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Thursday, June 21, 2018

  • This guest says his wife is his best friend
    Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:00 AM
    Right off, this interview threw me for a loop, as I thought I knew my subject fairly well, thinking he and wife had two daughters, then he told me four and counting. Don’t worry, I’ll explain that later. So, obviously, I was all ears. 
    A New Market boy, (although he lived a few years in Linden early on) he was starting running-back in their undefeated season when NM beat Turkey Run in the big final game 80-0. This was long before the class system. However, he had broken his leg with three games left and Ernie Hauser had a broken ankle, two starters out and they still won. Add track, basketball, baseball to his high school interests, he was with the second class out of Southmont. His sister, Donna worked for us at the A&W but oddly, I had never put that together, although I certainly should have since they were extremely close, with February and December 1955 birthdays. They were always in the same class. They have another brother, Jerry and sister Mary.
    His wife of almost 43 years is also a South graduate. Actually, he got to know her brother before he did her, as he went to the Ladoga Nazarene Church and would play ball on the outdoor court, along with a bunch of Ladoga boys, her brother included. Love grew quickly between he and Becky, and as you can see has lasted not too far shy of half a century. “We are best friends,” he noted. 
    After high school, he went to Olivette in Illinois for three semesters but Becky was at ISU and so he transferred. They couldn’t wait and against their folks better judgement, (“we knew where we were heading”) they were indeed married in her home church, Ladoga Christian, August 15, 1975 when they were still in college. She has been involved with the children in about all capacities there since and he is an Elder and teaches an adult men’s Sunday School Class. He does say it’s ironic that he is in front of peers now all the time, where he flunked Freshman English (one 6-weeks) because he just could not get up in front of his classmates and give a speech. Doesn’t bother him much anymore though as he’s not only involved in the church but in many other capacities where he’s in front of the crowd often. With added irony, he was an English teacher (although he said his beloved subject was history but there were too many history/PE/coaches around already). 
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  • There's no yours and mine with these two - their kids are all "ours"
    Thursday, June 14, 2018 4:00 AM
    Completely retired, this couple sold their business to the son, and are loving every single minute of it. In fact, they are pretty close to being retired from their after-retirement career. How ‘bout that?
    Before, during and after retirement, this couple loves travelling, having been to Israel on two different trips, and “would go back in a heart beat.” They even experienced an emergency landing in Newfoundland with a tunnel of 15’ high snow on both sides of the runway. They loved taking care of the VIP row at the world prayer conference. Ya’ just never know what these two are going to be up to.
    Several times, they’ve been deployed by the Salvation Army (Oklahoma, Southern Illinois and even Washington, Indiana) to give emotional and spiritual aide in storm situations, including at the height of Katrina. As they heard heart-wrenching stories, sometimes not even knowing where they or whom they were helping would sleep, she specifically said for all to, “Listen to your sirens, and do what is needed to be safe!”
    My fellow this week was on the South School Board for several terms, worked on the Redevelopment Commission, taught Sunday School for decades (1st Christian Church, New Creation) and basically said, “I’ve really just helped with everything!”
    She has been deeply involved in HUD and the Salvation Army, but earlier when the kids were home, Campfire Girls and Scouts. She also babysat their grandkids for 17 years. The younger ones, grandsons, Wyatt and Riley she (did and still) refers to as “the Wee Boys.” He reminded me of another item of interest in regards to her, that she is an “awesome writer,” having had her own column in Sports in the early 80s, called, “One Step at a Time!” Also, through that love of jogging, she has won awards, as well as running in marathons. 
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  • He was thankful for graduating from Waveland; she was first out of North Put
    Thursday, June 7, 2018 4:00 AM
    My fellow this week said he met his spouse when she came over from Russellville “trolling for guys.” Well, she reeled him in for sure, as they’ve been happily married 46 years. Their wedding was at the Russellville Christian Church 7 November 1971, Rev. L.P. Thompson officiating, so soon it’ll be 47.
    The baby of the family, he was the only boy with two older sisters and she was in the middle with three older brothers and three younger sisters. Sadly, her father, superintendent of Williams, Beck and Hess in Crawfordsville passed away at the young age of 44 and her mother died in a car accident when my guest had only been married two weeks. With all that drama, these two are still together happily.
    Her love was the Russellville Bees but she was on to North Putnam in the first graduating class. Driving around Waveland was always fun after a win over the Hornet’s in basketball, honking the horn. Of course, when the Hornet’s stomped the Bees, it was equally as fun the other way around. You already know that driving through Waveland was beneficial in their love connection. They agreed that their relationship has kept going because it started out with never having petty arguments. “In fact, we were married several months before we even had words,” and agreed they don’t very often. They live on mutual respect for each other.
    In high school, she was a cheerleader, in Rainbow, 4-H where she was a Jr- Leader and always enjoyed the Tri-County Fair at Russellville. That is an enjoyable memory for anyone having lived in Parke, Putnam or Montgomery in that time frame. Her 4-H usually always involved sewing and that is one of her loves yet today, along with gardening, crocheting and antiquing. They both love the latter, never really looking for anything particular (although he enjoys his tools) but simply loving to stroll around checking out whatever, especially for something a bit different. She says shopping in any manner relieves tension for her. 
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Francis Marion
    Monday, June 4, 2018 4:00 AM
    Although this Francis Marion wasn’t of the Revolutionary War Swamp Fox fame, Francis Marion Hankins was indeed in a war, as a private in Company H of the 137th Indiana for a 100-day enlistment beginning May 26 in 1864, thus mustering out September 21st of that year. One of the older soldiers, he was 38 years old at the time of enlistment. Francis Marion Hankins had several nicknames: Frank; Marion; Hank and was wrongly noted as Franklin in a few documents. 
    His company specialized as railroad guards and was in Tennessee and Alabama where the men built small huts, bridges and set-up their tents in order to walk the area to ensure the Northern Troops kept possession of the tracks so that supplies and men could be transported. 
    A farmer at the time of enlistment, he returned to his beloved wife, Mary Ann (Thompson) and their two young children, Milton and Sarah, continuing in that field of work, living in the Mace area where he farmed for a few decades. They had two more children, William and Margaret Dell. Sadly, Mary Ann passed away in July 1869, possibly due to childbirth since a Hankins baby died two days afterward. Marion married Jemima Jane Prin(e) September 14, 1871. They produced several more children, tallying ten at best count (Milton Clifton; Sarah; Maria Eva; William; Henry; Margaret; Lora Bell; Albert; Lena and Orpha). 
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  • Eastern Star was her shell cracker
    Thursday, May 31, 2018 4:00 AM
    Enjoyed lunch with this gal at PH . . . of course! Also loved hearing about her plethora of interesting jobs, including car-hopping for my in-laws at their old B-K Root Beer stand. Other jobs including carhopping at the Park & Eat (at least that’s what we think the name of it was) where the original Smiley’s was on 136 & Wayne Avenue. She did some waitressing at the little restaurant at Wesley on weekends and Apple Grove where she worked the breakfast and lunch shifts. For a while after her marriage, (which occurred in March of 1963 at the Waynetown Christian Church, Rev. Olger officiating) she worked at RR Donnelleys but wasn’t extremely keen on that. A bit quiet she did sales work at Wharff’s Music Store. Later, she worked at Kenny Shoes, then Fashion Shoes, Steck’s Painted Pony and the Attic, coming out of her shell a bit more each time. 
    However, she credits her love of and 48 years in Eastern Star as her real shell cracker. She is hoping that she will make it a couple more years to reach that five decade goal. She will begin her 14th time as Worthy Matron in July and is just as excited as the first time around. Tallying two state offices as District Deputy, she also earned the coveted Grand Star Point. Sad that when she began in Eastern Star, there were 25 chapters in District 9 and now only five. The local ones shifted, such as Waynetown went to Alamo then that group later moved into Crawfordsville which is the only one in Montgomery County now. Back in the time when she joined she noted that it was a social thing, along with church-oriented happenings and an occasional school play. Fun, exciting times. Now, people are so involved in sports and school organizations that few people have time for such wonderful clubs. Also, she said that it took time to wait in line for one of the 18 offices knowing your turn was on its way, but now, it’s hard to fill those 18 spots at all. 
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One – William Pittman
    Monday, May 28, 2018 4:00 AM
    Our Civil War soldier this week is William Pittman, born in Boone County June 27, 1842 (son of Allen and Jane Evans Reynolds Pittman) and died in Crawfordsville July 28, 1914 meaning he has gone without a stone to rest his place in history almost 104 years. 
    William was just 20 years old when he joined the service, Co. C, 101st Indiana, on Sept 7, in 1862, listed as a musician. The 101st was originated in Wabash, Indiana. He stayed with this company until the close of the war, mustering out with the group June 24, 1865. The 101st saw many battles including Hoovers Gap, Chickamauga, Buzzard Roost, Resaca, and Kennesaw Mountain, to name a few. They spent several months following Bragg and in hot pursuit of Morgan and his raiders. Shortly upon his return, he married Catherine Furry on the 9th day of November, 1865 in Howard County. Not long after that, they went to Linn County, Missouri where their children were all born and where he farmed. 
    From there, they returned to Indiana, he mainly following the printing trade. In fact, in the 1900 census, living on Binford Street, most of the family, including William, their son, Oliver Perry, and daughters, Ruth and Kittie all being listed as printers. Daughters Elizabeth and Eva were in the millinery business. All were quite grown to adulthood and living at home, single. In 1910, William and his children lived together, his wife having passed. William and Oliver did not have occupations listed but Elizabeth and Ruth were laborers in the mitten factory in C’ville. 
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  • These two visited their Family Manor in England
    Thursday, May 24, 2018 4:00 AM
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  • Karen doubled our fun with this week’s guests
    Thursday, May 17, 2018 4:00 AM
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Thomas W. Fry Jr. & Sr.
    Monday, May 14, 2018 4:00 AM
    These two are father and son. They made for quite a task to research and obtain stones. The father wasn’t quite so hard as we had some information and he was a doctor, thus in the news more, but the son was young, moved to Lafayette and was almost impossible to prove well enough for government approval. 
    Thomas W. Fry was born in Danville, Kentucky 4 August 1814 the son of Thomas Walker Fry and Julia Speed and married Maria Rochester in Logan County, Kentucky 1 November 1837 by Rev. B.J. Wallace, a Presbyterian Minister. His father had passed away earlier that year and his mother went with him to Crawfordsville, Indiana where she passed about ten years later. The Fry family remained active members in the Presbyterian Church, yet Thomas Sr., was a member of the estry of the newly founded St. John’s Episcopal Church when it began, as well as a trustee at Wabash, where his brother, Speed Fry attended (and became a General in the Civil War). Maria was just 20 years old, he three years older. They would have three sons and two daughters, Thomas Walker Fry, Jr., is the one Kim and Susie ordered the stone to go along with his father’s, but it was rejected. Perseverance with these two – they sent it back and wonders of wonders in the stone came!
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  • He was part of the Waveland Glory Days, she was a Russellville Bee
    Thursday, May 10, 2018 4:00 AM
    So thrilled to get this couple interviewed. I grew-up knowing his name, a basketball legend in our community. Recently, his nephew, David, asked if I would like to make copies of the articles, pictures, and items pertaining to his four-years of sports glory at Waveland for the Montgomery County INGenWeb page. Well, yes! I had never met his wife or son, so greatly enjoyed them coming, too.
    As I am going over my notes, I found my starting point, because I’m laughing so hard. I have, “He liked the girls, and had his first date in third grade.” Now, don’t panic, he’s not a big Casanova or anything, as he and his adorable wife have been married for 61 years. She was a Russellville Bee and four years younger. If you know your sports, you’ll remember the Bees were Purple and White. Some of you may not know though that Waveland was, too. Keep in mind that Waveland sat in the middle of two Purple and White teams, as those were New Market colors, as well. My guest was lucky enough to be in that 1951 switch from the purple to red and white, so he has several sweaters in both colors. His tally was 85 wins and ten losses. Pretty amazing. 
    On the Waveland basketball team for three sectional wins and three county wins, they also went to the last game losing by one in a regional. Looking over the stats, I do believe he is the winningest hornet ever! Jim Hannah and Cliff Davis coached the teams and he said about Cliff, “He never raised his voice!” The most exciting about all these wonderful nights of pure fab basketball is that the community, students, teachers and parents were so supportive. Almost 800 people were at a bonfire when they returned from Regionals. Even though they appeared back home defeated, they were just as loved as pre-game! Maybe more so as at the final sec a shot rang out that would have won the game but officials say it was off after the buzzer!
    This man could do it all, tallying many accomplishments: president of his class, acted in his school plays, known as hot lips on the trumpet, drum major, was captain of the basketball team, and great catcher, having been the opposite of two pitchers who were also amazing athletes, Bill and Keith Greve. To top that off, he was prom king, albeit he didn’t remember who the queen was. We figured it out! It wasn’t all about the brains, prowess and popularity, though, he could sing, as well. Three young men Leonard Seybold, Robert Grimes and our today’s fellow, were called We Three and were well in demand singing at churches, organizations, school and funerals. In fact, they even auditioned for the Arthur Godfrey Show. When I asked how they did, he said, “Oh, we’re still waiting on the call-back!”
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  •  ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - Joseph McGrigg
    Monday, May 7, 2018 4:00 AM
    What a sad case this week’s young man is, as Kim Hancock is correct when she says, “Don’t let the dates on the marker fool you!” The dates as they are etched are disturbing enough: born 16 March 1847 died 29 September 1864, making him 17 years old, too young to go to war. But, wait. It is assumed those dates are two-fold, one told because he desired to go off to war as so many young ones in our area did. Two, it enabled his mother to draw his pension. Draw a pension from your 17 year old, did you get that? Yet, Joseph A. McGrigg, Jr., was not even 17 years old when he passed away; in fact, far from it. He was 13 and a half. However, for two reasons his dates are incorrect, one is that the government may not have replaced his crumbled, pathetic old stone or believed he served at that age. Number two is an extremely important reason. 
    Joseph’s father died at age 27, leaving his mother, Susan Boswell, from neighboring Putnam County (married there 7 March 1847) with two sons, although I am fairly sure another one died young. Joe Sr. and Susan were young with two sons, Thomas and Stephen (who also died at age 25 on 9-20-1875) and in 1860, Senior had passed and Susan was a widow. Twice. Yep, twice. When Joe Sr. died in 1852 she remarried John Lewis June 30th the next year. They had three children and John passed away five years after their marriage. Left with five children, having lost two husbands, in 1860 she is shown with those children. Now, here’s the proof that young Joe was not the 18 year old he professed to be when he signed-up for the Civil War in Co. I, 135th Regiment for the 100 – day enlistment. 
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  • These two began because of a flashlight bulb
    Thursday, May 3, 2018 4:00 AM
    Was pleasantly surprised I knew half of my duo this week beyond Facebook. She is a friend to my brother’s family and had lived in Waveland where she raised her daughters. I had not met him before but enjoyed doing so, only he never lived in Waveland. In fact, he hails from England – born and raised, then lived in New Zealand for 35 years, and do they ever have a great love story to share!
    On the internet, long before Google/Facebook, she had a problem. She needed a flashlight bulb. Yep, and couldn’t find one anywhere in the US. Finally, she discovered a New Zealand website that offered the bulb. Of course, the first question to the webmaster was could she get one sent to America? With the assurance he could take care of that, she sent him a thank you and for human interest, asked a couple of questions. From that, they began pen-paling. They discovered they were very interested in each other. Finally, he flew to America, bringing his 13-year-old son with him and they stayed for 12 days. Clinched it! Altogether, they had known each other for two years and that was 18 years ago. Now, who says internet dating doesn’t work? Proof that it does sat across from us at PH.
    After two-years, they decided to get married. Since it was a much better economy in the US, and she had children here, he decided to do the moving. Apart from us driving on the wrong side of the road, the apparent bit change was how polite young people were when he came, “Yes, Sir,” opening the door and the like, but sadly, that has changed just in the two decades he’s been in the states.
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - William Thomas Francis
    Monday, April 30, 2018 4:00 AM
    Another Civil War Veteran’s stone is just in, and he was a good one. Having joined up in Monroe County, Indiana on the 7th day of June at the beginning of the war, 1861, he was a musician in Company K, the 14th Indiana. He transferred to Company L, 6th US Calvary and while serving with that group was taken prisoner, where he was at the dreaded Libby Prison for seven months. 
    At the end of the war, he returned to his native Bedford, Indiana (where he was born November 7, 1841) but was not there long as a blacksmith when he moved to Bloomington in Monroe County with the large family, consisting of his parents, Thomas Jefferson and Mary Jane Seward Francis and his several brothers and sisters. Most of this group came to Crawfordsville where William Thomas (Tom) Francis was a blacksmith for many years, as well as a fabulous mechanic and gunsmith. In later years, he served as a custodian at the courthouse then at the Crawfordsville Country Club. At one time he and his family also boarded several Wabash students and did grounds work for the college.
    Raised a Baptist, Tom married Hester Collins, daughter of local residents, Jim and Jane (Clinger) Collins. Jane was 21 years younger than Tom. They were married at the Methodist Church on November 29, 1879, he at age 38 and she at 17. They lived a happy life and had four children, two sons, and two daughters, one dying young and the daughters marrying Ed Bean (who were here) and Henry Charters (who lived in Michigan, where Hester would pass 17 years after her beloved Tom), plus son Fred. 
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  •  Karen loved hanging-out with this goofy group
    Thursday, April 26, 2018 4:00 AM
    New one for you this week, readers! Something not done before and I’m pretty excited. This time, I interviewed sisters. No, not two sisters. Not three, or four, but five, mind you and we had so much fun! Believe I had met two of them once or twice, but not the others and can’t really say I know any of ‘em well. However, I’d hang out with this goofy group any day.
    It’s not just the girls, either. They have two older brothers, Bob and Charlie. Use your math, seven young’uns and mom and dad equal a family of nine … and one bathroom, mind you, in a three-bedroom house. Luckily, there was enough age difference (the oldest was 22 when the bitty one arrived) through the ranks that some were going as others were arriving. Their mother was 41 when the “last” was born, but whoops, here came the real last at age 47. Mom had been an only child and was determined to have a few kids, but perhaps one at 47 was a bit much for her (well, only at first) as she not only cried but hid it from their whole town. Plus, get this - the oldest of the bunch has a daughter two and a half months older than his youngest sister!
    Five are Darlington graduates and two from North. Most played a musical instrument, trumpets being quite popular, along with a flute, and they all play the piano “to varying degrees,” they noted, although their mom was an amazing player, by ear! A brother plays the guitar, as well. Although they all sang in church, I think the oldest girl only sang in the choir. All of the kids either finished college (Purdue was blessed) or at least attended somewhere for a while. Grants, loans, borrowed money and working helped get them through college, plus they said when they’d stop to get gas, their Uncle Don would give them pizza money. 
    Seriously, I spent two hours of non-stop laughing, and heard the greatest stories, ever, only I think I probably only experienced about one percent of what they went through. They are so much alike in many ways and completely different in others. “I’m the middle sister and neglected,” from one and immediately afterwards. “Well, I’m the baby and I like it.” When I asked which was the quietest the answer was quick in arriving, “Oh, we’re all loudmouths!” See what I mean, quite a fun late afternoon I spent with this group.
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  •  ETCHED IN STONE: One by One – George Reeder Brown
    Monday, April 23, 2018 4:00 AM
    Oftentimes, in researching these veterans of war, Kim, Suzi and I are shocked that they do not have a stone. This is the prime example.
    George Reeder Brown was extremely well-loved, had a thriving lumber company, and was a creditable citizen. Born Oct. 17, 1837 in Hamilton County, Ohio, he passed away November 5, 1917 in Crawfordsville at his home on East Wabash Avenue. I did years of research on Montgomery County doctors, and his father, Ryland Thomas Brown was one of my all-time favorites. He was not only a physician, but a well-loved physician, reformer (especially in regards to drink and slavery), and chemist. George’s mother, Mary was a member of a most prolific Montgomery family, the VanCleaves.
    Brown began his business associations clerking on a dry-goods store in Parke County. His education in the country schools was quite sufficient to set forth in a similar business for himself; that is, until the Civil War emaciated America. Proving his patriotism immediately, he volunteered for service and served as an active member of the 9th Indiana Artillery where he quickly rose to the position of 1st Lt. Bravery was shown forth and he was promoted to Captain. Surviving the four-year stint while in this great conflict is proof in itself that Brown was a brave, sturdy and you’ll see, a lucky man.
    His first battle was at Shiloh. With Lew Wallace at Boliva, Tennessee, in the summer of 1862, he was detailed as Ordnance Officer (in charge of arms and ammunitions) to report twice every day to the commanding officer. Thus, he had close contact with not only Sherman but Grant, as well. Both had complete confidence and trust in his abilities. Vicksburg; Columbus, Kentucky; Union City, Tennessee; Vicksburg and on and on went the campaigns. Then, home George went, only he had the sad fate to be on the steamer, Eclipse. Now, get this! He was one of only ten men to come off that boat alive, with 30 men killed and 58 scalded, some dying later. If you love Civil War history, check out the Eclipse. Fascinating, tear-jerking and totally avoidable! 
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