County Map-Maker Dies At Age 98

Justus F. “Jack” Wetherill passed away on June 28th at the Lima Convalescent Home in Lima, Ohio. His wife Auda passed away in 2011. His son Andy Wetherill and granddaughters Amy and Julie survive him. Jack was an employee with the Allen County Engineer’s Office from 1962 until 1986.  Jack was responsible for creating and updating the official Allen County Road Map.  He prepared the first county road map in 1964.  His hand-drawn annual road maps were precise and he took pride in correcting any mistakes, before the maps went to the printer.  In the 1960’s Jack was also responsible for setting up a house numbering system for all roads in Allen County. This was a major undertaking since a countywide system had not been used in the county with rural routes being used for mailing addresses in the country and house numbers in the municipalities. His numbering system incorporated setting up blocks for north-south and east-west roads while blending into house numbering already in use in the cities and villages.  His house numbering system is still in use today. He was a “Jack-of-all-trades” with a myriad of job functions assigned to him. For those of us who worked with Jack, he will be remembered as a gentle man who had a quick wit and was good with puns.  He was once asked “Jack, do you have any thumbtacks?”  to which he replied, “No but I have some fingernails.” His written collections of misquotes by county employees was enjoyed by all.  Jack’s knowledge of how the roads were established in Allen County was second to none.  He had painstakingly gone through all of the road records and commissioner’s journals in Allen County and logged information about the establishment of each road in the county.  His road record research is still being used by county employees today.  Jack and wife Auda served at the Allen County Museum as docents after his retirement.  He will be missed by those of us who had the fortune of working with him.