New London has had a Mayor as our top official since the incorporation of the village in 1853. Rollin C. Powers was the first Mayor of New London at that time. I thought I would list some of the past Mayors of the village which should bring back memories to most of us of the fine people who have kept our town progressing through the years. Frank Lawrence was our Mayor in 1948. Frank always had a cigar lit up most of the time when you saw him. Ark Gilbert was our leader in the early 1950s. Ark is still with us and I am sure most all New Londoners know Ark by this time. John Marquis was Mayor in 1954. He was an official of the Ohio Body Company and left New London for Charlottesville, Virginia. Barton Rhoades then followed in 1956 and 1957. Barton left us at an early age.
Barney Thomas was Mayor in 1958. He was the founder of Thomas Creative Apparel, Inc., and was best known for his Box Office Restaurant. Preston Golding held the office for probably the longest period of anyone from 1959 until 1972. He died suddently at the High School Alumni Banquet. Winston White followed in 1972 and was our youngest Mayor ever, still in his 20s! Lyle Knapp followed in 1974, Daniel Gessner in '75, and Jimmy Stewart in '76. Bob Blackman took over in 1977 and held the job until 1980 when Marion Paramore got the job. Marion left New London for West Virginia and Gerald Fowdon held the office from 1985 until 1996. Gerald had the office for a longer period than he really wanted and did a fine job. Dorothy Sholes followed Gerald in 1996 and had the honor of being our first "Lady Mayor". Bill Curtis was elected in 2000 and is moving our village forward in the new century.
It is a job that takes a lot of their spare time but these men and women have been dedicated to New London and we should appreciate what they have done for our town.