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A century of change

John Garvin turns 100; entire life spent in Logan County

It’s not often someone turns 100 and becomes a published author in the same month. But that’s just what happened for John Garvin of West Mansfield.

Mr. Garvin recently celebrated his milestone birthday at a party hosted by his family where he was surprised by his daughters: They had published a book he had written almost 23 years before.


John Garvin stands in downtown Bellefontaine near the oldest concrete street in America on Wednesday morning. Mr. Garvin recently turned 100 and has lived in the area his entire life. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

“In 1990 my eldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer and I had visions of hospitals and bills. I thought I could write it and make some money,” he said.

The novel, Three States West, told the story of a boy in New York City who has recently lost both of his parents, and ends up heading west. Mr. Garvin wrote only one draft of the book with no revisions and sent it off to a few different publishers.

“I got back some very kind rejections, and that was that. My daughter ended up being cured at the same time,” he laughed.

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