ST. PARIS – A descendant of the Pony Wagon Town legacy will be the grand marshal of the Pony Wagon Days Parade on Thursday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
The following statement was issued by the festival committee:
St. Paris is honored to have a special man be our grand marshal, Mr. William J. Walborn, the great-grandson of William H. Walborn, the co-founder of the Walborn and Riker Company, which began in St. Paris in 1881. They manufactured carriages, particularly pony-sized vehicles, which led to the nickname Pony Wagon Town.
We in St. Paris had lost track of the Will Walborn family since his untimely death in 1909. They had moved away and any relatives still here are now also gone. We are aware of descendants of his partner, Freeman Riker, and some visited with us several years ago.
As it turns out, this Mr. Walborn (he prefers Bill) was born and raised in Ohio, and has lived near Cincinnati most of his adult life. He is now retired, and has been a school teacher and principal most of his career. His wife’s name is Beth. She is a retired teacher, counselor and consultant. They have three grown children and five grandchildren, all of whom plan to be here for the parade.
The Walborn and Riker Company has a rich history in St. Paris. Their pony vehicles were built here and shipped all over the world over 100 years ago.
It is our pleasure to honor and welcome back the Walborn family to St. Paris.