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Phillip Johnson creates knife to honor "Jim Bat"

Phillip D. Johnson and Ricky Romans

Renowned knifemaker Phillip D. Johnson, of Woodbury, recently presented Butler County Jailer Ricky Romans an extraordinary knife in honor of his grandfather Hilery "Jim Bat" Johnson Jr.

The knife is made of 5160 spring steel, has a 10.75 " blade with Phillip's touchmark on the left side, and a heart stamped on the right side. The handle is stag with a steel butt. Hershel C. House, of Woodbury, engraved "Jim Bat" on the blade. Jamie Burgess of Morgantown created a wall plaque with engravings and two deer tines for the knife placement.

Jim Bat was a dedicated public servant for 43 years to the citizens of Morgantown and Butler County. He served on the Morgantown City Police Department for nine years and became the first chief of police for Morgantown in 1956. Jim Bat served as the county surveyor for 12 years, and the Butler County jailer for 22 years, before retirement. He passed at the age of 83 in 2012.

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