William Kerrigan reads his book, Johny Appleseed

William Kerrigan is citing a passage in his book.


William Kerrigan is a Village Council Member of New Concord, while he is an active Professor of American History at Muskingum University.

Having lived in the community for eighteen years, he now has been a member of New Concord, Ohio’s village council for two years.

“This is a progress forward thinking government that tries to preserve what is best about the town, but also to move the town forward” said Kerrigan, about why he decided to run for council.


Kerrigan has long been involved in the community and recollected about how he was encouraged to join council,

“A few years ago a current council member asked me if I would run and I thought it would be an opportunity to learn some new things,” said Kerrigan.

“It has been fantastic, I’m learning all sorts of things about municipal government.”

Kerrigan has produced multiple research papers and coauthored many local historical text with his students.

Such as Muskingum College: The Campus History Series and the Images of America: Cambridge.

Transiting from being a citizen as well as a community role model, to an elected leader allowed Kerrigan experience on the matter.

“We have a really great balance, there is a stereotype of college towns, and that’s town versus gown. That there is the townies and the college people, and they have different world views and their hostile towards each other and that’s not here. That’s not true here. This is a town and a college that has a long respectful and symbiotic relationship and the current members of the council are both people who are town people, who were born here and who don’t have any direct relationship to the college. Some are long term residences that work for the college, and some are graduates. So we have a nice mix of people representing both, really all aspects of the town.”

Kerrigan said that when discussing the unique position that he has as a member of New Concord’s Village Council.

William Kerrigan is holding his book, Johnny Appleseed. He is wearing a blue shirt with a smile.

Dr. Kerrigan Shows off his latest publication about Johnny Appleseed.

As someone who is so deeply involved in the community development, particularly in regard to the New Concord Reservoir,

Kerrigan said “The first time I visited the New Concord Reservoir, I thought this is a beautiful little place…”

He goes on to discuss the creation of the path around the reservoir, and the obstacles that once made it impossible to walk completely around.

“If you wanted to walk all the way up around it, you had to trail blaze through multi-floor rows and hop through a lot of little creaks and things,” said Kerrigan.

Utilizing first year seminar students, they were able to clear a path around the reservoir with ease.

Within the period of the next two years, with the help of the local community, fraternities, and the football team they were able to lift the heavy material to construct multiple bridges to span over the creeks that lay in path.

“That’s really satisfying, and that’s what’s exciting about living in a small town. It would be hard to do that in a very big city” said Kerrigan.

“It’s inspiring that you can make small differences.”

Dr. Kerrigan is wearing a blue shirt and is holding his book open, as he points and reads a passage from his book.

Dr. Kerrigan cites a passage in one of his history books.

In the last few years, New Concord has faced a finical crisis; the funds that would have helped provide for the community fire and safety services had dried up because of the recent recession.

This left newly elected members of council in a tough spot, where they had to decide if they would push for a tax increase to fund these services.

“And so we had to go to the voters and say do you trust us, do you agree to a tax increase? Do you agree to give the village more money, and do you trust us to use that responsible,” said Kerrigan.

“So being part of that process, seemed to me like a very serious thing. I don’t want to cavalierly go to a family and ask them to contribute more. Unless it is essential.”

“I think we all felt good about the fact that when the voters supported the levy” said Kerrigan.

The constituents that year voted for a one-half percent increase in income tax, to support their local fire and police department.

Kerrigan also expressed excitement and eagerness to learn about some of the on-going services or arrangements currently going on in New Concord.

Discussing how he was brought up to speed on the waste water treatment facilities, said “to learn how that process works was fascinating.

In a time when many counties and state departments are looking to share resources and equipment to save cost, New Concord is in the process of expanding their fire departments to work with sounding townships to provide additional coverage.

In the picture is a book of Johnny Appleseed, that Dr. Kerrigan has recently written. It is light blue, with a red apple in the center.

Dr. Kerrigan’s latest publication about the famous Johnny Appleseed.