Going strong at 90

Merrill Hodgden served as Iola Fire Chief from 1980 to 1983, and has remained in Iola since then. Prior to that, his job as a nuclear power industry safety inspector took him from coast to coast.

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October 28, 2022 - 1:49 PM

From left, Bob Jewell, Merrill Hodgden, David Ensminger, John Hillbrant and Steve Traw conduct “office hours” at McDonald’s most afternoons from 3 to 5. To enlarge the photo click on the blue box in the upper righthand corner. Photo by Susan Lynn

At age 90, Merrill Hodgden’s schedule is somewhat flexible.  

“I can meet with you Monday, but 3 to 5 are my office hours,” he said that morning. 

When our 2 o’clock interview drifted past 3, Merrill said I could join him for his next appointment. We drove separately to his office. Inside were his longtime friends, Bob Jewell, David Ensminger, John Hillbrant and Steve Traw with others still to come. And yes, we were at McDonald’s. 

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