Saturday, November 27

Karen Zach

This local soldier had one of the most unique funerals in our county
Columnists, Karen Zach

This local soldier had one of the most unique funerals in our county

By Karen Zach An interesting, but far too short of a life was that of John Clark Maxwell’s.  His desire was to serve his country and that he did in back-to-back enlistments. Born on a farm near Crawfordsville, he joined a large family with two full brothers, George and Ira (who died as a teen), three half brothers (Frank, Harry and Fred) and three sisters (Ellen, Mary and Clara Bell).  His father was a farmer but also did work for the county in various capacities, including assessing and one job of “road construction viewer.”  John was the son of John Clark Maxwell (whose mother was a Clark) and Catherine Pierce, his father passing at age 55 and his mother remaining a widow for 30 years before her death.  Oddly, John married Alva Glover (born 2 July 1879 in Fincas...
Here comes the judge . . . with Karen right behind
Columnists, Karen Zach

Here comes the judge . . . with Karen right behind

By Karen Zach Three aspects regarding James Ford Harney were discussed in his lengthy obituary in the Crawfordsville Weekly Journal, all helpful in realizing this man may have been Montgomery County’s greatest ever! In the obituary, he was tagged as one of “nature’s noblemen – stalwart in body, stalwart in mind and stalwart in spirit.” First of all, in his day he would about be considered a giant of a man. Just over 6’, he was quite tall in his time frame and along with that he was well-built, strong, agile and cautious. He could outwork and outlast the best in any physical situation. Intellectually, he was just as impressive, constantly reading and improving his mind. He loved good literature but also read about the “most obtuse and difficult problems.” Often quoted, he love...
Just what DO you do with flat feet?
Columnists, Karen Zach

Just what DO you do with flat feet?

George “Kenneth" Cunningham By Karen Zach Quite an interesting fellow was born in Montgomery County at 8 in the morning, the first child of Jesse and Inez (Shields) Cunningham. It was April 3rd in 1913. Jesse was 32 and a dairyman and as most women of the day, Inez was a housewife (and seven years younger than Jesse). George “Kenneth" Cunningham was delivered as a normal birth by Dr. Faye O. Schenck and five years later was joined by Ruth Josephine, Ken’s only sibling. The Cunningham kids grew-up in Crawfordsville, both graduates of CHS, Ken involved in orchestra, band and Hi-Y. His senior year the Hi-Y basketball team went undefeated but I’d guess in lieu of what I’ll tell ya’ next he didn’t play although he was a half inch shy of 6’ which was tall for the time. Plus, I think ...
Meet Vilas Jacks, local corn husking champion
Columnists, Karen Zach

Meet Vilas Jacks, local corn husking champion

Photo courtesy of the Journal-Courier. Villas Bussell Jacks pictured with ears of corn (Oct. 28, 1938). By Karen Zach Certainly, I’m not an expert in the farming world, but I know one of the most fun stories I’ve written relates to this topic. Several years ago, I was blessed to meet the son and granddaughter of Lawrence Pitzer who grew-up on a farm in Fountain County, won multiple state competitions and then became the National Corn Husking Champion in 1939. His family was so generous sharing information, letting me view his scrapbooks and making it possible for me to almost live the whole affair! But that was next door. Little did I know until Bill Boone sent me articles and pictures that we had a state husking champion right in our midst and since corn season is wrapping-up, t...
Ruby Byrd Houlehan – full of sorrows but loving life
Columnists, Karen Zach

Ruby Byrd Houlehan – full of sorrows but loving life

By Karen Zach Had such a great time enjoying Ruby Byrd Houlehan’s pictures given to the Crawfordsville District Public Library and stored in their image database.  From the photos, I became quite interested in Ruby. What a girl!  Ruby was a pretty, popular gal, and involved in a great deal. She was graduated from Crawfordsville HS, and taught in Crawfordsville for a few years before her marriage. A daughter of Darius Monroe Byrd and his wife, Laura Barber, Ruby had one brother, Clifford “Will”iam.  Will however passed away when he was but 19 years old, leaving Ruby an only child. The funeral occurred at the Byrd home (810 E. Market) where a quartet of friends sang and at the burial in Oak Hill, the First Baptist (according to his obituary, but likely First Meth...
Karen just hop, hop, Hopping along this week
Columnists, Karen Zach

Karen just hop, hop, Hopping along this week

Ya’ just never know when or where or how I am going to come up with a subject to mold into an article or where you as a reader might see it. Fell upon this fellow while researching a lawyer for the upcoming Prosecuting Attorney November Montgomery Memories. So, meet Joseph Miller Hopping who is not a lawyer at all! “Uncle Joe” as he was known all over the county was born October 12th (1819) in Princeton, New Jersey, the youngest of a family of eight having two sisters and five brothers. When Joe was young, the family moved to Auburn, New York and this is where Joe Hopping grew to adulthood. Much of the family stayed around there, and his mother passed away in New York. So in 1843 (1837 in one place), he, his oldest brother, Sylvester and their father moved to Yountsville. Joe did f...