Steuben County announces 2020 Hall of Fame inductees

Corning Bureau

BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – A Rock and Roll icon, a pioneer advocate for disabled people and the first Director of Steuben County Emergency Services/ Fire Coordination were unanimously approved by the Steuben County Legislature Monday for induction into the 2020 county Hall of Fame.

The inductees were selected from a field of more than 30 candidates and include (in alphabetical order):

Duane Eddy: A Corning native, Eddy first picked up a guitar at the age of 5. He spent his youth in the
Crystal City before his family moved to Arizona where he teamed up with his longtime partner, co-writer, and producer Lee Hazlewood. Called by many the most successful and influential instrumentalist in Rock and Roll history, Eddy developed his signature “Twang” – a unique sound featured on an unprecedented string of 34 chart singles and sales of more than 100 million worldwide. In addition, he went on to produce more than 25 albums, earn a Grammy award and collaborate with artists such as Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne.

In 2004, Eddy was the second recipient of Guitar Player Magazine’s “Legend Award” following the award presentation the first year to the fabled Les Paul. Eddy was inducted into the 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame Museum in 2008.

Arthur Hansen: A First Lieutenant with the Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific during World War II, Hansen graduated from the University of Buffalo with a degree in engineering and worked with the New York State Department of Transportation for 31 years. He served on the Board of Directors of Maple City Savings and Loan in Hornell from 1974-1988, and was an
ordained elder and deacon in First Presbyterian Church of Canisteo.

Hansen’s most notable impact on Steuben County came after the birth of a daughter with Down’s Syndrome, when he soon realized that there was virtually no support for parents with children with disabilities. Meeting in his home with a small group of parents experiencing the same struggle led Hansen to found The ARC of Steuben in 1964. He was the first President of the organization and served on the Board of Directors until his death in 2000. The Arc is now one of the largest employers of disabled, and abled, people in Steuben.

Donald Merring: A Canisteo native and high school graduate, Merring was appointed to the US Naval Academy, later graduating with a degree in technology from Alfred State University. He was employed by Ingersoll Rand from 1961 to 1965, followed by 20 years with H.P. Smith and Son. A member of the Canisteo Fire Department (CFD) since January 1960, Merring continues to actively respond almost daily to emergency situations as a fire equipment operator and ambulance driver. The CFD Chief from 1970 to 1977, Merring was instrumental in saving lives and property during the 1972 flood, which devastated the region.

The first Director of the newly formed Steuben County Emergency Services/ Fire Coordination in 1985, Merring held the position for 10 years, spending exhaustive hours setting up and implementing the 911 service center. Upon retirement, he worked as a part time dispatcher for the county Sheriff and Village of Bath Police departments. Merring was named Steuben County Fireman of the Year in 2001. Since 1976, nearly 460 people have been nominated with 149 individuals inducted into Steuben Hall of Fame.

Due to restrictions on social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a reception for this year’s inductees will be held at a later date.

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