard said. “Many of our youth have benefited and continue to do so by the efforts of Russell. … It’s so important that we try to preserve the memory of people who helped get us where we are today. If we don’t do things like this, they’ll be forgotten.”
Diamond accepted the plaque, adding her father would have been proud to be inducted into the Delaware County Agricultural Hall of Fame.
“He loved the fair, I mean loved the fair,” Diamond said. “He would’ve done anything to further the fair. He would go around during the summer to see what (other fairs) were doing to get ideas from them. This is quite an honor. I know my mom and dad are looking down and are very proud. My dad is sharing this with my mom, (Daphne Tone).”
After the ceremony, Diamond said she’s thankful Cheryl Hagerty nominated her father for the HOF.
“I was thrilled beyond belief when Cheryl Hagerty made that nomination,” Diamond said. “My dad did so much for the fair over the years. I felt like it was a great honor for him to finally be recognized for that. He’ll be in Hall of Fame and everyone will know it from now on.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.