Ladies and gentlemen, when we last chatted about the life and times of McKinley Hobart “Mack” Sauer (1896-1960), we confabulated about the Highland County legend’s books, newspaper April Fool’s Day tomfoolery and how he was rated as one of America’s top speakers.

As many still recall to this day, Mack Sauer was quite active in the local community and was a noted influence in many community projects.

I know this to be true because quite a few fine folks have written me, or told me in person, about how Mack Sauer was a positive influence in their lives and the Highland County community in general. And before we continue, I want to note again that my cousin, Ellen Pennington, penned a feature article on Mack Sauer in Highland County Magazine back in 1997 where she interviewed Sauer’s two children, Ann Sauer Montgomery and Mack Sauer Jr., who both passed away in 2016. Many thanks go to Mrs. Pennington and her husband, Leland, for much of the information that appears in this series.

Now let’s get back how Mack Sauer was a positive impact on Highland County and beyond. Sauer served two terms as president of the Greenfield Rotary Club and also served a term as president of the Greenfield PTA. In Leesburg, he organized the Lions Club, the Legion post and the Businessmen’s Association, plus served two terms as councilman.

He headed numerous fund solicitations in Highland County, including Boy Scouts, Red Cross, polio and Christmas Seals. Sauer’s memberships included the American Legion, the Greenfield Elks and Eagles Lodge, Leesburg Methodist Church, Leesburg Lodge No. 78 of Free and Accepted Masons, the Scottish Rite at Cincinnati, the council and chapter of York Rite at Athens, the Columbus Shrine and the Cleveland Grotto.

An overseas World War I Navy veteran, Sauer was honored twice by the Secretary of the Navy. In 1949, he was invited to be a guest of the secretary of the USS Ranger around the Horn, from Norfolk, Va. to Alameda, Calif.

Sauer eventually made the leap from running newspapers to radio station proprietorship. He sold The Leesburg Citizen and Leesburg Publishing, which included The New Vienna Reporter and The Lynchburg News, in 1957.

In July of 1959, he purchased radio station WSRW in Hillsboro with Tom Archibald as partner. Sauer was president as well as part owner of WSRW.

Like we mentioned in the first offering of this series, early in the year of 1960, Sauer campaigned for the Republican nomination for the Sixth Ohio District congressional seat. The Hillsboro radioman was considered as one of the strong contenders for the post. But in February of 1960, Sauer
died of a heart attack at the age of 63.

Midway through an address to the Clermont County Schoolmasters Club at Williamsburg, “Sauer went to a chair and slumped down,” reported a newspaper article at the time. “The audience believed at first it was a typical joke, but soon realized that he was critically ill.”

At his request, the Williamsburg Life Squad transported Sauer to Hillsboro Hospital, where he died a few hours later.

As we detailed earlier, McKinley Hobart “Mack” Sauer was named in honor of President William McKinley and his Vice President, Garret Hobart. Ironically, those two also met untimely deaths. Hobart died halfway through his vice-presidential term in 1899 at the age of 55. President
McKinley won re-election in 1900, but was fatally shot by an assassin the following year in September of 1901 at the age of 58.

Mrs. Pennington wrote that all three men, McKinley, Hobart and Sauer, earned their place in history through hard work and determination. And all three left an indelible mark on the world they lived in.

She added that Mack Sauer Jr. remembered how his father often signed off on his letters and suggests, “We all, yes the whole world, would be better off if we live by it daily. Love each other. And be happy.”

Steve Roush is a vice president of an international media company, is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees and is a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at roush_steve@msn.com.