Compiled by Flower Monk, April of 2013
In 1956 & 1957, Dean Monk and Ed Clatfelter Purchased fireworks and shot them off at the school house for family and friends.
In 1958, the fireman of the West Union Fire Department held a picnic and fireworks on July 4th for family members only. They cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on an old grill from army surplus and had bottled pop in a horse tank furnished by Dean Strohm. The following year, it was opened to the public.
In 1959 thru 1963, It was open to the public. In 1964 the insurance would no longer cover them at the school, so it was moved to the park, where it has remained since. The firemen at this time were:
Dale Clatfelter Lyman Shawler
Ed Clatfelter Bob Jean
Dean Monk Jr Cork
Bud Chapman Jumbo Ingram
Dick Chapman Jim Bonesteel
Howard Utterback Dean Strohm
Billy Marvin Jim Tingley
Note: The celebration was put on for many years by the West Union Firemen’s Association, and the local firemen shot off the purchased, set up, and shot off the fireworks display. Eventually liability and insurance issues required licensed pyrotechnician to handle the fireworks display and the Firemen’s Association disbanded. A group of local citizens banded together and formed the West Union 4th of July Celebration committee to keep the celebration going and raise money find the fireworks displayed by insured professionals. Today, this group works nearly year around planning & organizing to sustain this event.