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Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Thomas Laurence Nicolson
    Monday, February 18, 2019 4:00 AM
    The soldiers have come from all realms of economy, this week’s from one of the wealthiest of the Crawfordsville area families, but, yes, most from quite poor circumstances. This one is just one of the exceptions.
    Thomas Laurence Nicolson was the son of Thomas B. and Anne Kenyon Nicholson. Her father, Wiley Kenyon was quite an admired man and delved into many aspects of Montgomery’s early life, including being our first or one of the first photographers in Crawfordsville. He owned several government patents in the heating field and was a gold digger (literally). Anne’s mother, Mary Elizabeth O’Neall was the daughter of Abijah O’Neall, who came to Montgomery County, settling at Yountsville in 1834. He was a miller and kept a country store. Also, he served as a surveyor and was a farmer, plus he sheltered escaped slaves for the Underground Railroad. 
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  • Lucky in love, our guest also won an important horse
    Thursday, February 14, 2019 4:00 AM
    Had such a wonderful time visiting with my amazing guest this week, who recently celebrated her 10 x 10th birthday. Yep, she is 100 but gave me to know that she’s not the oldest person in Waveland, Lillian Presslor is!
    Her home is like a museum, full of dolls, pictures and just wonderful family items. She apologized for the mess – no need – I loved it and although I stayed more than three hours, I could easily live there, not only for the nostalgia but because I so enjoyed visiting with this knowledgeable, interesting, sweet lady.
    Born in Paris, Illinois, she grew-up in Portland Mills, Indiana where she attended Russellville school and lived on the family farm where she began her working career at age seven when her mother was badly burned with hot canning wax while fixing tomatoes. There was a few week old baby at the house and no one else to help. Mom was forbidden to get her hands in water or do any work. So, washing, ironing, cooking became her life. She really loves being outdoors, though. Arranging, weeding and working in the flowers, gardening, she loves it all. Still does it, although she rides her golf cart around moving from place to place.
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Henry Hines Churchill
    Monday, February 11, 2019 4:00 AM
    Henry Hines Churchill was a resident of the County Home when he went for a walk, had a heart attack and died. Young Jack Clements who was out hunting with his dog discovered the body and went for help. Just three days earlier, Henry’s brother, Paul Churchill passed away at his home, at 406 N. Walnut. This was also due to a fatal heart attack. Henry was born in Champaign, Illinois Jan 9th in 1893; he passed away December 28th, 1948, still a young man in today’s views. 
    Besides these two brothers born to William and Denia Richey Churchill, other boys were Marlin, Paul, Roy, Sigmond, George H, Virgil Franklin and Clarence, plus sisters, Mary, Anna, Margaret and Ida. There were also a couple of other children who passed away young, totalling a baker’s dozen. William was born in North Carolina September 15, 1849 and passed away in Crawfordsville Sept 20, 1936. Denia was born and raised here (1 Sept 1858) dying three days before Christmas in 1947. In almost all of the records relating to this family, the cause of death is heart failure. Most all are buried in Oak Hill.
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  • It’s community action with a flare for these two
    Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:00 AM
    Jim and I were thrilled to meet with another successful old A&W employee and his dear wife at the Pizza Hut for this week’s story. We are friends on Facebook and they are involved in so much in their small Montgomery County community that I just one day said to myself, “Okay, it’s time to tell their story!” So glad they said yes and do hope you enjoy reading about these two special folks.
    One discussion topic was their bucket list. Guess what, they don’t have one! They just enjoy living day to day, helping others. Can’t get much better than that, I’d say. Also, they confirmed a fact I’d definitely picked up from watching them on FB. “We’re never idle!” 
    A CHS graduate, he said he wasn’t in much there, but as soon as he turned 16 and got his license, he went to work for us. She went to North Putnam and loved all the Home Ec classes. That certainly comes in handy with her current job. 
    Much of our discussions centered around food, beginning with his commenting that he missed the big sandwich with the slaw. That’d be the Poppa Burger at the A&W. Also, the broasted chicken, which was my favorite. Our catch phrase as we enjoyed our time together, though was, “Make plenty of gravy.” Her personal favorite food is Chicken Alfredo which she ordered but never got at Pizza Hut. Kind of a bad night to meet as they messed up her order then one of the other waitresses swiped it, so she ended-up taking hers home. We felt bad but it didn’t bother her too much, since she’s been on a diet and was splurging that evening; she said she didn’t mind so much. Actually her advice to the world is “Settle down and don’t take things so seriously.” She certainly promoted that in this case. Took the delay very well.
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - James Alexander Harrington
    Monday, February 4, 2019 4:00 AM
    Left an orphan twice, James Alexander Harrington was born March 15, 1843 to Burton and Martha Collings Harrington. At the tender age of six, he lost the love of his mother, his father found wifeless with their five children the next year in the 1850 census. Sad enough, but his father didn’t last until even the next census. His grandfather, Burton A. Harrington was long passed, as well and his grandmother (Sabrina Lathrope Harrington), whose family goes back in America to 1700 in Barnstable, Mass passed away the same year as her son, Burton in 1854.
    Evidently, James had little or no education as he was noted in various sources as being unable to read and write. His jobs were varied, as well, being a laborer, farmer, teamster and finally, a grocery man (but I’m thinking you needed to read/write for that – perhaps his wife could or this was when he was older so maybe his children kept the books).
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  • They grew-up within a country road between them
    Thursday, January 31, 2019 4:00 AM
    These two grew-up in northern Putnam with a country road between ‘em. They began dating their freshman year in high school and have been married 42 years. Plus, they spent 38 of those years in the little town of Browns Valley. Now, he’s in Heaven as they live on Rocky Ridge Golf Course, and her official day working with the South School System after 31 years is coming up very shortly. They have also been members of New Hope Christian Church since 1986. Great feat! 
    At North Putnam, he wrestled and was one of the football stars (along with the Brothers boys). She was the cheerleader who fell in love with the football star. The school record for most yards was our fellow’s for quite some time, but as all records seem to do, was broken later on. She did well in school but he kept his grades decent just so he could play sports. Think his notation was something like, “Tell it like it is!” 
    Our favorite hang-out (Pizza Hut) was our meeting place with this couple and Jim and I enjoyed hearing about their growing up in neighboring Putnam. For one thing, his was a very large family - eight brothers and sisters. Two girls, two boys, two girls, two boys, he being the oldest of the males. “We’d wake up to a huge pot of oatmeal. Grab a bowl, flop some in and sit down for grub!” Remembering canning wasn’t the best topic for him as they all spent hours doing it. When they got married, she wanted to have a big garden and can. “No! Buy it at the store!” Definitely, much easier that way! One year, all eight of the brothers and sisters were in school, oldest a senior, youngest in first grade. His dad was a truck driver and mom was pretty amazing working so hard to keep ‘em going, including making all their clothes. He said when bell bottoms came in, they all wanted some but there was just no money, so mom went to work cutting, patching and sewing away and bet theirs was better than the store-bought! 
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Richard Gott
    Monday, January 28, 2019 4:00 AM
    Several twists follow this week’s soldier, Richard Gott. He was born on the 14th day of March in the census year, 1930, son of Arthur and Clara Gott in Crawfordsville. He joined their family, having two older sisters (Marjorie and Ethel), and one older brother, Arthur. Sounds pretty simple, but add here that just eight days later, another Gott family had a son, Richard. Robert and Lillian Gott welcomed their son, Richard Howard on the 22nd in the little city of Crawfordsville. 
    The above Richard Howard grew-up at 1003 E. Pike while our soldier, Richard Neil was born and raised at 806 S. Washington. His father was 45 years old at his birth and worked for a poultry transit firm and mom Clara was 44. Richard Howard’s father worked at Donnelley’s and was much the younger of the two fathers by 20 years. 
    Ready for this? Richard Howard also had a sister, Marjorie. To make matters more challenging, Richard Howard joined the US Marines and was in the Korean War. He would eventually go on to college, become a professor but would die in a sad accident near Apache, Arizona in 1961, at the young age of 39. He had not been there long and was working on a project for Arizona State University creating a junior college on the Navajo Indian Reservation when he and a fellow worker were in a wreck (hit a horse). He is buried (marked grave but no indication of service) in Michigan City, Indiana where many of my husband’s ancestors are, Greenwood Cemetery. 
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  • This gal has had a whole realm of nursing expertise
    Thursday, January 24, 2019 4:00 AM
    Do believe this little lady is the most energetic 86-year-old, “crowding 87” as she giggled . . . ever! Cute as can be, and just as sweet to go along with it! She contributes her good health and fortune to her regular routine which consists of daily devotions, her mile on the tread mill, and go, go, go, until she finally slows down to keep her mind going at 6 p.m. Then, she watches Dave Muir’s world news, because she feels he tells it like it is and shows you what he says. After that, she gets involved in Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, as “it challenges my brain.” Clean, touching Hallmark movies as well as the occasional Hallmark Mysteries are often in her daily routine, too.
    She has Type II diabetes but has managed it so well she still is only on a couple of pills a day. No insulin shots. Several in her family have had diabetes as well as a quick “walk across the floor, keel over and die.” She hopes to join that long string of family members for the last trait. Skin cancer is a constant fight but “Dr. Linda takes good care of me!” Certainly, time will tell but she’s not planning on going for a few more years – good for her!
    Speaking of health, Dr. Miller told her a few years ago, “No coffee!” Drink Green Tea. Her answer? “But I don’t like green tea.” He came back with, “Learn to like it!” She’s still drinking it but (shhhhh) with a little coffee on the bottom.
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Henry “Lane” Willson
    Monday, January 21, 2019 4:00 AM
    The family of this young soldier may have been the most high-volume of the socialites with parties here and others there, which goes right along with the family members also being some of the best loved people of our community. An example: in mid-April, 1874 Col. Samuel C. Willson, had a large number of guests that were supplied with great hospitality by their hosts and had the fullest of enjoyment. The family was quite active hosting Methodist social affairs, as well.
    Colonel Samuel Campbell Willson and his wife, Laura Virginia Maddox Willson had come to Crawfordsville as a newly married couple. They became parents of seven children, Henry “Lane” Willson, our soldier as their oldest son, born in Crawfordsville October 16, 1841. The Col. would lose his two sons, as well as two young children before his death, while Laura tallied yet another loss after his death, leaving only Lucy Brown, Anna Marsh and Julia Irwin of their family living. Both Lane and his brother, Levi Beardsley Willson died young, Lane with what seems to be a cerebral hemorrhage since he was fine one minute, up for breakfast and going about the routine of the day, then a severe headache, violent shaking of the muscles, suffering greatly before passing away. If this wasn’t a stroke, it was some type of brain problems, inflammation of the brain, aneurism, or what have you. This was at his home in Indianapolis where he had mainly lived after the war.
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  • His mom fixed 'em up on a blind date for his 22nd birthday
    Thursday, January 17, 2019 4:00 AM
    A transfer with Wal-Mart (Optical Lab) planted this beautiful lady in our midst. His mom set-up a blind date for his 22nd birthday with this sweetie. Not super thrilled about it, though, he really wanted to just hang-out with friends. His mom told her, “Hey, if you don’t like him, I have two nephews about your age!” However, when his mom went in to get her and he saw her, “I don’t know, something just happened to me! I just knew!” He had dated a few other girls, but nothing really clicked. Although she wasn’t convinced immediately, it wasn’t long afterwards. In fact, these two are still clicking after more than a quarter of a century. 
    She grew-up in Brownstown, Illinois and was Valedictorian of her class (he gave me to know there were only 32 though – hey, somebody’s gotta’ be first). She played volleyball and basketball (until she broke her finger). Also, she was involved in Spanish Club. Her school is so small they have two baseball seasons because there isn’t enough to play football. Of course, he’s a football man. 
    He graduated from North in ’89 and played football, plus swam. It was discussed that for the picture with this article we use one of him in a Speedo. Nixed!
    Both come from large families, his mom the third youngest of a dozen, her mom - six sisters and two brothers and her dad is one of nine, but when they were taking instructions, she told the priest she didn’t want any kids. That was only one of many items against these two, but love has a way of persevering. “If you’re both on the same page, it’ll work,” she noted. Part of the package was that his family and friends love her. Quickly done! Although hers was a bit iffy at first, they adore him now. Don’t know how anyone couldn’t. Great guy and she’s a special lady. 
    Well, she changed her mind about having no young’uns. They have two amazing young men, both very sporty. Although I saw this fellow at church when he was young and their large family filed in, all dressed in fancy Sunday clothes, I didn’t really meet him until our grandson, Dane played with Thunder and their oldest played, too. Loved that experience with the boys from various schools all playing so well together and getting along. Many still remain friends. Great fun! Good memories! 
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  • This week's guest is pure smiley
    Thursday, January 10, 2019 4:00 AM
    Known this awesome lady since she was a youngun’ with the same contagious smile she wears so beautifully today. Literally, she brightens my day whenever I happen to see her!
    She grew-up in our area and attended Southmont but a bit younger than my two children. Another thing I love about her is her honesty. “I wanted to give a speech at graduation and since I knew I’d not be Valedictorian or Salutatorian, I gladly accepted being class president so I could give a speech in that position.” Smart she is, however, as one of the top ten of her class of 1991. Besides intelligence, she was a great basketball player and played volleyball part of those years. As per her presidency, she laughed then said, “Except I didn’t know planning future reunions went with the territory!” My guess is they’ve had great ones.
    4-H was a big part of her life throughout her school years, having been a 10-year member and showing pigs and horses throughout. In 1990, she was Miss Montgomery County. She’s a beauty yet and if she’s anything like her mom and gma’ she will be ‘til the end of time. Actually, she has been involved in 4-H beyond her teen years as she’s been 4-H Horse and Pony Leader as her two girls are involved with that as well as photography.
    Extremely involved with horses, I asked her how that happened. “Well, as with most little girls, I begged for a horse probably from the first time I ever saw one.” Her dad always wanted a horse, too so it was fairly easy to convince him of that. “I love my barn time – sweeping, throwing hay bales,” is her sanctuary. Each of her girls have a horse, Phoebe and Homer they show sometimes, but our guest still loves to involve and does some showing too, as well as some horse show judging. By the way I giggled a bit when she told me their horse was Homer. She wholeheartedly agreed but gave me a quick horse lesson – “You don’t change their names,” thus Homer it is.
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One – Calloway Nausler
    Monday, January 7, 2019 4:00 AM
    With one of the most unusual names of all of our soldiers in the Etched In Stone series, today we have Calloway Nausler, which was actually a replacement stone due to deterioration. His last name has been found spelled at least ten ways, but Nausler and Nauslar the most popular, with a close third Nosler. His stone depicts the name as Nauslar, but his parents both are Nosler. Brother Hiram’s stone is spelled the same as our soldier, but just as often sisters, or uncles are all spelled differently. To make researching more extreme, Calloway has been found Caloway; Calway; Callway; and even various spellings of Galloway. As Kim Hancock says, “A genealogical nightmare!” 
    He was the youngest of five known children (siblings: Mahala, Hiram, Lucinda and Linnie) born to Sebastian Boston and Sarah Kirk Nausler, both Virginians. Cal’s grandfather came to America with his father and mother as a boy but was left to his own cunning in the new world as his parents died on the voyage here. Boston the first was born in Austria in 1735. Boston II was born in Augusta County, Virginia in 1756, married Sophia Bidifich and to them were born ten children, she lacking just a few months of being 100 at her death. Although the older Boston was said to be in the Revolutionary war, I’m wondering if it was the younger. At any rate, one was. Boston II and Sarah came through Anderson County, Tennessee for a few short years where Calloway Nausler was born on December 9, 1829. 
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  • Raucous hilarity with this week's folks
    Thursday, January 3, 2019 4:00 AM
    This week my guest was hard to find. My fault. I’m usually way ahead in my writing but between the Indiana Genealogy Facebook page I monitor (52 new members the week between Christmas and New Years alone, most wanting help) and having the family in for Christmas, plus spending a couple of evenings with our grandson, AJ, who is off to New York for the 3rd and last leg of the Navy Nuclear program, I procrastinated. So in a panic, I decided the day before this article was due to write about my friend, well friends, actually.
    First met the original about 40 years ago through Scouts and New Market School. We were acquaintances then but became great friends as the years progressed. I won’t keep you in suspense very long as to who I am writing about this week, and you’ll see why in a jiffy, so stay tuned. 
    Let’s just say that my friends move a lot. Seems like about once a month, really. Even been in other cities a time or two. I’ve visited with them in Brownsburg, Danville, Lafayette, North Salem (one of the favorite places so far). 
    One item we do a lot is laugh. Oh, my, one of them gave the perfect word to it … raucous. I’m sure if you know me personally and not just via my writing, you can easily believe that. When we visit, the louder the better. So much fun. A perfectly innocent comment or some silly crack can lead to ten minutes of pure laughter! Raucous hilarity! 
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One – Thomas Franklin Leech
    Monday, December 31, 2018 4:00 AM
    Ever been to an old cemetery and you could hardly find the stones for brush or because they were crushed-up? Well, this soldier has a similar problem. His small stone with no information as to his war years is being gobbled, as in literally swallowed up by a huge old tree. Now, he will be blessed with a beautiful new government stone with his info included, thanks to Kim Hancock and Suzi Petrie.
    Although our soldier, Thomas Franklin Leech was born in Flat Rock, Shelby County, Indiana two days after Christmas in 1840, his parents, David and America (Taylor) Leech were both born and raised in Virginia. The Leeches were of Irish descent, their progenitor, George a Revolutionary Soldier, coming to America prior to 1775. Young Leech spent his early life in Hope, Indiana where he attended the Hope Academy, graduated from Shelbyville, HS and then on to Philadelphia to Jefferson Medical College.
    However, he hadn’t completed his studies when war broke out and he enlisted in Co D of the 33rd Infantry at Shelbyville. Although an infantryman, quickly, it was realized that he was blessed as a healer. This company all toiled, lost 116 KIA and another 182 by disease. After 18 months, he was given a furlough to complete his studies then entered the Navy, spending the rest of the war on the Mississippi at Vicksburg as a physician on the USS Peri. Soldiers and sailors forever after praised this man for saving their lives. 
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  • Monday, December 24, 2018 4:00 AM
    Our soldier this week was to have been “an excellent man; an honorable and upright citizen.” He began life on the 20th day of January in 1842. Conflicting obituaries say in Kirkpatrick and Sugar Grove. In the 1850 census, the family of Eli and Mary Ann Blackford Fouts, our subject, Wesley Fouts’ parents, they lived just over the border in Jackson Township, Tippecanoe County. By the 1860 census, they lived in Westpoint. 
    Wesley grew up on a farm with at least five brother and sisters. On June 26th in the heart of the Civil War, 1863, in Jackson Township, he registered for the Civil War Draft as a single man age 21. Joining for six months that August (17th), at Lafayette, he saw action at least twice, once in the Battle of Walker’s Ford and the other during the Battle of Blue Spring in Eastern Tennessee. Only one member of his 116th Indiana Volunteers was killed in battle, but they lost a lot of men (64 in the six months of duty) to disease. In fact, disease caught hold of Wesley Fouts and followed him for the next three decades. 
    Mustering out as a corporal, upon his return, he fell in love with Emeline Mitchell and they were married on August 9, 1864. Farming was his life for a short while, then they moved to Waynetown where he loved running a Dry Goods store for close to a decade.
    His consumption of 30 years (the longest of anyone in my old readings that I’ve found, anyway) put him into the serious health stage, although he had collected an invalid’s pension from the Civil War as far back as June of 1879. Upon his death on April 18, 1898, “Emma” filed a week later for the widow’s portion of his pension.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
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