Daily News Staff Writer
Visitors to Orbisonia will now be welcomed to the borough by new, eye-catching signs provided by a local business.
Rodney and Kim Walters from the Brown and WaltersInsurance Agency in Orbisonia Borough purchased two “Welcome to Orbisonia” signs. The two signs, bright red with gold letters and black outlines, are placed at the north and south ends of town along Route 522.
The signs read “Welcome to Orbisonia; Our Historic Hometown; Incorporated 1855.”
Walters first approached the Orbisonia Borough Council in September 2015. He told the council the agency began in 1963 and he joined in 1978.
“In April 1963, Lewis Brown moved from Perry County to Orbisonia after purchasing the Newton Gutshall Insurance Agency,” Walters said. “At that time, he renamed the agency to Brown Insurance Agency.”
Walters said he began with the agency in 1978 and his wife, Kim, began at the agency in 1982.
“In 1983, the agency was incorporated and the name was changed to Brown & Walters Insurance Agency,” Walters said. “Lew owned the agency from 1963 to 2000 when he sold the agency to (us) upon his retirement.”
Walters said Brown now “unfortunately ... suffers from dementia and remembers very little; however, there are two things he still remembers.”
“First, he remembers owning an insurance agency, and secondly, he remembers how the residents of Orbisonia accepted and supported an ‘outsider,’” Walters said. “Kim and I are now getting close to retirement, and we have always valued the people and businesses in the community that have supported us over the years. Both of us agree that Orbisonia has been a great place to work our entire careers.”
The sign project came to fruition, Walters said, because he and his wife were “looking for a way to show our appreciation and give something back to the community.”
“We realized there were no signs welcoming ‘outsiders’ as they travel through, stop by or settle in the community,” he said. “We approached the Orbisonia Borough Council last fall with our idea, and they graciously accepted our offer. We then put together a small committee to help with the design, layout and color scheme. Six months later, the signs became a reality. Kim and I are extremely pleased with the final product and couldn’t be happier.”
On behalf of the insurance agency, Walters said he and his wife “are pleased to give these signs to the community of Orbisonia in honor of Lewis Brown and in memory of Kay Brown.”
He also thanked the Orbisonia Borough Council, Rita, Ken and Steve Scott, Nin Hiles Jr., Glenda Waite,Olivia Barney, PJ’s Trucking and landowners Martin Brown and Martin Edgin.
“On behalf of Orbisonia and speaking for the historical society, we’re very appreciative of Rodney and Kim Walters for purchasing the signs,” said Orbisonia Borough Council president Steve Scott.
Scott added in addition to the purchase of the signs, Walters was “instrumental” in putting them up. Scott also thanked Brown and Edgin on whose property the signs are placed.
“They’re beautiful,” Scott said the signs.
He added Walters, in conjunction with a committee of borough council members and representatives of the Orbisonia-Rockhill Historical Society, picked out the colors and designs. The goal was to create signs that reflected the history of the town.