90 years of fair

Herval Thallman’s experience with the Seneca County Fair has spanned nearly nine decades.

The 98-year-old Seneca House resident has been going to the fair since 1924, when he was 9, and said he thinks he has attended every year. In the past, he said, it was a farmer’s fair.

“Today, it’s a city fair,” he said.

Thallman, who visited the fair Tuesday, said it has changed a lot. A building along the midway once was full of dairy cattle, he said.

“Now, that same building is all full of stuff to sell,” he said.

Thallman said his favorite part of the fair is the horse pull, which is today.

“I hope to (go back for it),” he said.

Thallman has been a resident of Seneca House for nearly two years after having lived at a residence on US 224. He was born at a home north of Republic in 1915.

“The doctor (came) in the horse and buggy,” he said.

Thallman recalled buying his first car, a used one, for $300. He said he was a rich man when he got married in 1938.

“I like to have fun,” he said.

Zelda Oakleaf, the Seneca County Agricultural Society member in charge of senior citizens’ day activities at the fair, said her husband had worked with Thallman at American Standard, and they remain good friends. She described Thallman as fun-loving, sociable and blessed, and said he always has some kind of joke.

Jessica Harp, residence sales manager at Seneca House, said Thallman is sweet, charming, friendly, comedic and one of a kind.

“He has a way about him,” she said.