William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship

Written by Kay Bouyack

The Scioto Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship, established by Tanner Salyers in honor of his grandfather who has been a strong, influential figure in his life, in the Salyers family, and in the Franklin Furnace community.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a graduating senior from Green High School with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Candidates must also show participation in athletics or other extra-curricular activities in school. Ohio State fans will appreciate that recipients of this scholarship may not attend the University of Michigan.

The volunteer scholarship committee of the Scioto Foundation will make

annual selections of award recipients on behalf of the SF Board of Governors.

The son of Elihu and Clarice Elva (Prince) Salyers, William Ralph Salyers (who goes by Ralph) was born in March of 1946. His family moved to Ohio from Kentucky in the 1940s and settled on Big Pete Road in Franklin Furnace. Ralph was one of 12 siblings and belonged to the huge family of Salyers who can still be found in the Franklin Furnace area today, according to Tanner.

Ralph and all his brothers and sisters attended Green High School and since then there has always been a member of the extended Salyers family attending Green Local Schools.

Early in his career, Ralph worked as an Ironton police officer and then as a union laborer in several other jobs throughout most of his life. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War along with Cincinnati Reds’ famed catcher Johnny Bench. One of Ralph’s prized possessions is a photo of him with Bench during the service, said his grandson.

Ralph married his wife Helen (known as Jeanie) in 1967 and together they have two children, Wendy Salyers, a registered nurse, of Mount Vernon, Ohio and a son, Shane Salyers, of Ironton, a retired sergeant with the Ohio State Patrol. Ralph and Jeanie have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His grandfather has been a fatherly figure to him and a constant, influential presence in his life, Tanner said. “He has always been very supportive of me and of the community. He was the voice of the Bobcats on WPAY Radio announcing football games; he covered the Wheelersburg High School State Championship game in 1989.”

“Often his moniker has been ‘the Mayor of Franklin Furnace.’ He is well-known and respected,” Tanner said. “He served on the Green Local School District’s Board of Education for three terms. He has done a lot for his family and his community.”

Tanner, who is a former Mount Vernon City Councilman and current Knox County Recorder, formerly taught high school government and economics. His grandfather’s governmental activities and personal example have been formative in his own career and in the careers of other family members, he said.

“Setting up this scholarship acknowledges that. As essentially the patriarch of a very large family, he has been committed to his family, to his community, and to serving his God; he has accomplished a lot in his life,” Tanner explained. “We are eternally grateful for all that he has done for us. We want to show our appreciation to him, and we want to help others in his name and we’ll do that in part through the students who will receive these scholarships.”

Contributions to the William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship Fund from family, friends, community supporters or the general public may be made at any time. Donations may be in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property.

Additional information about the William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship and other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Officer – Donor Services, or SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.

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