- Miss Ohio
The Miss Ohio Scholarship Program (aka the Miss Ohio Pageant) selects the representative for the U.S. state of Ohio to compete for the title of Miss America. The pageant is held annually, during the "Miss Ohio Festival" week, at the historic 1,600 seat Renaissance Theatre (originally named the Ohio Theatre) in Mansfield.
Ohio representatives have won the Miss America Pageant six times, joining California and Oklahoma as the only states with six crowns. Ohio is the only state to have a contestant who won the Miss America title twice:
- 1922 Mary Katherine Campbell, Columbus
- 1923 Mary Katherine Campbell, Columbus
- 1938 Marilyn Meseke, Marion
- 1963 Jacquelyn Mayer, Sandusky
- 1972 Laurie Lea Schaefer, Bexley
- 1978 Susan Perkins, Middletown
When city representatives were common at the national pageant, Mary Katherine Campbell competed in Miss America Pageants as "Miss Columbus Ohio".
The Miss Ohio Pageant played a significant role in the saving of the Ohio Theatre and its renovation into the Renaissance Theatre. Mansfield originally hosted the Miss Ohio Pageant at the old Ohio Theatre from 1959 through 1962. After Sandusky's Jacquelyn Meyer, Miss Ohio 1963, was crowned Miss America 1963, the Miss Ohio Pageant was relocated to the Ballroom Pavilion at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky. In 1975, the pageant returned to Mansfield, first to Malabar High School Auditorium from 1975 through 1978, then to the Madison Theatre in 1979. In 1980, it was decided to televise the pageant. Because of inadequate stage depth and backstage space at the Madison Theatre, the Miss Ohio Board of Directors decided to move the pageant back to Mansfield's Ohio Theatre, reopening the facility and sprucing it up for the pageant's first televised broadcast. The pageant's return to the old Ohio Theatre was the initial event that eventually led to the total renovation of the theatre and its reincarnation into the Renaissance Theatre, the history of which can be read here. The Miss Ohio Scholarship Program has been held at the theatre continuously since 1980, for 30 years.
Year Name Hometown Age Local Title Miss America Talent Placement at Miss America Special scholarships at Miss America Notes 2011 Ellen Bryan Celina 22 Miss Clayland Vocal 2010 Becky Minger Sylvania 22 Miss All-American City Vocal "A House Is Not a Home" Top 10 at National Sweetheart 2008 & 2009 2009 Erica Gelhaus St. Henry 21 Miss Clayland Classical Vocal "So Anch'io la Virtu Magica" from Don Pasquale Former National Sweetheart 2007 2008 Karissa Martin Woodsfield 20 Miss Clayland Vocal "The Girl in 14-G" 2007 Roberta Camp Grove City 23 Miss Maple City Vocal "Blessed" 2006 Melanie Murphy Brook Park 20 Miss Miami Valley Dance "Pump It" Later Mrs. Ohio America 2011 under her married name, Melanie Miller 2005 Marlia Fontaine Massillon 23 Miss Lake Erie Vocal "The Impossible Dream" 2004 Amanda Beagle Warren 24 Miss Lake Erie Classical Vocal "Quando me'n vo'" Non-finalist Talent Top 10 at National Sweetheart 2003 2003 Janelle Couts Akron 22 Miss Medina Vocal "When I Look At You" from The Scarlet Pimpernel 2002 Tiffany Haas Cincinnati 20 Miss Heart of it All Classical Vocal "Glitter and Be Gay" from Candide 2nd runner up, Quality of Life award 2001 Natalie Witwer Dublin 19 Miss Ashland Piano "America the Beautiful" 2000 Stephanie Meisberger Hopewell 23 Miss North Coast Vocal "You Do Something to Me" Contestant at National Sweetheart 1999 1999 Tiffany Baumann Cleveland 22 Miss Greater Cleveland Vocal "But the World Goes Round" by Kander and Ebb niece of Miss Ohio 1969 Katherine Baumann 1998 Cheya Watkins Cincinnati 21 Miss Southeastern Ohio Gospel Vocal "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" Later Miss Ohio USA 2000 1997 Kelly Creager Hamler 19 Miss Conneaut Vocal "Remember Me This Way" from Casper 1996 Robyn Hancock Grand Rapids 21 Miss Crestline Classical Ballet en Pointe "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker Non-finalist Talent Award 1995 Ellen Pasturzak Portsmouth 23 Miss Portsmouth Vocal "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard 1994 Lea Mack Pickerington 21 Miss Pickerington-America Vocal "Think of Me" Top 10 Semi-Finalist at Miss America 1995 2nd runner-up Quality of Life Award Previously Ohio's Junior Miss 1991 1993 Titilayo Adedokun Cincinnati 20 Miss Americana Classical Vocal "The Jewel Song" from Faust 2nd runner-up at Miss America 1994 Preliminary Talent Award 1992 Robin Meade Wakeman 23 Miss Mansfield Vocal "Alexander's Ragtime Band" Semi-finalist Lead news anchor for HLN morning show, Morning Express with Robin Meade 1991 Renee Autherson Newark 21 Miss Central Ohio Vocal / Dance "Fabulous Feet" from The Tap Dance Kid 1990 Kristi Cooke Marion 22 Miss Willard Vocal "Nothing" from A Chorus Line 1989 Kristin Huffman Canal Winchester 24 Miss Pickerington-America Classical Vocal "Csárdás" from Die Fledermaus 4th runner-up at Miss America 1990 Preliminary Talent Award 1988 Sarah Ann Evans Van Wert 23 Miss Pickerington-America Vocal "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" from The Phantom of the Opera Non-finalist Talent Award 1987 Susan Kay Johnson Columbus 22 Miss Canton Vocal "Believe" Non-finalist Talent Award 1986 Mary Zilba Toledo 22 Miss Greater Toledo Vocal "My Mammy" Non-finalist Talent Award 1985 Suellen Cochran Heath 21 Miss Southeastern Piano Solo "Variations on Chopsticks" Top 10 Semi-Finalist at Miss America 1986 Preliminary Swimsuit; Preliminary Talent 1984 Melissa Bradley Mansfield 23 Miss Clayland Vocal "A Piece of Sky" from Yentl 1st runner-up 1983 Pamela Rigas Canfield 22 Miss Cuyahoga Co. Fair Vocal / Dance "Shine It On" 4th runner-up at Miss America 1984 Preliminary Swimsuit Previously Miss Alabama USA 1980 (3rd runner-up to Miss USA), Ohio's Junior Miss 1978 1982 Debra Gombert Bexley 22 Miss North Central Semi-Classical Vocal "Love Is Where You Find It" 1981 Juliana Zilba Mansfield 21 Miss North Central Vocal Medley "Up the Ladder to the Roof" & "With One More Look At You" from A Star Is Born Non-finalist Talent Award, Dr. David B. Allman Medical Scholarship Recipient 1980 Kathy Vernon Youngstown 24 Miss North Central Vocal Medley "I Have Dreamed" & "I Loved You Once In Silence" Top 10 Semi-Finalist 1979 Tana Carli Lakewood 23 Miss Willard Accordion Medley "Tea for Two" & "Dizzy Fingers" 1st runner-up at Miss America 1980 Preliminary Talent Award 1978 Sher Patrick Centerville 19 Miss South Central Middle-Eastern Dance 3rd runner-up at Miss America 1979 Toured with Miss America USO Troupe 1977 Joan Gilger* Mansfield 21 Miss Bowling Green Gymnastic Trampoline Susan Perkins Middletown 23 Miss Clayland Vocal "Good Morning Heartache" Winner Preliminary Talent Award 1976 Janice Cooley Portsmouth 20 Miss Ohio Valley Piano Solo "Mephisto Waltz" Non-finalist Talent Award 1975 Susan Banks Ravenna 24 Miss Warren Classical Vocal "Sempre Libera" from La traviata 3rd runner-up Preliminary Talent Award First Miss Ohio crowned in Mansfield upon pageant's return to the city in 1975 1974 Lorrie Kapsta Columbus 26 Miss Franklin County Classical Piano "Piano Concerto in B Minor" Non-finalist Talent Award Last Miss Ohio crowned at Cedar Point Ballroom Pavilion 1973 Cheryl Youkvitch Lorain 21 Miss Lorain Vocal Medley Non-finalist Talent Award 1972 Karen Sparka Bowling Green 21 Miss Bowling Green Vocal Medley "My Man" & "My Man's Gone Now" Non-Finalist Talent Award 1971 Judy Jones Miss Miami University Laurie Lea Schaefer Bexley 22 Miss Bexley Semi Classical Vocal "And This Is My Beloved" Winner Preliminary Swimsuit 1970 Grace Bird Alliance 21 Miss Alliance French Horn Solo & Classical Vocal "1st Concerto for French Horn" & "Ouvre ton Coeur" from Vasco da Gama by Georges Bizet 1969 Katherine Baumann Bowling Green 19 Miss Bowling Green Gymnastics Dance "Those Were the Days" 1st runner-up Preliminary Swimsuit; Preliminary Talent Aunt of Miss Ohio 1999 Tiffany Baumann 1968 Leslyn Hiple Louisville 19 Miss Canton Vocal Medley "If My Friends Could See Me Now" & "I'm a Brass Band" from Sweet Charity 1967 Pamela Robinson Dayton 22 Miss Dayton Vocal "Oh To Be a Movie Star" from The Apple Tree Previously Ohio's Junior Miss 1963 & 3rd runner-up at America's Junior Miss 1966 Sharon Phillian Delaware 21 Miss Delaware Vocal Medley "This Is My Country" & "Où va la jeune Hindoue" from Lakme 3rd runner-up Preliminary Talent Award Competed in the 1965 National Sweetheart Pageant 1965 Valerie Lavin Canton 20 Miss Canton Vocal / Dance "I Ought to Dance" 1964 Diane Courtwright Columbus 19 Miss Columbus Popular Vocal & Modern Jazz Dance 1963 Peggy Emerson Akron Miss Akron Semi-Classical Vocal First Miss Ohio crowned at Cedar Point Ballroom Pavilion 1962 Bonne Gawronski* Miss Toledo Jacquelyn Mayer Sandusky 20 Miss Sandusky Broadway Vignette "Wishing Upon a Star," "My Favorite Things" & "The White Cliffs of Dover" Winner Motivational speaker, noted for her recovery from a near-fatal stroke suffered at age 28 1961 Darlene Depasquale Dayton 18 Miss Dayton Comedy Skit "Betty at the Baseball Game" 1960 Alice McClain Marion 18 Miss Marion Vocal 1959 Carole Weiler Circleville 18 Miss Circleville Dramatic Reading 1958 Margaret Putman Ada Miss Ada Dramatic Sketch "Student Nurse" 1957 Linda Hattman Mansfield Miss Mansfield 1956 Roberta Palmer Cleveland Miss Cleveland Vocal "On the Street Where You Live" 1955 Marguerite Garr Cincinnati Miss Cincinnati Vocal & Zither "Old Black Joe" 1954 Barbara Quinlin Alliance Miss Alliance Classical Vocal "Habanera" Semi-finalist Preliminary Talent Award 1953 Martha Zimmerman Salem Miss Salem Drama / Piano 1952 Carol Koontz Bolivar Miss Bolivar Fire Baton Twirling & Clarinet Solo 1951 Ruth Howell Apple Creek Miss Apple Creek Drama 1950 Irene Farren Grand River Miss Grand River 1949 Florence Bondi Cleveland Miss Cleveland 1948 Maxine Waack Fairview Miss Fairview 1947 Nancy Nesbitt Cleveland Miss Cleveland Vocal "I Don't Know Enough About You" 1946 LaVonne Bond Cincinnati Vocal "Thine Alone" from Eileen Semi-Finalist competed as Miss Cincinnati Mary Eileen Kelly Cleveland competed as Miss Cleveland 1945 Julia Donahue Oxford Virginia Lee Pleasant Cincinnati competed as Miss Cincinnati 1944 Madeline Bohanon Cincinnati competed as Miss Cincinnati 1943 Joan Hyldoft Cincinnati ice skating Preliminary Talent Award competed as Miss Cincinnati 1942 Barbara Patterson Cincinnati competed as Miss Cincinnati 1941 Janice Sulzman Willoughby Semi-finalist Lois Jean Beck Cleveland competed as Miss Cleveland 1940 Violet Berze Steubenville Bette Jane Hart competed as Miss Central Ohio 1939 Jeanne Saboda Cleveland Maxine Drumm competed as Miss East Ohio 1938 Marilyn Meseke Marion 21 Miss Marion Tap Dance "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" Winner Evelyn Bertelsbeck Cleveland Semi-Finalist competed as Miss Cleveland 1937 Jean Fadden Cleveland Semi-Finalist Evelyn Townley Semi-Finalist competed a second time as Miss Buckeye Lake Sally Lillian Frank Cincinnati competed as Miss Cincinnati 1936 Evelyn Townley Acrobatic Dance Semi-Finalist competed as Miss Buckeye Lake Dorothy A. Duncan Cincinnati competed as Miss Cincinnati 1935 Beatrice Pfeiffer Cincinnati vocal competed as Miss Cincinnati Eleanore Papin Cleveland competed as Miss Cleveland 1933 Corinne Porter 18 Semi-Finalist 1927 Evelyn Wilgus Russells Point Erma Shorwood Steele competed as Miss Canton 1925 Elarka Towne Conneaut Elsie Connor, Miss Cleveland, finished as a Finalist in the pageant. Isabel Robertson competed as Miss Youngstown. There was also a Miss Toledo whose name is not known. 1924 No Miss Ohio Mary Katherine Campbell returned a third time to defend her title and finished 1st runner-up competing as Miss America. Pauline James, Miss Youngstown was a Semi-Finalist. There was also a Miss Columbus who competed but whose name is not known. 1923 Mary Katherine Campbell Columbus 17 Winner competed as Miss America and successfully defended her title, the only woman to win the pageant twice. Mary Jane Clark, Miss Cleveland & Genevieve Mambourg, Miss Columbus finished as Semi-Finalists. Also representing Ohio were: Thelma Boyd, Miss Akron & Olga Emrich, Miss Cincinnati. 1922 Mary Katherine Campbell Columbus 16 Winner competed as Miss Columbus. Also representing Ohio were: Doris Widdensheim, Miss Akron; Leile Charles, Miss Cleveland; Helen Frances Smith, Miss Dayton & Loraine Foskey, Miss Toledo
* Succeeded to the crown after Miss Ohio won Miss America
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