LARENCE RAUSENBERGER: THE MAN WHO HELPED PUT THE POWER IN POWERED FLIGHT
Larence Rausenberger was one of Logan County’s most distinguished native sons. Born on his family’s farm in DeGraff in 1887, the young Rausenberger became very interested in machines and how they worked. As a young man, he restored a steam operated traction machine used to pull a thrasher through the fields. He also reconditioned a gasoline engine that he hooked up to the farm’s well to pump the water so he would not have to pump it by hand.
However, it was as an adult that Rausenberger’s superior knowledge of engines impacted the world when he began designing and building airplane engines. Rausenberger built his first airplane engine, a liquid cooled, 45 horsepower, V-8 engine in 1909 at his workshop in Bellefontaine.
Rausenberger’s engine was used in the first plane to fly in Logan County in 1912. This flight took off in Bellefontaine and flew to Kenton in 16 minutes. The same engine also powered the first airmail flight in Ohio.
ROGER CLOUD: A SUCCESSFUL STATE LEGISLATORS
Roger Cloud (1909-1988) was one of Ohio’s most successful state legislators during the second half of the 20th century. He was also a native of DeGraff.
Cloud was born on his family’s farm near DeGraff in 1909. He graduated from DeGraff High School in 1926 as the class valedictorian. In the same year, Cloud’s brother was killed in a gasoline explosion. Roger farmed, worked in a factory, and played semi-pro baseball to make money for his family. He married Llewellyn DeWeese in 1934. The couple purchased a farm in Pleasant Township near DeGraff in the 1960s.
Cloud’s first position as a public servant began as a member of the DeGraff School Board for 4 years in the late 1930s. In 1940 Cloud was elected as Logan County Commissioner. He held this position for 8 years. Cloud successfully ran for the Ohio House of Representatives in 1948. He served in the House for 8 consecutive years. Through the years, Cloud became known as the “Gentleman from Logan County,” a nickname that showed the respect he had from his fellow representatives, other state legislators and the people of Ohio.
During his career as a representative, Cloud was elected as the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives a record 5 times. He also was honored with many awards and praises from the state and his colleagues.
Governor James Rhodes appointed Cloud Auditor of the State in 1965 to fill an unexpired term. Cloud was then elected Auditor in 1966 which he served for 4 more years. In 1970 Cloud won the Republican nomination for governor. However, he lost in the election, the first time he lost an election during his career. Cloud then retired from politics. He died in Columbus on April 20, 1988. Roger Cloud remains one of the most liked and respected politicians in Ohio’s history. He is a man DeGraff and Logan County can be proud to call their own.