Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook July 5, 2013
CAPTION #1: ART AKINS sitting tall on Molly. Art is leading the Fourth of July parade in 1951.
CAPTION #2: FOURTH OF JULY PARADE of 1960. From left - Evelyn Mitteer, Cheryl Chapman, Art Akins, Nancy Kelner, Ann Story and queen Carolyn Linder.
CAPTION #3: ORIN GRAY, on his buckskin mare, in the Fourth of July parade in 1951. We will take a break this week from the trial story and talk about Art Aikins and the Fourth of July.
Fourth of July 1960 It's July 1, 1960 and as I look down over Camp Red Cloud, at Ui Jonbu, South Korea, from my vantage point at the switchboard Station, I realize that across the great Pacific Ocean, my hometown was making plans for the best parade ever.
I also realize that the only part of this year's Fourth of July Parade that I will see will be the pictures that my Dad would send to me in my next letter from home.
One of this week's pictures is from the 1960 parade. Art Akins is standing tall on the queen's float. He has his full headdress on and is watching over the queen and her American Indian princess court.
Growing up on College Street I can remember stopping by Art's barn and watching him get Molly ready for the parade. He kept Molly ready every day like he was going to show her at the fair. Molly's bridle and reins were studded with nickel-plated medallions and diamonds. A white 5-inch celluloid heart covered her forehead.
Art either led the parade or was in the parade somewhere. Art was often flanked by Orin Gray on his beautiful buckskin mare.
Art was the sheriff of Presque Isle County in 1923 and 1924. Art later became the chief of police for the city of Onaway and patrolled the streets on horseback.
In the late 1950s and 1960s Art was the justice of peace for Onaway and held court in a one-room building on Summit Street, next to his residence.
The good helper has proof of this in one of our many photo albums. It is a ticket for making a "Michigan Stop" at the County Line and M-33. The fine was $9.30, broken down to $5 to Presque Isle County, $4 costs and 30 cents to the county library fund.
I would later appear at this courtroom while working as a patrolman with the chief of police Ray Preston. Arraignments were held at any time of the day or night, before taking someone to jail.
Art married Thomas Shaw's daughter Mary, who was the first white girl born in Allis Township.
-From The Onaway Outlook, July 5, 2013, p. 3. Retyped by J. Anderson.