Great Darke County Fair Domestic Arts Department selects Harry Niswonger as 2017 Featured Exhibitor.


GREENVILLE — The Domestic Arts Department has selected Harry Niswonger as the 2017 Featured Exhibitor.

Niswonger was born in Darke County 93 years ago. He has lived in Arcanum all of his life, except for a stint in the U.S. Navy, where he was a gunner mate and living in Dayton for awhile, before returning to the family home. He spent his entire career working in the model shop at Delco Products GMC. He was married to Lois Irene for 66 years to the day prior to her death, in 2009. He has four children, 7 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

Niswonger’s only hobby is woodworking, but it occupies most of his waking hours and some of his nights, when he wakes form a sleep with plans or a solution to a difficult project. He is a self-taught woodworker, who believes anyone can accomplish the work if they are determined. He has filled his entire house upstairs and down, two large garage workshops and an out-building with amazing beautiful projects, which include: clocks, carnival ride models, jewelry boxes and many, many toys, especially vehicles of all types. Each is meticulously detailed and done to perfection. He especially enjoys making the toys. Each year for the past six years, he has participated in the Toys for Tykes contest and toy drive put on by Ansonia Lumber. He has won first prize four times.

He has been an entrant in the Domestic Arts Department for approximately seven years, after being encouraged to participate by Byron Brehm, a fellow woodworker and has become stiff competition for the other woodworkers. His work is always top quality and extremely detailed. Harry obtains his patterns primarily from Toys and Joys catalogue. He harvested the wood he uses years ago and had cut by Stevens Lumber yard, in Arcanum. His current projects are a Lincoln car and a Cadillac Roadster.

He remembers attending the Darke County Fair as a child, and now comes nearly every day. He enjoys the harness- racing, the food and being in the Domestic Arts buildings talking to fairgoers about his entries. He has memories about early fair buildings, how the fair was laid out and the tunnel which ran under the racetrack. One of Harry’s recent most prized possessions is a plaque he received from the Ohio Senate, recognizing him for Outstanding Achievement for “his unwavering commitment to excellence as a creative, talented individual, with unswerving commitment to excellence”.

The Domestic Arts Department agrees with the above assessment of Niswonger’s skills.

“We appreciate his expertise and willingness to share his beautiful creations with our department, and those who come to enjoy the Great Darke County Fair,” a representative from the department said. “Congratulations Harry, for being selected as the 2017 Domestic Arts Featured Exhibitor.”

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;

The Domestic Arts Department has selected Harry Niswonger as the 2017 Featured Exhibitor. Domestic Arts Department has selected Harry Niswonger as the 2017 Featured Exhibitor. Courtesy photo

Staff report

No posts to display