Curtis Eli Budd, originally a one-room school teacher from Hayesville, was hired in 1893 as principal of Loudonville's red-brick Union School. Though a man of high morals and standards, "Professor Budd" quickly became a close friend of his students--including a young Charles Kettering. In 1901 he was promoted to the position of Superintendent, overseeing both the Union School and the surrounding one-room schools.
Budd was described by his closest friends as, "tall, kindly devoted and determined in his ambitions, keen in his judgement and gracious in his homely humility." He had been born in 1864, and though only a year old when Lincoln was assassinated the President greatly influenced Budd's life. By the early 1900s his bushy, jet black hair turned bright white and became a trademark of the man.
In the early 1920s he led the effort to build a new, modern facility for the students of Loudonville, which resulted in a dedicated Loudonville High School built next to the Union School. His former pupil, Charles Kettering, graciously funded state-of-the-art science labs. Budd would continue to serve as Superintendent until 1929 when he retired and handed the position over to R.F. McMullen.
Budd had no plans of resting quietly in retirement, and in fact had long stated that when he came to Loudonville all the way back in 1893 it was his intention to make the village "the best town in the United States." He took the position of President of the Chamber of Commerce, and served two terms as Mayor of Loudonville during which his vision led to the establishment of Riverside Park. He was also a Boy Scout leader, charter member of the Rotary Club, and an elder of the First Presbyterian Church which he helped form by convincing the English Lutheran and Presbyterian congregations to merge. He was also a member of both the Hanover Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons and the local order of the Knights of Pythias. He directed Red Cross drives and even served on the Ashland County Draft Board for a short time before resigning due to declining health.
He passed away in 1943 after a long battle with illness. Multiple articles regarding his life and death graced the front page of the Loudonville Times that week as the town mourned the passing of the man they honored as their "First Citizen" after giving fifty years of service to the community. Following his death a close friend remarked to the Rotary Club that the high school he helped build "will stand for years to come as a memorial to Mr. Budd's vision and devotion to Loudonville." When a new high school was built in 1964 the former school was named in his honor, guaranteeing the name C.E. Budd towered over the village for decades to come.
The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum is a subsidiary of the Mohican Historical Society. All rights reserved.
The Mohican Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 203 East Main Street Loudonville, OH 44842