My Mom

I believe...

Other Memories

Ray's Ramblings

Ray Kessler is a lifelong Mt. Vernon resident who has played a lot of ball, written about others playing a lot of ball and loves to wax eloquently about Mt. Vernon. We are fortunate to have access to many of his short stories and observations to show here.

We have organized the articles by the period of time Ray is referencing.

Come back often, because Ray just keeps finding items to add.


A New Century.....2000

Riverfront Hub of Activity For Gasoline Spill.....1999

Workers from the environmental disaster clean-ups were back in Mt. Vernon just months after the large plastics fire to control the spill. As a TV crew from WAVE in Louisville looked on, brightly colored booms were placed around stranded barges and the water supply intakes of Mt. Vernon. A barge containing the colorless liquid cumene was tied up waiting for use at General Electric when a tugboat of Memphis attempted to navigate the river with barges of gasoline. Apparently the tug lost steering power and left the pilot headed for the barge of cumene. Although no explosion occurred the smell of gas was apparent and a boil order was issued for Mt. Vernon as a precaution. The leaking barge contained nearly 80,000 gallons of gasoline, most of which spilled into the Ohio River.

Local Radio Station Changes Call Letters.....1999

WBLZ 106.7 has changed its call letters to WYFX and at the same time 1590 AM switched from WPCO to WRCY. WPCO first came on the air in 1955 and 106.7 began programming in 1992. It is now ESPN sports radio. Beats the hell out of that country crap doesn't it? LOL.

Kauffman Winery.....1999

Back then it wasn't unusual for me to bring home a bottle of "Posey Red" from a local grocery. Wasn't into wine much yet...oh, I had my share of Boone's Farm 'back in the day,' but I hadn't yet cultivated a taste for it. Now a days, since catching the all-inclusive bug for Caribbean culture I am all over red wines.....The Kauffman winery , just off Ford Road on Indiana 62 started from grapes first planted in 1974 and grew to make over 10,000 bottles a year. Harry Kauffman had a interest in the St. Wendel, Golden Raintree Winery and then when it closed in the 1980's he brought over the mainstay of that winery the "Spirit of '76" to his. Harry has since passed on and I don't hear much of the seven acre vineyard. A rumor existed a year or so ago that it was closing down. Really, I don't know if it did or not, but made a run and bought a dozen bottles or so just in case. I like more Argentinian semi-drys now, but a sweeter trip down memory lane still goes good with a bowl of spaghetti and garlic bread.

Delta Queen in MV 1999

Plastic Warehouse Destroyed by Fire.....December 1998

Coming home from Evansville I saw this tremendous black cloud visible for miles. I wondered..."Where is it", as I flashed back to the time our house was destroyed by fire. Soon we had to detour and over 200 people fled their homes as a huge blaze engulfed over 300,000 square feet of warehousing. The black smoke produced by burning polystyrene kept at least ten fire departments working in shifts to fight the blaze. People within a one mile radius were evacuated because of the large amount of toxic materials within the building. Bruce Bauer, public information officer with Mt. Vernon Fire and Rescue said booms were set up in the river to prevent pellets of plastic from going downstream. The Mt. Vernon Water Works went on reserve tanks for twenty hours as a precaution. Howard Dunn, a University of Southern Indiana chemistry professor called GE about the possibility of toxic materials stored there so the community could make up their own mind on the situation. "If I were in the path of it, I would get out," he said. It looks just like Kuwait." John Blair, of the environmental group Valley Watch, called it, "a wakeup call." Loss was set at around $10 million dollars. The shopping center west of the fire was evacuated and used as a staging area for firefighters for several days. The WSI warehouse contained tens of millions of pounds of plastics and materials belonging to Lin-Pac Plastics, B&M Plastics and GE Plastics. In all thirty to forty fire departments were called with firefighters estimated at 150.A real concern during the fire was a large butane tank buried at the northwest corner of the burned building as "big as a semi-trailer." Foam units were used to cool down the tanks and used eventually on the warehouse itself. The fire which started on a Thursday really was out until Sunday. It was quite a scene!

City-Wide Curb Recycling Begins.....July 1998

A new recycling truck was purchased and little yellow bins were passed out and off we go recycling newspapers, glass jars, plastics and junk mail. Now if someone would stop stealing my bin.

Where did he get that from?.....1998

"My youngest boy Brock in the high school talent show. Hoop Pole says: During the performance by Collision, band members jumped off the stage into the aisles; several students ran to the front of the stage and mosh pit broke out. Proving to be one of the year's most controversial events brought mixed reviews from students and faculty."

EPA Testing For Chemical Contamination.....1998

Melanie Ellison is seen checking samples from McFadden Creek for chemical runoff from WSI fire. Minute levels of chlorine were found, well below the 5 ppm level considered toxic. A boil adversary was still issued; it was hoped that the runoff was stopped by a system of dams and ditches built to retain the chemicals of the fire water. For some time the water works stopped its intake from the river until it could receive test results. Good thing to have big government when you need it isn't it? Protect our environment; inspect our meat and factories, and drugs. They could always do a better job, but think what it would be like without them. Don't you think we should pay for such services?

Olympic Gold Medalist Speaks to Mt. Vernon Wrestlers....1997

During a wrestling clinic in the summer of 1997 in Mt. Vernon, the gold medalist of the 160.5 pound weight class at the 1960 Rome Olympics spoke to the youngsters. Doug Blubaugh was that man, a two-time national champion for Oklahoma State University. He joined the Army afterwards determined to train for the Olympics with no money to do so. The military gave him that opportunity and a paycheck. With his reputation preceding him he was sent to West Point to train Cadets. He coached at Indiana University for 13 years. He spoke of drugs and their harm and mentioned he kicked several Big Ten and state champion wrestlers off his team for using.

Carl Madden Handle Factory ...1997

Now Mt. Vernon Recycle

1997 portrait representing Norman Norvell at Schneider Funeral Home

1997 Hovey Dig

...carbon dating, removed small animal bones, looking at food stuffs and plant specimens of Native Americans.

Diond're Givens Slams Another Home in 1997

The Second Leading Scorer in Mt. Vernon History Goes On To All-Conference Heights at the University of Southern Indiana

City Council Says: "We Don't Like Your Kind; You Can't Do That Here!".....1996

A new ordinance called the Parks and Recreation Amendment specified that no person shall use the premises of Brittlebank Park for the purposes of playing or practicing golf. Also, no person may intentionally deposit any object which should cause a hazard during maintenance or mowing of the park. Any violation of this ordinance may be fined $100 per offense. Probably that was a good rule. Never heard of any child being hurt by a shag ball; but it might happen and I am sure lost balls could cause a pain for lawnmowers.

Now How Did They Get There?.....1996

A box of human bones were found in the basement at 411 Main Street. The bones were turned over to Indiana state authorities. It was determined that the bones dated back from 700 to 1100 AD.

President of Botswana Visits Mt. Vernon Ostrich Farm.....1995

Andy Weilbrenner, owner of Southwind Ostrich Ranch near Mt. Vernon, received a call in October from the U.S. Secret Service saying President Quett K.J. Masire wanted to see his ranch. Masire was in the states celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. Weilbrenner had met Masire a few times during business trips to Botswana. Masire grew up a farmer in the ostrich business. An advance party of Secret Service agents arrived in the area one day prior to the visit and remained until he left. Weilbrenner said he wanted to visit without fanfare. He was met at the Evansville Regional Airport along with the first lady and about a dozen agents. After a social gathering, Masire was given a tour of chick and breeding facilities. In the evening, Masire hosted Weilbrenner, his wife and five members of his staff for a dinner at Bernie Little's River House in Evansville where the president stayed. Two days later the president flew to London.

Masire was very interested in the history of a nearby school house and Weilbrenner's collection of animals he had hunted on safari. A gift was given to the president of Fabregé style ostrich egg. The main reason for the visit was to learn ways to develop an economic market for an animal which is largely populated in the president's country. Ostriches are so abundant in Botswana they are much like the whitetail deer here. His country is about the size of Texas with 1.4 million people, most of which live in rural villages. Besides Secret Service agents on site were Indiana State Police officers, Posey County Sheriff Deputy Ed Thompson, and Mt. Vernon Police Chief Glenn Boyster.

Island Queen at Mt. Vernon for a two hour cruise.....1995

Gilligan, Mary Ann, Ginger, oh Ginger, and the skipper did not make it, but 200 local citizens did. Sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce, the cruise's proceeds were used for Christmas decorations for the city.

MV Native, Federal Judge Dies.....1995

"A career on the bench," it was; no not my baseball record but that of William Elwood Steckler, United States Federal Judge for over forty years. Back in the 1920's, William was a handsome young man in the plays of Mt. Vernon High School's Footlight Performers on Canal Street. Teacher Catharine Howard remembered him as "black curly hair, beautiful speaking voice, shy, good actor, superb, one of my prizes, special." Born in 1913, Steckler went on to be a prominent Indianapolis attorney, and then the youngest federal judge in the country. Appointed by President Harry Truman in 1950 for the then 60 southern counties of Indiana, he was confirmed by the Senate and he became the first Democrat to represent that district in 108 years! He was a man of great integrity and very well respected by all. "I always admired some of the lawyers in Mt. Vernon, " Steckler said in a 1982 phone call to a reporter. "Paul Pfister, Jesse Wade, Judge Hertis Clements. There were three professions I always looked up to...ministers, doctors, and lawyers." Steckler graduated from Mt. Vernon High and the depression hit. His father's sawmill and farm machinery business was hurting and William couldn't go to college right away. He worked a year saving his money from employment at the local overall factory. He went to Indiana University and worked nights mopping floors at the Methodist Hospital. He graduated second in his class and even moved up to assistant credit manager at the hospital. "I gained an insight into the needs of housing, handicaps, and hospital reforms." He was into private practice after graduation from 1937-1950 and Democratic politics as well. When he became a federal judge there was an explosion of civil rights and anti-trust cases which had been back on the burner during the war years. He had some of the heaviest workloads in the nation. His first year on the bench he did 554 civil and 268 criminal cases. He was the first judge to use the pretrial conference as a required practice in a District Court, the first trial judge in Indiana to routinely submit written instructions to the jury, and he originated the idea of a check list of procedures for protracted cases. He had several nationally significant cases including an early civil rights case involving open housing in Evansville. Representing the NAACP in that 1953 case was the future Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, later chief justice of the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York. He rendered decisions involving reapportionment that affected the makeup of all branches of Indiana government. He was known for broadening voting rights to more citizens. He turned down three chances to move up to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, but preferred the trial bench and didn't want to give up many of the things he loved to live in Chicago. He remained on senior status as a judge from 1986 until his death long respected for his distinguished tenure on the bench.

Bobby Jo Steward...First Black Police Officer in Mt. Vernon. Officer for 23 years.....1995

Dust Explosion Causes ADM Fire.....January 1994

An explosion of flour dust at ADM Milling Company had fire fighters busy for several hours from five area fire departments. The fire heavily damaged the main building of the complex at 612 West Second Street and forced evacuation of employees and nearby residents. The cause was determined to be an apparent flour dust explosion in a filtration system in the southwest section of the fourth floor said Fire Chief Roger Waters. It was ruled accidental. A spokesman of the Indiana State Fire Marshall's Office said the fire caused between $500,000 and $1.5 million in damages. The company's storage elevators were not damaged by the blaze. Waters said the filtration machinery had been shut down for several hours for routine cleaning and the fire started after the system was started back up. No one was injured. New Harmony brought a ladder truck as did Evansville as Mt. Vernon's ladder truck was being serviced in St. Johns, Indiana as required by state regulations. Local businesses pitched in. McDonald's and Subway donated food and drinks to be served to those fighting the fire and watching for hot spots through the night. McKim's IGA donated hot chocolate and Toler's and Platoline donated coffee and plastic cups. Workers with the Posey County Red Cross were also on hand.

Water Resored to Mt. Vernon.....January 1994

We sure were happy when our water came back on weren't we? It started when our town's water purification unit froze on January 15 and was out maybe a week as I recall. A boil order for drinking and cooking was put into place. Water was trucked into town from outside communities and the local industries cut hours to save water. The National Guard even came in and delivered door to door free bottled water. The temperatures on one night hit seventeen below zero. The town pulled together though and finally Water Superintendent Harold Cox and the Department got things in order and back on line and we enjoyed again the pleasures of modern living.

Joan Baez-Carbondale, Illinois.....1994

After sort of a sabbatical, TJ and I looked for a concert we could get into again. It had been a while maybe since 1975 Kiss Concert. We had married and started a family. The music scene had changed for us, much of which not to our liking. I found that Joan Baez was going to be on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. When I ordered the tickets on the phone, I asked if he could deliver a letter from me to her before the show. He said he would try. Joannie was a favorite of mine and I had read two of her autobiographies. She has a great natural voice that can fill a small auditorium without the need of a microphone. She told some great jokes and imitated Bob Dylan. At one time she was romantically involved with Bob and introduced him to the folk scene at the Newport Festival. She sang many of my favorites that night including: "With God On Our Side", "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down", and "Sweet Sir Galahad". The letter that was forwarded to her she got, and she autographed two anti-war leaflets I had saved for over a decade. It was postmarked Louisville, KY, so she must have done it on the plane. If you ever get a chance to see her she is the real thing. At one time she was on the cover of Newsweek or Time for being part of social change in America. She marched with Dr. King, and for migrant workers in the southwest. She sang for peace, justice and civil rights. I once had a poster of her on my dorm wall that said, "Girls say yes to boys who say no." This of course was an anti-draft poster.

Back To Back State Championships For Wrestler Andy Schneide.....1994

Mt. Vernon senior Andy Schneider won his championship title with a 9-3 decision in the heavyweight class in Indianapolis going 45-0 on the season. He lost only once in his final two years and became the first heavyweight champion to repeat in 26 years.

Jeff Robb Completes College Swim Career With a Splash......1994

Former Wildcat swimming standout Jeff Robb ended his college career in fine form as he and his Western Illinois University teammates competed in the Mid Continent Conference Swimming and Diving Championship. Robb won the consolation finals in the 200 yard backstroke with a time of 1:55.46. He holds their school record in the 220 backstroke. Robb advanced to the final round of the 100 yard backstroke and placed seventh in the event with a time of 54:04 seconds. In the preliminaries he was recorded at 53:65. The Mid Continent Conference is considered one of the toughest in Division 1. WIU won the conference meet winning over 200 points ahead of second place Wright State University. Robb spent two years at Western Illinois after transferring from Vincennes University where he won the National Junior College championship in the 100 yard backstroke. When he left Vincennes he held the school records in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke events. He also was a member of the record holding 200 yard and 400 yard medley relay teams at Vincennes.

One of my letters to The Democrat in 1994

I was very pleased to read your tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Mt. Vernon Democrat. You praised him only as a civil rights leader. King was much, much more than that. At the core of his thinking and his commitment as a Christian was pacifism as practiced through the techniques of organized non-violent confrontations. His followers were not limited to desegregation but extended to the peace groups as well. It was King the pacifist, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who said in April 1967 that 'the greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government." It was also King the pacifist, who said, "If America's soul becomes totally poised, part of the autopsy must read, Vietnam." King knew that racism and militarism were related by the contempt of the powerful for the weak. With the world armed with nukes he said, "It will be worthless to talk about integration if there is no world to integrate." King preached that a nation that continues to year after year spending more money on military defense than on social programs is approaching spiritual death." King was a reader of Thoreau's essay of Civil Disobedience, a student of Mahatma Gandhi's Sayagraha, or soul force, and a believer in Jesus Christ's, "Love thy enemies." He was a rare phenomenon, a leader who was willing to die, but not willing to kill. He urged his followers to "study war no more." Hate destroys a man's sense of values, thus King walked the life of a non-violent crusader. He knew that love creates and builds up, not tears down. St. Matthew 26:52 reads-"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Someday, Washington D.C., will see a need to build a statue of King. A good location should be in front of the Pentagon with these words chiseled in stone. "The end does not justify the means-War is not the solution.".....Well the monument has been built this past year, but war is still here and America cannot seem to get by one year without a fight.

Final Edition of Cynthiana Argus .....July, 1993

The final issue, Volume 103, Number 4 was published of the six-page weekly after over a century of serving the public. Rosalyn and Bob Oursler, (holding the paper) owned and operated the weekly for the past 25 years. The Oursler family ran the paper since August 1, 1914. Bob's parents Floyd and Mabel ran the paper back then, It was founded in 1888 by Josiah DeLong and James Fisher and was known as the Cynthiana Post its first two years. In 1890, the new owner, Joseph Blaze, changed the name to Argus. The term Argus has many meanings it seems. My best guess is that it is Latin and refers to being a "careful watchman."

Old Mt. Vernon Democrat office.....June 30, 1993

It was located at Fifth & Main and down it comes.

New Harmony Students at Clinton's Inauguration.....1993

November 17, 1991.....Time Capsule

Dusty Gottman, Don Baier and Mike Brown also. I guess this will be recovered in 2016.

Looking North.....1991

Hubert Charles Butler Dies at 102.....1991

A "jack of all trades" was the term that described this Mt. Vernon resident when he turned 100. Born in Russellville, Ky., he came to Mt. Vernon at age 15 and attended Booker T. Washington School here but didn't graduate. He was married for 69 years and he always worked hard supporting his family. His son Bene got an education and moved to Chicago and worked in government. Hubert worked in many ways...he retired from the Post Office, once worked for Grover Keck, and later painted automobiles independently as a side job. It seems he had many side jobs including raising chickens in incubators, selling the eggs and chickens. He built his own home on Second Street and he was often seen doing his own home repair until ill health came late in life. He was a good musician they say. When he worked at Keck's he formed the Butler Brass Band that played locally for dances. There were up to ten members in the band and Hubert usually played trombone. Many an occasion at Black's Grove had BBB as their band. He was a 50 year Mason and a trustee of the Bethel A.M.E. Church. His 100th birthday was announced by Willard Scott of the NBC Today Show. He is buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Buzz Swimming Wager.....1990's

Back when the Peerless Saloon was on the corner of Water and Main Streets, a "gentleman" made a $100 bet with a "lady" that he could swim across the Ohio River, kiss the barge tied on the other side and return. Out he went, fully dressed work boots and jacket. Worried patrons didn't think he would actually attempt it and when he did they called the MV Civil Defense. The CD lit out in boats and when they caught up to him they could not convince him to abandon his swim. "I am not breaking the law", he yelled. They escorted all the way, he threw his jacket over his shoulder, walked into the Peerless dripping wet and said, "Give me my $100 bi**h!"

Linen Cupboard.....The 1990's

Always a Merry Christmas around our house for my wife as I did most of my shopping here in Mt. Vernon. Terri was born on the 27th of December and she loved Christmas. I always found some beautiful unique item here for her collection of Christmas items. The Cupboard was located at 1001 East Fourth Street and owned by Mary Ann (Collins) Burris. There were theme rooms throughout, including a year round Christmas house. They had a baby section, Just for Men, Gifts for all occasions, a Bridal Registry, Kitchen Stuff, and a Gourmet Food Section. There were old fashioned hand-blown and painted ornaments, Boyd's Bears, Beanie Babies, Snow Village, Byers Carolers, snowmen, Yankee Candles, Pillow Pals, nativity set, etc. It went on and on. Our hutch is full of these items. Little items too like Angel pins, snoopy stuff, Loving Heart rattles, and Sesame Street items. Also you could find linens, towels, bathroom items, watches, money clips, bracelets, soaps, lampshades, glassware, silver, pewter, wreaths, dinnerware....just everything! Boy, we could sure use one of these for the new downtown today. Her merchandise was outstanding!

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Deadly Refinery Explosion.....May 1989

A flash fire at the local Farm Bureau Refinery killed Jon Rueger 22 of New Harmony and later after many weeks of hanging on a classmate of mine, Doug Lowrey, then 39. Another injury was to Don Byes, 52 of Poseyville. Doug was life-flighted to Humana Hospital in Louisville with burns over 85 percent of his body. Byes had 40 % burns and another man. Thomas Humston of Mt. Vernon was treated and released from injuries at Welborn Hospital. Humston was a backhoe operator when the explosion occurred and was able to help others get away from the scene. The first explosion came from a leak which created a great deal of vapor and sought an ignition source. The explosion really shook the town and the St. Matthew school picnic at Brittlebank Park was abandoned. On East Tenth Street windows were broken from the blast at the home of Steve Waller. My mother Agnes and neighbor Vera Carey who lived nearby on Emmick Street were interviewed to their reaction of the explosion. Mom was always frightened of the refinery and my work at GAF after that day. Mom described the scene as "a huge cloud of smoke and flames shooting up." Ann McNamara and friends were teeing off on Number 3 at the refinery golf course when it occurred. The groundskeeper said, "Leave your clubs and get in the truck." Investigators were called in to determine the source of the ignition whether from a fire, spark or a hot steam pipe. I never did know the verdict.

Native Americans Restore Sanctity of Burial Mound.....May 1989

The leaders of 15 Native American nations and over 60 members of those tribes gathered at the Dan Fox Center on General Electric property south of Mt. Vernon to march to the site of ancient burial mounds disturbed during a county road project. It was reported that the mounds were the home of 2000 year old Hopewell Indian ceremonial burial grounds. Looting was apparent and motion detector cameras, fencing and patrolling was started to shut down the site. Three Indian leaders representing the Sioux, Cherokee, and Miami tribes presided over the gathering that had been desecrated. Wap Shing of the Miami's led the procession with Montezuma slowly beating a small drum. There were three pipe carriers and a ceremonial burning of tobacco while the leaders said a few things over the site. Leaders of the Native Americans on hand talked about recent passed legislation that made it a crime in Indiana to conduct archaeological digs of any kind without a permit signed by Democrat Governor Evan Bayh. The re-consecration ceremony was a private affair with a news conference following.

Early Posey County Pioneer's Grave Exposed in 1989

Elias Altizer was one of the first recorded settlers of Posey County born in 1776 and buried at Springfield in 1840. He was one of a group that had negotiations with Father George Rapp of New Harmony about purchasing 100 acres for a town to be the county seat of Posey County. He was a sawmill owner by trade and was called "an overseer of the poor." He frequently co-signed for debtors and paid their taxes in court when needed. This philanthropist was superintendent of roads there and for a time the judge of the new county seat in Springfield. There was a small cemetery there in Springfield called the Hust Cemetery and over time it became overrun by weeds and ditch work nearby eventually dug into the bank so far that his grave was in danger of falling into it. As of 1989, the headstone of Elias had been flattened and the township trustee said there was no money to repair the cemetery or the ditch. I need to get out that way again and see what is now visible. ~Wavy~ spends lots of time in interesting cemeteries, but I will not be buried in one. "Gonna fly in the breeze like a bird in the trees..."

Grandpa Jones.....September, 1988

Gertie Reeves Touched Many A Life.....1988

It seems Gertie lived a special life, several lives, making do, serving God and helping me. Before I get to that, let's start back when Gertie was born, the oldest of eight children, weighing only a mere 3 1/2 pounds to a 13 year old mother. Gertie never finished high school, but she helped keep that family together through difficult times. She met Edward Stevens at a church dinner and was married in 1937 when she lived in Boonville. They attended the General Baptist Church in that community. Ed felt a call to the ministry and he moved his family to Oakland City where the Baptists have a college. Tagging along two children, Ed spent the next three years studying theology. Gertie started feeling a call for mission work and after World War 11, the church was looking for a missionary to serve in Guam. The Stevens family were shipped where they pastored a church on the island for seven months. They were then transferred to Saipan and established a mission there for two years. In September of 1949, they returned to the states and Edward was off to complete his degree. In 1950 her oldest son was killed by a train while riding his bicycle after school. Rather than return immediately to mission work, they needed time to heal and accepted a job in Mt. Vernon to pastor the General Baptist here. One year later they were back to Chi Chi Jima. Unfortunately, Stevens became ill on the way and died in a Naval Hospital in Guam. Gertie and son David were left to make do all alone. When the returned for funeral services in Boonville, David said he would like to live in Mt. Vernon as he remembered the children there as they sent pictures from time to time. So they came back again and for a while the family moved in with the Harry Russell family and Gertie took a job at the Neu Way Cleaners and moved into a small apartment. In 1953 she married Bueford Reeves and they had a farm in Savah and owned the Sunshine Feed and Seed Store. Gertie helped out in the office. In 1963 the store was sold and Bueford took a job at the new General Electric Company west of town. Gertie went back to work at the cleaners. Here is where she helped me. In February of 1965, a large snow storm hit Mt. Vernon and all power was lost. We lived on Emmick Street at the time and I was up that morning while the family slept in trying to stay warm. I heard my beagle pup Rusty barking in the garage and as I went to the door I heard popping and crackling noises. Looking at the basement door that led into the garage, I saw fire coming through the top of the door frame. I awoke the family and ran into the snow drifts trying to get someone to call the fire department. Why I didn't use the phone in my own house I don't know...maybe shock. After going through snow drifts to maybe six homes with no coat and only sneakers on my feet I reached the Reeves home on the Corner of Elk street. Gertie let me in and took me to a bedroom and warmed my hands and feet as I was suffering frostbite. She found where my parents and sister where and we were reunited...the home was lost. Church people, neighbors, and citizens helped us along until we rebuilt. Gertie was a fine lady! To end this story, Gertie was quite a seamstress and she was called upon for alterations by the community for maybe three decades. Besides her own business she helped out at the Lilly Pad and Carolyn's Fashionland. She outlived Beuford also; but her strong faith in God carried her through the sad moments and she was loved and respected in Mt. Vernon.

Mapco Coal Dust Hearings and Protest....Late 80's or early 90's.

I remember retired school teachers coming to my door wanting me to sign a petition against this company. I found it cool that here were some of my teachers saying, "Not everybody can live upstream," and "protect the environment and not the polluter." I felt vindicated....."Good morning star shine, the earth says hello." Don't you just love the rock tribal musical Hair? I do.

IHSAA Bans Wood Memorial from playing Mt. Vernon.....1987

Always a great rivalry, especially because for years Mt. Vernon graduate Charlie Brauser was the coach of the Oakland City cagers. An animated coach, a Mt. Vernon Hall of Famer as well as a Oakland City College honoree. Mt. Vernon fans would taunt him with, "Have a seat Charlie, Have a seat." The Acorns back in my day were very good. Another yell we used was..."Hey stomp those nuts!" So, you can see we didn't get along that well at times. Charlie was gone by then coaching the girl's teams I believe. This game was in Mt. Vernon and I remember seeing it. The center for Wood Memorial was probably the best scorer on their squad. He was being guarded very tight by double teams, and two Mt. Vernon centers being rotated on him. As I saw it the game was very physical, but fair. The young man for the Trojans lost his temper at the end and became violent. Parents, school officials, and police ran onto the floor in the game that the Wildcats won 76-65. The player for Wood was dismissed from the team a few days later. Later the Indiana High School Athletic Association ordered that we could not play regular season games versus each other for two years. The ruling was handed down by IHSAA commissioner Eugene Cato. Wood Memorial principal John Johnson, said "It probably was a wise decision." Mt. Vernon Wildcat coach, Brian Smith though the ruling may have been a little drastic.

"Looking Through A Glass Darkly".....1987

"What?" Mayor Higgins said that as he took a call from a resident who told him that the mirrors placed on Tile Factory Road facing Sherman Street were upside down. "I wasn't aware that a mirror could be hung upside down," Street Superintendent Steve Wild told the city council. The 2 feet square mirror was hung to rectify a problem. Callers said the mirrors offered, "Good views of the clouds and some facing the mirrors at the Sherman stop sign witnessed cars approaching upside down. Wild promised to correct the problem and turn the mirror right side up.

Dr. John Vogel Retires.....1987

After 43 years of private medical practice in Mt. Vernon, Dr. Vogel put in his last day. He began his practice February 7, 1944 when physicians were in demand everywhere including Mt. Vernon. At that time, two Mt. Vernon physicians were in the military and one left soon as Vogel arrived. Elmer Stephan, then president of the MV Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Vogel to our town. Stephan renovated space over his implement store at 422 Main Street for his first office. During the Korean War, Vogel himself was drafted and served in the Army from July 1952 to July 1954. Upon his return he located his office at 131 West Third Street. In April of 1968 he again moved into a new office building at 722 Main Street and practiced there until the fall of 1977 when the Mt. Vernon Medical Center was completed. The following July, his son Dr. Gordon Vogel joined him in practice. Two years later Dr. William Sutton joined them. Vogel did his premedical studies at then Evansville College and received his doctorate in medicine from Indiana University. He completed his internship at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was a charter member of the Academy of Family Practice, a member of the American Medical Association and a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ. He was involved in Boy Scouting and attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in 1957 and 1960 as a medical officer. He was a charter member of the Posey County Emergency Medical Service Council.

Walter King and City Clerk/Treasurer Laura Bullard Check Out Old City Ordinances...1987. I wonder if a hippie could look at those?

I wonder what is in them. Maybe, like no horse can be ridden within the streets of the city faster than ten miles an hour and must not drink from the city wells. A female over the age of 13 shall not wear a bathing suit within the city business district. It is unlawful to take your dog to the Vernon Theater. No pinball machines shall be operated by anyone under ten years of age at Wanda's Pizza. No person shall spit on the floor of a public building or sidewalk - do it in the alley.

Ben Mayville dies in 1987....Was He 117, 110. 107, or 106?

His tombstone says he was born in 1876; a Democrat article on him in 1976 says he was born in 1880, genealogist found dates of 1872 and 1881 also. He was an old man none the less. He said his father lived to be 110 and his mother 111. His family arrived on the Mayflower if you believe Ben and were his grandparents. His family traveled from Michigan to Kentucky by covered wagon when he was about 10 years old and took about three months he said. They went to Arkansas for one crop but returned. Farming was better here. He married Nellie Duncan either 1892 or 1902. After the 1913 flood hit Kentucky bad, he moved his family to Mt. Vernon to be "high and dry." The family grew to 12 children. By 1976 he had over 80 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren. By WWII, Ben was working at the Evansville Wing factory making airplane wings. When the war ended he farmed for a little while longer then retired. His philosophy on a long life was "don't eat every kind of trash, eat lots of fruit." Mayville said he also worked some on steamboats and railroads in his long life.

Henry Pfeiffer turns 105.....1986

Mr. Pfeiffer lived until 1992 which would have made him 110 or 111! Can you imagine? Born in 1881 in Black township he lived about a quarter of a mile from there in 1986. He spoke with a Mt. Vernon Democrat reporter at his home where the long time farmer lived alone. During the off season from farming he worked as a saw mill operator and worked hard living by his motto of "Let every day come. Let every day go." He quit school at 15 to help his father clear their farm debt. His greatest hobby was photography and making postcards. He bought his first camera in 1908 and kept it his entire life. He loved watching a negative develop in a dark room. His wife passed in 1977. They were together 6 days short of 65 years. That year he gave up his pipe too. With reflection he can recall each and every year of his adult life. Henry read the Bible each and every day, ate what he wanted as far as eggs and fried foods. He also liked to tinker with clocks. Pfeiffer once said one think he never had for a birthday present was violin music. So on his 105th birthday, the Senior Citizens Club entertained him with the Suzuki violinists containing 11 young artists to his delight

Jeff Embrey Closes Out Stellar Career at USI.....1986

Arch rival Kentucky Wesleyan took the final game of the season from the University of Southern Indiana and eliminated the Screaming Eagles from post-season action with an 18-10 record. Jeff Embrey closed out with 8 points and 6 assists. The all-time Mt. Vernon scoring leader to this day ended up second on the team's all-time assist list despite playing two years at the University of Evansville. Today Jeff is a high school coach in Kentucky.

John Forthoffer with bottles.....1985

Duane Daws Drops Into Football Game.....1985

Duane tells me he found an entry from 1985 of dropping into the stadium. He believes the pilot to be Dan Funk.

Short Milling Company Shuts Its Doors.....November 30, 1984

Short Milling Company closed down putting 70 workers out of jobs. The decision came down with little warning and was not made until two weeks prior to the plant ceasing operations. J.R. Short took over the mill in 1947 and production according to recent progress reports quadrupled between that time and 1977. Many workers were left with no pension benefits also. Recently, of course the Mill found another victim with a body being found in the mill as it was being razed in 2011.

Barge Service Vice-President Killed in Accident.....November 1984

William "Jeff" Bayer, 33, of Smith Road, Mt. Vernon died in a freak accident at Southwind Maritime Centre. According to a witness, Bayer had lowered the boom on a crane and had removed a pin. He was attempting to put an extension on the boom when it dropped on him. He was pinned for about 10 minutes before barge workers and emergency medical techs could free him. It was blunt trauma and he suffered massive internal injuries. He was transported by Welborn's Lifeflight crew to Evansville. This was the third fatality in the past two years, one from an explosion and another who fell in river and drowned.

Mary Kinsey.....1984

Mary was an excellent Mt. Vernon athlete graduating in 1984. She earned nine letters in three sports, four each in volleyball and basketball and one in track. She made the first team Big 8 Conference Volleyball team in her sophomore, junior, and senior years and All-Conference Basketball team in her junior and senior years. She made All-State Volleyball twice and received Honorable Mention on the All-American team. She was a member of the 30-1 volleyball squad that was 8th ranked in the state and set the Big 8 record for the most digs in a three game match with 40. In her senior year she was named the Kiwanis and the Elks Athlete of the Year. She received a college scholarship from Kansas State where she lettered five times being captain of the 1986 and 1988 volleyball teams. She made the All-Tournament Team in the 1985 Colorado State Invitational and was selected MVP in the 1986 Kansas State-Pepsi Invitational. She became the number one in career service aces and number two in career digs and kills at Kansas State. In 1986, she was a United States Olympic Festival participant in Houston Texas and received a bronze medal. Elected to the Mt. Vernon Hall of Fame in 1995.

Archaeological Dig at Southwind Maritime Port...June 1983

A prehistoric Native American excavation was held at the port, just east of Mt. Vernon conducted by Indiana University and funded by the State Port Commission. Here they were examining a 1200 year old village. This was a place where maize was grown, deer and turkeys were killed and fish was pulled from the mighty Ohio River. The houses were walls of wooden posts into which twigs were woven and plastered with clay like mud. The houses had roofs thatched with grasses. Beside 20th century plastic buckets, dark stains of long ago post holes marked a home of long ago...before Columbus, before the white man. Shards of broken pottery were found that once was a vessel that held the dinner for a family, perhaps a young child. The site was found in 1978 by a Dr. James Kellar and informed the Division of Historic Preservation thus the dig. Little pieces of bone or pottery, crumbling under touch...sieved and floated for still smaller items, maybe charred seeds were collected in bags for later cleaning, identification and study. From small things come advancement in learning....I am told. I hope so.

ADM Workers Strike.....1983

About 60 union workers walked off their jobs unhappy with what they felt was too small a salary increase and a better contract language. The company proposal was a 4% increase over the life of a three year contract with American Grain Millers Local 315. The President of the union said the average pay for workers at the mill was $7.56 per hour. ADM Manager Robert Rapp refused comment on the worker's walkout or contract details. A federal mediator was contacted to get the two parties back to the bargaining table.

Saturn 2 Gameland Opens at Southwind.....January 1982

Video game enthusiasts now have found a place to fight the monsters of the machines. Saturn 2 Gameland opened its doors at the Southwind Shopping Plaza Mini Mall. The arcade opened with two machines I would be familiar with being pinball machines. But I could never get ole Donkey Kong to hang on the rope so I would be lost doing Pac Man, Asteroids Delux, Centipede, Defender and my nemesis Donkey Kong. Owners are Neil and Chris Ramsey who also own a game room in Tell City. An attendant was on duty at all times. A pool table will be added soon for more enjoyment.

River Life on a Tug.....1982

My father, Phillip worked for twenty five years for the Farm Bureau Refinery river dock and he enjoyed meeting the men of the river, their stories and of course the great meals on board. Occasionally, I had a few meals aboard. This was the one thing that kept the men happy being at work for 30 days straight. This tug, the "Seminole Chief' was one of the better ships I guess navigating on the Ohio River in those times. It was equipped with the latest navigational instruments on the bridge with a radarscope to see the way down the channels in the blackest of nights. It had a veteran captain of decades of experience named Otto Norregaard. On this trip it was pushing 12 jumbo sized coal barges down the river. Each barge carried 36,000 tons of coal and they were linked two-abreast. The vessel had two 3500 horsepower GMCs humming in unison. Crew members shared two men rooms and there is one guest room. I bet that is quite a trip to follow the river all the way to New Orleans. Lots of history of those who traveled it before you.

Middle School Planned.....1981

In December, three options for housing a middle school in Mt. Vernon were unveiled. The proposed school with total costs ranging from $25 million to $33 million would eliminate the existing junior high program and put sixth, seventh and eighth grades in the same school.

Christmas Parade....1981

WPCO's Courtney Smith was Grand Marshall

Storm Blows.....Orchard Damaged....July 1981

Local orchard Fairview, near Bufkin lost hundreds of trees as peaches both ripe and green littered the ground. Manager Dennis Blackburn said about 100 trees was lost in the young planting section and maybe 300 mature trees were destroyed. Mostly peach trees suffered the worst as the apple trees and grape vines did better against the strong winds. The nectarine crop was hit severely however. High winds caused workers at the orchard to seek shelter in the packing house and winds blew out two windows. Corn crops too were damaged across the county. In Mt. Vernon a young man, Tim Ricketts was moving on a riding lawn mower around a large tree as the storm approached. Scott Wade, across the street yelled at Tim and when Tim looked up the large tree was falling right at him. He jumped off the mower just in time as the tree hit the mower and only grazed him with branches causing some cuts and bruises.

Bomb Threats....January 1981

We take these a little more serious in today's world. We have emptied our factory a few times over the years due to these call ins by undisclosed disturbed individuals. We stand in the parking lot or along the rail road tracks while the fire department or someone walks through the plant looking for something that looks out of place. In this threat of 1981 at Mt. Vernon High School, superintendent of schools Melvin Levin never considered the threat to be legitimate. Even so, the school cleared the school and used it as their monthly fire drill mustering out on the sidewalks and parking lots. A decade later I believe there were a series of incidences at the school where fire alarms were being pulled in great numbers by students. Eventually, I believe they came up with a solution by having some sort of ink stain coming from pulling them.

Local Bells Ring For Release Of Hostages.....January 1981

The bells of Trinity United Church of Christ rang loud and clear on January 20th, 1981 as 52 hostages in Iran were released. Minutes before, it was announced on television that they had been released. It was ironic that they were released as soon as President Carter left office and President Reagan assumed the duties. The Rev. Dwayne Yegerlehner stood in the foyer of the church as Alvin Kleinschmidt rhythmically pulled on the heavy bell cord for two minutes. Yellow ribbons tied around trees and poles were taken down as they were put up to keep the crisis in the minds of the American people. The captives were held 444 days. As the 52 freed Americans landed in the United States, the Mt. Vernon Civitan Club placed American flags all over town as they always done on the 4th of July. Civitan President Dennis Herrmann called the display, "Freedom Flags."

"Polar Bear Club" Go For A Dip on New Year's Day.....1981

For the second year in a row local ski enthusiasts including several from my graduating class plunged into the cold Ohio River on New Year's Day. They try to stay up on the skis , but inevitably, someone will fall into the cold waters. There were 25 members to this club at the time of this gathering. Didn't catch all the names, but the ones I did were Tony Gross, Carolyn Reineke, Bob and Cathy Joe Bulla, Randy and Sue Leonard, Dan Funk, Mark Fields, and Bob Riniger. You daredevils are crazy!

Southwind Maritime Centre Has Banner Year .....1981

The four year old port continued to set cargo tonnage records and the number of barges loaded and unloaded reached new highs. Tonnage was just a fraction under the million mark at 943.754 and barges handled came to a total of 685. Port manager Mark Allen was enthused that predictions made earlier have them already doing what was projected for their tenth year. Expectations for tonnage of 1.2 million in 1982. Private investment in the port was $21.5 million and $13 million in public funds. A sixth harbor boat, the "Marty B." was delivered in early 1982 to the Mt. Vernon Barge Service also. In the works are plans for construction of a massive new dry dock to accommodate building and repair of Ohio River towboats and of super-size barges. Arthur Bayer, chairman of the Mt. Vernon Barge Service expects ten new jobs to add to the present employment of 32 at his firm.

The Hysteria of Boy's Basketball.....1981

In 1980 our Wildcats completed a 17-6 season starting the season 8-0. Then as a painful reminder to a previous great year we lost to Tell City. You see in 1972, the greatest Wildcat team of all went 22-2 and lost both games to the Marksman. This 1980 fell in the championship game of the Princeton Sectional by nine points hitting only 34% from the field. So here comes 1981 and expectations are sky high. Danny Deig, Andy Kinsey, Scott Pretzsch, Lance Merrill are there along with other fine players and then there is this guard.....Jeff Embrey. The excitement and quickness of this player was something to behold. The town loved him! Bleachers had to be put on the floor to accommodate more fans. Everything was going to be electric again. But something was not right. The team was struggling. They opened on the road with a six point win over North Posey as Embrey knocked in 35 pts for the 16th ranked Cats. We came home for a "laugher" vs. New Harmony and won by 22. In overtime we lost on the road to Evansville Memorial, a team we had beaten the previous year by 27. It looked a little better the next two games at home with wins over Mater Dei and Boonville as we scored into the nineties both games with Jeff hitting 35 again vs. the Pioneers. In Heritage Hills we lost by 16 giving up 85 points. "What's wrong with the 'Cats?", the town asked. The South Spencer Rebels defeated us next in two overtimes by 2 points and suddenly our once state ranked team is 4-3. Coach John Jameson was feeling the heat I guess and stepped down. Chuck Valier, who coached the 1972 squad, took over and spirits were lifted. Big home game crowd was fired up and the boy's spirit seemed lifted by the change. In the third quarter with the Huskies the game was stopped to present our fine guard Jeff Embrey a game ball for breaking our school record for the most points scored in a career. It was presented to him by former record holder and member of the 1972 team, Charlie Uhde. The Wildcats won by ten with Jeff pouring in 27 in Mt. Vernon's 600th win as a school. Washington Hatchets went down next with Embrey's 30 points, We smoked the Tell City bunch by 34. Now we are going we thought. A hard part of the schedule was before us...Harrison, undefeated Vincennes, and always tough Bosse. We lost all three by 4, 8 and 11. Then we lost to Gibson Southern by 2 and we are now 7-7. Reasons for our stumble were mixed. Some thought we had a one man team, some thought we didn't have a third dependable scorer, some faulted our rebounding or our defense. Crowds were still coming, but the vocal fans were not always happy and displayed their displeasure at times on the players who they thought were underachieving. The pressure was on them. Wood Memorial went down by 18 and we felt better. Evansville Central, the oldest school in Evansville and a team we have never had success with came in. The Bears had won 28 sectionals in their history and behind Embrey's 30 and Andy Kinsey's 22 we won 90-81. Princeton came in, a team we have played more than any other. Uncharacteristic for the Tigers, they decided to slow the game down, but we won 46-35. Jasper Wildcats marched into Mt. Vernon with a large following with their yellow hard hats to support their team. They would be Sectional Champs this year too with their fine guard Mike Ballanger later of Kentucky and Western Kentucky. We lost by 7. Jeff and Andy both hit into the 20's the next game as we defeat Reitz by 11. Ending the regular season, Embrey goes 14-14 from the line and scores 34 in a 13 point win over Castle. The Vikings of NP were our draw in the Princeton Sectional and we take them by ten. We get even with Gibson Southern next in a 9 point win. Princeton is next at their place in the finals. Will they slow the game down again? No. Mt. Vernon wins their 4th ever basketball sectional 73-64 with Embrey hitting 26 and Kinsey 21. In the first quarter, Jeff breaks the Wildcats single season individual point total and has 566 for the year after this game. The Regional is next and we have never won a game here before. The Rebels of South Spencer are our opening game and a team we lost to by two earlier. MV wins 53-51 in a tough game. As I recall, the Rebs had three shots at the end of the game for the tie. Danny Deig for the first time all year leads the game in scoring with 16, Embrey 14, and Mike Niehaus has a strong 14 point game. Here come the Vincennes Lincoln Alices coached by the legend, Orlando "Gunner" Wyman who would retire after this season. The Alices had only 2 losses and we stayed with them until late in the fourth quarter when Embrey got cramps in his leg and it fell apart the last minute. We lost by nine. Jeff had 24 and Kinsey 15. Deig had a tough assignment at center vs. Indiana recruit Courtney Witte, but he had a strong game, constantly getting position and bringing down key rebounds. I was very proud of the way Dan closed out his career. The Alices went on and won the State title finishing 26-2. Off season awards saw Embrey leading all southwestern Indiana in scoring with a 25.4 average and 630 points. He finished his career with what is still a school record of 1461 points. Embrey and Kinsey were selected all Big 8 guards. Jeff went on the play at the University of Evansville and the Indiana State University of Evansville. He was honorable mention All-State and honorable mention All American. Honors continued for Jeff at two schools. He was an assist machine at UE, but did have his scoring moments like 17 vs. U.S. International in his first start, a 5-5 game from the floor vs. Southwest Missouri State and 20 vs. Valpo. He set a single game assist record of 9 against St. Louis and in a nationally televised game vs. DePaul he scored 15 in a 83-82 loss to DePaul. Milo Hamilton of WGN said, "That little guy can play for anybody." He had 20 vs. Detroit and was named Midwestern City player of the week. He hit two free throws in the closing seconds of a game to defeat Oklahoma City. He had 110 assists in a season to break the single season mark at Evansville by Eric Harris. He was named honorable mention All-MCC. He was named co-captain in his sophomore year only the third time in school history. The others were Jerry Sloan and Don Buse, both NBA players. He transferred to Division 2, ISUE and played basketball and baseball there. He had honors there too, like Second 5, all Great Lakes Valley team, co-MVP for Eagles. Second in team scoring with a 17.2 average, 185 assists in a season. He had 29 points vs. St. Joseph. Voted to All Regional team and on and on.

MV's All-Time Leading Scorer.....1981

Jeff Embrey who graduated in 1981. Now a high school coach on Ky. Scored I believe it was 1461 pts in his career. Played for the University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana. At the time he broke Charlie Uhde's scoring record who graduated in 1972. Uhde had broken Bill Newman's... 1969.

Babcock & Wilcox.....1981

Jeff Embrey and Andy Kinsey.....1981

Remember when Jeff Embrey and Andy Kinsey were both all Big 8 selectives in basketball in 1981. They both went to the University of Evansville...Jeff continued his basketball career and Andy became Ace Purple.

Courtney Smith Calls it a Career.....1981

Courtney was synonymous with Mt. Vernon radio. For 25 years he was the manager of WPCO in Mt. Vernon and before that he was with WSON in Henderson in 1941. After the WWII he began in Pittsburgh then to Evansville as new director at WEOA, known later as WROZ. In 1955 WPCO opened in Mt. Vernon and he came here.

"You Must Be a Redneck If....." 1981

Just kidding my adventurous neighbors. Bill and Marcie Floyd would have made Huck Finn proud with their wooden raft floating upon plastic drums. Here they were taking on the rapids of the Wabash River putting in at New Harmony. The whitecaps got pretty tough I reckon as they pulled in at Maunie, Illinois to dry off. Their dog "Smokes" went along with his rowdy masters the trip of 55 miles all the way to Hovey Lake. They said the rocks at what is known as "Grand Chain", west of Savah was difficult also. Not exactly a "Boatful of Knowledge" but cool as heck. Not something ~Wavy~ would do unless Shakira asked me to go.

James "Spider" Rich Comes to Solitude.....1981

Can u believe it? Here was this 50 something Nashville picker moving to Posey County to teach people how to play a few licks on the git-ar! The paper said he had a nephew, a Rev. Bobby Rich living in Solitude. I didn't know anybody who lived there hardly.....guess that's why they call it Solitude. duh. Now Rich had some roots around these here parts....he was on live TV in Evansville in the early days when we waited for the Indian test screen to go down and Uncle Dudley to come on. He had some strange way of picking I guess....don't know....I can't remember his big hit, "Yakety Sax" with Boots Randolph. You ever watch that English comedian Bennie Hill? That's his theme song...."Yakety Sax" a strange instrumental they say. I think I remember it now. Had some hot chicks on there as I recall. So there you go did "Spider" open up a studio in Solitude? I don't you? Let me know if Chet Atkins showed up in a big black limo will ya?

Cable Hook Up Completions in Sight.....June 1980

Horizon Cable Television has now hooked up over 1500 homes and hopes to have everyone scheduled and hooked up soon who wants the service.

Police Petition For Raise.....May 1980

Citing "insufficient funds" the city council rejected Mt. Vernon's policeman's efforts to drum up public support for a $1000 per year raise and stood fast on a previous decision to deny a raise. Policeman had been dissatisfied with that claim and had went public with a petition drive and brought over 70 people to the council meeting supporting their efforts. Patrolman, Bobby Joe Steward, the town's first ever black patrolman, suggested that the money be taken from the city's $110,000 federal revenue sharing funds which were used for city projects like street paving. Mayor Higgins, however felt that would be unfair to take money away from other departments. "Each department had the opportunity to participate in the revenue sharing budget. The police department quickly spent their money for two police cars," he added. He also stated problems with the state's frozen tax levy which prevented them from raising taxes and a directive to follow President Jimmy Carter's 7% wage guidelines. Sgt. Glynn Boyster, President of the Local FOP felt that local money was being spent poorly citing recent paving of Walnut Street as an example of misused expenditures. Charles Blakely, city street commissioner, said all streets that were paved were in need of it. Council members let their earlier decision stand by taking no action. Steward reiterated the department's previous statement that a strike "is not one of the possibilities being considered." Base pay for a policeman at that time was $11,770 plus benefits. They had been given a 7% raise in January.

Strike in Mt. Vernon....January 1980

Windshields were shattered when four men tried to break a picket line at Archer Daniel's Mill where negotiations are deadlocked. Picketers at the mill say ADM is bringing in workers from other mills to keep the plant in operation. Workers were offered a 7.2% increase over three years, but it was rejected.

Bethel A. M. E. Church in 1980

The church was first organized by Richard Allen on West Ninth Street on the property of Lloyd Cooper after a conflict with the all white Methodist Church erupted. The Church moved to Third and Mill Street in 1890 and dedicated in 1891. There... were 28 members in 1980, but now stands in disrepair. I attended a funeral here when I was in Little League for a black teammate who drowned that summer. It left an impression on me and later during the Civil Rights Movement especially in the south I became more and more aware of bigotry and racism. My generation saw things I believe in a better light than did our parents. Television showed us Jim Crow and Bull Conner hatred down south and the non-violent movement of Dr. King and Abernathy only wanting to be treated as everyone else. George Wallace and his ranting compared to the eloquent Martin was no contest. Vietnam saw black men dying right alongside white men only to return home and be discriminated against. Motown music made its inroads into our generation and accepted and adopted by white audiences and bands. No longer would audiences be separated by race at concerts and ball parks and movies. Integration was good for us in Mt. Vernon. I never thought much about it having gone to school and playing sports with black children all my life. "Black town" is gone! We are integrated in our neighborhoods and although prejudice continues times are better.

Ron Jones Chosen As Best Prep High Jumper in the United States.....1980

Editors of "Track and Field News." a sports publication, notified coach Steve Britt and Mt. Vernon High School that Jones was picked by that magazine as the top high jumper in the nation. Jones won the state title and cleared 7'2" during the past season. Jones went on to a fine career at Indiana University and cleared over 7'4" in his collegiate career.

Seventy Gather From Across Country to Study Roots Here.....1980

Right after the Civil War, a 20 year old soldier named Benjamin Lowenhaupt became ill while traveling from Memphis to Pittsburgh, and was taken to a small river town for treatment. That town was Mt. Vernon. As he recovered he took a liking to the town and the woman who nursed him, Rachael Rosenbaum. Eventually, they were married and raised ten children and became important merchants here in our community. Over a hundred years later descendants of the family came together here to learn more of their clan's history. They came from as far away as Florida, New York, Colorado, and Oklahoma. They went out to Bellefontaine Cemetery to visit the graves of the Lowenhaupts and other relatives. They went to the Posey Count Court house and examined family records and heard a talk on the county's history. They toured the old home place, and later a business office on the corner or Fourth and Mulberry. They took a barge cruise of the Ohio River to see the town's industrial sites and view the town as Ben would have seen it. They stayed in New Harmony and also attended that weekend's Heyday activities before heading home.

Happy, Happy, Happy.....1980

To Top


Southwind Maritime Centre Dedicated.....June 1979

Governor Otis R. Bowen said, "Marks the beginnings of growth for Mt. Vernon and it is destined to become a major hub of transportation in our state and nation, and in the world." Bowen said energy problems may force the use of waterborne transportation "since a ton of freight can be moved twice as far by barge on one gallon of fuel as it can by rail." Also speaking was Lt. Gov. Robert Orr who said that "Hoosier farmers are getting better prices for their crops, and Indiana becomes even more attractive to new industry and to expansion of existing businesses. Others on the program included Rep. and Mt. Vernon native, Joel Deckard (R), Senator Richard Lugar (R) and mayor Jackson Higgins (D). Members of the U.S. Navy's Chuting Stars jumped from 10,000 feet with a diver unveiling the American flag as he fell to the drop zone and the 74th Army Band from Ft. Benjamin Harrison played the national anthem. There was a 1000 foot free fall, divers jumping simultaneously from helicopter, and a team who passed a baton in flight and presented it to Lt. Gov. Orr. Senator Birch Bayh (D) issued a statement: "One of my greatest concerns in public life has been to create and retain jobs for people who want to live and work in the great state of Indiana. This center makes a fine contribution towards this effort." Representative Deckard said, "With containerization, it gives us a way to play a part in world shipping projects. it gives us a doorway to the world." The site of the center is nearly ideal. Of three sites considered it had the largest quantity of open land and was located in the midst of a transportation network that included Indiana Highway 62 and an adjacent railroad. Most of the acreage was flat and flood free. It offered easy access to farm products and vast coal reserves. It offered a natural fleeting and mooring area and was protected from wayward winds and barge tows by an island. Groundbreaking started in 1970. In 1971 Governor Edgar Whitcomb approved the project at the Mt. Vernon location and in 1971 asked for funds from the General Assembly.

Wanda's Pizza Gutted.....March 1979

Boy, this town sure has its share of fires doesn't it? Wanda's was at 108 West Second Street and was spotted at 4:30 a.m. by a passing factory worker. It was quickly contained by the Mt. Vernon Fire Department. Clyde Straw, owner said he was the last person to leave the building the night before. It was believed the fire started near a grill in the kitchen. Thirteen fireman and three trucks fought the blaze which generated enough heat to melt a telephone near the restaurant's front door.

Gasohol Goes On Sale Locally for First Time.....February 1979

The new mixture of 90% gasoline and 10% alcohol was expected to sell about 1000 gallons on its first day said a spokesman for the Farm Bureau Co-op. It had sold 250 gallons in its first three hours of operation. Priced at 76.9 cents per gallon it was 7 cents higher than regular unleaded. Proponents say the gasohol gives better gas mileage and reduces the need for foreign oil. Now Mt. Vernon has its own huge ethanol plant called Aventine at the Ports of Indiana on the Ohio River.

Speaker Once Planned to be a Voodoo Witch.....January 1979

The Rev. Devil LeGrand spoke at the Point Township Church of the Nazarene. A native of Haiti, LeGrand was planning to become a voodoo witch doctor when he was converted to Christ. In the past nine years Devil, started 12 mission churches besides pastoring his mother church.

Fire Truck and Policeman Collide at 4th and Main....January 1979

Off duty patrolman, Bobby Joe Steward was treated and released at Welborn Clinic here in town (wish we still had that) when he was involved in an accident with a fire and rescue truck driven by city fireman Daryl Shuck at the intersection of Fourth and Main Streets. The accident occurred while the fire and rescue truck was on an emergency run for a fire call on East Second Street. A washing machine had caught on fire. The fire was then handled by Fire Chief Leonard Kuhn. The truck was proceeding south on Main with both its siren and lights on. Steward was going east on Fourth Street. The truck stopped at the signal light at Fourth and Main, looked for traffic either east or west bound on Fourth Street. Seeing none, the truck started through the intersection, according to the Mt. Vernon Police Department. Steward, traveling east on Fourth came to the intersection and saw a green light. He traveled into the intersection, not seeing the truck because of another vehicle in the left turn lane of East Fourth. Steward then drove into the intersection and the two vehicles collided. The city's truck was damaged up to $3000 and Steward's vehicle in the amount of $600. No citations were issued.

New Posey County Jail Holds Open House.....January 1979

According to Sheriff Carl Dick over 1000 people toured the new jail in the six hour Saturday open house. Many were surprised that they didn't see carpeted cells or a swimming pool. The jail was not as luxurious as some expected. Groups of around 25 to 30 were allowed to tour the complete facility. Pictures of the old jail were posted so the public could see the improvement. Those who went had a rare chance to go to jail and not be embarrassed.

Lillian Root Retires After 45 Years Teaching.....1979

One part of a husband and wife teaching team, she taught mostly elementary school in Posey County and Mt. Vernon for forty five years. When she first started in 1934, students had to go home right after school and work on the farm and as she retires she says most are more mobile and have so many more activities today. I remember her as teaching fifth grade at Hedges Central. She believed that children in the seventies received a much broader education than earlier students. The subjects have exploded she remarked. She mentioned several current notable students she had taught like those two running for Mayor, Democrat incumbent Jackson Higgins and Republican Glenn Curtis. She also had Joey Deckard, Eighth District Representative.

14 Year old MV Girl Sets State Record in Long Jump.....1979

Mary Renschler, 14 year old member of the Mt. Vernon Track Club became the state record holder in the long jump for her age group (14-15) with a mark of 18' 4", breaking the old record of 17' 11 1/4 ". The mark was set at the Junior Olympic Sectional held at Central Stadium.

Steam Calliope Comes To Town Again.....1979

What was one of the few remaining authentic steam calliopes owned by the Indiana University Alumni Association and sponsored by Hooks Drugs, appeared at the Mt. Vernon Summer Street Festival that June. The rare old steam powered instrument was built in 1923 and formerly graced the Showboat Majestic which docked many times at our wharf in decades past and it was the last showboat on the Ohio River. In 1976 it was removed from the boat and placed on a replica of an ornate circus wagon. Its 32 whistles can be heard for up to five miles and has been used in numerous parades and festivals throughout Indiana. The wagon had a self-contained electric generator which provided power to pump water and energize the electric keyboard.

Merle Phelps And His Special Car.....1979

Remember when we had that first little energy crisis during the Carter administration and gas reached maybe a dollar a gallon? Well, Mr. Phelps could be seen riding around town in his motorized peddle car. He said he got something like 100 miles per gallon in it and a speed of up to 22 mph. He claimed it was basically maintenance free and he put over 1000 miles on it that year. He said, "You really only use the motors to help you up the steep grades and it is really just an exerciser for the rest of the time." That meant that the driver peddles and is pushed along by the motor. He also had a bicycle with one having two wheels in the front and one in the back. He always was a builder of things since he was four years old he commented.

Mt. Vernon Democrat Sold to Landmark Community Newspapers.....1979

Garth Whipple, who while owner and editor of The Democrat took a bi-partisan stance politically with the newspaper, was described by many as being a Southern Democrat. Born in Missouri he came to Mt. Vernon in 1966 buying the paper from Orvan Hall. Whipple had studied journalism at the universities of Tulsa and Missouri. The Mt. Vernon Democrat for a century had been strongly Democratic in nature and Whipple, well, he even endorsed Republicans. Oh, my! But following the editors of the past he was involved in the community serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce and as a advocate for downtown revitalization and development of the Ohio River resources. He lobbied area legislators and politicians to back Mt. Vernon as the site which became the Southwind Maritime Centre. In 1969 he was named marketing development manager of Southwind Port and later industrial development director for the Indiana Port Commission. Garth Whipple passed on in February of 1989 and at his death he was working on broker arranging mergers and acquisitions for business and industry.

I guess old Glenn was a little of a prophet too.....1979

Two Brothers Try to Commit Suicide a Week Apart in Jail.....1979

After lights out on a Saturday night in March, Jimmie Joe Underhill, 22, tied his hands and feet to the bunk with strips of his shirt, covered his body with newspaper and a sheet and set fire to himself. Underhill was flown by helicopter to Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment where he suffered first and second degree burns to both hands and legs. A note left in the cell stated that he was sorry but felt he had to do it. During an investigation Sheriff Dick said it was determined the reason for the attempt was a "family problem." Underhill was awaiting trial on several counts of burglary from 1978. One week later Eddie Underhill, 29, was found in his cell, lying on the mattress covered with a newspaper and letters that were blazing. He suffered minor first and second degree burns. Eddie was in jail awaiting trial on 7 counts of burglary.

Ray Happe's Private Zoo.....1979

Located in the country is Mr. Happe's zoo. He had a pet llama named Rosebud that he had bought at a horse auction in Daylight, Indiana and the children of the Headstart Program come out twice a year to see him and his other animals. Rosebud it seemed liked children and would jump the fence to visit neighborhood kids. That's how he got his name too, from eating the neighbor's roses. Besides Rosebud he had several does and a buck. He had a pet donkey too, named Gino who acts as Mr. Happe's watchdog. If someone enters the yard, Gino would make a commotion. Sugartop, a former Shriner's horse gives Gino a kick in the rump now and again if he is too loud. He had a Great Dane also , plus a singing dachshund, and lots of ducks, geese and turkeys

Director of the Southwind.....1979

In 1979 it was reported by Mark Allen, Director of the Southwind Maritime Centre that 200 people working around the clock are now pushing cargo up and down the Ohio River at a rate eclipsing what goes through the Panama Canal. Trucks loaded with grain, many coming from southern Illinois are lined up daily from the port back to State Road 62 to unload grain onto barges. Just like the nineteenth century when crops and hogs were sent south, Mt. Vernon is still a important river city. The Centre received its first commercial shipment in April of 1976 and at the end of the seventies, a 380.000 bushel grain elevator had been constructed by Behimer & Kissner, a major grain shipper along with two bridges, a second cargo pier and a administration building. A craneway had been completed also and a transit was under construction.

On June 15, 1978 fire destroyed the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Station in Mt. Vernon.

The depot along with signal material and all equipment were destroyed. Estimated total cost was set at $77,677.83. The building was built in 1891. The last steam engine ran through here on January 1, 1953 and then they changed to diesel. The very last passenger train came through on May 1, 1971 from Evansville to St. Louis. I took one of these back in the 1960's heading for Union Station in Missouri where I got a taxi and headed for Sportsman's Park on Grand Avenue to watch the Cardinals. Usually when the line was full strength it had 8 to 10 cars-4 Pullman, 1 diner, and 3 baggage cars. You see a lot of weeds on the way to St. Louis! hahaha.

Jon's Cycle Rama Burns.....May 1978

The fire broke out early on a Monday morning and a neighbor called the fire department around 3:45. Explosions occurred at the front of the building from gasoline in the motorcycles. Arson was the cause reported as doors to the back of the facility were slightly opened which had been locked. A truck load of bikes were saved however. Damages ranged from $500,000 to $1,500,000.

Patrolman Henry Brakie Retires.....1978

In May of 1978, Patrolmen Brakie for 24 years drove cautiously towards the high school for the last time through the familiar streets of Mt. Vernon. As reporter, Gerda Unzner rode along, he commented, "It's an opportunity to serve the public and serve your fellow man. It may sound a little old fashioned but I'm a member of the Church of God Mission-that's Pentecostal." Originally, he did not set out to be a policeman. He was working for the Chrysler Corp. in Evansville in 1953 when they went on strike. "It was just a job, soon I started caring." On being a policeman he said, "It's a special breed of person. It is not profitable and you don't get attention, love or respect for doing a nasty job that has to be done. People expect so much of you. If a policeman drinks, he is a drunk, if he talks to a girl, he's chasing hurts, but you learn to live with it." He said the job was challenging with every day being something different. "It can be boring, but then in a couple of minutes it can be exciting." Remembering an incident he told of an apprehension of a man at the Riverside Motel where a man was shooting, shot the flashlight right out of Brakie's hand, but the police managed to arrest him without hurting him. "I have been a policeman for 24 years and I have never hurt anyone with a gun or a club...I've wrestled, but never hit anyone." Brakie said he also apprehended a murder suspect while holding an empty pistol. After chasing the suspect and having his tires shot out on the open highway, the man pulled over while Brakie and the other officer approached him with empty pistols. He gave up. The worst thing he saw as an officer was around 20 years ago a little boy hung himself accidently with a rope as he swung out over the river in the bottoms. He was the first officer to arrive and gave him artificial respiration, but he didn't make it. "That bothered me the most." In retirement he said he was going fishing.

Southwind Plaza has Grand Opening.....January 1978

Tenants were the Union Federal Savings and Loan, Wesselman's Supermarket, Wesselman's Coffee Shop, Index Notions, P.N. Hirsch, The Lily Pad, The Center for Hair Today, Coast To Coast Hardware and the Radio Shack....Revco Drugs was ready soon after.

"And this bird you cannot change"......1978

I have had 2 neck surgeries over the years. I blame the first one from doing sit-ups to "Free Bird." When that sucker kicks in hard and heavy ole ~ Wavy J ~ got a good workout!




Mead Johnson Expansion Underway.....June 1977

The Mead Johnson expansion of its Mt. Vernon facility, expected to bring 300-350 new jobs to the area is underway with the completion date set for the fall of 1978. Construction has started on the first phase of the expansion: a 150,000 square foot warehouse building which will cost $3.7 million. Included will be 60,000 feet of air conditioned space. It will include a sprinkling system and will be divided from the rest of the new facility by a fire wall. The total expansion cost will be $17.7 million. The warehouse will be completely modern, enabling us to meet the very high storage standards necessary for drug production materials. The site was adequately served by a four lane highway only minutes away from Evansville.

Music Director Retires....May 1977

After nineteen years as head of the music department of the Mt. Vernon Metropolitan School District. K.V. Bryant retired. He came to Mt. Vernon in 1958 from Princeton, Kentucky. In his time here Mt. Vernon bands won 15 out of 17 superior ratings in marching and concert contests. Bryant said, "The success of the program is in making music attractive to young people and teaching them at the same time it teaches appreciation of music and self-discipline." Bryant estimated he taught over 1900 music students over the years, many of which went on to find careers in professional music. Band directors throughout the country were taught by Bryant. The Mt. Vernon Band Boosters set up a scholarship fund in honor of Bryant.

WPCO Broadcasts the Nixon/Frost Political Interviews.....May 1977

Local radio station WPCO 1590 kHz, broadcasted the four David Frost and Richard Nixon interviews on May 4, 12, 20, and 25th of 1977. The segments were Watergate, Nixon and The World, War At Home and Abroad, and Nixon the Man. Each segment was 90 minutes long. On television the opening show drew over 45 million viewers. Gallup Polls thought Nixon was still covering up and deserved no further part in American political history. I sat there at home watching the man that sent me a draft notice, who had a plan to get out of Vietnam but never told us, a man so paranoid he would authorize the Watergate break-in of Ellsberg's office and at the same time win by a landslide over George McGovern. I reflected on my opposition to his carpet bombing of Hanoi, the escalation into Cambodia that resulted in the Kent State Massacre, his position on John Lennon and the leak of the "enemies list" that listed people like David Crosby and Daniel Schorr and I looked for redemptive love from myself. After three decades I still have trouble penetrating the walls of almost hate for the man I despised in the sixties and seventies. In many ways, he was far more liberal than most Republicans today...he did open up China for which I give him credit. I found by watching that there is "some good in the worst of us, and some evil in the best of us." I think hate scars the soul, so I have disdain for his policies, yet I choose to believe like him that I am not beyond the reach of God's love. When I go back to my Gandhi and Martin L. King readings I know that I must forgive in order to love and that "darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." are no longer on my "enemies list." R.I.P.

Glen Curtis cartoon.....May 17, 1977

Motoring....What's your price for flight You've got him in your sight

Explosions Cause Injury at J. R. Short Milling Company.....January 1977

Ed Jolley was injured from burns, treated and released from Deaconess Hospital from explosions caused by a fire started when a spark ignited grain dust in the mill elevator. Both explosions occurred within minutes of each other. Damage to the mill was extensive causing a hole in the top of the elevator and other damages to the lower sections according to mill manager Robert Ozinga. Short, a Chicago firm bought the Mt. Vernon industry in 1947. Back in 1924, the Mt. Vernon Milling Company was organized following the purchase at a bankruptcy sale by Joseph Kelly of the site and ruins of the American Hominy Company mill which burned in 1922. A new mill was erected by the local company, and it too was destroyed by fire in 1932. The mill that was there in 1947 began operation in 1933. Original stockholders were Joseph Kelley, Francis Keck, William H. Gonnerman, Dr. R. Wilson, William Gonnerman, and Robert Stinson. Theodore Hudnet and R. G. Jenks were attracted to Mt. Vernon in 1877 and established the Cooper, Hudnut & Warder mill which became known as the Hudnet Company. That mill was destroyed by fire in 1893, but was rebuilt in 1894. In 1901 the Hudnut Company merged with the American Hominy Company. The mill won national recognition for the high quality of its corn grits, meal, flour, flakes, feed and corn oil. The sale to J.R. Short also included the Sunlight mill, the North Walnut Street elevator and elevators at Welborn Switch and Upton in Posey County and at New Haven, Illinois.

Glenn Curtis cartoon 1977

Folk Music at Hedges.....1977

Indiana Rain Crow made a performance at Hedges Central Elementary. This was a folk art component integrating folk music, folk dance and folk visual art. They did traditional Indiana folk music and dance. They played love songs, working songs, hymns and ballads. The band was originally from Indianapolis but later moved to French Lick.

Mead Johnson Begins $17.7 Million Expansion.....1977

Construction began at Mead Johnson, two miles east of Mt. Vernon on SR 62. First to be completed was the 150.000 square foot warehouse building which cost $3.7 million. The pharmaceutical production complex came the following year, also consisting of 150,000 square feet and cost around $14 million. Included in that second group were a sterile drug production building, a pharmaceutical packaging building, and a building housing production offices, cafeteria, and locker rooms. The total Mead Johnson Park consists of 600 acres bisected by the highway and purchased way back in 1957 for long range growth.

29 Tombstones Damaged at Beech Grove Cemetery.....October 1976

Not pranks but vandalism angered the Mt. Vernon community over thousands of dollars of damage to Beech Grove Cemetery in west Lynn Township. Posey County Sheriff Bill Cox reported 29 stones damaged or destroyed, some over 100 years old. A local resident also wrote a letter to the editor of The Democrat telling of the heartache of finding a tombstone of her son missing at Bellefontaine Cemetery. It was believed that the people involved at Beech Grove were driving a dual-wheel vehicle because of the tire tracks left behind. Larger tombstones were knocked over and chunks of stone and smaller headstones were thrown at other grave markers.

America's Bicentennial.....1976

New Harmony State Park Opens With New Improvements.....1976

Years ago in the midst of the hippie movement I learned of a party at New Harmony State Park. This must have been around 1972 or 1973. It was before Terri and I were married. After a party early in the morning we were awaken by the park ranger and as maybe 30 young people lay sleeping on the grounds without a permit we were in danger of being thrown out or worse. Somehow an arrangement was agreed on where I bought tickets for the whole lot as I recall and no questions were asked about all the Boone's Farm bottles lying all around. Well, anyway by 1976 the recreation area opened with two miles of road under construction, 200 modern and 60 primitive camping sites, a new concession stand at the pool, a firewood concession for campers and a campground general store. When I visit now I still remember that long ago gathering.

Bicentennial Year Has Scenes of Mt. Vernon In A Film.....1976

Our town was used as "filler" by a Los Angeles production company when a freelance photographer came here in work on a seven minute documentary short called, "Now and Then." He took an old photograph and recreated the same setting on film. When the film was developed, the negatives were spliced forming a serial showing the same scene in different years.

Local Happenings of 1976

Unemployment in the county had dropped then spiked again when in the spring and summer strikes occurred at the Southern Indiana and Electric Company and Babcock and Wilcox. Although striking workers are not counted in the unemployment figures, the economic impact was still felt here. Both strikes lingered throughout the summer. Guy Ramsey got approval to construct the Southwind Shopping Center from the Economic Development Commission. Posey County National Bank expanded its drive up window longer one at a time. The town searched for sources of funding to renovate the Memorial Coliseum and the Farm Bureau Refinery began receiving its first shipments of foreign oil because domestic supplies could not keep up with the demand. And what was I doing? I was cutting back on concerts only seeing a couple that year one of which was Uriah Heep, was married less than a year, bought a second or third hand trailer out by Farmersville and was helping pay off my wife's college loan. "Times get rough when you ain't got enough, to buy me a bottle of wine."

Some Tidbits on Ralph Staples of Staples Foundry.....1976

In the spring of 1976, Ralph Staples sat down for an interview with the late pastor August Binder. Ralph was born on the corner of Fourth and Munchoff here in town in 1893. His father came from Kentucky and his mother was Mary Jane Redman from Upton. His "home base" was that area as his foundry was only blocks away from where he was born. His dad worked at the Keck and Gonnerman factory and was the foreman of the molding room which of course was a foundry. His parents were unable to read or write and his father was also in charge of keeping tabs on the number of hours the laborers worked. Ralph as a school boy took that off his dad's hands. Ralph took their times down, their hours and kept a record. He was ten years old at and at 13 he started working there after school hours and on Saturday. Ralph in 1919 patented a can opener which he had made over at Keck-Gonnerman. He wanted to make them himself so at age 26 he founded his own foundry. The can opener opened with one stroke. He said it was like something you see every day when you go to the gas station and the service attendant (remember them?) punches a hole in the can and pours the oil out. It was of the same principle except it was larger and it would open a little "number 1" can, the whole lid with one stroke, "just like snapping your finger. ".I guess they were pretty successful as he sold 50 gross of them to Belknap Hardware on his first order. He then sold "thousands and thousands" of them. The work gradually moved into the stove foundry and furnace parts making repairs for heating and cooking stoves. Farmers then needed casting of replacement parts like cultivator spools and such; he had found his groove. He made stokers for years and had an outlet store in Evansville for years on Vine Street right across from the court house. There they sold stove parts off the shelf, "just like you would groceries." They sold castings to the Brucken Company in Evansville and for hotels and restaurants. Ralph had as many as 45 workers at one time. In 1976 he had four. The foundry business followed the trends and they moved into aluminum castings which were easier to work with and required fewer men. He got into plaques with pictures on them like emblems for furniture dealers, hardware men and implement people. Lawyers, chiropractors wanted them and mailbox numbers were produced. (I have one up for over 30 years) He sold them all over the United States. Many of you I am sure have seen his bicentennial plaques. Ralph said that his wife of 60 years started out as a bookkeeper and saleslady for Ike Rosenbaum's Jewelry Store. Ralph actually dabbled in selling cars too for a while. "My daddy had a car; a new Ford in 1909 and Grover Keck came to me and asked me if I would like to sell them? I said sure, but I don't know if I can. It was a Wednesday and I told him that if I could sell one by Saturday I would take his job." Well he did. As a matter of fact he sold 57 Fords that summer himself and got $5 for a Roadster and $9 commission for each Touring car. "I guess I was a natural born salesman." He sure was...when it was all said and done his business had been in Mt. Vernon longer than any company except for Alles Brothers Furniture.

"Born On the 4th of July" Bicentennial Doings...1976

Plans were getting in full swing in May as the town painted a Bicentennial emblem on the street at Third and Main and painted a red, white and blue stripe down the center of Main to the riverfront. A day to remember was the wagon train that was traveling across America stopping in Mt. Vernon complete with longhorns. June was declared River Awareness Month and massive church services were held on the fourth.

Rick Moll Takes Strange Trip Home From College.....May 1975

Former cager, Rick Moll decided on a different trip home from Wabash College. He was a member of the Little Giants basketball squad this past season. Rick and a buddy took a canoe from Crawfordsville, working their way down the Wabash River by Sugar Creek in Turkey Run State Park. They stopped each night at a beach or a clearing along the river. It took them six days and they said their biggest problem were small rapids on Sugar Creek that turned the canoe around and speedboats on the Wabash.

Mt. Vernon Adopts A Sister City.....1975

Mayor Jackson Higgins, in May, proclaimed a "Peronne Day." The French Club of Mt. Vernon High School adopted Peronne, France as a sister city for Mt. Vernon. The mayor of Peronne, France on behalf adopted Mt. Vernon as its sister city. Peronne has a population of 9100 citizens. More on Peronne

Local Happenings.....1975

  • Cloverdale Circle apartment house for the elderly opened in January
  • City population at 7,092
  • Posey County Elections Board procures new electrical voting machines
  • County applies for $50,000 to fund the initial planning for a by-pass around Mt. Vernon
  • In March county unemployment hits 12.3%. GE lays off 36
  • Hook's Drug Store and Dairy Queen announce plans to locate in town
  • Mt. Vernon Lions Club builds flatboat, "City of Mt. Vernon" for the Great Ohio River Flatboat Race. It wins prize as "most authentic."
  • Residents on West Water street protest L&N railroad tracks
  • In July, the town was rocked by an intentional explosion of the new Dairy Queen on East Fourth Street under construction
  • Court house robbed twice, during one break-in, vandalism was extensive
  • Four firms plan to locate at the new Southwind Shopping Center
  • Ku Klux Klan rally in Posey County is poorly attended
  • $1 million dollar fire destroys warehouse of Fuhrer-Ford Milling as 3 firemen overcome by gas
  • A Vietnamese family is brought to Mt. Vernon for location and the first Vietnamese orphan is adopted in our town.

"Look Out Ethel...Too Late.....1975

Remember the streak? I talked recently to a man who ran naked down Mulberry Street and learned of three young men who stripped down on the alley by the post office and ran around the courthouse late one night. Sorry guys.....I can't reveal the names. LOL

Tidbits of the "Great Ohio River Flatboat Race" of 1975

In the third running of the race between the nine towns of Owensboro, Henderson, Sebree, Sturgis, Morganfield, Madisonville, Hawesville, Newburgh, and Mt. Vernon or local entry "City of Mt. Vernon" took away the most sought after prize...the most authentic craft. Evidently, mosquitos were a problem and you can bet anyone out on a flatboat at night would have a problem. Wonder what Huck and Jim did? We do know that Tom Payne and cartoonist Glenn Curtis had no problem because after the first night they managed to find a motel for every other much for roughing it. They said the Mt. Vernon group sang "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" from the beginning of the race to the end. They had a guy blowing in a jug, another strumming a guitar, and of course our buddy Glenn playing the "stuffed raccoon." hahaha. Thata boy! I would have had one of those clay pipes.

Traffic on Fourth Street.....1975

Was driving along here the other day and as I got to the stop light along Walnut and Fourth the light turned yellow. The truck in front of me with a long trailer continued forward and blocked the entire intersection preventing traffic under green to proceed north. Fourth Street sure has a lot of traffic especially when people are going to work and leaving from work. Back in 1975 there was a four way car accident at the above named intersection. It started when one car rear ended a police car and two cars behind it banged into all the others. I would have loved to have placed cartoonist Glenn Curtis on the curb observing this! LOL. I guess the traffic flow wasn't use to a car stopping on yellow as everybody was trying to fly through it.

Former Employee of Strawboard Company Interviewed.....1975

Millard Rose was interviewed one summer day in 1975 by the Rev. August Binder and here are a few highlights: When Millard was only 16 he went to work for the Mt. Vernon Strawboard Company on West Second Street, back where many of us remember Texaco. Millard's father had a hand in building the factory in 1904. Millard worked there until the plant closed in 1933 and moved out to Alton, Illinois. It had 150 to 200 employees in its heyday and was started by someone's called the Funky brothers. It was then in the hands of the Mt. Vernon Paper Board Company and then Alton Illinois had ownership. Rose worked there for 13 1/2 hours a day making $2.50 per day. Later as he moved up from cutter boy to finisher he got $3.75 a day for the same hours. No coffee breaks, but an hour for lunch. Pranks and "horseplay" were fixtures of boredom. One turned bad. A man brought his lunch and the boys got to playing pranks on him one night and got into his peanut butter sandwich and put old grease on it. He ate some of it and didn't like it. After he saw what it was, he went home and "beat the dickens out of his old lady" and the law was called. "People felt real bad about that one!"

1975 Glenn Curtis classic

Remember those Thatched Overhangs ? What was with that?.....1970's

I was looking at the old Robison Men's Wear building on Main and thought of the thatched overhang that use to be over the entrance. Those things were getting plumb popular for a while around here. They were at Gentil's, Frank Parrish's, and Yaggi's Plumbing as I recall. They must have gotten a group deal. I thought they were very ugly. Now days many of our Main Street buildings require more than just a tiki bar look and a coat of paint for esthetic enhancement.

Local Gas Stations Start to Feel the Pinch.....January 1974

Service station owners locally started to tighten their belts around this time when across the country we heard of stations running out of gas, restricting fill ups and getting fuel only on certain days of the week. Here in Mt. Vernon Randall Oil Company replied that their station was working at a 92% allotment from Shell Oil Company. They also started closing at 7 PM instead of 9. Schroeder's Marathon on Fourth had started closing on Sunday's and reduced hours during the week. They limited gas fillups to ten gallons. Berry's Sunoco on Main also limited customers to 10 gallons of fuel and reduced their day 2 1/2 hours. The Martin station on Fourth also had a 10 gallon limit. I can remember taking a weekend trip with a friend through Missouri and up to almost Chicago and home in my little Fiat Spider around this time and almost running out of gas looking for a station open on a Sunday.

SWIDAP Begins Here.... January 1974

A drug counseling program opened in Posey County by the Southwestern Indiana Drug Abuse Program headquartered at the Dharma House in Evansville. It met at the Trinity United Church of Christ education building for five hours every Wednesday.

Charles Hames - 58 Years Teacher-Administrator.....1916-1974

Mr. Hames in his later years I had the opportunity to work with when I was on the Mt. Vernon High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee in the mid to late eighties. He sure was a stickler for Peter's Principals and many other formal ways of parliamentary procedures when we were writing the by-laws. He was say, "I draw your attention to Article 1, Section 4, Letter A, the third word, beginning with the phrase " You would have thought we were drawing up the Articles of Confederation. Anyway, through all our meeting, phone calls and his visits to my house we discussed Mt. Vernon history. Here are some of his accomplishments:

  • 9 1/2 years in one room schools of Posey County
  • 1 1/2 years teaching in Kosciusko County, Indiana
  • 10 1/2 years science-social studies teacher MVHS
  • 26 years teacher-principal at MVHS
  • 5 years science-social studies teacher at Evansville Memorial H.S.
  • 3 1/2 years science-social studies teacher at Dahlgren H.S.
  • 1 year principal at Marrs Elementary
  • American Legion Commander

Some of His Opinions:

  • Never underate any human being
  • Excellence in any vocation is prestigious
  • Scholarship alone is no criterion of life success
  • Personality and determination have equal or more influence on one's future than have IQ or scholarship

The Origin of the Wildcat Nickname and Colors from Charles Hames Sr

Former Mt. Vernon graduate of 1915 and longtime Mt. Vernon principal, Charles Hames mentioned to me that the origin of the Wildcat nickname occurred through the efforts mainly of a former Mt. Vernon principal, Mr. Rust. Prior to this the most often used nickname was the Mountaineers. Mr. Rust looked for a new name for the team as Mt. Vernon athletics were starting a new era by moving into the new gym and high school on Canal Street. Principal Rust, according to Mr. Hames, took the gray school color of Evansville Reitz where Rust had been principal and the maroon from the University of Chicago where he did graduate work as Mt. Vernon's school colors. The name Wildcats came from Northwestern University where Mr. Rust also attended. Considering Northwestern's record and ours, I sure wish that Mr. Rust had attended U.C.L.A.!

Another Bull Island?.....July 1973

Posey County Sheriff Bill Cox received an application for another mass gathering at Bull Island for a three day fest around Labor Day devoted to country music.

A restraining order was issued in August to stop the fest and promoters said, 'this proceeding was biased and prejudiced against the festival, the people were unduly aroused.'

Garth Whipple's Editorial....June 1973

Editor Whipple of the Mt. Vernon Democrat was hoping someone was working on a solution to the Main Street parking problem of our "boom town." He thought a solution was as simple as making parking illegal on the street and making it a four lane thoroughfare. However traffic might be somewhat better, but the acute problem of parking of then would just be moved to another street. He thought no one was thinking big enough or far enough to solve some of our problems. I guess we were busy for that time; but, now, park just about any place you want.

Thrift Shop Opens June 1973

On North Main Street, the Thrift Shop provided warm clothing at a low price for so many in need and those who wanted a bargain. At this time the Rev. August Binder was the chairman of the shop. It was a non-profit organization. How many school children in need of some assistance of used clothing benefited from this store with the help of donations of the community? The cost was around $16,000 at the time it was completed and they hired a few "handicapped" individuals to work under supervision expanding their opportunities. I have dropped many a box clothes off that I out grew. I am sure you have also.

Plane Runs Aground at Airport.....May 1973

An unidentified student of Tri-State Aero ran off the runway at Mt. Vernon Municipal airport and hit the ditch at the end of the strip. The pilot, told Mt. Vernon airport manager Frank Parrish that he was practicing "touch and goes" on the field when he decided to turn around and approach the airport office. The decision was late and he was unable to halt the plane before running out of room to turn. The Cessna Skyhawk suffered only minor damages and the pilot was uninjured.

Construction Begins on Cloverleaf High Rise.....May 1973

On what was once a cornfield and a dirt road at the site of Lincoln Avenue and Jefferson Street would later become a four story high rise for the elderly. Groundbreaking had begun in October, but soil samples showed the ground was too soft. Additional HUD money had to be found to correct the problem. When completed housing to the elderly would be offered at a rate of 25% of their adjusted income. This was nearby from where I grew up and I was there to see the dedication. It was a big feather in the cap of new Mayor, Jackson Higgins.

Two Ex-Wildcats Make Mark In College Baseball.....May 1973

Gary Redman and Dave Bell, 1971 MVHS graduates have played an important role of the Three Rivers Junior College Raiders after they won the team's Central District Tournament in Oklahoma and headed for the Nationals. Both former Wildcats at this writing played on the 1971 Mt. Vernon team that advanced to the finals of the Indiana baseball semi-state, losing 3-2 in extra innings. This is the farthest a MV baseball team has ever advanced. As we know, Bell later became Mt. Vernon's head baseball coach after "Chummy" Jeffries retired. Redman became Division 2 head baseball coach at University of Southern Indiana. Three Rivers is located in Poplar Bluff, Mo. Redman was the starting second baseman of the Raiders and in the district tourney he had 5 hits in 11 at bats. He hit right at .300 his sophomore year and was a good hit and run man. Bell had been limited in playing time since the end of April due to fouling a ball off his foot. At the time of the injury he was hitting .363.

$1 Million Harmony Inn Dedicated.....May 1973

Several hundred persons turned out for formal dedication ceremonies for the new inn in New Harmony. Mrs. Jane Owen, financed the inn, threw the first shovel full of dirt and declared her pride in bringing such a facility to the community. The plans are for completion in early 1974 of the 50 room facility located just 40 feet east of the Red Geranium Restaurant. The inn was to be built in the style of an 1880's Harmonist dormitory. When finished the community will have overnight lodging for the first time since 1970 when the Raintree Inn was consumed by fire. On this same day Mrs. Owen attended the dedication of the Red Geranium Bookstore on Church Street. The bookstore holds over 3000 volumes dealing in many areas of interest such as history, religion, wine making, handicrafts, architecture, ecology, and natural heritage. Several maps and prints are available too depicting the heritage of the community from 1824.

GAF Corporation.....1973

A roofing materials manufacturing corporation located on Givens Road next to the refinery. Opened in December of 1972 with a crew of supervisors making sure good product could be made. In January of 1973 a day shift crew was hired with the first hourly clock number given to Vernon Marvel in maintenance. The first plant manager was Bill Gay, first superintendent Norman Dixon, and first HR Jack Norvell. The plant went to two ten hour shifts in May of 1973 and by the fall to three. GAF has continued to add new products and lines over the years and is a leader in the roofing industry. I could tell you many interesting stories especially about the early years, but I still work there so I can't tell them. LOL.

Glenn Curtis cartoon from 1973

Here Glenn combined a story of a creature being seen in Enfield, Illinois, with a request for a second Bull Island Music Festival, this time a country one that was eventually halted.

I always admired someone who could draw and I love political cartoons. I never read the "funnies" as a kid but I was always drawn to the editorial cartoons. I noticed that not only did Glenn grace our newspaper for many years with his local stories. He also had cartoons for the television schedules published. He would use his own children in them too which I found amusing.

A festival stopped.....1973

Those of you who know me know I attended Bull Island, Farm Aid 1995, Woodstock 1999 and many mini festivals like Freedom Fest 72 and one in Germany in 1970. I have attended hundreds of concerts in the sixties and seventies especially. The above ticket was for a festival in Tennessee that was stopped. The Grateful Dead was scheduled to play there. I was all ready to go when it was stopped....Damn

To Honor Memory of Mt Vernon Founders.....1973

Must have took a little longer than they hoped as an article said, "Plans of the Posey County Historical Society, inaugurated several years ago, are to be realized and the memory of the founders of the city of Mt. Vernon, the McFadin family, will be honored with the placing of a suitable marker over their graves on the bank of Mill creek near Water street and College avenue. The work of placing the marker in position was started last week. It is a block of Vermont granite, presented by Dr. R.E. Wilson, which will bear a memorial tablet and will be set in concrete. Around the graves and the marker will be lengths of chains, supported by stone posts. In 1930 the Posey County council made a general contribution to this work and the city council acting on the suggestion of Councilman Edw. Stallman, agreed to donate the site and be responsible for the labor of erecting the memorial. Following the completion of the work, the Posey County Historical Society will hold a fitting ceremony to properly dedicate the marker." Evidently, this is not the original marker. Anyone have any information or pictures of the original?

Brittlebank Park Dedication.....1973

Barbara Givens, former park board member and Mayor Jackson Higgins.

Glenn Curtis Cartoon.....1973

The Glen Curtis Cartoon of the Enfield Monster & The Story Behind It.....1973

Back in 1973, an Enfield man reported two encounters with a "monster" that came up on his porch. The man said he heard a scratching noise at his door and when he opened his door he was confronted with a creature four or five feet tall with three legs, big pink eyeballs and short arms. This man by the name of McDaniel shot at him with his pistol and said he hit him in the chest and the creature screamed. He said then the monster escaped by running 75 yards to a nearby railroad track in three long bounds. A second meeting came a few days later and then the tale made national news. A Kokomo, Indiana radio station said they were able to record the animal's shrieks. Some hunters were arrested for firing a weapon at it in a pile of brush. The State Police found some prints in the area that looked like that of a dog except there was six toe pads instead of five. A neighbor boy said he saw it also and the creature shredded his shoes with the claws on his feet. Strangely, the boy grew up and was shot and killed on his front porch. A boy by the name of Greg Garrett claimed he was attacked by the beast at it had a grayish, slimy epidermis, short claws and reddish eyes. Fate magazine wrote a story on it and called it, "Swamp Slobs Invade Illinois." Some investigators suggested that the monster might be associated with many UFO sightings in the area during that time. A similar incident occurred in 1941 in Mt. Vernon Illinois.

Rock Group Nazareth Enjoys Bull Island.....September 1972

Members of Nazareth, a Scottish rock band said they had a good time performing at the Labor Day Soda Pop Festival at Bull Island. On their second swing through the states they mentioned that rock festivals are much different in the British Isles. They mentioned that organization was much better in England, but poor weather creates real problems for concert goers. Group manager, Derek Nichol said, "American audiences are really great. They are much more adaptable to different music forms." He went on to add, "In every U.S. audience we've seen there are people who can relate to all kinds of musical expression."

Western Movie Star Col. Tim McCoy Entertains at Coliseum.....September 1972

The local coliseum was full of youngsters to see Western Movie star Tim McCoy perform tricks with an Australian bull whip. McCoy appeared in dozens of films over three decades and has a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame. The Colonel was in both World Wars and brought along clowns, Indians, and western singers to entertain his audience. At the height of his popularity he was even on a Wheaties box.

Dr. Eckerty Retires.....August 1, 1972

.L. Eckerty who began his dental practice in Posey County in New Harmony in 1936 announced his retirement. He moved his practice to Mt. Vernon in 1937 and practiced continuously except for 4 1/2 years of military service during World War II. Due to an asthmatic condition, Dr. Eckerty close his office at 115 East Fourth street and is moving to Scottsdale, Arizona will he will reside. His wife and the good doc were members of the First Methodist Church for 35 years as well as the Elks Club. Mrs. Eckerty was well known for her painting skills.

Bosse Field Freedom Fest.....July 1972

An announced crowd of 30,000 filled a 7,000 cap stadium to see 15 acts in Evansville, In. Terri, then only 15 and I, 22 yrs. old went along with another friend of mine, Bob Roby. The mood was festive and exuberant despite the long delays in starting. Firecrackers flashed and crackled throughout the concert sometimes producing screams to those close to the blasts. Drugs were consumed openly as security stayed near the gates to keep out gate crashers. A light drizzle began falling before everything began as stage crews as well as fans stretched a tarpaulin across the top of the stage near home plate. The concert began with blues man Howlin Wolf. The marijuana was passed along with Boone's Farm apple wine, Frisbees were tossed and we were off! Let's see we had Country Joe McDonald's "Gimmie A F", and Edgar Winter. Trouble erupted late in the day as police used tear gas and nightsticks to scatter some 2000 fans outside wanting in without tickets. Finally the promoters, Tom Duncan and Bob Alexander relented and the gates were opened. The rain returned as Ike and Tina Turner started, but the fans didn't care. The concert was halted for a while to drain the tarps as fans built fires near the outfield walls to dry off. As night came and the stadium lights came on, the place took on a look of a battlefield from the smoke of fires and fireworks. The concert pressed on to around 5 am and when it was over the baseball infield was torn up, garbage everywhere, and just what you would think it would look like after 18 hours of tens of thousands of fans jumping on it. Garvin Park, nearby was the scene of nude bathing and complaints of vandalism occurred throughout the nearby neighborhoods.

Bull Island Boogie.....1972

On Labor Day weekend, 37 years ago, I along with 275,000 of my brothers and sisters of the counter-culture, experienced the Erie Canal Soda Pop Musical Festival and Peace Jamboree!! At a time in history when America stood divided over Vietnam and with a large part of a generation psychedelicized, a multitude swarmed upon Bull Island to enjoy three days of music and political rhetoric. Despite restraining orders and threats of using the National Guard to stop the festival goers, the concert went on in defiance to authority. The first was produced by Alexander-Duncan Productions who had earlier on Independence Day held a highly successful 16 hour concert at Bosse Field the same year headlined by Tina Turner, Country Joe McDonald, and REO Speedwagon. Bull Island was entered by a small road running past a cornfield near Black River close to Griffin, Indiana. The walk in was over five miles from the highway. The first evening before the concert, I spent my time setting camp, placing a peace flag above our tent, sitting on a ditch embankment watching people arrive, and looking heavenward at the TV helicopters taking aerial photography for the local news shows. The fest had put the tri-state on edge for weeks as fans packed every park in Southern Indiana waiting for the location of the concert to be announced. It was originally scheduled to be held in Chandler, IN, but was stopped. A restraining order was issued by a Posey County judge too, but the show went on anyway. On the first day of music, I walked to within viewing distance of the stage to see Canned Heat but the crowds were so pressing that I pulled back for the duration. Site conditions were intolerable. Capitalists never had it so good. Believe me "everything" was sold or bartered with the biggest shortcomings being food. I witnessed no hassles between fans. I thought the Millennium had come. I was affected by the coming together of the people. We came to those events back then to be different, to show our individuality, and to make a statement to the establishment. Many bands scheduled didn't show like: Black Sabbath, The Doors, The Doobie Brothers or Joe Cocker. A list that did play included: Canned Heat, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Brownsville Station, Gentle Giant, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, Black Oak Arkansas, Foghat, Cheech and Chong, and Rick Derringer.

Dausmans Honored For Heroics.....July 1972

When an auto owned by George Alldredge rolled backwards into the Ohio River at the Mt. Vernon river dock June 20th, Brian and Bruce were responsible for saving Mrs. Alldredge and two small children, witnesses attest. Brian and Bruce, twin senior lifesaving graduates were awarded special certificates by Posey County Red Cross Chairman Roger McCormick and Water Safety Chairman Harley Kauffman. Both young men are lifeguards at Brittlebank pool. The two were cited for "rendering Red Cross Lifesaving techniques in sustaining the life of fellow human beings by performing a heroic act." Modest in their acceptance the Dausmans commented: 'We just did what anyone else would do."

MVHS Basketball Team Compiles 22-2 record.....1972

The greatest overall team record in Mt. Vernon high school history. Some of the school records they set were highest winning percentage .917; Longest winning streak 14; Most points scored 1899; Most points in one game 102, First MV team to win the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference; Most wins 22; Most wins on the road 13; undefeated at home 9-0; Largest margin of victory +17.71. Individual highlights were many: Charlie Uhde played every game on the varsity in his career and became MV's all-time leading scorer, since broken. Eddie Shelby led the Cats in scoring for the season with 440 and went on to play at the University of Evansville. He had a high game of 34 points vs. Wood Memorial. Mike Kohlmeyer scored 411 points on the season with a high of 32 vs. Evansville Harrison. He played later at Lincoln Trails College averaging over 20 points a game and scored 33 in one game making an all-tourney team. Kohlmeyer was a big rebounder at forward for Mt. Vernon also having as many as 17 vs. Tell City. Charlie Uhde went on to play college football and became a high school teacher and coach. Wayne Rueger continued the fine Rueger tradition at Mt. Vernon...was very scrappy and a terrific defensive player. He averaged just less than ten points a game, three times reaching 16 points in a game. He later played baseball at Southern Illinois University and carried a .300 plus batting average. Nick Schaffer was the starting center at 6'7" or maybe 6'8". He wasn't really a varsity player much until his senior year but improved greatly as the season wore on. Rick Moll was the super sub, spelling Schaffer and sometimes others. He led the 1972 team in field goal percentage at 51.9%. David Lawrence played quite a bit also. Roster also included Kim Siefert, Marc Brooks, Wayne Cloud, Chuck Hamilton, Terry Crawford, Gary Muslier, and Geof Leffel. Mt. Vernon defeated all 7 Evansville schools that season that had never been done before locally. They won the Holiday Tourney in North Posey, scored 100 vs. Owensville and 102 vs. Rex Mundi. The team was so popular that extra bleachers were put on the north end of the gym for the first time. They won the Princeton Sectional for only the second time in school history and then lost to Tell City 73-71 in the Evansville Regional. In this game in front of 12,309 fans at Robert's Stadium, MV started strong leading 25-15 after the first quarter. Things fell apart and with only 3 minutes left in the game they trailed by 14, when they caught fire, but ran out of time. They had two losses on the season - both to Tell City, by two in the Regional and by one; 71-70 in Tell City in overtime. The team was coached by Chuck Valier.

"Promises Made-Promises Kept?".....1972

In a city councilman meeting, Gene McCoy petitioned the filling in of holes in an alley between Locust and Canal Streets. Mayor Jack Higgins quipped: "I know it is full of holes...but it has been for the past two years!" McCoy's laughing rejoinder was: "I know it has Mayor, but the people hope that you'll fill it after all the campaign bragging you did!" Later in the meeting, the then first term Mayor apologized to McCoy for being flippant about the problem. I can just see them both smiling and refilling their pipes.

Democrat Publisher Makes Best Dressed List.....1972

Garth L. Whipple, publisher of the Mt. Vernon Democrat was named to the state's "10 Best Dressed Men" list for 1971. Announced in 1972 he was selected by the Indiana Retail Men's Wear Association at the annual meeting in Indianapolis. He was the only one selected south of Indianapolis.

Your Tax Dollars at Work.....1972

Glenn Curtis cartoon from 1972. Been awhile since I have seen a sign that said, "Your tax dollars at work."

Same O, Same O.....1972

While looking back at some old papers I have filed away from rock festivals, concerts, know the usual things a pinko leftist revolutionary has around his pad i found some articles of the 1972 Presidential election. Everybody knows how much I love Richard Nixon. He is still dead right? Oh, Ok....on the very day I was out rocking at Bull Island, "King Richard" was giving a speech at San Clemente, California blasting poor ole war hero George McGovern. Same old "class warfare", this time from the right. Here he is plugging for the blue collar vote saying all us hippies are the same ones who followed Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy looking to sell out Vietnam, refusing the work ethic, looking for an 'easy life' under the "welfare state." Yes, Dick I am about as left of center as they come, but I have worked overtime my entire life and have been a pawn to the social planners of the radical elitist liberals so long I actually am completely indoctrinated beyond anything Patricia Hearst could imagine. I am so dependent on the federal government as my "nanny state" that the only avenues left for me is to redistribute the rich man's income. Well Richard Sir, I gotta go...thanks for the memories and that draft tricks now.

Glenn Curtis...Politician, Civil Servant, Non-Conformist....Darn Good Cartoonist.....1972

I have always loved political cartoons and our small town was blessed with a great one. Glenn Curtis started drawing for the Mt. Vernon Democrat in 1972 and published over 300 a year, doing thousands of them on all types of personal, local, and national themes. Whatever was happening on the street, a city councilman meeting, an unusual character, Bull Island rock festival, a fish story he memorialized it in a cartoon. He also did signs and greeting cards and cartoon requests. I was told he did the drawing of the man bowling on Posey Lanes wall. His ideas for a cartoon came from the unusual like big foot sightings and Civil Defense drills. It could come from a Fireman's ball or a basketball game. He would include his large group of children in them too over some simple observation at dinner, watching TV, or lighting the outdoor grill. Then there was the lovable frog. The story behind the frog included in his drawings goes something like this: A neighbor told him to draw a frog sitting on the bank of the Ohio River and put it in the newspaper. When it was published the neighbor would tell him why. Well, the frog cartoon was turned down by editor Garth Whipple. When he told the neighbor of the refusal, he laughed and said he should have put a pipe in its mouth. Finally, Glenn got the explanation he wanted. What happened was that Curtis missed a City Council meeting and during the meeting a woman came forward who was known to having dabbled in witchcraft. She requested something to Mayor Higgins regarding a parcel of riverfront property controlled by the city. After leaving one councilman quipped to the mayor, "You'd better give them what they want Jack or they will turn you into a frog!" Because his original frog cartoon was turned down, Curtis began hiding his frogs inconspicuously in his cartoons like behind a car, under a log, etc. They became very popular and the frog that started as Mayor Higgins became Curtis' alter ego and even started speaking and interacting with the cartoon. So Glenn all the work you did as a grocer, life insurance salesman, bank teller, street commissioner, city councilman, and district manager of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and mayoral candidate I thank you for; but my you made a mark as cartoonist that no one can fill. Thank You!

James Bennett Interviewed by Charles W. Hames.....early 1970's

James Bennett was born in Point Township in August of 1899 and his father and grandfather came to this area to work as farmers from Kentucky. In 1918, James found work at the Mt. Vernon Strawboard Company and then worked at several other jobs like the Ice Plant, a feed store, the Mt. Vernon Creamery and he sold insurance. He worked for the Posey County Highway Department, the Indiana State Highway Department, and the Mt. Vernon Street Department. He was a precinct committeeman for several different precincts, a town clerk-treasurer for several terms and Mayor of Mt. Vernon from 1948-1952. He also had the privilege of being a state delegate several times in Indianapolis. As a child he remembered that neighbors were real friends. "We didn't live close together like in the towns, but there was friendship." They would help each other out for whatever need one had and do it without pay. "Those are the things that were genuine and that I always valued," he said. James was married in 1926 and they had three sons and one daughter. He had tried to get into the service during the First World War, but his eyesight was so poor they would not take him. He remarked that there was lots of mythology town in of "dead man's corner" and "the headless horseman" near Neader's Saloon. He said it was all fairy tales, but many people believed there was something to it and it was handed down by oral history of murders and lynching. During the depression James and his brother Stanley put on amateur boxing shows at the Coliseum. "It was hard times and we never received or did the boxers any remunerations." The little fee that was charged went to people of the milk fund and various charitable organizations. "It wasn't a great help, but it was some and we were glad to do it." Two of the boxers he mentioned that were good and still living at the time of the interview were Kenny Shephard and Tommy Givens. James Bennett also did some auctioneering...He then ended the interview with: "Say I've got one, now two, I've got two, say three, I've got three, three and a half, now, who'll say four, got four, four , four, four, four, sold to the man for four dollars."

Dairy Dream...early 70's

CD Festival.....1970's

Funny how that carnival knew each year exactly where the swings, ferris wheel, dunking booth, bingo, etc. was ....every year the same!

"If You Got It, Light It".....September 1971

That was the stage announcement at a concert in Evansville, labeled "A Peaceful, Heavy Happening." Muscle, Gandalf, Bloodrock, Crow, Rare Earth, Jimmy Spheeris and Richie Havens were the performers. I was not at this concert; Uncle Sam still had me in his grasp but from all I read this was quite a scene. Over 4000 were in attendance at the stadium and pot was smoked openly. Jimmy Spheeris and Diane Davidson provided the good vibes opening the show with earthy folk-rock and then two local bands played the hard core stuff. Crow was a surprise I was told with "combined motion and sound created a almost electric environment." Those my age remember the backdrops of swirling globs like a big lava lamp. Tripy! Their hits, "Evil Woman" and "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-woogie on the King of Rock and Roll" were said to be masterpieces of showmanship. Rare Earth got things jumping with "Big Brother" and the blend of vocals and instrumentation was praised by the faithful. Bloodrock came on. This is a band I was familiar with later on and that day the lead singer was said to have possessed, "a definite sexual overtone" and the crowd ate it up. My "contact" for this show said that by this time the crowd was ecstatic and everyone was on their feet passing the wine skins and the "other stuff," dancing, jumping and screaming for more. Richie Havens, the Woodstock legend entered and had everyone sit down and he mellowed everyone out with lyrics of peace and harmony and everyone went home happy. "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child," but not that was more like, "Here Comes the Sun."

June-July Highlights.....1971

  • June 1- Sixteen year old Carl Pierce was electrocuted on a utility tower behind West Elementary School.
  • June 4- Dragging operations continued for Kathy Woolsey, 11 who drowned June 3 in the Wabash River while wading with her family.
  • June 7- High School baseball team win their first ever Regional title and advance to the Semi-State tournament by whipping Evansville Memorial 2-1.
  • June 8- About 1/3 of the Mt. Vernon school district teachers appear before the school board in response to the termination of their negotiations policy.
  • June 11- Two area men die in crash of small aircraft near Poseyville.
  • June 15- Mayor Albert Blubaum casts the deciding vote after a common council deadlock to accept $480,700 in federal funds for construction of secondary sewage treatment facilities.
  • June 21-A former Mt. Vernon man, Thomas Cox, releases his first novel, "Shadows of One Another."
  • June 23- Kim Simpson is crowned CD Festival Queen.
  • June 26- Fire destroys Farmer's Elevator with damage at $100,000 and a loss of 25,000 bushels of grain.
  • July2- MV receives an award for no pedestrian - auto accidents in the city for more than two years.
  • July 15- Pickets go up in front of the Indiana Bell Telephone offices in Mt. Vernon as Communication Workers of America go on nationwide strike.
  • July 24- Mt. Vernon city fathers attend ribbon cutting of new Brittlebank Park now open to the public.
  • July 27- Common Council approves $35,000 for new skating rink floor on request from Park and Recreation Director Bob Michel.

Jack Higgins Runs For Mayor...The First Time...May 1971

Jackson L. Higgins was the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Mt. Vernon and had a unanimous endorsement from the city's central committee; first time ever happened said veteran politicos. In the fall he would defeat incumbent Albert Bluebaum in the general election. Prior to running for Mayor he was Black Township trustee and served seven years as a city councilman. He was a captain in the National Guard and former Battery B Commander when the unit was located in Mt. Vernon. He was employed at General Electric and had been associated with the Mt. Vernon Democrat newspaper for 13 years. He was assistant scoutmaster for three years, coached Little League and American Legion baseball teams. He was a member of the Elks, Kiwanis, Young Democrats, Civil Defense Fire Department and the First Methodist Church. He had also served as secretary of the Democrat Central Committee and Vice President of the Kiwanis Club. He went on for eight terms as Mayor. No other Mayor in Mt. Vernon had won consecutive terms. He is known by his pipe, his smile buttons, his football announcements, and his introduction of the basketball teams to name a few. His efforts help build the Cloverleaf senior housing complex and the Mt. Vernon Seniors Center. He expanded Brittlebank Park adding a shelterhouse and baseball diamonds. My dealings with the Mayor go back to my youth where he and Ron Bennett coached me on the Advance Drillers All-Star Little League team that played county teams. At the end of the season they took us to Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. That was a special treat in simpler times. I also worked with him on the MVHS Athletic Hall of Fame. We were on the committee along with George Ashworth, Charles Hames, Ron Bennett, Ruth Fulwilder and a few others drawing up the by-laws. I stayed for a few years helping elect the first three years of selections. Jack had done about all one person can do in our town and will be remembered in our history forever.

Sunlight Mill Demolished.....May 1971

Located on the 200 block of East Water, it was built in the early 1900's by Charles Kreie. Louis Schnur was the head miller at the mill for many years and suggested the name. The name came from observing the position of the mill and the arch of the Ohio River reminding him of the sun. The mill closed in the late 1920's or early 30's and the land was acquired by the Mt. Vernon Milling Company and was sold to J.R. Short Milling Company in 1947. The mill was incorporated in 1902 and the President was Charles T. Johnson. In the early years it was said to consume about 150,000 bushels of wheat annually. One old employee, Herman Brakie who worked there said in the 1920's the mill produced about 15 barrels of flour a day and there were eight employees not including the office staff. The mill had several brands including Sunlight, Best, Sifted Snow, Peach, and Belle of Mt. Vernon When Sunlight introduced self-rising flour, people thought it was bad so the wife of the president baked biscuits and went through the town giving them away to show they were delicious. A fire gutted the inside of the mill in 1947 and Short used the mill only for storage of machinery and parts thereafter. It was torn down as a "beautification program."

Mayor Seeks Federal Aid For Clean Up.....March 1971

Mt. Vernon asked for federal aid to clean up Mill Creek, said Mayor Albert Blubaum. The mayor traveled to Indianapolis to see if the project can qualify for federal funds under the Housing and Urban Development space and flood control program. The creek which runs through the city is approximately 2000 feet in length. The mayor estimated it would take over $100,000 to clean up and improve the creek. It begins at the intersection of Eighth and Mill Streets and runs through the city to the Ohio River. The mayor's plans for the creek include building concrete walls, filling in behind the walls to raise the land to the level of the surrounding terrain. The bed of the creek will also be lined with concrete. The mayor said this work needs to be done because; debris and dumping by residents have made the creek "unsightly." He said the walls would stop the dumping of refrigerators, stoves, and automobiles into the creek and would make it easier to clear away tree limbs and other debris which stop the creek water from flowing into the river.

Ohio River Bridge Near Mt. Vernon Turned Down....February 1971

Some of the residents in MTV have never been anywhere else and don't realize that industry looking for. A place to locate a new plant, look for many things. They look for the best tax breaks a town and/or state will give them, what is available to move their product once it's made, suitable land for the. Plant, and training facilities available to train local people so they can operate the machines of a particular plant.

Police Chase MV Man at High Speed Dodging Beer Bottles.....February 1971

A Mt. Vernon man and Vanderburgh County police were involved in a chase up to 90 mph with the policeman dodging beer bottles thrown from the fleeing car. The driver later abandoned the car in a field and fled on foot. Just like on TV. Helicopters would have been cool. Marcia Yockey would have been even better! Later the man was identified and arrested by another county mountie who saw him hitchhiking on Highway 62 near Schutte Road. The man 23, (name omitted) was charged with reckless driving. At the initial stop before the driver fled three passengers were arrested being two teenage girls ages 15 and 17 and a 20 year old soldier, all from Mt. Vernon.

M Men's Alumni Club Organized....January 27, 1971

At that time a constitution was ratified and a Board of Directors elected. Initial officers were Dennis Roos, President; Michael Ashworth, Secretary; Max Dieterlie, Treasurer; and William Roach, Vice President. The basic purpose of the club was to provide a scholarship for a deserving MV athlete graduate each year. Later they would be in charge of the Mt. Vernon High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Rare Earth at Robert's Stadium.....January 1971

They played with a San Francisco band called Wizard and a local Evansville band called The Herd.


In January of 1971 Steve Burris opened his new barber shop where it remains today at the corner of Second and Main Streets.

Tale of Two Barbers...One New, One Moved.....1971

Clyde Straw took his 15 years of experience cutting hair to 109 West Second Street and new barber, Steve Burris opens his shop in January at Second and Main. I haven't been to a barber since the 60's. From 1972-1975 I didn't have any haircuts...hahaha; then I got a trim from my future sister n law for my wedding, then I saw a beautician/stylist for awhile in the Davis addition and since the late 90's, my best friend PJ has had me on the "family plan." She should take me the rest of the way until either my hair fails me or my heart.

Some 1971 Local Happenings

Totties #2 liquor store at 113 South Main Street was robbed of $4394.81 according to Alfred "Totttie" Ashworth, owner. Intruder made his way in by removing a fan out of the wall. $2200 of the total was payroll checks from Babcock and Wilcox employees.

A delegation of 15 persons from Mt. Vernon and Evansville presented testimony in Indianapolis for a proposed $9.8 million Ohio River port east of Mt. Vernon. Garth Whipple and Norman Wagner were part of the local delegation.

Groundbreaking of GAF plant on Givens Road 1971 or 1972

Junior High Remodeled.....1971

The old school on Canal Street was spruced up. Fire doors were constructed in the halls to help prevent fires from spreading from one floor to the next. New lighting and carpeting was installed in almost all the rooms and new lighting in the gym. Throughout the building the ceilings were lowered, the girl's dressing room was remodeled with new showers and partitions. Many new desks were brought in and new plumbing was added. The old barracks in the back of the school was torn down and covered walk way was constructed from the Junior High to Hedges Central. The old coal bin was cleaned and converted into an art room believe or not. The school board purchased magnetic blackboards that served as walls in the art room. The old art room became the teacher's lounge. In the balconies of the auditorium it was converted into science labs and air conditioning was added. New lockers were also added for the students. The remodeling cost was estimated at $342,528.13.

Police Arrest 78 Persons at Riding Stables in Beer Party.....1971

Not to be out done I guess by the great youth bust of 1968, seventy-eight persons were arrested on a Sunday night in a raid at the Double H Riding Stables. Forty of those arrested who were 18 years of age or older were charged with either illegal possession of alcoholic beverages or contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Black Township Court. State Police said charges would also be brought against the owners of the stable. The raid occurred around 11:30 pm when police received complaints on the party. Deputy Sheriff Carl Dick said the officers found a nearly empty half barrel of beer, wine and Vodka bottles, and empty apple cider bottles. Those arrested were transported from the stable on Hartmann Road in Marrs Township to Mt. Vernon City Hall where Percy Brite held court. All but one of the 40 pleaded guilty and charged $1 and cost by Justice of the Peace Brite. The 38 teens under 18 were turned over to juvenile authorities. Sure are some familiar names in that bunch, but I won't embarrass them forty years afterwards.

Boonville Police Treat "Long-Hairs" to Steak.....1971

A confrontation between police and a group of hippies resulted in a happy ending for the freaks. The cops lost a basketball game to the youths 42-38 which cost the officers a round of steak dinners. Amidst the calls of trash talk the two groups battled hard to the finish with pride on the line. Had the youths lost the payoff would have been a hair cutting session at mid-court. Boonville Mayor Bob Millis called the game and called it an "achievement in bridging the generation gap."

Get Your Complete Set...The Easy Way.....1971

There was a time I remember where you could go to a local bank and get your "fine China" right there in the bank. Must be why I have savings accounts in both People's and Posey County National ...I mean Fifth Third and Old National, or something like that. The idea was you open up a new savings account of say $10 or more and you get a saucer. For each additional $25 or a CD you could purchase an additional place setting for $3 or so until you had all the plates, saucers, bowls, cups, sugar bowls, butter dishes you wanted. They still do this?

Memorial Field Dedicated.....October 6, 1970

A plaque was installed at the flag pole on the site of the new football field and track at Memorial Field. Dedicated to those who served in the armed services of this country.

Stinson Building Turns Into Mini Mall.....July 1970

The Stinson building at 205 Main Street, adjacent to the Mt. Vernon Pharmacy, was sold to Otis Allyn, Tom Payne, and Alan Curtis. The building is to be converted into a mall with small shops on both sides and a walkway through the center form Main Street to a parking lot in the rear. The mini-mall offered space for five or six shops and a 10 foot wide walk through. The building was purchased from the heirs of the Stinson estate.

Wildcat Strike at B&W.....July 1970

On the second shift on a Wednesday, a dispute between a worker and a supervisor resulted in many employees participating in an illegal work stoppage at the Mt. Vernon works. Twenty seven employees of the Boilermakers Union 904 walked away. The next day only 40% of the 350 man first shift work force came to work. Police were called into the plant and as second shift opened only 15% of the work force reported. Third shift reported only 30% on job. The union urged the employees to return to work and a spokesman of the company announced they had filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis seeking a restraining order against the employees engaging in the strike.

Posey County Jail Escape.....July 1970

Two prisoners escaped from the Posey County jail after moving an 18 inch thick stone and pulling it out of the rear wall of the jail. Sheriff Ed Rutledge identified the two escapees as Clyde Ours, 37 of Griffin and Charles Grisham, 20, of Evansville. Ours was arrested for theft of a shotgun and Grisham was arrested near Kramer's Lake on charge of drug possession. The stone pulled out was 18 by 22 by 22 inches. The block was pulled from the inside of the fourth wing. The wing housed the escapees and eight other prisoners. The stone was dropped about 10 feet onto a bunk. The jail break was discovered by employees of the Posey County Highway Department which is next door to the jail. They were investigating a break in at the highway department. Truck keys and a small amount of money were taken. The highway department break in was discovered when employees reported for work.

Gary Shoemake Received Bronze Star for Heroism in Vietnam....February 1970

Army Specialist Four Gary A. Shoemake of Mt. Vernon was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism under enemy fire in a presentation at Song Bee, Vietnam. The citation read: "The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to Specialist Four Gary Shoemake for heroism while under fire in connection with military operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. He distinguished himself by heroic actions on January 21, 1970, while serving as a machine gunner of a defensive bunker complex at Advisory Team 67. An enemy sapper force was attempting to penetrate the American compound and the Vietnamese Province Chief's compound near this bunker. With complete disregard for his safety, Specialist Four Shoemake proceeded from his living quarters under heavy fire, reported to his bunker, participated in harassing defensive firing of bunker weapons, repaired the bunker complex as needed, all the while continually exposing himself to shrapnel, miscellaneous airborne debris and automatic small arms fire. His heroic actions helped to prevent any penetration of hostile forces into the compounds, which surely prevented the loss of friendly lives. The heroic actions of Specialist Four Shoemake were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army."

Sheriff's Grandson Catches Big Beaver.....January 1970 Ray J is not going there! Fourteen year old Jeff Rogers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Rogers of Griffin caught a 61 pound giant beaver during his winter trappings in the Griffin River Bottoms.

B&W Plant Union Votes For Strike.....January 1970

The result of the vote by Local 904 of the Boilermakers Union at Babcock and Wilcox plant was 740 for a strike and 7 against. The vote was taken at the Memorial Coliseum. The plant employs about 1200 hourly workers. A contract is said to expire in February and company and union officials are reported in negotiations. The previous contract covered 27 months and it was signed in 1967 after a month long strike.

Teen Catches Sixty Pound Beaver.....January 1970

Fourteen year old Jeff Rogers of Griffin caught a 61 pound beaver in the bottoms there being his most spectacular catch of his winter's trapping. Pioneers would have been proud.

Federal Census Statistics.....1970

Median home values for Posey County was $11,500 up from $6600 in 1960. Posey population classified at 31.17% urban and 68.9% rural. It was 98.5% white, the same as it was in 1960. There were 21,421 white citizens, 297 black and 22 persons of other races.

Clifford Maas on Early Movie Theaters.....1970's

Cliff was a fixture in this town for maybe 75 years and he sat down with reporter Deborah Burdick probably in the late seventies or early eighties and commented on the early movie houses in Mt. Vernon. He said "before my time" there were several places on the 300 block of Main Street where empty showrooms were equipped with a screen or a white sheet in front of folding chairs. Projectors were often hand cranked in those days. I had heard somewhere that the first film shown in Mt. Vernon was the "Great Train Robbery" and it was in the Opera House on Second Street. Cliff says that the first theatre was really built around 1910 and was at 126 Main Street, next door to the Armory. His grandfather built it, having only one projector and folding chairs for seats except for a few benches up front for children. It had a ticket office out front and the projector room was reached by a ladder. The theatre was called the Colonial. The next one he recalled was called the Dreamland and it was a block up the street. It had a player piano for the silent films. It had two projectors that were hand cranked and had carbons for lights that were behind the machines. The operators learned to blend one machine into the other so there was no break in reel changing. Improvements then came with electric fan motors to provide power. One of the first operators to use these machines locally was Frank Cooper. Across the street another movie house opened called the Empress. This was then the most beautiful with more room. The Empress was operated by Hayes and Hurley and managed by M.L. Maas. Then came the Vernon theatre. It consisted of the Dreamland and Lembiegar Barber Shop next door. The dividing wall between them was torn out to make the Vernon occupy both rooms. The ticket booth was directly in the center. You could walk down the side aisles or upstairs to the balcony. It held around 600 people. Occasionaly, there were vaudeville shows there to managed by Mr. Sterling of Henderson, Kentucky. The Empress continued to operate during this time also showing mainly Western films. Customers were close to the HI-HO Shop which stood on the corner of Third and Main where Fifth Third Bank is today. The Vernon was refinished later on becoming the New Vernon. The Drive In then came in and was operated by the Miles Brothers. It had places for 400 cars. Competition from Evansville finally spelled their doom too.

Delta Queen.....1970

Built in 1926

Fighting City Hall.....1970

The wives and children of Mt. Vernon policemen picketed the Mt. Vernon City Hall for days seeking support for a ten percent pay raise. The ten percent raise was included in the budget by Mayor Albert Blubaum, but was reduced to 5% when the city council reviewed the budgets. Ultimately, the protest failed and patrolman got their 5% increase which brought their wages up to about $6100 per year starting in 1971.

Editor Garth Whipple On Rock Musical Hair.....1970

Mt. Vernon Democrat editor, Garth Whipple said he was half amused and half sad that the coming of "Hair" to Evansville was causing such a furor. Some had called it a "dirty picture." "It would seem there is much commentary on present day society which I would not find myself in complete accord, yet my appreciation of a theatrical production has not been impaired." Some argued that the small fraction of a second where the cast appears nude to be sufficient cause to bar those who which to see it. Garth felt differently. "I fail to see how this will corrupt the 'good people' who will NOT be paying and seeing. My copy of the Holy Bible has some pretty raunchy scenes and dialogue. I do not consider this good reason to have the Holy Bible run out of town." At any rate, Garth was right...the hassle created a capacity audience and Evansville and the tri-state maintained their conservatism.

Hironimus Unique Service.....1970

In 1970 The Hironimus Food Center suffered a fire in the warehouse section of their grocery. It was pretty severe for a time stopping the unique service it provided to the inland waterway traffic on the Ohio River. Hironimus had become famous throughout the barge towing industry for all the extras it offered and for its in stream food service from the Bonnie-Jill tug. Towboat firms had learned through the years to place their trust and dependence on this firm. Our town had been known favorably far and wide because of Hironimus and from Arthur Bayer's Barge Cleaning and harbor service. When a boat needed food it radios to Hironimus, day or night, and Carl Emory, Paul Poole, or Ernie Cross would be right there with help. Sometimes they picked up mail or sent it. The tug would meet the barges at mid-stream as the tow never stopped and ties on alongside them, up or down stream. If the crew needs laundry done, Hironimus would take care of it often even buying a present for the captain's wife's birthday. The market was an ambassador for our town spreading so much good will in its day.

Foltz City Boutique.....The Hippie General Store.....the 1970's

The happening place for we counter-culture freaks of the '70's. Here we could stock up on "supplies" before heading to a concert down the street at the Coliseum by the likes of Mountain, Edgar Winter, or Quicksilver Messenger Service. From the moment you opened that heavy wooden door with the black metal eagle adornment, your senses were on alert. The smell of incense and leather, the sounds of the Doors, or Hendrix and the art of psychedelic black light posters pulsating. You could browse the albums encased in heavy carpeted stalls, or shop for headbands, chokers, floppy hats, bells or beads. I bought my wife, now of 36 years a bracelet here in 1972 that she still cherishes. Literature from Abby Hoffman revolution to hemp farming techniques, the latest Crawdaddy or an underground comic book of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. If you wanted a concert ticket you could get them here too. It was a place of closeness and gentle goodness in an era of great turmoil. I miss you old friend!

The old Judge John Pitcher Home in 1970's.....530 College Ave.

This old home was said by local legend to have had the bricks laid by Governor-to-be Alvin Hovey and his brother. Pitcher, a friend of Abraham Lincoln loaned law books to him when he lived in Spencer County and law books to Hovey when he studied for the bar. The house was constructed in 1867. It was purchased by C.H. Fullinwider and used as a home and medical office in 1908. It remained in that family until the death of Miss Ann Fullinwider in October of 1978. An effort was then made by Ron Greenfield to have the home placed on the National Register of Historic Places. If that would have happened it would have been able for grants to restore the building. i don't what if anything came of that. In February of 1979 the home was sold at public auction and purchased by John R. Keck, representing Keck Motor Company for $32,000. Aubry Robison Jr. stopped bidding at $31,000.

City Signs Contract for Modern Lighting.....1970

City Council passed and signed a contract with Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company for installation of 52 new lights. Mayor Albert Blubaum said of the program: "It makes Mt. Vernon look like somebody lives here!" That's a good one and from a Republican. hahahaha. The installation of 37 new 400 watt mercury vapor street lights and 15 new 175 watt mercury lights will replace outdated incandescent ones.

"Let dogs delight to bark and bite; For God hath made them so.".....1970

Back in 1970 the Independent Pentecostal Assembly was at the location of 300 West Second Street and here behind an old store front building was the city dog pound. One Sunday morning the animals were especially noisy. Yips and howls, barks and growls and the pastor was having a very difficult time relaying his long sermon to the congregation. In desperation, he turned toward the wall behind him, stretched forth his hands like Moses at the Red Sea and ordered the canines to be silent in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. A deadly silence followed for the remainder of the service. "Let it be said, Let it be done."

Population Facts.....1970

The city of Mt. Vernon boasted 6,770 residents in 1970, the 76th largest town in the state, down from being 74th in 1960. Evansville ranked 4th, Tell City 67th, Princeton 72nd, and Boonville was 85th. Posey County moved up four positions in a decade to 57th place with a population of 21,749.

No tear gas or clubs were needed during this student demonstration on City Hall.....1970

Jr. High Students marched downtown "carrying signs, saying hooray for our side." no that's not it. Twelve days prior to Kent State our country had its first Earth Day and protests were the order of the day. I was in California at the time and the pollution was terrible. I was actually there several months before I knew there were mountains on the horizon. This demonstration was said to have been an individual effort and not a school sponsored event. The students during the march collected debris in parks, along the roadside and in the yards. We were so much more socially conscious then....we need another movement for the earth. We are not the same planet we were 40 years ago.

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Farm Bureau Insurance Moves.....May 1969

Farm Bureau Insurance Agency moved to Highway 69 North and Vista Drive. Al Noelle is the manager of the unique A-frame style building with concrete shingles, brick siding with redwood trim. Noelle said that Mrs. Harold Brown (Joanne), full time secretary served as the interior decorator choosing paneling, carpets, and furnishings.

Explosions At Texaco Terminal Kill One.....May 1969

John Kirkpatrick, 26, of Point Township was killed as he was standing on his tank waiting to be filled with aviation fuel when he was blown off the truck from an explosion at the local Texaco terminal. He was later flown to Indianapolis where he died from his burns at 4:30 am. A series of explosions rocked the terminal and huge steel beams at the loading dock were bent in the aftermath of the massive flames that engulfed the area.

Two Of My Teachers Retire.....May 1969

Gerald L. Jeffries retired from Hedges Central, a 37 year veteran who began teaching in 1926 and served rural schools in Point, Black, and Lynn townships prior to being on staff with the old Central school. He taught my father in Point Township and me in the sixth grade. Adelaide Martin retired from the high school finishing a 30 year career, 20 of which in the high school. She began teaching in 1925 had been in Evansville, Springville, Rising Sun, and New Harmony prior to coming to Mt. Vernon in 1946. I had her for history, very strict, always called me by my first name (Charles) and you could hear her walking down the halls with those heavy black shoes.

Carrying You With Me.....1969

I guess we could go back to the earliest evidence of a photograph to find that soldiers carried their sweethearts and wife's pictures with them when they went into battle or were far from home. I remember stories of dead Japanese in WW11 and Viet Cong during the Vietnam War being found with such items. Kind of humanized the victim; something that was probably not advertised much during those conflicts. We were supposed to think our adversaries were evil and not patriots, or husbands, or fathers. I had one too; not a real relationship, but a fantasied one, still have that photo today that traveled to 7 countries with me in a billfold or a front pocket. Looking at that little picture brought back a thought of home, a friendly beautiful face, and thoughts of a cherished past. I guess I always was looking backward instead of forward; hence, Ray, the "historian."

Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter and New Baseball League in Mt. Vernon.....1969

Back when Nixon decided that he needed my services to protect Western Europe....haha the Global Baseball League born out of a vision of Evansville business man Walter Dilbeck came to Athletic Park. Dilbeck, a WW II veteran wanted to form a global league from the likes of the USA, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Japan and Mexico. He was instrumental for bringing the White Sox farm club to Evansville in 1966. A tip of my Sox cap for that! Anyway, a co-worker and baseball fan, Jim "Smokey" Rainey went down to watch the tryouts that spring. He said there were all kinds of Japanese players practicing under the watchful eye of Enos "Country" Slaughter, former Cardinal great. Slaughter sat up in the bleachers behind home plate and with a Louisville Slugger as a pointer would tell fans about his players. Slaughter was hired to manage the New Orleans franchise, but it was moved to Mobile, Alabama before it ever hit the field. Teams were supposed to be in such cities as San Juan, Manila, St. Paul, San Diego, Phoenix, Akron, Chicago, Caracas, Seattle, and Cincinnati to name a few. Happy Chandler, former MLB commissioner when Jackie Robinson broke the color line was to be the new league commissioner. Dilbeck tryed to raid the major leagues of some talent offering contracts to such established stars as Jim Bunning, Jim Fregosi, Joel Horlen, Ron Santo, Jim Maloney, Juan Marichel, and Brooks Robinson. He landed none. He had an idea also to have Geisha girls come out after the fifth inning to entertain the fans. He tried to buy the Kansas City A's before they moved to Oakland too. Anyway, the league was about the equivalent to a Class A league it was said and instead of becoming the third major league it folded after 12 games with most games played only in Central America. Players were scattered and had to find their way back, many never receiving a pay check.

Basic Training.....1969

I'll clean this language up a little bit, but you will get my point. I arrived in San Antonio, Texas June 1969 and filed out of a bus around 4 am to stand on some yellow lines painted on the pavement trying to stay arm's length from the next guy. The drill sergeant, they called them TI's started yelling, "When I tell you to sound off, you sound off with Sir, you got that?" "This is always the first word to come out of your scuzzy mouth and the last one too. Got it"...."Yes sir", we said. "Louder damit! Louder!... "YES SIR" We did this a lot. We would do pushup as the crazy man would say, "You do pushups like an elephant Sh*ts, maggot, slow and sloppy. From now on that is your name-SH*T, understand." He would tear up the barracks throwing shoes at us , stripping our beds, calling us names, making us scrub the floor with tooth brushes, shine our soap with a rag, clean out the inside of a shaving cream container with a q-tip, etc. "Because until you leave basic, I am your mother, your father, and your God. You forget that once, just once, and you can wish to hell that your old man never climbed on top of your old lady and made your sorry ass. You understand that?" "Yes sir"..."I CAN'T HEAR YOU"..."YES SIR!!" We talked loud a lot! We would stand it front of our beds, so tight you could bounce a quarter off them and repeat "codes of conduct" and "rules of military justice" so we could be just like him. Seventeen hour days of indoctrination...felt like Patty Hearst! I'll never forget that guy, with his veins in his neck sticking out treating me like an animal. Somehow, my father's words came to me..."Son, they can't eat you." In that place, those funny words made sense. I made it through and I told myself I would never forget the evil that was represented there. I did not believe a word they told me, just repeated what he wanted to get by until I would have my day to resist. I would squeeze into my bunk at the end of a long hot day and lay quietly, trying not to disturb my tight bed as little as possible. I would try to think and stay in touch with my inner spirit, to make sure that I was not being changed, that this too would pass. Lots of soul searching for my 32 months of military service. I made it, I'm still here, and my minority opinions are still being told, for what they are worth.

Hippie Friendly.....1969

To celebrate its first anniversary, Penguin Point at 901 East Fourth Street sponsored a "Happening" on a Saturday night from 8:30 to midnight. The Lavender Hill Mob provided the music for all the "flower children" in the parking lot. No admission was charged and flowers for the hair were given free.

Jim's Phamacy Carries On A Tradition.....1969

Jim's Pharmacy formerly was known by Boyer Drugs and before that Boyce and Williams in the 1920's and D&H Rosenbaum's in the late 1890's. Located at the corner of Fourth and Main it was bought by Jim Carroll from John Boyer who had been there for 17 years.

Inside Mt. Vernon Pharmacy.....1969

Mt. Vernon Pharmacy at 201 Main Street was a pharmacy for a long, long time. Joseph Gardner is believed to have been the first owner of this pharmacy back before the 1880's. In 1880 William MacArthur became the proprietor until 1884. Inventory back then included drugs of course, chemicals, oils, paints, glass, varnishes and putty. In 1884 William Fogas took over and managed way up until 1929. During that time the store became a Rexall agency with Rexall drugs and cosmetics. After Fogas died, his daughter Alice took over and sold the firm in 1943 to J. H. Thorton and T.A. Wheaton, who owned the firm jointly until 1948 when Thorton sold his interest to Wheaton. Wheaton did extensive remodeling and in 1968 sold the firm to Alan Curtis.

Ice Skating Rink?.....1969

An attempt was made by the Mt. Vernon Park and Recreation Department for an ice skating rink. It was built near the river on Canal Street. It ran into a problem embankment was put up around the rink, filled with water by a nearby fire hydrant and fire hoses, but the weather never stayed cold enough to freeze and then half the water drained out. Another attempt was promised, but I don't know what became of it.

"Nixon Will Get Double Pay Paid to LBJ"....Presidential Salary History....1969

The House voted to pay Richard M. Nixon $200,000 a year as president, twice what his successor made. In the debate, members said the pay scale was still "chicken feed" for the nation's highest office. One said however, that this action opened the federal checkbook to outlandish increases for other government workers. The President also was to receive $50,000 per year to cover expenses and $40,000 for travel and entertainment expenses. I looked up the history of Presidential salaries and found that George Washington was paid $25,000 per year which in 2009 dollars would be the equivalent of $566,000. In 1873 when Republican Grant was in office it went to $50,000 or $865,000 in 2009 bills. During the Republican administration of William H. Taft it hit $75.000 or the same as $1,714,000 per year today. Forty years later under Democrat Truman we hit the $100,000 per year wage...the same as $906,000 today. In 1969 Nixon got his $200,000 payday which is like $1,175,000 now and Obama makes $400,000 which is like only $487,000 in 2009 dollars. Of course this doesn't take in the perks like residence, bowling alley, gym, movie theater, chefs, etc. I doubt a raise will come up during these times!

Mayor Albert Blubaum buys a poppy.....1968

On Veterans Day formally Armistice Day poppies are sold by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans. The flowers themselves are made by veterans. Sold is not really the right word. The flowers are given to people who donate whatever amount. The practice goes back to the 1920's. The poppy became a symbol because during World War 1 in Belgium the flower grew wild amongst the devastation of the wall torn land. "In Flanders Fields the poppies grow, between the crosses, row by row."

Mt. Vernon Drive-In Theater Closes.....September 1968

Opened in 1952 and provided fun for thousands over 16 years. Owned by John Mills it closed as the State Highway Department makes room on the new section of Highway 62 leading into town. Also a double wide bridge was put in across McFadden Creek. Many have memories of play grounds, bug sprays, sitting out in front of the car with lawn chairs, dating, fireworks, concession stand ads with all those dancing hotdogs and popcorn.

First Black Patrolman Joins Mt. Vernon Police Force.....June 1968

For the first time in Mt. Vernon history, a black officer became part of the local police department. Bobby Joe Stewart, 29, started his duties in June patrolling the streets of Mt. Vernon. Married and the father of two children, he is a Mt. Vernon High School graduate and served four years in the Marine Corps. Mayor Albert Bluebaum and Police Chief Henry Brakie called it a step forward for the community.

Mt. Vernon Honored At E-Sox Game.....June 1968

The city of Mt. Vernon was honored at a Wednesday night game at Bosse Field between the Evansville White Sox and the Charlotte farm club. Attending the game was a delegation of city officials including Mayor Albert Blubaum. The Mt. Vernon High School band was also on hand as was the local ball teams, coaches and parents. Ticket prices were lowered and sold at City Hall and a free bus was available that left from the high school.

Refinery Fire.....1968

In June personnel at the local refinery and I am sure citizens close by got quite a scare when hydrogen ignited and exploded in a vessel. The system vented itself and the majority of the damage done was contained in the heating unit. The picture shows Civil Defense Fire and Rescue firefighters putting water on the fire. No one was injured in this incident.

Pee Wee League Changed to T Ball.....May 1968

I played Pee Wee League (the White Sox); thus a Sox fan today. It was really great fun. We had a good team with good pitching. "Dink" Stewart was our ace. I can't remember watching games where the game was only walks and errors. Maybe, I have a select memory. Mr. Berryhill was my coach and I pitched and played shortstop. "Glory Days" it was. But, in 1968 this program was changed to hitting a ball off a tee for seven and eight year olds. I coached a year of this myself and it was a struggle. The good kids hated faking a throw to home then the batter would swing and miss and knock the tee over. We had a bad team with only three boys capable at that time of the coordination to play the game. I bunched them all at pitcher, second base and first base. I can't imagine we were that bad in the late 50's and 60's. We played ball all day till night in the summer. Just pitch and catch with your dad or a neighbor was what we did until something else came along. We still have good high school baseball teams, but the youth programs don't seem the same to me. I am kind of a purest at baseball and softball. Played softball for ten to fifteen years on some real competitive teams and 45 minute time clocks and home-runs after a certain amount becoming outs seems immoral to me.

Free the Mt. Vernon 32!!.....February 1968

After Mt. Vernon won their first sectional championship in school history, 23 juveniles and 9 of the age of 18 and 19 gathered together to celebrate. Word of it got out and State trooper Don Jackson and Deputy Sheriff James Kissinger along with others investigated. All of the young people were put on unofficial probation with loss of their driver's license a possibility. The location of the party was not noted in the newspaper, but it was widely known as the Mann's Beach incident. All were found guilty of at least one of the five charges: 1) trespass 2) accidental burning of a field 3) hot-rodding 4) illegal purchase of alcohol 5) consuming of alcoholic beverages. No obscene conduct was committed. Judge Gelb further stated that he honestly believes that all the youngsters involved are truly sorry for what happened and they have learned their lesson. The court asked Trooper Jackson, "Well, let me ask you, you said, they were dancing, drinking. When you say drinking, do you mean alcoholic beverages?" Jackson answered, "Yes, I saw several of them. They were holding it in their hands. There were a couple of them drinking it. I didn't write anybody's name down that was drinking at the time." The Court asked, "Dancing, drinking, singing, was there any other kind of conduct which was improper that you noticed?" "No obscene conduct at all, except drinking." Officer Kissinger was asked it he had anything to add. "Every one of these kids was real good, real cooperative." The court asked that the transcripts be released to cool the rumors circulating through the town. No names were released.

Wildcat Word Staffer, Debra Dunning has Interview with the Band ....January 14, 1968

It was a Friday night at Roberts Stadium in Evansville where Mt. Vernon student Debra Dunning was lucky enough to get permission from their manager to take pictures of the group and do an interview. Their next stop was Albion, Illinois then Springfield, then Chicago. At the end of their tour they would be in Mexico City. They invited her into their dressing room, bought cokes and sat and talked for an hour. During the interview the roadies were loading the bus and then there came a knock and it was time to leave. The band was staying at a local Holiday Inn. A few more minutes passed, and Gary promised to send postcards to her of the different points on the tour. Debra said it was a moment she will never forget. Deb is no longer that "Young Girl" as she is a "Woman, Woman" and has lots of "Lady Willpower" I would suppose. .....Cute huh?

Chicago's Democratic Convention And A Surprise From Dad.....1968

Nightly I watched CBS news coverage of the convention in Chicago of the worst year in my lifetime. Dr. King and Robert Kennedy had been murdered that year, urban cities afire in the summertime, massive peace demonstrations in Washington D.C., Black Panthers in Oakland, the country was in uproar. I sat there that night watching Humphrey get the nomination, thinking about the year that had happened. LBJ resigning, Eugene McCarthy (my choice) turned back, RFK (whom I could have accepted, murdered), and here we were with a choice at a crossroads in American with HHH and Richard Nixon. The TV showed the Illinois National Guard moving into the parks of Chicago and General Richard Dunn took a microphone from a stage where moments before Peter, Paul, and Mary had been singing, "If I Had A Hammer" and addressed the crowd to disperse. Ten thousand people had gathered at a band shell and when the American flag was burned, the police charged in swinging. Exits were blocked by the guard as police moved in firing tear gas barrages. Medics moved through the crowds, dampening handkerchiefs with water to fend off the gas. The police would club down a man and then pull him out for arrest. Police, according to the Kerner Report, beat people at will. Watching from the Hilton Hotel, delegates threw anything they could find out of their windows at the police to get them to quit. I was becoming radicalized right there, that moment, this was real, this is my defining moment when I had enough. Dan Rather was roughed up in the center; Mayor Daily cussed the reporters inside, despair everywhere. The Hilton Hotel became filled with hysterical people, crying, youngsters with blood flowing down their faces America..."The whole world's watching", they chanted. Drive-by old ladies rescued kids from the police by putting them in their cars and removing them from the beatings. People took sides along with me at that moment in time. At McCarthy headquarters, sheets were ripped up for bandages. Senator McCarthy wanted to address the crowd at Grant Park but was dissuaded by the Secret Service. Chicago smelled of Revolution. The song by Crosby, Stills, and Nash is in my head now..."Won't you please come to Chicago...We can change the world, rearrange the world, it's dying". Later in November, I watched the returns as Nixon won a close decision. Dad said, "Son, I just want you to know I didn't vote for Nixon." I smiled at him and turned and said, "I couldn't have supported either one." Four years later after Kent State in 1970 and after being discharged as a CO, and with Vietnam still raging, my father along with me cast our vote together for George McGovern.

On To Kuwait.....1968

A new era opened in the Port of Mt. Vernon with the sailing of the ocean going vessel for Kuwait. The Babcock & Wilcox Company's Mt. Vernon Works completed loading the vessel and the ship headed down the Ohio to the Mississippi and on to New Orleans where it will make a short supply stop before setting sail for Trinidad. After a short fuel stop at Trinidad, it will continue to Kuwait via the Cape of Good Hope. The voyage is expected to take 47 days. The giant 700 plus ton hydrocracking reactor is 90 feet long and measures more than 12 feet in diameter. This is one of the heaviest pieces of equipment ever assembled for the petroleum industry.

CD Festival.....1968

For the Fifth annual Mt. Vernon Civil Defense Festival they brought in Sam the Chimp, a nationally known chimp who appeared for two nights doing roller skating, bar walking, acrobatics, impersonations, and other stunts. Guess that might upstage all the usual squared dancing, Little Miss, and amateur contests I am used to seeing at such events. They did bring in the Evansville Hadi Shrine clowns who were nice, but all that country music ran this long hair off I'm afraid.

Whipple's Editorial on Sex Discrimination.....1968

Garth L. Whipple, editor of the Mt. Vernon Democrat wrote an article in June of 1968 on non-discrimination between the sexes. He mentioned that before the federal government ever put in statutes prohibiting discrimination, "employment and other aspects between male and female, were being implemented in our own program of non- discrimination." He felt however, that at the newspaper office they felt "the edge of the knife of reverse discrimination by some of the governmental agencies." He said they were prevented by law from working females more than one hour over eight in any one day and that they were required to see they had a properly approved lunch room, or that they would not have less than a one hour off duty at noon. There were also prescribed work breaks in the morning and in the evening. Time and one half pay was required on any time after eight, regardless of the number of hours worked during the week. He went on to say that they never objected to any of these regulations; but, what he did object to was that none of these regulations were applicable to males. "In all fairness this regulation is somewhat exemplary of the attitude of government, generally in regard to the sexes. The most flagrant example of such discrimination is the exclusion of females for the military draft. It is our opinion that females should not be discriminated against in this manner. They should be subject to the draft on a completely equal basis with males. That's fine, Garth, the government was having its handful with us males already opposing the draft, no such stirring the pot anymore.

Mt. Vernon's First Ever Sectional Championship.....1968

Remember at this time there was only boys' basketball for a sectional championship. Mt. Vernon in years past had several undefeated football teams, excellent track teams, and a winning baseball program. Basketball was and is a sport where Mt. Vernon will have a winning record maybe three or four times a decade. The 1968 team was only 12-12 on the season, but they did something up until then had never been accomplished by a Mt. Vernon a sectional. Coached by Hobby Gibbs, the team struggled out the gate losing their first four games, all by double digit scores. Then came the South Spencer game at home and the Wildcats won 98-55 setting a then new home school record for points. Playing in the Holiday Tourney at North Posey they defeated easily Owensville as center Bill Bullard set a new single game scoring record of 36. They then took the Championship game from the Vikings on their home court by 21. After the holidays they won 4 of 5 and lost by Evansville Central away by only 2 points. Clearly, this team was coming together with Bullard scoring near 20 every game and Bill Newman and Dennis Reineke hitting double figures. Playing in the Princeton Sectional, Mt. Vernon blew out New Harmony scoring 93, beat North Posey for the third time by 8 and beat the Wood Memorial Trojans 44-42 for their first ever championship! Jim Rueger, a multi-sport athlete hit a 17 foot shot with 5 seconds left for the win. Bill Bullard was named SIAC All Conference 2nd team and Jim Rueger placed on the 2nd All Regional team as Mt. Vernon dropped to Dale 52-40 at Robert's Stadium. Bullard led the team in scoring with 483, Newman 339, Reineke 266, Rueger 175, and Terry Clayton 90. Other players were Mike Stern, Jeff Hartmann, Jim Atkins, Bob Stallman, Rick Brown, Ed Hickey, Craig Stewart and Bill Lewis. Newman and Rueger went on to be Mt. Vernon High School Hall of Famers. Big Bill Bullard ended his high school career with 835 points.

Two future governors in Mt. Vernon.....1968

Guests at a Meet and Greet with coffee for voters at the court house were Posey County GOP chairman Clinton C. Maurer, Secretary of State Edgar Whitcomb and his wife, and on the right, then candidate for state senator Robert Orr. Whitcomb would become Indiana's 43rd Governor from 1969-1973 and Orr our 45th from 1981-1989. He would also be appointed by President Bush to become Ambassador to Singapore.

John Noel Home, razed in 1968

This two story frame home once stood on West Ninth Street and at the end of James Street. It was built by John Noel, a veteran of the War of 1812 and served on the flagship of Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie. At one time it was known for its hand-carved front door and its excellent interior finish with high cupboards. The original entrance porch was small topped by a wrought iron railing. There was a door on the upper story that opened onto the roof and the windows were shuttered. His wife Margaret Lowry was one of Mt. Vernon's earliest families.

Let's go cruising 1968. Parkway Drive-in Evansville

All those mean "muscle cars" Goats, Cudas, Super Sports, Novas, Camaros, Mustangs running to Big Boy and down Diamond Ave.

"Motley Crew", no not the band...passes through eventually ....1968

Weldon Minnick on the road for seven years since he left Connecticut finally got across the Wabash Bridge. His traveling companions-a pet wolf, a Shetland pony, a mule, and a mongrel dog waited out the rain in Mt. Vernon before heading to New Harmony then northeast to "wherever." The day before the crew camped overnight on Indiana 62 west of Mt. Vernon when the burro refused to pass over the bridge and turned back. "Stubborn cuss," Weldon said.

Weejuns Play at Dave Morris Grand Opening.....September 1967

Saturday night the rock band, Weejuns entertained at a teen dance from 8pm to 11. Drinks and popcorn were provided as well as a $250 drawing. The new 1968 Chevrolets were on display in the three day celebration of a new location on Highway 62 West. I remember seeing a brand new corvette in there under $7,000 but I thought that was all the money in the world. Of course that was a year's salary "back in the day."

Slugfest in Double I League Tilt...Still Short of a Record.....September 1967

The Frank Moll Indians slammed Princeton 17-11 in the nightcap of a twin bill at Athletic Park. In this game there were 36 hits, 20 by Mt. Vernon. Jim "Red" Howard had six rbi's including a "tater" and Gerry Allyn plated five. Jerry Ruttledge also has a solo home run. Two games to mention here that were even larger would be a June 16, 1957 game when St. Phillips walloped Darmstadt 27-2 getting 20 hits and benefiting from 13, yes 13 errors. In August of 1959, St. Phillips smothered Union Township 28-1 in a seven inning game with the victors having 25 hits. Union Township could only record one safety and committed an even dozen errors.

Babcock & Wilcox Offers Jobs ....1967

In May they offered jobs for welders, electricians, utility mechanics, lathe operators, and vertical boring mill operators. Hourly wages ranged from $2.04 to $3.29 an hour. It had a liberal fringe benefit program which included reimbursed education refund plan, life insurance free and contributory, hospitalization and surgical insurance at no cost, major medical insurance, paid holidays, vacation plan, and a retirement benefit plan. Applicants could apply at the works on Highway 69 West.

If I Had Only Stayed in School.....May 1967

That month the House approved a four year extension of the draft virtually guaranteeing college men they would not be called up until they got their degree. The bill prevented LBJ from terminating undergraduate deferments (2 S). The version passed by the House provided that when a student gets his degree or reaches age 24, whichever comes first, he would be placed in the draft pool for one year. Youth who do not go to college would be placed in the draft pool where they reach 19. If they were not called before their 20th birthday, they could reasonably assume they would not be inducted except in national emergency. (I was 19 and 9 months). Many congressmen were in an irritable mood that debate was cut off on amendments. Charles Joelson a Democrat of New Jersey called it a mockery, a travesty. "We are asking our boys to give up two years of their lives and you won't give us two days to debate." In June, a lottery like selection system was cut from the draft provision. The bill reversed the order of induction to take 19 year olds for service rather that the oldest eligible starting with age 26. It abolished post graduate school deferments, except for physicians, dentists, and students in other fields found to be vital by the top level national security council.

Aurora Borealis Seen Locally.....May 25, 1967

A number of local citizens called the home of the Democrat publisher about 9:30 PM to say that the Northern Lights were seen. The phenomenon is visible only at night and then usually in the Arctic region. It radiates streamers of color, often in a fan shape. Sometimes it has a waving appearance and occasionally a variety of colors from pale red or yellow to deep red or blood color. It is believed to be electrical in origin.

Not BP.....May 1967

The Petroleum Industry Committee of the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission passed out litter bags to boaters to "not go overboard." with their trash. "Help make the Ohio a more beautiful cleaner river", they urged.

Old Memorial Days Remembered By Speaker and Former Resident.....1967

Sherman Carr gave the observance address at Bellefontaine Cemetery that year. He was a former Mt. Vernon resident and Junior Vice-Commander of World War I, Illinois Department. Some of things he mentioned were his thoughts of Mt. Vernon as a boy. He recalled how his father was so proud as he groomed his best team of horses, harnessed them in freshly polished harnesses, put red, white, and blue ribbons on their manes and bridles. The horses would be brought down the street where old Mr. Kirk's shed was and here the caisson would be attached to the old cannon to pull in a great parade. Major Kimball, astride old Dolly would lead the parade followed by the cannon. Kimball for many years was the parade marshal. Following the cannon would be the Mt. Vernon band, Civil War veterans, Spanish American War veterans, Ladies Harrow Relief Corps, patriotic and fraternal organizations, and school children carrying small flags. Starting at the L&N depot the parade would march down Main Street to the river. There the caisson would be unlimbered and the old cannon would be put in position to fire across the river, directly in front of the special erected speaker's stand that would be decorated in red, white, and blue bunting. The band would take its place and the dignitaries and folks taking part in the program would take their places on the speaker's stand. After a few patriotic songs a barge would be released containing a small float of fresh flowers. The cannoniere would then fire the cannon to a tremendous roar.

I wrote on this before but Charles Hovey, the son of Governor Alvin was killed firing the cannon. Mt. Vernon was celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans on an Andrew Jackson Day celebration and Hovey was the gunner on the cannon. The cannon barrel was hot and the man in charge of the touch hole jerked his thumb away from it and the powder in the gun went off. Charles Hovey was in front at the time ramming down the powder. He had the ramrod still in the cannon when it went off according to William Galligher an eyewitness and the ramrod was shot through Hovey's body and left him mortally wounded. The crowd was horrified and dumfounded. Dr. Harper was present and attended the dying man who lived until the following morning. Another woman as a small child at the event remembered her father had a shawl with the blood of Hovey's blood on it. The shawl was a heavy oblong, pepper and salt woolen garment pinned in front from neck to waist. Back in that day shawl pins were two long pins with ornamental heads, connected by six inch fancy metal chains. They were worn like overcoats.

MVHS Band Gets A Nice Tour....May 1967

Classmate Sharon Rowe in her Mt. Vernon Democrat column, "Teen Topics" reported that the MVHS band departed on a trip to Mammoth Cave, a horse farm and Stephen Foster's home. They then played a concert at the Coney Island Amusement Park with free tickets for all the rides afterwards. Sharron also reported that all seniors would be admitted free Monday to Kramer's Lake.

MVHS Graduation.....1967

Front row i can see the Aldredge twins , Barry "Petie" Acuff, Joe Hannah, and Joyce Junker. Emilly Allyn too


MV basketball that season was 13-8, and had some impressive wins including the Holiday Tourney in Owensville and nice wins over Memorial, Mater Dei, two over North Posey, and a homecoming victory over Princeton. Teams in the area were talent rich that season. Bosse was tough with Larry Weatherford who went to Purdue and one of only two teams to defeat North that season. Harrison was the other team to defeat North with Nelson and Wediking who played at Jacksonville I believe in the final 4. Evansville North won the state championship that season behind Bob Ford who starred at Purdue. They beat us by 13 during the season. Mt. Vernon had good balance of scoring from Stan Billman and Ernie Dartt and Brian Bishop had his days offensively too. The center junior Bill Bullard had some fine games as did Dennis Reineke and youngster Bill Newman. In the Princeton Sectional we drew Oakland City then undefeated. The Acorns were tall, very tall for the times. Stan knows better than I, but I believe the starters must have all been 6'4'' or better. We had lost to them by 17 during the season. The day of the Sectional, it snowed and the wind blew and was cold. We took Terry Utley's dad's truck to the game and we were all over the place on Highway 41, but we made it. I believe Billman told me the team bus was delayed by the weather. Things looked terrible as we fell behind 21 points in the third quarter, but Mt. Vernon rallied, and fought back and after three quarters we were down 16. So much heart was shown in the fourth quarter as the Jolly Green Giants of OC rattled and we came all the way back to force overtime. We lost by 4, 59-55. Oakland City lost to eventual State Champs North 71-60 the next Saturday in the Evansville Regional.

Visiting Major League Clubs to Bosse Field.....1967

Over the years, I saw a few major league teams come into Evansville to play their farm clubs. I saw the Tigers play the Triplets and recovered a homerun ball hit by catcher Lance Parrish. Saw the "Bird", Mark Fidrych pitch against the parent club also. My favorite exhibition came in 1967 when the Cincinnati Reds played the Chicago White Sox as the two teams were heading north to open the season. Evansville was the E Sox a Southern League farm club of the White Sox. The two major league teams played eleven innings ending in a one to one tie. Many stars made at least a token appearance like Pete Rose and Tony Perez and for the Sox, Gary Peters and Tom McGraw and Pete Ward. Pete signed my scorecard. Evansville has a fine tradition of real baseball, not this Otter independent nonsense. In the World War 11 era the Tigers actually had spring training here due to travel restrictions. The great Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg played here as did Kirt Gibson, Bert Blyleven and even Ty Cobb played against Evansville way back. I was looking at the papers from 1939 and I saw two scheduled exhibitions to be played in Evansville on back to back dates in April. The first was a Thursday where the St. Louis Cardinals took on the Evansville Bees, then the farm club of the Boston Braves. The next day it was the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Bees. Grandstand seats 65 cents, box seats 25 cents extra. That would have been a good time. Come on spring!

After 93 Years Gronemeier's Sells to Stinson....1967

Gronemeier Hardware was formed in 1874 by Simon Gronemeier and in its entire history was owned by a Gronemeier. The first store was on the 100 block of lower Main Street. In 1902, it moved to where the Heidelberg Cafe was and it moved to the 400 block of Main Street in 1906. The building still in use today - Bud's Hardware.

Old Western Star At Coliseum for Gospel Roundup.....1967

"Sunset" Carson, action B Western Star of dozens of movies was in Mt. Vernon with a giant gospel roundup crusade in June of 1967. This gospel event featured known gospel singers like Peggy and Neal McCormick and had witnessed for the Lord from "Berlin to Bangkok and from Rangoon to Rome." Ad says, "Come see a shoot-out for Jesus!" Carson starred in many movies including, "Santa Fe Saddlemates, Oregon Trail, Bandits of the Badlands, and Cherokee Flash." His horse was named Cactus.

Ewing Tire Service on Main Street.....1967

Culley Pharmacy.....1967

Culley Pharmacy at 231 Main Street was a site of a drugstore for many years. At least five different me dispensed medicine from here including Crombach, McCarthy, Dawson, Rothrock, and then Culley. Lloyd Culley while a high school student worked under Ira Rothrock and 34 years later after pharmacy school and many years as a registered pharmacist, he purchased the store from his former employer. Culley returned to Mt. Vernon in 1961 and before that he had his own store in Evansville for seven years and had been manager of Petersheim's Apothecary for ten years. Culley was one of eight young men employed during high school days by Rothrock who later became pharmacists. The store had always maintained one of the largest stocks of roots, herbs, barks, and oils available. In 1919, under Dawson's ownership the entire stock of the Wheatcroft Pharmacy in New Harmony was purchased especially for the roots and herbs in its medicine bottles, which are in such great demand by antique lovers.

High School Club Pictures in the Sixties.....An Unscientific Observation

Looking back at many of my old Hoop-Poles from the mid-sixties and they are interesting. I may just be "full of it", but you can almost guess what club they are just by looking at the pictures. I mean your JCL, Footlight Performers, and Sunshine clubs were attractive students for the most part. Industrial Arts has what I imagined was down that long hall. I never went down there and so today I can't read a blueprint, time a watchamacallit, or change a belt. The citizenship club looks like they were sentenced there by the juvenile truant officers. None of these fellows I would want to meet in an alley. These were the guys who would stick your head in the toilet, stick you with a pin, and pull your fruit loops. FFA...just what you would with their nice jackets saying they would one day be farmers. FHA? Got a nice little mix here of young women able to hem a skirt, bake you a cake and balance a checkbook. Key Club now that's a good one. You got to be smart. I guess it was just a boy's girls here but I see several future doctors, businessmen, an airline pilot, and a couple of military officers in my class alone, Radio Club...bizarre! GAA...Got some hotties here who looked good in those blue workout uniforms. I don't know the difference between a Secretarial Club and a Secretarial Practice but they had the same sponsor and they all look like they would be competent to take short hand or put you on hold. M Club was cool in my day. Of course, back then girls didn't play sports above the club level. By the time a got a letter it was May of my senior year so I couldn't make the cut. Natural History Life Science Club? I thought I was in that club...maybe I didn't want my picture taken. Joined just for the entertainment of Mr. Bonar. DECA what is that? Something to do with getting a job and going to school too? Not for me. I think I saw some of these people working at the drive-in, Roth's and one at the funeral home! I guess that about wraps it up...I wasn't in much but the Booster Club where you only had to learn a few things like, "No, No, Never, Never, Ugh, Ugh, Ugh," and wear a red little pull over. At least I didn't have thirty keys hanging from my belt, pushing a projector, and answering to Ock or Rudy Zimmer.


St. Matthew Church

An Evansville Courier article of August 14, 1966 said Diamond Island, near West Franklin was used as a headquarters for pirates in the early 1800's, much like Cave -In-Rock, Illinois.

Pirates such as the notorious Colonel Plug were said to be in the area stealing from flatboats and killing the occupants many who were immigrants. Sometimes they would lure them to shore for a card game and a good meal, and then steal their flour, whiskey and whatever was with them. Counterfeiters were also on the prowl, selling their paper money cheap to pass onto others.

The Bend of the River - Town's Birth Told.....July 1966

A mammoth pageant spectacle occurred that summer at Athletic Park on a specially constructed 200 foot stage. The show was the largest production ever attempted locally, with over 250 people in the production. The cast was dressed in colorful and authentic costumes with special scenery as they brought forth characters of our city's history to life with Indians, early settlers, and hometown heroes. There were scenes of Gay Nineties, Dandies, Belles, Flappers, and the Roaring Twenties. There were buggies and horses, songs, dances, comedy, old autos, etc., in the 90 minute show. Miss Lucille Redman was in charge of the pageant and Jim Baxter was in charge of the casting.

Long Lost Brothers Reunited.....July 1966

Two brothers, both of which thought the other were dead, were reunited in Mt. Vernon. John Howard, 61, and a resident of Akron, Ohio was out looking for an aunt, the late Ella Howard of Mt. Vernon in order to verify his birthdate for service retirement purposes. He went into the Mt. Vernon Police station and inquired of his aunt. They told him of her death, but that she had a nephew in town which turned out to be his brother he had not seen since 1913 in Chaffee, Missouri. It seems that their father died and Earl Howard, being the oldest at 13, left home on his own. Eventually he came to Mt. Vernon, and at one time was a member of the police force. Both spent the weekend reliving old times and trying to understand the twist of fate which brought them back together. Another relation was found in Mrs. John McCarty, the daughter of Earl Howard and the niece of John Howard.

150th Anniversary...Athletic Park... July 4, 1966. (Doane Photo)


Left to Right: Vonnie McFadden Grabert, Woody McFadin, Jr., Hazel McFadden Cox, Hanie McFadden, and Bill


Re-enactment of McFadden's Bluff Landing. Was told insurance is too expensive to do this again. May have to leave the flatboat tied up in the marshes and have them walk up the hill to the amphitheater.


Jane Harp and Sara Stubblefield basking in the adoration of the crowd

Golden Rain tree Planted To Our Oldest Citizen.....June 1966

In the yard of the Masonic Temple at Walnut and East Fourth was planted a tree to memorial Ollie Stewart of Tulsa, Oklahoma who observed his 107th birthday on April 26 and is believed to be the oldest living person originally from Mt. Vernon. Governor Roger Branigin advised Mt. Vernon of his existence and thought the former home of Governor Alvin Hovey would be a fitting location. The 107 year old Stewart is the son of John and Elizabeth Huff Stewart and was born in Mt. Vernon. Relatives still live in New Harmony. Stewart still lived alone and does his own cooking. He came to Oklahoma when it was Indian Territory as a boy with his parents. He enjoys watching television and reads the New Testament which he carries in his pocket. He was a farmer all his life and didn't quit doing that until he was 100! He was a critic of government controls and is bitter towards them. "No freedom anymore. You think we got freedom, you're crazy. When I was young there was freedom, but that's gone now", he said. In 1918 fire played a major role in his life when his first wife and three children died in a blaze.

This old gentleman believed that the outlaws he saw in the earlier days of Oklahoma were better than the government. When he first came to Oklahoma some of the Indians he said carried scalps on their belts and that he would go to stomp dances. It was hear he tasted what Stewart called a Indian delicacy...roast dog.

McFaddin Landing Re-Enactment.....June 1966

More than 200 people were present on the Ohio River front to watch the re-enactment of the landing of the McFaddins that took place 166 years ago. The show was emceed by Francis Knowles, attorney, and former judge. Educator, Ed Pence narrated the landing. As the raft bearing the McFaddins drifted slowly down the Ohio towards the site, Pence told the story of how Andrew McFaddin in 1806 founded McFaddin's Bluff which became Mt. Vernon in 1814. Playing the roles of the McFaddins were direct descendants of the original founders-John McFadden and his daughter, Mrs. William Grabert, Mrs. Hazel McFadden Cox and her son William Cox, and Woodrow McFaddin Jr. The keynote address of the opening was delivered by Douglas McFadden, Posey County born and raised and deputy attorney general of Indiana. He was a former aide to Senator Vance Hartke (D). McFadden spoke of the re-enactment as a re-awakening of the pioneer spirit which settled Mt. Vernon and America. He likened the landing to the spirit of modern pioneers who have helped our town grow into a significant industrial area in Indiana. Prior the McFadden address, Mrs. Pence read a poem which was read in 1916 during the Mt. Vernon Centennial. At that time the poem had been read by Mrs. Mary Husband of New Harmony and was part of the water pageant of 1916.

There were many activities during the week of the Sesquicentennial. There were parades and ceremonies at the high school where Mayor Harold Gentil opened the celebration. The activities there were emceed by Jack Norvell. It was here they crowned the sesquicentennial mother, Mrs. Julia Alexander. A little Miss Contest was held too where Sonja Hunt was the winner. We had guided tours through historic homes in Mt. Vernon arraigned by Mrs. Alice Fogas. Business windows just like in 1916 were filled with items a century old or better for display. Kangaroo courts, old fashion style shows, clay modeling and quilt contests, folk dancing, cake decorating contests, art shows, street dance, beer garden, old recipe contest, bands for old and young from gospel, country, rock, and Dixie land. There were public dinners at the Elks and the American Legion, there were lectures at the Trinity Church, demonstrations of pioneer cooking, a drawing for a new 1966 Tempest Custom Convertible, awards for the best beard, Fireman's water fight, Kiwanis Barbecue Picnic, a basket dinner on the Hedges School grounds, a Religious Heritage Program and Mammoth fireworks at the Athletic Park following the pageant. Also, boat races and water skiing at the riverfront and old fashioned bargains offered by merchants downtown.

Youngsters Rescue Man Trapped in Ditch.....June 1966

Four Mt. Vernon youth were credited with possibly saving the life of an elderly resident of the Posey County Home on Infirmary Road. The boys, Ricky Smith, Gerald Folz, Mickey Kennedy, and Dave Thompson were walking down the railroad tracks, "just goofin' off" when they heard a cry for help. Upon investigation they found the man leaning against the wall of the ditch. The young men pushed and pulled the gentleman to the street, waved down a car that comforted him out of the sun and ran to a nearby house to telephone the Mt. Vernon Police. The man said he had been in the ditch over two hours and tripped over some brush getting out of the way of a passing auto, tumbling into the ravine. He was uninjured and the Police returned him to the County Home..

Sesquicentennial jailhouse.....June 1966

Up goes the Sesquicentennial jailhouse on the west lawn of the courthouse.....June 1966. The man in the hat is Paul Gerton, the bearded man is Bob Beste, the checkered shirt is Allen Stevens.

Kangaroo Court Justice...June 1966

During the Sesquicentennial celebrations of Mt. Vernon one of the highlights was the Kangaroo Court sessions. Justice, if you can call it that was swift. The dastardly villains, who committed a crime such as refusing to grow a beard, etc., were brought before the magistrate Otis Allyn and prosecutor Jack Norvell seems to have won all the cases. People were sentenced to being dunked in a dunking machine, put in stocks, wearing a sign around your neck saying your wife was the boss of the family, make you go into the audience and kiss a man at random, put in the stockade, etc. Some women were hauled in for showing an ankle or dressing too daring, or insulting a policeman. That was a fun summer of dress-ups and beards and plays.

B&W Will Construct Huge 800 Ton Vessel.....June 1966

The Babcock and Wilcox Company's boiler division announced they will build a 800 ton nuclear reactor vessel for the General Electric Company. The vessel is to be part of a $80 million nuclear generating station to be built for Commonwealth Edison near Cordova, Illinois. To be known as the Quad Cities Station, the new plant will initially generate 715,000 kilowatts, but is designed for an ultimate capacity of 809,000 kilowatts. It is scheduled for operation in 1970. The reactor vessel will be fabricated at B&W's multi-million dollar heavy pressure vessel facility here with some work to be done at Barberton, Ohio. The reactor will be barged to the site via the Inland Waterways System.

Old Bible Shown...May 1966

228 year old German printed Bible belonging to Louis Ed Pfeiffer was put on display for the public at People's Bank & Trust.

American Legion Moves Out Of Old Home Into New One.....May 1966

Owen Dunn Post No. 5 dedicated their new home at Second and Walnut on May 29 and laid a cornerstone. An open house to the public and a dance was held in the new facility a day earlier. Their old home was once the Ranes' residence and it was razed by donated labor.

The Highest Scoring Basketball Game.....1966

This game was played at the old Central gym in Evansville as Central defeated our Wildcats 92-91. The 183 points represents the highest total of points in school history dating back to our first game in 1912. Mt. Vernon was very good from the charity stripe hitting 29 of 33. The three top scorers for Mt. Vernon that day were Eddie Howard with 23, future Reitz football coach Bob Ashworth with 21, and Tommy Junker with 16. Wildcats had a 15-7 record that season, losing to North Posey in the Sectional semi-finals after defeating them twice that season.

Editor's Note: This high scoring game record was eclipsed during the 2010-2011 season. Watch for the details of that record breaking game.

Some Local Business Establishments From Sesquicentennial Year.....1966

  • Babcock and Wilcox
  • Bayer Agency at 220 East 4th
  • Behrick's Cabinet Supply Shop at 917 West 4th
  • Beste Cabinet Shop at 115 Main
  • Breeze Motors at 312 College
  • Bunnell & Davis at 301 Main
  • Charles Lawrence Homes
  • Clyde Straw's Barber Shop
  • Continental Grain
  • Culley Pharmacy at 231 Main
  • Culligan Water Conditioning at 405 Vine
  • Dave Morris Chevrolet at 201 West Second
  • Dog 'n Suds
  • Estelle's Beauty Shop on College
  • Farm Bureau Insurance
  • Farm Bureau Refinery
  • Farmers Elevator at North Main and Walnut
  • Frank Moll Motors at 1029 East 4th
  • Fuelling Concrete at 1210 Sycamore
  • Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company
  • Gerber's Supermarket, 700 East 4th
  • Gottman Electric
  • Gronemeier Hardware at 413 Main
  • Hageman Sand and Gravel
  • Interstate Finance, 425 Main
  • J&J Welding at 1114 West 4th
  • Juncker Bros at 601 West 4th
  • Keck Motor Company
  • Lutterman's Super Market at 512 West 4th
  • Mt. Vernon Auto Parts at 1200 East 4th
  • Mt. Vernon Drive In
  • Mt. Vernon Farm Center
  • Mt. Vernon Milling Company at 129 East Water
  • Mt. Vernon Screw Products, 1020 Canal
  • North Main Drive In Restaurant
  • Norvell Funeral Home at 512 Main
  • Ohio Veneer and Lumber at 600 Wolflin
  • Oliver Jewelers at 220 Main
  • P.N. Hirsch Department Store at 311 Main
  • Parkett Drive In Restaurant at 1328 East 4th
  • Paul O'Donnell Heating and Air Conditioning
  • People's Bank and Trust
  • Pioneer Corn Company
  • Posey County National Bank
  • Posey Lanes
  • Randall Shell Service at 901 North Main
  • Ricketts Bros Lumber at 734 East 4th
  • Risch's Neu Way Cleaners at 409 Main
  • Russell's Print Shop
  • Schroeder's Shell Service at 4th and Locust
  • Shrode Agency, 109 East 4th
  • Staples Foundry
  • Stephan Implement Company
  • Tasty Treat Drive In
  • Tomlinson's, at Mill near 2nd
  • Tom's Furniture at 309 Main
  • Tottie's Liquor Store at 120 West 4th
  • Tresslar's Five and Dime at 403 Main
  • Tygart Funeral Home
  • Utley Auto Supply
  • Wehr's Flower Shop and Green House on 531 East Eighth
  • Wheaton's Pharmacy at 201 Main
  • Yaggi Heating
  • Zink Oil Field Service

Souvenir Half Dollar Distributed by Lions Club.....1966

For Mt. Vernon's 150th anniversary a half dollar was minted that was redeemable and exchangeable with local merchants. Really, I don't know how this was allowed because recently a Evansville man was arrested for making what he called a Liberty dollar and certain merchants used them. Anyway, the bronze coin was the size of a 50 cent piece and on one side bears the resemblance of Andrew McFaddin, the original settler of Mt. Vernon (not counting Indians) an on the other a sesquicentennial celebration date. 5000 of these coins were minted and I have one around here someplace. It was said that on our centennial celebration of 1916 a $1 coin was minted...I have never seen one. My mother also had a sesquicentinnel plate which had in the center an old fashion paddle wheel river steamboat. Also there were scenes of the library, coliseum, court house, the high school and the Hovey House. Thirty dozen of these were sold at a price of $1.75 each.

Civil Defense Duck 1966

"If it looks like a duck..."

Old Resident Returns.....1966

In 1916, a re-enactment of the landing of the McFaddins was an important part of Mt. Vernon's Centennial celebration. Playing the part of Noah McFaddin then was a lad named Elsa Barbee. Fifty years later Elsa came back to his hometown to watch the 150th birthday of Mt. Vernon. He was a descendant of the McFaddins and later moved to New Mexico and Arizona. He said during the re-enactment in 1916 a jug was being passed around by the older participants on the boat. Haha... Mt. Vernon. More Sesquicentennial notes coming.

1966 MVHS All-School Party

Sesquicentennial celebration was the theme of the all school party held in May at the school. Dress was in the style of those 150 years ago. State Fair, a musical hit by Rogers and Hammerstein and about Indiana's State Fair was shown. Additional entertainment was provided by the Huff and Puff Square Dancers of Mt. Vernon. Contest winners were: Joyce Culley, pie-eating; Bernie Moll, cracker-eating; and Jackie Cotner, hog-calling.

General Baptist Church Bus.....1966

The man in the picture is good old Stacy Givens...still kicking today. He drove the bus for many years on College Avenue and then at the new church on North Main street. It was called, "Operation Pickup." I played many a softball game with him as a teenager in the sixties. He was the picture, always a nice small. He also was the head usher at the church. I took up the offerings many times. After we picked up the offerings we would wait at the back of the church for the song, "Praise Him whom all blessing fall, praise Him all sinners her below, praise Him above thee heavenly host, praise father, son and Holy Ghost. AAAAAmen." During the song the congregation would rise and we would bring the plates up front and the minister would give a prayer of thankfulness and a blessing that the offering would be used in His name. Then, I would return to my pew.

Frank Moll Motors.....1966

Opened in 1953. Started by Francis Moll with a force of 5 employees and first was called Frank Moll Oldsmobile. Located on East Fourth Street, now sets vacant.

Gary Carr Breaks SIU Records.....1966

Gary Carr when he left Mt. Vernon was known as our best 440 man ever and he went on to the Southern Illinois University track scene and broke every 440 record there but one in his brilliant collegiate career at Carbondale. A 49.7 runner in his senior year with the Wildcats, Carr had a career best 46.0 with the Salukis. The only record he did not own was the freshman SIU record in a meet he did not participate. Their coach, Lew Hartzog labeled Carr as the "hardest worker' and the boy "with the most intense desire" he's ever coached. Further, he is the greatest anchor relay runner, particularly when behind, Hartzog says, that he's ever coached. Alan Ackman, Mt. Vernon's other Saluki runner, had a 1:51.8 half mile leg in a relay.

Elmo Utley of Utley Auto Supply.....1966

Back when I was in grade school around 1960, the Utley's moved to Mt. Vernon from Kentucky, Henderson I believe. They had a beautiful Queen Anne home on College Avenue and Elmo had a auto parts store on College. His son Terry was a good friend back in those days, we played baseball and golf together and their parents took me to Florida for the first time in the early 60's in their big ole Chrysler Newport. Elmo was a fine man, real slow of speech with a nice smile. When our house burned down in the blizzard of 1965, he gave me a job at his auto parts store for a few weeks until baseball season started, to get my mind off our tragedy. Later the store went to Joe Wooten and became Joe's Auto Supply.

Family Treasure Is a Bible From 1738.....1966

Back in 1966 Ludwig Pfeiffer, better known locally as Louis Ed displayed during Mt. Vernon's 150th anniversary a family Bible printed in German brought to this country by his great-great-grandfather, Gottlieb Pfeiffer. The first child, if a boy, born in each generation inherited the Bible down through the years. It just happened that each first child was indeed a male. Louis Ed inherited it from his father, who was Louis Jr., who inherited it from Louis Sr. Now the question of who gets the Bible becomes complicated because Louis Ed's first son and grandson are both deceased. He presumes the Bible will become the property o his oldest living son, Raymond who lives in Black Township. The Bible has large print and is quite cumbersome because of its weight. The book has been rebound once, but the fly leaf with family records of deaths remains intact. Louis Ed said his great-great grandfather came to America around 1841 on a sailing ship making good time getting here in two months. The ship landed in New York and for a while the family resided in Buffalo. Around 1850 they migrated to Posey County

Strongbox Opened of 1916 Mt. Vernon Centennial.....1966

To kick off the Sesquicentennial celebration of Mt. Vernon in 1966 a time capsule was opened. At Memorial Coliseum before 40 spectators, the 50 year seal of the box was broken by Merle Strack, the man, who along with his brother, the late Lynn had closed the box for posterity. He was assisted by his sister in law, Mrs. Ester Strack. Attorney Gene Brooks served as master of ceremonies. Among the contents were pictures and programs from the centennial celebration, records, receipts, and two ornamental balls taken from the old county Court House cornice torn down in 1880. There was a September 13, 1916 Centennial edition of the Mt. Vernon Democrat. There were copies of two other papers no longer in existence- The Western Star and The Unafraid Republican. Also were numerous copies of the special Centennial booklet. The most interesting find was a sealed envelope that revealed a chew of tobacco left by Lemuel T. Osborn, executive committee chairman of the Centennial. A note said the "chaw" was good and "help yourself." Upon seeing it, Harry Wilson, general Sesquicentennial chairman, said he was "much obliged." If a doctor, ambulance and 4 or 5 pretty young nurses were present, he promised to take one chew, but vowed that the rest of the tobacco would be sealed in a Sesquicentennial time capsule for Mt. Vernon's second Centennial celebration. Okay, anybody know where it is?.

Fake court square funeral.....1966

During our 150th city celebration they had a funeral for Ray Zor a fake bad man on the court square while Zor's wife weeps. The bucket is for tears shed.

Main Street.....1966

Historical pictures.....1966

My thanks to Pat McCarty who was related to Harry L. Wilson who was President and General Chairman of the Mt. Vernon Sesquicentennial in 1966. He showed me a scrapbook of 150th anniversary items and of the start of the CD festival that use to be held in Mt. Vernon. Over the next few days, I will show some of these items. Nice meeting you Pat and thanks!

Historical Pictures.....1966

Peddler's Permit.....1966

Sesquicentennial Belle.....1966

Orvan Hall at Mt. Vernon Democrat.....1918-1966

In 1975, Mr. Hall sat down with the Rev. August Binder for an interview. I have included part of it here to honor this lifetime newspaper man. Orvan's grand parents came here from North Carolina in the early 1800's as many other migrants from there came. Orvan's father was active in politics here serving as sheriff and two terms as court bailiff. Orvan went to work at the Mt. Vernon Democrat in 1918, about six weeks after he graduated from high school. His father helped him get the job and told him, "Son, I want you to go there and stay there." Orvan obeyed his father quite well-staying there 48 years! His first job was a single wrapper, mailer which was where you put a sheet of paper down and write the name of the subscriber on it and then pasted it and wrapped the paper in it. Then he started a column called, "Told on the Street." It was about what he could find happening on Main Street each day. Edward Alles was then the publisher and before long Orvan was not only taking care of local news, but selling advertising. In the 1950's Alles incorporated the paper and gave Hall 48% of the paper and made an agreement that upon his death, Orvan would get the remainder of the stock at the book value. In 1966, Orvan sold the paper to Garth Whipple. The original owner of the Democrat was Thomas Collins, followed by Albert Sparks, the stepsons of Sparks then took over named Peter and John Roach, then Alles and onto Hall. Orvan said the biggest story he did was the 1937 flood. Another interesting period for him was the industrial interest in the community that came in the early 1960's. He said the first industry to actually locate here from outside was the Farm Bureau Refinery in the late 1930's. The 1937 flood actually helped our community by showcasing the "High and Dry" aspect of our town along the Ohio River. Companies wanted to be close to the river but safe from floods. That became a big seller for corporations like General Electric and Babcock and Wilcox. Another great story was the oil boom that came close to the end of the Depression. Oil was discovered near Griffin and that saved hundreds of farms because farmers were struggling to pay taxes. The opening of the Wabash Bridge linked us with Illinois much more than before too allowing industry to prosper. Orvan Hall also served as President of the School Board for nine years. During that time the town built the first school building in town in many years...Hedges Central Elementary. Orvan never ran for any political office, but he was a good democrat and was honored by Governor Roger Branigan as a member of the Sycamores of the Wabash which is sort of like a Kentucky Colonel.
More on Orvan Hall

Main St. Evansville.....1966

Bones of Mastodon Found Near Farmersville.....1966

Bones at least 30,000 years old were found near Mt. Vernon. Some already have been excavated a mile and a half northeast of Farmersville and an archaeologist as positively identified them as remnants of the hairy elephant like animal that roamed this area prior to the Glacial Age. The discovery was made by 12 year old Gary Schneider, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Schneider. The boy was hiking with a brother and a cousin when he spotted part of a large bone in an eight foot creek bed on the Darwin Allyn farm. John Elliott, New Harmony, an archaeologist formerly on the staff of the University of Kentucky, examined some of the bones and determined Schneider had found a mastodon. The skeleton was uncovered by water action from the creek where it was spotted. Elliott theorized the bones were deposited in their present location by action during the last glacial period about 20,000 years ago. After examining the site, he determined that the bones were not an undisturbed skeleton but were scattered about. Elliott drew that conclusion because the bones "did not appear to be articulated in their natural relationship to the skeleton of the giant herbivorous animal." The bones were found about one quarter mile from the Schneider residence in the natural ditch off Indiana 69 separating the Allyn and Don Uhde farms about 200 yards from Copperline road. Some of the bones excavated to date include an upper foreleg that weighs over 100 pounds, several vertebrae, broken rib fragments and a small piece of the large pelvis. Two teeth were uncovered each weighing a couple of pounds. The teeth, both molars, were used by Elliott to identify it as those of a mastodon. One tusk was recovered. Weighing over 100 pounds, it was almost five feet long and worn down at the tip end, apparently by natural causes during the animal's lifetime. In recent years, the bones of two other mastodons were discovered in the county. One was at the gravel pit near the Wabash River and another at a drainage excavation in north Posey County.

Mt. Vernon Gunslingers.....1966

Jerry McClarney (?), Bill Booth, Charlie Huey, Orrin Estes, ?

Buying Sesquicentennial Stamps.....1966

John Doane photo. Harry Wilson buying the stamps.

Pioneer Production Plant.....1966

Main Street School Torn Down.....November 1965

A page of Mt. Vernon history was discarded as the old school constructed in 1887 crumbled into a pile of debris. The structure was once surrounded by a cast iron fence. It was located between east and west Tenth streets on Main. In the early 1920's, William Klotz was the principal. It had a varied history at a time when the high school was only graduating 7 to 25 students a year. Most graduating ceremonies at that time where held at the Courthouse. In the 1960's, Mrs. Henry Klitz of Rt. 1, who graduated from there in 1893, remembered that her husband as a young man would walk five miles each morning and afternoon on a dirt road to attend high school. The school was once used primarily as a Negro school to before Booker T. Washington. The school was also at one time called "Grammar School" and housed at least grades five through eight. George Ashworth, coach at MV high school and later school superintendent went there in the fifth grade. The school later became part of the overall factory and it was added on to the present structure. Later the Exylin Company tore down the school and built a more modern manufacturing center.

Senator Vance Hartke in September 1965 of Uniontown Lock & Dam Groundbreaking.

Esteemed Mt. Vernon Lady, Dies.....August 1965

Mrs. Mary Jensen Andersen, 70, who came to Mt. Vernon with her husband, the late Holger Andersen, carved a name for herself in our community. A native of Jamestown, Kansas, she met her husband there who ran a creamery. The Mt. Vernon Creamery was Holger's pride. Mary was prominent in the community with church, cultural and homemaking activities. Her Christian character shown through in all her activities. At the Mt. Vernon General Baptist Church she was for many years superintendent of the Primary Department of the church school. She was an officer of the women's organizations of the Church Sunshine Philathea Class, Ladies' Aid and Women's Missionary Society and many charities. She was a past noble grand of Helen Rebekah Lodge, a member of Sunbeam chapter, No. 1, Order of Eastern Star, a past president of Mt. Vernon Coterie and a member of Harrow Relief Corps and the Busy Homemakers Home Demonstration Club. She taught ceramics at the Evansville YWCA and pursued the arts of painting also. She maintained a studio in her home and her works drew wide attention. She was a member of the Posey County Art and Crafts League and Tri-State Ceramics Club. Mrs. Andersen became ill while visiting her brother, Martin Jensen, world famous aviator and one of the Pacific Ocean conquerors in Los Angeles. Heidi Schaffer Henderson has contacted me recently about College Point School on Holler Road. The Andersens bought it after it was no longer a school and renovated it from a one room school into a 3 bedroom home with kitchen and a bath. The Andersens didn't really live there but used it for company parties and community activities. It was here I remember going to a huge Easter egg hunt. I too was a member of the General Baptist Church, then on College Avenue. Heidi's family moved into this building after Mary's death, residing there 33 years and she tells me there were painted murals on the walls including an apple orchard in the hallway, swamp in the living room, ocean with whales in the bathroom and a vineyard in the stairwell. Costumes were stored upstairs for Christmas and Easter pageants. There were even puppet shows. Mrs. Andersen kept a journal and in it she refers to the school as "Hobby Hill." Heidi has graciously decided to give me the journal to go through and then donate to the Posey County Historical Society which I will be most happy to do.

Hall of Fame Coach Arad McCutchan Speaks Here.....May 1965

Head basketball coach of Evansville College coming off an unprecedented third NCAA crown and a undefeated season was a guest speaker before the weekly session of the Kiwanis Club. George Ashworth, administrative assistant of Mt. Vernon Metropolitan School District and later an Indiana Sports Hall of Famer was the program chairman. McCutchan spoke in general on athletics at Evansville College, past triumphs and future goals.

New Airline Stewardess from Mt. Vernon....May 1965

Miss Judith Ann Tenison of 725 East Eighth Street started her career as an Eastern Airline stewardess. She graduated from Eastern's Flight Training Center in Miami, Florida schooling in grooming, makeup and gracious presentation of dining services. She had previously graduated from Mt. Vernon High School and Indiana University and had been employed by Evansville Welborn Hospital. She will report to Chicago where she will be based. From there she will fly to many of the 110 cities Eastern serves in 26 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Bermuda

The All-American Red Heads.....April 1965

These sensational queens of the hardwood played in the Mt. Vernon gym co-sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Civil Defense and the Band Boosters came to Mt. Vernon and played the Mt. Vernon Frank Moll Motors Indians. The Red Heads started playing men's teams by men's rules in 1936 and continued playing until 1986. They played before tens of millions of fans in dozens of countries. In some years they played over 200 games in a season. They were like the Harlem Globe Trotters with the best talent available all with red hair. They who were not naturally red-haired used henna to make them so. The Red Heads featured fancy passing, clever ball handling, deceptive play patterns and amusing routines to usually defeat their male opponents. In June of 2011 they were honored as "Trailblazers of the Game," at the woman's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pocket Hotel Sold.....March 1965

John Medcalf sold the Pocket Hotel at 119-21 West Second Street to James Mattingly. The Mattingly's own and operate the adjoining Idelwild Tavern and won the building it occupies. The sale ended a successful operation of the hotel for almost 20 years by the Medcalf's. The hotel contains 25 rooms and on the ground floor an air conditioned barbershop operated by Clyde Straw and the Mt. Vernon office of Evansville and Ohio Valley Railway Co. bus lines. The hotel later burned to the ground in which there were loss of life.

Gerber's Celebrates 50th Birthday of Establishment.....March 1965

Gerber's Bi-Rite at 700 East Fourth celebrated their anniversary by having all 23 employees dressed in the styles of a half century ago. The supermarket in 1965 was owned and managed by Harry Gerber who established it as a partner with his father, Jacob Gerber and Arthur Hoppes. The location was at 733 East Second Street. Jacob was a native of Austria. While employed in Anderson, Indiana he met Hoppes. Gerber Grocery Company operated as a credit and delivery store with deliveries made from a horse drawn wagon. After a successful operation, the East Second establishment was sold to F.X. Stocker and the Gerber-Hoppes partnership established a store at the corner of East Fourth and Owen Streets, the site of the parking lot of the store in the 1960's.Prior to World War 11, the building was remolded and enlarged to begin operation as a cash and carry market. In 1963, the newer store advanced to an ultra-modern store with equipment, stock, and business methods. Assistant general manager was Elmer Pharr, and Michael Kissel was manager of the meat market with Hazel Jackson the head of the produce section.

Medcalf Sells Pocket Hotel to Adjoining Tavern Owner.....March 1965

Mr. and Mrs. James Mattingly purchased from Mr. and Mrs. John Medcalf the Pocket Hotel at 119-121 West Second Street. Mattingly owns and operated the adjourning Idlewild Tavern. The sale ended a successful operation of the hotel for almost twenty years by the Medcalfs. During that time there was a continuing program of improvements with private baths and air conditioning. The hotel included 25 rooms and on the ground floor, a barber shop operated by Clyde Straw. There is also an office of the Evansville and Ohio Valley Railway bus line.

MVHS Club Selling Sesqui Auto Plates.....1965

The Social Studies Club of Mt. Vernon High School started selling 150th Anniversary car plates in preparation for and during the observance of Indiana's Sesquicentennial year of 1966. Plates sold for $1. Anybody got one now? I'll buy it.

MV Graduates.....1937-1965

During this time period, graduations were held at the School auditorium on Canal Street, outdoors across street of school on Canal, and the HS gym on Harriet Street. 1937-61; 1938-68; 1939-76; 1940-82; 1941-88; 1942-72; 1943-67; 1944-78; 1945-57; 1946-99; 1947-77; 1948-101; 1949-84; 1950-74; 1951-98; 1952-102; 1953-81; 1954-103;1955-107; 1956-104; 1957- 102; 1958-100; 1959-124; 1960-132; 1961-132; 1962-123; 1963-116; 1964-157; 1965-193.

Idlewild Pianist is of Top Reputation.....1965

Mark "Red" Holland, Evansville, who has been tuning pianos since he was 14 and estimates he has done 20,000 is the pianist at the piano bar of the Idlewild Cafe in Mt. Vernon on Friday nights. On Saturday nights, Holland plays with the Gene Hayden Combo at Rolling Hills Country Club in Evansville

Kiwanians Look Back to Origin.....1965

C.C. Maurer, a charter member of the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club, gave a superb resume of the club's history at a noon luncheon. With Maurer at the head table was the only other charter member remaining, LeRoy Agin. President Paul Hartmann introduced Maurer. Maurer told of activities of the organization during its first year. Started Feb. 18, 1927, with 36 members, the club grew through hard work and determination. He told of the black days of the depression of the 30s of the great flood of 1937 and how Kiwanis's helped relieve some of the hardships. Maurer also related the club's first major project- that of purchasing a horse for a local coal hauler. The horse cost $15, and Kiwanis's were able to raise the amount and "15 cents to boot." The additional 15 cents was judiciously put in the club's treasury. Of the 36 original members which held its first regular meetings in the former Court Hotel, located on the present site of the Post Office, only 8 were alive in 1965 and only the two present remain with the club. Kiwanis guests that day were Ray Clayton, Charles Blakley, Louis Oehlman,Bill Sefton, Jack Tainter, Bob Oehlman and Bob Tomlinson.

Gerton Bros. Opens in Mt. Vernon.....1965

Gerton's office machine and supplies service firm opened in Mt. Vernon. Paul Gerton and Bob Gerton, brothers, both of Henderson, Kentucky comprised the firm. The location was at 128 East Second Street owned by Mrs. Herbert Leffel and occupied for many years by Niblo's. The store stocked supplies including printed forms and office equipment and machines. They also had a service department. Several types of typewriters and adding machines were stocked, both new and used, for sale or rent.

Drive In.....circa 1965

Mayor Harold Gentil Outlines Goals.....1965

  • Establish efforts to secure a Mt. Vernon to Poseyville highway to connect with Indiana 64
  • Completion of the Master Plan and Planning Commission Program and their functioning
  • Elimination of traffic hazards
  • Support programs and influence business firms and homeowners to repaint, remodel, repair and, in general beautify Mt. Vernon
  • Increase efforts to increase restaurants and motel facilities. Secure a medical clinic with two physicians
  • Codification of city ordinances
  • Enclose Mill Creek from Kiwanis Park to Ohio River
  • Comprehensive program to improve old and establish new sidewalks in Mt. Vernon
  • Continue efforts for the building of new Evansville to Mt. Vernon road (Indiana 62)

Will that be Type A or Ala carte? 1960's

Local Students View Watts Riots in LA.....1965

Fourteen Mt. Vernon High School pupils, members of the Junior Classical League were attending the national JCL convention at USC and had a firsthand look at the race riots as they broke out. Florence Kouts was their sponsor and chaperon. The riots spread to the campus area on a Friday night and all the students were segregated by sex and locked in buildings of the dormitories. From their windows they watched the rioting and burning of buildings and cars. The bus they had charted however was unscathed and early Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m. they passed through the wreckage. They learned later that between 5 and 5:30 the rioting became severe on campus. The tourists also visited Juarez Mexico as well as Carlsbad Caverns and came back the following Thursday. The group included: Phyllis Rohlman, Amy Vollmer, Nina Marie Kelley, Joe Moll, Beverly Imsande, Evelyn Scherer, Deboralh Hatch, Mary Lou Dick, Susan Cox, John Russell, Steve Dick, Larry Gregg, Ann Atkins, Charles Scherer and Mrs. Kouts.

Eddie Howard ....Pitcher Deluxe....1965

I checked the records once and Ed a four year baseball starter at Mt. Vernon only lost one game in his career and that an extra-inning game in his freshman season!. I watched him from the bench when I was in school and played half dozen years of softball with him. He was the best baseball player I saw in my opinion from Mt. Vernon. Here are a couple of highlights from his American Legion days. Against Vincennes he tossed a one hit shutout (9 innings) at Athletic Park striking out 21 batters. This was one strikeout less than the record held by Carl "Windy' Wade in 1963 vs. Ferdinand. The only hit was a single in the hole through the infield in the third inning. Mt. Vernon won the game 10-0. That same year, Howard pitched a no-hitter vs. Mt. Vernon, Illinois striking out 20. He could hit too. I saw him hit two out in one game at Jasper in high school and play the heck of shortstop. Military service came calling and Ed never got the chance to show what I am sure would have been impressive in pro ball. He hurt his arm, but I think his first year back from military service he led the Double I League in hitting.

Site Chosen for Neu-Way Cleaners.....1965

For 18 years Neu-Way Cleaners ran a successful operation at 409 Main owned by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Risch. In 1965 they announced an expansion at 119 West Fourth by leasing 2400 square feet of ground in the 100 block of West Fourth directly east of the Sinclair Service Station. The property is owned by Mary Rose Weber. A modern building was to be erected which will handle receiving of apparel and pickup. Pressing equipment would also be housed in the new unit. The central cleaning plant will continue on Main and steam line from the central plant to the new building will be installed. There will be parking for five cars at any one time.

What's wrong with this picture? Circa 1965

This is part of the American Legion team I played on in 1965 and 1966. This photo shows Gary "Bucky" Burns, Ed ""Sneak" Howard, Jim Estes, and Jim Poshard. What was wrong is that Mt. Vernon is spelled wrong on the jersey. There is no n after the r. We wore them for years. They were and blue and a heavy duty zipper up the front. The trim was nice, even around the back pockets like the Braves had at that time. It was a winning season. I remember we were all MV players except Kae Moore of New Harmony and Gary Weinzapfel whom I believe played for one of the Evansville catholic schools. It was a good defensive team, .300 hitters, good pitching with Howard, Burns, Paul Mason, and Court Rheinhardt. Jim Roeder hit well and David Trout was an excellent receiver. Bob Ozinga had a fine arm in left field, and Bruce Schrieber was a fine infielder.

"Street Fight'n Men".....1965

Battery B, Mt. Vernon's National Guard unit held multiple drills at the local armory over a weekend on riot control and civil disturbances. They pulled out their howitzers earlier in the week for display. I've faced tear gas canisters, but howitzers? way.

GE Lexan Had Role in Space Walk....1965

When astronaut Edward White walked in space the space helmet he wore was constructed of three layers of Lexan polycarbonate manufactured at the Mt. Vernon plant. The outer layer, tinted blue green protected the astronaut's eyes from the rays of the sun. The middle layer was tinted gold to guard against heat. The clear inner layer sealed pressure inside the space suit. Lexan resin was selected for this critical application because it is the toughest and most unbreakable transparent material available and retains those qualities even in extremes of hot and cold temperatures. Use of this plastic material in safety hats, crash helmets, face shields, etc., was increasing rapidly.

"Just a Half a Mile from the Railroad Track".....1965

Now this is a story of the Mt. Vernon Depot Massacre without the three part harmony. Now it all started around forty years ago, forty summers ago in Mt. Vernon it was....The class of 1965 was planning a senior trip to St. Louis aboard a train. They all got their ticket, walked in, sat down, the teachers walked in, sat down at for a while all was good reading the magazines and looking out at the weeds flying by on the tracks. After a while, the train came to a screeching halt...errrrrrrr! Somebody pulled the emergency cord! Girls flew into the aisles and one certain business teacher and sponsor spilled coffee all over his dress shirt. Laughter turned to stern looks as the culprit was sought. It was fast becoming the great mystery of the Midwest. If they would have had a Officer Obie, he would have taken him down to the police officer station along with 27 glossy photos with pictures and arrows explaining the crime. Well they went to a cinema and one student who looked 21 bought beer by the case and distributed it to his classmates as I have been led to understand. Meanwhile he stood in the foyer looking out for the fuzz. They got to the zoo I believe and one fella jumped the fence and got into the duck pond with the ducks. "Kid, get out of there, we don't like your kind, we are gonna send your prints to Washington." Finally, they all got back in the train, sat down, teachers walked in, sat down ...trip had another emergency brake incident, but no one found the truth to the matter. The students knew, but no one ever had to face the heavy hand of the law or sit on the Group W bench because of it. Of course on the way back some had to relieve themselves off the caboose and others just to hurl, I imagine. Oh the massacre, I almost forgot. The class was given a box lunch and probably wasn't the best Thanksgiving dinner that could ever be beat so they saved it and waited, and waited...they waited a long time; because you see somewhere long before them a tradition arose to throw the food at the juniors waiting at the depot as a food fight between the two classes was expected. Well, they got to the depot, the depot in Mt. Vernon and there were the juniors, the juniors right there in Mt. Vernon, at the depot. Everything was cool man, but for one little thing. You see the juniors came unarmed, but what the hell, the seniors destroyed them with cups of cole slaw. Now friends somewhere there are survivors of this massacre who probably remember this differently and they are probably rehabilitated. I wonder if they picked up the garbage. Anyway, that my friends is why you didn't get a senior trip!

Sorry Court!.....1965

Being a pack rat, I was looking at a old scrapbook of mine with American Legion newspaper articles of some of the memorable games I played during the sixties. Funny how I was good enough to start in the infield in Legion ball but wasn't able to make much of a dent in high school. Nevertheless; I found this game vs. Ferdinand at their place I remember. Court Reinhardt started this second game a doubleheader. Court was a hard luck pitcher our senior year. That season we lost 7 games in a row by one run and 13 of the 16 we lost that season by a single tally. We did make it to the finals of the sectional guessed it by one run. On this particular night, we opened the first inning with a walk and two errors and I got a hit to give us the only run of the game. Court carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh inning when the hitter hit a high chopper over the mound that I charged from my position at second base. Meanwhile, the shortstop, can't recall if it was Jim Poshard or Stan Billman also tried to field. We couldn't get out of each other's way and it went for an infield single. Looking back it should have been the shortstop's play coming across. I messed up lefty..."my bad."

Roger Zion Speaks at High School.....1965

Republican candidate for the 8th District, Roger Zion spoke to about 150 people in the Mt. Vernon high school cafeteria on his take on the Republican Party. He said the landslide by the Democrats in 1964 was because of negativeness placed upon them by the Democrat's well-oiled machine which influenced their voting. Come on Mr. Zion! Let me say right off, Congressman Zion was not a favorite of mine. In 1967 he made headlines calling anti-Vietnam protesters, "traitors" and that they should "have their hair cut off like the French did to collaborators with the Nazis." He went on to say that some of the positive programs we should support were: "free enterprise, less government spending, fewer farm controls, the present immigration laws, a progressive foreign policy, states' rights, free gold market, independence for Puerto Rico, lower taxes, pure food and drug laws, separation of church and state, and a sound dollar policy." Well, he won three terms as congressman finally defeated in 1974 by Phillip Hayes. Of course, like many politicians he stayed in Washington D.C. and from time to time I still see a letter in the Courier pushing his views. Mt. Vernon treated him well that night with a delicious buffet dinner prepared by Mrs. Florence Krietenstein and her staff with attractive table decorations of Lincoln silhouettes and elephants. I wonder who won the door prize.

Throwing Newspapers.....I Guess the Art is Gone.....1960s

Back in the know like six or seven U.S. wars ago I can remember Marion Shuler and his sister Anna Kay sitting on the step next door folding the Mt. Vernon Democrat to deliver. Just folding them would be a chore. Maybe he will comment on the art later. I can remember how papers could be thrown and they would sail like a Frisbee with a nice screwball effect curving just right to land on a porch. Now if you were throwing the Courier or the evening Press you had a heavy object with a rubber band around them. Some of these boys could let her fly from the street on a moving bicycle-a distance of thirty or forty feet and sail it through the porch and bang up against the metal screen doors of your home. Ours was always banged up. I don't remember people complaining much....they would come outside look in the bushes or the driveway for their paper coffee in hand and wearing shoe slippers and wave at the neighbors picking up their milk bottles. I wasn't much of a paper boy....sold the Grit once in a while and flower seeds; people would feel sorry for me and buy it. If there is a Grit and a sales boy however, come on by. I'd like one.

Leonard Kuhn and Dot....1960's. Dot lived from 1958-1976

Main Street School.....1965

"A Gentleman and a Scholar".....September 1964

This was a favorite phrase of teacher, coach, and administrator at Mt. Vernon high school, James O. Baxter. A very successful football coach in eight man football with over a .700 winning percentage. He coached an undefeated team in 1954. In basketball, he coached the only undefeated freshman team in our history in 1950 with a 14-0 mark with 8 of those wins vs. Evansville schools. They also won the P.A.C. Tourney at Petersburg. Baxter was a mentor to Johnny Johnson, MV's first black athlete a multi-sport star. Mr. Baxter was also an excellent boy's track coach which was probably our most successful sport for decades. Anyway, my friend Terry Utley and I skipped school the fall of 1964 and camped out on Grand Avenue at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis hoping to get tickets for Game 1 of the 1964 World Series between the Cardinals and the New York Yankees. We stayed up all night freezing to death on the sidewalk as the temps fell into the 30's. We survived on hotdog vendors on the street. To make a long story shorter, we did not get tickets; we were left standing without tickets maybe 20 feet from the ticket window when they sold out. We ended up watching it on TV in St. Louis at a relative's. I remember now announcer Mike Shannon hit a home run off the scoreboard in left field off of Hall of Famer "Whitey" Ford. When we got back to school the next day, Mr. Baxter, then the vice principal called us into his office. He had heard a rumor that we went to the Series. He asked us and we admitted skipping school. He signed a release to get back into class with no detention time or discipline at all. He just said, "Thanks for your honesty...You are a gentleman and a scholar." Rest in peace J.B.

Poseyville Man Found Drowned in Pond.....August 1964

An elderly man who said he wanted to get close to God in the pond where he was baptized was found drowned. Eugene Marse, 74, was found by Sherriff Malcolm Buchanan in two feet of water in a pond at Larkin Stallings farm two miles west of Poseyville. Marse had removed his shirt and trousers and left a note on the bank reading; "I am going to walk out into the pond and see if I can be as close to God as when Brother Dodd baptized me." Coroner Norman Norvell called it a drowning and an investigation was pending.

Hoagy Carmichael in Posey County.....June 1964

Famed composer, Hoagy Carmichael flew in from Los Angeles to purchase a large coin collection from James Crowder of Cynthiana. Carmichael formerly lived in Indiana and attended Indiana University where he wrote his most famous hit, "Stardust."

Dorothy Challman Has a Concern.....May 1964

Dorothy Challman had a column in the social page for many years in the Mt. Vernon Democrat called, "Domestic Daze" that contained her observations and interests that were sometimes quite funny and often helpful. This one article she was going on about hearing of a high school that had divided its corridors into traffic lanes and posted one way signs to speed the flow of students between classes. There was talk of even one way halls. She said, "Maybe parking meters for young lovers along the corridor walls might help too."

Dancing at the Drive-In.....May 1964

Every Friday night for the summer there will be dancing before the screen program. For the first ever dance the rock band "The Wanderers" composed of the Chaffin and Gibbs brothers will perform. Then, Elvis will rock you in "Kid Galahad."

Wharf Improved by Street Department.....May 1964

Ralph Storey is commissioner of the Street Department and he reported that they had completed the laying of concrete on the Mt. Vernon wharf that is designed to provide a full 16 foot driveway from the end of Main Street to the water's edge of the Ohio River. The 129 feet of concrete laid connects with an earlier concrete road laid for ferry operations. In addition to providing a thoroughfare to the river it will eliminate mud and debris which has accumulated in the area.

Court Square Gets A Facelift.....May 1964

Construction of new sidewalks through the Court House square by contractor Hartmann is nearing completion and a contract for fertilizing, spraying and seeding the lawn has been awarded to Bennett's Garden Lawn and Gift Center of Mt. Vernon. The grass is in good condition, but spot seeding will be introduced as needed. Next a long term program of planting native shade trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennial flowers drawn up by Hank Gilbert of Purdue will be implemented.

Babcock & Wilcox Expansion Begins.....May 1964

An $11,000,000 expansion at B & W got underway with a main bay of 700x135 ft being constructed. The expansion is for the fabrication of large, heavy walled pressure vessels used for nuclear reactors. Over $20 million has already been spent at the facility. The first two phases had been completed by 1963. The main bay will be as high as a ten story building and will be able to handle vessels up to 1000 tons in weight, 75 feet in length and 30 feet in diameter. Included in the machinery required for the plant is an x-ray machine capable of examining steel plate more than two feet thick. In 1963, B & W sold eight vessels for a new petroleum refining process. President M. Nielsen said, "The expansion of the Mt. Vernon plant will make it the worlds most advanced for manufacturing large, heavy walled pressure vessels such as are used to contain nuclear reactors." The addition at the Mt. Vernon works will be located south of the present facility toward the Ohio River. An application by B&W for installing Ohio River docking facilities at Mt. Vernon is currently pending with the US District engineer's Office.

Then in May of 1965, the world's largest furnace for heat treating nuclear vessels was constructed in Mt. Vernon. The multi-million dollar furnace was one of two designed for installation here. It can heat boiler vessel components to as high as 2250 degrees. Some of the components required at that time in the vessels were up to 15 inches thick and weighed 2 million pounds.

Coliseum Vandalized.....May 1964

City Police Chief Kenneth Terrell said all of the offices, except the school district on the upper floor were broken into by thieves. It was discovered by custodian John Higgenbottom who found a door glass broken out of one of the front doors on Third Street. Upon further investigation it was found that all the offices on the first floor had their glass doors smashed. Only a small amount of money, maybe ten dollars was taken from the License Bureau Office and a RCA Victor radio was smashed in the office of Atty. Charles Rachels. File drawers were pulled out in the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce office, but nothing taken.

"Jackie" replies to tot's letter....March 1964

Ellen Cochrum, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cochrum of rural Mt. Vernon received from Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy acknowledgement of her letter to Caroline Kennedy. Ellen was sitting in front of the television in her home on the day of President Kennedy's funeral and remarked to her parents: "I feel so sorry for Caroline; I believe I will write her a letter."

New Mt. Vernon Cafe Opens....February.....1964

For the first time since the Shario closed, Mt. Vernon will again have a Main Street fact the name is the Main Cafe at 221 Main, recently occupied by Tom's Sporting Goods. The restaurant is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lancaster of West Third Street. Mrs. Maimie Harris, with 15 years as experience will be the head cook. The cafe will serve dinners, lunches, steaks and chops and open daily, except Sunday. Plate lunches are 75 cents with coffee included.

Thieves Score at Nudie's Store.....January 1964

You like that? Haha. This was another rash of burglaries occurring in town that month. This one occurred at the Nuding Office Supply at 128 East Second Street. Owner Paul Nuding discovered several valuable items of stock missing when he opened his store as usual. First thing he did was to turn on the radio, but it was missing, and a check behind the counter revealed that the contents of his pen and pencil sets were missing as well as a set of field glasses. Value was set at $500-$700. Entry was gained by breaking a window in the rear of the building. Some loot was left behind in that area upon exiting.

"Whoo Hoo, Yeah....Firehouse"....January 1964

Bring the fire to the firehouse! Don Yates, a truck driver for Bonified Truck Lines of Evansville did just that. Yates had a tire blow off his semi-truck trailer and drove the burning rig in front of the First Presbyterian Church next to the station, where the blaze was extinguished. Four tires on the tractor were damaged and eight wheels on the trailer will have to be replaced, but his quick thinking saved the truck from being consumed.

Pepsi Shopping Spree Nets Mother Sum of $109.....1964

Mrs. Kenneth Lester had a five minute shopping spree...well sort of, she is pregnant, so her mother, Mrs. Irene Benner of West Third Street did the racing through the store, cheered on by the crowd at Lutterman's Market at 512 West Fourth Street. She racked up $109.63 worth of food and commodities which included a large amount of meat and sugar and detergent and diaper laundry aids. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company general manager Stan Atkins and his sales manager were in attendance to watch. Official timer for the spree was Courtney Smith, manager of radio station WPCO.

GAA Playdays.....1964

Back before Title IX, few high schools had female athletic programs. From what I remember there were Girl's Athletic Associations. I believe teacher Mary Flo Niednagel was the sponsor at our school back in the mid to late sixties. I remember the girl's gym at school was this little room just across the hall from the main gym. What went on in there was almost always a mystery to male students. Of course, if the door was open just a hair we tried to catch a glimpse of a female classmate in shorts! No doubt there were some fine female athletes in my graduating class, but we never will know who they were. Earlier this season I attended a boys' basketball game and during intermission I exited out the back end to the concession stand. This wasn't even there back in my day. Neither was a trophy case, maybe fifty feet long completely full of girl's athletic achievements, trophies, plaques and pictures of titles won and records broken since the 1970's. A few years ago I was working out at the MAC center in Mt. Vernon and former classmate, Sharon Rowe was down on the basketball court shooting some hoops while I was walking a treadmill. Even in her fifties, she was nailing jumpers, dribbling through her legs and I thought then what she had missed. We talked and I found out how athletic a family she had including a daughter who not only played college basketball but coaches it too. So back to the playing days, I found a meet between Mt. Vernon, Huntingburg and Vincennes. Part of it was at the girl's gym and part of it was at the Memorial Coliseum pool. Mt. Vernon today has one of the best swim teams in Southern Indiana and especially the girl's teams. At this time it looks like we had a water ballet troupe demonstrating dives and strokes used in synchronized swimming under the leadership of Diane Dunigan and Ann McCullough. Familiar classmate's names jumped off the page at me who were a part of this like Vicki Turber, Nancy Wheaton and Sara Stubblefield. There were girls' softball games at Athletic Park, now a school sport and here again; I see names like Alta Mason, Henrietta Coburn and Phyllis Rohlman. I never saw any of these ladies play, but I have no doubt if having the opportunity that exists today they would have excelled.

From Sharon Rowe Barbarette: Wow! Thanks Ray for the comments. And, yes, it was frustrating for us to have girl's athletics so limited. Let me just add a couple more names from our class...Sonnie Walker was, and still is, a terrific athlete in all sports. Kay Kishline... was famous for drilling a long ball from almost anywhere on the court. As for my kids, I have another daughter who played on 2 FL high school state championship basketball teams. Both daughters, now in their mid 30's, remain active in athletic competition. I am delighted they had opportunities available as they were growing up. And my son is a Purdue wide receiver with two years of eligibility remaining. Watch for #27. He has a 4.3 forty time.

Paul Brenner Rolls First Perfect Game at Posey Lanes.....1964

Paul was a regular bowler at the alley competing in three leagues and carrying an average in the upper 180's. Posey Lanes was in its fourth season when this 300 game was bowled. It came in his third game on the heels of a 203 and 179 giving him a 682 series on the night. He had a higher series however in 1962 when he rolled a 714. The previous high game had been a 289 at Posey Lanes by Tom Hendrix in 1963. Among the awards he got for his beauty was a wrist watch or diamond ring from the American Bowling Congress, $100 from Posey Lanes and a US Savings Bond from the company which manufactured the shirt he wore while rolling the perfect line. XXXXXXXXXXXX!

Local Teens Letters Show Up in Advice Column of "Dear Abby.".....1964

A 17 year old school boy wanted to quit school and wrote "Dear Abby," otherwise known as Abigail Van Buren. School librarian Mrs. Charles Rachels found the story compelling and she asked ten students in her home room class to respond. The letters were written and sent into Mrs. Van Buren. Rachels received back a letter of commendation plus personal notes to all the writers complimenting them on their "insight and maturity" and saying that their "parents had done a good job." A couple of days later, the Evansville Courier was contacted by "Abby" and the Teen Page staff published six of the letters. Later the "Dear Abby" syndicated column ran one or two or the letters. The ten Mt. Vernon students who wrote the letters were: Mary Russell, Jeff Saltzman, Judy Schmitzer, Gary Schneider, Mary Schoening, Connie Seifert, Donald Shelby, Frank Slagle, David Stevens and Lynn Stubblefield.

"Beat Bosse, Beat Bosse, BEAT BOSSE!!!".....1964

Mt. Vernon after several poor seasons on the hardwood was starting to get better. Bosse had won state in 1962 and had stomped us 83-37 with Gary Grieger netting 39 against us. As the 1964 team unfolded we were 6-6 with a win over Memorial and two and one point losses to Mater Dei and Harrison. We were hoping for some pay back. The team under new coach Don Stanton had veterans like Gary King, Jon Uebelhack, Mike Ashworth, and Max Dieterle. That wasn't all.... there were new blood like Eddie Howard, Bob Ashworth along with Bob Ozinga. A new deeper bench with the likes of Charlie Hopper, Paul Mason, David Junker, and Tom Collins were there too among others. We caught the Bulldogs at our place in January and for over a week the school and town had been buzzing about the Bosse game. The cheerleaders proclaimed it 'Beat Bosse" week and all calls in the business community answered with "Beat Bosse" as their greeting and as you passed someone on the street you said, "Beat Bosse." The town was hyped. Pep sessions were held, speeches were given. This was going to be a big thing for the community. We had faith in our boys! The game came and our boys came within a bucket....we lost 62-60. Jim Heinrich's one hander from the free throw circle with 43 seconds left gave Bosse a 61-60 lead and then a Ken Mills free throw with 2 seconds left finished us off. Bosse led at the end of the first quarter 20-17, at the half 39-32, and by nine early in the third quarter. MV started whittling and by the end of the third we trailed only 49-45. The entire Mt. Vernon crowd stood and the yell of "Beat Bosse" was thundering. No other yells were given....none; nothing but BEAT BOSSE! It brought chills down your spine. It was said to be the largest crowd at the gym to that time...over 2500. Dieterle had 14, Howard and King 12 each and Bob Ashworth 10. Mt. Vernon had not beaten the Bulldogs since the 1953 Evansville Sectional. It would take until 1966 to defeat them again when the fine sophomore class were seniors.

Remember "Booster Seats?".....1964

That's what I remember child safety seats being called when I was young. I don't believe they were very safe. Nevertheless, I can remember my kids sitting in the front seat with no harness or anything. I would be slowing down and steering with my left hand and holding out my right arm to catch one of my boys from bashing their heads into the dashboard. Funny how that works. When I was a child I would climb up in the back window and lay down in those old Chevy Impalas. Sometimes I would fall asleep on the floorboard too. Anyway, the story I got is of a Mrs. Arthur Ricketts of 728 College Street who collided with a parked car. She was driving in the 300 block of West Eighth Street when she turned around to catch her baby who was about to fall. She lost control of her 1953 Chevy and plowed into my uncle Ken Kessler's 1959 Chevrolet at 315 West Eighth, causing $75 damage to her car and $150 damage to uncle Ken's. No injuries and no citation issued. Go my lady and prosper!

Going Back to an Old Idea...Foot Patrolman.....1964

A walking patrolman was assigned to the business district nightly from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Patrolmen on this shift would alternate in walking the beat including streets and alleys. The patrolman would be in communication by radio with both the Police Station and the Police Department cruise car. 'We feel that a walking patrolman will be an aid in curbing vandalism and theft," Mayor Harold Gentil said.

Gary Bayer Wins Evansville College Drama Award.....1964

I remember Gary, a Mt. Vernon High School graduate, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bayer when he came to our auditorium and performed in the play, "Comedy of Errors." In 1964 he was a sophomore at Evansville College and he was presented with the Sammy Award by the College Theater for the member of the cast contributing the most to an ECT presentation. That year he had the male lead in "The Playboy of the Western World," by John Millington Synge. He played a young braggart with a fiery tongue. After graduation he was off to Hollywood. I know he has had many roles in films and television As far as I know he still works. Maybe a reader can fill me in on his career.

90 Years; Same Address.....1964

Miss Mary Elizabeth Weckesser, 90, passed on and lived her entire life at 401 1/2 Main Street. Her family once operated a saloon there in the early 20th century. Just think of the change she would have witnessed looking out her windows or sitting on a balcony watching the Weckesser and later York's Tavern, the stables across the street and later the construction of People's Bank. The traffic going into Wassem Grocery then Niblo's then Tresslar's...all beneath her perch. From dirt roads with horses to concrete and automobiles. From darkness to street lights. Her parents came over from Germany and she was buried in the Catholic cemetery. She would have been two years old when our court house was completed. That's a lot of history.

Local Wins Drawing...Attends NYC World's Fair....1964

Mrs. Clarence Stofleth, RR!, Mt. Vernon left for New York City by airline and attended a cocktail reception along with other winners at the St. Moritz Hotel. They were guests of the Woodward Cosmetic Company. Her name was drawn from those ladies who sold their quota of cosmetics from the company. The winners also were guests at the Top of the Fair Restaurant at the Fairgrounds. They stayed at the Park Sheraton Hotel during their three day stay. She was accompanied by her husband, a cabinetmaker for the Mt. Vernon Lumber Company.

LBJ in Evansville 1964.. Sign for Vance Hartke. He later became outspoken opponent of Vietnam War.

Old New York Newspapers Found in Walls of Old Leonard Home.....1964

Not sure of the address of this home, but I believe the Leonard in question is the old historian of Mt. Vernon of the 19th century. The house was said to be a local landmark built in the 1850's. While being razed for the owners William Keck and Clarence Miller several copies of the New York Independent were found. Issues dated back to March 15 and May 25, 1876 and March 29, 1877 were found between the lath and studs of the old home. One advertisement in the paper showed a Winchester model rifle, "perfect for those living on the Indian frontier."

Old New York Newspapers Found in Walls of Old Leonard Home.....1964

Not sure of the address of this home, but I believe the Leonard in question is the old historian of Mt. Vernon of the 19th century. The house was said to be a local landmark built in the 1850's. While being razed for the owners William Keck and Clarence Miller several copies of the New York Independent were found. Issues dated back to March 15 and May 25, 1876 and one of March 29, 1877 were found between the lath and studs of the old home. One advertisement in the paper showed a Winchester model rifle, "perfect for those living on the Indian frontier."

Wolflin Street.....1964

1964 Statistic

In 1964 there were 486,431 Wabash River crossings at the Wabash Memorial Bridge. Passenger cars at that time accounted for 84% of the traffic.

New Harmony Parade.....1964

On the 150th Anniversary of the pacifist, non-violent socialists called the Rappites supersonic jets roared overhead and an air to surface missile was paraded down the street. How about that Father Rapp?

Gary "Bucky" Burns Pitches 3 hitter with 17 K's in Legion Action.....1964

Gary Burns pitched a complete game in 3-2 win at Athletic Park in win over Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Mt. Vernon trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the eighth inning on a walk, sacrifice, passed ball and a error. In the last half of the eighth inning, Ernie Colbert walked and scored on Eddie Howard's triple. "Sneak" came in then on a passed ball to give the home team the lead. In the ninth the visitors tied it up at 2 with a walk and a triple. In the home ninth, Mark Nix hit a triple to start it off but made a big mistake trying for an inside the park home run. Burns and then Bob Ashworth followed with walks and scored when David "Fish" Trout hit a scorching liner that got through the second basemen. Dave's son Dustin is fine golfer. I played ball with and against all these guys during the summer. In high school I just carried their bats ...LOl. They were a tough unit. I remember Ernie too with a few of our matchups with NP.

Mt. Vernon Pay Homage to Slain President Kennedy.....November 1963

I still cannot believe we played a varsity basketball game the night of the President's death, but we did. Mt. Vernon finally rethought its policy and suspended school that following Monday. Mt. Vernon Milling Company closed as well as the Exylin Company, General Electric, and Babcock & Wilcox. Banks and the post office also closed their doors. The American Legion and the Elks Home did not open and Civitan erected flags, with black ribbons donated by Roth's Department store flew at half-staff after being hoisted at daybreak. Many churches open for prayer and special meditations. Battery B of Mt. Vernon took part in the State's tribute at the War Memorial in Indy when ten enlisted men and Captain Bill Loehr joined other units in firing a 21 gun salute. Several days of mourning and as we stayed glued to our TV sets watching on live TV Jack Ruby rush in and kill Lee Harvey Oswald as he was being transferred. I watched as did the nation almost all the coverage until the President was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery. The world changed dramatically at that point in time in Dallas, Texas.

Evansville Couple in Dallas When President is Murdered....1963

Dallas "the city of pride" soon would be known, rightly so as the 'city of shame" following the assassination of President Kennedy. Mr. and Mrs. Stanly Atkinson were there only six blocks away when it happened. They were able to observe the reaction of a shocked and stunned city. "Within 30 to 40 minutes after the shooting, most of the stores were closed and the streets had been cleared. I don't know what happened to the traffic, but it was practically non-existent," said Atkinson. The Indiana couple were at Nieman-Marcus and were passing a Christmas display of radio and television sets. "I noticed a large group around a tiny transistor TV set, and I thought there must be some sort of demonstration. But there was something about the crowd. I walked over and they were telling the President had been shot," he said. He found his wife, who "didn't believe it," but when she went to the beauty salon, the news had reached there that the President was dead, and appointments were canceled. "The whole city was in a state of emergency," he said. "There were police all over the place. Everything just stopped. I never saw such a drastic change in my life in a group of people. I saw thousands of people and no one smiled."

September 1963

First fabricated material from B&W rolls out of the plant on railroad car bound for an electric power co-operative in Arizona...

Ex-Oliphant Edifice Becomes a Apartment.....May 1963

Conversion began of the Oliphant medical center on the northwest corner of East Seventh and Mulberry streets. The fire proof Dr. Frank Oliphant building will be converted into five apartments - two efficiency, one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment will be located on the first floor and two two-bedroom apartments on the second floor.

Uncle Jack and Aunt Kay.....1963

Jack and Aunt Kay were professional clowns at the inaugural 1963 CD Festival.

Anne Doane Sketches Displayed at High School.....1963

In December of 1960, Anne Doane presented to Mt. Vernon High School 31 felt pen sketches of earlier school buildings in the Mt. Vernon area. For three years they were stored in the school library until the Gamma Psi chapter Kappa Kappa Kappa had the unique drawings framed and displayed in the library. Finally the beautiful framed and well executed drawings could be enjoyed by everybody. Hugh W. Price, superintendent of the Mt. Vernon Metropolitan School District said the gift "enriched our school and our culture." The sketches were of the following school buildings: Central (1910-1945); Dunn, Booker T. Washington, Mt. Vernon High (1896-1929); Brewery Hill; Spencer, St. Matthew's parochial; Cronbach, Gill; Thompson, Springfield; Upton, Mt. Vernon High (1870-1887); Main St. High (1887-1896); Jeffries; Hartmann; Caborn; Smith; Martin; Farmersville; Miller; West Franklin; College Point; Black (Point Twp.); Lawrence (Point Twp.); Greathouse; Lawrence (Marrs Twp.); Western in Mt. Vernon; Grafton, Stucky and Walker in Savah.

Some 1963 Highlights.....

Just the facts, ma'am...

  • Police warned public that they will seize BB guns of persons caught shooting them in town. You'll put your eye out.
  • Lindleys purchase Sam's Tasty Treat Drive-In on East Fourth and Wood from Dennis Noon.
  • Dust explosion in the finishing area of General Electric which blew off a section of siding on the building.
  • Upshaws buy Gentil's Cafe at 132 East Second. Upshaws were also the owners of the Friendly Cafe 108 West Second.
  • Moonlight bowling at Posey Lanes where blue pin is the head pin. A strike on the blue pin awards the bowler a silver dollar. Nineteen were given away the first night.
  • Jaycees Baseball Diamond completed at the foot of the Junior High School.
  • A dog mascot at B&W named, "Hobo" was killed by a car. He arrived when construction workers began erecting the buildings and the men cared and loved the dog. He was around the grounds at all hours, welcoming each shift and walking with the guards. Grown men wept at the loss.
  • The graduating class of 1913 came back to Mt Vernon along with other alumni to see the new school. They were welcomed by two old timers, principal Charles Hames and teacher Catherine Howard. Memory candles were lit and songs were sung. Flowers were sent by the oldest MV living grad, Jeannie Wade of the class of 1883, then 98 years old. The oldest attending graduate was Mrs. N. Williams of the class of 1896.

J&J Donates New Cemetery Flagpole.....1963

Old Glory floated from a new 40 foot metal flagpole in a new location in Bellefontaine Cemetery that spring for Memorial Day thanks to J&J Welding Works in Mt. Vernon. A recent high wind had toppled the old pole. The new one was placed in the flat marker section and was visible from highways.

Breeze's Greenhouse Closes After 51 years.....1963

Mrs. Ernest Breeze worked with her husband there for 18 years and estimated she made over 6000 corsages during that period. They were second generation horticulturists and florists, succeeding Mr. Breeze's father, Covington who ran the business for 33 years. The greenhouses on North Mill had 2000 square feet of glass. Two were for flowers and one for plants. At one time they had a building on West 7th Street.

Civitan Flags on Veteran's Day.....1963

Mt. Vernon Screw Factory.....1963

Athletic Park early 60's

Memories. Those were the days...Merchants, Flopsy Philips, Bill Benthall, all ballgames (softball and baseball in one location) and a free ice cream for just working the field. What a life! Were we lucky or not? Those wool Little League uniforms of the Retailers, Lions, Elks, Jaycees....Manual scoreboard down first base line. Pole and track on the field. Wooden bats, Tiny Waller umpiring.....chasing down foul balls for a soda at Double I League games. I think lights first came in 1954. I can recall gasoline poured on infield and set afire to dry diamond for a game. Little League Baseball was actually started in MV by MV Democrat sportswriter Bill Causey who paid for much of the early equipment himself. He would put the season stats in the paper and write ups of most games. He was a poet also. No one mentioned the cinder track. For those youngsters reading this, cinders are what are left in a coal burning furnace. They look like black, exploded, rocks covered with sharp edges. If you fell down on the track there was no way you would come up without bleeding or at least covered with scrapes.

Future U. S. Senator Birch Bayh Visits Mt. Vernon.....1962

In the midst of the Cuban missile crisis, Terre Haute native Democrat Birch Bayh dropped by for a campaign visit. He had breakfast with party leaders at The Parkett Drive-In and then spoke to around 100 at the Democratic Headquarters at 213 Main Street. This was his second visit, the first being a fund-raising dinner a year ago. He spoke of President Kennedy and his efforts to rid the world of Cold War tensions. He hit his opponent Homer Capehart on trying to play politics with human lives in foreign policy. Bayh also visited local stores and shook hands on the sidewalks with voters. Bayh had a good career serving in the Senate from 1963-1981. He was influential in the passing of Title IX, giving women equal opportunities in public education. He was the principal architect of two constitutional amendments: the 25th and the 26th. The latter allowed 18 year olds to vote which was of great interest to young people during that time being drafted into the military. He intended to run for President in 1972, but his wife came down with cancer. His name was important for two other issues that never passed being the Equal Rights Amendment and the elimination of the Electoral College. He is the father of Evan Bayh who served as Governor and Senator of Indiana.

Reserve Cheerleaders 1962-1963

Mary Ann Watson, Patty Crooks, Susan Dixon, and Debby Feldbush. Debby Boarman gave me this picture from her scrapbook. Sure are some long skirts......such a shame. :>)

Working On 8th Street Culvert.....1962

The culvert under Eighth Street and a portion of new Mill Creek tube were connected in August, 1962. The concrete tile (left center) would be used for the manhole and the two tall poles (top) anchor the tube into position. The city hoped to recover over 11 acres of land when the Mill Creek is enclosed in a tube from Eighth Street to the river.

How Death of Teammate Affected Me.....July 1962

When I was in youngster of 12 a baseball teammate of mine, Jesse Adams drowned in the Ohio River on a Saturday afternoon around Independence Day. Jesse was the son of Frank Adams and was an excellent athlete; unfortunately, he could not swim. He went to the Highbanks with five other older boys. Jesse was wading and went under and the older boys were unable to locate him. Young Adams lived on East Second Street and the funeral was held at the Free Will Baptist Church. All his teammates, all white went to his funeral. They had us sit in the choir pews up front. This was quite a moving experience! All of us white children sitting in a black church with a black congregation at a time when I was just beginning to hear about "racial trouble" in the deep South. Of course, racism existed here too, but I didn't know it at the time. Mt. Vernon had a small black population then as it does today; but I had always gone to Hedges Central with black students and had played sports with them. The ministers who officiated the funeral made a big deal of us being there in support of our friend and there was lots of crying and wailing and nodding going on. I was brought up Baptist and if someone gave a real loud Amen we got tense. LOL. This was over the top. Everyone was nice to us though, and shook our hands and thanked us for coming. As the years went by and I learned about Jim Crow laws and segregation, I looked back on this time as a learning experience and to older blacks that day, I think it was important to them also. As I know more about American and local history, the changes in attitudes come slowly, but most of us evolve to do the right thing.

New Harmony's Gates Dedicated May 1962

Father Rapp would have been amazed...

Four T33 Jets Can't Find Mt. Vernon.....May 1962

Four T-33 jets, scheduled a "fly over" on a Friday evening, somehow missed the city. Scores of Mt. Vernon residents braved the sweltering heat on porches and lawns vainly watching the heavens for the planes. Major Frank Current, Evansville group commander of Civil Air Patrol in southwestern Indiana said the jets swooped low over Evansville and Henderson, Kentucky as planned and disappeared in the direction of Mt. Vernon for nearly seven minutes. He's puzzled too about the non-appearance over Mt. Vernon. It was like they disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle as the flight was scheduled some five months ago. "They should know the route", the Major said, "They've been there before." He promised an investigation of the errant flight.

MT. Vernon.....May of 1962

Let's start with 123 graduates of MVHS departing on buses for a trip to Nashville Tennessee to see the Hermitage and the Confederate museum. It was also the month the Wildcats' six game baseball winning streak came to an end when future NFL Hall of Famer, Bob Griese, of Rex Mundi pitches a two hitter and shuts us out. Babcock and Wilcox broke ground that month and the Mt. Vernon city plan commission approved a layout of a new Park Ridge residential district west of town. Keck Motor Company celebrated 50 years in Mt. Vernon that year and announced they had sold 15,587 automobiles during that time. I played American Legion baseball against him once. He was a great athlete. Mike Minton was another RM star of that time. The Monarchs advanced very high in basketball in 64. Remember when we stalled against them and lost 26-24 in the Sectional? That is the lowest scoring game in the last 50 years! It was 14-13 at the end of the third quarter.

Navy Awards Contract to New MV Plant.....April 196

The Babcock and Wilcox Company announced plans to construct a new plant in Mt. Vernon and be awarded a contract for around $1 million to manufacture six combat-type marine boilers for three of the United States Navy's new class "amphibious transport dock" ships. A boiler division spokesman revealed that the production schedule calls for the fabrication of steam drums, headers and related pressure parts. The ships will be constructed in Brooklyn, New York.

Sprinter Gary Carr.....1962

Back when I was in junior high on Canal Street, I would go down the hill to Athletic Park to watch the high school play baseball and track teams run. I remember Mike Stewart, the greatest overall MV athlete I ever saw in four sports compete. He could win a track meet all by himself. There was this sprinter though who caught my eye - Gary Carr. He was so swift running on that cinder track and he made the worst possible face as he ran; he looked in complete agony. I saw him win a regional title in the 440 yard dash at Evansville's Enlow Field one year. I believe he won that event a couple of years along with Sectional wins. He went on to compete in college and was known to peddle a bicycle from St. Louis to Mt. Vernon years later.

This was fun back in 1962!

The pitching machine did not have a ball coming out of a chute like you see today, but had a arm you could follow and when it got over the top it would push it towards you. They had wooden bats too. I loved watching the high school kids take their cuts and sometimes the Double I Leaguers too.

Grand Opening of Ed's North Side Market.....1962

?"The Superette", 819 Main Street held its grand opening in 1962. For three days festivities were held with registry for free prizes by owner, Charles (Ed) Moll. The prized included 10 baskets of groceries and a charcoal grill. Balloons and candy were given to the children and a Colonial Bread merry-go-round was installed outside the store by that big tree for the celebration. A representative of the Swift Company spoke and demonstrated different cuts of beef. The building underwent a face lifting and interior decoration in March and April following its acquisition by Moll. I was a patrol boy back in those days and I would spend my 50 cents each day here buying Topps Baseball cards. The 1962's were wood grained looking. They always remind me of that store.

End Comes to Distinguised Posey County Judge Herdis Clements.....1962

"Here comes the judge"....judge Clements that is. The eminent jurist of Posey-Gibson Circuit Court and then Posey Circuit Court for 37 years and two months died of a heart seizure at his home. He would soon have been 91 years of age and when he retired from the judicial bench in 1946 he had completed the longest tenure of that time than any judge of a major court in Indiana. He was an orphan at age ten, but by age 16 he was teaching school and became postmaster of Cynthiana (his native community). He began practicing law in 1896, and served as representative in the Indiana General Assembly. He also was a professor in Indiana University College of Law and Mayor of Mt. Vernon for one term beginning in 1904. He was married for 69 years to the former Fannie French of Lynn Township. Following his retirement from the judicial bench he helped form the legal firm of Clements & McClellan and continued as the senior member until his death. He was a Democratic leader in our community and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It was said that under his direction the Posey court had a certain formality to it minus the stiffness and there was dignity without pompousness and the legal decorum was free from awkward constraint. He believed strongly that "every man is entitled to his day in court." He was known as a sincere Christian and had love for his fellowmen. His home for over 50 years was at 723 Mulberry. He was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery. On his 90th birthday, Carl Shrode, the retired principal of Evansville Central wrote a poem of him. I will conclude with the last few stanzas of the poem: "I do recall long talks with you; in which we did decades review. And talked of deeds and politics; while we put in some right good licks. No doubt, like you, I like the show; and would like to see more before I go. While man proposes -gives the nod; the outcome of all lies with God. So happy birthday and no sorrow; Life is too brief to dread tomorrow. I hope to come to see you soon; while younger men go to the moon.

Gentil's Restaurant Terminates Half Century Serving Mt. Vernon.....1962

Gentil's Restaurant at 132 East Second, long a family tradition was leased in January to John Hester of 1202 North Main Street. August Gentil and his wife Martha operated their first Mt. Vernon restaurant, known as The Shadow at Third and Main Streets. August also operated restaurants successively at 109 West Second, 303 Main, 108 West Second, and a few other places. After August passed in 1957, Mrs. Gentil continued with her son Elvis at the East Second location, now home to the Mt. Vernon Democrat office. She died in 1961, and the family business went to Elvis. After the death of his parents, Elvis lost interest and went to work at Bucyrus-Erie in Evansville. The name Gentil's remained under Hester who closed down his Hester's Grocery on East Water to manage the restaurant.

Sitting Governor Speaks at Chamber of Commerce Meeting.....1962

In the past sometimes a Governor would come to dedicate a public works or a new industry, but to my knowledge it was unusual to have one come just to speak without running for office. At the invitation of Bill Keck, president of the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Matthew Welch (D) did just that at a reception at the Elks Home. Welch was not the most popular governor in Indiana history; in fact he was called, "Sales Tax Matt" on billboards, bumper stickers, and painted barns during his one term. He came into office with a deficit of over $18 million and he decided to pay this off with a sales tax which ruined his chances for reelection, but put us on the path out of the red. License plates started appearing on the front of cars that said, "Welcome to Indiana-Land of Taxes."

Carl "Windy " Wade.....1962

Pitched 2 no-hitters in American Legion baseball. Struck out 22 hitters in 9 innings over Petersburg Legion. In high school he pitched two consecutive no-hitters. College scholarship to Indiana State, but developed arm problems. Became my wife's fifth grade teacher at Farmersville Elementary.

Remembering Ole Diz and The Baseball Game of the Week.....1962

When I was growing up everything stopped on Saturday afternoon to watch baseball on TV. You see back in the late 50's an early 60's, "The Game of the Week," was the game of the week....the only game. Usually a Yankee game and then in September we again watched usually the Yankees in the World Series. Now Dizzy was something ex 30 game winner with the Gas House Gang. He would pitch every other game down the stretch if you wanted him too. Born in Arkansas he didn't have much education, but he had all the smarts and confidence in the world on the mound. There are a million quotes of his just like Yogi Berra, Satchel Paige, or Casey Stengel. He was injured by a line drive in the toe one all-star game, came back too early and hurt his arm losing his velocity. Finally he became a broadcaster and was on television with Pee Wee Reese. Pee Wee didn't get to talk all that much as Diz would be telling us about "hump back quails, blue darters to center, how a batter slid into third and calling Pee Wee "Partner." We loved him in his white fedora hat and string tie sitting in front of a Falstaff beer sign singing the "Wabash Cannonball" during the 7th inning stretch. Sometimes he would talk about shooting turkeys in Mississippi or catching a string of fish in the river. He was unique. At Sportsman's Park in St. Louis I got to see him and he signed my scorecard as did batting champion Tommy Davis and Dodger manager Walter Alston. "Will you please sign my scorecard Mr. Dean?......"Why sure partner hand it here kid."......Thanks Diz!

Photo of the Confederate engine "The General" in Mt. Vernon ...1962. Sent to me by Toni Knisley, former classmate now living in Maryland

The General is on display in Kennesaw, Georgia at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. The train made many stops during the 1960's for the centennial of the Civil War. In 1964 it was at the New York World's Fair.

Wavy and the General.....1962

My sister Phyllis and I in my little league hat (Jaycees) take a look at the Confederate "General" when it came to Mt. Vernon in early 60's.

Roth's Department Store Opens.....December 1961

The spacious edifice, the largest building to be erected for a retail store in almost half a century opened in December. Its exterior had the appearance of brick and ceramic tile with an abundance of glass show windows. Located at Third and Main it was managed by Jim Atkins who is a partner of four other stores in the Midwest.

Mt. Vernon Students Receive T.B. Patch Tests.....December 1961

Two hundred and eighty-four 10th, 11th, and 12th grade pupils of Mt. Vernon High School took advantage of the Posey County Tuberculosis Assn.'s offer of free tuberculin patch tests. The number represented 65% of the enrollment of the three grades. Parental consent was necessary for pupils to receive the test. Mt. Vernon physicians will read the test four days later and positive re-actors will be supplied parents and arrangements will be made for x-ray diagnosis. Pupils of New Harmony and North Posey High Schools will get their tests soon.

Unclaimed Freight Moves to Downtown.....October 1961

The Unclaimed Freight Store used to be at 1000 on North Main Street. It was operated by Guy Edwards who came from Evansville and resided on Audubon Drive in Mt. Vernon. In the fall of 1961 he moved to 208 Main which was the F.B. Schenk Hardware Company building. Edwards leased it from the owner of that time...David Hasting. Hasting in turn moved his Skell Gas Service and large appliance department to the Hasting Equipment Company on West Fourth and Mill Streets.

Parking Curtailed on Fourth and Main.....October 1961

The Indiana Highway Department approves a recently enacted Mt. Vernon ordinance to eliminate parking in the area of the Fourth and Main Street intersection involving Indiana 62 and Indiana 69 so as to permit installation of turn lanes. New traffic signals were eventually installed providing "turn" signals as well as "stop" and "go" lights. The ordinance eliminates parking on the right side of the streets leading into the intersection for distances ranging from 140 to 100 feet from the intersection. The Works and Safety Board also approved the tubing of Mill Creek between Seventh and Eighth streets and implemented that our water bill be combined with the sewage bill. Under the new law, water users must pay sewage charges when they pay water charges.

Parking Curtailed on Fourth and Main.....October 1961

The Indiana Highway Department approves a recently enacted Mt. Vernon ordinance to eliminate parking in the area of the Fourth and Main Street intersection involving Indiana 62 and Indiana 69 so as to permit installation of turn lanes. New traffic signals were eventually installed providing "turn" signals as well as "stop" and "go" lights. The ordinance eliminates parking on the right side of the streets leading into the intersection for distances ranging from 140 to 100 feet from the intersection. The Works and Safety Board also approved the tubing of Mill Creek between Seventh and Eighth streets and implemented that our water bill be combined with the sewage bill. Under the new law, water users must pay sewage charges when they pay water charges.

Torrential Rains Hamper Carnival.....May 1961

The Sol's Greater Shows Carnival, playing Mt. Vernon at East Fourth and Kimball streets, sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Board of Aviation was having a hard time keeping its head above water. Plagued by heavy rains, crowds were down where the Aviation Board is to receive a share of proceeds for the maintenance of the Mt. Vernon Airport. With the aid of the city, water was being pumped from the show grounds and show and rides will be operating nightly through Saturday closing. All rides were a Roosevelt dime.

MVHS Dedication.....February 1961

The new high school replacing the one on Canal Street was dedicated in the 1182 seat auditorium with a large program. The school built at a cost of $2.5 million is a beautiful building with a large gym and every modern need to educate our young. Following the address from Dr. Lawrence Pound, Professor of Education at Purdue University, an open house was held. The new cafeteria with its glass sided dining area in the courtyard provided a 280 pound red school house cake.

Noon's Dairy Queen Adds New Dining Area.....February 1961

A new dining area was erected at East Fourth and Wood Streets for the Noon Dairy Queen. Also there was an expanded menu of steaks and some seafood. The progress included and enlarged kitchen and an additional dining room on the south side of the building. Samuel Noon designed the new addition, measuring 15 by 34 feet and Amos Copeland contracted the block and glass construction at the front of the original building. Furnishings of the new section included ten tables and 40 chairs with the Formica top tables in primrose yellow and the chrome chairs upholstered in turquoise.

Junior's Skating Rink Burns.....January 1961

Located on Highway 69 North this wonderful recreation site for young people was erected in 1948. Owned and operated by Leo Angermeier Jr., the 60x138 foot structure was a total loss of over $100,000 as the terrific heat twisted the structure into pretzel shapes. A previous fire in 1956 resulted in a $40,000 restoration. The fire was discovered in the early morning hours by Lloyd Overfield who resided nearby. I was eleven when this happened and I was heartbroken. I loved skating every Saturday afternoon to the fifties hits, enjoying a frozen snicker bar or a coke and hoping to get my nerve up to ask the girl I was sweet on to hold my hand for one song as we moved around the oval. If not I would "shoot the duck" or play the "hokey pokey" game. They also had a four corner game. Those were some really good times!

Fire at Brite Motor Sales....January 27, 1961.

Heavy damage resulted in a fire confined to the interior of the Brite Motor Sales building at West Third and College Avenue. The flames did not break through the roof of the 2 1/2 story building, thanks to quick response by the local fireman.

Civil War Train Visits Mt. Vernon.....1961

The Louisville & Nashville Railroad's "The General" visited Mt. Vernon on the occasion of a meeting of the Civil War Roundtable of the Vanderburgh County Court House. Bish Thompson, an Evansville Press columnist, recited the history to the crowd assembled. Built in 1855 in New Jersey it was used to carry freight and passengers from Atlanta to Chattanooga before the Civil War. It is now preserved in the Southern Museum of Civil War in Georgia.

Horse Riders Banned from Athletic Park....1961

The Metropolitan School District of Mt. Vernon decided that Athletic Park is not the place to be riding horse over the baseball, football and track facilities. Holes can be dug in the field they felt which could not be seen in the grass causing injuries to school athletes. Pretty good idea, wonder why it took them over 40 years to change it? That's not even mentioning all that other crap; but, I did.

Conscience Bothers Thief...Returns Loot.....1961

A 19 year old Evansville youth walked from Evansville to the Mt. Vernon Police Station to return four wheel disks stolen from the Thunderbird of Robert Imsande of 721 East Lincoln. "My conscience bothered me and I felt I should return what I had taken," he said. In December weather of snow and rain the man walked for over eight hours from the east side of Evansville to Mt. Vernon. Because of his honesty, neither police nor Mr. Imsande filed a theft charge. The items were stolen from the auto parked at Posey Lanes on December 21st.

Cross Country Becomes Mt. Vernon's Sixth Varisity Sport.....1961

For decades, Mt. Vernon only had at 3 to 5 sports in high school. There was football, basketball, track, and baseball. For thirteen years 1917-1930 there was girls' basketball and for a few years we had no football; but had fall baseball as well as spring. In 1960 we added wrestling and in 1961 cross country. It would not be until the mid-1970's that girls' sports would appear. The first CC team was coached by Jim Solomon and the roster included Jim Estes, Mike Jones, David Jones, Alan Ackman, Paul Rohlman, Gary Porter, Steve Lowrey, Gary Carr,Carl Wade, Oscar Fingers, and future mayor John Tucker. Ackman and Carr became outstanding track men and went on to great success at Southern Illinois University. Wade had several no-hitters in baseball and had scholarship to Indiana State. Fingers was an all-around good athlete. Bob DeKemper was the student manager and Bill Newman was the athletic director.

Santa Arrives.....1961

Schenk Hotel.....1961

Schenk Hotel, formerly the St Claire Hotel. When destroyed it made room for Roth's Department Store. Now site of Fifth Third Bank at corner of Third and Main. Back in the 1870's it was run by William Nettleton who sold his interest in 1880 to Pete Walter who rapidly sold it to Nicholas Joest for $5026. Some of the other owners were Munchoff and Schenk. In 1879 it was remodeled and it gave meals to its residents along with free transportation to the railroad depot and the city boat wharf.

Local Firms have Growing Pains.....1961

Charles Blakley, manager of the P.N. Hirsch store said his firm is interested in a new location in Mt. Vernon which will have a larger shopping area for more effective display of expanding stock. The Hirsch firm purchased in 1959 the Model Department store from the Goldmans who operated it for a number of years. The Western Auto store then at 225 Main was a growing firm retailing auto accessories, home appliances, sporting goods, batteries and tires. It had operated for the past 14 years in the Andriakos building and in recent months it expanded in the building for a service department in the Percy Brite auto store. The former Redman Paint Store building at 224 Main was razed in July to provide a more spacious site for the Roth's Department store building under erection. James Atkins of the Roth firm said that a part of the former Redman building site would be included in the basement area of the new store.

Our New School by Jewel Burris.....1961

"As I sat up there before the crowd; I couldn't help a feeling proud. That I, an uneducated man, this massive school had helped to plan. Proud too, of students and their pride, of this fine school, they couldn't hide. Proud of Mr. Bryant and his great band-about the best in this free land. Proud of Miss Lawrence and all her troops; seldom have I heard a better group. Proud of Mr. Novak and his teens so fine; would that they all were mine. Proud of Mrs. Allen, the way she can sing; My, oh, my how the tones did ring. Proud of the faculty most of all. Without them, education soon would fall. Proud of Mr. Price who set the pace, not knowing the criticism he'd have to face. Proud of the ministers, their prayers to God. Have led us along the paths we've tread. I could have stood and yelled aloud! People, I'm really and truly proud. That I, an uneducated man, this massive school had helped to build."

Skating Rink on College Avenue....Hmm, News to Me.....1961

I was roller skating a lot in those days...until Junior's burned in January of 1961 that was located on Highway 69 North. I guess this took over for a while, but I don't remember it, It was located at 218 College, right next door to the Mt. Vernon Creamery. I have no memory of you?

"Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree".....November 1960

A 35-40 foot Community Christmas tree was erected on the Courthouse Square. Sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Peoples Bank & Trust is selling bulbs at a quarter each for the public to help light the tree.

Bobby Kennedy speaks at the Courthouse, September 1960.

8:16 in the morning and spoke for about 20 minutes before heading to Evansville, Rockport and Jasper. He was introduced by Rep. Denton and spoke on east side of courthouse. He spoke on the issues rather than "What church my brother attends on Sunday." Kennedy told a crowd of 250 that his brother would follow an "absolute principle of the separation of church and state." He was given an official escort into Mt. Vernon by County Sherriff Edmond Rutledge at the invitation of County Chairman Loren Johnson. He departed for Evansville at 8:47 a.m. Chairman Johnson praised the excellent turnout on short notice and the early morning hour and said that was "evidence of Democratic enthusiasm in Posey County." In November however; Nixon defeated Kennedy in Posey County 5369 to 4457.

On September 1, 1960 E.B. Schenk Hardware at 208 Main Street celebrated their 90th anniversary without ceremony

The firm was founded in 1870 by Eberhardt B. Schenk an early influential citizen of Mt. Vernon. Schenk started in his father's hotel business for a few years at the old Union Hotel but then became engaged in the pump and steam pipe business keeping stock of stoves, tin and hardware. Good Democrat.

Anniversary.....September, 1960

On September 1, 1960 E.B. Schenk Hardware at 208 Main Street celebrated their 90th anniversary without ceremony. The firm was founded in 1870 by Eberhardt B. Schenk an early influential citizen of Mt. Vernon. Schenk started in his father's hotel business for a few years at the old Union Hotel but then became engaged in the pump and steam pipe business keeping stock of stoves, tin and hardware. Good Democrat.

Echo 1 in Local Sky.....August 22, 1960

Back then we were fascinated by space. People ran outside to view Sputnik and we watched all the Gemini space launches starting with monkeys and then Alan Shepard's short trip. That summer the papers told us when objects in space would appear like: Look to the southern horizon at 2:45 a.m. This communications satellite made six passes over the Tri-s State area and the Democrat office interviewed people as to what they saw. "It looked like a big star with the naked eye." Thrilling wasn't it?

Independence Day.....1960

Many things to do then: Mt. Vernon Drive In Theater applied the Mt. Vernon area customary fireworks. A sizable display of set pieces, aerial rockets and bombs fired at 10 PM. The movie that day was Cash McRail with James Garner and Natalie Wood.

There was also the Junker Bros and Massey Furgeson Field Day staged on both sides of Indiana 62 on west outskirts of town. Old steam engine thresher demonstrations using former farming methods. Vocalists and instrumental musicians entertained along with Ruth Schneider reigning as Farm Queen.

The largest celebration was the Kiwanis Community Park Carnival and Pit Barbeque with was held at Kiwanis Park on West Eighth Street. Menu of BB ribs and shoulder, baked beans and cole slaw. Music by the MVHS band. Hotdogs, hamburgers, ice cream, cotton candy, pop corn, snow balls and soft drinks also available. So was a dunking machine. 2200 pounds of ribs were cooked. In 1959 an estimated 8,000 people attended with concessions of $1200.

Baseball Hits Auto...Mailman is Injured.....July 1960

Benny Newman, 35, a substitute carrier of the Mt. Vernon post office had a glass particle removed from his eye at the office of a local physician after a baseball had shattered the windshield of the post office truck he was operating. The mishap occurred at College Avenue and West Eighth as Newman was picking up mail from collection boxes. The ball in play was by a group of youngsters and hit the windshield of the truck. I bet they all ran a dozen different ways.

Ambassador of Nationalist China Visits Mt. Vernon.....June 1960

Dr. Kung Chao Yeh, ambassador to U.S. from the Republic of China and later the Foreign Minister of the Chinese Nationalist Government on the mainland and the island on Taiwan was the speaker at the First District Medical Society at the Farm Bureau Co-op Park. 150 medical people attended. He was a distinguished diplomat, teacher, doctor, and author and was the guest of Dr. William Challman whom he had met during the second world war. Just weeks prior to coming here he took part in President Eisenhower's visit to Formosa. He will leave following his speech to Washington D.C.

Paul Mason Hurls Nohitter-Advance Drillers win.....June 1960

The Advance Drillers were an elite Little League All-Star team that I had the privilege of playing one year with in the early 60's. They were coached by Ron Bennett and Jackson Higgins. We would play county schools like Wadesville, Cynthiana, St.Wendel, New Harmony etc. Most years we were undefeated and then they would take us to old Sportsman's Park in St. Louis to see the Cardinals play. I so remember the good times sitting in left field hollering at Dodger outfielder Wally Moon to throw us a baseball and getting Dizzy Dean's autograph on a scorecard when he came in once for a Game of the Week broadcast. On this particular afternoon Paul Mason a fine righthander struck out 16 Poseyville batters, just one short of the all time Driller record of 17 by Eddie Howard as the Drillers stomped the Poseyville Kiwanis 16-0 in six innings. Mason, Perry Hobby and Mark Nix all had three hits. J. Wiggins was the only Poseyville baserunner with a walk. Mason and Howard would team up again in high school and in their senior year would lose only two games.

Custom Farm Services.....May 1960

The fertilizer blending and general fertilizer sales plant is located on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, between the lower Mt. Vernon-New Harmony road and North Mill Street, handles a complete line of dry and liquid fertilizers in bag, bulk and tank. The firm offered delivery and land application service. Anhydrous ammonia is in tank storage.

May of 1960

In May of 1960 Mt. Vernon pitcher Dale Smith hurled a three hitter, fanning 14 as the Wildcats defeated the Bosse Bulldogs 7-2 at Athletic Park. Frankie Adams and John Price each had three hits. The most strike outs I have ever found for a Mt. Vernon high school pitcher for seven innings work was 18 I believe in 1948 by Isham. Was his name Bennie? I think.

Avalon.....April 1960

The Avalon steamer was back for romantic moonlight excursions to Evansville and back, April 23 and 24th of 1960. Adults $1.75, Child 75 cents.

Payne's Barber Shop.....1960

This was where I would get flat tops as a kid. It was in the Gerber's Shopping Center where auto parts store is today on east Fourth Street. At that time it had a barber shop on the end and a laundromat next to it. Would go in sit in the long line of chairs with the huge stack of comic books piled up in the middle. Would get the flat top and you bought this little plastic thing that fit on your middle finger to keep the front waxed up like a little comb. What was that stuff beeze wax? Came in a can didn't it? Anyway, wasn't long after that came the Beatles and no more short hair. The barber shop became a good pizza joint ( think it was called Wanda's first and predecessor I believe of Dean's). Got a lot of pies there until they tore the place down for the first CVS Store. It had a different name then what was it?

Brittlebank Park.....1960

The park on the west side of Mt. Vernon that contains tennis courts, baseball and softball diamonds, a playground , a picnic area, and a community outdoor swimming pool is a gift from a great benefactor, Mr. Julius Brittlebank. He only lived in Mt. Vernon for three years in the late 1880's, but bequeathed the town a large share of $325,000 for a park. The will of the late Charleston, South Carolina broker created a trust fund late in life and after paying the trust for some 21 years to his son, the principle was to be divided between Charleston, Mt. Vernon and Terre Haute for the establishments of Brittlebank parks. Brittlebank was once an executive of the Hudnut Milling Company. He died July 25, 1937. While here he was prominent in the Knights of Pythias and a leading figure in social circles, a gentleman of marked refinement and culture. His residence for the majority of the time he lived here was at the Kahn Hotel. While on his 18th trip around the world he suffered a heart attack aboard the steamship President Polk near Honolulu, Hawaii. He was born in Terre Haute in 1859.

GE Tours.....1960's

I don't know if they still do these tours or not to what now is the Sabic Corporation. When General Electric was new to Mt. Vernon as was the new high school on Harriet Street there would be tours of the plant of the top scholars of the local high schools near the end of the school year. Usually 40 or so scholars from MVHS, North Posey, and New Harmony high schools would participate. They would go out and see the process of manufacturing the Lexan polycarbonate resin made at the facility. They would be met by all the 'big wigs' like the quality control manager, manufacturing engineers, plant manager, etc. There would be a banquet and many faculty and school administrators would be there too like Hugh Price, then superintendent of the MV school district, Charles Hames, principal of MVHS; Earl Rapp, superintendent at New Harmony; Kenneth Woods, principal at New Harmony; Ivan Holen superintendent of North Posey, and Lloyd Hutchinson, principal at North Posey High School. Our yearbooks of my high school days always carried a picture of these events.

Western Hills.....1960's

When the Western Hills Country Club golf course was built, the greens and course were prepared by Guy Clark who continued on as resident golf pro for several years in the sixties, left and returned to his old job in 1971.

The Old Wade House circa 1960's

This was once the residence of Mrs. Jennie Wade who died at age 101 in 1966. Historically, this property dates back to times when Mt. Vernon's primary source of income came from river traffic. In 1837 the original land owned by President William Henry Harrison was portioned off and this property was sold to George Walker who later sold the land to Morris Fuhrer in 1849. The house was built somewhere between 1849 and 1875 at 209 East Water Street. The house had many owners until 1904 when the Wades purchased it. Mrs. Wade was a descendant of early Mt. Vernon pioneer people. Her mother, Victoria Thomas was a member of a family who came here in 1813. Her father, Milton Lichtenberger was also an early resident. Mrs. Wade lived in this house until 1955 when she moved to College Avenue until later living in a sanitarium in Evansville her last eight years. Her husband's name was Albert. Several fireplaces exist in the structure and one was last used in 1964 when Mt. Vernon was struck with a severe snowstorm. The Cotner family was living there then and they cooked from that fireplace during the storm. During redecoration, the Cotner's found a few antiques including a book of music inscribed by Mrs. Wade.

Pee Wee League.....1960

Top: Jesse Stewart, Greg Seifert, Tony Lawrence, James Gibbs, John Meinschein, Mike Benton Middle: Richard Fischer, Dale Breeze, Steve Chambers, Rick "Stick" Russell, David Cox,, Rodger Hobby. Bottom: Steve Dausman, Ray Kessler, Billy Newman, Jim Rueger, Mac Fuhrer, Bruce Smith. This is how I became a White Sox fan. I played on the Sox Pee Wee League team and the Sox were in the World Series in 1959. We went to the Elks and saw the Sox/ Dodger World Series Film. I was hooked. Bill Causey was the sportswriter for the Democrat back then and he did a wonderful job covering sports. When was the last time you saw pitching and hitting records of all leagues in the paper? He founded MV Little League with his own money he bought equipment. He should be honored in this town some way. Anyway, for you stat nerds, if there are any I hit .381 that season, not bad, tops on my team, but only good for 19th place. Jeff Hartman led our league at .748 and Jim Rueger was the top pitcher that season going 6-0. In pony league however, I did finish second one year in hitting losing out to Rick Fischer on the last game.

Advance Drillers Open Season.....1960

The Drillers, defending Posey County Little League Champions, will open the season at Cynthiana. The squad is managed by Jackson L. Higgins and Coaches Ron Bennett and Gerald Phillips. This year's team consists of Perry Hobby, Jimmy Estes, Greg Davis, Paul Mason, Mark Nix, Steve Lowery, Richard Bryant, Ray Kessler, Charles Hopper, Jerry Dunigan, Warren Chambers, James Gunter, Jim Poshard, Billy Harp, Doug Lowery, Jack Kayser, Merl Potter, and Johnny Meinschein.

Custom Farm Services Opens.....1960

This is a fertilizer blending and general fertilizer sales plant located on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad between the Lower Mt. Vernon-New Harmony Road and North Mill Street. It handles a complete line of dry and liquid fertilizers in bag, bulk and tank and blends basic fertilizers in any formula desired by the user. The firm offers delivery and land application service also. Anhydrous ammonia, supplied by Mid-South Company is moved to Custom's through the company's local Ohio River terminal and is in tank storage.

Sunday Night Reality TV - Tri-State Ten Pins......Early 1960's

When I was in junior high, I bowled a lot with friends, especially Kenny Heath and Terry Utley. Ken worked at Posey Lanes in Mt. Vernon. I just lived a few blocks away from the bowling alley and bowled on Saturdays in a youth league. I remember Paul Brenner had the first 300 game at Posey Lanes. Well back then there was this television show on WTVW, Channel 7 on Sundays at 10:30 P.M. Many times when a local bowler I knew was on the show I would stay up to watch. I can remember Buck Linder, Darwin Jackson and Bill Walker on that tri-state bowling show. Seems to me they televised the show from either Franklin or Willow Lanes in Evansville. I loved Saturday morning bowling leagues. I even won a tournament in 1962. I just barely won over Utley in series after coming close to a perfect game in the first game. I say close because I bowled strikes the first eight frames. The seventh and eighth frames, the entire bowling alley stopped bowling to watch me. I got so nervous. At that time I had never bowled even a 200 game. In the ninth frame I hit the head pen perfect I thought and left the seven pin. I missed my spare. In the tenth I opened for a 245. I bowled a 278 years later, but never again would I start a game with 8 straight strikes. The tension was so great that I got an upset stomach the next two games and bowled just average. I was so proud of that little six inch trophy.

Exlyn Factory.....1960

I worked there a few months between my time at Evansville College and transferring to Murray State. I started as a stock boy at $1 an hour. I also became a meter man putting postage on packages for shipments. Later I made $1.50 an hour putting handles on umbrellas. My recollection is of a very poor product. The factory was mostly women who worked very hard....the place was buzzing with sewing machines.

Hominy Mill 1960's

For over one hundred years mills existed on this location. No longer do we smell what we children called, "popcorn" as we shopped downtown. The new waterfront is a turn in a different direction and a hope for rebirth of downtown in a new century.

Crossing Guards.....1960's

One of the things I did in elementary school was to be a patrol boy. Believe I was in the sixth grade at Hedges Central and was in Mr. Jeffries class. At lunch time and at the end of the day you would get out a little early and we would run down those slick halls with our taps on our engineer boots and slide ten to fifteen feet. Underneath the stairs we would pick up our cane poles with the little safety flag on the end of them. We had these white belts with a harness identifying ourselves as safety crossing guards. We would run down to our posts before the bell rang. I had two places to let students across. One was on Seventh and Main Streets. When everyone had passed, I would head up to North Side Market and spend my fifty cents for lunch on 5 cent packs of baseball cards. My meal was the bubble gum. My other duty station was on Sixth and Canal Streets. There was a series of six or seven steps at the crossing. While waiting on the students to approach, Terry Utley and I would broad jump the steps or use our poles for pole vaulting. Years later, about the time I graduated from high school, Mayor Gentil hired crossing ladies. He told the city council that they would be well integrated, and hired without thought of party affiliation, religion, or race. But, hey, how come I didn't get paid?

MV Arrives Home from Terre Haute With First Ever Superior Rating.....1960

Wish we could still do this.....1960

This showboat was bought by Indiana University and would put on Shakespeare and lighter plays along Indiana and Kentucky towns.

Stanley Vogel at Coliseum Pool.....1960

Posey Lanes to be Built.....1960

The site located on the Lower Mt. Vernon-New Harmony Road on the outskirts of Mt. Vernon adjacent to the Farm Bureau Refinery Golf Course was leased from Otis Allyn and Paul Rossi. Harold Schroeder, a contractor residing west of Evansville was the contractor of the concrete block building and the installation of 12 modern lanes. Work began in April and ended in August. Mrs. Earl Werne was the manager of the lanes.

Bowling Class For 26 Local Women.....1960

With the new Posey Lanes under construction twenty six local ladies started learning the game at Franklin Lanes in Evansville. The ladies were: Majorie Dremstedt, Dorothy Hendrix, Betty DeKemper, Wanda Hendrix, Wilma Heriges, Julia Schisler, Ann Ewing, Glenda Johnson, Rosemary Rowe, Minnie Moll, Hazel Hanshoe, Leon Moore, Betty McCarty, Dorris Whicker, Margaret Hessler, Betty Bauer, Mrs. Robert Imsande, Margaret Gillenwater, Jane Malone, Mildred Wagner, Joyce Wiggins, Janice Crider, Ester Uebelhack, Shawn Thomas and Mildred Lowman.

Bunnell and Davis.....1960

Tresslar's Buys Store They Had Leased.....1960

Tresslar's 5c to $1 Store purchased from the heirs of Louis Wasem, deceased, the Wasem building in the 400 block of Main Street which has been the location of Tresslar's since its establishment here in 1948. Commenting on the purchase, Paul Nuding, manager of the store said a store expansion and modernization program was planned for the near future. Nuding had been with the Tresslar's franchise since 1928. At that time Tresslar's had stores in Salem, Olney, Carmi (2), Rockport, Tell City, Oakland City, Bicknell, Spencer and Worthington in Indiana and Owensboro in Kentucky. Tresslars moved into the Wasem building after Niblo's Variety Store moved out, Wasem was a grocery back at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century.

Another One Down, Another One Bites the Dust.....1960

A new year began and James Atkins, owner of Roth's Department Store begins razing the old three story brick St. Nicholas hotel building on the southeast corner of Main and Third Streets next to the adjacent theater building. Irvin Wrecking of Evansville had the demolition contract. The building, shop and residential apartment building following many years as a hotel, occupies one of the most desirable downtown locations. At that time the theater building was not included in the razing program.

Dawson's General Store - Solitude 1960's

"Me and my good Buddy Weiser".....1960's

"Now this is a story about a man named." well, I can't tell you the name, but he was a prominent school teacher back around 50 years ago. You see it was New Year's Eve. The daughter of this teacher wanted to have a few friends over to celebrate. "No party young lady!" Finally, he came around; but, "No booze!" ..."Yes father, you and mom have a good night out." Soon as the door shut, kids started arriving and of course -with booze in hand. During the evening someone got sick and puked on a throw rug. They quickly put it in the washer and afterwards were going to put it in the dryer as her parents were on their way home earlier than expected. Opening the dryer door they found it was loaded with alcohol. The daughter was in panic and thinking it was her friends, she took it all and threw it into a nearby cornfield. Now here comes dad and he realized that his stash was gone he thought he had hidden and he blew his top. I wonder if he ever got it back.

Pony Express Rides Again.....1960

That summer the Mt. Vernon and New Harmony post offices joined in the observance of the centennial year of the Pony Express with a unique show. Mail bearing commemorative postage stamps was delivered starting at Smith School and was escorted to both post offices by the Mt. Vernon Community Saddle Club. The rider shown here is Warren Kishline from Mt. Vernon and the other was Thomas Hickman of New Harmony.

Balloonist at 4H Fair.....1960

For a hundred years in the papers I have read of these at the fairgrounds. In 1910 a balloon burst and a man fell to his death in Mt. Vernon.

The General ...came to MV around 1960

Now in Kennesaw Georgia....this was a confederate locomotive.

How Beautiful is This? Doane Photo ....1960's

Athletic Park.....early 1960's

I hated those posts and track on MY baseball field. I am so pleased they are gone. Right field would always flood and we had many a game washed out. I can remember watching Sunday Double I League games here and they would sometimes burn off the infield! Wasn't much of a concession also served as a backstop while warming up pitchers. (I did a lot of that). Springtime was always cold sitting on the bench after if Coach Jeffries needed to warm up a reliever I was glad to grab a mitt to generate some heat. The scoreboard was letters hung on a nail. But there were some great games there and many a big leaguer and minor league played on this field from the 1920's until today. Of course, today that field had drainage, larger grandstands, dugouts, batting cages, homerun fence, bullpen mounds, press looks good, And oh....grass infield. It is now quite beautiful and has even hosted post season games.

Astronomer Frederich Leonard Born in Mt. Vernon.....1896-1960

Born in Mt. Vernon in 1896 the family moved to Chicago around 1900 and from an early age Leonard was fascinated by the stars and was an active astronomer in his teen years. He organized a national society for amateur astronomers in 1909 and it lasted until 1919. By age 14 he was writing and drew attention from numerous publishers for his articles. He received his masters at the University of Chicago and graduate education at the University of California at Berkeley receiving his PhD in 1922. He then joined USC in Los Angeles as an instructor of astronomy which he headed until his death in 1960. He discovered at least 25 double stars then moved on to meteorites. In 1933 he founded the Society for Research on Meteorites now known as the Meteoritical Society and they accumulated a large collection of them. As a teacher, three of Leonard's pupils became planetarium directors. He had something to do with "Kuiper belt hypothesis involving the trans-Neptunian population"......Whew! The man was far out!

Major George Kimball Views President Lincoln in Death.....1865

Only a small amount of time existed between Appomattox and the assassination of President Lincoln, but a local Civil War soldier was a witness to one of the darkest hours in American history. As a young man of 22, Kimball caught glimpses of the grief as the thousands tried to intercept the funeral escort from the national capital with the body of the martyred president. In Indianapolis the column was military and civic headed by Mt. Vernon General Alvin P. Hovey chosen to represent Indiana to lead the throng to witness Lincoln at the capitol building in an unceasing rainstorm. General Hovey was in complete dress with military bearing. At the capitol rotunda the body of the President was laid upon its bier at the side and above an improvised platform of which people would pass by to view the body. Kimball stood in the rain, helpless from the elements and was approached by an older cousin of his, Major Jesse Walker of Evansville, who was "aide de camp" to General Hovey, and had in hand the details of the viewing. He asked Kimball if he would like to sit in a chair beside the body to which he consented. He was permitted to remain nearly two hours to witness the depicted look of the silent throngs of people passing in review without a sound. Two blue coated soldiers bearing arms with fixed bayonets stood on each end of the casket. The casket seemed to be some seven feet in length. Lincoln's body was in full dress, plain black. "The eyes were sunken deeply as if at much loss of vital blood at death. The limbs were long and slender, hands large and bony, veins not much distended. The facial features were somewhat drawn from natural causes, a small mole in the crease of the right cheek, the hair dark brown. I cannot recall the cut of the beard." Kimball saw only one demonstration and that was of a "colored" woman of middle age, "who gave way to much emotion and loudly exclaimed, "Oh Massa Lincoln" and attempted to pause, but was urged on. Kimball in 1933 at age 90 gave an address to the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club about what he saw as a young man. "To us who lived contemporaneously in that period it seemed crucifixion of a martyr for and to humanity. It was his destiny." The New Harmony Register in May 1868 said on the very morning Abe was assassinated, his son Robert Lincoln came into the room with a portrait of General Robert E. Lee in his hand. The President took the picture, laid it on the table before him, scanned his face and said, "It is a good face of a noble brave man. I am glad the war is over at last. I trust that the era of good feeling has returned with the close of the war, and that henceforth we shall live in peace. "

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Chilean Tourists Visit Refinery.....November 1959

The Mt. Vernon Farm Bureau Refinery was selected by the United States Department of Commerce as a model co-operation enterprise in the oil industry. A touring party from Chili representing management and labor in that country were guests for dinner here as well as a tour.

Bennett's Garden-Lawn and Gift Center Opens.....October 1959

This I guess was our town's first Gift and Gourmet Shop located on East Fourth Street. It had at that time sausages, cheeses, smoked fish, home baked breads, coffee cakes, pies, rolls...lots of goodies. Operated by Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Bennett it also had emphasis on gifts and toys. It catered to parties and sold ceramics and carvings and even brass items. It sold Christmas decorations and even guns and shells for hunters and fishing equipment. It had a landscaping service with stocks of shrubbery and garden bulbs, seeds and plants. It was nice to have a place that for in its time provided something a little out of the ordinary in a one stop service.

Seven Arrested In Raid On Dice Game....September 1959

A weekend raid by State Police trooper Jack Eads resulted in seven men being arrested for playing dice beneath the McFadden creek bridge on the Bluff Road east of Mt. Vernon. Each pleaded guilty and was fined $5 and costs each. Six were Mt. Vernon men and the other a former resident. The ages were from 18 to 60.

Future Mayor Gives Club A Newspaper Tour.....August 1959

Members of the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club were given a verbal tour of the Mt. Vernon Democrat plant at their noon luncheon in Hovey's old residence, the Elks Home, at which time Jackson L. Higgins, advertising manager of the Democrat, spoke on the subject, "Your Newspaper." Higgins was presented by former mayor, Frank Fessenden, production manager of The Democrat, who was the program chairman. Higgins explained briefly the intricate workings of a newspaper, including all departments necessary to produce the paper which arrives each evening bearing national, international, and local news. Jack spoke on how the material is gathered and prepared through local channels and United Press International teletype. He explained editing of all copy as well as head writing. He also went into detail on how pictures are prepared for printing. In the production portion of the daily paper, Higgins took the listeners through the plant explaining typesetting both by linotype and Ludlow machines, stereotyping, make-up, how advertisements were prepared and the final printing and delivery of the newspaper.

Shario Cafe Moves to Main Street...August 1959

The Shario Cafe of Mrs. Marie Curtis reopened in the Fischer building at 307 Main Street after moving from 419 West Third Street which was purchased by Attorney Steve Bach for his offices. Bach had moved from the second story of Gronemeier Hardware store. The cafe building has been redecorated in pastel shades of green with a large mural on one wall and the floor is of vinyl linoleum in coral green and beige. The room was designed by Reba Quinn of DeFur's Paint store. The new cafe will serve homemade pastries, fried chicken steaks, chops, seafood, and plate lunches. A private dining room is available for groups of 50 or more.

"Have A Drink On Me".....August 1959

The abandoned school building four miles west of Griffin was the scene of homebrew operations, Sherriff Ed Rutledge and Deputy Malcolm Buchanhan discovered. Acting on a tip, the officers "swooped down" on the building and found the brew fermenting in ten and five gallon jars with a large supply of bottles and caps on hand. No arrests were made. Evidently, the brewers wanted a product with a kick for they had added raisins and potatoes to the fermentation process. "Sheriff Rutledge invited owners of the jars, bottles, and caps to call at the county jail to identify the property." Yea, right!

Groundbreaking For GE Plant.....August 20, 1959

The new General Electric Lexan Resin Plant was started with groundbreaking at the 160 acre site, two miles southwest of Mt. Vernon. The ceremonies were covered live by the local radio station WPCO and all businesses in town stopped for two hours to honor the new addition. Indiana Lt. Governor Crawford Parker participated. The announcement that Mt. Vernon had been awarded the plant came from Pittsfield, Mass. on June 4th. Production plans are for some latter part of 1960. Initial employment will be about 75 persons, 50 of which will be production employees. Full production levels will be over 150. Mt. Vernon Chemical Materials will be the sixth General Electric Plant in the state.

Repairs Made to Mt. Vernon's "Big Ben"....August 1959

The town clock is in the steeple of St. Matthew's Catholic Church. The idea for it came about during the late 1890's, but it wasn't installed for about twenty years later. The city did not have the funds for the clock, so it was decided to buy it by raising funds. Fred Leonard, a local attorney headed the fund with a gift of 50 dollars. Some thought the clock should be on a government building, you know like in the movie, "Back To The Future" on the courthouse or coliseum. It was decided however, to place it on the tower of the church where it would be well cared for. The clock was built in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For many years the town gave the parish $50 annually for upkeep. Originally it would have to be wound daily with the weights weighing 400 to 600 pounds. It is now run electrically and the city pays $300 annually for maintenance. In 1959, a bolt of lightning burned out a motor in it and it was repaired by Tom Hall, an electrical contractor.

Farm Bureau Refinery.....July 1959

Get crackin'...

Pits Dragged In Search For Loot....June 4, 1959

FBI agents and MV police and fire departments dragged Hagemann and McDonald gravel pits northwest of Mt. Vernon in a futile attempt to find canvas deposit bags and some of the checks taken in the Christmas Eve burglary of the night depository safe of People's Bank & Trust Company. Chief of Police Raymond Cox said that Harold McMahan told FBI agents after his sentencing to nine years in federal prison on charges of the robbery that some of the checks were put in a tow sack and dumped in a lake or pond northwest of Mt. Vernon.

R&M Cafe Fire.....January 1959

The first week of a new year and it started bad for Ross and Mary Benner owners of R&M Cafe at 331 Main Street. The blaze threatened to engulf the adjoining buildings on the north housing Boyer Drugs and professional offices and also the A&P Store on the south owned by Nick Andriakos. The cafe was a total loss at around $40,000. Almost all the loss was contained to the cafe. Boyer Drugs on the ground floor of the building belonging to the estate of Abijah Allyn and the offices of Frank Turber , a dentist, and the Marinello Beauty Shop of Mrs. Cullen Carr on the second floor sustained smoke and water damage. The A&P store had water damage and some fire loss. The Benners had been in business for ten years.

Posey County Basketball Tourneys 1922-1959

The tournament idea took birth through the efforts of Coach Fowell of Poseyville in 1921. The first tourney was held in Poseyville the next year and the Mt. Vernon "Brownies" were the first champions. Six teams took part those being Mt. Vernon, Poseyville Posies, Cynthiana Anna, Wadesville Red Devils, New Harmony Rappites, and the Stewartsville Owls. Later Griffin joined the tourney and Booker T. Washington played one year. In all Mt. Vernon won 10 tourneys, Poseyville 8, New Harmony 5, Griffin 5, Cynthiana 5, Wadesville 3, and Stewartsville 1. Some records set were "Lefty" Garrett playing on 4 championship teams with Griffin in 1928 and 1929 and with Poseyville in 1930 and 1931. Mt. Vernon had the most points scored in a game with 92 in 1959. Armond Moltz had 17 free throws made in a game for Cynthiana in 1957, Mt. Vernon the only team to win three straight championships 1943-45, 30 points in a game was done three times by Smith of New Harmony in 1955, Richie Moore of New Harmony in 1952, and Wade of Wadesville in 1958. Richie Moore of the Rappites had 173 points in the tourney in his career, more than any other player.

Lion's Little League team sells Cracker Jack 1959

Some I can make out: kneeling in the first row is Larry Russell: on the second row the third one from the left is Jimmy Reeves, then Allen Stevens, Steve Hames, and Gary "Bucky" Burns. On the third row the second from the left is Jimmy Estes, then Bruce Smith, Bobby Ozinga, Jerry Smith and the far right player is Hilton Reeves. The tall thin man is cartoonist Glenn Curtis.

Advance Drillers Win 4th Straight County Little League Championship.....1959

Led by Eddie Howard's homer and two singles and two hits each by Mark Nix and Gary Burns the locals dumped Cynthiana, there 11-6. This was the sixth championship in the eight years of play with Wadesville winning two. The next year I would be part of winning the fifth straight. "Sneak" Howard's blast was plastered over the centerfielder's head. Steve Fuelling had a triple and Gary Coon and Jimmy Estes had doubles. Coon was also the winning pitcher. For winning the championship, Mr. and Mrs. Vance will send the Drillers Sunday to see the Cardinals-Dodgers game and Bob Estes on behalf of the Western Auto Store will present the winner's trophy and individual medals to the Drillers prior to Saturday's All-Star contest.

Howard hit .511 that Driller season to lead the team, Nix .444, Burns .419, Coon .375, Paul Mason .368, Estes .361, and Bobby Ozinga at .351 were the top sticks. Nix topped the long hitters with three dingers. Other top players on the team were, Danny Miller, Paul Walker, Steve Fuelling, Warren Chambers, and Rodger Redman. This was the second year in the row that Ed Howard led the team in batting average. He also led the team in runs scored with 21 and singles with 17. He was 3-0 as a pitcher and played a total of 5 years with the team!! Wow. His last three years he hit .462, .482, and .511. Managed by Jack Higgins and Ronald Bennett, the last four years the Drillers went 50-4. The next season, I remember losing only once to St. Wendel on a disputed call by one run.

Kiwanis Karnival and Barbecue on 4th.....1959

In an attempt to revive old time American history of 35 to 50 years ago, a picnic and barbecue associated with Independence Day was held. Kiwanis Community Park hosted over 8000 persons with red striped stick candy, pink lemonade and bursting fireworks. The Karnival continued until late evening as square dancing brought down the curtain. There were pony and goat and wagon rides, a Ferris wheel, chair swing and a fire truck for kiddies, plus a novelty stand. At midway there was a senior citizen's homemade cake and pie and handicraft booth, a soft drink stand, an ice cream bar stand, a canned cherry sales concession, a popcorn stand, hamburger stand, and a snowball stand. A dunking machine was also a popular attraction. The tented dining rooms, of course were the most popular. Approximately a ton of barbecued pork ribs, shoulders and hams were sold for consumption on the grounds or for carry out. A concert by the high school band, directed by K.V. Bryant was held as was an accordion concert of pupils of Mrs. William Southard. WPCO held on the spot interviews and spun the records for the dance that evening with Gordon Alldredge as the caller. Dr. Frank Turber the Kiwanis Club President declared it a great success.

Big One Snagged On Highway 62....1959

A group of Evansville fisherman snagged a 210 pounder on the pavement of Indiana 62 at the Marrs-Black Township line. Bernard Kurzendoerfer of E'ville driving a 1951 Chevy with James Pritchett, Joe Wright and Alton Heil as companions were en route home after fishing at Goose pond, southeast of Mt. Vernon. Pat Hoehn, of New Harmony who happens to weigh 210 pounds was traveling west in his 1953 Buick. Kurzendoerfer and friends had their cane fishing poles lashed to the left side of their auto. As the two cars passed, the string holding the poles broke. One of the falling poles punched Hoehn's left forearm resting on the door, inflicting a laceration requiring stitches. Also a left parking light on the Hoehn auto was broken and the left door slightly damaged. Sheriff Ed Rutledge and Deputy Mac Buchanan investigated; but no one was cited.

Mt. Vernon Merchants Win Second Straight Double I League Championship.....1959

At the time it was the hardest hitting team in Double I League history. Team had Mel Weiss, Jesse Walker, Ron Weiss, future MVHS and Oakland City College Hall of Famer Charlie Brauser, MV Hall of Famer Darwin Rueger who played in this league for 25 years, Frankie Dickens, legendary semi-pro Bill Hall, MV Hall of Famer and future MV high school coach "Chummy" Jeffries, Art Hall, Ray Boerner, Linc Baro, Norm Wade, and New Harmony legend Richie Moore. They were managed by Bob Roby. Some of the team batting averages were: Shirley Weiss at catcher hitting .343, Chummy Jeffries at second base .426, Ray Boerner at third hitting .403, Mel Weiss hit .309 in the outfield. Linc Baro won the batting title hitting .526, Bill Hall hit .398 Ron Weiss was 6-0 that season as a pitcher. Hall and Jeffries made up one of the best double play combinations the league had ever seen. I would go down to Athletic Park in my youth to watch these Sunday games. It was like big leagues to a little boy. Grown men playing baseball, seriously. Big swings, hard slides, tobacco chewing, tempers! Tiny Waller, the great player who lost his leg in a industrial accident may have been on his way to the big leagues would be there hitting fungos to us kids. Sometimes a wooden bat would be broken and they would hand it over the fence to a young child. Baseball has a long history in Mt. Vernon to the 19th century and seen many a pro player play on our field. I grew up hearing stories about "Dutch" Wehr, "Tiny", and "Dead Eye" Gentil and later on I learned of outstanding players before that. It was not uncommon back in the barnstorming days of the 20's and 30's to have minor league players on our rosters after the Evansville Bees ended their season, who were a farm club then of the Boston Braves. The players would pick up a few extra dollars playing until the weather turned cold.

Rider and Horse Ran Down.....1959

Oscar Nurreburn, 35, was riding along the shoulder of Indiana 62 near Marrs Elementary School at around dusk one January evening when his mount was hit by a 65 year old driver. Nurrenburn was out looking for a stray hog when he was thrown off from the collision. Substantial damage to the car occurred, the horse had to be destroyed and Oscar was sent to the hospital with lacerations and possible internal injuries.

Local Born Man Helps End Prison Riot.....1959

Noah Alldredge, captain of the guards at the U.S. Prison Medical Center at Springfield, Mo. helped plan and led a five pronged assault which broke the back of a vicious 16 hour riot. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Noah Alldredge, R.R. 4, Mt. Vernon. Noah as a long record of service stationed for 12 years at Terre Haute Federal Prison, duty at the Federal Correctional Institute at Texarkana, Ark., and the Federal Reformatory at El Reno, Oklahoma. Prisoners stormed the guards in the gate yard, used bolt cutters to cut through the corridor fence where they met resistance. Guards were armed with gas guns and ten rounds of assorted gas ammunition which they fired freely. The next five guards carried gas grenades and hurled them into the masses of prisoners hooting and yelling. All the remainder of the 100 attackers surged forward with clubs in their hands and swinging them with fury. The clubs were made of baseball bats, two foot long pieces of one inch gas pipe with adhesive tape around one end to assure grips. Several of the prisoners had their heads bloodied by their own clubs and went down to be hauled out by the assault troops and the more contrite prisoners. The five hostages were released and were among the first men to come out. Knives made from scissors were found as were table knives from the mess hall and surgical tools. The hostages were virtually unharmed thankfully.

Farm Bureau Park Barbecue Pit.....New 1959

My father was a Farm Bureau Refinery river dock employee of over 25 years and I remember the Farm Bureau picnics they would hold. They would give gifts away to the kids along with ice cream and the adults would play bingo for silver dollars. What always fascinated me was the huge barbecue pit. This pit was constructed in 1959 for the Centennial Outing of the 100th anniversary of the first oil drilling. The pit was completed in June of that year and was designed to provide maximum efficiency in the preparation of meat via a pit design. The pit is 65 feet long, 3 feet wide and 1 1/2 ft. deep, and shaped in the form of a horseshoe. By using this unique design, one or two men can attend the entire length of the pit within a very small area inside the horseshoe working on both sides. Either side can be fired independently or the entire pit can be used at one time. Capacity of the pit is 2400 pounds of meat when fully fired. The pit walls are 6 inch thickness of heat resisting concrete with angle iron grates and stainless steel iron mesh over that. The entire pit is covered by a roof with adequate ventilation.

Eddie Daws....Stock Car Racer.....Late 50's, Early 60's

Eddie was a veteran Mt. Vernon dirt track race car driver who earned many a title locally at places like Oakland City and the Evansville Speedrome. The Speedrome was located on North Green River Road which is now in the city of Evansville; but then it was on the outskirts of town. They ran modified coupes plus stock cars - sometimes even midget races. It was a 1/5 mile dirt track and ran usually two nights a week. The cars were like old jalopy's. Some of the drivers of that era beside Daws were Curly Farnsley, Hark Carlisle, and Eddie Hickey. I believe it closed around 1959. Several articles in the paper chronicled his many wins. One was a feature he won there in the feature race in a 1934 Ford coupe, white in color with a big 88 on the doors. In 1952 at the Speeedrome he earned the checkered flag by inches over veteran Jim Mays in a two car duel that extended through the final 15 laps of a 25 lap feature. He started in the 10th position and at the end of the 10th lap he settled in to the duel with Mays that time he was driving a stock car sponsored by the Heidelberg Cafe and Advance Drilling Company.

I Was A Jaycee Ice Cream Man....1959

Charlie Huey was my Little League coach one year and he was also the Ice Cream Day Chairman for the Jaycees. One Saturday morning we all got dressed up in our uniforms like we were going to play the Lions or Moose; but, instead we ran around town door to door selling pints and half gallons of Mt. Vernon Creamery ice cream in flavors of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. I remember pushing the doorbell of the White House on College Avenue. It had an intercom.....I didn't know they existed. When that voice came out of that box I jumped off the porch! The woman finally came to the door laughing at me and bought some ice cream. What will they think of next?

Transistor Radios.....1959

I saw an ad the other day from Oliver Jewelers at 220 Main for a transistor radio. It was selling for $39.95! Now that is a lot of money in 1959. I can't recall if I had one quite that early but I did have one in 1960, because I remember sitting in science class in junior high with one in my shirt pocket listening to the Yankee-Pirate World Series. I hid the cord through my shirt and up my neck and put my hand over my ear. "Ralph Terry winds and here's the pitch....Maz swings and there's a deep fly ball to left. Berra goes back, back, back, and it's gone...Holy Mackerel the Pirates win the series!!" Oh yes, they were about the size of a pack of cigarettes, came in colors of black, white, red and gray, had six transistors and a earphone. The little box had a round tuner on the right side. Man, those were real sellers in the day. It was our boom box or mp3 player, or whatever is hot today. I guess if my parents bought me one at that price they must have put it on lay-a-way.

And the Winner is.....1959

The Indiana Traffic Safety Office presented to the City of Mt. Vernon an Award of Honor for no traffic fatalities for the year of 1958. This made five years in a row! Radio Officer John Chaffin, Chief of Police Raymond Cox and Patrolmen Charles Thompson accepted the award and urged residents to continue their efforts to reduce traffic losses.

Grade School Memories.....late 1950s

Teachers were the only ones allowed to use a red pencil and speaking of pencils I loved those bright colored pencil boxes with the ruler and a sharpener at one end. That gave way to cool cigar boxes for crayons. Remember those large huge bottles of paste? I can still smell them. Valentine's Day you put valentines in a decorated cereal box...good stuff right there. The girl I liked was younger than me. I put one in her home mail box. Her mom gave me her picture in a baton twirling outfit. Now that's a memory! I was a fair yoyo guy in school, but better at jax or is it jacks? Anyway, that's a strange thing for a male to admit to, isn't it? I was a patrol boy and very good pole vaulter with that cane pole. My favorite teacher with Gerald Jeffries Sr. I also remember, Lorraine Zimmerman, Miss Boatman, Mrs. Hall and Mr. Root and a Causey I think. I liked sliding down the halls of Hedges with my taps on the bottoms of my black engineer boots. Learned I couldn't dance...stepped on somebodies toes ...not sure who it was now. Always thought it was Sharon Rowe, but it was a long time ago, memory has been repressed because of the embarrassment. I won't ask her to dance at the reunion, but keep my head down, even though she has a wonderful smile.

Hello this is Cynthiana...number please....1959

Claude Shafer, Parachute Jumper at 4H Fair.....1959

Back in 1910 at the fair a man died when his balloon burst and he fell to the ground out of his chair. This man Claude was from Indy and he came to our fair several years at the Fairgrounds , four miles south of New Harmony on Highway 69. The veteran balloonist made his first parachute jump at 18 and had since made more than 4000. He said the most risky part is the landing. He had landed in lakes, trees, on houses, other buildings and fences. He doesn't sound like someone I want to double up about you? Shafer built his own balloons and parachutes also. The balloon took about 860 yards of material and measured 70 feet high and 40 feet around. He usually rises to about 2500 feet, depending on the weather, before returning to Earth....hopefully not Oz. So after the pet parade and before the greased pig catch....look to the heavens for that little dot of a man falling to Posey.

Camp Pohoka Opens for 35th Season in 1959

Camp Pahoka, operated by the Buffalo Trace Council, Boy Scouts of America and located on the Wabash River opened in 1924. During that time it was estimated that over 25,000 Scouts spent a week there of camping. I was one of in a tent, hearing scary ghost stories, drinking "Bug Juice" from the chow hall, almost drowning in the lake, and standing along the lake for the Order of the Arrow Ceremony which included Indian drums and people running around behind you with torches "tapping" candidates out and leading them away to a new campsite. I remember they didn't like it very well when I told them I would be returning home for a Little League game. Nothing stood between me and my baseball back parents even had to schedule vacations around my playing ball! We also camped out at Trinity Grove and at Pfister's Pond I believe it was called. I belonged to Troop 475 I think it was....Jack Hargett was scoutmaster. Pohoka is closed. Maybe bought out by state park. Not sure or when it closed. Pfister's pond may not be the right name. It was out by Farmersville and wasn't readily seen from the two lane road. It was a pretty good size lake as I recall. Likely of the outings I remember it rained....the evening lasted forever, but that breakfast out of a mess kit over a fire was outstanding!

John Keck Breaks Ground at GE Site.....1959

500 local residents were on hand to give an enthusiastic welcome in a important milestone for Mt. Vernon. Lt. Gov. Crawford Parker was on hand calling it a "red letter day."

Riverside Hotel facing College Avenue.....1959

Gravel Digging Unearths Prehistoric Bones.....August 1958

A slough adjacent to the Wabash River at Wabash Memorial Bridge, west of town is of interest to paleontologists. Carl McCarty, 827 Walnut Street of McCarty Sand & Gravel several weeks prior found the tooth of a prehistoric mammoth and more recently a tooth and ankle bones of a mastodon. The teeth and bones have been definitely identified by David Bigelow of the Evansville Museum. Bigelow visited the discovery site and said exploration by divers is contemplated as soon as the Wabash declines. The mammoth roamed earth around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago and its predecessor the mastodon was before that. Both fed on shoots and cones of fir and pine trees. The mastodon tooth with six cusps was found in the gravel digging operation and still bore the enamel. Of particular interest was a report that a tusk was raised to the surface by suction pumps but dropped back into the slough.

Lincoln Flatboat Stops in MV.....1958

A flatboat en route to New Orleans from Rockport received a warm welcome in Mt. Vernon in June of 1958. Among its passenger list were two men re-enacting an important incident in the life of Abraham Lincoln. The boat had a four hour layover in Mt. Vernon. Several hundred people in small groups braved a drizzling rain to visit the craft. Mayor Percy Bartlett was the official greeter and Bee Nix, president of the Jaycees was the welcoming committee. Gifts from Mt. Vernon industries included raincoats from Advance Manufacturing, ice cream from the Mt. Vernon Creamery, flour from Fuhrer Ford Milling, gasoline from Indiana Farm Bureau Co-Op Refinery, and cornmeal and grits from Mt. Vernon Milling. It was Lincoln and a neighbor Allen Gentry who journeyed down the Ohio many years ago with a cargo of flour, grain, meat, tobacco and whiskey. It was in New Orleans that Lincoln first saw a slave market and it was there that his determination to rid the nation of slavery was born.

Ring Lost 40 Years Found.....May 1958

Mrs. Grace Alldredge, R.R. 4, Mt. Vernon, found her ring. Shortly after Mrs. Alldredge bought the ring for her son, Myron Lee Alldredge, he lost it in a straw pile at their residence. Yesterday, as Mrs. Alldredge was walking through the garden, which is in a different location than was the straw pile, she found the ring. After a good washing the ring looked like new.

First Baptist Dedicates New House of Worship.....May 1958

A dream came true after 12 years of hopeful anticipation for members of the First Baptist Church as they dedicated their new home on the west side of Main Street, a short distance north of Grant. On July 13, 1946 thirteen persons met in Weisinger Funeral Home under the leadership of Rev. Cullen, Rev. Goebel Phillips, and Rev. Herbert Schmitz. Robert Cullen later would be a missionary in Africa organized the First (then Missionary) Baptist Church. The church met in the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Utley for a time and then the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Walls. Then for over a year the church met in a tent. For warmth in the winter, sawdust was scattered thickly on the floor and an old fashioned pot belly stove was kept roaring with a fan blowing the heat out over the worshipers. Under the leadership of its first pastor, Rev. Thomas Walker, later a medical missionary in India the church began its construction. The church grew and at the time of the dedication it had 160 members and 200 enrolled in Sunday school.

Loaded Semi Flips Into the Ohio River.....May 1958

The listing of a ferry flat of Traylor Brothers, operator of the Mt. Vernon coal terminal, was blamed for the spilling of a semi-trailer, both tractor and trailer, and its cargo of heavy timbers in the Ohio River at the ferry landing at the foot of Main Street at 7 a.m. The terminal boat, Mary B. of Traylor Bros. piloted by Noble Owens, was pulling away from the bank with the flat on which the semi-trailer had been driven when apparently it was caught in the current of the flooded river, listed and flipped over. Rayburn Rawlins of Evansville, driver of the semi, left the cab after driving onto the flat and did not plunge into the river with the tractor trailer. The timber aboard was being moved to the crane barge of the coal terminal to be used as the mounting for a new steel deck on the barge. After hurling the semi-trailer into the river, the listing barge righted itself. The semi turned upside down and only the wheels were visible above the water at a depth of ten feet. The upset vehicle was moored with a line and was not removed until the floodwaters recessed.

No Trace of Lynn Lion.....May 1958

Sheriff Ed Rutledge led a party of big game hunters when a mountain lion was reported in West Lynn Township over a wide area of rough terrain, but found no trace of the cat. Hunting with the sheriff was Herman Hoehn, Elwood Benthall, Louis Breiner, and James Robinson. Robinson, an employee of Rush Creek Oil Company saw the animal in the area earlier in the week and walked to within a few yards of the animal. He was unarmed and when the beast growled, he made a hasty retreat. While no livestock losses were reported, many herds of sheep in the hills and hollows may have been molested without discovery.

1958 Wildcats...18 game winners and Evansville Sectional Finalist.

The team entered the sectional with a 15-5 record and ended the season 18-6. They averaged over 66 points a game that season and established the best season since 1922. At the time the 18 wins was the most ever until the 1972 established a 22-2 record. This team won 11 games on the road! They scored 90 vs. Richland, won a Holiday Tourney and in the Sectional defeated New Harmony, Griffin, Evansville Lincoln and lost to Evansville Central 58-57 in the Sectional finals. On the season the leading scorers were Charlier Brauser 387, Jim Russell 245, Kenny Stewart 226, Bud Wright 221, and Jim Challman 202. They were coached by Jim Solomon. MVHS Hall of Famers on this team included: Bud Wright, Gerry Allyn, Charlie Naab, Sam Gander, Ken Stewart and Charlie Brauser. Other players were Frankie Dickens, Joel Deckard, Steve Noon and Bueford Deig. Jim Baxter reminded me of the bad call in the Central game. Gerry Allyn told me back in 1983 that the turning point in the title game occurred in the 4th quarter after the Wildcats had come back from a ten point deficit to take the lead. An out of bounds call was made and the officials disagreed on who would get possession. Gerry said, "I was standing out of bounds getting ready to inbound the ball to Challman when the other official took the ball from me, handed it to the Central player and they scored." Mt. Vernon payers, I believe, were not set up when the ball changed hands and it was a quick basket. Principal Charlie Hames had told me he regretted not taking it to the IHSAA as a protest, but he didn't.

People's Bank & Trust Robbed Christmas Eve.....1958

An arrest of four Mt. Vernon men for federal bank burglary and aiding and abetting came as a result of a Christmas Eve robbery. Money -$17,079.22 - was taken from the night depository safe of the bank as the robbers entered through the basement air vent and apparently unlocked the night depository safe. A ball peen hammer believed to have been used to break an air vent grate and providing entrance to the bank was found in a foundation opening near the vent. One of the robbers was picked up in Orlando, Florida and the other suspects aging from 24 to 45 were arrested in Mt. Vernon. The suspect that was in Florida was found driving a 1951 Chevrolet which he purchased in Orlando for $505 cash. He had $7755 in cash on his person when arrested. One of the burglars (I am leaving their names out), led authorities to the private garage at 722 College Avenue and revealed a buried glass jar containing $1070 in currency. Also money from a local break-in at the Floyd LaDuke residence was also recovered with articles he owned like a radio, binoculars, electric blanket and linens. The four were held in the Vanderburgh County jail awaiting prosecution in Federal court.

Outer Limits?.....1958

Once before, I mentioned this on out on the highway near Marrs School. I believe it was Kent Burris who knew what it was; finally, I find something. This was a new Civil Aeronautics Administration installation, located eight miles out of town and it provided directional radio range for aircraft. The old station is in the inset and the new building is the one I have seen for decades. This picture was taken in 1958. The new station was built to make possible installation of V.O.R.T.A.C. equipment which had yet to be installed. It provided aircraft pilots with directional beams to guide them in flight. A T.A.C. was added providing pilots to know their distance from the station so as to determine their exact location. The 36X36, pre-fab building had a flat roof 54 1/2 feet in diameter and a motorized high antenna protected by a non-metallic cone. The station was controlled from the control tower of Evansville Municipal Airport with the call letters of EVV.

Collection Mail Truck.....1958

The picture is of a new collection mail truck that served Mt. Vernon in 1958. The photo shows carrier Bennie Newman and Postmaster William Reineke looking on. The red, white and blue truck was used approximately six hours per day for special delivery, parcel post delivery, and the collection and relay of letter mail from the 20 letter boxes throughout the city. Formerly, this service was performed at an hourly vehicle hire rate by Post Office Custodian Gus Kirk as contractor. As the hours of need for a truck increased, it was the belief of the Post Office Department than an in-postal service truck could be operated at a lower cost. This was a used truck that was replaced by a newer one in Cincinnati and transferred to Mt. Vernon.

Kenny Stewart.....1958

Kenny had a tremendous track season his senior year. In one of the least publicized activities, Kenny established the highest score ever to that time in the Wildcat Pentathlon. Using the following five events: 100 yard dash, 220 yard dash, 440 yard dash, high jump and broad jump, Stewart averaged 951 3/5 points out of a possible 1000. A trackman may select any five track or field events for his pentathlon, but they must include both track and field events, with no more than three field events or no more than three running events. Prior to Stewart's record breaking feat, the greatest pentathlon score was by Don Foster with a 926 score in 1954. Only one other Mt. Vernon athlete-Kenny's older brother, Gary, who averaged 920 in 1956 ever had gone over the 900 mark. I wonder how Mike Stewart did later, he was the finest athlete I ever saw locally. Anyway, other pentathlon winners were Gerry Allyn, Arby Mason (1955), Bob Martin (1954), J. D. Smith and Willie Marvel (1950), and Adriel Schaffer and Vercil Potts (1949). During his high school career, Kenny won four letters in track, three in football, and three in basketball. During his senior year he was named all-league back in the Pocket Athletic Conference. In track he was captain in 1957 and co-captain in 1958. In four years of track he totaled 291 3/5 points for the team. When he graduated he held the school record in the 440 at 51.9 and the P.A.C. 440 record at 52.1. He ran a leg on the mile relay team along with Bud Wright, Danny Scheller, and Charlie Brauser, which set a new mark at 3:33.8 In the 880 relay he ran with Wright, Allyn, and future congressman Joey Deckard to a record breaking sectional triumph.

MV Band in Chicago Parade late 1950's

1958 Wildcats

After the 1957 reserve compiled a 14-2 record in 1957 and the 1957 varsity team had defeated the then undefeated Evansville Lincoln that year, expectations were high in 1958. This team did not disappoint. Up to this point they were the best team ever assembled at Mt. Vernon going 18-6, winning 11 games on the road. That win total held up until 1972, when Mt. Vernon went 22-2. This team set numerous team records that only the 1972 could beat, such as the most points in a season, 3 post season wins, and 90 points in a game. Six future MV Hall of Famers on this team: Bud Wright 1986, Gerry Allyn 1985, Charlie Brauser 1985, Kenny Stewart 1986, Sam Gander, and Charlie Naab 1990. Other players were Jim Challman, Frank Dickens, Joel Deckard, Steve Noon, Jim Russell, and Bueford Deig. The Wildcats also won the Holiday Tourney that season defeating Oakland City in the Championship game. Mt. Vernon again beat Lincoln 71-69 in overtime despite Porter Merriweather getting 37 for the Lions. They defeated them again in the Sectional semi-finals before dropping a 58-57 game to Evansville Central in the championship game that was televised on a disputed out of bounds call at the end of the game. This team was coached by Jim Solomon and after the season, a full size picture of the team hung in People's Bank. The bad call came late in the fourth period as the Wildcats battled back down 10 points to take the lead. An out of bounds call was made and the officials disagreed on who would get possession. Gerry Allyn was standing out of bounds getting ready to throw the ball into Challman when the other official took the ball from him and handed it to the Central player and they scored. The call was not called back and MV lost on that play

Mayor Percy Bartlett practicing Direct Distance Dialing.....1958

Poseyville's David Davis gets an autograph from Reds outfielder Gus Bell.....1958

Remember when the Reds changed their names to Redlegs back in the fifties because of McCarthyism?

Food Merchant Retires After 55 Years.....1958

John C. Griess hung up his grocery man's apron after serving patrons for 55 years in Mt. Vernon. The Griese Food Market at 614 West Second was sold to Joseph Boehman of St. Meinrad, Indiana who also at that time purchased the Stocker market building, residence and parking lot on the east side of town. When Griess first entered the grocery business he started as an employee of Charles F. Tente when he was 14 years old. That was back when they used a horse drawn delivery wagon, had charge accounts, a "bologna meat department," and pickles and vinegar came in barrels His wife, Margaret, also was closely associated with the store putting in long hours, hard work and let 's say they both worked with integrity. They had two sons, Simon, a clerk at the Post Office, and John Jr., a chemist employed in nuclear development by Union Carbide in Tennessee.

Troop 81 Gets Another Eagle Scout.....1958

Boy Scout Week had a special local ring to it that year as John W. Doane Jr., 15, a MVHS sophomore received his Eagle badge. The formal presentation of scouting's highest award followed a potluck dinner at First Methodist Church, sponsor of Troop 81. Doane, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Doane became the 30th member of Troop 81 to achieve Eagle rank. Tom Hoffman, district scouting executive, showed a Boy Scout film called, "They Also Serve," and the scouts conducted a candlelight ceremony depicting the Scout oath, and law prior to the Court of Honor.

Two Posey Flyers Escape Death in Local Plane Crash....1958

Two well-known men, Aubry Robison, Jr., and Bill Hinton cheated death in a crash landing of a single engine Cessna 140 plane. Minutes after take-off from the Mt. Vernon Municipal Airport, the plane's engine failed necessitating a forced landing. Twenty to thirty feet off the ground the right wing of the craft dropped but did not fall off, causing a crash landing in a pasture on the Rosenbaum farm off the Tile Factory road a mile north of Mt. Vernon. Robison suffered a cut on the forehead. Hinton's jaw was fractured and a spinal disk compressed. Both walked away from the crash but entered the hospital after Dr. Eckerty, local dentist, checked Hinton out and found the jaw fracture. The plane was a total loss, despite the fact it did not catch fire. The plane belonged to some Mt. Vernon, Illinois enthusiasts and had been left here so Robison could demonstrate to Hinton, a prospective buyer of the plane. Both Robison and Hinton were licensed pilots and Hinton qualified under instruction by Robison. Hinton was at the controls when it took off from the airport, but when the motor failed at an altitude of 400 feet, Robison took over. Robison said he knew he would have to make a forced landing, made a 360 degree turn looking for a landing spot and saw the pasture. He did not anticipate the right wing failure that caused the crash. Fred Freimiller was the first man to reach the downed plane and brought them back to Mt. Vernon. I doubt he bought it!

Ninth Annual Kiwanis Kids Day Wraps Up.....1958

The annual carnival for the public to finance boy's and girl's programs was a glorious occasion from start to end, crowded with entertainment and even the shops got a boost. Baked goods were abundant as well as Kiwanis bags of peanuts. Big pet parade, with escorts from the police and fire departments. High School band with their new uniforms, cheerleaders...did I ever tell you I like cheerleaders? I was there...right up there on the lawn watching the first ever Mt. Vernon Hula Hoop contest. Never seen so many hoops in my life! What a fad that was. Barbara Lowe won the most graceful, and Margaret King got an award for moving the hoop up and down her body in all so many ways. Linda Neal took an award with tricks with the hoop too. Jody Crabrtee had the cutest little pet, Charlie Topper the largest pet, and decorated bike winners were Mark Dewart and Vicky Turber. There was a dunking machine available and the sorority wore bathing suits of yesteryear. What were they thinking? Bikinis are here! Oh well, ~Wavy~ never gets asked for suggestions.

Remember Dick and Jane Books in the 50's? They Were Co- Authored by Mt. Vernon Woman.

Marion Monroe 1898-1983 was a child psychologist and author of some of the school books I used at Hedges Central Elementary. These books were used from the1940's through the 1970's. She co-authored those books with William Gray of the University of Chicago. The books were finally stopped because as times changed they were thought of as being sexist and possibly racist. It only showed one side of America. Born in Mt. Vernon she earned her undergraduate degree at Oklahoma and her doctorate at the University of Chicago. Marion was the daughter of Edwin Monroe, one time superintendent of Mt. Vernon schools. After leaving Mt. Vernon, Edwin became president at Oakland City College. She left fairly early I gather. I can't find her in any MV HoopPole. When she died few old residents remembered her. One said the Monroe' lived on the corner of Mulberry and Sixth Streets and that Kenneth and Wendall were her brothers. Marion's mom was said to have been a Potter from Ft. Branch and a well-known Primitive Baptist preacher.

Harlem Magicians Dazzle at Mt. Vernon Gym.....December 1957

Marquis Hayes known to be the world's greatest dribbler was supposed to be with the squad, but was ill; but two other former Globetrotters help defeat the Boston Shamrocks at the high school gym. MV Lumber Company sponsored the exhibition with the Mt. Vernon Indians defeating Wadesville 75-71 in the preliminary. Jim 'Red' Howard led the Indians with 17 points, Art Hall 15, and Johnny Johnson added 10. Tommy Gibson dazzled the crowd with his amazing dribbling while in lying, kneeling, and crawling positions as the Magicians won 59-58. Former Globetrotters Sam Wheeler and Josh Crider did play.

Christmas Decorations.....1957

Mt. Vernon's new Christmas decorations went up in November with street light standards being decorated with aluminum foil wreathing, Christmas balls and evergreen. Illuminated laurel extending across the street will have new central decorations of three foot stars framed in aluminum wreaths with both star and frame illuminated. For the first time the U.S. Post Office on Walnut Street was permitted to have the exterior of their building decorated.

Flashers Signal Installed.....November 1957

The street crossing at the West Fourth street location is now in operation. Similar signals were specified by the Common Council of Mt. Vernon for West Second and West Eighth crossings, but enforcement may be delayed pending the completion of plans of the railroad company to shift its trackage attendant upon its contemplated building of a line to the proposed coal terminal in the Hovey vicinity.

Sputnik Seen.....November 1957

Noah Alldredge believes he saw the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 from his home in Savah. The Alldredges said, "The satellite or rocket shell was the size of a small star and took about four minutes to pass from the northwest horizon to the southwest horizon." The path was directly over their home.

No More Cherry Cokes at Boyer's.....June 1957

Another Mt. Vernon institution passed from the scene....the drug store soda fountain. Boyer Drugs the only remaining Mt. Vernon drug store to have a soda fountain and coffee bar discontinued them to provide more needed space for the store. Boyer had operated the fountain since its location in Mt. Vernon-first at the Second and Main location and then at Fourth and Main. It was installed and operated by Stuffle Drugs which Boyer Drugs succeeded.

Pupils of 3 Schools Moved to City.....June 1957

It was announced that all pupils of Jeffries and Upton schools in rural Black township would be shifted to Riley, Hedges Central, and the Junior High schools in Mt. Vernon and seventh and eighth grade pupils of Farmersville School in rural Black will attend MVJH at the opening of the new year. The shifts would be temporary and will end with the completion of the three new rural elementary school buildings of the district. The board's decision was announced by Supt. Hugh W. Price. The shift will primarily give the affected pupils better educational opportunities; it will not increase the enrollment in any one class of the three schools by more than three or four pupils. It will create an additional first grade room at Hedges Central. Moving 7th and 8th grade pupils from Farmersville will reduce overcrowding in that existing rural school. No additional buses will be needed and mileage will be slight. Three additional teachers will be needed, but costs for maintenance of Jefferies and Upton schools will be eliminated.

Mt. Vernon Born Youth On Ted Mack Amateur Hour.....June 1957

Bobby Crider, formerly of Mt. Vernon did a pantomime for the Ted Mack program on ABC television. It was shown live on WTVW, channel 7. Bobby is now living in Evansville attending North high school. It was also his eighteenth birthday. He specializes in pantomiming of Jimmy Boyd and Stan Freeberg records and offered his rendition of Freeberg's "Yellow Rose of Texas" on the Sunday night show. Bobby went to New York to audition two weeks prior. He was running third in popularity after one week. To vote for him a viewer had to mail in a postcard saying, "I vote for Bobby Crider," signed by the sender to Ted Mack, Box 191, Radio City Station, New York City.

Ewings Opens On Main.....June 1957

The new Goodyear and General Electric store of Ewing Tire Service, located at 418-28 Main Street opened with a grand opening sale. The ribbon cutting picture shows: Robert Sawdey, assistant manager of the St. Louis Goodyear district; George Ewing, store owner- manager; Mayor Percy Bartlett; R. Palmer, Dallas TX, Goodyear divisional manager; and H. Dean, St. Louis Goodyear district field representative.

Flood Deposits Body of Woman in Point Township.....June 1957

Roy Duckworth, Point township farmer, and his son found the body in a field on the Hagemann farm nine miles west of Mt. Vernon near Indiana 69. Duckworth had gone to the field to clear away drift deposited by the flooded river. The only clothing on the black woman was a stocking and a heavy shoe. An upper false teeth plate and a gold tooth were noted. Later on, the badly decomposed body was identified as a woman from Owensboro, Kentucky. She had been missing for over three months. It was found that the woman had been treated for a mental depression and the heavy shoe was identified by her husband and the dental work by a doctor familiar with her. The family discounted any theory of foul play. They believe because of her mental state that she just "wandered away and drowned."

Inside the old Methodist Church the day of the last service.....June 30, 1957

My Dad's Battle in Floodwater.....May 1957

A life preserver, ability to swim, and presence of mind were the formula of which my father Phillip then 36 years of age survived a hard battle with the turbulent Ohio River. We were living at 315 West Eighth Street then and my sister was only one year old. Dad was employed with the Farm Bureau river dock in southwest Mt. Vernon. Kessler, seeking to free a mooring cable of the dock which had become fastened under a rock started out in an outboard motorboat from the shore below the dock and around an oil barge tied off the dock. He negotiated the trip around the barge and the dock and was preparing to head toward the bank to release the cable. It was at this juncture that the outboard motor conked out and the floodwater current made use of the paddle extremely difficult as it kept sweeping dad and the boat toward the head of the tied-off barge. Just as he pushed against the barge with his paddle to go around it, he saw that his boat was going to be carried under the barge and he leaped into the river. The boat and motor seconds later were swept under the barge. Dad succeeded in swimming down the length of the moored barge but when he cut toward the bank after rounding the barge he encountered the current. He finally managed to grab a bankside willow and held on until he rested enough to crawl up the bank. Dad was a fine swimmer and I once watched him swim across the Ohio River. He worked on the dock and the river until he died in 1980. He always enjoyed the meals and the company on the barges and longed for a day he could travel to New Orleans on a barge in retirement. He never got to do it.

"Our American Heritage," is Theme of 1957 MVHS Commencement

A ceremony that was scheduled to be held outside was moved to the Canal Street gymnasium due to rain. One hundred and two students received their diplomas and listen to the speaker, Dr. J.R. Mitchell of Purdue University speak of the values of America. It was the heritage of free public schools that the educator devoted much of his address. "Good schools do not just happen. They have not been left to chance. They are the result of the belief that education is essential to the perpetuation of our republic," he said. "Whatever the investment made by this community in its youth is a good one. Citizenship in a democracy is important. We are living in times which test the courage of every intelligent person. The world is locked in a mighty conflict of ideas. Two philosophies are competing for the minds of men. One is a philosophy which enslaves, the other frees men. We must look to our young people filled with idealism, possessed of courage and fortified by intelligence and strength of conviction to lead us through these perilous times." Charles W. Hames then certified the class. Paul Hartmann presented the diplomas.

First Step toward 3 Elementary Buildings.....March 1957

A Citizens committee began circulating petitions among real estate owners in the Mt. Vernon Metropolitan School District for bond issues to finance three elementary grade school buildings. The petition procedure for the issue of bonds is in accordance with Indiana statute. School authorities estimate that bond issues of $750,000 will be required to finance the three elementary buildings which will replace present obsolete rural buildings. The Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan School District in its session moved ahead with plans to establish a cumulative building fund earmarked to provide equipment of the new elementary buildings and develop a nest egg for a new Metropolitan District high school building whose erection has been made secondary to the new elementary buildings. The trustees are studying sites for the three elementary buildings in accordance with present school population and population trends.

Legion Post Looted of Cash and Liquor.....March 1957

The Owen Dunn post, No. 5 American Legion home at Second and Walnut Streets was burglarized before dawn and cash estimated at $335 and eight fifths of whiskey stolen. Whiskey stolen included two fifths of Walker's, four fifths of Old Taylor and two fifths of Calvert's. Entrance was gained by prying open a window on the north side of the Legion Home. Evidently, the thieves confined their operations to the bar room.

In 1965 the Legion moved to a new home a 68x100 brick veneer over concrete block construction and will face Walnut St with a Second Street entrance. A table and recreation area, a post meeting room, measuring 48x68, a kitchen, storage quarters and restrooms are included.

Ewing Buys Building at 428 Main Street.....March 1957

The building at 428 Main Street, adjacent on the south to the Mt. Vernon Democrat building has been sold for an expanded Goodyear Store in Mt. Vernon with Ewing Tire Service, Inc as the owner operator. The building has 5600 feet of floor s...pace and will be adapted to the firm's needs along with a 70x140 vacant lot of the former Stephan Implement Company. George Ewing Jr announced that his firm will move into the new location from their present location on the northeast corner of Main and Second streets where they have been very successfully operated for the past three years. The volume of business has outgrown the facilities and they were in need of room to grow. The Mt. Vernon Goodyear Store will continue to handle tires, home appliances, TV's, radios and a super service tire service shop. The 428 Main Street building had been vacant since the removal of the Breeze garage, Chrysler-Plymouth agency and general automotive serve garage went to College Avenue.

Tugboats.....March 2, 1957(John Doane Photo)

MV Common Council Issues.....February 1957

City Attorney Steve Bach was authorized to draft an ordinance, which, upon adoption would require the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad to establish cross-bar barriers at its West Fourth Street crossing to protect street and highway traffic when trains are moving across the crossing. That crossing had been the scene of a number of collisions of trains and autos.

They refused to set uniform taxi fares of services in town.

Extermination of rats was brought up again. Those programs had been successful in the past, but repetition is necessary. The program was extended to city dumps and the Mill Creek area.

A new city dog ordinance received its first reading that would require that all dogs be licensed and that tags be affixed to the collars of the canines and that unlicensed animals and those not carrying tags evidencing rabies inoculation in the past 12 months be impounded and those not claimed after five days be destroyed.

Kiwanis Hosts 30th Birthday Celebration.....1957

In a meeting on Feb. 18, 1927 in the gymnasium of Memorial Coliseum, the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club was organized and received its charter the following month. Thirty years later a delegation of Evansville Kiwanis's met with a group of Mt. Vernon in fellowship dedicated to community progress. In a birthday party in the dining room of the First Methodist Church, 160 Kiwanis's and ladies representing 10 Southwestern Indiana Kiwanis clubs saluted the local organization. In attendance was Lorin Badiskey, governor of Indiana Kiwanis and George Fischer, governor of the district of Illinois and Eastern Iowa. At the end of the tribute was a comedy appearance of the Cannelton Catfish Band. A turkey dinner was served. Four charter members were still living, LeRoy Agin, Edward Alles, Clinton Maurer, and William Shrode.

When the shoe was on the other foot.....Ike's....1957

President Eisenhower attacked budget cuts by Congress as foolish and fatuous. As for specific recommendations by Sen. Harry Bryrd (D, VA), that the budget of $71.8 billion for 1958 be cut by $5 billion the President said a cut of that size would hurt the welfare of our country. The President challenged the American people if they really wanted to cut benefits to veterans, agriculture and to the schools. His speech went long to support his budget against growing demands on Capitol Hill for sharp reductions.

Mt. Vernon's Midget Burglar.....1957

The young teen boy who weighed only 45 pounds was committed to Boy's school for his part in a wave of over 25 safe cracking and break-ins in the tri-state area. He would slip into small opening, cut in ceilings and let two other accomplices in who would safe crack businesses. The boy started paying for tractors and farm equipment for his dad who had a small farm with his loot. The father of the 16 year old was also arrested later for being an accessory after the fact.

Parkmore Drive-In.....1957

I wrote once before how in the late 60's after baseball practice, Marvin Dremstedt would drive us to the Parkmore where we could get ten hamburgers for a dollar! In 1957 I saw a ad where you could get a hamburger and a choice of a salad for a quarter or a banana split for the same price.

Street Grading 1957

Grading began in February of 1957 and the Mt. Vernon Police appealed for the cooperation of autoists to permit the work to go forward smoothly without interruption. Chief of Police, Raymond Cox asked owners of jacked-up autos on street to remove them without delay. Keys of autos parked on the streets should be left with someone in the home so that the cars can be moved when grading reaches their locations.

In 1955 a widening of Walnut Street between Third and Second Street between Walnut and Mulberry was undertaken. This followed the recent widening of Walnut Street between Fourth and Third. The addition of ten feet to the width was made on the west side of the present thoroughfares.

New Gulf Station on Indiana 62.....1957

Owned by Douglas Miller two miles east of Mt. Vernon on a road intersection corner. He also owned one on West Fourth and Mill Streets. This station had white porcelain construction and the traditional Gulf trim in blue. It had two bays for auto servicing.

Survivor of WW1 Sunken Ship Recalls.....1957

William McReynolds of 114 1/2 East Fourth Street was aboard the RMS Moldavia on May 23, 1918. The ship was built as passenger steamship and was owned by Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, but was purchased during the war by the Admiralty in 1915 and converted into a armed merchant cruiser. It was torpedoed off Beachy Island in the English Channel by u boat UB-57 as she was carrying United States troops. 56 men lost their lives among them Barney Williams of Sturgis, Kentucky, and Frank O'Dell of Shawneetown, Illinois. McReynolds survived but then was gassed when American and French troops captured Chateau Thierry.

Snatched From Big Creek Flood.....1957

On the right is Walter Stabach, 49, cigar and all, Chicago representative of Wellco Shoe Corporation who was plucked out of the flood waters of Big Creek overflow of Indiana 69 at Solitude. At the car we see James Burch, of Newburgh, a State Highway Department employee, attaching a tow chain to the auto preparatory to pulling it out. Atop the hood is Foster Watson, maintenance superintendent of the Evansville sub district of the State Highway Department. Another employee, not shown assisting from Mt. Vernon was Angelo Stephens. Stabach drove into the flood and was trapped in the overflow for 45 minutes with his auto poised at the edge of a 30 foot drop off from the highway into the old creek bed. Sheriff Edmond Rutledge and Deputy Malcolm Buchanan were at the scene to check traffic and enlisted the aid of two Mt. Vernon men, Casper Eilert and Henry Lang, who piloted an outboard motorboat through the terrific current at the spot the auto was disabled and rescued Stabach. Following an overhaul of the car, Staubach left for his home in Chicago. Water damaged not only the auto but his personal belongings and his shoe sample cases and contents.


An 8-11 team, but they had one huge win an 81-80 victory over Evansville Lincoln who were undefeated at the time, something like 14-0. The game was won on a last second shot by Jim Russell. Lincoln went on to be Regional Champions. Unfortunatly, we drew Lincoln in the opening round of the sectional at the then new Robert's Stadium. Coach Scheller decided on a strategy of stalling the entire game. We lost 34-8. That was the end of his coaching career at MV. We had three Hof'ers on that team in Ken Stewart, Gerry Allyn, and Charlie Brauser. Dick Vance was the captain. Chuck Largin was the high scorer on the season with 215; Russell had 201, Jim Howard 133, Stewart 101, and Vance 100. Some of the other players were Jim Challman, Doug McFadden, Milburn Mattingly, and Marvin Guest.

Redman Assigned to Regional at Jeffersonville.....1957

Many times I remember headlines like this of Malvern Redman, Mt. Vernon's premier basketball official come post season play. I always thought he was a good official and I know he did a few State Final tournaments too in boy's high school basketball.

Flag of Fallen Soldier Given to Junior High.....October 1956

A World War II soldier, Lt. Ross Flemming of Mt. Vernon died and was buried in Anzio, Italy. The flag that draped his casket was donated by his mother, Mrs. John Flemming of 831 Mill Street to the Mt. Vernon Junior High School. Principal Mrs. Katherine Seibert acknowledged the much appreciated gift of the soldier who died in November of 1943 in Italy.

Wabash River Memorial Bridge Dedication.....July 7, 1956

Bands, beautiful floats and marching units comprised the mile and a half parade that passed in front of 15,000 in Mt. Vernon to dedicate the new bridge connecting Indiana and Illinois. The Girl Scout float ranked first among all the floats. There was the Hadi Shriners marching from Evansville with four groups including the Oriental Band and Drum and Bugle Corps. The Carmi Shrine Motorcycle Unit contributed with precision riding maneuvers. Our movie star Jeannie LaDuke rode in a convertible, we had a Accordion Band, Clowns Happy Keliums and Peppo, there were police departments from Indiana and Illinois, Gold Star Mothers from WWII, ancient vintage cars, governors of both Indiana and Illinois, U.S. Senators, congressman and highway commissions from both states, 24 floats, 17 military and veterans units and much more. Virtually every city and town mayor in a radius of 50 miles of Mt. Vernon accepted an invitation to attend the dedication. The Grayville marching unit was awarded first place in their unit with the Hadi Shriners second. The Mt. Vernon Saddle Club was represented with the oldest rider being 66 and the youngest 9.The lead car was honorary Parade Marshall, C.B. Enlow, chairman of the Evansville Chamber of Commerce. After the parade, a caravan rode the nine miles to the $3 million dollar bridge. During the parade three jet planes made a fly over town. A thousand helium filled balloons were released at the courthouse square. Attached to the balloons were postcards with instructions to mail them back wherever they were found. The bridge entrance was timed in cream and crimson and orange and blue ribbons; colors of the two state universities. Radio and television coverage was on site. Later a banquet was held in Evansville at the McCurdy Hotel hosted by Mayor Vance Hartke.

Otis Allyn, President of Chamber of Commerce Speaks at Wabash Bridge Opening... July 1956

Workers Apply Finishing Touches on Wabash Memorial Bridge.....June 1956

The next month the bridge would be opened connecting Illinois to Indiana with a great parade. From this moment industries like General Electric and Babcock & Wilcox would find us more attractive for jobs. The less we became isolated and the improvement of the Highway 62 a decade or so later, meant the end of a prosperous downtown sadly.

Junior High Tours Historic Vincennes....May 1956

The MVJHS's eighth grade class of 103 with three teachers and seven parents toured Vincennes. Three charted buses conveyed the children to see the George Rogers Clark Memorial, Territorial Capitol, Harrison Mansion, and the Old Cathedral. Lunch was served at a Vincennes University coffee shop. Teacher chaperones were Mrs. William Seifert, Mrs. Charles Rachels and Terry Hudson.

Further Drilling Halted at Hovey Lake....May 17, 1956

No "Drill Baby Drill" here from Republican Governor George Craig, who often went against the more conservative influences in our state. He halted further drilling negotiations on Hovey Lake, wildlife sanctuary and game preserve. "It is my belief that at this time the public interest is best served by refusing permission for the negotiation of further leases of oil drilling.", he said.

Menacing Attic Blaze at 105 Main.....May 15, 1956

Fire threatened a quarter of a block of business buildings on Lower Main Street but was brought under control and kept from spreading from the LaPlaza Bar attic at 105 Main. Flames originated on the third floor owned by the Templeton family... who live above the tavern on the second floor. Firefighting was directed from a nearby roof top. Water damage will run the cost of the fire into the many thousands. Fire was first spotted from the ground by a passerby Henry Harris.

Refinery Will Erect 200 foot Radio Tower.....May 1956

Indiana Farm Bureau Co-Op Petroleum Department received permission of the FCC to erect a 200 foot pipe construction radio tower on the golf course. The raid tower will facilitate communications of the refinery and Farm Bureau Oil Co. with mobile units in oil field and pipe line areas. The tower contains a 20 foot antenna on its top at 653 feet above sea level. At the top of the tower were placed two flashing beacons and at the midpoint will be two constant warning lights. Of course this was always a hit at Christmas time when they added the green lights and it looked like a huge Yule tree.

The transformation of the tower to a giant Christmas tree was a project directed by Refinery Manager Russell Potts.

Wabash Memorial Bridge.....Spring 1956

Mobile X Ray unit.....1956

The Posey County Tuberculosis Association brought this unit in from Evansville for two days to provide chest x-rays for the public for a fee of $1.50. The unit set outside the Mt. Vernon Milling Company for one day and in front of the Memorial Coliseum for another. Trained technicians read the pictures and made individual reports.

Ex Mayor Herman Bray Sells His Liquor Store.....1956

After 18 years, Mr. Bray is selling his package liquor store to Jon Forthoffer located at 107 Main Street. Failing health is the reason for the sale and in the eighteen years of business he never once was cited for a liquor violation. Bray originally had a store at the back of the Wheaton Pharmacy and in 1945 he erected the building at 107 Main. It sent out a statement thanking the community for their patronage. Forthoffer was to combine his beer dealership with the package service.

Eddie Daws.....1956

Traction Engine Gets Ready For Parade.....1956

In 1956, the above Keck-Gonnerman engine was getting ready to be part of the Centennial Parade at Oakland City. The "puffer belly" belonged to H. D. Mason who worked on the boilers for practically a year to ready the machine for the birthday celebration. This type of engine was used around 1910-1920 to pull harvesting rigs.

Interstate Loan Company around 1956

Located at 425 Main. The building was erected as a office building by Alfred Gronemeier and Ralph Gronemeier. I think it has been used since as a beauty shop and martial arts school.

LaDuke Accepts Award at White House.....1956

Jeanne LaDuke, a Mt. Vernon movie star and now receiver of the highest award ever given to a Posey County resident in the field of youth leadership. Jeanne was named the first place winner in the girl's division in the sixth annual youth leadership contest of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. The first place in the boys division went to Joe Pendergraft of Joplin, Missouri. She received the award from Bernard Shanley, secretary to President Eisenhower in a White House ceremony. There were over 55,000 contestants in all 48 states in a contest to encourage America's junior citizens to develop their talents of leadership. The two winners received their awards and a $1000 U.S. Savings Bond. Ike was supposed to have given the award but was hospitalized. The two winners were selected from twelve finalists by three state governors. Jeanne had been active in church groups, school clubs, girl scouts, 4H, winning state championships in 4H. She was the highest scoring girl in intramural high school sports, received two band letters and was varsity cheerleader for three years.

"Buy Candy" Umpah, Umpah.....1956

George Tomlinson and future Republican congressman, Joe Deckard play the old Sousaphone and the new horn the school wishes to buy in a candy sale to finance the purchase.

PCHS had great photo of Blackburn's Shop on Main from 1956. Formerly Palace of Sweets or "Greeks."

Teen Hurt by Police Gun.....1956

Thirteen year old Judy Carvin of 325 Nettleton Street was wounded accidently by ricocheting shot from a policeman's gun as two policemen were shooting starlings. Mt. Vernon police officers Alex Herring Jr., and Carl Keitel had accepted an invitation of Lealon Allen of City Cleaners to aid him in ridding his premises of 329 Nettleton of starlings roosting in trees. Officer Keitel was using his own gun, a 410 pistol, and officer Herring was using one of the old sawed off 12 gauge shot guns of the police department. Both were shooting No. 8 birdshot shells. Officer Herring said that when he pumped in a shell with the gun barrel directed at the ground in the back yard of the Allen home the gun discharged and the shot hit the ground and ricocheted about 30 feet to hit the child who was swinging on the front porch of her grandmother, next door to the Allen home. After treatment locally she was admitted to Deaconess Hospital. Thirteen or fourteen shot hit the girl in the back, leg, right arm, and shoulder. Two more shot hit an eyelid but did not penetrate the eyelid. One shot nipped the corner of the eye and buried itself in the nose.

"Good Morning....Start the Day Right with a Good Breakfast".....1956

I'm up early for work and was thinking of food.....I do that a lot. Could go out and get a donut and a cup of coffee, probably cost three or four dollars. Tired of egg mcmuffins. Wish I could go to say the Shario Cafe or the Friendly, maybe Gentil's or Schmucks for breakfast. Might even try the Parkett or the Parkmore. Back then you could get a cup of coffee for a nickel, a soft drink for 6 cents, orange juice for a mercury head dime and a doughnut for maybe 8 cents. I feel like two eggs, ham, toast, OJ and coffee....that should run me about 60 cents. Pick up the Democrat on the way out for a Buffalo head nickel. Well off to work to make about $10 today.

Area Switches to Prefix Dialing.....October 1955

Indiana Bell started dial telephone dialing in Mt. Vernon, New Harmony and Solitude exchanges on October 30, 1955. All telephones will use the two-five number systems. The Mt. Vernon prefix is POplar, New Harmony is OVerbrook, and Solitude is SUnset. The prefix names were selected from a list of about 300 that had been approved by the telephone companies throughout the United States. The $622,000 project moved on schedule replacing all manual telephones with dial instruments. At 2:30 in the afternoon, the cables to the manual switchboards were cut, switches were thrown and the new system went into effect. To call long distance you dial 0, 95 to call Caborn, 96 for Marrs, and 113 for information.

Breeze Motors Moves.....June 1955

Breeze Garage moved from 428 Main Street to 312-14 College Avenue after 20 years in operation. Breeze will continue being the local Chrysler-Plymouth franchise.

First Methodist Church.....1955

This photo was taken from a 1955 Chamber of Commerce Leaflet.

Ground Broken For Radio Station WPCO.....April 1955

Acreage purchased from the Willford Hagemann family located on State Road 62, a mile and a half west of Mt. Vernon opposite the Hagemann home will be the site of Mt. Vernon's first radio broadcasting station. H. C. Sanders, station manager and co-owner said construction would be rushed with hopes that the station would be on the air by August or September. The station will be a one story, concrete block structure providing 1350 square feet of floor space. It will house a reception lounge; air conditioned studio and office, control room and modern rest rooms. Running water to be supplied by a deep well. Station WPCO will operate on a frequency of 1590 kilocycles with 500 watt power for coverage of a 50 mile radius.

Dairy Dream Opens April 1955

East Fourth and Kimball Streets was the location of this little block building that served delicious ice cream , root beer and Coney Island hot dogs. Good malts, shakes and sundaes! It was originally owned by Norman Blackburn and Jack Anderson, later by Henry Shuler. Drive up into the rocks, get a cool drink out of the side water fountain...flirt with the help..oh yes..I miss that place too!

Flagpole Dedication at Hedges Central.....April 1955

A fund was instituted by Mrs. John Doerr, a charter member of the Tuesday Club as a project. The flag and flagpole were financed by alumni of the old Central grade school that burned in 1945. Former pupils of that school were invited to contribute $1 each. At the ceremony, the Hedges Central band played "America the Beautiful" and Jon Anderson sounded the bugle call for the colors. Four boy scouts advanced and raised the flag and Joel Deckard (future Republican congressman) led the audience in the Pledge to the Flag. The audience then sang The Star Spangled Banner followed by of closing prayer.

Hmmm...Unusual...Don't Think Would Happen Today.....April 1955

Coach Bob Scheller lost the services of a Mt. Vernon Wildcat baseball player who was expected to be of much help to the teams this spring to an employment opportunity. William "Bill" Mattingly, infielder, accepted employment in the office of the Indiana Farm Bureau Refinery and started to work on Monday. He will attend high school in the morning and work in the afternoon and will receive his diploma with the 1955 graduating class. Mattingly was the leading scorer on the basketball team this past season and received the Kiwanis "Player of the Year" award in the sport.

River Yields Human Skull....April 1955

Howard Barriger of Mt. Vernon was running his trotline in the river and found a human skull. Authorities were trying to make a connection to disappearances of local residents in recent years whose bodies never were recovered. The skull was found on the Indiana shore of the Ohio River opposite the foot of Slim Island. Police working with the coroner's office said the skull was not that of Walter Heriges a local man who disappeared about four years ago. Comparison was made by teeth analysis. A local physician said the skull was that of a person of middle age or older. There is also the possibility that the recent high stages of the Ohio River might have washed the skull from a grave alongside the river.

Two Injured as Wall Topples on Breeze Garage in Spring Storm.....March 1955

With visibility at zero, telephone service to Evansville disrupted, hail pelted Mt. Vernon as hail stones piled up several inches thick along the city streets. Medium sized stones fell for about ten minutes as TV antennae were bent and snapped, roofs damaged, and many windows of homes, factories and mercantile establishments were broken. With strong winds accompanying the deluge the north wall of the Stephan building fell onto the roof of the adjacent Breeze Garage at 428 Main Street, crushing the roof of the garage and injuring Arnold Dausman and Melvin Ziegler, employees of the Plymouth-Chrysler automotive firm. Both men were buried under the rubble. Dausman, a salesman, freed himself and managed to pull Ziegler, a mechanic from the debris. Ziegler was unconscious for a period and was moved to Evansville for diagnosis. Dausman's injuries were confined to facial lacerations. The entire glass front of the garage was demolished

Modern Woodman's Hall Goes Down...January 1955

The old Knights of Pythias Hall and later the Modern Woodman's Hall Lodge was located on Walnut Street, between Fourth and Fifth. It was the location many of us remember that became the Shrode Agency site. The old hall went back to 1852 and was used as a Methodist Church for over a half a century. The Methodists moved to another location in 1905 and the building was sold to the K & P Lodge and later to the Modern Woodman. It was the site of many dances in the community and even held dancing lessons. The foremost ball it held was the annual Fireman's Ball, which was always heavily attended. From 1921-1923 the former dance floor was the site of Mt. Vernon boys' and girls' basketball teams. It was not ideal for this as there were steps going down just beyond one goal and they had to block it off to prevent injuries. Of course, seating was limited and in those days great interest was shown in our outstanding girl's teams. Those teams went 35-6 during those three years and 22-2 at the Hall. When it was a church it had the colored window panels that reflected the sun through many hues onto the congregation. It had a tall belfry behind the building with a large bell. It was rung for church services, but also as a fire alarm. During the dance period, old Sunday school class rooms became places for music lessons and recitals. The main room became what was called the Swing-In Youth Center. The Woodman's went out of existence and the building fell into disrepair due to no funds to maintain it. It was given to the town. Sadly, if was unusable with broken windows, a home for pigeons, vines and weeds. During the demolition, a rare red bat was captured by workman in the interior. They also found one brick that had the perfect footprint of a dog. So, sometimes when we see an old city building in disrepair and later a pile of brick and mortar, give a think of what it once was and what memories were once made collectively by our town.

"Heinie" Moore's Drive-In.....1955

In January of 1955 this business was erected with a 44x20 foot frame building. It had indoor seating as well as car service. Like I have said before I would go down after baseball practice with a friend and get ten hamburgers for a dollar. Even in the mid-sixties this was a good deal. My father liked to hang in there also to meet friends over a cup of coffee like seniors do today at McDonalds. It was located on East Third and Kimball Streets and served other fine foods like steaks, chicken, barbecue sandwiches, and homemade pies. Lots of eateries back then served homemade pies; be hard pressed to find one today. The official name was Parkmore, but we always called it "Heinie's" for the owner Hiram Moore. Previously, Mr. and Mrs. Moore were associated with the Highway Cafe that was then adjacent to the Texaco station on East Fourth Street.

Accomplishments of Mayor Paul Hironimus 1952-1955

Although he was defeated in the primary of 1955, his list of accomplishments in his political ad seem quite impressive. Here are a few: Purchased a new fire truck, organized a auxiliary volunteer fireman squad, replaced the heating plant in the City Hall serving both the hall and the library; modernized the City Hall with new fixtures, modern counters, laid out more baseball diamonds at Athletic Park, built a concessions stand and installed lights for night games, bought a tractor and a street sweeper for the Street Department, built a new street at Canal and East 7th Street, build sidewalk and gutter on East Sixth Street, constructed a storm sewer on Kimball Street, widened streets like Walnut, built an addition to the City Garage doubling its capacity and installed a new furnace, rerouted Mill Creek at the mouth, created a Public Steering Committee, Creation of a city planning commission, made initial contact to bring a radio station to the city and helped in providing an insurance company for city workers. And all this from a Republican? That is probably why he lost the primary...too much spending, and too large of city government.

Break-In At L&N Station.....April 1955

Mt. Vernon police probe speculated that a forced entrance of the Mt. Vernon station office was the work of strikers. Excellent fingerprints were left by the intruder and Police Chief Henry Brakie said any recurrence would bring prompt police action. Hmm, what's that mean...they gonna let this one slide? Anyway, the entrance was early on a Sunday morning while no one was on duty at the station due to a current strike vs. the railroad. Communication switches were thrown and a teletype was "messed up." Since no trains were operating there was no real actual damage, but had there been it could have been disastrous. The actual break-in was accomplished by removing screws from a screen on the window leading from the waiting room to the office and raising the window.

Former Booker T Washington Teacher, Reflects.....1955

Jennie Bishop and her husband Guy were school teachers and Guy the principal for 44 years 1911-1955 at Booker T. Washington. In 1911, there were 5 teachers, four at the old brick building at Third and Owen and one at the annex east of the main building. In 1927, the seniors were sent to Douglas High School in Evansville, which in 1929 became Lincoln High School. This was done in order that the scholars might have the better rating of a commissioned high school. All classes were returned to Mt. Vernon later following the rebuilding of the school following a fire. They worked at the old building until 1932, and then came the fire. With no integration, for a time they were housed at the Catholic building at Fourth and Mulberry Streets. The W.P.A. and Mt. Vernon superintendent M.N. O'Bannon helped the school recover getting what they needed in as far as facilities including old toilet fixtures from the high school. The school had a very successful basketball team called the "Blue Devils." They first played at the Armory on south Main Street, where Mayor George Krug would referee free of charge. Later they were allowed to play at the Coliseum and later their own building. For around 12 years in the late 40's and early 50's their high school students were again sent to Evansville Lincoln and the staff of Booker T was reduced to the elementary level. Finally, the black students were admitted to the public schools and BTW became a memory. The principals from 1911 to 1955 were W.E. Best, R.C. Jackson, R.T. Anthony and finally Guy Bishop. After the school closed the Bishops retired and moved to Los Angeles, California. Mr. Bishop besides being a school teacher and principal in Mt. Vernon also was a printer for many years at the Mt. Vernon Democrat and worked as a mail carrier for the Postal Service. They had 4 children, one a WW2 veteran and one a school teacher in Indianapolis. I have also been trying to compile the graduates of Booker T. Washington over the years. From my findings the earliest graduating class I believe would have been 1890 when there were 5 graduates. The largest class I have found was 8 in 1895. Some years there were none, but most classes seem to run from 2 to 5 per year. Many of their commencements were held at the court house.

People's Bank's New Look.....1955

People's Bank and Trust Co. took on a new fresher, brighter interior in 1955. The improvements were designed to go with the outsides Victorian look. Air conditioning, relocation of officer's quarters, new lighting, and renovated windows for the seven tellers were a major part of the work. Formica and metal counters replaced the old marble tops, the canopy outside was painted, and new frosted window glasses for the bookkeeping room. So bring your little blue books down and put it some money!

Sometime in the 50's

83 Year Old Remembers Old Mt. Vernon from Chicago.....1955

Ed Regin writes: "I was born in Mt. Vernon, March 15, 1872 and by wife Alma Feldman, December 31, 1874. That made us Hoosiers for life. Two of our children, Elizabeth Regina and Mary Lucile were born at the time I was telegraph operator at the L&N station. We left there in 1898 and had another daughter, Martha Jane, born in East St. Louis. The original settlement now incorporated of Mt. Vernon, was McFadden's Bluff. From up around Poseyville there was built into Mt. Vernon what was known as the Calico R.R. It came in about 2 or 3 blocks west of the E.&T.H. (now the C.& E.I.) To fulfill the conditions of the contract the building had to run equipment over the rails. An engine named the Judge Wilber, (engines were named then instead of numbered), after this engine was run into Mt. Vernon it was loaded on a barge in the river and there ended the Calico R.R. I remember (when quite young) of seeing what remained of the right of way. Simply a mound running through the street overgrown with grass. Hooppole Township. This name was given because the levy was always stacked with piles of whooppoles. The flatboat men called it Hoop pole township. These poles were brought in from Tennessee and Cumberland river territory. (*~Wavy~ exerpt: Story sounds different than the usual Hoop Pole Incident doesn't it?) Mt. Vernon being a milling town with wheat and corn products. Then packed in wooden barrels which required hoops made from these hickory poles. In early days there were the Fuehrer Ford, Pfefer and Traut, Evertson and Schnuer Flour Mills. Also the Hudnut Hominy Mill. The original site of this mill was occupied by a hotel which was turned into Hudnut's first Mill. When my father, Harvey Reagin first came to Mt. Vernon he ran a butcher shop. At that time there was wooden covered bridge over mill creek on 2nd St. Father was driving some cows from the west of town arriving at the west end of the bridge. One cow decided to go down into the creek bottom instead of crossing the bridge. The bottom was full of trees and underbrush and the cow never was found. I was there when the water works system was installed (1880's), also oil and later carbon electric street lamps. Main was paved out to 8th street. We thought these were great. We had two old time bakeries. P. Walter on northwest corner of Main and 3rd and Dexheimer Bakery east side of Main between 2nd and 3rd. I remember when the fence around the court house was a flat board on top and cross boards from post to post. There were locust trees in the yard from which those Negro men were hung. One that shot deputy sheriff Thomas was thrown into a work train engine fire box which was on siding at L&N. I remember when Sheriff Hays hung John Anderson and Zack Snyder for killing a young man by name of Vanyer (1884). There was a time I remember when the steam boat did a good business on the Ohio. E. Thomas operated a wharf boat at t time. My father was Master Mason and laid the corner stone of old Central school. I remember when Mt. Vernon got its fire pump. Operated by hand, 12 or 15 men on each side drew water from a made well cover of 4th and Main. I guess I have run long, so I will close." Ed Reagin

Famed Local Curve Ball Pitcher Dies.....1955

William "Billy" Bell, 86, retired employee of the Mt. Vernon Milling Company was a baseball pitcher in the early days of the diamond sport in Mt. Vernon. He had the reputation as one of the first curve ball hurlers in the tri-state and his assortment of "Uncle Charley's" was always buckling the knees of the hitters. Players of that by-gone age remembered him as the ace of the Mt. Vernon Red Jacket Pumps a local baseball team. His interest in the game never dimmed and loved to sit in the bleachers and tell his stories while watching the younger men play.

Whittling..."The Art of Manliness"....How I Remember It.....1950's

When I was a kid I would see old men sitting on the concrete stump of the court house on Saturday or on a bench at Sherburne Park with a jack knife making wood fly with a piece of stick or a small block of wood. At the Athletic Park, on Sundays was an old man who would come to watch the Double I League games. He had one of them knives with a stag-horn handle and was something of a "big shot" with that blade. Later men seemed to be satisfied with just a small ornamental knife in their pocket. I remember knives...have several that must have been dads or some relative, but I never carried one. Lots of talk in the late 50's of juveniles with switchblades know, "West Side Story?" I'm still not sure what "mumble peg or mumble the peg is. Back around 1910 a catalog had 104 different models of knives for sale. Do they still sell them in cases at the hardware store? I have read of several break-ins in Mt. Vernon history where only knives were stolen from hardware stores. Some people would carve little men, a wooden boat, a turtle, a flute and we kids would look on in amazement. Those were the "Kings of the Whittlers," real artists. Others would just pick up any old stick, sit and slice making a big pile of kindling while they told you a story about an old fat pig or a real pretty girl making you blush. Then they might ask you..."Pull my finger kid." I got one of those Swiss knives around here somewhere. Anybody ever use any of those weird combinations of punches, scissors, files, buttonhooks, wrenches or screwdrivers? ....Me neither.

Trinity Church....1950's

It is beautiful. TJ and I were married there. Records show there was an earlier Trinity Church on the same site.

Harold Brown -Coach - 1949-1955

Compiled a 70-72 record as MVHS boys basketball coach. He had a 36-28 record vs. Posey County teams .667 and was 8-7 vs. Evansville squads. His teams were 4-7 in Evansville Sectional play. In college he led all Indiana colleges in scoring as a senior and was captain of the Evansville Aces. He won the Evansville Kiwanis Club Award twice for the first time ever and played one year of pro basketball. He had three winning seasons in a row for Mt. Vernon from 1951-53. He was replaced by Robert "Tuffy" Scheller in 1956.

Dime Store Treasures.....1955

When I was a real young boy on West Eighth Street we had an old truck tire filled with sand. I sat in there and played with these little two inch plastic soldiers and they would be mixed with cowboys, Indians, horses, trucks and even dinosaurs. My little beagle puppy would sometimes join in the fun by taking one of my toy buffaloes or Indian chief and chew it up. Dad was always finding my little men while mowing. Some probably still haven't been exhumed from where they died.

Best Cheese.....1950s

I remember back in the 1950's when we would take Grandpa up town to pick up some federal surplus cheese and peanut butter. I think they also had oats. The trustees I think passed them out to those in need in all townships. The program started with the "New Deal" under Roosevelt in the 1930's and was changed many times by executive orders. In the 60's direct distribution started to fade and a form of food stamps was formed for the low income. The program still exists through emergency food assistance and food banks administered by the USDA.

WPCO is "On The Air".....December 1954

Erection of Mt. Vernon's first radio broadcasting station was completed and it was granted a license by the FCC in Washington for a 1590 kilocycle broadcasting station of 500 watt power, daytime only with fifty mile radius coverage. Under favorable conditions you might get 100 miles with a tower 195 feet high and employing around six people. The letters PCO were for Posey County and were assigned at the owner's request. The W designates location east of the Mississippi River. West of the river the letters start with K. My uncle Ken Kessler worked there getting his start in radio and made a long career of broadcasting.

Oliver's Jewelry Store.....December 1954

Job Oliver and his wife had the grand opening of their new store at 220 Main Street. Following graduation from the Southern College of Watch Making at Memphis, Tennessee, Oliver, a world war II veteran on September 6, 1949 opened his jewelry store and watch repair shop at 118 West Fourth street in quarters occupied jointly with Robison's Men's Wear. The two firms moved in August 1951 to the Leonard building at Third and Main Streets. Expansion of both firms necessitated separate mercantile quarters for both. The building housing Oliver's was completely rebuilt on the interior and a modern front added. The sale to Oliver from U.T. Fox brought to an end 40 years of watch making and repairing by Mr. Fox. Fox first came to Mt. Vernon twenty years prior opening a grocery store with his watch repair bench. Three years after he moved to Main Street.

WPCO is "On The Air".....December 1954

Erection of Mt. Vernon's first radio broadcasting station was completed and it was granted a license by the FCC in Washington for a 1590 kilocycle broadcasting station of 500 watt power, daytime only with fifty mile radius coverage. Under favorable conditions you might get 100 miles with a tower 195 feet high and employing around six people. The letters PCO were for Posey County and were assigned at the owner's request. The W designates location east of the Mississippi River. West of the river the letters start with K. My uncle Ken Kessler worked there getting his start in radio and made a long career of broadcasting. Oh yes, Courtney was everywhere "back in the day." His son Jerry was a DJ at WJPS and you still hear him doing commercials. Who was Jerry Webb? I thought WPCO was the most boring station in the world as a youngster. Mom would have it on every morning before I went to school checking on school closings and funerals. I did listen to the recorded broadcasts of the Wildcat games, even though I was always there live.

Mt. Vernon Indians Defeat Texas Cow Girls 64-58

Heralded as one of the nation's most colorful professional women's basketball teams, playing out of Bismarck, North Dakota, they lived up to their advance billing before a packed gym against the undefeated Mt. Vernon independent team. "Technically, the game was supposed to have ended in a 64-64 tie as the Indians were leading 64-58 when Manager Dempsey Hovland put on a dance record on the phonograph and the Cow Girls grabbed the Indians and started dancing out on the floor while the sixth member of the team, Joan Rupp, took the ball and scored three times unmolested, but they did not count." The visitors appeared on the floor to take their warm-ups in 10 gallon Stetsons, cowboy boots and two guns swinging at their shapely hips, but shed their cow girl duds when the game started. The Texas Cow Girls have played the Minneapolis Lakers several times and have made a movie short with them including the great Laker...George Mikan. They were founded by the former manager of Jack Dempsey of boxing fame. Florence Holder led the Cow Girls with 22 points. Gary Farris and Jackson Higgins led Mt. Vernon with 14 and 13 points. During the game, Bob Wagner was roped by the Cow Girls as they chased him all over the gym and Jesse Walker played part of the game with a cow bell tied around his neck The game was played for a benefit for youth activities. Other Mt. Vernon players were: Weir, Brauser, Huey, V. Dickens, Meinschein, and Benthall. This game was in November of 1954.

Old Cistern Caves In.....August 1954

A bricked cistern twelve feet in diameter on the extreme end of Mill Street east of the Mt. Vernon Gas Plant at Mill and Second was revealed by a cave-in. The Street Department was called to fill in the partially exposed hole. It is probable that the abandoned cistern once provided water for the former Tente store "hitch lot" or was a water supply for the Fire Department of bygone days.

Eddie Daws and Wife.....1954

Eddie Daws after winning the 50 lap stock car championship trophy at the Evansville Speedrome, July 1954

Yippie Yi O.....July 1954

"Get along little doggie, head 'em up, move 'em out." A cow owned by Paul O'Donnell, residing on the Country Home road northwest of Mt. Vernon, escaped and led the owner, Mt. Vernon police and Posey County Sheriff's office men a merry chase through the city before being corralled. The chase started at 11:15 a.m. and took cow and officers through the Hedges Central school yard, Athletic Park, and out the Tile Factory Road before being captured!

Emmick Addition Lots Are On Sale.....July 1954

This is the street of my youth starting in 1957. Dad bought two lots here and we moved into a Bedford limestone three bedroom home with full basement. After a fire destroyed the home we rebuilt in 1966. John (Jack) Emmick opened Emmick's subdivision on the new street running east and west from the Lower New Harmony Road. At this time there were 13 lots left measuring 60x87 feet and one lot measuring 75x87 feet. Great time on this block....plenty of softball, football, basketball, whiffle ball. All kinds of pretty blondes, I think we had 4 varsity cheerleaders here and one the next block over in the 1960's and 70's. Right next to the refinery golf course, I would play golf all the time, hunt balls in the bushes and ponds, play in the Kishline barn behind me, and play spin the bottle. I can still see dad and I playing catch in the side yard, Marion and Ann folding papers, and Debra walking down the street. It was a time of great joy. ?"Ice cream man, Ice cream man," we would yell as we ran back to our parents for change. Our dogs ran loose, we stayed out to dark, and then sometimes past catching lightning bugs and putting them in a Mason jar or making rings of their light source. We could lie in the grass, look at the clouds, search for four leaf clovers, and start a butterfly collection. We had plenty of entertainment and then sometimes we would load up and go to the drive-in and see Elvis or a western.

250 Kiddies get Ducking....June 1954

Mt. Vernon youngsters took to the streets as the Water system flushed fire hydrants. Children donned bathing suits and old clothes to play in the water. The 'ducklings' via a 42 foot sprinkler were staged on Pearl Street between Second and Third and at Seventh and Mill and Sixth and Canal.

"Smoke on the Water"....March 1954

Mt. Vernon fought a fire in the middle of Mill Creek! Floating trash saturated with waste oil caught fire in mid stream north of Second Street. Where do you suppose that "waste oil" originated?

Mt. Vernon Locker & Packing plant on fire....January 1954

On the 300 block of West Third Street once stood the Mt. Vernon Locker & Packing Company. A fire originating from the basement from a stoker-fed coal heating furnace, it spread rapidly through the interior wood framework and destroyed the 14,400 square feet of floor space. Only a few jagged walls were left standing and they were pulled down. An estimate of the loss was $80,000 of which $35,000 in contents. The contents included custom butchering equipment, 580 individually rented lockers, 450 of which contained stored food of large quantities including turkeys from Uebelhack Farms. Six persons were employed at the firm Mt. Vernon's semi-volunteer fire department with three trucks fought the fire along with about 20 townsmen who aided. This fire came just three weeks after a $60,000 fire on lower Main Street. Company was partially covered by insurance.

Town Easter Egg Hunt.....1954

I remember when I was a youngster; we had this huge Easter Egg Hunt down by Sauerkraut Lane at the home of a lady named Anderson. It was huge. Did I mention it was big? Some hunts for the smaller children and one for the older ones. When my oldest son was of that age, we went to the General Baptist Church hunt and Nathan was an expert gatherer! He burst out with so much speed he gathered so many eggs he had to give some back. Ha ha. He couldn't understand that some children didn't get enough and he had to share. He thought he earned them fair and square. I would hold off mowing the yard for the first time each spring to let the grass get a little higher so we could hide eggs in our back yard for our boys. My wife Terri really dressed those kids up for those hunts. Well, back to the town hunt of 1954. It was held at the Athletic Park and over 400 youngsters participated in tracking through the high grass picking up nearly 100 dozen eggs. Prizes in some of the eggs included Tressler's gift certificates and passes to the movie theater.

Hurdler Don Foster at State Finals....1954

Don Foster, Mt. Vernon High School Hall of Famer, scored eight points in the State Track and Field Meet in Indianapolis to record the first points ever scored by Mt. Vernon in the annual event. For the second year in succession, however, Foster was victimized by fate and did not win the high or low hurdle title. Having fallen in 1953, Foster was a heavy favorite to annex the high hurdle title in 1954. A freakish mishap, a one in a million occurrence, stopped him just short of his goal. Going into the third hurdle in the championship race, his trunks caught on the hurdle, pulling him back momentarily. This caused him to be off stride for the fourth hurdle, and hit this hurdle hard. Recovering Foster then set sail for the pace setter, John Abell of South Bend Rilet, but Abell having his best day ever nosed him out by one foot in 14.8, Abell's best time ever and incidentally, Foster's time in the morning trial. Evidence of Foster's trunk catching on the hurdle is to be found in the trunks, which were ripped halfway to the waist. No one had ever heard of such an incident before in a hurdle race, much less a State Championship. Hometown fans welcomed home the star hurdler with his two seconds along with Coach James O. Baxter with a fire engine parade arranged by Mayor Paul Hironimus. Foster was presented a Key to the city.

Magazine Sale at Hedges Central.....1954

In April, Hedges Central Elementary's youth magazine sale again a success selling subscriptions totalling $1,972.08. Charlie Naab was top salesman at $100 and in return received a $10 reward.

Camp Pohoka May Become Larger Scout Center....1954

A recommendation was made that more land be purchased for Camp Pohoka, southern Indiana's Boy Scout center located on the Wabash River between New Harmony and Mt. Vernon which then included 140 acres. Hope was to move it up to 300 acres. Attendance in 1953 was at the 1000 boy level and it was hoped to bring it to 1800. It was determined that the lake facilities were large enough to take care of a camp that size. Additional water facilities, four new campsites and a new road should be included. Winter cabins were also increased in number from the three they had last year. I remember being a boy scout there in the early 60's. Jack Hargett was our scoutmaster - Troop 95. We had our meetings at Trinity Church. I liked the camping at Pohoka, Pfister's Pond, Trinity Grove, but I didn't like wearing a uniform except a baseball uniform and I quit after becoming a Star scout. I remember taking a swimming test at Pohoka, drinking the kool-aid we called, 'Bug Juice' at the dining hall, campfire ghost stories, and the Order of the Arrow ceremonies at the lake. One class reunion, Denny Hargett brought some of the old photos from that time to show.

Creamery Passed Down From Founder.....1954

Holder Anderson was a native of Denmark and came to America in his youth at 17 and settled in Minnesota. He trained in the dairy industry in his native land and continued in that field here. From Minnesota to Kansas to Evansville to Mt. Vernon he journeyed. In 1926 he purchased a building at 214 College Avenue from Edgar Thomas. He bought raw milk and cream and manufactured butter, pasteurized milk and ice cream starting in 1926. In 1954, Holder's two sons, Jack and Bob formed a partnership to operate the Mt. Vernon Creamery as their father went into retirement, but will be around as an advisor.

Additions to Athletic Park.....1954

Additional lights were added for night baseball as was a badly needed drainage system. A thirty foot backstop, a grandstand roof and construction of seats were all untaken. A new concession stand was added and a huge Osage hedge which had grown out of control was removed. The Advance Drilling Company added a drinking fountain also. That drainage system didn't work too well at least not in right field. When I was in school we had so many rainouts and games called because of standing water in right field. Anyway, the first night baseball game was played that season and Mt. Vernon defeated the Poseyville Posies 5-4 in a game called after 5 innings; of course, due to rain. Ha ha. Southpaw Charlie King struck out nine for the Cats allowing only 4 hits. Gerald "Chummy" Jeffries, my future head coach, had two hits including a double.

Beating the Heat Wave.....1954

In July of 1954 there was an extended heat wave across the Midwest and Mt. Vernon had at least nine 100 degree days. The thermometer on July 14, hit 104 degrees in town and 108 in Logansport and Washington, Indiana. Mt. Vernon did a series of sprinklings or as they called it "dunking for ducklings" by opening up some hydrants, closing some streets and adding a special sprinkler for the children and adults to cool off. This photo was on East Second and Mulberry. The 85 foot sprinkler provided a needed break in the days when air conditioning was rare.

"Born to be Wild".....1954

Ever seen a fire chief ride a farm tractor to a fire? Mt. Vernon did one hot July day in 1954. William T. Booth, chief of the Mt. Vernon Fire Department, was en route on a farm tractor to the Keck-Gonnerman display at the 4H Club fair shortly before noon when a fire alarm was sounded when a burning rubbish pile in the rear of the Arrow Cafe on Main Street threatened to spread. The chief made the run on his tractor. Thata boy

Thieves Rob Clothesline.....1954

Thieves looted a loaded clothesline at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Gentil at 418 East Second Street. Mrs. Gentil early Sunday night hung the newly washed clothes of her family on the line, which was only 12 feet from the rear of the Gentil home. When the family awoke the next morning, the line was devoid of about half the clothing. The thief or thieves were discriminating taking mostly new garments belonging to Mrs. Gentil and her daughter Peggy Ann. However, they did take Mr. Gentil's socks and underwear.

Excerpts of Letter to Editor on Road Safety.....1954

A letter in the local paper signed only "I'm a Driver," spoke of another bloody weekend on state highways. "I saw something in the paper the other day about asking for raising the already too high gasoline taxes from six cents to eight cents to pay for more state troopers. This is not the answer to the traffic deaths on our state highways. Take, for instance, Highway 62 from Mt. Vernon to Evansville. Did you ever start through one of the first two bridges and find a gasoline transport bearing down on you from the opposite direction? Yes, a swerve in either direction would result in sudden death. This goes on all over the state, day in and day out. There is not a culvert between here and Evansville that hasn't had the banister knocked off or is still off. Why? Because the Highway Department has not kept pace with the times. These bridges and culverts were built during the Model T and A days. Of course, the Highway Department will say, no money is available. It is none too early to start widening the bridges before more traffic than ever is turned loose on Highway 62 when the Wabash Memorial Bridge is completed. Let's start now to improve our roads and deaths will decline." Ike in the late 50's started the interstate highway programs allowing us to bypass cities with more lanes and higher speeds. Highway 62 became 4 lanes in the early 1970's eliminating the travel over hills and narrow bridges. Highway 69 to New Harmony is now a wonderful road so different then the death trap it was of my youth, and you can now get to Poseyville without making right turns around every farm thanks to I-64.

Frozen Slop Buckets is Collection Problem.....1954

Cold weather came and as usual being a garbage man became more difficult for collector Harry Hardin. Hardin appealed to housewives to drain their garbage to take out as much moisture as possible before putting it in the slop pales. "Those were the days." Dad had a slop bucket on a pole so animals could not get into it easily and it was right next to an old barrel that we burned trash in. I loved taking out the trash and burning it. A kid with matches having a good time. We burned leaves too. I always did like the smell of burning leaves in the fall.

Auto Stalls, Hit by Locomotive, Dragged 20 Feet.....1954

A L&N railroad freight train hit a Mt. Vernon motorist at the Locust street crossing and the occupant of the auto crawled from the wreckage. James Schaeffer, 33, of East Grant failed to see the train as he approached the crossing traveling north. The train had checked his speed preparing to make a stop at the Mt. Vernon yards. The auto, a 1946 Nash Rambler was demolished carrying the occupant inside for twenty feet down the track. Mt. Vernon Police said that the Schaeffer's motor vehicle stalled on the crossing track.

Firemen's Thanksgiving Ball.....1954

Public celebration at the 63rd Annual Firemen's Ball held at the National Guard Armory. The Bud Avery Orchestra entertained at the benefit dance.

Business District Fire.....December 1953

Flames menaced a quarter block bounded on the north by west Second and on the east by Main on the 17th of December. The fire broke out in the early afternoon as the Ed Turner apartment building, the building occupied by the Al Rio restaurant, an upstairs apartment on Main Street, the Friendly Cafe and apartments above the cafe bore the brunt of the blaze. Roofs of those buildings were caving in and several others were being threatened like Yaggi's plumbing and a heating firm. The Evansville Fire Department dispatched two pumpers to help us out. The severe cold handicapped the firemen and water from the hose lines froze on the adjacent streets. The fire originated in either the rear of the Turner building or the Al Rio. Damages were reported of over $50,000. Twenty three fireman and several volunteers fought the fire for eight hours in sub-freezing temperatures. Pumpers poured water high above the Christmas decorations across Main Street. One invalid women living in one of the apartments in a wheel chair had to be carried out.

Downtown Fire.....December 1953

Scores of citizens were attracted to the spectacular fire downtown and many helped remove contents for the merchants. It was said that the north side of Second Street and half block of Main looked like a used furniture store. It was the largest fire loss since June 14, 1946 when the Breeze Garage was destroyed and the adjacent Mt. Vernon Democrat building at Fifth and Main. Flames spread quickly that afternoon in an area of closely jammed buildings with the only major break in buildings lines being a small court behind the Evertson and Gentil buildings and alongside the Weisinger building housing the Al Rio which extended to the street to the alley. Mr. Schroeder said that he first noticed smoke in the kitchen of his restaurant and believed it was pulled in by a suction fan. He turned in the alarm. From the roof of the Weisinger building he saw smoke coming from the rear of the Friendly Cafe. Soon Schroeder's restaurant and apartment were engulfed. Fire consumed everything Schroeder owned including valuable jewelry and currency that he had on hand for Christmas bonuses for his employees. Mrs. Mattingly of the Friendly Cafe heard a popping noise and smelled smoke and soon found the ceiling of a rest room in the rear of the cafe afire. Two buildings west of the Friendly Cafe were also on fire those being the recently vacated Gus Gentil restaurant and the former Dr. Hale dental office. Ivan Yaggi's plumbing and heating establishment south of the Al Rio was damaged as well as a wall cracked at the Al Rio. Small damage was also reported by the Washington Tavern and Kate's Beauty Shop. Fire Chief William Booth estimated the total loss at close to $60,000. It took two hours to get the fire under control by Mt. Vernon firemen and 12 Evansville firemen manning two pumpers. Nine hoses of 2 1/2 inch were directed at the fire during its height.

For Your Viewing Pleasure - A Test Pattern!.....November 1953

Reminds me of an old Cheech and Chong skit where Cheech says, "That ain't no Indian movie man; that's a test pattern." I guess if you never seen one it would be cool for a little while as you waited for the National Anthem. That's what we did back in the day. TV was only on certain hours and the day began and ended with the National Anthem. Evansville's first television station, WFIE put on a test pattern on channel 62 for the first time on November 8th and this pattern was on every day from 10 am to 7 pm until November 15, when regular program first began locally.

Paragon Raided and 9 Arrested.....November 1953

State excise agents, state police, the Posey County sheriff's office and the Posey County prosecuting attorney's office teamed up for an early Sunday morning raid on The Paragon, night spot east of Mt. Vernon on State Road 62. Nine arrests were made not mentioning the panic of the dancers that followed. Leo Hogge, 47, owner-operator was charged with the unlawful sale of alcohol as The Paragon had no Indiana alcoholic beverage permit. Twelve agents swooped down on the dance spot a few moments before 2 a.m. Sunday. Four of the 12 excise agents and the wife of one of them had been there for several hours participating in the dancing and merrymaking collecting evidence. Although the raid had been planned for two weeks, according to the authorities, there was no leak or tip-off. All exits were quickly blocked off. Seven guests were arrested for carrying alcoholic beverages into a place of public entertainment for the purpose of consuming and one was arrested for consuming the product as one with a charge of public intoxication.

Quinn Buys Paint firm of DeFur's.....November 1953

Lloyd Quinn, was vice president and sales manager a Keck-Gonnerman when he purchased from Clyde DeFur, the DeFur's Paint Store at 212 Main Street. The building had the business on the first floor and a four room apartment on the second floor. The firm handled paint, wallpaper, glass and hardware. Quinn had 16 years of merchandising experience including working for the Mt. Vernon Furnace and Manufacturing Company in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The DeFur establishment had been in existence more than twenty five years Originally, Kelry DeFur became a partner with Lee Hurley. Hurley eventually took care of the Henderson Kentucky paint store and DeFur the Mt. Vernon one. The store at 212 Main was purchased in 1936. For many years, DeFur had worked with his sons Dale and Clyde.

Co-Op Employee takes Magic Carpet Ride.....November 1953

A lighted cigarette sent a Mt. Vernon employee of the production division of the petroleum department of Indiana Farm Bureau Co-Op hurtling through the air for a distance of sixty feet on the top of an oil storage tank in the Oliver Oil pool. Allen Curtis Newman, 18, was shaken up and only suffered a minor burn to his wrist from his "flying saucer" ride. He visited a Mt. Vernon physician as was truly lucky from his ordeal of the exploding tank and his journey through the air into a field. Two other nearby workers, Ray Smith and Bobby Gene Wolfe were unhurt. The trio was engaged in hooking up a heater. Newman was atop the 210 barrel storage tank which was approximately half full of oil when Newman lit his fag resulting in the explosion.

Our Police Car Gets A "Warning Signal" Light.....October 1953

A circle beam, revolving light was added to the top of the Mt. Vernon Police Department auto. This 360 degree rotating light was made either by Sireno or Federal Sign and Signal and allowed better recognition to the public from all directions of an emergency situation.

George Ashworth Authors Single Wing Story.....October 1953

George Ashworth played football and basketball at Mt. Vernon, graduating in 1929. He was captain of both sports during his junior and senior years. In 1930 he played football at Centre College and then at Indiana State serving as captain in his senior season. He was selected as the Bigwood Award winner as MVP in 1934 and the Hines Medal as the varsity athlete with the highest scholastic standing in 1935. He was a football coach at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana in 1944, then at Wiley High School in Terre Haute 1945-1948. He coached for 21 seasons of high school football going 100-61-13 with 2 undefeated teams and 6 conference championships. He coached 6 man football in Mt. Vernon and also varsity basketball. He was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame as player and a coach in 1979. He was elected into the MVHS Hall of Fame in 1986. More than 25 of his players went on to play college football, two were "little All-Americans", two others played in the Rose Bowl and one in the Orange Bowl. He coached two seasons of football at Indiana State also. He authored many articles on football for the Athletic Journal magazine over the years, which was one of the top publications for the grid coaching profession. The article in mention here was called, "The Single Wing Running Attack," and was heavily illustrated with pictures showing Ashworth's own offensive plays used at Streater, Illinois high school which he used to an undefeated season and chosen by the Champaign News Gazette as Illinois, "Coach of the Year." In the fifties, George lectured on his offense at the Illinois Coaches Association and instructed at the Utah Coaches Association Coaches School at Odgen, Utah.

L&N Razes Water Tanks.....October 1953

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad's old water tower at the local station, a fixture in use since L&N began operating trains through Mt. Vernon 81 years ago was dismantled. The towers or tanks made certain communities "tank towns" and it was dismantled because of the passing of steam locomotives. Modern diesel locomotives use water only for radiators and consequently can take on the limited amount of water required at St. Louis, Louisville, Evansville, and Nashville.

Old Fashioned Hoe Down....On Horses?.....1953

On June 5, 1953 at the Athletic Park, Mt. Vernon held its Seventh Annual Horse Show. Sponsored by the local Saddle Club along with the Kiwanis it had the popular features of a gaited horse show and a Western program. What I would have liked to have seen were the four couples on horseback doing the "dosey do." Now that's entertainment! LOL. They also brought in this girl who was an "exponent of Roman riding," who standing she used three horses in hurdle jumping act. "Yippie I Yeah" We had competitive events like jumping horses and a pulling contest. There were 14 competitive events like open pony, gaited pleasure, Tennessee walking, Three-gaited, English tack, five gaited stallion, amateur gaited, ladies western pleasure, saddle scramble, men's pleasure, and pulling contests. I have no idea on most of what I just wrote. But, I bet it was a good time! "Happy trails to you, until we meet again."

Jerry Thompson Hurls No-hitter vs Savah Indians.....June 1953

Fireball ace Jerry Thompson of the Mt. Vernon Exchange Merchants set the Indians down without a safety in a 25-0 victory at the Farmersville Diamond in the Posey County Amateur Baseball League. Thompson struck out eight, but walked seven and hit one. Bill Bourne paced the 19 hit attacks hitting for the cycle plus a walk. Gary Farris was two for two, Jesse Walker slammed a homer and a double with two walks, "Chummy" Jeffries had two singles as did Thompson. Johnny Johnson added a triple.

Historical Old Home Becomes Office of Mt. Vernon Doctor.....May 1953

One of the oldest and historical homes, located at 431 Walnut Street (across from the Catholic Church) became the office of physician and surgeon, William Challman. Dr. Challman moved from his office building at 131 West Third Street to Walnut recently purchased from George Black. In this spacious two story brick building, Benjamin Harrison, then a prominent Indiana lawyer and later President of the United States was a visitor during trips to Mt. Vernon to practice law with Judge William P. Edson. The dwelling was the Edson home for many years and afterward the home of Jacob Rosenbaum, Mt. Vernon merchant. The lower floor will be the reception room for patients, a business office and record room, two treatment rooms, an emergency surgery room, laboratory, drug room and x ray laboratory. The second floor will be used as a library, additional surgery quarters and a clinical laboratory. In 1968 the home was sold to George Ewing and he refurbished the brick exterior with a fresh coat of paint. The house had a long, narrow hallway on the south side provides access to vital portions of the downstairs, via a sturdily built stairway to the upper floor as well. Fancy trim work was added to the outside of the house by its second owner, George Naas. From Naas it went to Rosenbaum, then to Black, onto Challman and then to Ewing. Ewing bought it and placed it on the market and it became occupied by the Posey County Welfare Department. It was torn down in June of 1988. It was 123 years old. The property now is an additional parking lot for St. Matthew parishioners.

Gigs 500 Pounds of Carp In Backwater.....May 1953

Elvis Gentil, of Stephan Home Appliances and Jack DeKemper of the Indiana Farm Bureau refinery, gigged 500 pounds of carp in the Ohio River overflow below Hovey Lake in Point township. Both of them said a Mt. Vernon minister can vouch for their catch.

Riley Grade School Boasts of New Library.....May 1953

The PTA at the start of the 1952-53 school year, started a long range project to provide a library and books for the James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School in Mt. Vernon. Although there were book shelves in every classroom it was thought that these were not adequate for the "eager exploding minds" of our children. Mrs. Melvin Redman, the PTA president appointed a committee to study the possibilities. Along with herself she chose, City School Superintendent Cyrus Gunn, Paul Bayer, Mrs. Lealon Allen, and J. Fred Kennedy, a Riley teacher to look into a library and how to pay for it. A school carnival and chili supper were held and the support of the community was gratifying. The children made $64 in candy sales too which was used to buy new books. The walls were lined with beautiful bleachwood shelves. An adjustable library table was installed. Also some new draperies and a slip cover for the couch were purchased. It is hoped that this will continue to be an ongoing project.

Booker T. Washington Puts On Year End Program.....May 1953

B.T.W. grade school put on an unusual program called, "Spring Varieties," which delighted an overflow audience of parents and friends. From the vocal welcome, "Howdy, Howdy, " to the "Good Night," the program moved smoothly and reflected the talent of the Booker T. students under the capable direction of teacher Jennie Bishop. "Animal Capers" was a very pleasing number with penguins, lions, deer, kangaroos, polar bears and elephants represented. The upper grades were well received in a Gypsy Dance which was performed in a campfire setting with a chorus singing, "Jolly Gypsy." Lower grade students made a major contribution to the program in their Maypole Dance, Minuet, Parasol Parade and Kitchen Band led by Drum Major Clarence Lee.

Local Student In Inaugural Parade.....January 1953

David Keck, of 400 Mulberry will march with the Indiana University Marching Hundred with the famed band when they participate in Dwight Eisenhower's presidential inaugural parade in Washington D.C.

Mt. Vernon Born Writer Authors Boy's Ranch Story.....January 1953

Marhalee Forgy Patton, a writer of considerable reputation and a native of our town was the author of 'Rainbow In Florida," a nonfiction story of Rainbow Ranch for Boys, a project of Homer Rodeheaver, nationally known evangelistic song leader. The story appeared in the January issue of The Christian Advocate, publication of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Patton's father was Horace Forgy, a druggist employed by the former D & H Rosenbaum Drug Store in Mt. Vernon many years ago.

Just About Ready for Hironimus Food Market.....January 1953

Construction work on the new Hironimus Food Market on the southeast corner of West Third and Mill Streets owned by Oscar Hironimus were almost completed. Moving day arrived shortly thereafter, from Second and Mill to their new building. Later in the month a Grand Opening was held. At the new location the Hironimus store discontinued their previous delivery service and began a cash and carry basis. Wouldn't be long I guess, before the Bonnie & Jill tug would be ferrying out fresh meat and groceries to the barges on the Ohio River though.

Geese Dying By Hundreds at Hovey Lake.....January 1953

Hovey Lake caretaker George Stevens sat on a big pile of Canadian geese with a cigarette loosely in his lips in the paper. The annual "epidemic" of lead poisoning was heavier than usual that season. A waterfowl biologist called in said the fowl get the lead from the beds of the lake and the shot gets into their gizzards and poisoning results. A new shell has been perfected he said that will not cause the poisoning.

Modern Food Store Opens at Third and Mll.....January 1953

Hironimus Food Center opened to a gala celebration with live guitar playing by Kenny Mason and Kenny Dielkes and representatives of Old Judge Coffee and Sunbeam Bakery were on hand to give away free samples of their products. Drawings were held for large gift baskets and treats were given to the kiddies. The spacious building of concrete block construction and built up roof looked great with a front of plate glass with Brazilian tile and Bedford stone copings. It had nine foot wide aisles and excellent fluorescent illumination. The produce department had a 12 foot Tyler refrigerator which insured proper temperatures and a meat department in the rear of the store which measured 10x14 feet. A modern office is adjacent to the meat department. There were Acco frozen and ice cream cabinets, a double action entrance door, large book and magazine racks and a nice large parking lot. The store was heated by city gas. The store was built mainly with Mt. Vernon products. The concrete blocks were purchased from the Hagemann Sand and Gravel Co. and the plumbing was installed by Ivan Yaggi and sons. The electrical wiring was by Bullard Electric, lumber was from the Mt. Vernon Lumber Company, and Gilbert Smith was the carpenter. Al Waters laid the blocks and P & L Utley Excavating did the excavating. Store manager was Louis Zenthoefer and Paul Poole headed the meat department. Walter Burks was in charge of produce, Carl Emory was head checker and additional help provided by William Owens, Harold Shelby and Junior Endicott.

Damn the Luck.....1953

Betty Thrall, 19, of West Third Street suffered a minor injury when she fell in a manhole on the sidewalk in front of Alles Brothers Furniture Store after alighting from an E. & O. V. bus depot at the Pocket Hotel. Police said that the manhole cover tipped when the woman stepped on it and she fell through.

Come On Down "Rocky Boy".....1953

A raccoon perched on top of a utility pole at Walnut and Water streets caused quite a stir. Mt. Vernon police believe he was routed from his lowland habitat by the rising Ohio River and possibly chased up the pole by a dog. Anyways, he attracted much attention and resulted in one person being fined. Louis Roberts, 20, who police said tried to dislodge the coon by butting the pole with his auto and was fined by the Justice of the Peace Court $5 and costs for reckless driving.

Jarvis Wildcats.....1953

The Jarvis Wildcats were a semi-professional woman's softball team sponsored by Sam Jarvis, a well-known oil operator. The women were from all over the tri-state I gather and used Athletic Park in 1953 as their home park. They played many out of town ladies' teams and looking at the sports page they were very, very good. I don't know what their record ended up being but they started off 9-0 with impressive wins over teams from Louisville, Paducah, and Logansport. The picture shows three of the players, Sue Jones, Ruth McMillen, and Mary (Tommy) Taylor. Miss Jones was from Logansport, Indiana, a school teacher and won two of the first nine games. I am thinking this was fast pitch softball. Mt. Vernon sportswriter, Bill Causey, who started our little league program himself in Mt. Vernon would cover this team just as he did the Double I League entry. He was a fine sportswriter locally.

Beuford Moss.....1953

I didn't know of this man until recently. He didn't play for Mt. Vernon High School, there was segregation. I don't have his high school stats, because the papers normally didn't cover ever Negro game. But, Beuford Moss, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Moss of Mt. Vernon was a star athlete at Maryland State College and graduated from there in 1953. Moss, was a graduate of Mt. Vernon's Booker T. Washington school here and Evansville Lincoln High School. He was captain of the Maryland State basketball team for three consecutive years and also played football and baseball. During his senior year he helped Coach V.E. McCain, coach the freshmen. He majored in physical education with a minor in history, was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and was a popular and well liked figure on campus. He was called "The Wheel" by his teammates.

Palace Soda Shop.....1950's

Maybe a reader can date this for me. This looks like the location of the former Palace Soda Shop or Greeks and that is definitely Ike Rosenbaum's Jewelry Store. I would say this is in the fifties, before Bunnel and Davis had their men's wear shop. Anyone recall this diner?

"Over My Head!" Inventor is Local Scientist.....1953

John Griess Jr., of Mt. Vernon moved to Tennessee and was employed at Oak Ridge by the Atomic Energy Commission where he is a co-inventor of one of 26 inventions on which patents recently were released by the A.E.C. for public use. Griess and another scientist invented a selective electrodeposition of silver when it was operated by the Monsanto Chemical Company. "The patent covers an improved process for selectivity recovering silver by electrode position from an alkaline aqueous solution comprising trace amounts of silver along with macro quantities of palladium and containing a complex forming substance, such as ammonium, hydroxide, cyanides or the like, in an amount in excess of that required to solubilize the silver and palladium present." Ok, got it?

"Sideline After-Thoughts " with Bill Causey....1953

Bill was a fine sportswriter and regular reporter too at times for the Mt. Vernon Democrat. He could write poetry, spin a phrase, and make a point. He is credited with almost starting the Mt. Vernon Little League with his own money I have heard. In 1953 he wrote of attending a basketball game in Owensville and marveled at it. "How can it be," he wrote. "A town with a population of about 2000 being able to build an edifice like that....the same with Winslow, still smaller, Dale and a host of other small towns. Princeton will be starting its big new gym soon. What about Mt. Vernon? This city of nearly 7000 population, where real estate and personal property valuations are constantly increasing, can't afford to enlarge the present gym? Other towns and communities have had to build new schools and were still able to construct new gyms, but not Mt. Vernon. We don't have anything else here either!" He said, the primary entertainment here seems to be bending elbows." Bill was a supporter of our athletic programs from Pee Wee League to independent Frank Moll Indians basketball. He gave us insight, statistics, and voiced our complaints and concerns. Sadly, his career was cut short by eye problems.

What's In Vogue?...Would You Believe Coon Dinners?.....1953

I know these civil organizations do a lot of good for the community supplying flags for the holidays, toys for Christmas, canes for the blind, sponsoring youth athletic programs, etc., but why would three of these fine groups decide to serve coon? I'm up to eating just about any kind of food, but game really doesn't appeal to me. Roast 'coon being the "piece de resistance" as a main course would make me want to go home early. Anybody had this? Well back in the early 50's the Elks, Eagles, and the American Legion all had raccoon suppers with all the trimmings within four days of each other. Maybe they were in season, I don't know. What sort of trimmings come with coon? City boy who doesn't hunt would like to know.

Close Cover Before Striking.....1953

I would think a horse drawn wagon-auto collision would have been a rarity by the mid-fifties, but one occurred in Mt. Vernon one November morning. Fred Hutchison, shop foreman of Hasting Equipment Company was checking the auto of Melvin Scharlach, Sunshine Feed Store manager to determine the source of a strange noise. They raised the hood and they took a ride with Andrew Marx riding on the bumber listening for the noise. Evidently, they could not see where they were going very well with the hood up and they rammed into the back of a wagon pulled by a horse on Third Street between Elm and Sawmill. Damage was slight and no one was injured.

Keck-Gonnerman Company 1884-1953

A small foundry, established in 1875 in Mt. Vernon became the most important industry in Posey County for decades. John C. Winfield Woody was the founder. Later his brother-in-law John Keck purchased an interest in the company. Woody became ill and sold his interest to John Onk of Louisville and the company became Keck & Onk. Onk left again for Kentucky and William Gonnerman and Henry Kuebler entered the picture, Eventually Keck bought out Kuebler so what remained became Keck-Gonnerman. In 1901 the business was incorporated with a capitol of over $200,000. Their business was making engines, threshers, and portable sawmills. In 1904 they added coal mining machinery to the line. Its products were recognized for their high quality and marketed throughout the United States. Shipments were made by railroad. Over 200 men made their living on West Fourth Street. The firm had branches located in St. Louis, Peoria, Illinois, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Threshers bearing the "Kay-Gee" stamp were exported to Cuba to thresh rice. The last one was built in 1930. Our foundry had many firsts like: the first steam engine and thresher built in 1884; first kerosene tractor in 1918; first tractor separator built in 1921; first steel separator built in 1926; and the first 4 cylinder Kay-Gee tractor built in 1928. In 1953, Keck_Gonnerman Co. was sold to two engineers, Harrison and Spencer, from California who hoped to develop the manufacture of new equipment to fit the changing farming patterns. For many years now the Keck-Gonnerman Antique Machinery Association holds annual exhibits usually at the Posey 4H Fair Grounds in August.

City Extends Mail Service to New Areas....1953

The Post Office granted permission to begin delivery of mail to the 1100 and 1200 blocks of East Second Street, the 200 block of North Edson and the 200 block of North State Street, John W. Brown, acting postmaster announced. Patrons of this area until now had no delivery service available and received their mail in General Delivery at the Post Office and some rented boxes. To get mail however, each individual house must meet certain requirements....having a mail box or mail slot, street numbers visible from the street and an all-weather walk from the street to the house. The walk does not need to be paved, but should be of such construction that the carrier can travel over it in all types of weather safely and conveniently.

24 hour wrecker service.....1953

Frank Fessenden Steps Down as Scoutmaster of Troop 81....1953

Without fanfare, "Pop" stepped down as scoutmaster of Troop 81 after 28 years. He was there at the beginning of the troop sponsored by the First Methodist Church. Ray Digman became his successor. The decision was a hard one for Mr. Fessenden named, "Pops" by his boys over the years. "Scouting is primarily an outdoor program and even a scoutmaster grows old to the extent that he can't tramp over hill and dale as he once did."

Doug McFadden on the Path to Integration of MVHS Sports.....Early 1950's

Mr. McFadden, earlier this spring wrote in the Posey County Historical Newsletter a wonderful summary of the march to integration in Mt. Vernon schools. I have touched on the subject from various angles in many of my books and especially my first one, "From Brownies to Wildcats." Mt. Vernon was blessed with many outstanding black athletes early on. Johnny Johnson, whom I interviewed in 1983, led the pack. Like Jackie Robinson he had to endure the name calling and rough treatment of the times. McFadden touched on an area I had not thought of too much....that of Evansville Lincoln High School. You see there was a time where Mt. Vernon would send their black high school students to Lincoln. Lincoln Lions were always tough in sports. When Johnny or Johnnie started making an input at MVHS the basketball coach of Lincoln, Art Taylor, according to Doug "tried unsuccessfully to lure Johnson to Lincoln." McFadden said, "The principal of Owensville telephoned principal Charles Hames of Mt. Vernon to warn of trouble if the MVHS team traveling to their school for a football game included colored players." Hames response "We are coming." McFadden states: "At towns such as Rockport, Cannelton, and Boonville, the fans hurled not only verbal abuses but debris and bottles. It was a challenging period for the athletes but both black and white players at MVHS never wavered in their support of teammates." Doug mentions Kenney Stewart, another great MV athlete. "In one incident, we were playing basketball at Boonville. The all-white fans from Boonville were hurling repeated racial slurs toward and particularly at Kenny. Kenney was a quiet person. After the game, Kenney dressed quickly and left through an outside door. Jim Challman and I followed. Outside a crowd of nasty white fans was waiting with their big center. A ring was formed and a fist fight began between Kenney and the big white center. Kenney knocked him down three times. The last time he'd had enough. Kenney with Jim and me following proceeded back to the dressing room. The crowd parted and not a sound was heard. Once inside, Jim and I exhaled a sigh of relief." Oh those Stewart boys...Kenney, Gary, and Mike. All were outstanding athletes. I always have said that Mike was the best overall MV athlete I ever saw. The Johnsons, Prices, Stewarts, etc. paid a price on the athletic fields for America in a troubled time. My thanks to them, the black students, who didn't play sports but contributed to integration, the administrators who finally opened the doors of opportunity, and the citizens and white students of Mt. Vernon who did the right thing.

Photo from 1953 that shows part of West Second and Main Street

You can see some of the late Pocket Hotel, Wheaton's Pharmacy and the roof of the Stinson building. People are gathered outside on the sidewalk because there is a fire on the other side of Second that burned the El-Rio restaurant as well as damaging many others including the Friendly Cafe. I wonder if this photo was taken by John Doane in an airplane or from a fireman's ladder. Pretty damn high for a reporter to take a photo. I go with plane.

Local GI Pays MV Parking Ticket in Wons.....1953

From far-away Korea came a reply to the Mt. Vernon Parking Meter Department that a ticket had been unpaid. Pfc. LaVerne Kaffenberger wrote back that the offense in his name was not committed by him since he had been in Korea for seven months. Kaffenberger included in his note a 1000 won South Korean note. He said, "so that there be no confusion in your records. I am enclosing herewith money to pay the fine incurred. Unfortunately, no standard American currency is available so I hope that the one thousand won note will cover the charges. Should the amount not be sufficient to pay the unwarranted fine, you can send your representative to my current address in Korea. It is suggested that he dress warmly and be prepared to dodge artillery shells." The private's parking meter account was stamped, "paid."

Stephan Implement Company Moves To Town's East Side.....July 1952

Ground was broken in January of 1952 on the new facility at the east triangle to Mt. Vernon on State Highway 62. The new location will provide greater convenience, more display service, storage facilities, and plenty of parking space. The John Deere dealer moved from 418-22 Main Street where it had been since their foundation in 1937. Elmer Stephan, owner-manager is excited to be moving to the larger store.

Trinity Shelter House Dedicated.....July 1952

A shelter house erected by the men of Trinity Evangelical and Reformed Church at Trinity Grove, three miles east of Mt. Vernon on Highway 62, was dedicated. Dedicated on a Sunday the church observed a outdoor worship service in its honor. Construction of the shelter house began in the spring and the entire project was done by volunteer labor. The shelter house, 30 x60 feet in size, was constructed of concrete blocks, with open sides, metal roof, insulated from beneath, and electrically lighted. It was hoped in another year they would add running water and a fireplace and an oven. Trinity Grove was started as a recreational area in the 1930's when the late Gottlieb Grabert (relative of my wife), a church member, granted the ground for picnic purposes. After his death, his widow Louise and family wanted it continued as a memorial to Mr. Grabert. The grounds were equipped with slides, swings, horseshoe courts, baseball diamond, volleyball court and a refreshment stand. The public also by application could use the grounds. As I write, bull dozers are pushing down the trees of the former Grove. In the early 60's, I was a Boy Scout, no really I was, and we were sponsored by Trinity, with Jack Hargett the scout master. We had a camp out one night there and I believe it snowed. I remember it cold as the dickens. During the day they took me out for some compass training. I never could get the hang of that! I do remember the baseball diamond. I don't know how many times I had passed this clump of forest and remembered that night.

New Scout Troop Sponsored by the Elks.....May 1952

On Elks Youth Day the lodge announced the arrangements for sponsorship of a new Mt. Vernon Boy Scout Troop. Karl Kishline will be the Scoutmaster and Warren Kishline the assistant. Members of the troop committee are Ted Wheaton, chairman; John Forthoffer, Herman Bray, Malvern Redman and Charles Carr. John Doane, the immediate past exalted ruler of the lodge will serve as institutional representative. Walter King, a veteran local Scouter, was credited for giving valuable assistance in organizing the troop. Membership in the troop will not be confined to Elk affiliated boys.

Mt. Vernon Host to Home Show.....May 1952

The coliseum was the setting for a two day electrical home appliance show which was filled with throngs of women and many accompanied by their husbands. The display of electrical home appliances of seven Mt. Vernon dealers sponsoring the show caught the eye of people as they entered the hall. The theme of the show was, "Of course it's electric." One demonstrator of products complimented the inquiring shoppers with the statement, "I never heard more intelligent questions concerning desirable factors of electrical equipment than those forthcoming from the Mt. Vernon and Posey County women." Wonder how many times he had used that line? haha. The seven sponsoring dealers were Southern Indiana Gas & Electric, Stephan Home Appliances, Mt. Vernon Home Appliances, Benton Tire Service, Gronemeier Hardware, Lindley's, and Oscar Keck had their attractive display booths in readiness for the show. All exhibits had actual demonstrations of the appliances to make "the homemaker needs a housewife's paradise." Glistening ranges, refrigerators, freezers, automatic washers, dryers, ironers, dishwashers, toasters, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, corn poppers, sewing machines were displayed. It must have been a good time. I learned a long time ago however; not to buy a wife an appliance for a birthday, or Christmas.

Main Street.....1952

  • 101 Peerless
  • 104 Stephen Farm and Home Supplies
  • 104 1/2 Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3258
  • 107 Bray Package Liquor
  • 119 Murphy's Tavern
  • 127 Al-Rio
  • 128 Mt. Vernon Republican Newspaper
  • 132 Boyer Drugs
  • 133 Washington Tavern
  • 200 Benton Tire Service
  • 201 Wheaton's Pharmacy
  • 202 Alles Cigar Store
  • 205-207 Stinson Bros.
  • 209 McFadden Furniture Store
  • 210 Schenk Cigar Store
  • 212 DeFur Paint Store
  • 211 Ben Franklin Store
  • 213 McCarty's Tavern
  • 218 City Dry Cleaners
  • 219 The Arrow Cafe
  • 220 Fox Jewelry
  • 221 Dagger's Cafe
  • 222 Western Union Telegraph
  • 225 Western Auto
  • 226-228 Mt. Vernon Theater
  • 231 Rothrock's Pharmacy
  • 233 Oliver Jewelers
  • 301 Palace Soda
  • 303 Rosenbaum Jewelry
  • 305 Old Heidelberg Cafe
  • 311 Indiana Brokerage
  • 323 Garrison Radio Sales
  • 331 R&M Cafe
  • 333 Mt. Vernon Home Appliance
  • 401 Hardy's Tavern
  • 402-404 People's Bank & Trust
  • 403 1/2 Moose Lodge #497
  • 409 Neu-Way Cleaners
  • 412 Kroger Company
  • 413-415 Gronemeier Hardware
  • 520 Keck Motor Company

Kiwanis Assists School Athletes.....1952

Local Kiwanis's traveled 4582 miles in transporting Mt. Vernon High School athletes to and from practice sessions in football, basketball, baseball and track this past year. Athletes were transported from the rural vicinity. They had no way of reaching home except by school bus which left prior to practice sessions for school sports. It was especially important for freshman athletes to have transportation. Many would not have participated without the transportation provided.

Remember "Panty Raids ?" Mt. Vernon Editor Has Opinion.....1952

Back in 1968, when I was in college at Murray State one of these broke out with men running all over campus setting fire to trash cans, turning on water hoses in the dorm elevator, shooting off fire crackers, and running from one girls' dorm to another acting stupid. I was too busy protesting war to take this serious. It was still interesting to see the campus police come out with their bull horns and try to restore order. In 1952 a wave of these panty raids were sweeping across the nations' campuses, the latest in college fads. Tear gas was used at two schools to restore order. Yeah, I know how that burns! ha. National Guard troops were called out at Columbia to turn back male students bent on carrying off unmentionable trophies. Raids were heavy in Big Ten schools with multiple raids at Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Orvan Hall, the Mt. Vernon Democrat editor weighed in: "The zestful commandos who have liberated lingerie enjoy a deferment status not accorded young non-collegians. The question, then, is whether the dormitory invaders are demonstrating sufficient progress toward education and maturity to warrant the high favor of continued deferment. But it's spring and girls are cute. We wouldn't want to see too harsh a judgment passed on the panty commandos as long as nobody gets hurt, physically or morally, in the forays. We might point out, however, that if a lad has an all-consuming desire for free underwear, any good supply sergeant stands ready to issue it to him. Or if he has an overwhelming interest in articles made of silk and nylon, the Armed Forces have a plentiful stock of unused parachutes."

German Methodist Church at Fourth and Locust 1840-1952

After 1933 the merging of this church and the First Methodist Episcopal Church occurred and this building was used as a Parish House for church meetings.

Style Rite Shoe Store Opens.....1952

Under the ownership of Robert L. Stinson, the family shoe store opened at 223 Main Street in the old Empress Theatre building. The building was completely modernized for mercantile occupancy. The 18x50 foot sales room is designed with shelving on two sides and the rear and a wrapping counter with socks, hosiery and purse displays in the front. The front of the store is recessed, flanked with display windows. Inside the color scheme was green and gray with an asphalt tile floor. Lighting was fluorescent. The new Mt. Vernon merchant came from a three generation of local merchandising family and had been associated with the Stinson Department Store in Mt. Vernon for 12 years, broken by two tours serving in the Navy. Clerical employees at the startup were Miss Anita Mathews and Miss Virginia Stein.

New Owners Of Palace Soda Shop.....1952

Alfred and Edith White purchased the Palace from Nick Andriakos, who left on vacation to his native Greece. The Palace was located at 301 Main Street and was known for its popular confections and soda fountain. They also manufactured their own ice cream. Mr. Andriakos, the former owner was a very successful businessman during his 30 years in Mt. Vernon. He purchased the shop on July 2, 1923 from George and Pete Hilakos. Nick came to the United States in 1909 and the shop was popular with the younger set of our town as sort of a recreational center as a place to gather and talk to their friends.

New Shoe Store in Town.....1952

Robert "Bruz" Stinson, associated with the Stinson Department Store gets out of the United States Navy and opened his own individually owned shoe store under the name of Style-rite. Stinson leased the former Empress theater building at 223 Main Street from Southern Enterprises, Inc., St. Louis an undertook a complete remodeling program to adapt it for use as a store handling men's, women's and children's shoes. A new store front was erected. It stocked well known shoes of Robert Johnson & Rand, Trim-Tred, and Poll Parrot.

Elks and St. Matthews, early 50's

Parkett in early 50's

Back then it was two blocks east of the city limits on Highway 62. It was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Uhde. The building was of concrete block and the floor was tile and the walls were blue. It had booths and tables with Formica tops. It was the turnaround place for cruising in my day listening to the Beach Boys, and the Association, beating on the dash to the beat with a hair brush, honking to all your friends doing the same thing down Main to the bowling alley and round again.

Life Story of Mt. Vernon Native, Alvin Hovey, is Published.....1952

An autobiography of former Indiana governor, Civil War general, congressman, and minister to Peru was included in the 1952 Indiana Magazine of History. The autobiography was found in a collection of papers which stayed for years in an iron chest in a private home in Mt. Vernon. Indiana University, who writes the magazine, acquired the papers through the efforts of Lloyd Menzies Fitzhugh of Chicago, and Mrs. Esther Leonard and Mrs. Charles Johnson of Mt. Vernon. It was introduced in the magazine by Elfrieda Lang, formerly of Mt. Vernon who was the assistant editor of the quarterly magazine. Hovey was described like so many of that time, "born in a log cabin and by his own determination came to fame." He was one of seven children and he wrote of his father, Abiel Hovey as a wealthy merchant of Vermont who was reduced to poverty by the War of 1812 and came to Posey County to make a new start. "Here, Hovey wrote, with the weight of his misfortunes, and a broken constitution, he passed his life in comparative obscurity, and died in 1823, leaving my mother with the rich legacy of seven small children, and nothing to eat." Shortly after Mrs. Hovey passed on, "and my five sisters, and only brother and myself were cast upon the world to take care of ourselves." He continued, "Poverty is commonplace, cold and unromantic, and ragged boyhood has but few charms." He recounted hunting expeditions of the wilds of Mt. Vernon, his early reading, and the excitement of a teacher coming to town. This teacher (not named), praised the poor orphaned boy saying that his writing and learning showed great promise. His next important step was meeting Judge John Pitcher, well known lawyer and judge in southern Indiana and Mt. Vernon. Like Abe Lincoln before him, Hovey used Pitcher's books and at the age of 18 became a law student. As a lawyer he worked the first case in the new court house I am told. The autobiography speaks much of his love of law, but also his great desire for "that fairy like child, Anna Lowry." He told of the hopeless gap between himself and this girl, who was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. Relatives believe this to be Mary Ann James, later to be Mrs. Hovey. Well, that is part of the story of the general who died before completing his term as governor and buried near the south interest of Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Memorial Day Speaker Appeals For "Leavened" Patriotism.....1952

An appeal for the type of patriotism that is leavened by reason and intellect was sounded by Dr. Frank Greer, First Methodist minister, who was the principal speaker at Mt. Vernon's formal observance of Memorial Day at Bellefontaine Cemetery. "High patriotism has its dangers in civil life in the same way that it does in religion," Dr. Greer said. "Patriotism and Religion must be balanced by intellect and reason." "If an American wishes the preferential grandeur and well-being of America above all other nations and the same is desired by all other nations...we have the recipe for war." The address and ceremony was conducted under cloudless skies with sponsoring organizations being the Owen Dunn Post #5 and the Harrow Relief Corps. Legionnaire Charles W. Hames was general chairman. The high school band was heard under the direction of Robert Padgett. Frank Fessenden gave a tribute to the Harrow Post, and a young Jackson Higgins recited Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The Harrow Relief Corps conducted services for the unknown dead, depositing flowers at the soldier's burial plot. Bugler Oswald Pfister sounded "To the Colors" and bugler Carl Lurker sounded taps followed by the Legion squad firing a salute to the dead.

First Electric Basketball Scoreboard.....1952

The 1951-52 was a very successful one. The Wildcats under Coach Harold Brown went 16-8, won the Posey County Tournament and won two games in the Evansille Sectional. Johnny Johnson was continually amongst the top scorers for the team. Gery Thompson, Bob Martin, and Challmen also were fine players. In the eighth game of the season the new electric scoreboard was used for the first time in the old Canal Street gym. I imagine it was the same one that changed colors in the last minute and was protected by a wire cage. Mt. Vernon defeated Mater Dei that night 41-31 with Milburn Stinson leading the way with 11 points. It was Mt. Vernon's 300th all-time win as a basketball team dating back to 1912.


The Peerless Caf. You also see the old Riverside Hotel and I believe it was called the Dunn House, once the oldest building in town going back to 1820's

Curls Anyone?.....1952

Wonder How Hedges Central Got Its Name? I'll Tell You....1952

Stoy Hedges 1898-1951, for 28 years was a Mt. Vernon teacher, principal and superintendent in our school system. It was Hedges who brought in the barracks to Mt. Vernon after the Central fire of 1945 and Mt. Vernon students were placed all over town. He died December 14, 1951 and the 1952 Hoop Pole was dedicated to him. The Mt. Vernon School Trustees decided that when the new elementary school was finished they would name it after Hedges. The Central part was kept because on that site for almost a hundred years the Central name had been used and they wanted it continued.

Mt. Vernon National Guard ....December 1957

John Doane photo

Old Dwelling Built From First MV Post Office Razed.....April 1951

One of the town's oldest homes and a local landmark came down-the George Washington Thomas home on the southwest corner of College Avenue and West Second Street. Gonnerman Auto Co. bought the property some time ago bought the property from Joe Vail and the brick residential building was torn down in preparation for the automotive firm's establishment of a modern used car sales lot. The nucleus of the building was erected in about 1818 by Jesse Y. Welborn, Mt. Vernon's first postmaster, and was used as the city's first post office. George Washington Thomas purchased the property in 1856 and added to the building and converted it into a family home. It was the only home in Mt. Vernon at the time that had a stone foundation. Charles Hagemann, who directed the razing of the historic building, said the main structure of the building still was sturdy. The woodwork, except for the eaves was well preserved. The stone foundation was purchased by the Texas Oil Company for use at its Mt. Vernon terminal.

Mayor James Bennett Extols His Accomplishments.....1951

I remember seeing Mr. Bennett on the streets of Mt. Vernon in the 1960's - an interesting looking man, tall and thin with a mustache. He was a long time public servant in Mt. Vernon and was mayor of our town for one term serving 1948-1952 losing to Paul Hironimus. During the summer months of 1951 he was trying to be re-elected and he did a series of advertisement on some of what he felt were his accomplishments. Here are a few:

  • A permanent dumping place was established which cost the taxpayer less to maintain than several dumps.
  • School zone signs placed at all schools to provide a higher standard of safety for children.
  • A resuscitator bought and located in city hall and ample supplies for an emergency.
  • Best street signs ever erected in Mt. Vernon purchased.
  • A new Mt. Vernon wharf driveway which provided an all purpose out of the mud thoroughfare for the movement of people and freight.
  • 139 Alfco twin automatic parking meters were installed which made parking conditions in the business part of our city better. The headache of "double parking" was thus relieved. The meters proved to be financially sound with receipts from them being used as operating expenses for street repair and traffic light installations.
  • Started repairs on the City Hall building with parts of the interior painted and papered. A new entrance was installed and a new roof installed. There was also caulking work outside.
  • A new lighting system was installed in the business district and plans for more street lights along east and west Second Streets.
  • A new FM Police-Sheriff radio was placed in operation at the City Building.
  • The L&N Railroad Co. co-operated with the city and installed an improved safety signal device at their Main Street crossing, which rendered proper signaling for both short and long trains.
  • Plans are made to the laying of more sewer to relieve overflow water conditions which occur in Brown Town and adjacent territory.
  • A new enclosed garbage collection wagon purchased.

John W. Doane MV Photograper.....1951

Back in July of 1951, John W. Doane and his wife Anne purchased the old Jones Studio at 213 East Fourth Street. The sale included the two story residence and studio building. John did portraits and commercial photography, took photos for the Mt. Vernon Democrat, sold cameras, projectors, movie and camera films. Doane took up photography as a boy of 14 and started working at age 16 in photographic studio in Rome, New York. He would later manage a camera shop there and became staff photographer for the Syracuse Post-Standard. We would see his pictures in the Mt. Vernon Democrat almost every issue in the fifties and sixties. Many of his photos were taken by plane as he was also a pilot. Many of his photos were given to the University of Southern Indiana. Anne was an artist and her pen drawings of county schools was given as a gift to the Mt. Vernon High School.

Post Office Built in 1818 is Razed in 1951

This was the George Washington Thomas home on the southwest corner of College Avenue and West Second Street. It was erected in 1818 by Jesse Y. Welborn, Mt. Vernon's first postmaster and it was used as our first post office. It was converted to a family home by Thomas in 1856.

The Welborn-Thomas home 1818-1951

This two story brick residence stood on the southwest corner of West Second Street and College Avenue. The original owner was Jesse Y. Welborn, the first postmaster of Mt. Vernon. The first post office was here. It had a stone foundation. George Washington Thomas lived there next starting around 1855. Thomas owned the wharf boat the "G.W. Thomas " and shares of two other boats the "Robert Mitchell" and the "West Wind." Thomas was also supervisor of the construction work of the Mt. Vernon Court House completed in 1876. The home was known for celebrations of the towns intellectual circles and Thomas was known to play a mean accordion under the poplar trees out back. Get out the fiddles and the bows boys! Light them pipes. Get down tonight!

Nickel Soft Drinks; Except Coke A Thing of the Past.....1951

On a cold day in January Evansville soft drink bottlers with the exception of Coca-Cola raised the price of soft drinks for the first time since World War 1. Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Royal Crown, Double Cola, Vogel and Hillenbrand are all on board for the increase. Word is that grocers will sell them for seven cents and restaurants a silver dime. Some local grocers were not happy and vowed to store only Coke.

Expanded Park Program Undertaken.....1951

College Avenue Park at West Fifth Street and College Avenue was converted into a playground for small children. A slide was erected, two swings and two sets of trapeze rings installed along with a small merry-go-round and a sand pile. Remember sand piles? We all had big old tractor tires in our back yards back in the day to play in with our toys. Toys were small then too. We had buckets full of little Indians and soldiers, farm animals and dinosaurs. Anyway, getting back to the story, this park was designed for little ones ....ten and under. Baseball was not permitted, so don't be caught playing cup ball or any other kindred activity here....okay? Sherburne Park on the riverfront also opened and the playground was updated with 12 teeterboards, a walk-ladder, bar and ring trapeze, chain swings, a "slippy slide", merry-go-round, swing-around, and more sand piles. Additional benches were added for adults watching them or enjoying the river. Louis Clark was employed by the Park Board as Sherburne Park custodian and William Banks was hired in a similar capacity for College Park. All right....get out there and have a good summer. You ball players....catch you at Athletic Park.

Santa in Town....1950

Tree from the steeple..... October, 1950

In October of 1950, a tree or a large bush was growing from the steeple of St. Mathew's Catholic Church. It was believed a bird carried the seed that was dropped in a crevice in the brick belfry. The tree until removed jutted out from the northeast corner of the steeple level with the town clock.

Flaming Meteor Sweeps Night Sky.....September 1950

A meteor landed 250 miles south of Mt. Vernon after floodlighting southern Indiana. Calls were made to the Evansville Weather Bureau and airport just after 2 a. m. Marsha Yockey received excited calls of people who said the light was bright enough to read by. Even the airport tower said the flash outside lasted four to five seconds. Some wanted to know if the light had anything to do with the Korean War or flying saucers. An American Airlines pilot said he saw it too at around 18,000 feet around Nashville. Four states reported seeing it and it was heard when it crashed in four cities in Kentucky. Cairo policeman said it sounded like a car crash. In Madisonville doors and windows rattled by the concussion. A small piece of meteor, about the size of a man's hand was found near Murray, Ky.

Starbursts at Athletic Park.....1950

There used to be Fourth of July fireworks at the Athletic Park and visitors would come early and picnic on the grounds waiting for the night program. The American Legion put many of these on and people would sit elbow to elbow enjoying over a hundred star bursts. By the way, these explosions had names like: Three Rosettes, Fountain of Youth, Eclipse of the Sun, Musical Wheels, Cleopatra's Fan, Whirling Wonder, World in Rotation, Sheba's Brooch, Dad of Demons, Whirling Cataract, Thunderstorm, Fool Wheel, Flying Eagles, High Fountain, Transformation Wheel, and Flora.

Air Conditioned Gerber's Store.....June 1950

Gerber's Super Market at 700 East Fourth Street announced another first locally. It has installed in operation Carrier air conditioning throughout the entire store. The system employs mechanical refrigeration to cool the air and reduce humidity and is used in larger stores and office buildings worldwide." Customer convenience and comfort prompted the instillation," said Harry Gerber, store manager.

Mt. Vernon Drive-In Theatre Opens....May 11, 1950

For eighteen years this little amusement enterprise was a fun place to go, play on the playground, run back when the movie started, get some popcorn and a coke and watch an Elvis movie, a John Wayne western, or a biblical saga. Located on the outskirts of Mt. Vernon on old SR 62 it held 400 cars and had of course 400 speakers, two to a post. The first night everyone got in free to see the first movie shown, "It Happens Every Spring" a baseball movie. I remember this show it was a good one! After the initial night admission was 50 cents unless you wanted to hide in the trunk. Always cool when they drove that mosquito truck around before the movie fogging the place up. I hope that wasn't DDT or some kind of Agent Orange stuff. Of course, you could go to the concession stand and buy this little box that had this green coil in it and you would light it in your car, early incense I gather. Eventually, in 1968 the little home town theater ran its course, no more fireworks or dancing hot dogs. By then, I started sitting in the back row of the Evansville West Side Drive-In watching Hell's Angels flicks. My first date with my wife of 35 years was here. She polished the passenger side door handle ...I think she thought I was Charles Manson.

Riverfront January.....1950

Thanks to classmates Toni and John Knisley for photo

Johnny Johnson-MVHS's First Great Black Athlete.....1950

In 1950 Johnny Johnson along with another black athlete Marshall Steward integrated Mt. Vernon High School Athletics. The 1950 freshman team was undefeated for the only time in our history going 14-0 under Coach Jim Baxter. They played every Evansville team but Lincoln and defeated them all. Johnson led the freshmen in scoring with 152 points, and then he played one reserve game netting 8. I interviewed Johnny in 1983 for my basketball book of this fine athlete who earned 14 varsity letters out of a possible 16 in those days. This is the most letters of any athlete in our history. He was the first local cager to crack the single season point barrier of 300. Football was his love though. But in basketball he was able to play in the last four games of his freshman season with the varsity. When I spoke to him about facing racial prejudice he sort of dismissed the subject, calling it, "just a sign of the times". He praised Coach Jim Baxter for the sound advice and friendship. He had told Johnson that there would be difficult times and he just had to bear it. To fight back, Baxter remarked, would only bring about trouble for Johnny and the school. This was the same advice pretty much that Branch Rickey gave Jackie Robinson in 1947 when he broke baseball's color line. We had more county teams then and none of them had black players so there were times when it wasn't easy in those all white bandbox gyms. The three varsity basketball seasons Johnny played on went 13-7; 16-8; and 16-5 under Coach Harold Brown. Johnny scored 866 points in his basketball career which was then the school record. He still ranks in the top ten. He was outstanding in football and track too and very good in baseball.

UFO's - We are not alone.....1950's

Thus far I have found four references of strange objects in the sky of Posey County. The first comes from July 26, 1883: "It looked like a bright star, came from the south and moved due north at a very rapid speed," according to men working with a thresher in the daytime at the Hiram Phillips farm. That one to me is interesting because of it being during the day and before airplane travel. During the 1950's there was a rash of sightings across the country. For instance flying saucers were seen ten times in a short period of time over Washington D.C. and the government blamed in on a physical phenomenon such as mirages. Even those these objects occurred on radar they were said to be from "temperature inversion." The next two sightings occurred one day apart on July 31 and August 1st of 1952: A mysterious object was seen over the skies of Mt. Vernon seen by Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Winebarger and Mrs. Robert Sherretz as they sat in their car at the Mt. Vernon Drive-In. A number of other people saw it also. "It moved very fast from east to west in the southern heavens, pale green in color with a red tail." The next night, according to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Allen who reside three miles northwest of Hovey Lake the flying object appeared in the heavens for almost twenty minutes and apparently over Mt. Vernon. They stated that it also was greenish in color and had a red tail. The last one, I seemed to have lost the date; but, it is from the fifties also: Floyd Alldredge of Farmersville saw saucers flying at a high rate of speed and when they appeared directly overhead they turned suddenly in a southeasterly direction between 7:30 and 8 PM. He said they looked like golden Christmas tree ornaments and made a swishing sound at low altitude. This same object was also seen in Evansville at the same time.

Hedges Central School Carnivals - A 1950's Remembrance

My old elementary school would hold these PTA carnivals at the school to supply finances for school needs not provided by regular channels. Hundreds of people would come; usually they had bought tickets from school children for admission and to use at the carnival. The school cafeteria would serve a lunch like roast turkey or baked ham and then you would mull around the classroom enjoying the carnival concessions and the merrymakers in the corridors. One event I remember was around 1956 or 1957 with the appearance of TV's Uncle Dudley and Jerry Giraffe who met people in a classroom. There were pony rides on the school grounds, hot dogs, soft drinks, ice cream, homemade candy and popcorn sold in the foyer. Silent movies were shown in a room, there were cake walks, and rooms full of balloons, cookie stands, a white elephant auction, duck ponds, wishing wells and pick-a-pocket booths. It was real fun in a simple time.

Posey County Courtroom....1950

The judge at that time was James Blackburn. Renovation occurred that year with painting, varnishing, lighting, and new flooring.

An earlier picture of the Hovey-Elks Home.....1850's

131 East Fourth Street was a home built by Alvin Hovey in the mid 1800's. Hovey as many of us know was a local lawyer, Union General, U.S. Minister to Peru, congressman and Governor of Indiana. It was in this home that his children were born and his wife, Mary James died. After three of his children died and his wife in 1863, he sold his home and everything in it to Matthew Thompson who later sold it to Dan Rosenbaum. The Rosenbaum family occupied the home for many years - Dan then Moses, then Moses's son Lee. After Lee built a new home they sold the house to the Elk's Lodge. Once upon a time the home had a large latticed porch on the northwest side. There was an old pecan tree in the west yard that was took down when the Elks added a large lounge to the fraternal home in 1949.

The cocktail lounge and basement ballroom opened in August of 1950. The next year the Elks held an annual Old Timer's Night attended by 125 members. The oldest exalted past leader was John Tente who was the head in 1909-10. Edward Alles was also in attendance, a lodge member since 1913. Thirteen members were in attendance with memberships over 30 years. 1951 was also the year the lodge had its 57th birthday in Mt. Vernon and savory turkey and trimmings were served. Ten past rulers were present. The Elks have always been active in our community supporting baseball teams, hosting Yule parties for poor children, observance of flag days, helping fund raisers for numerous causes including cancer and promoting Americanism. Many speakers have come in to address the public over the years and even a minstrel show was held for charity at the Memorial Coliseum in 1949. Of course, I always liked the Beer Gardens!


Local editor said, "Sure, we ought to have a Congressional snooping committee to keep tabs on the peace delegations, but who shall we get to watch the Congressional committee?"

Bill Hall....Did You Know?.....1950's

I remember watching old Bill in Double I League play. He was past his prime, but was still called on to pinch hit from time to time. There is a house on the far east corner of East Eighth I believe that Bill Hall hit with a home run clearing the street of Athletic Park. I have heard this story many a time. His nephew, I talked to recently said it is true. The only one who could match him would be the "Ruthian" clouts that Carlton "Tiny" Waller was said to have hit. Wish we still had traveling baseball adult teams!

Two Mt. Vernon Hunters Bag 80 Raccoons.....1950

Where the Odd Fellows Building or People's Bank was back in the 1860's, this corner of Fourth and Main Street was a two story frame building occupied by the newspaper, The Mt. Vernon Advocate, edited by Thomas Prosser. Unfortunately, no editions seem to be in existence today. Just north of this was the Duckworth and Gregory livery stable. On the corner next would be the blacksmith shop of Thomas Hollis. Across the street on the corner of Fifth and Main, on the Westside would be the residence of Enoch James. Going back up Main now we had the Weilbrenner shoe shop and grocery, the gunsmith shop of Thomas Ries, Stackler and Weckesser saloon and grocery, "Peg-Leg" Fuhrer's saloon, John Evertson residence, Rosebaum and Brother dry goods store, Charlie Lennig's saloon and grocery near the corner of Third and Main.

Downtown parking.....1950's

Downtown in 1950's

The Milkman Cometh....Too Early...Arrested.. ..1950

Anybody old as me that remembers when milk was delivered to the home?.....Anybody?....Oh boy! Anyway this story occurred in Evansville one August morning. In a cloak and dagger, no information operation, Homer Campbell was arrested and fined $1 which was suspended for delivering milk in a neighborhood nine minutes early. A Captain Wardrip;( nice name,) was hiding in waiting for the milkman. Homer was on his way to his regular route when he was hailed down by a resident who wanted a bottle of milk, then another nearby wanted one too. That was too much for Wardrip to ignore. Looking at his watch it was 6:51 a.m. A law dating back before cars when milkmen delivered by horses said, no milk deliveries before 7 a.m. The driver was arrested and taken to the pokey and there his arrest sheet, usually a matter of public record was hidden. The Police Chief was called by the reporter and he was equally mysterious and refused permission to see the sheet. The details never became available until City Court. Meanwhile, Mr. Milkman was taken out of jail and to a small room off the court room. What went on in there nobody knows. Later, milkman pleaded guilty and had no comment for the Press. I wonder if he was asked if he was a communist.

"Happy Kellams " Performs for Riley Chili Supper.....1950

Kellams was an Evansville professional clown and he presented a wealth of fun for the kids at a sellout function at the west side school. All the chili, sandwiches, pies and drinks were exhausted by the large turn out where proceeds would go the purchase of school and playground equipment. Besides "Happy", the Brownies of Troop 6 contributed songs to the program and Mr. Eilbert led singing at the piano with the audience joining in. So a job well done and thanks went out to the Riley Committee of Mrs. Francis Curtis, Mrs. Louis Tomlinson, Mrs. Stacy Givens, Mrs. Kenneth Duckworth, Mrs. Minear, Mrs. Merrill Harp and Mrs. Orvel Dailey. Boy, even in the 50's they didn't use the wife's name, like they weren't important beyond the husband.

Working a Lathe at Madden Handle Factory.....1950

1950.....Locker Service

Destroyed by fire in January 1954 on the 300 block of West Third Street. Ad taken from 1950 Posey County phone book. They have phone books from 1940-1954 locked in a glass case for those interested. Ask for them to open it for you.

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From Planks to Bricks to Concrete.....September 1949

Ex-Mayor, Herman Bray replaced the last brick sidewalk with concrete on the Main Street business district in front of his liquor store at 107 South Main. Many crumbling brick sidewalks still exist in the residential areas. I have read many city commissioner reports of contractors getting contracts to build plank sidewalks downtown. One motion I have readily available was for a plank sidewalk from Walnut to Main Street in December of 1875. It had to be put off before finishing however, due to all the saw logs having been exhausted. That was also the meeting that opened up a new street in town - Eighth Street.

Feed the Meters......September, 1949

Parking meters made their first appearance in Mt. Vernon in September of 1949 with penny and nickel slots

Mt. Vernon being sprayed with DDT during the polio epidemic of August 1949

Giant Pecan Tree Felled for Elk's Addition.....August 1949

A large pecan tree that stood as a silent sentinel for the lodge of Elks since the groups inception fell to the hands of progress. The stately tree the editor wrote, whose meager autumn crop provided a harvest time pastime to school children and their elders was uprooted by a winch truck following the cutting of surface roots. It stood in the path of the extension westward of the present club's edifice." The age of the tree was more than 100 years. Isaac Woof, then a 97 year old charter member of the lodge and Isaac Rosenbaum, 82, first initiate of the lodge remembered the tree in their boyhood. Rosenbaum said the tree was "good-sized when I was a boy." Editor Leffel went on to say, "Through sun and shade as time ran on, its lofty branches have bent as a benediction over the local lodge of a great American fraternity. It has rustled to the laughter of men drinking deeply at the fountain of leadership. It has stood as a great silent shadow when sorrow stalked the fraternal domain. It has roared its strength and power under the pressure of debate and argument that ever mark the councils and deliberations of strong-willed men. But the end comes to all good all that live and breathe. Other trees may come and buildings may arise....the march of time move on.....but the leafy guardian of the Mt. Vernon Elks is no more."

DDT Sprayed On MV To Fight Polio.....August 1949

Finances for the spraying were provided by public funds totaling $1,754.15. Doane Aviation released 17 loads of DDT solution from the air and tractor powered ground spraying was done by Hasting Equipment Company and Stephen's Implement in alleys and dumping grounds. The fund was sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club. Doane flew north and south patterns at low altitude over Mt. Vernon and then crisscrossed on east and west flights. The misty spray could be plainly seen and felt floating to the ground.

State Supreme Court Judge Praises Hovey.....May 1949

Indiana saluted Mt. Vernon native Alvin Peterson Hovey as a jurist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat on the spot in Mt. Vernon where he lived in his early manhood. He was a man who left his mark on our town, state and nation. He was honored as one of 24 historical recitals being sponsored by the Hoosier Historical Institutes and the Kiwanis in the hometowns they came from. The site was the beautiful lawn of the Elks Home, formerly Governor Hovey's residence and law office. His home at the peak of his brilliant career stood diagonally across the street. An audience of 200 persons, many who remembered him personally, heard Justice Frank Gilkison of the Indiana Supreme Court acclaim him as a "rugged man who developed opinions of his own based upon realities, who became self-reliant and trustworthy." In the audience where direct descendants of the man. Dr. Alvin P. Hovey, Indianapolis, a grandson and a former secretary of Governor Hovey; Mrs. Conlin Alexander, Indianapolis; and Mrs. Walter Gillespie, Williamsport, great granddaughters, and Mrs. F.P. Leonard, Mt. Vernon, a niece by marriage. Ex-Mayor Frank J. Fessenden was the master of ceremonies. Edward Behrens, Mt. Vernon, supplied the local viewpoint for the Governor in a narration that included many personal incidents. He mentioned in passing his birth in a small house near the spring that bubbles up and across the road a quarter mile west of Farmersville; his mother's moving to Mt. Vernon with her fatherless family; Alvin's attendance of a public school located on the southeast corner of the public square, and his later brief service as an instructor in that school; his apprenticeship as a bricklayer under his brother, and his decision to enter the legal profession when he completed laying brick in what is now the Fullinwider home at Sixth Street and College and he threw away the trowel. He did use a trowel once more in his life, when he laid the cornerstone of the Posey County courthouse in 1874. After studying law under Judge John Pitcher, Hovey was admitted to the bar at the age of 22 and opened his law office on what is now the Elk's lawn adjacent to his residence. After eight years of legal practice, he was appointed judge of the Third Judicial district court. From there he went to the Supreme Court of Indiana, and was the youngest jurist ever to that time. Hovey was first a Whig, later a follower of Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat and finally a Republican. He made liberal contributions to local churches and was a supporter of the Mt. Vernon Mechanics Band. He was said to be a handsome man and his name is preserved in the village of Hovey and Hovey Lake. He died in 1891 in his third year of his term from pneumonia contracted on a pleasure trip to Mexico. He lay in state in the rotunda of the Posey County courthouse with Lt. Gov. Ira Chase conducting the funeral service at the family residence. Eulogies at the grave site at Bellefontaine were given by ex-governors, Albert Porter and Issac Gray. On the day of the recital, Mt. Vernon schools were closed as were many business firms.

Mt. Vernon Republican.....May, 1949

At the start of May of 1949 the Western Star newspaper, founded in 1876 by John C. Leffel and carried on by son Herbert Leffel, consolidated with the Mt. Vernon Republican and combined...they would procede under the name...Mt. Vernon Republican.

Rosenbaum & Bro Department Store Sold.....April 1949

Our cities oldest retail store, 95 years old and one of the oldest in Southern Indiana was sold to the Greenberg Mercantile Company of St. Louis. No interruption of business occurred with the transfer. The Mt. Vernon institution was established in 1854. The sale came just 9 months after the death of Jesse Rosenbaum. Although the business was sold to the Greenberg Company who own 20 department stores, the building itself still belongs to Herman Rosenbaum and is being leased to the Greenberg firm.

Dick Fischer Heads to Braves Farm Club.....April 1949

Richard "Dick" Fischer of St. Phillips came home for a few days after contract difficulties with Jackson, Mississippi, a club in the Southeastern League of the Boston Braves. Fischer, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School has been in organized baseball for several years, last year winning 7 and losing 9. Later, in the Fifties he played Double I League locally.

Pinkeye, Trench Mouth Near Epidemic Among Mt. Vernon Students.....April 1949

Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, Posey County public health nurse warned parents to watch for symptoms of pinkeye and trench mouth among their children. Pinkeye begins with redness in the eye, a scratchy sensation, a watery discharge and perhaps sensitivity to light. Children showing these signs should be taken to the doctor and kept home, isolated as much as possible from others, and must see a doctor for a permit to return to school. "This infection is very catching." Trench mouth is a disease of the throat and mouth. It is spread by contact or indirect contact with a person with the disease. It is spread by use of common drinking cups, common towels, unclean dishes, etc. It is more apt to be found where there are deficiencies in diet and develops with fatigue. The germs that cause trench mouth are found in almost any mouth, but the disease usually begins in the area of the wisdom teeth. To avoid it oral hygiene is important along with a good diet and general sanitation practices. Any symptoms of mouth infection, red painful areas, or white patches on the gums should be reported to the dentist.

Rosenbaum & Bros. Passes From Scene.....April 1949

The oldest Mt. Vernon retail firm ended with the sale of the department store to the Greenberg Mercantile Company of St. Louis. For 95 years, the Rosenbaum family....grandfather, father and son did business generation after generation in Mt. Vernon and served not only Posey County but the tri-state populace. The Rosenbaum building still sits across from the courthouse over 60 years later and the memories still continue; maybe, not for the family with a tradition of honest merchandising and quality, but for the building and the Jewish influence it represented so well.

Pilot Wheel.....1949

The biggest pilot wheel for a steamboat ever assembled at the Keck-Gonnerman Company foundry was completed in February of 1949 and shipped to Vidalia, Louisiana.

Parking Meters Come In 1949

The installation of Mt. Vernon's parking meters was completed. Alfco Twin Automatic meters were used. The meter zone includes Main Street from Fifth to Water, and Second, Third and Fourth Streets one block east and one block west of Main. A Mt. Vernon police officer will assume the duties of enforcing the meter compliance. One meter will service two parked cars. One cent for five minutes, two cents for 24 minutes, 3 cents for 36 minutes, 4 cents for 48 minutes, and five cents or a nickel for an hour. The meter will not operate with a dime.

New Operators of Parkett Drive-In....1949

Clifford Hoe and Ray Blyth of Evansville, who formerly operated the cafeteria in the Union building adjacent to the Chrysler plant in Evansville became the new owners. They leased the Parkett from Mrs. Ollie Hartmann, owner. It was also leased at one time by Clarence Schoate. For their grand opening they held a one cent sale. So like you could get a banana split for 35 cents and a second one for one cent. Sundaes a quarter and the second a penny. You had nickel cones, dime cones and fifteen cent cones and another also for a penny. I remember when prices started going up in the sixties; someone walked into the Dairy Queen and asked, "How much for a ten cent cone?" We got so used to the sizes that is what we called them. Sounds funny today, but it's true.

Jeanne LaDuke and Natalie Wood.....1949

1949 movie, "The Green Promise". Jeanne said, she learned of her winning the part after an audition in Los Angeles. As they were traveling home by car in Missouri they were pulled over by the state police and informed of the studio's decision. Her dad Floyd pulled over and bought her an ice cream to celebrate. Being the same age as Natalie Wood they studied together with a tutor while filming. On location was in northern California.

Mt. Vernon Adopts Race Law Policy.....1949

Mt. Vernon school trustees, after weeks of consideration of legal advice and Indiana Department of Education rulings on the new Indiana anti-segregation law announced their plan of compliance with the statute which forbids the segregation of public school pupils according to race, color, creed, or national origin. Compliance with the anti-segregation law is mandatory if school units are to receive state school tuition support and maintain their accredited rating. Prior to their decision on the plan of compliance with the law, Mt. Vernon school trustees received, accepted and entered of record the voluntary requests of parents of all "colored" children entering the first grade that their children be permitted to attend Booker T. Washington school during the coming school year. White elementary school children will continue to go to Riley and Central school. The two Booker T. teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Bishop have been reassigned as instructors at that school. The 15 or 16 "colored" high school pupils in Mt. Vernon will be admitted to Mt. Vernon High School. Admission of the six or seven first year high school "colored" pupils is mandatory at the opening of the 1949-1950 school year, the admission of the second year pupils is mandatory the following year and so on through the four high school grades.

WWII Relics.....1949

This toured Mt. Vernon in the spring of 1949, sponsored by the Navy Club of the USA. The trailer was parked on the courthouse square. The plane was a well-guarded secret because of their inability to obtain suicide pilots. Most of those who did volunteer were women and it was a woman who designed the plane. The sub was manned by two Italian undersea "frog men" and it was like riding an undersea horse. It had a detachable warheads and small bombs that could be attached to ship hulls or used in a suicidal attack on a ship by ramming it. This was the only one of its kind in America. No admission was charged, but contributions were accepted.

Gronemeier Hardware Celebrates 75th Anniversary.....1949

In May of 1874 a young man with the trade of a tinsmith borrowed $300 and founded his own business at 106 Main Street here in Mt. Vernon. That was where the old Armory building now stands. His business was manufacturing tin ware, selling fine stoves, and heavy hardware. Three generations of Gronemeier's owned the business. In 1901 the firm moved to 307 Main Street. In 1906, the business moved again to the Boberg building on Main. When founder Simon died in 1916, his sons carried on. The firm became Gronemeier Brothers and in 1914 a 35 foot addition was made to the building and 1918 another 30 foot addition was erected. Reuben left the firm in 1921 and moved to Spokane, Washington. Ralph Gronemeier, son of Alfred and grandson of the founder, entered the firm in 1923. In 1935 when the First National Bank was liquidated the firm bought the north half of the building at 415 Main Street.

R.J. Reynolds Targets Mt. Vernon as a "Test City".....1949

Cough, cough...excuse me, cough, cough. The new Cavalier brand of king size, extremely mild, (cough) cigarettes were introduced in Mt. Vernon as one of the first "test cities" for introduction of the first new cigarette to hit the market by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company since 1913. During that time the Reynolds Company has been producing the Camel brand. I remember the soft back with the dashng French cavalier in a 17th century uniform. Never tried it however. I smoked Kools for 25 years...2 packs a day (cough). Something nice to have written down somewhere for posterity don't you think? LOL. Not really funny however; because "Cancer cures smoking!"

Spraying us with DDT as a precaution against Polio.....1949

Photographer Doane even sprayed us from the air

Pinkeye, Trench Mouth Near Epidemic in Mt. Vernon Schools....1949

Two highly contagious diseases reached near epidemic stages in April of 1949 and Posey County public health nurse Elizabeth Thomas warned parents to watch closely for symptoms. Pinkeye begins with redness of the eye, a scratchy sensation, a watery discharge and perhaps sensitivity to light. Trench Mouth is a disease of the throat and mouth. It can be spread by use of common drinking cups, common towels, and unclean dishes in public restaurants or at home. Particular attention should be paid to oral hygiene keeping the mouth and teeth in good condition and having the proper diet. Symptoms of mouth infection were red, painful areas, white patches or ulcers on the gums. If symptoms are evident, "See your doctor and or dentist, follow his advice, and keep them isolated from others." All right, you got all that? Good. I think this was about the time the government started putting fluoride in the water to help prevent tooth decay.

Edwin Page: Former Mayor, Dies.....1949

A graduate of Mt. Vernon High School in the class of 1890, he was employed in the office of Rosenbaum & Bro retail store as a young man. Later he was an employee of the First National Bank, then Old First National and for a number of years was assistant cashier. He was first elected as city treasurer. In 1906, the Republican was elected to a term of Mayor of Mt. Vernon. Later in 1920 he was a candidate for Posey circuit court clerk and shattered the Democratic hold on Posey County major offices by being elected. He was re-elected also serving until 1929. Edwin, I guess had other things in mind and headed with his family to California and became a successful citrus fruit farmer at his orchard near Lindsay. He had developed that knowledge of horticulture here in Mt. Vernon as was exemplified at his home garden. Those ideas were put in practice in California and his son Edwin Jr. now manages the orchard. Edwin and his wife Alice, originally of Terre Haute had three daughters and one son. The body of the 77 year old native, born on the fourth of July, was returned from the San Joaquin Valley to be interred in the town of his youth.

No Pitch Count Here for Local Hurlers....63 Strikeouts!.....1949

The most strikeouts I ever heard of locally was 22 in an American Legion game. I once played in a game where we struck out 19 times, and I went 2-2. Thing is, I only hit .147 for that season! This game however is unbelievable. The Farmersville Aces and Owensville played a 12 inning 3-3 tie in Owensville. The game was called by darkness and was to be continued later. No telling what happened after that. Everettt Matsel and Everett Wilson of Owensville combined to strike out 31 Mt. Vernon batters allowing three hits. Mt. Vernon, or Farmersville got four hits and Jim Zink went all the way for the locals striking out 32! Now that is 32 of 36 outs! I think a bunt would be in order here in there, Wow!

The Parkett opened in 1949

The menu included hot and cold sandwiches, cokes, root beer, soups, chili, milk, coffee and Ideal ice cream. Insider Wurlitzer machines were available for music selections.

Mt. Vernon Industrialist, William Gonnerman Dies.....November 1948

William Gonnerman, 92, whose mechanical genius was a cornerstone to the success of Keck-Gonnnerman Company died at his home at 521 West Second Street. He was a native of Germany, born in Solz, province of Hessen-Nassau, the son of a baker. William came to America as a journeyman machinist in 1873 and to Mt. Vernon in 1884. With John Keck and Henry Kuebler, both deceased, he organized and launched the then Keck-Gonnerman Company, foundry and machine shop in 1884. He was a Republican, active in local politics as a city councilman and rose to state senator of Posey County. He also launched with the late Louis Keck, the Industrial Brick Company which flourished for a few decades where the Farm Bureau Refinery is today. In 1908 he with the late Charles Greathouse organized the People's Bank & Trust Company and for many years was the director and officer there. He had roles in several other companies including supplying Mt. Vernon electric current and the Gonnerman Auto Company, the Garment Factory...his imprint here was substantial. As a progressive politician he served fourteen years as city councilman taking a leading role in the erection of the city hall and the organization of the fire department. He was a devout Christian, a member of Trinity Evangelical and Reformed Church. The only fraternal affiliation at the time of his death was the Elks.

Western Star newspaper in the fall of 1948

In the final days of the Western Star newspaper in the fall of 1948 the weekly was printed at the Shawneetown, Illinois publishing plant and brought to Mt. Vernon each week by plane. This was in October....The Mt. Vernon Library has no issues after March of that year. Of course this was in the infancy of the Mt. Vernon airport and transient traffic was increasing every month. Business men, including many in the petroleum industry flew to and from Mt. Vernon. John Doane was out there giving test to pilots by the dozens to flyers from Mt. Vernon, Carmi, Evansville, and Henderson. 72 private flight tests were held in the first two years of operation.

Local Pilot Crashes in Field as Parents Watch Nearby.....October 1948

Leslie Barnes, 25, of 827 East Second Street was injured when the Cessna plane of Doane Aviation which he was piloting "petered out" and fell into a cornfield about six miles northwest of town near Upton Station. Barnes a WWII veteran suffered major fractures of his ankle and his back, but is expected to recover. By an odd coincidence he crashed in the field where his father Paul and brother Paul Jr. were working. Also his mother was standing on the porch of their home and saw the motor quit and the plane plunge straight down from a height of about 50 feet.

President Harry S. Truman Addresses 6,000 in Mt. Vernon.....September 1948

Thousands roared their welcome to the President, in a short stop at the Louisville & Nashville railroad yards. Farmers, merchants, factory workers, housewives, and children overflowed the railroad yards and neighboring streets. Main and Walnut Streets and adjacent alleys were blocked to traffic at Grant, Tenth, and Brown Streets. Mt. Vernon witnessed the Secret Service agents, 20 National Guardsman, a detail of Indiana State police and local police and fireman provide security. Truman was two hours late in his small city stops on his campaign tour. He had also given a short speech at Carmi, Illinois. The L&N streamliner moved slowly down the main track and halted just before the concrete bridge. Upon arrival the Mt. Vernon High School band played a number. The crowd gave a spontaneous ovation when the President appeared saying he was "Fit as a fiddle." In his short address he urged the crowd to give proper consideration to their prosperity under Democratic administrations. "Give me a Democratic Congress," Mr. Truman urged. Because of arriving late, he was unable to great the people as he would have liked. He went on to Evansville for a short speech, then a major address on NBC radio from Louisville that evening. Many Hoosier dignitaries were on the train, including Mt. Vernon's Orvan Hall, chairman of the local Truman Day and Posey County chairman Wilbur Baldwin. A Posey county newspaperman of national reputation from Bufkin, Robert Nixon is the White House representative of International News Service and is accompanying the President on this tour. Also Henry Rethwisch, a Mt. Vernon native and now vice president of the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce and associated with Truman in civic work in Missouri was on the train. Baldwin introduced the President to the crowd as well as introducing Winfield Denton, eighth district Democratic candidate for Congress. In November the Truman/Barkley ticket won Posey County by 850 votes over Dewey/ Warren.

This was the first known sitting president to visit Posey County. William Howard Taft was in New Harmony for their centennial in 1914 but he was an ex-president at the time. Franklin Roosevelt spoke in Mt. Vernon in 1920 when he was then running for vice president and when he was President during WWII he passed through the county on the railroad, but did not stop. Some evidence that Abraham Lincoln was here prior to being President, but it is disputed and is unclear.

Speech of President Truman in Mt. Vernon.....September 1948

"I am very, very sorry that we got held up in Illinois and lost a couple of hours, but I couldn't help that. But I'm most happy to see all these smiling faces here in this great city, which I understand is the hometown of the Chairman here. I want to see you send Mr. Denton to the Congress because we must be sure that we have men in the coming Congress that are not looking backward, but looking forward. I understand that you're an agricultural community here. Therefore, your vital interest is at stake in this campaign, for the simple reason that the first thing the Republicans tried to do when they got to Washington-there were three first things they tried to do: they tried to sabotage labor, they tried to sabotage the farmer, and they tried to do away with all our public reclamation and power projects. You're interested in that because I tried to get a steam plant down here by TVA, for a standby plant to make that a complete integrated entity down there, and they kept that out of both appropriation bills. In fact, they knocked it out of one and kept it out of the other. Now the best thing for you to do, in your own interest, is to go to the polls early on Election Day and vote for yourselves, and when you vote for yourselves you vote the Democratic ticket straight because the Democrats are for the people. The Republicans are for special privilege. I'm extremely sorry that we're so late so I couldn't stand here and talk to you quite a while, but we must try to make up this schedule for I have an air broadcast in Louisville, Ky., which covers the whole country, and that won't wait. In these broadcast days even the President can't do as he pleases." Truman won Posey County 4729-3789. The Prohibition Party had 95 votes, the Socialist 14, the Progressives 12 and the Socialist Labor Party 2.

Mt. Vernon Goes To Daylight Savings Time by Poll of Readers.....May 1948

The Mt. Vernon Democrat, local daily newspaper then conducted a poll of whether the city should revert to Daylight Savings Time. 1,022 voted for it and 502 voted for Standard Time. The Mt. Vernon common council then held a special session and complied with, "the voice of the people." The town clock at St. Matthews church was then reset.

Mt. Vernon Postal Service Has Job Openings.....May 1948

The basic rate of pay for substitute clerks and substitute mail carriers is $1.04 an hour. After one year of satisfactory service, including time served as a special delivery messenger, the basic rate of pay is increased 5 cents an hour each year thereafter until a maximum pay of $1.54 an hour is reached. For full particulars inquire for George Grabert at the post office.

Mother's Day.....May 1948

Mother's Day was observed locally as 46 mothers over 60 years of age were guests free to the New Vernon Theater. Same courtesy was given fathers on Father's Day.

Scat!....Bless You.....April 1948

"Pop" Mattingly bent over the refrigerator door at the Friendly Cafe to get a bottle of milk-sneezed really really hard-went to the doctor--broken rib!

Historic Elm at Temple Is Felled.....March 1948

An historical Mt. Vernon landmark fell to the woodsman's axe. One of the city's largest elm trees, standing in front of the Masonic Temple at Fourth and Walnut streets was felled. Although the trunk and main branches were sound, limbs had fallen repeatedly in recent years and it had become viewed as a hazard. The temple was once the home of Governor Alvin P. Hovey, one of our town's most illustrious sons. County Agricultural Agent Riggs examined rings on the trunk and was of the opinion that the giant elm was at least 77 years old.

Niblo's Store Moves.....March 1948

In the same place in the Wasem Building on North Main Street since 1912....a new location is required. The lease of the old building is being issued to Tresslar's a regional chain. The Wasem Building was once a grocery at the turn of the 20th century. It too is in danger of going down before too much longer without a tenant.

Where Am I, Anyway.....January 1948

A new James Bennett city administration took office and asked for suggestions to improve Mt. Vernon. The Mt. Vernon Democrat reacted immediately asking for adequate street signs. "A stranger in Mt. Vernon can do but one thing to find a street here and that is to ask someone. Once in a while you'll come across a street sign. But not often. Those on people's homes are often times obscured by trees or they have gotten so old and battered you can't read them. Let's do something about it fellas!" And so it goes......

Large Crowds Attend Observance of July 4 with Boat Races and Fireworks.....1948

Mt. Vernon made its two day observance of the holiday a grand and glorious affair, combining the second annual Jaycee sponsored boat races at the riverfront that drew an estimated 3,500 onlookers with a stupendous fireworks display at night sponsored by Owen Dunn post No. 5.,of the American Legion. The fireworks were at a crowded Athletic Park. The Mt. Vernon High School band played a concert of patriotic songs at the ballpark. The boat races were in three horsepower classes 10, 16, and unlimited. Each race had three five mile heats and cash prices were awarded. Buoys marked the course.

Mt. Vernon Census.....1948

In September of 1948 a census made by Hoffman City Directories revealed that Mt. Vernon had 6,872 residents: 4732 white adults, 1723 white children under age 16, 253 (black, my words) adults and 164 (black) children. This represents a gain of 1234 since the Federal Census of 1940. In 1930 we had 5035 and 1920 we had 5284.

Historic Home on College Avenue.....1948

I am not sure if it still is a beauty shop or not; but most of us remember it as the Witch's Hut at 303 College Avenue. It became that in 1948 after a modernization and renovation was made. It was then operated by Mrs. Estelle Gerth. It also had a small radio shop there where her husband Albert ran. But this building has another important history in Mt. Vernon lore. It was built by Enoch and Jane Welborn between 1834 and 1837 and was originally what they call a 2/3 I-house; part of which remains visible at the second story. Dr. Adolph Matzdorf, an early Mt. Vernon physician who died in 1873 lived here with his wife Louise Pfeffer. He was one of three doctors who remained to treat the city after our town's worst cholera epidemic of which over 80 people died. He became a "martyr to the cause" as he too became a victim. His widow continued to live in this home when she married Dr. Oscar Schultz. Later a new addition was added to the front and an ornamental wall along the south side.

DX service station at Fifth and Main.....late 1940's

It was run by Arnold Dausmann.

Baseball Returns to MVHS.....1948

After disbanding the baseball team in 1942, the high school again would break out the bats and balls and Athletic Park would once again be the place to hear the sound of wood against a baseball. Jim Baxter would coach the Wildcat nine and he had 50 willing recruits come out that season. Boys can play both track and baseball, but track would have top priority.

Henry Wallace came to Evansville as the Progressive Candidate in 1948....If in my lifetime, I would have supported him over Truman

Wallace had served as Secretary of the Agriculture and Commerce under FDR and was Vice-President from 1941-1945. He was a polarizing man...thought to be a Socialist by the right who heckled him. If he would not have been replaced as Vice-President, Truman would not have become President and we may have avoided the Cold War. His progressive wing of the Democrats and then his own party advocated an end to racial segregation. Wallace would only speak at non segregated events and he advocated voting rights for black Americans and wanted to provide universal health care. He was a big fan of labor and some thought him a communist. A University of Evansville professor was fired because of him handing out Wallace literature to students. George Parker was his name. Protests were held in Evansville for and against Parker's stand. He was re-instated, but later left on his own to complete a doctorate degree elsewhere. His party was again united with the Democrats and the ideas he stood for lived on to fight another day. Truman did desegregate the Armed Forces and LBJ did bring us the Voting Rights Acts and Obama did bring us Universal Healthcare. In all 19 different Presidents, before, during, or after their presidencies have visited Evansville.

President Truman in MV.....1948

In-Between Wars, Local Draft Board Operates Part Time.....1948

We actually had a lull in fighting for American servicemen and because of fall in economy and budgets being cut, the local draft board went under Chairman Ira Rothrock to be open just one day a week. On that one day, a Monday, those required to register for the draft could do it at the Coliseum. To make it easier for those in the northern part of the county to comply, volunteers were sent to Poseyville and New Harmony to take the information. New laws in effect allow eleven deferments for those 19 to 25 years of age. They are: husbands, fathers, irreplaceable agricultural workers marketing products essential for health and safety, workers with special skills in industry, those physically or mentally unfit, members already in service, veterans who served more than 60 days between 1941 and 1945, sole surviving son of a family that lost a son in the world war, conscientious objector, ministers and clergymen, and public officials deferred by law like governors and members of Congress as well as judges.

Last of Four Bodies Removed, Five Saved in Point Township Boat Accident.....1948

The tragedy made national news and radio broadcasts. The Mt. Vernon Democrat sold over 1000 extras which carried the first printed word of the incident. The location was at a place called "Swain Bridge." The young people were on a sightseeing trip in the Wabash River overflow and the boat capsized drowning Edward Uhde, 20, ray Goldman 20, Paul Denning 19, and Charles Weatherford 9.


65 Years Ago or so this went in your window turned to the number of pounds of ice you needed put in your ice box.

New American Legion Home.....1948

A drive thermometer was sat up at the Palace Soda Shop to keep the public informed of donations to purchase the home of Dr. J. R. Ranes on the northwest corner of Second and Walnut Streets. That home was purchased by Ranes in 1917 from Manual Cronbach.

New Place to Eat...Gather...and Socialize.....September 1947

The Walgreen Agency owned by Ross Shuffle has opened with a new fountain and luncheonette. Bring your appetite and your wallet. The store is at Second and Main.

Do You Know.."Enter Sandman?".....September 1947

Garland Stokes, owner-operator of the Mt. Vernon Yellow Cab sold his taxicab line to follow his true passion as a bass fiddler in the widely known band of Mose Hodges.

"Going To The Roadhouse, Gonna Have A Goodtime.".....May 22, 1947

The Stucco House, a new roadhouse on Highway 62 , eight miles east of Mt. Vernon, opens.

Schools Close For Three Days for Flu Epidemic.....March 1947

On March 12th 188 students were out sick in Mt. Vernon public schools and the next day 291 which represented one out of four or 25% of the student population. One teacher was out and several employees of the Post Office. After one 17 year old girl died from it, schools were closed for a few days.

Giant Navy Dry Dock Passes Mt. Vernon.....March 1947

Navy dry dock, AFDL-47, the largest vessel ever launched on an inland river, passed Mt. Vernon that March en route down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, through the Panama Canal to its destination of the San Pedro, California Navy yards. Built by Dravo Corporation the 448 foot in length dock , 45 feet high and 97 feet wide is not self propelled and was being towed. More than 73 miles of welding were performed during the construction of this self contained unit, having its own water distillation plant, diesel electric generators for lights and power and a crew quarters designed for 130 men and 7 officers. Hundreds of Mt. Vernon residents lined the riverfront to watch the giant craft go by in the tow of the National, 1600 HP Diesel towboat of the American Barge Line Company. The fire whistle was blown to announce to the public that the dry-dock was in sight by arrangement of Mayor Frank Fessenden and Water System Superintendent O. D. Benner.

Sir Edwards and Tex Justus Featured in Poseyville.....March 1947

Sir Edwards, mentalist and magician, assisted by Constance was the featured attraction at a family party of Breiner & Uhde Implement Company, Poseyville I-H-C farm equipment dealer, in the Poseyville school gym. Tex Justus and the Texas Cowboys also came. Tex was the king of the 1940's Owensboro Kentucky tri-state dance circuit and later became a Boonville on air personality. He played in a style similar to Bob Wills and was inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 1988.

I guess the tractor people liked this Justus fella, since the next week ole Tex was in our fair city sponsored by Hasting Equipment Company, local International Harvester dealer for a show at the Memorial Coliseum. The coliseum not equipped for any shows anymore, times have changed...guess you could have some at the high school auditorium. Saw, I think his name was Baxter Black, large animal vet and comic there once. Hahaha

New Al Rio Restaurant Opens.....March 1947

The Al Rio Restaurant at 127 Main Street closed for several weeks for a complete rearrangement and remodeling reopened. Mrs. Agnes Graening is the owner-manager. Harold Wilson who has managed the Java Coffee Shop in the Hotel McCurdy was employed as the chef. "The extensive interior rebuilding program has shifted the modern, fully equipped kitchen to the center of the restaurant where it will connect with the new, modern counter at the front and private dining room in the rear." The new furnishings were of bleached mahogany and streamline design. Among the new items are a cold food and salad serving unit and an automatic French fryer which uses electrically controlled gas for cooking. Ceilings have been lowered and recessed fluorescent lighting installed. The restaurant will open at 6 a.m. and close at 10:30 p.m. Sandwiches, fountain drinks, steaks and chops and noon lunches and dinners will be served. In addition, Chef Wilson will cater especially to private dinner and club parties. Other employees include Barney Frederick, grill cook, Mrs. Harvey Bishop, pastry chef, and Mrs. William Hendricks will be head waitress.

Chicago Firm Buys Mt. Vernon Industry.....February 1947

The J.R. Short Milling Company of Chicago purchased the interests of all stockholders of the Mt. Vernon Milling Company. The sale was up to that time one of the largest business deals involving local properties. The mill had long been a white corn milling center since the days when the Hudnut Company came to Mt. Vernon in 1877 and the mill had ran uninterruptedly since except when the mill burned in 1893. Included was the North Walnut street elevator and elevators at Welborn Switch and Upton in Posey County and at New Haven, Illinois. Short has been a manufacturer of Wytase, a cereal product used in baking and other processed cereal products. In 1901 the Hudnut Company merged with the American Hominy Company. The mill filled the town with the smell of hominy and won national recognition for the high quality of its corn grits, meal, flour, flakes and feed and even corn oil.

Local NAACP Holds Founder's Program.....February 1947

Founder's Day was observed in Mt. Vernon by the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. William Smith, executive director of the Carver Center in Evansville was the guest speaker. He reviewed the achievements of the NAACP since its organization in 1908 and its future objectives. The organization had 520,000 members and over 1000 branches in various cities. Rev. W.A. Wyrin, president of the local organization gave the address of welcome. The origin of the NAACP was given by Mrs. Hubert Butler. A chorus of the local organization with Miss Kathleen Waller as pianist, and a girls chorus of Booker T. Washington school sang as well as a male trio. Mrs. M.R. Price was mistress of ceremonies and Mrs. Lorene Wilson and Mrs. Milburn Jones were the ushers.

FB Refinery Erects Four New Tanks.....January 1947

Ten carloads of steel arrived for the erection of four gasoline and crude oil storage tanks on extended Farm Bureau refinery property at Mt. Vernon undertaken by Graver Tank Company of East Chicago, Indiana. The two new 55,000 barrel, expansion roof tanks and the two new 25,000 barrel, standard comb tanks will be used for storage of gasoline and crude oil. The additional tanks will increase the capacity of the processing plant to 420,000 barrels owned by Farm Bureau Co-Operative Association.

Learning What Makes Indiana Bell Tick.....January 1947

221 Mt. Vernonites saw their telephone exchange from the inside at an Indiana Bell open house at the Mt. Vernon exchange. Phone subscribers had the opportunity to see firsthand the functioning of the exchange and the heart of the communication system. Local manager, Kercheval and chief operator, Miss Nell Combs conducted the visitors through the process. An educational treat was to see the switchboard lights flashing signals for incoming calls and heard operators give there familiar 'number, please" and "thank you" as they made the connections enabling the party making the call to talk to another not only locally but anywhere in the world. In the control room the wire chief explained the complicated mass of wires and circuits. The worldwide growth of telephones since 1941, six short years, was exemplified locally by a 71% increase in the number of telephones and increasing the number of operators from 8 to 21. Calls had doubled locally in the past years and long distance calls had tripled.

Widening of the court house driveway began by the Posey County Highway Department in January 1947

Kroger Will Have Modern Local Store.... 1947

Ike Rosenbaum, local jeweler and civic leader, leased to the Kroger Company property at 410-414 Main Street and they converted the two-story building into a modern super market. The vacant lot adjoining the building on the south would become the parking lot. Complete rebuilding of the present structure was done formally occupied by Moll Wholesale Grocery which moved to North Mill Street. The two story brick front was razed and replaced with a front of glazed brick and plate glass. Sidewalks were reduced to one story height. The overall depth of the store was increased from 90 feet to 110 feet and the width remained at 4o feet. All center posts were removed by using bowstring trusses. Plastered walls were made, celotex ceilings, fluorescent lighting, and ceiling supported blower-type heating system. The new store, supplants the previous Kroger store in leased quarters on Main Street between Third and Second.

Strike Over - Garment Workers Return.....1947

New contract was signed in January by the Garment Corporation of America and Local 193, United Garment Workers of America so the Mt. Vernon plant on North Main Street will resume operation at once. The plant had been idle for three months. Idleness had affected over 100 workers and their families. The plant will resume operation with approximately 120 workers and the number will soon be stepped up to 160 when full production is reached.

Yellow Cab Company.....1947

Formerly the Vernon Cab, just off Main at 110 West 2nd Street had a 25 cent charge anywhere in the city. Garland Stokes was the owner-operator and you could call at 22 or 273. Quick Service, careful drivers.

"Let It Roll Baby Roll....Let It Roll".....1947

Justice of the Peace Hillard Daugherty has ordered $118.75 contained in three slot machines confiscated in a raid by state excise officers of Paradise Inn, east of New Harmony deposited in the New Harmony National Bank in a police emergency fund. Operator and owner of the machines were fined $25 and costs.

Depression Leads to Suicide.....1947

A World War II veteran for whatever reason decided forty minutes after being booked on drunk and disorderly conduct to take his own life in the old jail in Mt. Vernon. His body was found by another prisoner who was getting a drink at a faucet opposite the south corridor where the man was jailed. He had used a torn Army undershirt to fashion the noose and was strangled by fastening the noose to the top of the 6 1/2 foot high steel door and then slumped down. He was survived by six stepchildren. Owen Dunn, Post 5, American Legion officiated at the grave.

What The World Needs Is Another Silly Love Song.....1947

?A song - Me and My Girl of the Golden West - the words of which were written by Joseph Ofer, Mt. Vernon, was published by the Westmore Music Corporation and the Golden West Music Publishing Co. of Los Angeles. The local man composed the words in 1946 and the publishing company provided the music of which Mr. Ofer has a royalty interest.

The old MV Democrat Office on North Main Street.....1947

Of course the Mt. Vernon Democrat prides itself in being the servant of Mt. Vernon and the county since 1867. It had been published at several locations at least three in my lifetime. I can recall when we got it six times a week and my neighbor Marion Shuler folded his papers and delivered them door to door. Now of course, they come in the mail. As a reader of them and of other former local newspapers, I have a suggestion for them......Save the pictures! Repeat....Save the pictures! Someday, those pictures will be desired by the public as a historical document of who we were. Every couple of decades, make a book of photos for sale. If you no longer need the photos pass them on to the library. You too Posey County News....Thank you.

MV riverfront.....1947

Masonic Temple or Hovey House pre-1948

That 77 year old elm tree was cut in March of 1948.

Grandpa Ran a Sawmill......1947

Anna Kelley wrote to the Democrat about her maternal grandfather, Virgil Soper who operated the first steam sawmill on the riverfront and incidentally his great grandson, Nelson Kelly became manager of the Mt. Vernon Milling Company at the same location. Going east on Water Street you come to Owen Street. On the corner to the left was a very old house that was torn down probably in the early 1940's. It had seen better days, but it housed the family of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Soper, pioneers of Mt. Vernon. Soper introduced the first steam sawmill, located close to the bank of the Ohio River. According to Anna, he moved from a farm, south of New Harmony to Mt. Vernon to school his four daughters and a son. "Schools were quite primitive then, and grandfather and grandmother were both Connecticut Yankees and were much interested in their children's education." The daughters were placed in the girl's seminary at the corner of Third and Store Streets and afterwards were taught at the Brettner Hotel. The "professor" lived in a private residence of Annie Larkin. The younger children attended school in the brick tenement house on Mulberry Street between Water and Second. Anna's mother Helen was one of the children who attended the seminary. Helen was a beautiful lady and she was a favorite for the boys to dance with at gatherings. All those happenings transpired before the Civil War. Anna's grandparents died within nine days of each other in 1859 on their homestead near New Harmony as they moved back later. In old age and aunt, one of the four girls mentioned came to Anna for a visit. She told of the formation of the island in the Ohio River above Mt. Vernon and in plain view of the waterfront. She said, that a boat sank on that spot and the island had its beginning in the wreckage. The ship was full of passengers and she remembered cries for help from those on board. After a bit the people were saved and the passengers were laid out on lumber stacks that belonged to her father's sawmill. Dry goods were also saved and left out to dry. In kindness, the Soper family was given some beautiful material to make dresses for the girls.

Doane Photo.....1947

The empty concrete slabs shown are where the cannons were prior to 1942.

New Building Will Replace Old Store.....1947

Original plans for remodeling the building of Isaac Rosenbaum at 412-414 Main Street for occupancy as a Kroger super market were changed. Rosenbaum reached a decision to raze completely the present structure and replace it with a new building. The demolition occurred in March. At first it was planned to utilize parts of the old south and north brick walls in the new building.

MV Grad, Bill Walton at DePauw.....1947

Bill Walton was the leading scorer for Mt. Vernon his senior year scoring 174 points. He went on to DePauw University as a V-12 pre-medic student. During the 1944-45 season, Walton scored 166 points and the team in free throw percentage with a 68.3% at the line. DePauw was 8-7 that season. Bill went the next season to Michigan University, but I do not have the statistics for that season. He returned to DePauw for his senior year and scored 195 points and again led the team at the free throw line with a 72.8% as the team went 16-3, their best in history. He was elected to the Mt. Vernon High School Hall of Fame in their inaugural year of 1985.

Court House.....1947

Looking at this photo it must be after 1947. I say this because the large almost century old Elm tree that stood in front of the Hovey House is gone in this picture. That happened in '47. The places where the cannons once were are still in the photo. The cannons themselves were donated in '42. I see a driveway behind the courthouse...not sure when that happened. Most photos seem to be taken from the front; but before the parking lot and ramp were put in the back, I always thought that was very attractive.

Atomic Bomb Observers Talk to Mt. Vernon Teachers...Seek World Peace.....1947

Two of the most educated and inspiring speakers ever to address the Posey County teacher's institute, Wayne Gutherie, assistant managing editor for the Indianapolis News and Rev. Amos Boren, WWII Chaplin addressed the audience. Guthrie was an observer of both the air and underwater atomic blasts at Bikini in July 1946 and had since given 277 speeches on what he called, "Ringside at Bikini." Guthrie described the atomic bomb tests in graphic detail. Wearing black goggles to protect his eyes, he saw the air bomb flash..."a light estimated to be 1000 times brighter than the sun. The flash disappeared instantly and the goggles were removed. This was followed by a red ball of fire which lasted only a second. After that a dark, mucky, grey and black smoke began to ascend very rapidly. It was a turbulent mass that pitched and foamed. Bleaching out it became the color of an ice cream cone and assumed the characteristic mushroom cap. The mass looked like a cauliflower come alive of orange and red fire. A hundred seconds after the flash the sound of the blast was heard like that of exploding tons and tons of dynamite. The cloud rose to a height of 40,000 feet with the mushroom top four miles across." In the second or underwater test, the atomic bomb was exploded by push button, 15 miles from the bomb. "The explosion sent up from the lagoon's surface a column of water which was 2100 feet across. It went into the air 8400 feet in two minutes and thirty seconds and reached maximum at two miles. Then it spread out like a giant toadstool which was something like 16,000 feet across the top." Despite the fact the press ship was nine miles from the blast and between it and the blast was large Bikini Island, Gutherie said the blast shook the vessel twice terrifically. Rev. Boren spoke saying the citizens of the world hold great responsibilities to build a "New Day." To achieve Peace he stated we must: "understand our lives are based on the fatherhood of God; we must accept the brotherhood of man; we must realize the necessity of co-operation and make a positive conviction in international relations by believing the first step begins with me...the individual. "Peace is the only defense to the Atomic Age."

Western Auto Grand Opening.....1947

People in photo are Orrin and Elba Estes. A Western Auto representative, and Bob and Dorothy Estes.

Western Auto

Western Auto

Decorated buggy winner at 1947 Mt. Vernon Fall Festival

Jackie Jo Anderson...."Old women who lived in a shoe."... How wonderful is this?

Sherburne Park.....1947

The House in 1946-1947

FDR was dead and the House was more determined than ever to roll back the New Deal. Legislation came out of the lower chamber that divided the right whose more deliberate Senate members didn't want drastic change. The reluctance of the House to compromise provided the President ample evidence to win in 1948.

Post Card.....July 4, 1946

New Business Opens.....Jan 17, 1946

The quarters formerly occupied by Manus Bishop's recreation center at 230 Main and next door to the New Vernon Theater will have a new firm. A complete line of General Electric appliances will be sold and complete servicing of all home appliances regardless of make - as long as it's powered by electricity or gasoline motors. Electronic radios will also be featured. Jack Fuelling, former superintendent of the Mt. Vernon Water Works who has operated an electrical shop at his home for many years will be the new store manager. No name has yet been decided on. Charles Nolan with many years of experience in radio servicing will have charge of that department. Miss Julia Thompson formerly of Stinson Department Store will be the saleslady.

Farm Bureau Refinery Nears Completion.....January 1946

The new towers of the cracking unit of the Indiana Farm Bureau Refinery are in the process of erection in Mt. Vernon making it the most modern plant of its size in the nation. The six year old refinery has been under one management and superintendent since its erection with Ralph Booker the general manager and Russell Potts as superintendent. The present topping or skimming giant has now run 304 continuous days. Erection of an air conditioned, fire proof office building of brick is accompanying the installation of the cracking unit. It will provide ten offices flanking a secretaries' corridor, a general office, reception room, vaults, and storage and supply room. The new plant will be powered by steam and electricity.

In 1955 the refinery celebrated 15 years of operation paying out over $9,000,000 in wages over that time and pumping $31,000,000 into the local economy. Employees went from 70 in 1940 to 235 in 1955.

City Airfield Starts Construction....January 1946

Construction of two 2600x280 foot runways began made of sod. The property east of town formally was owned by Edgar Thomas. The field was dedicated that summer and aviator Dave Alldredge was chairman of the Mt. Vernon Board of Aviation. Public response was gratifying as contributions came in from the public to help erect the first buildings including a small administration building and several individual hangers. Other nearby land was leased from Casper Graulich for the runways, one running north and south and one east and west. The 64 acre airfield had 35 acres devoted to runways.

TB Patch Given in Posey Schools.....January 1946

Hundreds of county students, both rural and city at that time were receiving the tuberculin patch tests. Consent from parents was practically unanimous. All children that show a positive reaction to the test would be offered a chest x-ray without a cost while the mobile x-ray unit was in the county.

"Keep A Cool One Baby".....January 1946

Charles Birchler and Kenneth Birchler, brothers from Evansville purchased from People's Bank & Trust Company the former Jarodzki poultry packing building on West Third Street and will convert it into a modern locker and packing plant. The brothers formerly operated a similar plant in Carmi, Illinois. The locker-packer firm will butcher and process livestock, including rendering lard, and provide cold storage of the products. Employment at the plant was expected to be ten to twelve new jobs. "Our business makes old fashion hog killing out of date," Charles Birchler said. Yes, I guess it won't be long before the killing room will be filled with animals, minus their hooves, heads, tails and skins dangling down from an overhead rack as workers in their blood splattered white coats are in constant motion....hungry? LOL

Stephan Implement Co. Expands.....1946

Stephan's was the local sales-service agency of John Deere tractors and other farm machinery, Purina feeds, Goodyear tires for tractors and farm equipment, and even Kenworth home appliances. The enlargement came at their quarters at 418-422 Main Street. The structure of a building behind the previous brick building would be 26x40 feet and house a department devoted to cleaning, painting, welding, and tire repair of farm equipment. There is also a new magneto shop specializing in servicing generators and starters of all makes. The equipment company was started in1937. Elmer J. Stephan is the manager of the company.

Class Presents Gift to High School.....1946

The class of 1946 of Mt. Vernon High School presented it with a Magnavox record player radio and records. The record player/radio was purchased with a cash gift of $300 made by the class. The item was mounted on rubber-tired casters to permit its use anywhere in the school building. The presentation was made at an auditorium program by the class sponsors, Miss Catherine Howard and Mr. Thomas Berry.


Not sure of date on this. There was a notice I saw in 1946 that 56 Posey County serviceman lost their lives 1941-1945.

Mt. Vernon Airport.....1946

According to Anne Doane, Mayor Frank Fessenden approached a group of "air-minded" citizens with a proposal to build an airport. There was only $600 available for the project. The Mayor appointed a Board of Aviation Commissioners with David Alldredge as President, Dave Hasting as VP, Henry Graining, Roy Bauer and A.A. Robison Sr., as the other members. Popular subscriptions increased their funds to $2500 and the leasing of the land took almost all of it. Construction came from volunteers of equipment, supplies and labor. Sixty five acres were found on the north banks of the Ohio River, east of town and men showed up with hoes, rakes, shovels and axes. Trucks, tractors, plows, drags, two bulldozers and a winch truck got into action. Gas and oil dealers donated fuel and farmers brought back enough lespedeza seed to sod the runways. Two buildings were built, one an operations office and the other a small lunch room and sandwich shop. A 2000 gallon 80 octane gas tank was installed with provisions for a 1000 gallon 91 octane tank to be added later. A trailer home was brought in for the resident manager. The runways were T shaped, running east and west, north and south. They were both 2640 feet long. They had a orange wind sock. The first plane landed at the airport on May 15. By July 4th they had a dedication. Commercial fliers took up passengers for sightseeing trips until noon, and then the Mt. Vernon High School did a short band concert. Dave Alldredge introduced Pop Fessenden who spoke and then introduced Gene Dawson who was aviation editor of the Indianapolis News. He was active in stunt flying. Planes from the Freeman Field of the Air Force landed for our celebration. In the evening the ceremony was moved to Athletic Park with a fireworks display and more concert music. Traffic grew to seven planes as time went on. Classes were held under the GI Bill. A 30X50 repair shop came in next and individual hangers. Anne Doane wrote a weekly column in the Democrat to keep everyone up to date on the activities at the airfield. John Doane became a private pilot examiner. Many of us remember his photos from the air of the Wabash Bridge construction in the 1950's. In 1947, the Jaycees painted Mt. Vernon in 10 feet high letters on the roof at the Mt. Vernon Milling Company with a length of 125 feet. Some of the hardest workers at the airport were Alldredge, Bill Humber, Herschel Aud, Bud Baer, Hasting, Dale DeFur, Fred Freimiller, Dewey Boyd, Millard Ashworth, Harry Cremeens, Joseph Dailey, Norman Rowe, Floyd Cox, Don Cox, and Donald Moore. Agricultural spraying became big as they sprayed to kill Army worms, weeds and fertilizer. One year a airplane was even put on display on the courthouse square. It was during a fall festival and they placed a Cessna on display. In 1949 Doane sprayed the town with DDT from the airport. There were model airplane displays held here also. Frank Parrish later ran the airport and he had a helicopter pad near his home. That is part of MV aviation history.

Booker T. Vets Defeat Non-Service Alumni.....December 28, 1945

A large crowd at the Booker T Washington gym on the east side of town saw the ex-military men defeat an alumni team by the score of 36-32. Leading scorers were S. Waller (13) and Cole (12) for the service team and A. Waller (13) for the alumni.

Returning veterans that year too would sometimes get free passes to the high school gym at MVHS.

First Plane To Land on MV Airfield..... December 10, 1945

The man on the left is Dave Hastings, vice chairman of the Mt. Vernon Board of Aviation Commissioners, and the other is Henry Graening, commission secretary. The plane is an Army trainer, PT17, piloted by Hasting. Graening was the first passenger taken up from the field.

Mt. Vernon Democrat photographer John Doane use to fly out of here taking photos of the Wabash Bridge, the town, General Electric, the river giving us shots we had never seen before. When the airport first started there were four planes quartered there belonging to Dave Alldredge, Dave Hastings, James Duckworth and Dr. William Challman. Early on there were over 20 people taking flying lessons. My dad went up for a ride with some pilot offering free rides to returning veterans from WWII.


The end of the war and the return of hundreds of Posey County servicemen made the holidays merrier despite severe cold and terrible driving conditions. The Elks lodge entertained underprivileged children at the group's 27th annual Christmas party. The Eagles was visited by Santa and a large tree donated by Mayor Frank J. Fessenden provided a appropriate setting. Gifts of candles, fruits and toys were distributed. Those children who had attended the Elks party were hosted at the New Vernon Theater absolutely free. Christmas services were abundant in our houses of worship. St. Matthew's had a midnight mass and had a beautiful crib of nativity. During the intercession the choir sang, "Silent Night", accompanied by violins. At Trinity, "The Christmas Story" was enacted by the pupils. It was a simple dramatization of that ancient story which has been re-written for little children by the pastor, the Rev. August Binder. The senior department presented, "The White Christmas." Trinity also had a 21 foot tree fully illuminated. Christmas pageants were held at many other churches too.

Sending Students to Evansville Lincoln.....School Year 1945-46

That year the Board of School Trustees decided to send the juniors and seniors from Booker T Washington High School to Lincoln. Mt. Vernon continued this practice until the African-American students were integrated within MVHS during the 1949-50 school year. If you look at the Hoop Pole of 1950 you will see black students with bios of first and second years at BTW and seniors with third year at Lincoln and fourth at MVHS. Grade schoolers at BTW waited one more year by request of their parents to see how smoothly integration went. In 1955-56 the old BTW school was renovated and became the junior high until the new high school was built on Harriet Street in 1960 and the Canal Street School became the junior high. I think a historical marker should be placed at the site of Booker T Washington.

Posey County Returns to Normalcy Following Japanese Surrender......August 1945

Mt. Vernon and Posey County settled down after an emotional spree of 36 hours waiting for the official end of the war against Japan. Most mercantile stores re-opened after a holiday. Taverns and other liquor dispensers re-opened after closing immediately upon the official announcement of victory. Lay-offs were issued by the hundreds at Evansville war plants following cancellations of war contracts by the federal government. But the economic effect of the war's end was more than offset by general happiness that the hostilities had ceased. The familiar request, "fill 'er up," was heard once again at local gasoline stations with the lifting of rationing. Food stores reported an upswing in orders for canned fruits and vegetables, no longer requiring blue ration stamps. Particularly pleased with the peace announcement were a number of local servicemen who were in town on furloughs meaning for many of them a cancellation of their second overseas mission. As a whole Mt. Vernon and the county took the announcement of the victory in stride. There were no cases of violence and few cases of disorderliness. Because of the fast breaking news the Mt. Vernon Democrat continued regular publication on their off days to keep readers fully informed of the history making events. Extra editions of the Democrat were grabbed up by eager buyers, but due to the newsprint situation they were quickly exhausted. The Democrat bulletin board kept up the news for workers heading for their jobs as shouts of joy were heard as they read the news. Radio news were all most on fulltime duty as listeners nervously listened for Japan's acceptance of "severe" Allied terms of surrender. Mayor Frank Fessenden urged Mt. Vernon-ites to act sanely and safely and not engage in law violations. When it was official the Democrat notified the Water Works and the announcement was rung in by the fire whistle with six loud blasts.

Temporary Buildings Being Moved to House Students.....August 1945

After the Central Grade School burned earlier that month, Mt. Vernon was in a bind. The United States War Department donated collapsible temporary buildings, shipped from Sandusky, Ohio by rail to Mt. Vernon. The dwellings were once a part of a dismantled ordinance plant. Kuhn Truck Line transported the buildings to the erection sites adjacent to the Mt. Vernon High School building. George Esche and George 'Jupiter' Payne, school employees assisted the truck firm in unloading. Concrete block foundations were laid and footings poured. School was delayed one week because they were not ready due to delays in obtaining building materials. Grade school pupils at Riley School, MVHS, and Booker T. Washington began school according to the original schedule.

VE Day In Great Britain Through the Eyes of Mt. Vernon Resident.....May 7, 1945

Charles Willis Carr lived a active productive interesting life. He had roles in the Spanish Civil War, WW1 and WWII. In the Spanish Civil War he was sent to Spain to direct accounting to supervise the distribution of flour and powdered milk to the starving. After working in the Mt. Vernon Western Union telegraph office for a while he rode a bicycle from Indianapolis with a friend to San Francisco. You can only imagine the roads in 1915. When the "War to End All Wars" began Carr was inducted into the signal corps of the Army and served as a wireless instructor at the Board of Trade Signal School in Chicago. After armistice he worked as a disaster relief director during the 1925 Midwestern tornado (Griffin) and directed relief work in Puerto Rico in 1928 and floods in South Carolina and in 1937 here in parts of Indiana. In the Second World War he supervised the transfer of the Harvard Field Hospital to the U.S. military and devised service club activities for the armed forces. He spent six years in Europe helping in ten countries. On V.E. day Charles was among those outside Buckingham Palace. Here in his words is what he saw: "Hysterical rejoicing had hit London when the news of the end of the war came. For 48 hours no one went to bed. The streets were filled with bonfires of blackout curtains and blinds. Strangers invited you in to have a drink of a sacred bottle, put away years before for just this occasion. Every lamp post had its quota of celebrators hanging from its branches. Victoria's statue in front of Buckingham Palace was black with young people climbing into her lap and up her shoulders. Every car that moved was a moving island of people, riding on the hood and top, and clinging to its fenders. Thus it was with thousands, crowded in front of Buckingham Palace, night and day. All through the night and day, the Royal Family came out on the balcony to wave to the crowds and to receive their cheers. We had driven over, threading a careful and slow way to the Palace with the unusual retinue of hangers, climbers, and sitters all over the car. We had seen the King and Queen come out on the balcony, heard the cheers, and cheered ourselves. Then very carefully circling Queen Victoria's statue, we started down the Mall. Two cars were in that crowded street heading toward each other-two ships afloat in a sea of people. Slowly, slowly, we approached each other-then the final and finest cap to V.E. day occurred. In the other car was a familiar and famous face-Churchill was on his way to visit the King. As we passed slowly, he raised two fingers in the "V" for victory sign. We answered with the same." This journal came from Mr. Carr's daughter-in-law Sarah Carr in an interview by Becky Boyer of the Mt. Vernon Democrat in 1995.

Mt. Vernon Pauses In Homage to Passing of FDR.....April 1945

Mt. Vernon paid heart felt tribute to Democratic President Roosevelt during the White House funeral service Saturday afternoon. Retail trade suspended for two hours and public business halted the entire afternoon. A memorial service for the public was held in the house of worship of the Mt. Vernon Christian Science Society. Hundreds of Mt. Vernonites kept in touch with memorial services in all large metropolitan centers of the nation by the radio which in the past 12 years had brought the voice of the dead leader in his memorable "fireside chats" with America. Flags on public buildings continued to fly at half-staff through the 30 day mourning period proclaimed by President Truman. Western Union telegraph was halted for one minute nationwide to honor the fallen leader. FDR before he became President spoke from our court house over twenty years ago. Truman made an address to the nation revealing his beliefs on the war and domestic issues. "Let me assure the forward looking people of America that there will be no relaxation in our efforts to improve the lot of the common people." As far as I know there was no Republican response. :)

Soldier Saves Life By Firewood Search.....April 1945

When he went outside to collect some wood for a fire, Private William Bridwell, whose wife Imogene lives in Mt. Vernon had no idea it would result in saving his life. A member of Company M, 304th Infantry Regiment, Bridwell set up his machine gun in an upstairs room of a small German building. Just as he reached the outside of the structure in his search for wood, a shell struck in the upper part of the building, demolishing the room Bridwell had just left. Two of his companions in the downstairs part of the building were slightly injured. "If I'd stayed in that room another minute I'd have been killed sure," Bridwell said, "but I guess luck was with me that day."

Staples Foundry To Offer Auto Service.....April 1945

Garage service, including repairs of all makes of cars has been added by Staples Foundry at 711 West Second Street. Rosco Phillips is the mechanic in charge. Ralph H. Staples has been connected with the automotive industry in Posey County since its inception and was one of the first auto salesmen in the county.

Western Star Publisher, Herbert Leffel dies.....March 9, 1945

Herbert was the dean of Posey County newspapers when he died at the age of 67. He was public spirited and active in Indiana Democratic politics. He passed suddenly at his home at 319 East Second Street. He had been owner publisher of the Western Star for 14 years and for 36 years previously he was associated with his late father, John C. Leffel, in publishing and editing of the local paper. He had been critically ill for several years, but continued to work in the industry he knew so well. He died reading his newspaper when he was seized with convulsions. He was married 45 years to the former Agnes Pfeffer. He was a powerful political figure though he never held office except to serve as a Southern Indiana oil inspector under Indiana Democratic administrations. He gave his time and life to our community to civic enterprises. He was a past president and director of the Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Kiwanis club. He never lived to see it, but he was a promoter of a bridge across the Wabash River and he directed the Posey County World War II bond drive of which his son is a veteran. His father John C. Leffel was the editor and proprietor of the same newspaper for fifty years. Born in Blairsville in 1850 of parents born in Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany, John was educated in Mt. Vernon schools and got into the newspaper business in 1867 at the Mt. Vernon Democrat and assisted Tom Collins in putting out that first edition. He remained there until 1875 when he established the Mt. Vernon "Wochenblatt", the first and only German language paper to be produced in Posey County. In 1877 the first issue of The Western Star appeared, the founding of this paper by Mr. Leffel being the result of repeated requests upon the part of democrats that he establish and edit a paper that could be counted on as the organ of the party in the county. In 1855 the publishing of the German paper was discontinued.

Order to Quarantine Mt. Vernon Dogs.....March 1945

An injury to a Mt. Vernon resident by a dog gave every indication of being afflicted with rabies before it died. An order went out for a 30 day quarantine of all dogs. The order came out by the Secretary of the Board of Health who instructed police to dispose of all dogs running at large without muzzles. In the early days of our city it wasn't unusual to see newspaper articles on how many dogs had been shot that were loose on the streets, especially after altercations and reports of "mad" dogs foaming at the mouth. Even in the fifties and sixties, my dog ran wild in the neighborhood.

In 1881 I found where a two year old child developed hydrophobia from a dog bite and physicians stood by helplessly and watched the child die as the sufferings were very intense that it took two adults to hold the child in bed. People were so scared that the Wasem butcher shop had to take out an ad saying they were not serving meat from hogs, bitten by mad dogs in their grocery. In February of 1881, 50 stray dogs were killed by the Marshall and physicians warned parents to keep their children off the streets. "There is no effective treatment known for those bitten by a mad dog", they said. Several horses were bitten and there was an incident where a colt went mad and ran tearing down the street biting and kicking everything that happened to be in his path. Fear spread through the town as several other reported horses and even cows were bitten. Several hogs were rabid too as the Marshall, policeman and citizens chased down Water and Fourth streets through alleys trying to capture or kill the animals.

Prisoner of Nazis Comes Home.....March 1945

Pfc. James E. (Eddie) Jones, 35, US Army became the first Posey County prisoner of war to be repatriated to America in a 90 day furlough to visit his father James M. Jones of near Upton. Pfc. Jones was wounded and captured by the Nazis in Italy in 1944. The International Red Cross arranged for his release in an exchange of prisoners and interned civilians. He arrived in the States on the Exchange Liner Gripsholm. The FBI authorities have instructed the repatriated local man to refrain from all discussion of conditions in the Nazi POW camp where he was confined.

Clothing For Victims of Axis Made in Mt. Vernon....Spring of 1945

A pickup of clothing and bedding to relieve the suffering in the ranks of innocent victims of war in Europe was made in April. County trucks made the collection from rural schools and rural churches. G. Edward Behrens, was Chairman of the Posey County Junior Red Cross which was taken the leading role in the collection effort. Boy Scouts manned the trucks. The armory building was used as the sorting and shipping center. The need for clean, wearable garments for all adults and children is tremendous. Allied military leaders have reported liberated areas in Europe where there is acute suffering and in need of America's great humanitarian heart. Mt. Vernon was still collecting locally too for the war effort salvaging tin cans, blue vine pods, and waste fat grease.

Traffic Barred at Riverfront.....March 1945

Flood sightseers on the Mt. Vernon riverfront who park their cars on Water Street between Main and Second Streets have been interfering with the movement of trucks transporting evacuated livestock and personal belongings via the Mt. Vernon ferry. Chief of Police, Edgar Alldredge closed traffic on Water Street and two OCD auxiliary policemen were stationed there as patrolmen and to direct traffic. Persons wishing to view the swollen Ohio River can park their autos elsewhere and walk to the riverfront.

Central School Fire which happened in January 1945. Photo courtesy of Toni and John Knisley.

After this fire the cornerstone was removed that was placed in there in 1910. Found also were articles of the previous school that was built there in 1867. The contents of the two boxes were displayed at Rothrock's pharmacy on Main Street. The oldest contained the original deed for the site worth $1200 and called "College Square." The usual was in the boxes, old newspapers, coins, club programs, photos, school letterhead forms, a reprint of a picture of Abraham Lincoln, and a list of marriageable ladies. Now that was creative! I have seen a few pictures of the fire damage, but this photo and angle is new to me. I will make sure it is preserved.

Salvage Drives.....1945

During the war, Mt. Vernon like other communities collected license plates, waste paper, fat grease and other items for the war effort. One item collected too was bluevine pods which was made into floss and used for military life jackets. Two of the local salvage chairmen were John Forthoffer for tin and Rev. Cecil Atkinson for waste paper. Ration cards were issued that had stamps in them for the likes of sugar, coffee, even gasoline and tires. My uncle and my future mother worked in defense plants in Evansville and because of this my uncle Leonard Huff was able to purchase tires to help drive workers to the shipyards making the LST's

Early MV History Revealed in Fire Swept School's Cornerstone.....1945

Removal of the contents of the cornerstone of the fire leveled Central grade school building brought to light some interesting mementos of our early history. From a solder sealed copper box sealed by a plumbing contractor in 1910 we found not only articles placed in 1910, but a package of souvenirs of the cornerstone laying of the original Central building erected in 1867. When the 1910 building supplanted the old structure, the contents of the original cornerstone were transferred to the cornerstone of the new building. The contents of the two boxes were displayed in the show windows of Rothrock Pharmacy. The oldest box contained a bond for the original deed for the school site, known as College Square for $1200. The box contained names of the usual city and school officials, the judge, the mayor, doctors, lawyers, trustees and ministers. Newspapers too were added from the Mt. Vernon Union, New Harmony Register, Evansville Journal, Evansville Courier, and interesting the La Crosse Wis. Democrat. The most valuable item was an original photograph of an Abraham Lincoln coin from a studio in Cleveland Ohio. Local photographs were also included. There was a long list of marriageable young ladies along with enrollment figures that showed we had 367 boys and 438 girls in school on August 9, 1867. Also included were business cards, list of lodges, and a McGuffey Reader. The 1910 box also contained similar historic mementos, personal photos, school letterhead forms and newspapers from The Unafraid, The Western Star, Evening Sun, Mt. Vernon Democrat, along with coins and club programs.

Trains Collide.....1945

This picture was taken moments after collision of locomotives of L&N and a Chicago & Eastern Illinois trains on the crossing of the main L&N line and the C&EI branch at the northwest outskirts of Mt. Vernon. The locomotive of the 42 car first section of L&N freight train NO. 76 was derailed and the smaller engine of the C&EI branch freight and the coal tender were hurled off the track and overturned on the right of way. Trainmen of both locomotives set the brakes and jumped from their cabs when they saw the collision was inevitable and were uninjured. L&N rails were wrenched loose for a distance of 125 feet and the buckling of one rail served as a support preventing the L&N locomotive from overturning. The rail crash recalled the collision of L&N and E&TH trains on the same crossing in 1896.

Main Street Poseyville.....1945

Rev. August E. Binder

Binder came to Mt. Vernon in 1945 and was Pastor of Trinity Church of Christ for 18 years when he retired. He was instrumental in the founding of the Housing Authority of Mt. Vernon and the opening of the Cloverleaf Circle apartments for low income, elderly and he handicapped. He made a half a dozen trips to Honduras with mission work as well as other trips like to the Soviet Union. He called me during the Jimmy Carter era to discuss with me the reinstitution of selective service registration. I had been protesting that position in Evansville and had been interviewed by the Evansville Courier and the Mt. Vernon Democrat. We talked about humanity and not governments, similarities and not differences between people. We went over my opposition to war and the feedback I was receiving. He encouraged me on my stands of conscience and sent me a nice note later in the mail. I appreciated his comments both positive and negative.

Life in a Concentration Camp.....1944-1945

Arthur Roos was captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge on December 19, 1944. My father was in that battle also. I remember how he said it was so cold and snowy. Roos was put in a boxcar and sent to a camp called Badorb and for four days and nights he had nothing to eat. On Christmas evening, the Mt. Vernon native was finally given some nourishment: part of a can of meat and a slice of bread. He was continuously reminded of the lack of food during the almost four months he spent at the camp. The 20 year old said that the typical meal was about one liter of soup. Sometimes during the day you might also be given a loaf of dark bread of which the main ingredient was sawdust. He slept on the floor in temporary quarters for maybe three weeks until he was assigned to barracks that had bunk beds three tiers high. Of course there was no source of heat that winter. Besides the lack of food, heat and freedom there was an abundance of lice and fleas and cleaning oneself without soap was difficult. Prisoners exercised to keep up morale and spent their time talking, reading, playing cards and thinking of anything other than their conditions. On Easter Sunday, 1945, an American tank crashed through the camp's gates and freed the prisoners. They were taken to a field hospital and then transferred to a general hospital. By Mother's Day he was home for a brief stay but returned to duty. Ironically, he was sent to Ft. Lewis, Washington where he guarded six German prisoners of war. On Thanksgiving Day he was discharged and he returned home. He later moved to Missouri and became a optometrist.

Darwin Rueger...1945. Elected to Mt. Vernon Hall of Fame in 1985. Played 25 years of semi-pro baseball.

I remember as a kid watching him play centerfield for the Mt. Vernon Merchants in Double I League. He was a quite an athlete in all four sports it seems. There is a picture of him in the Hoop-Pole being hoisted in the air after the Wildcats won the Posey County Basketball Tourney. He was only able to participate in track one season due to the war which limited sports travel during that time. He participated in the shot put, pole vault, 440 yard dash and the broad jump. I even played in an old timers baseball game with him in 1990. He loved sports and should be remembered.

Guy Bishop - Booker T. Washington Educator.....1940s

Guy Bishop and his wife Jennie Dickerson Bishop were responsible for developing African-American students in Mt. Vernon for decades before desegregation in the 1949-1950 school year. Guy graduated from grade and high school in 1907. He went to Terre Haute State Normal in 1910. After a year in Boonville he came to Mt. Vernon. He started out with what they called a Course "C" certificate to teach but later received his diploma from Terre Haute with some credits from Indiana University. He went to the University of Chicago where he earned his Ph. B and A.M. degrees. They allowed him to become principal at Booker T. Washington. He was a member of the Wallden Lodge No. 17 F&M that the stone of the lodge has just been found and identified. He was the Past Master of the Lodge and was a steward and trustee of the Bethel A.M.E. Church for many years. He was a regional advisor to the University of Chicago. His wife Jennie was a graduate of Rockville, Indiana high school in 1907 and also attended Terre Haute State Normal, Butler University and the University of Chicago. In 1911 she began teaching the primary grades at BTW and married Guy two years later. She continued teaching there until 1946. She wrote a weekly column titled "Colored News" in the Mt. Vernon Democrat in 1946 and 1947. She was an organist in the Bethel Church for 25 years and a member and Past Matron of Sheba Chapter #4 Eastern Star of Mt. Vernon, a Past Grand Deputy of District 4 of the Order and for 13 years a State Grand Treasurer of the Eastern Star. She was President of the Mt. Vernon Lesser Lights Club for 16 years and member of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. After black students were allowed to attend school with white children the Bishops moved to Los Angeles to be near their daughter. These two citizens should not be forgotten. Oh the stories they could have told us! It was said that Guy spoke in front of all the students and said, "The day has come that the citizens of Mt. Vernon have seen fit to give all children of all races an equal opportunity."

Local Star Shines in Military Service Baseball.....June 1944

During the Second World War, many major league players were in the military and from time to time played some service baseball. Great names like Feller, Dimaggio, Berra, Spahn, and Ted Williams. Mt. Vernon had two local standouts that I recall of Dale Gentil in the Navy and Albert "Dutch' Wehr in the Army. Dale was a standout in high school, and at Indiana University. He later played minor league baseball and he told me once that he threw a five inning no-hitter when playing for Little Rock. "Dutch" had a great arm, but somehow never was signed, even though he played many times vs. professional players in service and in semi-pro leagues. For an example, the Western Star paper reported in June of 1944 of a game Wehr played for Camp Crowder, Mo. that defeated the 1943 national semi-pro champion Kansas City Rupperts 6-3. Wehr led the victors with a long homerun and a double. He handled 8 chances in the field without a bobble and was on the pivot of a double play. Two major league players were on his team that day, Bill Cox pitcher of the White Sox, Maurice Van Robays of the Pirates. A week earlier, Wehr pitched a three hitter in a win over the UTC Signalers.

New Marvel at Rothrock's Pharmacy.....May 1944

A new electric ice box at Rothrock Pharmacy has been added to their equipment. This immense tool will be the place where candies and serums will be stored with temperatures maintained at near the freezing point.

J & J Welding Established.....1944

Welding partners John Smith and John Miller used their initials to establish their corporation. The first location was on Fifth Street and then the extent of their services was limited to the oil fields. Later they moved their shop to North Main Street and in 1948 they transferred to their present location on the one thousand block of West Fourth Street. A machine shop was added in 1957 and employees were increased from four to fourteen. The influx of new plants to our area added services and employment to J & J. In the sixties a fabrication unit was added. Services expanded to aluminum and stainless steel welding. They had steam cleaning, wench truck service. In 1967 they donated a large stainless steel time capsule for the storage of items of Mt. Vernon's Sesquicentennial celebration. It contains records of insurance policies, booklets, expenses, canceled checks, 204 photographs of sesquicentennial affairs, buttons, top hats, bonnets, certificates, still slides, calendar of events, license plates and numerous other items. The capsule was buried in front of the City Hall on May 9. 1967 and will be recovered (if we can find it) in the year 2016. Okay Bryan fill me in on what I have missed. haha. Oh, thanks to your dad for sponsoring our softball team in the early 80's.

Community Day Stresses Peace Price.....1944

World Community Day was sponsored by the Mt. Vernon church women in a approach to study the political solutions towards the securement of an enduring peace. It was held at the Trinity Evangelical & Reformed church and the audience heard from speakers what "we as individuals and as families, must be prepared to pay for world order." Topics included major things like relief and rehabilitation, economic interdependence and problems on the home front. Talks were held on rationing, Victory gardening, etc. People were asked to sign a pledge to do all in their individual and collective power to work for an enduring peace. I wonder if they considered a different system where there is not one standard for the mighty and another for the weak.

Dogtown, Illinois Ferry... 1944. This is how we crossed the Wabash River before the Memorial Bridge of 1956.

Ira's Got a New Freezer.....1944

One of them newfangled electric ice boxes is now in place at Rothrock Pharmacy and it is immense. Just what the doctor ordered to house candies and medical serums inside. I think it would be fine for Snicker bars too. Have they invented those yet? Oh well. Anyway, the temperature is kept at near freezing so it will be a welcome blast on a hot August afternoon.

Colorful Posey Historian and Newsman...B.O. Hanby Dead at 84....1944

Brainerd Oakes Hanby, a picturesque figure either walking the street or driving his jalopy with his beard flying over his shoulder made a mark working forty years in journalism in Mt. Vernon. He died at his home at 107 East Tenth Street after being in failing health for some months. A native of Ohio, the son of Benjamin who was the composer of the Civil War ballad, "Darling Nellie Gray" of which there is a public shrine in Westerville, Ohio. B.O. had been here since the turn of the 20th century editing many a newspaper like "The Unafraid," "The Unafraid Republican," and "The Republican News." He was charter member of the Posey County Historical Society. B.O. appeared three times in the NBC radio program, "We the People." His wife Alice Harper Hanby was also a collector of articles of historical value and her items were displayed at the PCHS in the coliseum of which she was the president. She gave over 190 objects to the society. Hanby services were done by the Short Funeral Home and then his body was shipped to Westerville Ohio where he was laid to rest not far from the Hanby Memorial Home which became a national shrine in 1937.

Booker T. Washington School Song.....1944

"Then hurrah for Booker T; shout to the rafters ring. Come and let us sing once again; let every Booker T man sing. Sing to all the happy hours; sing to the careless days; Sing to Booker T forever, the school of our hearts always."

You know I would very much like to know if some sort of annual was every made or a book of some sort describing the history was published. I have my doubts if there were any; but someone may have kept mementos of the school and I would very much love to see them and preserve the black history of our community.

There were two Booker T 's at the same location. The first one was first I believe the old Eastern School and it burned in 1933. Brick from the old MVHS on College Avenue was used to build the second building. BTW was closed I believe in 1951 when the elementary students followed the integration of the high schools students a year earlier. I have seen graduation figures early in the 20th century. Usually less than 5 students a year graduated. Some years there were none. Black education was conducted at times at Brewery Hills at the time of the Owenites from New Harmony. There was a community of blacks in Point Township for a while also. Main Street school was used temporarily for a while I believe after the 1933 fire.

Well House Camp Pahoka.....1940s

Mt. Vernon Bombed in Civil Defense Drill....April 1943

Not was called off due to 42 mph winds at the Evansville airport. The bombs that were supposed to be used were imitations with different colored streamers denoting the type of bomb it would have been. Even without the bombs segments of the raid went off. For instance the "alert" was signified by a long continuous blast of two minutes of the Water Works whistle, the Farm Bureau whistle, and the Texaco siren. This means that there is a possibility of an air raid. From there air raid wardens, auxiliary police, auxiliary fireman, medical corps, transportation units and all Civilian Defense groups reported to their posts. The "blackout" began next with all traffic stopping and streets cleared. CD personnel with armbands then will man the streets. Under normal raids, citizens would be asked to take shelter in their homes; but for this test citizens were asked just to remain on their premises. Three short blasts from the previously mentioned whistles and siren will start the blackout. The all clear notification was the turning on of the street lighting system.

Aluminum for war.....1940's

Recycle Those Old License Plates...We Need More Bullets....WWII

The oldest license plate turned over to the service stations for collections was a 1913 plate belonging to the late Richard Wilson. The plate was used for a Dodge touring car belonging to Wilson. The plate was of heavier metal than the plates of the 1940's and maybe two or three times thicker and smaller in size. Instead of the customary painted figures, this plate was heavily enameled in black and yellow.

War Hysteria Leads to Laughter.....WWII

One day a farmer entered the county agent's office and seemed to be quite his hand he held a branch of a tree on which a large silky, finely-woven pouch was held. "Please, somebody identify this," he said. The farmer was of the opinion that this was something new and he stated that trees and bushes along the Savah-Mt. Vernon road and the Evansville road were loaded with such items. He suggested there could be a possibility of a sabotage campaign being worked through the country and these pouches were being used to spread germs and disease.....suppose they were parachuted into the rural areas without our knowledge. The pouch was opened and found to contain thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of web worms, which are quite harmless and are destroyed by their natural enemies, such as parasites and birds.

1940's.....Mt. Vernons Finest

1940's.....Coca Cola

Local Soldier Meets Eleanor Roosevelt.....November 1942

Sgt. Robert Rowe, son of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Rowe of Mt. Vernon had a very rare opportunity to chat with the first lady, but he was so thrilled that he was unable to respond to Mrs. Roosevelt's question. Eleanor was in England and while there she visited the camp in which her son, Lt. Col. James Roosevelt was located which was the same location as Rowe. She walked into the dining room during one of the meals, and as she arrived at the place were Bob was sitting at the end of one of the tables, she asked Bob if the meals were appetizing and if he was getting plenty to eat. Evidently, he got "all choked up."

Mt. Vernon Has "Dim-Out".....November 1942

The entire city practiced what to do in case of an air raid by enemy fighters. The rules set up by the wardens were: 1.) If you are at home, stay there. 2.) If you are not at home, stay where you are and don't try to go home. Take shelter where you are. 3.) If you are on the street when the blackout warning sounds get off the street and under cover. No one is authorized on the street except duly authorized persons. 4.) If you are at home when the blackout starts and haven't made advance preparations to cover your windows and doors, turn your lights out. It is absolutely necessary that no light shows on the outside. 5.) If you are driving a car when the warning sounds, pull to the curb and turn off your lights. Take cover wherever you can find it, but get off the streets. 6.) If you are running a business which is open at the time of the warning, turn out all outside lights and window lights. In fact, turn off all lights inside the building, except the night light, which must be shaded. 7.) And last, but not least, If your warden knocks on your door and asks you to put out your light please do as he asks you to do and "do it with a smile." He is backed up by law and an ordinance," and could cause you some trouble and unpleasant publicity if you decide to have your own way." All places not co-operating in the dim-out will be a matter of record. The Western Star ran an editorial on the dim-out stressing the seriousness of the exercise and not "to be confused with child's play." A city ordinance was passed which prescribed definite penalties for persons failing to comply.

No "Tricks" This Halloween.....1942

Following reports of several broken windows in town, Chief of Police Ralph Rowe re-emphasized his statement made earlier that "vandalism this year at Halloween is very unpatriotic and virtual sabotage and that offenders will be punished to the full extent of the law." He went on to add that of such activities do not cease a serious penalty will be attached to crimes of this nature.

City Organizes Defense Control Center.....July 30, 1942

Leaders of the various defense departments of the Mt. Vernon Civilian Defense Council met in the city building and further organized the control center which will be the chief administrative center in times of emergency. It was determined at the meeting that all leaders would attend a practice blackout to be held at Reitz Bowl in Evansville in August. First Aid stations in the city were announced at the session and would be located at the residences of Walter King, 912 Mulberry, Alex Herring, 520 East Water, and Henry Renschler, 313 Pearl along with the city building. Plans were discussed for the adoption of air raid warning signals. Arm bands were distributed to the members of the auxiliary police corps and the auxiliary firemen's corps. Mt. Vernon had 21 auxiliary policeman, 23 auxiliary firemen and 82 air raid wardens. Represented at the meeting were the following control board members: William Shrode, acting director of the Posey County Civilian Defense Council; Clinton Maurer, director of the Mt. Vernon Civilian Defense Council; Thomas Welborn, chief air raid warden; Clarence Carr, street repair corps director; Albert Gerth, city fire chief; Henry Renschler, chief of the auxiliary firemen's corps; Ralph Rowe, chief of police; John Wm. Brown, chief of the auxiliary police corps; Harold Brown, director of the messenger corps; and Frank J. Fessenden, director of the medical corps.

June 1942

It's Tulip Time In Mt. Vernon.....April 1942

On the hillside behind the John P. Wehr residence at 521 East Eighth Street, there was over an acre of the early spring flowers in bloom, a virtual sea of rainbow hues from the darkest maroon to the most delicate of the pastel shades over 600 dozens of the flowers were shipped by Mr. and Mrs. Wehr and son Gil, to Chicago and other cities besides, bouquets have been sent to shut-ins and to the various churches of Mt. Vernon. The Wehr family extended an invitation to all flower lovers to stop by and view the lovely flowers at their height in the blooming season. I remember the green house that stood there when I was growing up and when I first bought flowers for my girlfriend and later my wife I went to their shop. Great people the Wehr's! I was in the Netherlands in the early 1970's and saw acres of beautiful tulips growing like we would see corn here. Flowers and bulbs were sent all over the world from places like Amsterdam, Voldendam and The Hague. The Breeze family had a greenhouse in Mt. Vernon too in the middle of the 20th century near Robin Hill. I believe his name was Covington.

Air Raid Wardens Class Trained by Legion.....Spring of 1942

Ninety men attended their first meeting of the air raid warden's training course at the city building. Thomas C. Welborn was appointed chief air raid warden by Mayor George A. Krug and instructed the classes. Welborn had recently returned from Indianapolis from his own training by the American Legion. Future study lessons were held in the library of the Mt. Vernon High School. The first class was devoted to the general picture of the aircraft warning system from the offshore patrol through the inshore patrol, listening posts, the filter center and the information center into the central control station and the alert. Welborn went over explaining the military objectives of an air raid and told what the bombing plane would carry and the perils of an attack. Mt. Vernon was mapped and divided into sectors, each sector being under the jurisdiction and supervision of one senior warden and three to five assistant wardens. Talk was to have 15 sectors. "While Mt. Vernon is not looking forward to an air raid, the class is determined to learn how to hold damage to an absolute minimum and to keep Mt. Vernon citizens as calm and as safe as possible," Chief Warden Welborn stated.

Incendiary Bomb Handling Demonstrated in Mt. Vernon.....February 1942

A large crowd attended the demonstration of how to handle an incendiary bomb at Sherburne Park given as a Civilian Defense project. City fireman, Roy Green, instructor of the auxiliary firemen's corps as well as regular city firemen attended the demonstration. The instructor demonstrated the devastating effect of throwing water from a hose or a bucket on the burning magnesium. He stressed also the danger of the use of tetrachloride, regular equipment of fire fighters, which combines with burning magnesium to produce a fatal gas. Use of dry sand or water in the form of a spray in controlling the blaze was demonstrated.

Veneer Plant Locates in City....January 1942

The old Mt. Vernon Canning Company buildings on Wolflin Street were sold to Abner Carey, veneer manufacturer of Grayville, Ill. Machinery was moved in to manufacture veneer for wire-bound boxes and egg cases employing approximately 40 men, the greater of will be local labor. Mr. Carey will personally manage the plant, but his son, James Carey, who is at present in Ohio, later will manage it. Mr. Carey is the owner of two other plants of this kind, one in Grayville and the other in Alabama. In choosing Mt. Vernon as a location for the factory, Mr. Carey stated that the available supply of softwoods in adjacent lowlands, and river, rail and highway shipping facilities are such to afford adequate transportation for both raw materials and finished veneer. The Mt. Vernon Canning Company packed tomatoes there for many years, but the plant has been idle for some time.

Plant was eventually destroyed by fire I believe in the 1990's.

Old License Plates Used for War Material.....January 1942

Ivan Field, director of Civilian Defense in Posey County and Clinton Maurer, license distributor, made an appeal to motorists for their cooperation in saving old license plates. The metal they said was needed by the government for the manufacture of war material and motorists were asked to leave their discarded plates at their nearest gasoline service station. The stations have been requested to serve as collection points until a general collection could be made. The license branch will start selling 1942 plates January 2 at the E&OV bus station and not at the Keck Motor Company as in previous years.

Mt. Vernon Student Pens Poem About the War.....January 1942

Charles Reeves a MVHS student sat in the library one day, after Pearl Harbor, meditating on the events of that time....under the caption of "The Call to War," Charlie expressed his thoughts without any knowledge that his written words were to be published...."Now that war is brought upon us, and its struggles will be hard and long, let hope not vanish from your heart, for we have done no wrong....keep up your spirit and do your part, and share your hardships, one and all; and after all is said and done, and victory has been won-may the Lord in Heaven keep you and guide you from any harm; for this is war, my fellowmen-war for each and every one."

Peerless (The Friendly Tavern) Ad from 1942....

"What'll you have? We've got it! Where can you find a more elaborate room with its eats and volume of liquors? Who caters more to the farmer and the big hearted class of laboring people? Can you find friendship and that good old hospitality excercised more that at the PEERLESS. At one Saturday night's jam three devotees claimed their allegiance for their place for an evenings entertainment."

Major Winston Menzies, Former MV Newspaper Man and Military Figure Dies.....1942

Major Menzies was the son of G.V. Menzies, one of the Midwest's prominent lawyers and a nationally known Democratic leader and Ester Hovey Menzies, the daughter of the late Governor and Mt. Vernon native Alvin P. Hovey. He was a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School and later attended Indiana University where he played football. Following graduation he worked for the Mt. Vernon Democrat and the St. Louis Republic. At the outbreak of the Spanish American War he enlisted and later became captain of Company B, 61st Indiana Infantry Volunteers serving under Colonel Winfield Durbin, later governor of Indiana. He was the youngest commissioned officer of the regiment and saw service in Cuba. He returned to Mt. Vernon and in 1907 became editor of the Evening Sun, a local Republican daily. In 1909 he became the owner publisher of the paper. In 1909-11 he helped coach the Mt. Vernon football team. When World War 1 broke out, he volunteered his services to Theodore Roosevelt. He attended training school at Culver Military Academy where he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army. He was among the first 1500 US troops into France in 1917. He served with a liaison division and promoted to captain and assigned to Military Intelligence service at Chateau-Thierry and Soissons and promoted to Major and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. When the war ended papers had been submitted for promotion to lieutenant colonel. He came home for awhile, then back to France as a member of the Graves Relocation Bureau. He married Celine Demaree, widow of Captain F. Demaree, a French flying officer who died during the war. From France he became a resident of London as assistant manager of the Procurement Division of the U.S. Shipping board, a subsidiary of the Emergency Fleet Corporation. Later he became employed by the U.S. Company out of New York, operating the luxury liners, SS George Washington, and SS Manhattan. He became the firm's European representative with headquarters in Nice France and Berlin Germany. He is buried in Nogent France.

Mt. Vernon Cannons Scrapped.....1942

After 35 years of sitting beside the Soldier's and Sailor's monument they were sent to salvage for the war effort. Each weighed over 6000 pounds. Also given away were two small guns that were in front of the Memorial Coliseum. The cannons of the court house were of Spanish-American war design.

Coliseum Guns and Courthouse Cannons March to War.....1942

In Volume 3 of my "Ramblings" I touched on the two cannons and two artillery guns that were sacrificed for the war effort in 1942. During a period of great sacrifice and salvage drives and at a time the war was uncertain, Mt. Vernon went all out. The two artillery pieces were 37mm guns of French type which were of World War 1 design. These along with the 5000 pound cannons of Spanish American War design were donated by the county commissioners. The cannons at the square were placed in 1907, even predating the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The date of the manufacture of the cannons was either 1855 or 56 as my copy is so faded I can't make out the last digit.

Model Store.....1942

This department store operated in the building formerly occupied by A. Hartung & Bro. department store. Plans for the store were drawn by Harry Ryan superintendent of the store planning division in St. Louis. The store operated in a 3,300 square feet floor space, plus 5000 square feet on the second floor where reserve stock was held. The interior was a natural finished Philippine mahogany. The store carried a line of clothing, ready to wear, yard goods, work clothing, shoes and fashionable millinery. The store was managed by Norman Walling, Mt. Vernon resident who for the previous ten years was head of the men's department of the Stinson Bros. Company. Other store personnel were Miss Dixie Wallis as cashier who worked the past seven years at the Hartung store, Miss Mary Blackburn, who will handle the domestics and lingerie departments, Miss Lillie Sherretz, supervises the ladies ready to wear department and assists in the men's clothing and James Woolsey, who will also assist in the men's department.

Your Vote Counts.,., "Pop" Elected by Only 23 Votes.....1942

Frank J. Fessenden, Democrat defeated the incumbent, George A. Krug by the narrow margin of 23 votes-1146-1123 and continued the jinx that is mayor of Mt. Vernon. No one could ever win a second term until Jackson Higgins ran off, what was it, six straight? As is the norm....the local Dems made a clean slate of the city slate. Also Republican cartoonist Glenn Curtis once lost in his bid for Mayor by only 8 votes. Last year Wendy McNamara had a recount and the "Bloody 8th District" has had several controversial endings for House seats. And of course those 537 votes in Florida that could have made Al Gore President and prevented a war in 2000.

MV Man Watches Man Fall 50 Feet and Walk Away.....1942

A local man working at the Republic Aircraft Defense Plant in Evansville saw a worker fall from a scaffold approximately 50 feet high and walk away! Yes, after lying there a few minutes, he arose, shook his hand and started for the office, a few yards away......An ambulance rushed to the scene of the fall with sirens screaming and a doctor and nurse arrived about the same time. They followed the man into the office where he calmly lit a cigarette...."Aren't you hurt"," the doctor asked. "No, just shook up a bit," the worker replied....the doctor ordered the ambulance driver to bring out the stretcher to take the worker to the hospital...."I'm not going," the man said...."Yes, you are," the doctor insisted...."If I do. I'll ride up front with the driver, "the worker stated, and he climbed into the front seat....and they drove off. The man was back at work the next day. We would be required to take a drug test today, be discussed in a meeting, make out an incident report, fight over whether it is a recordable or not, take nothing stronger than an aspirin, and be told how to properly hold on to a scaffold with a three point contact....oh, sorry no quarterly bonus, but your insurance will be going's a voucher.

Mt. Vernon Native Made Brigadier-General.....1942

Col. Patrick H. Tansey, 48, a native of our city, but in recent years of Memphis, Tennessee was advanced to the rank of temporary brigadier general in the Army by order of President Roosevelt. He was immediately confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The mother of the new general was a sister of Charles A. Joest of Mt. Vernon and Mrs. Laura Wade of Evansville. His father and mother were Henry and Anna Joest Tansey. Tansey is a graduate of West Point and spent his early boyhood in Mt. Vernon. Tansey 1894-1976 was chief of material division and War Department General Staff during the Second World War He retired in 1953.

1942 Booker T. Washington Blue Devil Basketball Team

National Guardsmen Bensen; late 30's or early 40's

Explosives Stolen in New Harmony....December 1941

The Mendenhall Torpedo Company of New Harmony issued a public warning about eight quarts of nitroglycerine stolen at the end of December. Farmers and hunters were advised to be on the lookout for small bottles of fluid which may have been hidden on farms. The color of the fluid is yellowish, but will be either red or green if anti-freeze is used, and is whitish if frozen. Farmers were especially warned to be cautious, because if struck by farm machinery the nitro will explode.

The Coming of Christmas....December 1941

Not even a week into the Japanese-American War, the spirit of Christmas finally is being injected into the downtown section. Among the first buildings to be lighted were the Masonic Temple, Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company, and the Odd Fellows Building. The lighting on the latter is unusually attractive - colored lights having been strung from the tip of the flag pole to the roof of the building, the fourth floor section of the lighting giving the effect of a huge Christmas tree on top of the building. Large Christmas tree has been placed in the foyer of the courthouse also.

Editor cautioned against open flame candles on Christmas trees, holiday automobile driving, over-enthusiasm for bottled Christmas cheer, don't try to eat everything in the world all in one day, watch out for youngsters, and to remember the spiritual side of the holiday and remember "holidays or no holidays, we've all got a war to win."

July 1941

Old Cooper Shop Razed.....June 1941

Back in the 1860's a cooper shop was constructed on North Mill Street and the L&N railroad. This was started by John Moeller. His son John H. ran a similar shop on Wolflin Street. Products from the plants were used by at least four of the mills in town including the hominy mill. The staves and other items were transported to the local mills by a large horse drawn wagon. After a fire in 1911 the shop on Mill Street was severely damaged and the elder Moeller retired shortly after. Eventually, People's Bank owned the property and it was torn down by a contractor. At one time it was one of the town's most important employers.

Mt. Vernon Man Shown in Fox Movietone Newsreel.....June, 1941

Charles Carr, Mt. Vernon member of the Red Cross Commission to Spain, headquartered in Madrid, appeared on the Movietone newsreel at the New Vernon Theater. The scene showed Carr lifting child survivors off the sunken Egyptian cruise ship Zamzam sunk in the South Atlantic Ocean by a German raider. On board were 122 Christian missionaries, 24 ambulance drivers, and a crew of Muslims from Egypt. The Germans later claimed the Zamzam was carrying large amounts of oil and were justified in hitting it. Carr later wrote his wife about the making of the newsreel. Carr expected an invasion of Spain at any time by the Nazis but it never came. General Franco was officially non-belligerent during the war, but he was known as a sympathizer to the Axis. At times he played both sides of the war always looking out for personal and Spanish interests. I was stationed in Moron Spain for three months back in late 1970-early 1971 and I remember every day the local television was showing the Spanish Civil War of 1936. Franco owned the Nazis lots of money... aid he got during their war so he met with Hitler and Mussolini many times negotiating a possible entry into the war in return for other concessions. Spanish volunteers fought on both sides during World War11. Many fought for the French Foreign Legion. Some even fought for the Russians against the Germans on the eastern front. Franco supplied the Nazis with tungsten and records show gold was exchanged believed to be Nazi gold plundered from occupying lands. Churchill was said to have bribed Spain with cash to prevent Spain's entry into the war with the Germans and Italians. It had to be a pretty complicated life for the Spaniards during this period.

B.O. Hanby Goes to New York....Worrys About War.....January 1941

Local historian, B.O. Hanby was in New York and asked an officer in the know if he thought the Germans of this country would be loyal to our government .He said that those who were citizens would be. Those that were not he was informed should be watched, especially those that were sneaking in from Europe. The next day he was sitting in a waiting room of the New York depot, when a large German came in and he knew he was from Europe by the labels on his satchel. He carried in his hand what looked like a long stick, wrapper up, but an end of it was loose and he saw that it was a map. He sat down and soon another German came and they were glad to see each other. They talked in German but now and then I caught the word Washington. He wanted to know what the map was, but he lacked the nerve to ask for it. Later, Hanby talked to a congressman if he thought we would be going to war. He said yes. That it was going to be like the last World War, the same thing ever again and Germany would be whipped. The congressman said this war would be so terrible that war would forever be done with and people would rise up against war in the future.

Crime fighting improves locally with police installing 2 way radios....1941

Police made 301 arrests in 1941 and issued 281 parking tickets. The most common arrest was drunkeness with 117. Some others were: driving drunk-15, liquor law violations-3, aggravated assault-4, other assaults-28, burglary-3, sex offenses-2, gambling-5, disorderly conduct-33, and larceny-28.

Burning of Slush Pits Attracts Scores....1941

Spectators visted the oil field northwest of Mt. Vernon, attracted by billows of black smoke and leaping sheets of flame, thinking that an oil well or storage tank had caught fire, only to find that crude oil was being burned off the surface of slush pits. The fire was very spectacular.

Do We Have A Pied Piper?.....1940

The Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce is in dire need to get rid of rats in the city which we have been infested with since the 1937 flood. A dinner for the rodents was spread throughout the town with a menu of fish and ground hamburger garnished with the rat poison- Red Squill. The pests not only make unfavorable sanitary conditions, but destroy thousands of dollars' worth of property annually. Money for bait for city dumps, business houses and mills has been allocated under the supervision of experts from Purdue University.

Uebelhack Turkey Farm Starts.....1941

No longer a supplier to local markets it was for over a half a century a tradition at Thanksgiving to get your festive bird here. It all started with 13 turkey eggs purchased in a Benton, Illinois store. From there the farm grew to supply residents and restaurants over 5000 turkeys a year. Many of the turkeys were gifts of firms to employees for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My employer, GAF, did that for many years. When my children were young they would like to tag along and they would always be given some turkey feathers. The old McCurdy and Vendome Hotels in Evansville were their clients also. The farm was located on Blackford Road, just past St. Matthew's Cemetery on Tile Factory Road. You could get cooked, smoked, turkey steaks, jerky, ground turkey, turkey roast and barbecue turkey

Confederate Dagger Given to Historical Society....1941

So many items have been lost from us when the Coliseum was robbed storing many Posey County artifacts. The above mentioned dagger was taken from a confederate soldier by the late Sylvester Kirk when he was 20 years old as a member of the 10th Indiana Calvary and upon his death as commander of the local G.A.R. it was presented to the Historical Society by his daughter Mrs. Charles Joyce.

What One Might See On a Typical Workday Morning.....1941

The down town porters putting luggage into the hotels, women walking toward the Garment Corporation plant....oil field workers coming out of the Heidelberg Cafe...early bird shoppers at Stinson's. There would be the usual hustle of delivery trucks, men in conversation over at Gentil's, women reading the war news in the newspapers and people waiting at the bus station for Bert Fowler and his Evansville bus. The town would be bussing as sidewalks in front of their stores would be swept and men would be tipping their caps to the ladies. Grab a paper at the Maurer News Agency, put it under your arm, light a cigar and head to the office. Have a good day!

George McCarty Purchases Local Taxi Service.....1941

George McCarty of the McCarty Coal and Oil Company purchased the Red Cab Service, a local taxi firm, from Arthur Willingham. Office was moved from East Second Street to the McCarty firm at 334 West Second. Day and night service would continue.

Trapped Bald Eagle Given to the Zoo.....1941

A bald eagle with a 10 foot wing spread, caught along the Wabash River in Posey County by "Happy" Melton and George Groom of Mt. Vernon, was presented to Mesker Zoo. The eagle was caught in a trap and was not injured. My question is if he was "not injured," why was he not released?

Posey County 1941

I believe this was one of Charles Cushman's photos. Cushman took several photos in Mt Vernon, New Harmony and rural scenes. He seldom pinned the location down. I am not sure. Maybe someone can pick it out. I'm thinking this is the Wabash.

Nah....That wouldn't happen to me!...1941

Aaron Hartung, MV Merchant for 47 Years Retires.....1941

Aaron was owner-manager of Hartung's department store in Mt. Vernon since he established it in 1894. Announcing his retirement, he sold his store to Central Mercantile House of St. Louis and it later became Model Department Store. Hartung's desire was to retire and take things easy. He said he always tried to give a dollar's worth of value for every dollar spent in his establishment. He started out in 1891 as a traveling salesman for an Eastern shoe firm. Then he became clerk at the original Rosenbaum & Brother Department store. Aaron shared his store with his brother Michael until he died a year earlier.

MV Police Start Regulating Street Charivaris..."Stop this Shake, Rattle, and Roll.".....1941

There was a time when it was usual to see street demonstrations in town celebrating weddings. Traffic mishaps had occurred in the past and people sometimes got frightened at all those pots and pans banging. Mayor George Krug, city councilmen and the police officers agreed on a crackdown. In the future no charivari would be permitted on the streets after 9 p.m. and advance notice must be given to the police so that traffic could be protected from the noisemakers. In ancient times these demonstrations were sometimes held in opposition to a marriage. Can you even imagine? What were they Puritans? It came over from France and in America it was known to put the wedding party in horse troughs and make them buy drinks or candy to onlookers. A little minor hazing goes a long way I guess.

Come See The New Stove and Get Fed.....October 1940

Everyone was invited to the Alles Bros. Furniture Store on a Saturday where hot biscuits and Old Judge coffee was served free as a demonstration was given of the Monarch range. The biscuits were cooked as customers looked on and mouths watered. "Hey can we get some butter and jelly?"

Dale Gentil in Prime Time.....August 2, 1940

Dale Gentil, former Indiana University and Mt. Vernon pitcher pulled a game out of the fire for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association. In the second game of a double header vs. Milwaukee, Ole "Dead eye" took over the hill for Louisville after 4 2/3 innings with his team trailing 6-2. The Colonels came back to win 7-6 with Dale shutting them out the rest of the game on six hits gaining his first victory.

A Dog & a Groundhog.....June 1940

Today's short story is about a visitor to Mt. Vernon from McLeansboro, Illinois and a local man who had enjoyed a day in Point Township and were heading back to town. Within a few miles of the city limits, they saw a groundhog, and almost at the same time so did the family pet and with a mighty leap the dog jumped from the auto and was hot on the trail. The "weather animal" immediately darted into a drain tile and the dog was a close second....both animals went farther and farther into the drain tile, despite the warnings and the calls to the dog by the two men. Finally, about a quarter of a mile into the tile the dog was stuck! Henry Young and his friend, Allen Adams had to dig the tile up to rescue the dog. The next day they went back and worked five hours replacing the dirt they had removed...and as far as they knew the groundhog was still in the land of the living.

Gentil Goes 12 Innings to Beat Michigan 4-3.....May 1940

Dale Gentil, former Mt. Vernon graduate and now ace of Indiana University gave the Hoosiers their first Big Ten triumph of the season when he went twelve innings allowing eight hits to the Wolverines. Dale later played in the minor leagues throwing one no-hitter.

Strawboard Company Razing.....April 1940

Photo shows the remains of the former rotary room of the old Mt. Vernon Strawboard Company which was being razed in order that the site could be occupied by a pipe line terminal of the Texas Company. 24 hours later, a fire developed in the old building damaging much of the salvage materials. Explosions were frequent tat week as dynamite was used to destroy the building and the largest smoke stack then in town. Once a leading industry in town, now gone...progress.

Old Home Razed.....March 1940

This old home stood at the corner of Fourth and Mulberry and was once the home of Dr. E.V. Spencer back in the 1880's. It was here in February, 1881 when a murder attempt on the doctor was foiled when an assailant was scared off by worshipers coming out of the Methodist Church on Fourth Street. Dr. Spencer was returning home, next to the church when entering his gate he was struck twice from behind with a hatchet. The first blow severed two fingers and the second knocked him unconscious. The would-be killer emptied the doctor's pockets removing money and a watch. One man was sent to prison a year later and two others served time as accomplices. Spencer built this home for around $8000 and at one time was one of the more beautiful homes in Mt. Vernon. Early in the 20th century the St. Matthews church used it as an extension of their parochial school.

New bus in town.....1940

On Feb 9, 1940 a modern streamlined bus was placed in operation on the Mt. Vernon-Evansville division of the Evansville & Ohio Valley Railway Company. The coach held 25-29 passengers and was the "last word in comfort and accommodations." Bert Fowler is the driver on the left.

Ohio River Frozen.....January 1940

Thanks Toni and John Knisley for sharing photo

Local Dance Joints.....1940's

Outside of Mt. Vernon we had the Paragon owned by Leo Hoge who held dances on Wednesday and Saturday nights with live orchestras and for a while I believe there was Sunday dancing to records. Can't you just see the men in their pompadours and the ladies with their curly high hair doing the jitterbug? "Hubba Hubba". For a real dance treat Evansville had the Club Trocadero on U.S. 41 South where they danced maybe five times a week back when orchestras ruled with dance floors crowded moving to trumpets, drums and saxophones. That was a dinner club too I believe with entertainers coming in like comedy star Sammy White. I bet that was a swell place...listing to Glenn Miller hits and ending the night with..."Good Night Sweetheart ...Goodnight".

"Aunt Mary".....1940's

Somewhere around 1850, Mary King was born on a plantation near Atlanta, Georgia. She lived with a "master" who by her testimony let her be care free and happy. Her needs were met of food, shelter and he always observed the Sabbath. Two years or so after the Civil War she made her way north to Kentucky. Life had become unpleasant in the South after the war as carpetbaggers had taken over. The telephone was invented in 1876, and a few years later Mary got her first job as a scrub lady of the old Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company. Later she moved here to Mt. Vernon and found the same job with the Home Telephone Company which was succeeded by the Southern Indiana Telephone Company. For many years Mary dreamed of owning a telephone of her own, but the monthly rental was more than she could afford. She later learned that she could have an individual line service in Mt. Vernon for $2.50 per month and she signed up. In her remaining years she was fond to tell others that she had something her former master, Mr. Stark couldn't possibly have had on his big plantation....a telephone.

Mt. Vernon Closes Out 1940 Football Season Undefeated

In the muck and mire of Athletic Park the Wildcats netted a 25-6 win over the Owensville Kickapoos to complete an undefeated, untied football schedule. Seniors Warren Rueger and Elmer Ziegler accounted for the Mt. Vernon points. Because of the mud, the score was low as Mt. Vernon led only 6-0 at the half on a 23 yard TD run by Rueger. Rueger on the game had three touchdowns as the fullback. For the year Warren led the team in scoring with 18 touchdowns and one extra point for 109 total. In the 8-0 season the Wildcats outscored their P.A.C. foes 288-81. A torchlight victory parade was formed following the game as fans and students marched to the court square where a celebration was held. William Hill was master of ceremonies and J. Owen "Country" Huntsmen, one of Mt. Vernon's greatest athletes and then athletic director at Earlham College, made the principal talk in paying tribute to the Wildcat gridders coached by George Ashworth. Later the six man football squad received from the National Knute Rockne game committee a certificate for its victory and was displayed in the High School trophy case signed by its chairman, Herbert McCracken.

Airplane Rides Sunday.....1940

Airplane rides were offered to the general public on Sunday, October 27th at the Mack Curtis field on Tile Factory Road, one mile northeast of Mt. Vernon with Jim Wedeking of Evansville, a competent pilot in charge of the passenger flights. Charge for the ten minute ride was 75 cents per person. Just pat downs, no scanning, no taking off your shoes and belts.

Central School.....1940

The original Central School that was razed for the second Central School built in 1910 and consumed by fire in 1945. Hedges Central replaced that.


Pie Business is a Success.....1940

Back in 1931 a young Francis Schenck was in his second year of study at the St. Meinrad Abbey. He had gone directly there after finishing the eighth grade in Mt. Vernon's parochial school system. That year Francis became suddenly ill which eventually was diagnosed as an unusual bone disease. He was put on the operating table, then into a cast and told to stay quiet and in bed. For two and a half years he was up and down, mostly down. Francis got tired of reading book after book and magazine after magazine during his short periods out of the bed. His nearest outlet for boredom relief was the kitchen. He started "puttering around." He started preparing cheese for a few months, but said his only success was "smelling up the house." Finally, he tried pies...any kind of pies. He went to the Evansville library and read all the books he could find on cookery there. He became quite an expert with the skillet it seems. He had to give up cakes because the pastry dough was usually worked chilled and with Francis' poor circulation, it was hard for him to work with those foodstuffs. Schenk tried his first customers through a his fathers business, but that was not the best place to sell pies where they sold hardware. So he decided to make several dozen pies a week in his mother's kitchen and sell them by preorders.

Bare-handed Catcher from the 1880's Visits Mt. Vernon.....1940

Hudson Park Jones, known as "Hud" was a star catcher on the Mt. Vernon Blues baseball team back in 1881-1885. He came back to see the old town for the first time since 1924. Mentally alert and physically active except for a limp where a mule kicked him he dropped by the Western Star newspaper office to talk baseball with old-timers. The 77 year old started playing at the "Commons" on the west end of town. Other members of that team were Al Weisinger, pitcher and pioneer undertaker; Dick Jennings; Paul Howard brother of Silas, shortstop Bob Sparks and then there were the Heager boys and Harry Weisinger. This team it was said was the best in this section of the state beating the likes of Evansville, Uniontown and New Harmony. These were the only teams playing back in those days. "Hud" and his battery mate, Al Weisinger were just like brothers and Hud's deep affection for him was evident as he told his stories. "Nobody south of Terre Haute was comparable to us," he remarked. He first started catching Weisinger with his bare hands! Now that was common practice back then and no shin guards and no mask! Can you imagine? I love baseball as much as anybody, but no way would I do that for a month's wages. Later he used a glove...not a catcher's mitt but a regular working glove with the fingers cut out. He used a rubber mouthpiece similar to a boxer to protect his teeth, but nothing to protect his face or head. Like I said, he must have been a little "off" to start with. They call the catcher's equipment the "tools of ignorance", but he didn't even have the tools!

Manus Bishop Looks Back to Depression.....1940

Back in 1927, "Bish" opened his pool hall and lunch room in the St. Nicholas building at Third and Main Streets. During the years ahead he paid rent to five different landlords and during the depression he was the only occupant of the large three story building by which in 1940 again had every room filled. During that time Manus had difficulty in securing coal which he had to fire, being the only occupant and that he secured a quantity of old automobile tires from the former Kenneth Cartwright garage, which he used for fuel!


"Jiggs" walked into a local Mt. Vernon store to purchase some long-legged underwear....but the only kind they had with long legs had long sleeves, and "Jiggs" wanted short the obliging salesman said he would cut off the sleeves and deliver the long-legged underwear to the purchaser's place of business.....but you may well imagine the consternation of "Jiggs" when he opened the package and found that one of the sleeves and one of the legs had been cut off....but 'tis said he finally got what he paid for......

"It's Lovely Weather With A Sleigh Ride Together".....1940

In January of that year a real honest to goodness, full-sized sleigh gracefully was seen gliding over the streets of Mt. Vernon.....the sleigh had horse was attached to a brand new automobile and on either side of the sleigh and at the rear were lanterns for warning signals...the cops thought it was neat....and the occupants had a good time with no fear of going to the pokey. "Those were the days my friend."

Posey County 4-H Club Picnic.....1940

Parents brought lots of food and the day was devoted to games including softball, volley ball, horseshoes, relay races, dart games and other activities. Over 450 children enrolled in Posey County.

WPA School Projects.....1940

Federal approval of a $14,000 WPA allotment to improve Mt. Vernon school buildings was announced. Improvements included in the project included installation of new lavatories at Central and Booker T. Washington school buildings; re-decorating of interiors and painting of woodwork of all buildings; new outside doors for Riley and Central buildings; sealing of High School gymnasium and changes in electrical wiring at the High School building. Also added was painting and repairs at Athletic Park.

Dugan Ferry.....1940

Believe this to be another Charles Cushman photo. Have seen 1936 photos of this ferry.

Bugtown, Indiana Accidental Fireworks, Circa 1940

A few years ago Sherry Graves wrote of Bugtown or Stillwell or Winfield, or Rapture in the northern part I believe of Harmony Township. This community was laid out by John Cox in 1838 and has close to as many names as people it seems. The old grocery store closed in 1942 and by the 1970's only five houses remained in the community that once had a post office, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, drug store, barber, a general store and a farm implement facility. Now the story goes that the store had got in some fireworks in preparation for the Christmas/New Year's holiday. The sky rockets, roman candles, torpedoes, and fire crackers were stored away and a group of men were sitting around a stove, lighting their pipes and eating shelled peanuts. One joked, "I think I will light a sky rocket." A rocket took off and the men hit the floor and crawled behind furniture as the rocket ran its course in the store. Canned goods hit the floor, potatoes came off the shelves, and onions and flour was turned over. I shot one in my garage by accident once and I can relate. "No harm no foul." It all turned out all right. "Come out, come out wherever you are," as Glenda the good witch would say. John Cox had an unusual nickname... "Doubleheader," because of an unusual formed head. Wow and to think he was a surveyor. Hmm

Not 'P.C.", but Fanciful Imaginative Phrases From the 1940's...

A funny Facebook friend of mine told me her husband attended Mt. Vernon schools; I guess it was in the 1940's. Neighborhood children would walk to school back then in groups, "flapping their lips" on the way. Some of the older boys would be "doll crazy" and would be flirting with the dreamboat that might be with them. The small children were looked after by the oldest. Everything was peachy keen I guess usually. When the group approached St. Matthews School the public school kids, "The Pup-Licks" said Hi-de-Ho to the Catholic kids or as they called them, "the Cat-Licks." I lived on West Eighth Street during much of my elementary school days of the 1950's and I remember walking to school, shuffling in the leaves of the old neighborhoods on brick sidewalks, smelling the burned piles of leaves. We would pick up buck-eyes near Hedges Central and observe them during recess. Hedges was a great school back then. This old geezer enjoyed very much his youth. Yo-Yo's and Jacks and Pick-up Sticks....third string Kitten basketball player, patrol boy, the smell of lunch in the barracks, and stepping on the toes of a pretty blonde in square dancing that set me back socially for another decade....LOL..."dang nabbit!"

Black School Privy in Point Township ...1940

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"Aunt Jemima" at Rosenbaum's.....October 1939

You know I really hate these characterizations of people, but it is the history of our country and our town. How tough was it to get a job in show business other than a bit part in "Gone with the Wind" or "Amos and Andy" in the old days of blatant discrimination? The pioneers like Nat King Cole and others of every profession who had to be great to get their foot in the door. Here in Mt. Vernon the famous southern "mammy" whose picture graced the boxes of the famous pancake flour marketed under her name came to the Mt. Vernon Fall Festival in 1939. At Rosenbaum's she served free to the public her famous pancakes. The recipe was purchased from her by the manufacturers. She was at the New York World's Fair earlier in the summer and visited many schools signing autographs. This is her first visit to this section of the country she said. She was born and reared in the south, first becoming famous for her brown cakes when cooking for a white family down south. She opened a restaurant and became so famous Quaker Oats bought her out. She travels around the country making public appearances always dressed in her picture costume.

Sort of Googled it and I am not sure the above information is correct other than a spokesman was here as Aunt Jemima. Looks like the mix goes back to the 1880's and that several versions of the original exist one being a woman from Kentucky. Marketing sounds good so it may have all been a ruse.

Idlewild Tavern Changes Location.....October 1939

The Idlewild beer tavern moved from the location of the Fischer building, corner Main and Second Streets, to the building owned by Joe Vail on West Second Street next to Alles Bros. Furniture store and the Utley Hotel.

Marker Erected to Record Flood Stage.....September 1939

A concrete high water marker, commemorating the record 1937 flood was erected at Sherburne Park under the sponsorship of the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club. A bronze tablet was placed on the concrete slab and engraved the number of feet. Herman Bray was MV's 27th Mayor at the time. The shaft is seven feet high and rests on a base three feet square which is sunk into the ground.

Building on Main Razed.....August 1939

Main Street always continues to change...many buildings that have been here for 130 years are going down left and right. There has always been change. That summer a little frame business building between Fourth and Fifth streets, formerly occupied by the Green fruit store bit the dust. The building was owned by the Rosenbaum heirs and had been condemned by the state fire marshal. The newspaper said it had been there "ever since anyone alive can remember."........."Time keeps slipping, slipping into the future."

Overall Factory Makes Changes.....1939

In July the local factory on North Main ceased to make overalls, which were moved to Evansville and our factory was "doing more advanced work in the production of men's clothing." The papers told of an abundance of orders and some 250 persons were now employed making and average of $2 to $3 per day.

Removal of Traffic Signal Opposed.....April 1939

Earlier in April the traffic signal at Fourth and Main Street was removed by the Indiana Highway Commission. Immediately, the city and requests of local citizens contacted officials of the state commission in an effort to have it restored. Fourth Street is a state highway and is controlled by the commission. Since the removal, all traffic on Main Street was forced to come to a complete stop at that point. This was the busiest corner of the city and in the interest of public safety the city has made application for restoration of the signal. Since its removal, Chief of Police, Ralph Rowe announced that speed regulations of 20 miles per hour in the city business district will be strictly enforced. I do not know when the traffic signal was restored; but in October it still was not back. At that time a petition was circulated through town for the commission to take action. The petition drive was headed by Kelly and Dale DeFur and they could be signed at the DeFur Paint Store. Later the petitions were placed at other various business houses throughout the city.

Locals Buy Mt. Vernon Ferry.....April 1939

David Ashworth and J.W. Vail purchased from Bert Downen the Mt. Vernon ferry on the Ohio River. The transfer involved the gasoline boat Dugan, ferry flat, docks on both sides of the river and the franchise.

Work Started On Site Of Oil Refinery.....March 30, 1939

Negotiations had been in progress for several weeks ended with an announcement of the Indiana Oil and Oil Refining Company would have a plant in operation in Mt. Vernon within 60 days. The new industry would be located one fourth mile northwest of the L & N and C & E.I. railroads, on the site of what once was the old brickyard. Plans are to build a pipe line from the refinery to the Ohio River. A surveying crew started work this morning on a plant which would have a capacity of 5000 barrels per day converting crude oil into gasoline, kerosene, naphtha and fuel oil. On May 4, concrete was poured for the foundations and three carloads of fire brick, steel and other material arrived and construction work was expected to proceed at a rapid rate. 26 carloads of material and machinery for the plant are expected to arrive within the next few weeks from Texas. The plant will initially employ 35 men in the immediate refinery and from 15 to 25 men on outside work. In October of 1939 the Western Star reported a transfer of property on the banks of the Ohio River just south of the old Graham valve factory, to the Indiana Farm Bureau where it is believed there will be an erection of large oil tanks and loading docks at the river's edge. The site is at the junction of the L & N and C & E I railroads, northwest of Mt. Vernon. Activity was humming that summer of 1939 with the arrival of steel for the crude oil storage tanks. The tanks were erected by workman from the Hammond Iron Works of Warren Pennsylvania. Fifteen welded tanks of varying sizes were erected to provide the refinery with 54, 750 barrels of storage. Foundations were erected for the boilers and smokestack. A new railroad switch was also in the process of construction. The erection of the refinery, tanks, docks, etc. will represent an investment between $250,000 and $500,000 it was announced. A skimming plant of 2500 barrel capacity will be erected, with all provisions for converting it into a cracking plant within a year's time. The association will produce all grades of gasoline with the exception of leaded gasoline, kerosene, distillate, tractor fuel and residual fuel oil. Three major advantages of Mt. Vernon were responsible for the location of the plant here, according to the owners. The advantages are the high and dry location above Ohio River overflows; available river, railroad and highway transportation facilities, and the general advantage of location in a smaller community.

Aviators Return From Interesting Trip To Cuba.....January 1939

Following an absence from Mt. Vernon for almost three weeks, one week of which was spent in Havana, Cuba, Dave Alldredge, local aviator, and Allen Meyers of the Meyers Aircraft Company of Detroit, Michigan arrived in Mt. Vernon Friday with interesting tales of their journey. The trip of approximately 3000 miles was made in a Meyers sport trainer, which the Meyers Company expects to place on the market soon. The trip was made to attend the annual air maneuvers at Miami, Florida and to participate in the air cruise to Havana, where another air show was held. Almost 1000 planes, principally Taylor Cubs and Taylor Crafts attended the Miami meeting. Myron West, local banker and aviator, attended the Miami maneuvers, but did not make the trip to Cuba. Rigid requirements permitted only 38 planes to make the trip across the gulf to Cuba. The Coast Guard had posted boats every ten miles in order to assure the safety of the aviators. One plane, piloted by an aviatrix from Ecuador, was forced down in the water after the gasoline tank became emptied when strong winds carried her off the course. She was rescued. A portion of the air carnival in Cuba was canceled after Captain Orta, ace of the Cuban air force, was killed while stunt flying. American aviators attended the military funeral which was held the next day. While in Cuba, Alldredge, with other aviators, was the guest of the Cuban government, being received personally by the president of the republic and by the mayor of Havana. The visitors were taken on a sightseeing tour, were guests at the Oriental race track and were also guests at the Bacardi Rum Club. Alldredge was especially impressed with his visit to the famous Morro castle.

The President was Fernando Laredo Bru of the National Union Party. United States presence lessened during this time. He did bring about some needed reforms by providing social welfare programs like limiting working hours, minimum wage, insurance and pensions. He did have a law passed making it a law that all business heads must be Cuban nationals.

Skating Now at Paragon Too.....January 1939

The floor of The Paragon was re-sanded and put in first class condition for skaters as well as for dancing said owner George Bottomley.

Hoop Poles.....1939

The Mt. Vernon High School yearbook, which started in 1912, quit publishing during the depression in 1934, and returned in 1939. It sold for sixty cents. Prior to that time, the price was normally one dollar.

Neighbor of Jesse James, A Mt. Vernon Resident.....1939

The Mt. Vernon man, Henry Schaefer then 12 is now a well-known barber on lower Main Street. Henry was a neighbor to James when they lived in Nashville, Tennessee shortly after the robbery of the bank in Russellville, Kentucky by the James gang. Jesse and his family had located just outside the corporate limits of Nashville and stayed there for three months. Henry with his mother lived less than a half a block away and played with Jesse's son, Tim, and his mother and Mrs. James neighbored together. Jesse, during his short residence there was employed at a sawmill. According to Mr. Schaefer they always had three fine horses in his stable and one of them always had on a saddle. Frank James, brother of Jesse and member of the once famous James gang, visited his brother often during the three months residence in Nashville. According to Mr. Schaefer, neighbors did not realize who they were until they were almost ready to move as they went under the name of the Howard family. Mr. Schaefer also states that he can remember when they planned to go to Missouri, and Mrs. James came over to his mother's house to tell all of them goodbye. It will be remembered that the James gang continued their career of crime after moving to Missouri.

Looking back to the 1850's from 1939 Citizen

J.S. Hacker, a retired steamboat man of Cairo, Illinois, whose wife is the great granddaughter of General Thomas Posey of which Posey County is named had these observations of life in days gone by:

In my childhood I slept in a truckle bed, with other children, like a litter of pigs. When I went to school we had no busses for me to ride in. I had to walk and if a long distance I rode a mule. There were no brass bands in our schools, no basketball teams, no baseball nines, no football gangs. There were no theatre stages either. Dressing rooms and running water were not thought of. When a horse got sick we shot him and when a man got sick they bled him. If he was very sick, the doctor told his folks he could not do anything to circumvent the will of the Lord. There has been more advancement in medical science than in anything else. Surgery has come from the barber shops to hospitals fully equipped. You can get your face lifted, your nose straightened and your appendix taken out. We had no cold storage. Our apples, potatoes, and turnips were put in a hole in the ground in winter to keep them from freezing; and when we ate them they tasted earthy. We had no ice in summer. Screens had not been invented. For light we had tallow tip candles and coal oil lamps, then flickering gas. Nobody knew anything about vitamins. The principle diet of children was mush and milk. For old folks it was corn bread. Beauty salons were not known and everybody washed their faces with soap and water. Women twisted up their hair in a knot. There were no million dollar corporations making cosmetics. Women wore many skirts. When they went out to milk or chop food for the kitchen fire, they wore mitts and not a spot was exposed for the sun to kiss. Her face was only visible through the tunnel of her sunbonnet securely tied under her chin. I was 25 before I knew a woman had two legs and it was revealed from a mouse on the kitchen floor. It is a long way from those long pants with ruffle all the way down, to the modern step-in. When we worked it was ten to 14 hours for a day and six days in a week. The first work I did was painting wagon wheels in a factory for $3 a week...good money. The closest I came to a picture show was what we called a Magic Lantern with stereopticon views which were standard equipment in dentist's waiting rooms.

Jupiter's Steamboat.....1939

George Payne, known as "Jupiter", the maker of all things, was known as one of the most interesting characters in Mt. Vernon at that time. He was one of the fixtures at the Water Works plant, starting as a boy of 14, taking the ashes out of the boiler fire pits. Then he received a salary of ten cents per day. He had a desire to learn. By close observation and by asking questions he learned about as much as anyone in the plant, and he knew how to control the use of the steam and why it made a pump engine go. Before long he was master of the engine. He was also interested in the Mt. Vernon ferry steamboat and he made up his mind to have a steamboat all his own. Not having the money to buy one, he decided to build one. By this time he was 16 years old and had acquired all the knowledge necessary for the construction of the craft he had in mind, but how could he build it? He accumulated quite a quantity of scrap lumber. Then with the assistance of another boy he began the construction of the hull of the vessel. It was made about 20 feet long and part of the bottom was lined with brick and cement, on which a fire could be made beneath the boiler. But how was the boiler to be secured? This question was answered by securing a steel oil barrel. He also obtained from a junk pile an old engine. Jupiter soon got it in working order and the next thing was to get a wheel to push the boat. This was supplied by two wagon wheels with slats fastened between. Finally the day came for the launching of this craft. With the help of a gang of boys it was pushed into the water. Fire was put under the boiler and plenty of steam was generated. The boat moved out into the river amidst the shouts of the crowd. But attention to the strange vessel that later began plying up and down the river was given by the Navy Department and an officer was sent here to examine the steamboat and interview the captain, Jupiter, was then asked a number of embarrassing questions. The examination disclosed that the vessel was without a license, and the pilot was deficient in his knowledge of the river, and the boiler did not come up to the required tests of the government. As a result the boat was condemned by the Navy Department and Jupiter's navigation experience came to an end.

Good Accurate Arm In The Pen.....1939

No I am not talking about a polished veteran arm in a baseball bullpen; but jail. 'Twas foot race down Second Street and across Main with Joe Bell, armed with a lump of coal in his right hand. He was in hot pursuit of another man for an unknown reason. When Bell measured his distance he let go of the coal and reached his target with force and accuracy.....wham!...right in the head. Bell was arrested on a charge of assault and battery and he was found guilty by Judge Clements in Posey circuit court and fined $25 and costs. Maybe he should take his talent to the diamond; Dr. Hardwick has too many victims of bar fights to stich up as it is from what I read.

Breeze Greenhouse Enjoys 25th Anniversary.....1939

Covington Breeze, one of my wife's relatives opened a greenhouse on West Seventh Street on January 17, 1914. He stayed there for three years than moved to Mill Street. In 1939 they celebrated twenty five years in business in Mt. Vernon overcoming a fire and two tremendous hail storms which all but wrecked their greenhouses. Following each disaster the Breezes rebuilt and made improvements.

Mt. Vernon's First Backyard Pool.....1939

In 1937 Horace Kohler started to think about a pool for his home at 820 Mulberry. He looked at his fish pond and visualized it transformed into a "sumptuous Hollywood swimming pool." He couldn't find a contractor in Mt. Vernon willing to take on the job and the concrete men said it was impossible. Kohler being the superintendent of the Fuehrer-Ford Milling Company wouldn't give up. He grabbed his carpenter at work and found a cement man willing to build it as he designed with no guarantees and he was off to the races. There is nothing conventional about the pool. First of all, Mrs. Kohler insisted that her shrubbery and trees be not disturbed so "architect" Kohler designed the pool "L" shaped and rounded off the corners to allow the apple tree to grow. The pool has three wide steps for stepping down the sides and gave the walls additional strength against heat and freezing. "It gave the pool a look more than just a hole in the ground," Kohler explained. Total cost of the project?....$400. Of course, the pool holds 12,000 gallons of water which costs $5 to fill back in that day.

Some Items Once Stored in Posey Museum of Coliseum Now Stolen.....1939

In a small room on the first floor of the Coliseum, relics, historical documents, pictures and antiques were once collected. Many of these objects are now gone due to a break-in which must have occurred in the 1940's. It had to be such a disappointment to all who donated their objects for this to happen. There were over 1200 articles housed in large cases. The cased devoted to war relics contained some from the Revolution, War of 1812, Civil, Spanish-American, and World War. "Most interesting was the effects of Mt. Vernon's three Civil War generals, Hovey, Harrow, and Pitcher, as Mt. Vernon was the only town in the United States which sent three generals to that war. I know there were daggers and a civil war trumpet on display as well as a dress uniform of Major George Washington Kimball with a plumed hat and a saddle blanket. There was also a G.A.R. flag on display. Kimball also gave a sword presented to him by Co. John Mahan for valorous service in the battle of Richmond, Kentucky. There was also a large doll collection; an assortment of historic rings from other countries, an exhibit of Indian and mound builder's relics; a case of needle-work laces, homespun sheets and blankets, historical deeds and grants, old pioneer furniture and antique badges and medals along with early American dresses, bonnets and shawls. Hanging on the walls were portraits of the three generals along with a portrait of Charles Frederick Leonard and his wife, grandparents of the late John Hay, secretary of state under Teddy Roosevelt and other pioneer leaders of Posey County. Mrs. Rudolph Schultz was the curator of the museum. Such a loss!

Around the Town.....1939

Excitement and giggles on Main Street one January morning as a half grown goat and a large black dog ran down the street. "Old Blackie" was having a swell time nipping the goats heals and barking when "Billy" decided to go on the offense and made a direct head butt to the canine's mid-section which sent him yelping with his tail between his legs. The animal wasn't hurt, but it sure was a topic of conversation in front of the pool hall.

Martin W. Smith "Artscraftsman".....1930's and 1940's

Mr. Smith lettered many a store sign in Mt. Vernon in his day. His brush produced walls of distinction. In the Old Heidelberg Cafe on Main Street he painted three murals representing the ruins of Heidelberg castle, the huge wine cask and the castle before its destruction. Each was four feet by twelve feet. Martin's father, Frank Smith, was a student at Heidelberg. Smith was a boy artist and served the Evansville Courier as the Mt. Vernon correspondent for several years and likewise for Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis for anything happening down here. He was associated with Oscar Keck, electrical firm in the Poster advertising company. Art work, lettering, and kindred subjects have been his work since high school. He had many an opportunity to go to a larger city; but preferred to remain at home.

Shooting Gallery... Just What We Need.....1939

Carl Moore, of Aurora, Illinois rented the Main Street building of Nick Andriakos, formerly occupied by the A & P and hopes to have a shooting gallery.

Tour of Posey County Jail.....1939

My friend Leonard Brown took pictures a few years ago inside the old jail on Mill Street and it was an eye opener. Back in 1939 one unnamed local citizen had been reading about the horrible conditions of prison life a century ago and decided to visit the Mt. Vernon prison, er.. jail. He found the place strictly clean and with "good moral management." He said the sheriff and his wife look after the home and reception department and superintend the jail proper. "The Sanitary Court," keep their abode in a spotless condition free from bed bugs and vermin. If an inmate came in with bad physical appearance he was required to take a bath and his clothes fumigated and given sanitary treatment. The basement revealed some of the methods of the past however. "There was a very dismal dark cell where unruly prisoners were thrown in as though they were wild beasts. This treatment was supplemented with instruments of torture in the way of heavy shackles and not so very long ago prisoners could be seen on the street known as a chain gang, as some of them were fastened to a chain attached to an iron ball." ~Wavy~ thinks objects like this would be great items for the Historical Society. The ropes of the lynching of the Negro men on the court house square long ago were visible. "They still are in good condition and ready for use if need be."

Restoration of Old Rapp Labyrinth.....1939

The labyrinth was described by Robert Dale Owen as "a pleasure garden of small groves and gardens, with numerous circuitous walks enclosed by high beech hedges and bordered with flowering shrubbery, but arranged with such intricacy, that, without some Daedalus to furnish a clue, one might wonder for hours and fail to reach a building erected in the centre." Daedalus is mentioned by Homer as the creator of the Labyrinth on Crete. Here a thread was given to Theseus to find his way to kill the Minotaur, a being of part man and part bull. The site for the labyrinth, located on Main Street near the south outskirts of New Harmony, was donated by Clarence Thomas, of New Harmony. Mrs. Bertha Crosley Ball, Muncie philanthropist donated $5000 for the project.

Old Coin Found in Cynthiana.....1939

While digging sweet potatoes, Homer Williams uncovered an old Mexican coin which was dated 1831. It was a copper coin just about the size of a silver dollar. On the face it had "Republica Mexicana" and the symbol of an eagle. On the reverse side it had a symbol, which might be that of a rising sun and inscriptions of letters which to we gringos are meaningless. I have no idea of its worth or denomination.....but cool.

Working as a Miller for 64 Years....and Still Counting.....1939

Louis Schnur was 75 in 1939. As a small boy he lived on a farm near Mt. Vernon and his father bought a mill that was on the spot where the Sunlight Mill stood later on at Water Street. Louis at 9 years old started to work at that mill. When grain came in they measured by the sack as there was no truck dump and machinery like later on. They ground the grain on stone grinders. The mill, like many burned and was rebuilt as the Sunlight which was bought out by the Home Mill and Grain Company. Louis stayed on...and on.....and on.

Got Me A Houseboat.....Ready for the Next Flood...Bring It On.....1939

James Dawsey thinks he has solved his problem of having a home subject to large flooding like we experienced in 1937. He bought a portion of land back of the Water Works, and at first he thought of building his house on poles, but changed his mind when he found out a house built that way had been undermined and swept away. He then purchased a large well built house boat in Evansville and had it moved to the bank of his property. He called upon Clarence Kuhn, who makes a business of moving things and with his help, the house boat was pulled up an placed in a desirable position on his land, He even had piped water from the Water Works in is home." Let 'er rain...James is gonna ride it out!"

Got Me A Houseboat.....Ready for the Next Flood...Bring It On....1939

James Dawsey thinks he has solved his problem of having a home subject to large flooding like we experienced in 1937. He bought a portion of land back of the Water Works, and at first he thought of building his house on poles, but changed his mind when he found out a house built that way had been undermined and swept away. He then purchased a large well-built house boat in Evansville and had it moved to the bank of his property. He called upon Clarence Kuhn, who makes a business of moving things and with his help, the house boat was pulled up an placed in a desirable position on his land, He even had piped water from the Water Works in is home." Let 'er rain...James is gonna ride it out!"

Globetrotters in Cythiana.....1939

This was the year that the Globetrotters began developing routines after a decade traveling the country as a professional team. During a game in 1939 they led 112-5 and all of a sudden began "showing off" their skills with comedy. The audience loved it and from then on they were encouraged, once they had established their dominance of an opponent to clown. Later they had their own traveling opponent...The Washington Generals. In this game the flashy quintet destroyed the Cynthiana Businessmen by a large margin. Admission was a quarter. In a preliminary game the Cromwell CCC Camp from Henderson, Kentucky played a group of Cynthiana and Stewartsville men. It would be another 12 years before Mt. Vernon High School would have their first black athletes. I can't think of one at another county school can you? Has North Posey had black athletes yet?

Neu Way Cleaners Modernizes Equipment.....1939

G.W. Hutson, proprietor, extended an invitation to the public to inspect is improvements at his shop. Hutson and Harry Blackburn first opened in 1928, but now the cleaning department is entirely ran by electric motor including the washer and deodorizer. He can finish two suits every 45 minutes. In the finishing department he has two Huffman presses, a Stressel combination electric and steam iron as well as a hat blocking machine that keeps five people busy.

1939 photo just sent me from Deanna Grissom. Looks like her aunts and friends made a stop at the " Greeks."

Deanna said she was related to the Thompson family in Mt. Vernon.

90 Year Old MV Boat Captain Interviewed About MV Wharf.....1939

Captain Nelson was interviewed about Mt. Vernon river traffic as a young man in the Evansville Courier......"the scene is of great animation. Dozens of large steamers were almost constantly tied at the local wharf and produce of all kinds covered the levy and adjacent streets. Smaller boats collected pork, grain and provisions from the smaller rivers and towns on the Ohio and brought them to Mt. Vernon where they were transferred to larger steamers, loading for St. Louis, New Orleans, and other southern cities. The deck laborers in those days were largely Irish. They were physical giants and much loved by the officers." Captain Nelson said many times he would have pitchers of liquor brought up from the lower deck for the deck hands working so hard. Today we may not have drays lined up with bales of produce waiting for steamers, but we still are a great port with Southwind Maritime Center and all the petroleum going out from the refinery.

About Town; Early Morning Scenes.....Late August 1938

The signs of fall were in the air as there was an added impetus of coal trucks and shipments of fall merchandise arriving at the downtown stores. Johnny Mills was unloading two truckloads of heating stoves at Alles Bros. Furniture Company, Stinson Bros, was having a sidewalk suit sale for 25 cents! No refunds. Workers of Eilert Farm Equipment could be seen before opening time discussing the gossip and smoking cigarettes. Mann Grocery was taking huge orders and loading their bakery trucks. Icemen Eddie (Slick) Kost and Don Coker were making their rounds. The Western Star saw Henry Schaefer, well known lower Main barber running late in a hurried jaunt to work...."Junior" Duckworth was setting up a window display in a downtown store and activity was brisk at the Mt. Vernon Creamery with the delivery trucks. Good day to take off I say, head to the river and throw in a line.

Large Attractive Sign For Alles Bros.....July 1938

Martin Smith completed a large sign on the southwest corner of the large building of Alles Bros. Furniture Company, Second Street and College Avenue. The sign is very attractive and is easy to read from a distance. "Many of this city will recall the days when on this spot the announcements of the forthcoming plays at the old Masonic Hall appeared."

Maybe, the editor was referring to one like this from January 1914: Opening on the 15th at the Masonic Theatre there will be high class vaudeville and moving pictures. The vaudeville acts will be furnished by the Gus Sun Vaudeville Booking Exchange, Springfield, Ohio, one of the highest priced exchanges in the country. It is affiliated with the Western Vaudeville Managers Association, which furnishes the Grand at Evansville as well as other city theatres. A No. 6 Power's Moving Picture Machine has been installed at the Masonic and Universal Service will be used. The prices were 5, 10, and 15 cents and you are guaranteed and hour and a half of clean wholesome amusement. And remember every Friday night is amateur night!

Canned Heat....Maters, err Tomatoes.....July 1938

The Mt. Vernon Canning Company Plant is in readiness for operation for canning tomatoes which looks like the finest commercial crop in several years. Present plans indicate for the next three weeks the plant will can the tomatoes on a part time basis of operation and be running full time by the third week of August. At the peak of operation employment will be provided for 150 local men and women. Plant manager, William Stanton said applications for employment should be made with the Indiana Employment bureau.

Gentil Cafe Remodeled.....June 1938

The popular Gentil Cafe, then on Main Street, just off Fourth Street reopened after a program of remodeling. Attractive booths were installed with a long service counter and work counter covered with a beautiful "brown battleship" linoleum and woodwork of the benches were painted a smoothly contrasting buff color. A back bar was installed adjacent to the soda fountain. The food and service even then was a legend in Mt. Vernon and was attested to the popularity it held. Later on Second Street on Sunday's, my parents would take us town for a plate lunch and a piece of homemade pie. But, back then August Gentil was the proprietor and Mrs. Martha, his wife made the wonderful pies. Roast beef sandwiches were the specialty even then. Something called, "Hot French fried popcorn" was catching on back in the thirties...have no idea what that would be or even look like. Haha.

Grandstand at Athletic Park Damaged.....June 1938

Not only was "Dutch" Wehr's fastball smoking, but I guess the grandstand was too. A blaze believed to have originated for a carelessly thrown cigar during the progress of the game did damage to the grandstand of around $100. Those dog-gone big league scouts should know better! The game ended around 3:30 and the crowd filtered out with the cigar evidently smoldering underneath. Firemen were called and removed valuable WPA equipment and diamond supplies from underneath the grandstand and the fire extinguished. Okay, now "Dead-Eye" Gentil may be on the hill next Sunday so put out those butts!!

Local Catcher Joins Evansville Three I Bees.....May of 1938

Oliver Willis, just then 18, a graduate of Mt. Vernon high school in 1937 and an all-around sports star, signed a contract with the Evansville Bees, a farm club of the Boston Braves that spring. He joined the team in Clinton, Iowa when long term manager, Bob Coleman gave him a call. "Ollie" had a tryout a few weeks prior, but was not in the best of shape and was told to come back when ready. A second string catcher by the name of Lawrence Steinbeck, refused to sign his contract so Oliver was rushed up. Willis although very young had plenty of experience in American Legion baseball and local semi-pro. He was regarded as one of the brightest stars in the Evansville Junior League two years ago. He has never batted below .300 at any level and was always considered "clutch." Playing semi-pro with the American Legion team of 1937 he batted .349 with 22 hits in 63 at bats with a fielding average of .950. In basketball he was very "heads up". I recall reading about him in a game vs. Evansville Reitz, inbounding the ball under his own basket, and scoring the winning field goal by bouncing a pass off the back of a defender, recovering the ball and scoring the winning deuce.

Mt. Vernon Creamery Observes Ice Cream Week.....May 1938

The Mt. Vernon Creamery in celebration of Ice Cream week was offering free, one can of Hershey's chocolate syrup with each quart of vanilla ice cream purchased this week. The local creamery's ice cream possesses its own pure delicious flavor which cannot be duplicated and is the favorite of all Mt. Vernon. Take advantage of the free gift offer and purchase a quart of vanilla ice cream right now. Sounds good to me. I use to drink it right out of the can and lick the sides. No wonder I was so fat.

Wide Spread Thievery by Youths in Mt. Vernon.....May 1938

Five Posey County youths engaged in crimes in and around Mt. Vernon were rounded up and all plead guilty in Posey circuit court on charges of theft and receiving stolen goods. All received fines and up to six months in the state farm. All were under 18 of age and the loot included chickens, gasoline, bicycles and bicycle accessories. City police, Sheriff Charles Frieg and Deputy Sheriff John McFadden made the arrests.

Local Aviators Observe National Air Mail Week.....May 1938

Mt. Vernon "fly boys", Dave Alldredge and Dr. W. B. Challman had a part in the celebration. The airplane a "Waco A" of 210 horsepower with a Continental motor was purchased a week ago by the two men through the St. Louis Flying Service. The plane has a cruising speed of 120 miles per hour and a top speed of 140. It can carry the pilot and one passenger, both seated in the same seat. The plane had a red body, silver wings and a silver speed ring around the motor. Dr. Challman had only recently become an efficient pilot. Alldredge had been flying for seven years and had enough hours in the sky to qualify as a transport pilot. The Grabert farm, two miles east of Mt. Vernon on Highway 62 was used as the landing field. The two took the air mail from there to Poseyville and New Harmony delivering a mail pouch with 900 pieces of mail.

MVHS Industrial Exhibit in Gym 5/13/1938

I always wondered what became of that pull chain scoreboard. It should have been preserved! That old scoreboard dated back to the 1920's. I remember it up there in the early 1960's. It belongs in the MV trophy room. Why don't we keep stuff?

Ice Men Looking well, "Cool".....April 1938

Delivery men of the local Consumer's Ice Company left the factory in their new uniforms. They looked all "spic and span" with their tan trousers, shirt, jackets and caps. On the cap was the company motto, "Save with Ice." Manager V.D. Smith remarked, "I believe the uniforms are attractive enough to cause people to purchase ice whether they need it or not!" V.D. wanted his drivers to be distinguished from other delivery men in town. Good idea Mr. Smith, now do something about your initials! Afterwards ole V.D. had an outing and fish fry for his employees and their wives and friends at the club house at Hovey Lake.

Tri-State Gets Preview of Six-Man Football.....April 1938

On a Thursday afternoon before a diversified crowd of 300 local and out of town fans at Athletic park in Mt. Vernon Coach George Ashworth divided his team into squads of Red and White and played a regular game with shorter quarters. The Reds won 19-14. It was Mt. Vernon's first football game since the school dropped the regular 11 man game from the Athletic program in 1932. Heading the visiting delegation were coaches Hurst Livengood of Dale, Sidney Amy of Rockport, Ivan Hollen of Owensville, and Herdis Kolb of Poseyville. These four schools will have teams in the Pocket Athletic Conference next fall. Coach Livengood was accompanied by five of his Dale Golden Aces while Coach Amy had several of his gridders with him. The playing field is 40X80 yards and the ball must be passed either forward or laterally by the back who first receives the snapback from center. All players are eligible to receive passes. In six man football the offensive team is required to make 15 yards in four downs instead of ten in the 11 man sport.

Civil War Vet dies leaving only one left in county....March 1938

William Thomas Tinsley, 98, one of two surviving members 'of that gallant Army of the Blue which marched forth to the war of the rebellion more than seventy years ago' died of pneumonia and complications at his home at 329 Kimball Street. His demise left Ed Galbreath, 89, of Griffin, and the lone survivor of that band of between 300 and 400 Civil War veterans who returned to Posey County after being mustered out in 1865. Tinsley was a native of Caldwell County, KY, and saw service with Company A, 13th Regiment of the 'colored-heavy artillery. This was a volunteer unit and Tinsley enlisted October 20, 1864. He was mustered out of service on November 8, 1865. He is believed to be the county's oldest resident at the time of his death. Major G.W. Kimball's death in 1937 removed the last white veteran in Mt. Vernon. Burial was in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Lightning Strikes Elevator; Circles Walnut Street Block.....March 1938

A bolt of lightning, during a rain and electrical storm was in a dangerous yet playful mood it seems. The bolt cavorted around the block at the Main and Walnut street intersection in the northern part of town.. It struck the telephone wire at the Farmer's Elevator Co. office about 8:30 in the evening and blue out the fuse box. It then jumped across Walnut Street to the warehouse of the elevator firm where stray sparks fell on some sacks, however the sacks were wet and no flames resulted. The bolt traveled from the warehouse to the store building across the L&N railroad track where it knocked down Mrs. Erwin who was in the store. The shock numbed the side of her face but resulted in no serious injury. A portion of the original bolt which struck the elevator office traveled over to the service station of the Tank Car Oil Co. where it broke light bulbs, blew out the telephone fuse box and stunned Harley Curtis, the attendant in charge.

School Board Brings Back Old Sport.....January 1938

Long ago Mt. Vernon had an eleven man football team for the high school going back into the late 1890's. As a matter of fact they had an undefeated football team in 1908. But the depression came and our fortunes were not too good and we endured one season where we were outscored on the season 374-0! We lost to Princeton in the twenties 102-0.The last year of operation a deficit of $900 was run up and it was abandoned. For a while Mt. Vernon played fall and spring baseball at the high school level. However, a committee of grid iron fans assured the school that they would support a team if it was formed. At this time six man football was sweeping the nation for the smaller schools. In February of 1938, the Pocket Athletic Conference was organized by representatives of seven southwestern Indiana High schools to start play in 1939. Owensville, Winslow, Dale, Rockport, Cannelton, Tell City and Mt. Vernon would compose the conference. The Wildcats played in the P.A.C. until 1957 when they became part of the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference and still later the Big 8. Later other schools would be part of this football conference and it would move to 8 man football. The conference still exists today playing eleven man football. Some other schools in the latter group would be Petersburg, Oakland City, Huntingburg, Poseyville, and Jasper. Mt. Vernon played very good football in the forties and fifties winning many conference championships and several undefeated teams. Those I recall being undefeated were 1943, 1944, and 1954. Big rivalry developed during those times with Tell City which lasted for decades. The two top coaches for Mt. Vernon during these years were George Ashworth, an Indiana Hall of Famer, and Jim Baxter.

New Year Receives Warm Welcome.....1938

Mt. Vernon had a grand old time on Friday night and Saturday too observing the new year of 1938 with parties and dances. All the taverns were open and liquor and beer flowed easily and abundantly. There were 55 couples at the dinner-dance at the Mt. Vernon lodge of Elks for members and their wives and lady friends. Does that line sound funny to you? I'm gonna let it stand anyway...haha. Music was furnished by the Wee Willie Webb and his "colored" entertainers from Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Fifty couples ushered in the New Year at the Eagle's Home on Water Street with a dinner dance and music furnished by Jean Kohler and his orchestra. Revelers were treated to a beautiful starlit sky providing a perfect setting to listen for the steam whistle at midnight and "catch a smooch." Happy New Year!!!

Indoor Circus in Town....January 1938

Several circus shows played our coliseum and auditorium in the thirties and forties. One was the Martin Bros and another was the Hillyard Brothers Circus. These two were sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and later the Owen Dunn American Legion. This public entertainment consisted of aerialist and gymnasts, trained pony shows and clowns. Usually these were one day shows ....a matinee and a night performance with prices under 50 cents a head

Island Queen.....1938

The beautiful excursion steamship the Island Queen took residents on a moonlight dance excursion, May 11th, 1938 leaving Mt. Vernon at 8:30 PM. It was the world's largest and finest excursion steamer, all steel, glass enclosed decks. Tickets were 55 cents. On September the 10th, 1947 several giant explosions destroyed the five deck steamer in Pittsburgh hurling bodies high in the air and landing them thirty or more feet away, killing 28 and wounding 17 others.

Former Chief of Police and Local Hero Running For Office in Illinois.....1938

W.C. "Bud" Maier of Nashville Illinois, former chief of police of Mt. Vernon where he was born and reared is a candidate for sheriff of Washington County, Illinois on the Republican ticket. A World War I veteran, he is remembered here for the courageous act several years ago in Nashville when he knocked down a man named Mickey Jankowaki as the latter was drawing a gun in an assassination attempt of then States Attorney J.D. Maxwell.

Local Girl Tours Hollywood and Meets Actor Harold Lloyd.....1938

Ann Fuhrer of Mt. Vernon a recent graduate of Stephens College at Columbia, Missouri was one of a group of eleven girls from the college who toured Hollywood as part of an educational course, met Harold Lloyd the veteran screen comic at the Paramount studios. Her picture appeared in the Sunday Evansville Courier.

Former Resident Quits Magazine Editor's Post.....1938

Frances Cavanah, associate editor of Child Life and a former Mt. Vernon resident resigned her position on the magazine to devote her full time to writing. Recently, she completed work on the manuscript, "Boyhood Adventures of Our Presidents.", a juvenile work which Rand McNally published in the fall.

Francis, 1889-1982 studied at DePauw University and wrote many short stories, textbooks, and books for children. She is credited with writing the following books: Boyhood Adventures of Our Presidents, Pocahontas, A Little Girl from Jamestown, Abe Lincoln Got His Chance, Our Country's Freedom, Jerry Lind's America, When Americans Came to New Orleans, We Wanted to be Free, They Lived in the White House, and The Truth About the Man Who Sparked the War Between the States.

MVHS New Band Uniforms.....1938

Very nice

Stocker Grocery Specials.....1938

Once there was a grocery called, F.X. Stocker on 735 East Second Street. Here are some specials: Heavy colored hens and fryers, 20 cents per pound; fat heavy roosters, 14 cents per pound; fresh seasoned hamburger, 12 cents per pound; pork barbecued ribs, 35 cents per pound; exceptionally fine breakfast bacon at 22 cents a pound and fresh raspberries on this June weekend.

Former Merchant Retires....1938

Robert Fischer, came to America from Essen, Germany in 1904 and finally settled in Mt. Vernon in 1906. From a humble beginning he enjoyed the "American Dream" developing his meat market into a successful and profitable business, keeping step with innovations in butchering and meat processing and applying a full measure of industry, thrift and personal supervision to every department of his business. He retired in 1938 after 32 years in the industry. He died in 1955 and one of his sons was the manager of the meat market of Gerber's Super Market.

Counting Roadkill.....1938

I bet this was a good job! I can just see a Conservation Officer looking somewhat like Barney with a clip board counting rabbits, but somebody did it. In the month of May in the state of Indiana we actually paid people to count and record road kill. 1,235 rabbits were reported seen dead on the highways by game wardens along with 74 opossums, 41 squirrels, 32 quail, 24 skunks, 10 pheasants, five muskrats, two raccoons and one fox.

Where Have I Heard This Before?.....1938

Dr. William Jenkinson, Mt. Vernon physician, gave a very interesting and practical talk on "Socialized Medicine" at Tuesday's weekly luncheon session of the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis club. There was no mention of demonstrators outside condemning "Rooseveltcare."

Signs Erected Along New Harmony's Historic Route.....1938

Signs around New Harmony were erected by the Commercial Club which had done so many worthy things for their community. Surmounting the signs, made of wood was the image of George Rapp whose followers founded the town. The painting was done by Martin Smith of Mt. Vernon a scenic painter.

WPA Unearths Indian Relics and Skeletons in Road Excavation.....1938

A crew of WPA laborers working at the Maggie Murphy farm in Point township, unearthed a large collection of Indian relics and bones that had been buried for centuries. Some of the pottery discovered by the men was perfect and the skull of one adult aborigine was well preserved. Laborers were widening the road which leads to the oil wells being drilled by the Sun Oil Company on the Murphy and Gray farms when they dug into the mound. Otis Redman, 618 West Second Street caused the greatest excitement with the Indian piece his shovel dug up. It was a pot approximately six inches in diameter with the lid tightly sealed with dirt. Constructed of some material resembling the back of a hard shell turtle, the pot was heavy. It was in perfect shape. Three stone pestles that had been used to crush grain were found along with a small stone pot about two inches in diameter. Fred Freimiller, RR 4, dug up a small stone tomahawk and Fred Yewell of 908 West Second Street, a piece of what was a stone piece pipe. Fred Deifer, of 333 West Ninth, found a triangular piece of stone with a hole in one end where apparently a chain had been attached with a charm. Leslie Smith dug up a small axe made of flint and Earl Sturgal a mortar and pestle. Lester Smith of New Harmony found a collection of small bones which seem to be those of a child including a jaw bone with the teeth intact. A large jaw bone with teeth was found by James Axton of New Harmony. A large number of scrap pieces of pottery were found and pieces of large bowls with curved handles.

Island Queen Excursion.....1938

A moonlight dance excursion sponsored by the Tri Kappa sorority aboard the steamer Island Queen on the Ohio River. How much more romantic could it be? At 8:30 in the evening those who bought fares for 55 cents at the Fogas Drug Store climbed aboard the 286 foot steamer for a cruise where one could dance to the rhythms of the Clyde Trask 14 piece orchestra or just sit back and watch "the rest of the world go by." If you wanted you could play bridge or have a drink and a sandwich on the main deck. The Queen was all steel construction with glass enclosed decks with 36 water tight compartments. There were three separate electric plants supplying power for operation of 7000 lights outlining the boat. The ballroom was near 20,000 square feet of hardwood floor for dancing. Unfortunately, the Island Queen had two explosions in 1947 and sunk in Pittsburgh killing over 20 people.

Recreation Hall for Negroes Opened.....1938

A "colored" recreation hall for the benefit of the Negro residents of Mt. Vernon was opened at 108 Main Street and is a unit of the Posey County WPA recreation department supervised by Howard Howden. Facilities included ping pong, clabber, various quiet games, and handicraft activities under the direction of Tom Finney. The center now gives us two recreation halls in Mt. Vernon and one in New Harmony.

Store Building On West Side is Razed.....1938

Frank Werking, local contractor and owner of the store building on West Fourth at Chestnut has completed the razing of the structure erected in 1895. Occupants of the store over the decades were the Peter Egli Grocery, the Andy Kemp Music Store, the S.H. Smith Grocery and the Tigo Store operated by Dan Thompson.

Old Trees from Central School Used In High School Industrial Arts.....1938

Two walnut trees of the old forest at Central School had died and Superintendent J.G. Turner turned them into a practical use. Turner had them cut down and took the logs to a mill and had them cut into boards and then stacked in the basement of the high school. There the boys in the industrial arts department were given the privilege of using the timber at its actual cost and make anything desired. Furniture and ornaments for the home soon followed. Many students are making use of the wood after having joined the Juvenile Humane Society. One of the principle objects is to promote kindness and reduce delinquency of children. Here in industrial arts healthy minds are using busy hands. Walnut trees were once very numerous in Posey County but most made their way to markets or were burned to clear farm land long ago. The quality of the wood in Robb Twp. once had 20 acres of forest owned by T.C. Jacquess who produced 75,000 feet of first class walnut timber. The walnut wood was used for rails in fences by our early settlers. If the woodman's axe had not touched some of those forests I wonder what the wood would be worth today.

Famous Race Horse On Train Through City...People Come Out to Wave.....1938

Stagehand, famous American race horse, the only horse ever to win the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap in the same year, traveled through Mt. Vernon in a special car attached to a L&N passenger train. Churchill Downs was destination. Also riding with Stagehand was the horse, The Chief, another entry. Owners, trainers and jockeys also on board. In 1938 Stagehand raced 15 times winning 8 with 2 second place finishes even beating famed horse Seabiscuit.

What is the Oldest Building On Main Street?.....1938

That question was asked in the Mt. Vernon Republican newspaper of 1938 and they went in search of the answers. Some had dates right on the sides like City Hall, 1893. Other buildings occupied as follows: 1884 Gronemeiers; 1888 Oscar Keck, Neuway and Niblo; 1886 Weckesser; 1898 Bank and Express office; 1884 Hermann Jewelry, Garrison Radio, Electric Office, Abstract Office of Anderson; 1887 Gentile Restaurant; 1885 Mann's Tailor Shop; Dagget's Place and the Arrow Restaurant each had 1881. The oldest building they said was recently torn down. It stood next to Forthoffers on lower Main. The oldest then standing was on the northeast corner of Main and Water. These buildings when constructed were not longer than 60 feet, a back edition being added later on. Roser & Roser kept a general store in the south building. At that time there was a barrel of whiskey in the back part of the store and a tin cup. "After all it is Mt. Vernon." If a customer wanted a drink he could go back and get it free of charge, but if he wanted a gallon it cost him 65 cents. Jeans cost 90 cents a yard and thread a dime a spool. The store of Reedel Company was a bank conducted by Lowrey & James and James Gardner had a drug store on the north side.

Hanby is Heard On National Broadcast.....1938

B.O. Hanby, local publisher and historian was heard on the CBS nation-wide hookup broadcast of the "We the People" program. Hanby was in New York for ten days as guest of the program sponsor. In the interview, the Mt. Vernonite told of his father's career and of the writing of the classic, "Darling Nellie Gray," for which he received the grand total of $50. At the conclusion of the interview a studio ensemble sang the ballad.

Failing Vision Ends Dr. Hovey's Dental Career.....1938

My friend Barbara Lanman-Givens asked me the relationship of Dr. Alvin J. Hovey and General and Governor Alvin P. Hovey. I'll get to that in a moment. Now Dr. Hovey practiced dentistry in Mt. Vernon for forty years and because of failing vision he gave it up. He left Mt. Vernon and visited his daughters Helen, Louise, Florence, Esther, and Anna Jaques. Anna Jaques at the time was Anna Hovey, a Hollywood actress. So let's get to the genealogy shall we? Alvin Peterson Hovey had several children and one of them was Charles J. Hovey. Charles married Lillie Jaques and they had five children. One of these was Dr. Alvin Jaques Hovey and Alvin J. was the father of Anna the actress making General Alvin Peterson Hovey, Indiana's Governor the great-great-grandfather of Anna. Everybody got that? That's too much begetting for ~Wavy~ to keep straight too long.

Idlewild Cafe.....1938

Manuel Curtis, Mrs. Souders, Ross Benner, ?, Mr. Fetter, Bill Oeth, Harvey Schelhorn, Elmer "Speed" Schelhorn, Walter "Jim" Schelhorn, Syl Mattingly

Man Has "Fit" Taken to Insane Asylum.....1938

This guy he seems to have had some sort of fit on Main Street. He threw himself on the street, struggled with an imaginary foe, worked his face into contortions, and was having a real hard time. People and police held him down and a doctor was called. Later it seems he was taken to a psychiatrist who looking him over advised the patient to "behave himself as there was nothing really wrong." He pronounced him "starving for attention and putting on a show." The Sheriff wanted to know if the doc was sure, because he had seen enough of him. The doc said he would admit him on a temporary basis to see if the patient would continue his "melodramatic acts."

Gaming Machines Ordered Out of Town....1938

Gaming machines that have been in operation for many years in the city of Mt Vernon have been ordered out by Sheriff Charles Frieg, acting on the action of the Posey County Grand Jury.

Santa Drops in by Parachute.....December 18, 1937

On a Saturday afternoon at 1 Pm, Santa is said to have landed on the courthouse lawn by parachute. The event was to bring out a spectacular crowd for one of the heaviest shopping days in Mt. Vernon. The announcement was made by Dave Alldredge, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Ike Rosenbaum, chairman of the retail merchants committee. The contract was signed with the West Wind Flyers of Decatur, Illinois. The role of Santa was taken by Jack Lewis, World Famous parachute jumper. Pilots of the plane were Reg Pattinson and Wayne Parmenter.

Mt. Vernon native - New Golden Gate Bridge....October 1937

Wendel Monroe 46, the son of Edwin Monroe was picked by the state of California to be consulting electrical engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge, a $77,000,000 span which welded together several communities and is one of the greatest engineering triumphs of all time. Wendell perfected the designs and wrote the specifications for the work. The state supplied him with a staff of 20 assistant engineers and draftsmen. He attended the grade schools in Mt. Vernon while his father was city superintendent. His father then moved to Oklahoma and Wendel graduated from high school there. His college training was started at Washington University where he majored in electrical engineering, received a fellowship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his Master's degree and was also granted an advanced degree from Harvard. He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Standards in Washington then moved on to General Electric at two plants. He completed the railroad electrification of the Chicago interurban lines and the new Illinois Central Railroad terminal. He was an inspector for the U.S. Navy, supervising electrical installations in warships at the yards in Philadelphia. He is now considered the top of his chosen profession in America.

Remains of Robert Dale Owen Moved to New Harmony.....October 1937

The mortal remains of Robert Dale Owen, outstanding world figure in the middle of the nineteenth century, were interred at Maple Hill cemetery outside New Harmony beside the bodies of his equally famous relatives. His body was originally laid to rest at Lake George, New York where he died on June 24, 1877. A simple public memorial was held at the Old Fauntleroy Home, the last residence of Owen preceding the burial. The remains will now rest beside his wife, Mary Jane Robinson, who died in 1871, and one sister, Mrs. Robert Fauntleroy, nee Jane Dale Owen, and three brothers, William, David Dale, and Colonel Richard Owen and five of his six children. Mr. Owen's daughter, Rosamound Dale Owen, who gained world fame with her explorations and writings as the wife of Oliphant Templeton died this year and is buried in Wales. Through the efforts of Miss Mary Emily Fauntleroy and the late Mrs. Templeton the remains were brought to New Harmony for burial on the soil in which Owen conducted his experiment in Utopian social life that stirred world interest. Several relatives of the Owen family attended the burial.

Young Slayer Kills Two.....October 1937

A young father of two, aged 26 killed his wife and father-in-law with a Winchester 12 gauge pump gun. He then shot himself in the arm and it became infected and had to be amputated in Evansville. The murderer was angered over a divorce suit filed by his wife, age 23. Apparently a brooding rage over a week sent him on the fatal shooting spree. Two people were killed and he also shot his mother-in -law with a wound to her left side and a minor injury to her arm. When he shot himself the youthful killer lay in the mud and rain at 929 West Second Street. He had gone to the house hoping for reconciliation with his wife, but she would not see him. Williams then left, got the gun and went to New Harmony for a while. When he came to Mt. Vernon he entered a Main Street drinking parlor and ordered a beer, but was refused. He then tried another tavern but was again refused. From there he went to the scene of the crime. He first shot his father-in-law sitting in a rocking chair listening to the radio. His wife ran outside from the bedroom and was murdered outside.

USS Akron Flies Over Posey....October 1931

The giant blimp, the Akron, just weeks into its trial period passed over the northern part of Posey County. Many motored out to a point east of Mt. Vernon to get an excellent view of the airship, the largest in the world. The Akron was 785 feet in length and carried 6,300,000 cubic feet of helium gas reaching speeds of 58 mph. The ship built for the U.S. Navy was destroyed in a thunderstorm off the coast of New Jersey in the spring of 1933 killing 73 crewman. Although the Hindenburg was 20 feet longer it used hydrogen and not helium. A sister ship, the USS Macon, crashed in 1935.

Prominent Farmer Killed by Bull.....September 1937

A three year old Guernsey bull with no prior temperment problems butted down Mr. William Tennison, age 62 and then trampled him under his hoofs. No witnesses to the death and he was found later by his son who went looking for him.

MV Fall Festival....September 1937

The fifth annual fall festival was held in Mt. Vernon with a carnival with four mechanical rides of loop-0-plane, chairplane, Ferris wheel, and kiddie autos. There was a doughnut eating contest, a pet parade, industrial parade, and 35 piece band concert on a stage on the court square, an exhibit from Purdue University at the coliseum, and a baby show. The highlight of the festival may have been Korak from Moscow who rode an electricity illuminated bicycle on a wire 55 feet above the ground! Thousands came to view the festival and the buntings adorn city buildings.

The Republican Press Urges Trees at Court House.....Summer of 1937

Another hot scorcher of a summer was upon us and with no air conditioning , the town was simmering and looking for relief. In the midst of a contract to paint the court house for $900, the "Republican Press" newspaper called upon for trees and shrubbery to be planted on the sun scorched grounds of the court house. "Nearly every city surrounds its public buildings with heat defying trees and plants, and while the court house is county property, it certainly can claim no immunity because of that. True it is that memory of the sad incident that killed the last trees around the court square (lynching), but we've traveled a good many miles since then and there seems little or no danger of a recurrence of such an event. In every way, The Press believes that Mt. Vernon itself would be benefited by a down town park and it is something, we have been telling the local civic organizations to put in their programs." Also of note, the paper again called as it had for several summers for a public "bathing beach." policed by qualified life guards. They said there had been too many tragedies in the Ohio River from drowning and they wanted a safe place to be watched either on the Ohio or an outdoor swimming pool. One idea was on College Park where the "old Castle School" once stood.

Indian Relics Found.....March 1937

Tom Zimmerman of West Eighth Street while working as a carpenter in the vicinity of Half Moon Pond and the Wabash River in Point township uncovered a find of excellently preserved Indian relics. Included in the group were a pipe bowl in the shape of an Indian head and several pieces of pottery, two of the pieces being perfect and in fine condition. Several Indian bones were also discovered. The site of Zimmerman's find is believed to have been an ancient burial ground.

Veteran Mt. Vernon Physician and Surgeon Dies.....March 1937

Dr. John E. Doerr, 71 practiced here for 41 years died at his home on East Fourth Street of chronic myocarditis. He had practiced a total of 46 years and in Mt. Vernon since 1896. From 1898 on he practiced at one location, that being on East Second Street, just off Main. He dedicated his entire life to the suffering humanity and was a local pioneer in modern hygiene. Extensive clinical studies here and abroad helped him keep up to the front of his profession. He was born in Santa Claus, Indiana, his father being a German Methodist minister and was pastor of the St. Peter's Methodist church near St. Phillips when he died. Dr. Doerr graduated from Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1891. He attended clinics in England, France, Belgium and Germany. He was in London when the World War broke out. "His marvelous and extraordinary ability in diagnosis, medicine and surgery services were in demand in Evansville and elsewhere." He was a member of the Posey County Medical Society, the Indiana State Medical Society and the American Medical Society. He was also a member of the Mt. Vernon lodge of Elks and Posey camp of Modern Woodmen. He was buried at Bellefontaine cemetery.

Also found that he was trustee of the Eagles when the new building on Water Street was dedicated in 1907 and a charter member of the Masonic Lodge.

Leaves To Join the Circus.....March 1937

Houston "Dusty" Rhodes of Mt. Vernon left for New York City where he will again join the advance crew of the Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey circus. Rhodes who has been connected with the circus for several years spends his winters here. The circus opens at Madison Square Garden on April 8.

Local Potato Chip Factory Opens Again.....March 1937

The local potato chip factory of Mrs. Amos Erwin was re-opened this week in the annex of the Bishop Grocery building at Mill and Seventh Streets with three women being employed. Mrs. Erwin operated a potato chip factory several years ago and it was a successful venture. Mrs. Erwin has established a sales outlet through Posey county food stores, restaurants, and confectionaries, Evansville, and Henderson, Ky. Mr. Erwin is directing the sales department of the business.

Keck-Gonnerman Helping out at Water Works During 1937 Flood.

January 30, 1937 The Red Cross Sets Up A Regional Hospital at Coliseum

New Harmony Man Travels 15,000 Miles Sightseeing .....1937

William Russell returned after a month's visit in Washington D.C. with his daughter and son in law, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Reeves. During his stay he traveled visiting eight old Civil War battlefields. He brought back a stone from the grave of George Washington's mother. While in Washington and going through the White House he met and was entertained by Hines Terry, a former Mt. Vernon boy.

Guarded Lincoln As He Lay In State.....1937

In February of 1937, Major George Kimball, age 93 of Mt. Vernon and a Civil War veteran died at his home at 523 College Avenue. He distinguished himself at the battle of Richmond Kentucky and was presented with a sword of his superior officer. He was a major on staff of Governor Alvin Hovey and was a guard at the bier of Lincoln as he lay in state. He was buried in Greencastle, Indiana.


Starting in early January the rains came up north and down south along the Ohio River. In Louisville, KY they had 19 inches of rain in January and locally in Mt. Vernon we had 17.47 inches! On January 25th the river surpassed the highest crest ever seen in Mt. Vernon going over 52 feet which was larger than both the 1884 and the 1913 floods. The river finally crested on February 2nd at 59.2 before receding. From Pennsylvania to Cairo, Illinois the flood raged. Landmarks like Crosley Field in Cincinnati and Churchill Downs in Louisville were under water. What only weeks ago was picturesque became a violent river floating homes away. Residents in Mt. Vernon had to boil their water for six weeks and yet the Water Works continued to pump water until a grate bar burned out and then Keck Gonnerman furnished three steam traction engines to run the pumps. The Memorial Coliseum was used as a Red Cross hospital and command center. The flag of the Red Cross flew on top of the building during this time. The Consumer's Ice Company filled two storage tanks with pure water each holding 5,000 gallons for drinking purposes, Phone calls during this period tripled and long distance calls overworked the operators with long waits. The National Guard Battery E enforced the martial law that the town was put under starting on January 25th. Mt. Vernon remained high and dry and was the haven of 2750 refugees some from Shawneetown that the Coast Guard brought in along with those from Point township, western Black and southern Marrs townships. Water covered West Second Street between Mill and Chestnut at the Mill Creek fill and Water Street between Main and College Avenue. It also covered a quarter of a block at the south end of Elm Street. The Mt. Vernon Milling Company was the only local industry closed by the river stages. Seven shelter camps existed in Posey County. Griffin at one time was isolated with all roads covered and only way in or out was the railroad. Traffic over the New Harmony Bridge was exceedingly heavy as most traffic was routed that way. Early on six Coast Guard boats were shipped here from Chicago for the rescue work. Lt. Beauford Alldredge was in charge of the martial law in town and the issued 8 general orders. Many were keeping people away from the riverfront, people evacuated not to reenter their properties as long as rescuing continued. There would be no increase in commodity prices, no unnecessary motor traffic within the military district, no firearms to be carried by citizens, no loitering, all businesses closed by midnight. The establishment of a military headquarters at the Armory, all refugees to be inoculated against typhoid fever, all schools closed until further notice. Because of conserving water only the Keck Gonnerman Company and the Overall Corporation could work. All others would cease immediately. Sale of livestock was prohibited until ownership could be proven after the flood. Also, the sale of liquor was to be suspended except for beer. We had 196 refugees brought in from Shawneetown by the Steamer Patricia Harrett and they were housed at the Trinity Evangelical Church in the basement and the Sunday school room. The basement of the Coliseum was used as a dining hall. The third floor of the People's Bank was also used for housing. Supplies came in from other counties by trucks loaded with steel cots, blankets, clothing, mattresses, portable stoves and food. The Eagles after pumping their basement out opened it up to those refugees. The Mennonites religious organization donated $115 to replace textbooks lost to flood victims. Livestock was lost tragically. One farmer Pete Rhodes from Point Township related that he lost all of his stock of 52 head of cattle, three mules, two horses, four milk cows, and two calves. When he returned to his farm he found them floating in the water. Red Cross revealed that 125 homes were destroyed in Posey County, 14,035 head of livestock and 7 deaths (2 from my family by typhoid). Tons of crops were lost. The steamer, Jay Hawker operated by radio station WSM of Nashville, TN anchored in Mt. Vernon and went on live to tell the nation of the heroic work being done here "Mt. Vernon is doing a mighty fine job of taking care of more than a third as many people as its own population", they said. Martial Law was lifted on February 13th and cleanup began...some went back to nothing.

1937 Flood of Ohio River at Mt. Vernon

Brick From Razed Building Was Hand Made in 1825.....1937

Old brick removed in the dismantling of the residence on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets was made by hand in 1825 in the Mt. Vernon brick yard. The razed building was erected from materials salvaged from the first Posey County court house and public office building in Mt. Vernon. These buildings were erected in 1825 following the removal of the county seat from Springfield to Mt. Vernon.

Western Star Editor Comes Out Against Name Calling of President.....1937

Herb Leffel wrote that he hoped all truly patriotic American citizens would stop their whispering campaign of party leaders. He noted that in presidential elections of years past, slander had been in order way too often. "The drooling batteries of obloquy have done their worst, and Dame Rumor has had her inning." Perhaps the great men of this nation have always been the objects of bitter attacks, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln....there were no exceptions. He went on to say that Washington had illegitimate Negro children and it was a lie. Jefferson was supposed to be insane, so the story went, "Mad Tom" was what the Tories of the day, led by Tim Pickering, labeled him. The thinks said about Mrs. Jackson, he said he would not reprint, but they were all untrue. Lincoln was subjected to more vilification and abuse than any other man of his day and age, but he survives today in the hearts of men. Andrew Jackson was supposed to have been a downright drunk when he took office after Lincoln's assassination. As a matter of fact, he was violently ill and many have took a small measure of brandy to settle his stomach. Mrs. Zachary Taylor was painted as a devotee of pipe smoking and in reality did not and would not let anyone smoke in her presence. Grover Cleveland, on the eve of his election, was accused of having an illegitimate child and Warren Harding was charged of being partially Negro. So it has gone on it in the past, let us of have none of it this time.

Mt. Vernon Democrat Press Room.....1937

1937 Flood

MV Democrat Staff...1937

430 Main Street. Edward Alles (owner/publisher), Orvan Hall (editor), Anne Fullinwider (social editor), Carl Blesch Jr., Wilford Clark, John Clark, Alvin Koerner, and Sylvester Clark.

1937 Flood at Water Works. Notice the McFaddin Monument almost submerged.

This is the monument that preceded the one just recently removed. I had read of plans for an earlier monument in the early 30's ....I believe it was a goal of a earlier Historical Society. Until this picture and another one I have during the flood , I have never seen it. Do not have pic of the inscription.

1937 Flood at Waterworks

Skating on Thin Ice.....1937

One day Mary Ann Goffinet, 10 and Mary Helen Holder, 11 had a desire to go ice skating in the backwater at the site of the old Tile Factory and they walked into the country with two companions, Martha and Mary Katherine Isham. Mary Helen was first to break through the ice and fell into about four foot of water. Mary Ann hearing her cries for help went to the rescue and she too fell through the ice. The two girls for about twenty minutes fought the ice breaking it in front of them in order to wade out. Half frozen and bleeding from cuts by the ice, the girls made their way to the residence of Mack Curtis where he revived them with hot towels and a warm fire.

Do you see the boat to the right of the water works in this 1937 flood photo?

Mt. Vernon Pumper from 1937

Picture was probably taken at one of our streets near the river to wash away debris from the great flood.

Local Cheese Factory Cuts and Runs.....1937

The Mt. Vernon Cheese Factory, which had operated in the rear part of the Mt. Vernon Creamery Company building on College Avenue moved out to Newton, Illinois. I guess that swarm of bees that was hampering traffic in that area will just have to stay with milk and cream from now on.

Cook Your Brownies in the Kiwanis Oven.....1937

It seems the Kiwanis Club had an oven, and they originally kept it down at Black's Grove where the town had picnics, celebrations, political speeches, and once a organizing of a mob for a hanging. By 1937, I guess the Grove was starting to lose its interest, so the oven was torn down and reconstructed on the northeast part of Central grounds by the WPA. The public was invited to make use of the oven and plans were to erect table and benches at the oven site. Please do not park your car in the grave yard!


L&N Depot.....1937

Lighted Cross of Trinity Church.....1937

The top of the cross of Trinity Church is 141 feet above the sidewalk and although it looks shorter than St. Matthew's it is actually taller because it is farther down the slope of the street. During the 1937 flood river boat captains were said to use the lighted cross to guide their boats down the river as they brought in refugees. Kathryn Breeze, whose father owned the ferry at the time, told her parents and two brothers aiding the people with transportation and food. "It was dark out on that river and there were no lights or nothing. The steeple at the church was our guiding light. You could tell where you were by the church steeple because everything else was covered up." Rev. August Binder said that the Trinity United Church of Christ took in about 160 people that winter. Binder was pastor 1945-1963.

Bowling Before Posey Lanes.....1936

In December of that year three lanes opened in the Maas Building at 124 Main owned by E.E. Powell. I think there was bowling later in the Evertson Building. I have also heard there were once duck pin bowling in town, but I haven't pinned it down. In 1947 I saw a add where afternoon bowling during the week cost 22 cents per game. It was called Mt. Vernon Bowling Lanes.

Model Bakery Installs Modern Oven.....December 1936

Adam Goss, owner of the Model Bakery, located on East Third Street in Mt. Vernon installed a Hubbard Reel Revolving oven. The oven is stoker-fired and is an investment of $5200 and has a thermostatic heat control which insured uniform baking. The capacity of the new oven was 300 loaves, doubling the old method. Before this it took an hour and a half to bake a batch and now just 45 minutes. Bread and pastry made here was said to be some of the best around and their territory of business has increased necessitating the expansion and improvement.

New Doctor Opens Practice in Mt. Vernon.....November 1936

Frank W. Oliphant, M.D., has established his office in the small brick building at 214 Walnut Street, formerly occupied by Dr. Fullinwider. Phone number is 180-W. He is a graduate of the Indiana School of Medicine and served his internship in Indianapolis hospitals.

The Evansville Journal Newspaper is Discontinued.....November 1936

A newspaper that lasted 103 years died that day due to high costs and the prospects of higher wages, paper costs and taxes. With the Evansville Press and the Evansville Courier around it was doomed. It was known as the Republican newspaper and in recent years, "like its candidates it utterly failed." LOL. It was even ignored by the Vanderburgh County Republican organization in advertisements at its close. Mt. Vernon's Republican papers in their varied forms from the "Free Press, " The Republican News," "The Public," and "The Mt. Vernon Republican" would find similar fates over the decades. The paper however would be missed by older subscribers who remember it as the voice of the Republicans in what once was the old First District.

Reading Right Wing Evansville Paper of 1936 Prior to Election

Cleaning my hobby room today getting rid of "stuff." Got lots of "stuff." Don't know where I get it all! Someday I am gonna die, gonna have to get rid of it someway, either give it away or toss it. Found a paper called "The Evansville Weekly" and they are coming down hard on FDR calling him a "false Moses," and a "hope to be master of the black race." That is pretty low don't you think? In the Indiana governor's race they go after New Deal candidate, M. Clifford Townsend about his support of social security and how it is "tomfoolery, pretending to offer security for working men in their old age." They were saying to watch out for "New Deal Henchmen" watching you vote and they will be watching the watcher to make sure all irregularities are reported. They actually show a picture of the Republican candidate for governor, Raymond Springer's boyhood home of a dilapidated, shabby, rickety, decrepit log cabin saying, "He is truly a man of Hoosier soil." Townsend was due at the Evansville Coliseum to deliver a speech prior to the election and the Evansville Weekly said the crowd will no doubt be full with Unionists and Socialists and they will "try to win the election on a campaign of fear." They said the parade for Townsend will be more than a handful of people "forced" to participate by unions and "not people proud of their party." After the speech, the paper said, "The enthusiasm displayed at the rally was a sham." Well, well, well, oh well....Townsend won by 180.000 votes and we all know FDR did too. Townsend unfortunately had a Republican House who blocked much of his progressive appeals during his administration. Faced immediately with the great 1937 Flood, Townsend did a good job by accounts with disaster relief. Not much was passed during his tenure due to obstructionists but he did get passed drivers license examinations, firemen's pensions approved, and got to paint all school buses yellow. So in my opinion, the paper that boasted..."one flag, one language, one loyalty." was one loser.

Article on "Miss Indiana" Leaves Me Puzzled.....August 1936

On the corner of page one of "The Public" it said Miss June Duckworth of Mt. Vernon was given the title of "Miss Indiana" in the bathing beauty contest sponsored by the American Legion, held in Muncie. She went on to represent Indiana in the national contest in Atlantic City. I have never heard of this before and I wonder if the Mt. Vernon they are talking about was upstate. If she was really from here, I would think they would have a picture, even in the depression years. Surely, they would list her parents and address, don't you think? Oh well, maybe I should try looking for this in the "Mt. Vernon Democrat" know for the facts! The Republican paper is funny to read how Hoover is trumping Roosevelt in poling nationwide and then came Alf Landon...same thing..."Alf leads by 3 to 1 margin in early returns." Hahaha Two weeks earlier, however, it didn't mention that the Owen Dunn post was looking for a "bathing beauty" to represent the city in the state contest. She had to be 16-25 years of age and a local resident. No swimming was required...."just look good!"

State Refuses Field for Swimming Pool and Golf Course.....August 1936

Mayor Herman Bray learned from Governor Paul McNutt (D), that the city's request for a 14 acre tract of land on North Main Street used as a pasture for Battery E horses before the outfit was motorized, could not be granted at that time. The tract of land was sought by the city as a site for a municipal golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, and general recreation center. McNutt advised that the federal government may use the field as a maneuvering ground for Battery E's motorized equipment. Mt. Vernon contributed $1000 towards the purchase price of the field when it was donated to the state for use by Battery E and also assumed the taxes. The city believed that since it was currently not in use, it should have been given back to the civil city of Mt. Vernon.

Hall of Fame Pitcher In Town and Other Baseball Notes.....July 1936

World famous 300 game winner and 1926 World Series star, Grover Alexander, was a guest at the American Legion and coliseum. Phillip Rowe took him out to lunch at Jensen Cafe and then down to Athletic Park for a few minutes to see the lighting equipment and briefly speak to the American Legion baseball team at their practice session. That month three local boys tried out for the Indianapolis minor league team - Dale Gentil, Elsby Goffinit and Oliver Willis at Perry Stadium. Dan Scism, sports editor for the Evansville Courier said of Willis, "He may not be up for professional ball just now, but he's not far away." Willis was hitting over .500 for the Legion team.

Walkout at Keck-Gonnerman's.....July 1936

Twenty-five men walked out of Keck-Gonnerman foundry on strike. The purpose was an attempt to unionize the shop for increased wages. The strike attempted to a keep a truck from unloading freight but were unsuccessful.

Check That Clearance.....July 1936

A Mt. Vernon man, Owen Williams, 36, who left to join a carnival company, was killed at Olney, Illinois when his head struck the bottom of the B&O Railroad trestle as he rode in the back of a carnival truck.

150 Gallon Still Seized.....May 1936

Federal, state, and county officers unearthed a moonshine still in an underground room of concrete in Harmony township. The ownership of the farm and liquor manufacturing plant, which is the most complete ever found in Posey County is credited to Owen Rietiger of Mt. Vernon, who with Thomas Winchester of New Harmony, is already a prisoner in the Harrisburg, IL jail facing a federal liquor charge. Officers cut their way into the underground plant but later found a trap door which was used by the operators. A 150 gallon still, a power pump and 16 empty barrels were found in the room. The still was then destroyed. The two men were arrested three weeks prior by federal agents near Flora, IL with a large quantity of illegal liquor in their car.

"Big Black Bear" is Seen On Slim Island ?.....May 1936

From time to time all kinds of critters have been reported seen near Mt. Vernon. A resident of Slim Island below Mt. Vernon called on Elijah Rhodes, known as a great hunter in Western Black township to come as quick as possible to look for the black bear roaming about the island. Rhodes came with his high powered shells and trusty gun and organized a posse to hunt for the "big bear," which he doubted would be found. After spending time beating under brush and tramping over the island in an effort to find the bear, Rhodes was about to give up when he saw a large black Newfoundland dog suddenly dart out of a woods, run to the river and swim to the Indiana side of the Ohio River.

Let's Have a Party!.....May 1936

The Republican Press editor, William Tischendorf Jr. despondent over the small Republican turnout in Posey primary decided to look for something good. He proposed a "Gala Day" to celebrate the long awaited re-surfacing of Main Street. Merchants could put their wares out on the sidewalks but urged the public to "leave your illegal hootch at home ".

Local Steeple Jack Tumbles Twice...."Born Under a Lucky Star".....May 1936

Jack Rose, local high climber sure is a lucky fellow! Following a fall on St. Matthew parochial school on a Saturday morning in which he owed escape to the fact that his shoulder caught between a chimney and a gutter and held him; that afternoon Rose tumbled 50 feet from the steeple of the St. Matthew Church. This time Jack was soldering of a cornice of the church steeple pulling it loose, causing him to fall. He landed on the church roof, rolled from there into the roof of the nun's home and then onto the porch where he caught again on a gutter. Except for some severe bruises he was okay. Time to go home for the day.

Memorial Cross Installed On Steeple of Trinity.....April 1936

John W. (Jack) Rose, Mt. Vernon's only steeplejack and considered one of the best, installed an electrical illuminated memorial cross on the steeple of Trinity Evangelical Church. The cross has a total of 34 fifty watt lights, 17 on each side, with unbreakable globes. It is visible for many miles and is eight feet high made of heavy durable metal. The cross is a memorial to departed members of the Ladies Aid of the Church. Raised a Baptist, my wife went to church here like a good German so we married there as did my sister. Rev. Yegerlehner surprised me at the wedding with a scarf with a large peace symbol on it. That was a good omen!

Washer Pitching Tourney Results.....April 1936

Simple times bring out simple pleasures I reckon....The WPA recreation department sponsored a singles division for throwing washers at little cans stuck in the dirt at the "courts" at Fifth and Main Streets on a Saturday afternoon that drew over 900 spectators for the various singles and doubles matches held over three days. There were 32 entries in the singles competition for the mythical city champ. The final four advancing were ex-fastball pitcher of the Mt. Vernon Arrows, Walter "Polly" Cusie, Maurice Crowe, George "Jigs" Pfister, and Herschel "Cotton" Aud. In the finals Cusie defeated Aud 2-1 with scores of 23-25, 25-17, and 25-6. Now there is something for River Days...washers and hand churned ice cream.

"Negro" Scout Troop Installed.....March 1936

Troop 2, newly organized unit of Negro boys was formally installed at the Free Will Baptist Church by District Scout Commissioner Frank Gore of Evansville and Robert Stinson, chairman of the Posey County Scout Council.

In the ice gorge of February 1936, various groups of Mt. Vernon and Kentucky men and boys crossed the Ohio River on foot.

During that time the receding stage of the Ohio River under heavy shore ice left the Ferryboat Dungan, in the Mt. Vernon port perched atop broken cakes of ice 15 feet above the water's level. Joe Vail, ferry operator, said the craft had not been damaged.

Ice Gorge on Ohio River Looking from Uniontown Kentucky side 2/19/1936

I remember reading where the waterworks would blow their steam whistle to inform the town that the ice was moving so they could come down and witness it. This is a Willard Library photo done by a photographer named Newman. There are many photos of this ice from the Evansville wharf. After the winter of the ice gorge, we had one of the hottest summers on record then we followed that up with the great 1937 Flood. This was the first time since 1918 a person could walk across the river on ice. The river was frozen for some 50 miles. The ice started to break on February 24th and moved quickly. By the 26th navigation was returning.

World Champion Chopper in Mt. Vernon.....1936

Peter McLaren, who claims the wood chopping championship of America, staged a log cutting demonstration in front of Gronemeier's Hardware Store at 415 Main Street. His wizardry with an axe has carried him from a poor farm lad in Australia to the peak of his profession. His tours over a score of years have put him in front of hundreds of thousands of people. The 50 year old man took on all comers.

Officers Seize Yet Another Large Still.....1936

Federal, state, and county officers seized and destroyed one of the best liquor making establishments found in recent years on the Wolf & Harlem farm in Point township. The still was of all steel construction and 120 gallon capacity. Five barrels of mash were also destroyed. The operators had evidently been warned, according to Sheriff Chars. Frieg, as no one was in the vicinity at the time of the raid.

The King's Song.....1936

Helen Hovey Daniel of Mt. Vernon sang for King Edward VIII, the new British King at a private dinner party. She is known as Elena Danieli in the opera world. She sang two areas from LaBoheme and Madame Butterfly and four English songs, "Do Not Go, Love," "Pirate Dreams," "Little Brown Bird", and one more. She then talked informally with the king.

Mt. Vernon High School Graduates 1874-1936

For a long time now I have been researching the number of graduates of Mt. Vernon High School. I still do not have a complete list, but here is a complete list through 1936. Graduations were held in many locations. In the period I am disclosing here, they occurred in such places as the Court House, Masonic Hall, Opera House, Coliseum, and the high school auditorium. In two years there were no graduates (1879, 1880). We start with 1874 where I have two counts, one says 3 grads, another 7, 1875-7; 1876-7; 1877-5; 1878-18; 1881-10; 1882-1; 1883-13; 1884-1; 1885-2; 1886-11 or 12; 1887-21 or 22; 1888-7 or 10; 1889-12; 1890-17; 1891-15; 1892-21; 1893-19; 1894-25; 1896-19; 1897-19; 1898-23; 1899-3; 1900-10; 1901-13; 1902-14; 1903-12; 1904-27; 1905-14; 1906-12; 1907-27; 1908-17; 1909-30; 1910-33; 1911-30; 1912-34; 1913-50; 1914-48; 1915-44; 1916-49; 1917-52; 1918-43; 1919-45; 1920-37; 1921-39; 1922-54; 1923-48; 1924-63; 1925-55; 1926-54; 1927-56; 1928-49; 1929-62; 1930-58; 1931-75; 1932-45; 1933-63; 1934-42; 1935-52; 1936-61

Sunday Night Robberies in 1936

Burglars were active but received little loot for their booty. Efforts were successful at the store of A. Hartung, the A.A. Schenk grocery and the Herschel Blackburn service station. Attempts were made at Stinson Bros. Dry Goods and the business of Edgar Alldredge. At the Hartung store, the thieves secured maybe $5 from a cash drawer but no merchandise. Entrance was gained by breaking a basement window in the rear of the store and forcing open a locked door leading from the basement to the first floor. Edgar Alldredge noticed the broken window as he drove his car through the alley and notified police around 9 pm. The thieves gained entrance to the Schenk grocery through a rear window in the store room. Locked doors prevented their way to the store proper but merchandise in the store room was not molested. A panel was broken off a rear door at the Blackburn service station and a small amount of coal was dumped into the building, but nothing of value was taken. Police were inclined to believe that burglary might have been a prank. The burglars were frightened away at the Stinson store when John Wesley, "colored" who was firing the furnace, heard the noise at the real basement floor and investigated and noticed three men heading down the alley. An attempted burglary at the Alldredge place was averted at 1:30 in the morning when Alldredge investigated a noise in the rear of his building and saw an automobile drive rapidly out of the alley. Ok guys! "Closed Sunday, See you in Church."

Civil War Memories by Eugene Wilson.....1936

Back in 1861, Eugene was a boy of about ten years of age and in a letter to the Western Star newspaper he recalled vividly many memories of the war years in Mt. Vernon. He could remember the safety operating military units (home guard) forming and citizens holding meetings and passing ordinances for the safety of the community. He said the armory that held all the guns and ammunition were stored in Henry Brinkman's building on the east side of Main Street and at that time known as the James & Lowry Bank. The artillery captain was Jesse Oatman and they had five big brass cannon, three six and two twelve pounders, all brass mounted. These were all housed in the cannon house located at the northeast corner of the Public Square. He remembered where each was placed, one at what was known as the rocks at Oatman's landing, one at the James and Merckey distillery, another was on what was called Haw Hill, just across a ditch from the Water Works is, and two others at what became Sherburne Park. All the talk locally in those days concerned the raids of Morgan and women and children were frightened that at "any moment they would be devoured by John Morgan and his gang." Eugene lived on the corner of Eighth and Mill streets and at night the neighborhood would congregate at the resident of John Bradley, who lived on the southwest corner of the same street. They felt there was safety in numbers. The nights were quiet and still. Nothing was heard but the occasional patrolman on his beat making rounds on horseback. Mothers would peep out the door just enough to see what was going on. He remembers the rumors and of one man who went off with a lantern in Point township looking for Morgan. Wilson said he would be more afraid of wild hogs and turkeys than Morgan back in those "sticks." "It was nothing but ponds, deer, nuts, acorns, and wilderness back then." Wilson remembered the home guard firing their cannons in practice. He and other boys were always after the powder bags to put their marbles in. It was prized very highly and sometimes one of the men would surrender one. He said he remembered Charles Hovey being killed at the riverfront when the guard was firing salutes to a northern victory. Charles was five years senior to his brother General Alvin P. Hovey. The ramrod went through him and knocked him a considerable distance. Wilson said sometime in the 1880's the large guns were dismounted by the street commissioner as he wanted to use the gun carriage in his street work. (My note: I had heard all the guns were returned to the military after the war, but one which was hidden). Anyway Eugene said one of the guns was discarded in an alley beside the Magill Blacksmith Shop on Mill Street and they converted it into their shop and it was still there in 1887 when Wilson moved away from Mt. Vernon.

Violence Breaks Out Again at Local Garment Factory.....1936

Up to 100 strikers and sympathizers congregated at the entrance of the plant on North Main Street and attempted to keep workers from gaining entrance. City police and county authorities were forced to swing fists and clubs to enable workers to enter. The near riot was the second one in three weeks since picketing started at the factory. Injuries were minor and six arrests were made. Chief of Police Basil Cox, Sheriff Charles Frieg, Police patrolmen Burges Bivin and William Davis and Deputy Sheriff Butland Pisley tried to make control of the situation. Those arrested were Mr. and Mrs. Merle Alldredge, John Brown and three for assault and battery were Goldie Burnett, Mrs. Helen Lienau and Otto Uhde. All were booked then released on $250 bond. The city council went to work to adopt an ordinance to regulate picketing to six people registered 24 hours in advance at the city clerk's office. Violations would range from a $10-$300 fine and imprisonment up to 60 days.

Three Bandits Rob, Kidnap New Harmony Bridge Toll Taker.....1936

Three bandits kidnapped and robbed Don Blair, 26, New Harmony bridge toll taker, shortly after 6 PM, Saturday night. The trio bound and gagged Blair during the escape and put him out of their car between Crossville and Carmi, Illinois. Blair freed his feet from the bonds and walked nearly a mile in the January air for assistance. His hands were still tied tightly behind his back and he mouth gagged when he stumbled into Stanley tavern near Crosssville, suffering from the cold. He was hatless and in his shirt sleeves. The robbers obtained between $150 and $200. At first Blair thought the holdup was a joke. Three men drove up from the west and as Blair went to take the toll one of the bandits opened the door and held a gun on him. Then the other two men brought out their guns and told him to get in the car. It was not possible for the car to turn around on the bridge so they drove on the Indiana side and turned around. As they proceeded west on the bridge they picked up the third man who had taken the cash drawer and bound and gagged Blair. During the ride the bandits kept their faces hidden as well as possible and after being put out Blair was unable to get the license plate number, which was a black Plymouth sedan.

Local Spitball Pitcher Dies.....1936

Tim Keeler, 56, whose real name was Thomas Creanens, was a well-known hurler for Mt. Vernon at the turn of the 20th century. For three years, Keeler and Harry Smith, local court house custodian, and one of Posey County's best catchers made up the battery of the local team. Old-Timer says he was one of the best spitball pitchers seen locally and that his famous delivery "surpassed that of "Red" Faber, of the Chicago White Sox, known as the most outstanding spitball pitcher in history. Keeler's temperamental ways it was said prevented him from a big league career. He was at the height of his career around 1906-1911 and passed up so many opportunities to play with professional teams because of his friendships with his teammates and local fans. Keeler whose father died when he was young, took the name of his mother's second marriage, his stepfather. After his playing days he was a painting contractor but always could be seen around the diamond. Speaking of baseball, back then when Tim played, Athletic Park was not here which came into being I believe thinking off the cuff around 1920. Baseball before that was played in many places, but the more important games were either played at the "Commons" where Farm Bureau Co-Op is today on the Westside or the Fairgrounds on the east side. From 1897 for instance we had a game on a Sunday between the White Caps of Carmi and the Mt. Vernon Rabens that drew a crowd around 1500 with a gate receipt amounting to $83. There was a time when Sunday baseball was unlawful, and boys were chased off the diamonds or even taken to jail. Over time, Sunday baseball was the most popular time to have a game and for decades it was a pastime in our community to view the Motts, the Arrows, the Merchants and many other local semi-pro nines.

The Steamboat Washington.....1936

Ad in "The Republican Press" of which subscription was $1 per year in 1936

How about those swastikas for a border? White Rose gasoline was introduced in 1905 as the first premium motor fuel produced by the National Refining Company. Gasoline prices in Mt. Vernon along this time were between 16 and 18 cents a gallon.

Ten Boys Warned Not to Kill Song Birds.....1936

Okay folks, my first ever story from newly found, "Mt. Vernon Free Press." Sounds like some of the publications I wrote for in the 70's; Oh well. The story goes that following up on complaints the Chief of Police a Mr. Basil Cox headed to the Central Elementary and High School and pulled out the alleged offenders and warned them about their air rifles and sling-shots. He scared them so much that he took them down to see the Prosecuting Attorney, William Espenchied. The "man" explained the legal penalties for their actions and the boys took an oath "promising to give up the practice of killing birds," forever and ever.....Amen.

Dietz Grocery Becomes Mann Grocery.....1936

Fred Dietz passed on having had the Dietz Grocery on Second and Mill since 1888. The store came into the possession of a nephew of the late merchant and was sold to Karl Mann. Paul Roy, son-in-law of Mann who was employed at the Stocker Grocery until recently, will manage the new commercial business.

Supplement to Mt. Vernon Public Newspaper of 1936

Other 1936 Gleanings.....

  • Bert McReynolds, well-known barber resumed his employment at Ed Turner's barber shop on West Second Street.
  • WPA (Works Progress Administration) opens an office at the Armory Building on lower Main.
  • Erection of the Eilert Farm Equipment Company started at the corner of Mill and Fourth Street.
  • Restaurant and Grocery opens at the former Oliver stand at Main and LN railroad.
  • In special meeting of Owen Dunn Post #5, American Legion in the coliseum colored WWI vets were special guests. Charles Rachellor, commander of the Otis Stone Post, colored legion of Evansville had a special message for colored vets.
  • Dr. Frank Oliphant located his practice in town.
  • Two dimes and a nickel were found in a bird nest in town.
  • President Roosevelt was in Indy
  • 33 members of the Mt. Vernon National Guard unit were called for duty to assist.

Red Cross Chapter Gets 6 Steel Boats.....1936

The Posey Chapter of the American Red Cross, through Chairman Dave Alldredge, secured six steel hull boats for emergency use on the Ohio River. The boats had air-tight compartments and are nonsinkable.

1936 Riverfront

Camp Pohoka Staff Worker a Two Time Olympian....1932 and 1936

Holding special interest locally to the Boy Scouts was Charles Hornbostel, who starred at Evansville Central in high school and Indiana University later on. He was on the Pohoka staff when he was called up for racing trials in Chicago in 1932. Hornbostel was a hard luck Olympian it seems. He won several 880 meter NCAA Championships and finished second in the trials in 1932. At the 1932 Olympics he won his first heat and beating the individual silver medalists, but in the finals he ran sixth. In1933 he equaled the world record in the 880 yards with a 1:50.9, but was beaten by Glenn Cunningham in the national championship. In 1934 he again won the NCAA championship, qualifying for the Olympics. He placed second to the gold medalist in the initial heat, but in the finals he finished fifth. After that Olympics Charles took part in two world record setting relays.

Retired Rube Sez.....1936

Rube wondered why so many high school girls were smoking, why Democrats were burning court houses in the south to prevent Republican votes and why haven't they invented a "face paint that will hide wrinkles?" He also thought the question of the age of Prohibition that someone needed to come up with a deodorizer that will take away the scent in town of bottled illegal booze....especially for those in Point Township.

Got Moonshine On a Cloudy Day.....December 1935

The Feds, the State Boys and the "County Mounties" made two liquor raids in Posey County one Thursday back in the old Bonnie and Clyde days. Two men were arrested, and two stills were eliminated and moonshine whiskey and mash were taken. The prisoners were George Bennett, 31, of Point Township and Alfred Morris 23, of New Harmony, both arrested on Mackey Island in the Wabash River and placed in the local jail. A 100 gallon still and 25 gallons of moonshine was seized. That evening another raid produced a 150 gallon still and 10 barrels of mash, but officials waited in vain for the owner to appear in a raid, northwest of Mt. Vernon. The two prisoners were fined $100 and costs and sentenced to 60 days on the state farm.

Major Kimball Celebrates 92nd Birthday.....December 1935

Major G.W. Kimball of College Avenue, Grand Army leader and prominent Mt. Vernon citizen, celebrated his ninety-second birthday on a Saturday. For four years Kimball served on the staff of Governor Alvin Peterson Hovey and Governor Ira Chase, who succeeded Hovey to the office made vacant by the death of our Posey County's honored son. Major Kimball was the only remaining white Civil War veteran in Mt. Vernon. His military service during the war was under Generals Nelson and Manson and one of his prized possessions was the sword given him by Col. John R. Mahan for valorous service in the battle of Richmond, Ky. He was one of the few living men alive to see the body of Abraham Lincoln as he lay in state in the state house in Indianapolis en route to Springfield, Illinois for burial. He was also the last survivor of the military staff of Governor Hovey.

Prehistoric Animal Bones Found...October 31, 1935

What was believed to be prehistoric remains were unearthed by Charles Schutz, Stewartsville barber, in Cox creek, two miles west of Stewartsville. He made the discovery while seining minnows. The bones were found about 18 feet below the top.of the creek bank. Two ivory tusks, measuring five and one half feet in length and six inches in diameter were unearthed. They were slightly curved. A bone, four feet long and over six inches in diameter believed to be a leg bone was also taken out of the creek bed. Bones of the skull were also discovered and one piece contained two teeth, each with a cutting surface of six by three inches. The teeth were seven inches long, including the roots. One section of what was believed to have been a skull bone measured three feet long and two feet wide. An Indiana University scientist was called in to identify the bones.

City Meets Acute Fire Department Need....January 1935

Mt. Vernon finally purchased a pumper. It was amongst the last of Indiana cities of its size to purchase a fire engine. The new truck was purchased from the General Fire Truck Company of St. Louis at a cost in excess of $5000. The old truck we had was to be retained. Tests of the new equipment were made from a barge in the Ohio River and it proved satisfactory. The new pumper, the first ever owned, was equipped with a Hercules motor and capable of supplying pressure for three large streams of water. Lack of sufficient water pressure in time of emergency has been a handicap to the efficient fighting of large fires for a long time cited retiring Chief Frank Fessenden. It was also a "feather in the cap" of the outgoing Mayor E.F. Bamberger administration.

American Legion Baseball Team.....1935

The '35 team qualified for the final four state tournament by winning the regional tournament at Tell City and advanced to the final four in Indiana before losing to powerhouse East Chicago, a team that later became the champion of 16 states before losing. Mt. Vernon defeated Huntingburg, Paoli and Tell City to qualify for the state finals in Seymour. Some of the players on that team are in Mt. Vernon High School's Hall of Fame such as Alfred 'Dutch" Wehr, Dale Gentil, Paul Moeller, Oliver 'Boob' Willis, and Elsby Goffinet. Three Wadesville players played infield, those being Ralph Schneck, Dennis Wentzel, and Francis Knowles. The team was coached by Robert Blake and Dr. Bill Jenkinson. Moeller and Gentil played professionally with Gentil reaching the level of Triple A with Louisville before enlisting in the Navy during World War II. Gentil who starred at Indiana University pitched a five inning no hitter for Little Rock in the lower minors. Many felt Wehr was professional material, but somehow he fell through the cracks. He pitched the game against East Chicago, losing 3-0. Dale Gentil told me the pitcher for that team later played for the New York Giants, but I have misplaced his name. "Dutch" pitched service ball with and against many big leaguers and played semipro and coached league teams here for over a decade and is a local legend.

The Home Guard Cannon.....1935

The brass cannon used by the Home Guard during the Civil War was made in 1844 in Springfield, Illinois. It was in possession of the regular army until the war began. Mt. Vernon had its share of southern sympathizers and went through periods of unrest early in the conflict. It was alive with rumors of potential raids. Alvin Hovey was home awaiting further orders from the war department and he brought with him a company of regular soldiers along with five cannons. The cannons were placed in position on Haws Hill at Mt. Vernon, later the site of the Charles Smith lumber yard and there they stayed under the direction of Captain John Hinch, of the Home Guards. At the end of the rebellion, one of the cannons disappeared for a number of years. One of the men believed to have taken it was Thomas Pitcher. It was taken into the country and hidden. The wheels were removed and used on log wagons. Hidden under a load of hay it was turned over to the Harrow G.A.R. Post when it was formed. New wooden wheels were added and the rust removed and for years it was displayed on the old courthouse lawn. Later it was remounted on iron wheels. Captain Henry Baldwin took it to all patriotic celebrations and claimed ownership of it for making the repairs. In 1900, the Post decided to take the cannon back and Baldwin hid it. When Baldwin went on vacation a search of his stable was made and the cannon was again found. Sylvester Kirk became the next caretaker and he decorated it and himself. He would wear bunting from shoulder to waist and around his hat when in public with the cannon. He died in 1927. In 1928 the cannon was moved to the Armory in care of the American Legion. The cannon was placed in concrete and presented to the Bellefontaine Cemetery on Memorial Day of 1935. Major G.W. Kimball, the last surviving member of the Home Guard made the presentation. The cannon became vandalized at the cemetery so it was moved to the Owen Dunn Post #5.

High School Student Injured by Thrown Eraser.....1935

Ruth Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Smith suffered an injured eye at school when struck by one of the boys in the room with a blackboard eraser. The accident occurred before 8 am in the "rural section." This was the area pupils went before they were allowed to start the day in the class rooms. A number of boys had started throwing erasers at one another and poor Ruth, who was studying at the time, was accidently struck. She was taken to a specialist in Evansville and it was believed she will not lose sight in her eye. She was sent home to her parents to recover.

I Wonder What It is...The 'X-Ray Girl".....1935

The "X-Ray Girl," a mysterious attraction proved to be very popular at the Stinson Bros. Dry Goods Company. Many visited the store to see the performance without charge. "The mystery was first presented in the ancient temples of China over 2000 years ago and is being presented at the Stinson store in practically the same manner as it was in the Buddhist temples," the paper said. Well, that leaves out mechanical idea. The attraction came to Mt. Vernon after nine weeks in leading Evansville stores. Anybody got an idea?

Reno, "The Great Magician", Plays the High School.....1935

Edward Burdick, AKA, "Reno the Great, Professor Reno, and The Grand Old Man of Magic" came to Mt. Vernon with one of his delightful shows. "Reno" a name probably taken because it was short and memorable started practicing magic as a youngster in the 1870's against the wishes of his father. Reno was hurt by his father's non-acceptance and until his death in 1949 always stopped for a youngster and did a few tricks to encourage and amaze him. Reno played the circus routes and the Chautauqua circuits as an illusionist doing over 50 tricks, usually without an assistant or one from the audience. He would deliver a rapid fire commentary as he did his tricks...the ones we see all the time of pouring water into a hat and producing a dove or bringing out a rabbit. His programs could last up to two hours. His flyers proclaimed he had been on a world tour to such exotic places as India, Syria, and Egypt. No real evidence of that as it was common practice to embellish one's resume. He was born in New York and died in Illinois.

Publisher, Lawyer, Legislator Born Here Dies in Salt Lake City.....1935

Richard Shepard, 80, proprietor for 34 years of the Shephard Book Company in Utah died on a Christmas morning. Richard was born in Mt. Vernon in 1854, grew to manhood here. He became a lawyer while residing in Indiana then went west. In Colorado he was admitted to the bar in 1878 then moved to Kansas and served a term as city attorney for Anthony, Kansas and as attorney for Harper County. His next stop was Utah where he was admitted to the bar in 1892, practicing actively until 1903. Then following terms in the first and second state legislatures in 1896 and 1898 he opened a book store. So in 1901, Mr. Shephard became quickly an authority on old, rare Western volumes as well as a publisher of such. He and his store were the subject of a "Little Journey," written by Elbert Hubbard, one of the highest tributes that could be paid him.

Old Papers Surface...New to Me of Their Existence...1935-36

Boxes of old newspapers were turned into the Posey County Historical Society from the recycle center. I have looked at everything that is microfilmed in our county libraries. I have read history books that told of old publications, but I have never seen or heard of these before. They are flaking badly and yellowed and probably not worthy of being microfilmed; but I sure hope I get to look at these before they will have to be discarded. They got that old musty smell; but they deserve to be looked at for glimpses of the past. The Free Press (actually cost a nickel) but it had an office at 619 East Water Street and the editor was Wm. B. Tischendorf Jr. The papers seem to be about 8 pages long with the front page being the only local news. Two pages were pictures of national events. Some cool ads of local business too. I will try to put up a few from time to time when I get more of a chance to read them. Oh, I love finding new stuff, especially when it is old stuff!!!

Other paper picture.....1935

Trouble in River City.....1935

Mayor Herman Bray in 1935 requested that all card playing and pool playing in public card rooms and billiard parlors suspend on Sunday. If voluntary suspension does not occur he vowed to seek adoption of a city ordinance requiring such suspension.

Bishop Grocery.....1935

Traffic Problems....1935

During the week it seems there wasn't too much problem with the flowing traffic. Hell...they even had to put up "No U Turn" signs on Main Street as out-of-towners consistently did that! Well, the town fathers started painting parking spaces on the street for parallel parking and asked people who came to town on Saturday to sit on the court house stoops and gawk, not to park their cars on Main and leave them over a half an hour. Let someone else have a place.....merchants need the business.

American Legion Baseball Wins Regional Championship.....1935

Owen Dunn Post won the junior baseball tournament by beating Princeton and then Tell City 6-1 in the championship game. In earlier games they had defeated Paoli 3-2. Dale Gentil and "Dutch " Wehr were superb on the hill. Mt. Vernon lost in the State tourney 3-0 to East Chicago.

Old Man Evans Recalls His 19th Century Youth Looking Back From 1930's...

When I was a boy, milk was delivered in a tin can at 5 cents per quart, fresh county butter, with a pansy on top was 15 cents per pound, hens made money laying eggs, three dozen for a quarter, old rooster were 10 cents each, ; the butcher gave away liver and treated his customers to bologna; a kerosene lamp and stereoscope in the parlor were luxuries, people walked miles to wish their friends a Merry Christmas; the boot-jack and the Dutch oven were the main kitchen equipment; high heeled shoes and dancing pumps were unknown; the cow bell and the dinner bell made sweet music; log rolling, husking and quilting bees furnished opportunity for the strong men to show off or for gossiping women to exercise their tongue; the Virginia Reel and the quadrille dance was the occasion to trip the light fantastic toe; the country fiddler was the king; moral standing was a cherished compliment; pride and common decency were an asset to human character; the people who advocated the automobile and air machines were promptly carted off to the crazy house; the sleigh and the sled in winter and the buckboard and the family shay in summer were the principal modes of transportation; a "Jackass" was a "Jackass" then the same as now; young girls were dressed up and smart aleck boys were dressed down; powdered faces and rouged lips were found only in the "red light" district; we read "Wild West Stories" instead of going to the movies; we went to bed on the same day we got up; churches were full and the jails were empty; if a person did go to jail that person was an "outcast" from that day forward; the sanctity of the race was virtue; the ambition of a man was to own a home instead of a Ford; the desire of a wife was to have a large family and stay home and take care of it; our food was served from a fine old pastry cupboard instead of from a tin can. In this jazzing, suffragetting, pussyfooting, profiteering, excess tax and prohibition days if you think life is worth living, I sincerely wish you a Happy New Year."..............Well folks, most people seem to long for the past or see it lovingly different than it actually was...I can attest that crime existed here in Mt. Vernon since our creation and reading the papers I read of more murders then than now. The jails were seldom empty. Women and minorities didn't share in prosperity and was a white man's world, dominating and exclusive. Of course, there were pleasures of any age that we miss. Mr. Evans has a right to his opinion.

"Bird, Bird, Bird Is the Word.".....1935

Mr. Whipple, Jasper that manager and real estate agent was driving on Highway 62 from Mt. Vernon at a very high rate of speed when a flock of sparrows coming out of a field swooped down directly in the path of his car. Jasper got out, checked his automobile and counted 47 kills by the collision....."Good Evening."

Negroes to be Sent To Wadesville CCC Camp.....1935

Plans were made to send a "colored" population to the newly established Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program to Center Township. This has come under controversy and unless appeals of the community leaders mandate a transfer of white recruits and is granted this will be the case. I found no follow up to this story other than an advance group of black men had been working in the area erecting barracks on the camp site for several days. It was estimated that between 250-265 men will be moved into the camp at intervals during the following three weeks as quickly as barracks are available.

1935 New Harmony Rodeo

The Workingman's Institute had these fantastic photos that I couldn't pass up. I said I would give them credit. A few of these photos were even reproduced on postcards. Unfortunately, there are no newspapers of New Harmony between late 1861 and the end of the war. The publisher, C.W. Slater closed down the office and enlisted. The papers pick up again when he returns starting in 1867 with the New Harmony Advertiser.

Sioux at 1934 or 1935 New Harmony Rodeo

"The Rebels are Coming, The Rebels are Coming!".....1930's

Eliza Mills came driving home one Sunday in the spring at a fast rate, described like "a chicken killing gait" and reported that someone had shot at him with a cannon! He said a cannon ball had lodged inside of his car and was still hot. Investigation showed that his windshield was broken by a baseball from a foul ball as he drove by the baseball diamond at Wadesville.

Native Americans Visit New Harmony Times Office.....1935

A delegation including Henry Horse Looking, John Running Bear, Solomon Afraid of Eagle, and Frank Spotted Horse called upon the Times in town for the rodeo at the fairgrounds. One of them age 79 recalled hunting buffalo on the plains and shooting them with a bow and arrow. He could not speak English but his Sioux words were interpreted. Henry Horse Looking was a graduate of Carlisle and spoke and understood the English language well.

Posey County Prisoner Jumps in an Attempt at Suicide.....1935

Charles Ward, sentenced 2-14 years for forgery and confined at the Mill Street jail leaped from the railing around the landing at the second tier of cells and fell 15 feet, a few hours previous to his transfer to the penitentiary. Ward sustained a broken thigh and a deep gash on his forehead. The next day he was taken to the Indiana State Prison in an ambulance to begin his term behind bars.

Crisis of Romantic Sincerity.....1930's

Years ago a certain young man of Mt. Vernon wrote a very impassioned letter to his sweetheart. In part of the letter it read: "Darling, I would wade through the most blinding snow storm or laugh as I walked the blazing fires of hades to be with you" Well a short time later there was this cold spell that draped over the county and the editor overheard on the party line this conversation between the two lovers. "Say, I'm terribly sorry, but I'm afraid that I won't be over tonight. Why? It's too cold!" The editor quit listening hoping the young maiden understands.

In 1935, Mt. Vernon High School played only one baseball gme defeating Evansville Reitz 7-5 behind the great local pitcher, Alfred "Dutch" Wehr. He was the only one awarded a letter in that sport.

From 1932 -1937 Mt. Vernon dropped football until the Pocket Athletic Conference was formed in 1938. Hence, for two years, 1933 and 1934 the only athletic letters awarded were in basketball. It's amazing to me that we had some really fine athletes in those classes. Dutch Wehr pitched against many major leaguers while in the military and played semi-pro at home for many years. Dale Gentil pitched at Indiana University and pitched a no-hitter in the minor leagues. George Ashworth played football at Indiana State, was captain and is the Indiana Football Hall of Fame. Paulie Moeller played some low minors in baseball; Wesley Waterhouse was a fine player as were Ollie Willis and Bill Keck.

Idlewild Cafe Opens.....November 1934

The Idlewild opened for public patronage at the southwest corner of Second and Main streets. John Sonder was the owner and operator. The building was made with booths and tables for patrons and served sandwiches, plate lunches, drought and bottle beer as well as soft drinks.

No Hunting On Sunday.....1934

Hear ye, hear ye...the State of Indiana, Posey County brings before me the defendant who being by me first duly sworn, deposes and says that on or about the 18th day of November A.D. 1934 in the County and State aforesaid, one (say your name) did unlawfully "hunt wild game with dog and fire arm on Sunday so to do" contrary to the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana you are since found guilty and we will fine you. .....Now go over there and sit on the Group W!

Out to Kill Rats; Mortician Accidently Kills Wife.....September 1934

Mrs. Grace Sullivan Weisinger, 50, wife of Lieutenant Colonel Merle Weisinger, local mortician, was killed instantly when a rifle in the hands of her husband was accidently discharged. Mrs. Weisinger with Mrs. A.V. Weisinger, her mother-in-law, was seated in the parlor of their home on Fourth Street. Merle entered the room to get the rifle, a 22 caliber Winchester, with which he was going to shoot some rats. As he picked the gun up it was accidently discharged. The bullet entered her head from the rear, traveling forward along the base of the brain and lodging under the left eye. Death came in about ten minutes afterwards. The Lieutenant Colonel saw service in France during the First World War and was in the infantry of the federal organized reserve corps.

Rodeo in New Harmony.....August 1934

Evidently, there is some romance to a rodeo. This was put on in New Harmony by Fred Gentry. He staged a great show by all accounts. The program mentions events at the track and arena. I guess this was the old fairgrounds. It opened with a grand mounted march of contestants, Indians, Cowboys and officials. They had serpentine drill where cowboys rode around what I imagine were barrels and there were clowns and judges, timers and handlers. Clowns sometimes rode comedy mules and in one race one of the contestants was a monkey riding a horse. There was trick and fancy roping, professional calf roping, an Australian whip act, expert pistol and rifle shooting, bronco riding, Sioux Indian ceremonial costume dance, cowgirl bucking horse riding exhibition, high jumping horse, track and fancy riding exhibition, steer bulldogging contest, running race over a half mile, chariot race, wild brahma steer riding and a wild horse race. I can almost hear the announcer and the crowd as some reckless cowboy clears the chute chasing down a calf. The program shows contestants were mostly from Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The ads in the program have some Mt. Vernon flavor like Consumer's Ice Company, E.B. Schenk Hardware. The Western Star newspaper, the Reedel John Deere Company, Gronemeier Hardware, Tank Car Oil Company and the Arrow Restaurant.

High School Student Is Burned By Acids.....May 1934

Leland Terry, a junior at MVHS was seriously burned about the hands and face when two acids he was mixing in the chemistry department suddenly reacted with great force. He was brought to the office of Dr. R.L. Hardwick by Principal Rust, where it was found that his hands were horribly burned and his face slightly so. The accident occurred after school hours when Terry was in the chemistry laboratory alone at the time. He told Principal Rust that he would take all the blame for the incident, which he said would not have happened if the instructor, Charles Hames, had been present. Bearing complications, the injuries are expected to heal nicely.

Lt.-Governor Speaks At Coliseum.....May 1934

A capacity audience was present at our Memorial Coliseum to hear the address of L.-Governor M. Clifford Townsend of Indiana. Under the auspices of the county Farm Bureau, Townsend with his farm background praised Posey County after a tour. "I believe that Posey County has the best wheat of any county in the state," he said. He was loud in his praises of our farms. He explained the changing conditions of the farmer's income, his taxes, his expenses, and the value of his farm lands. "Industrialists and economists have asserted that this terrible economic crisis through which we have gone was the result of the financial crash in 1929, but in reality it began in 1921 as an aftermath of the changing conditions brought about by the World War." The future Democratic governor of Indiana would work in the future on reforming the state tax code and lead relief efforts during the 1937 Great Flood.

While Baseball Argument Continues at Athletic Park...Sportswriter/Poet Bill Causey Puts Pen to Paper....May 1934

Bill Causey was my favorite Mt. Vernon sportswriter. He was known to add some poems to his write-ups of any local sport. He was a good man; almost single handedly starting the local Little League program. On this occasion the Mt. Vernon Arrows were playing the Mt. Carmel Aces. The locals had a pretty good ball club that season with Malcolm Abell leading the way with a .443 season average and seven stolen bases, A. Templeton was the RBI leader and Cliff Bullard was the ace of the staff. There were three Kost boys on that team too. Anyway, the game was a scoreless duel into the ninth when the Mt. Vernon leadoff hitter G. Kost reached first base on a disputed play. An argument ensued and for over 20 minutes it went on. In fact Arrow fans were starting to expect them every Sunday at the ball park. It seemed like every fan in the bleachers was getting their "two cents" in also. Kost calmly sat down on the first base bag coolly drinking one of those orange sodas out of a bottle from the Mt. Vernon Creamery. Causey scribbling away on a pad wrote: "There's and expression been coined of late and no one's been able to break it; It's not the man with the pugnacious chin that leads the field and goes on to win, but it's the man or the team that can 'take it.' Baseball is like life and the living. You must fight hard and never give in. though you're six runs behind, an inning to go. There's always a chance, you can never know. And if you can 'take it' you'll win." The argument over but still simmering, the Mt. Carmel pitcher, forgot about the runner on first, discarded his stretch for a wind-up and Kost stole second and third and came home on a grounder for the win. "Hoo-ray," said the fans.

Brick Work Finished On Booker T. Washington School.....April 1934

Ed Stallman, superintendent of construction announced that all the brick work is done and it is now ready for plastering. 216,000 brick all taken from the old High School building on College Avenue now have a new home and soon will the students.

New Harmony 1930's

In 1934, the New Harmony Fairgrounds attracted over 38,000 people for the Tri-State Rodeo. A mounted march to the grounds from a downtown parade with contestants, Indians preceded it. There was bull riding, bareback riding, trick roping, Sioux ceremonial dance, etc. The Western Star reported: "Most of us know how difficult it is to gain a closed personal acquaintance with a bull in a pasture, but just imagine what it's like to take the horns of a wild steer that has probably never known what a fence is and endeavor to bring it to the record time." Other events included wild Brahma steer riding, bullfighting, and a wild horse race. People loved it and came back day after day. In 1935 a second rodeo came attracting large crowds with four ranked cowboys in attendance. A street parade included a 95 year old stage coach once belonging to Wells Fargo Company. Music was furnished by a 22 piece cowboy band and 200 Sioux tribal members pitched their teepees on the New Harmony fairgrounds.

Cheese Factory Added To Mt. Vernon Creamery.....1934

Back in 1926 the Mt. Vernon Creamery started their successful business operation at 214 College Avenue. It was founded by Holger Anderson. It was a supplier of excellent pure pasteurized milk, cream, ice cream and butter. It had five employees and made ice cream novelties like "Stick Stacks and Lolly-pops" Farmers brought in their whole milk to the creamery in ten gallon cans and a sample was taken from each one to determine the butterfat. The milk was then dumped into the pasteurizer where a constant temperature of 143 degrees is maintained for 30 minutes to kill off all injurious bacteria. Eventually it is bottled and capped and kept in a cooler for one day at a temperature of 34 degrees. The ice cream was manufactured by means of electric refrigeration. The creamery had a six ton machine that generated the current for the making of the ice in the cooler and the refrigeration for use in making the ice cream. The milk is put into the freezer where it is whirled in a rotating cylinder surrounded by small pipes through which the brine is circulating. The creamery also had a 600 pound churn from which butter is made. Then it was placed in a cutting machine where it is separated into cubes. Then the cubes are cut into pound squares and then placed in a cooler for one day to harden. The cheese factory meant the birth of a new industry in Mt. Vernon and will "add to the advancement and welfare of the community."

Court House Painted.....1934

The court house must have started looking a little shabby as local newspapers drew attention to it and called for it to be spruced up. Wow eighty years past this date almost and it looks great today. It has to be the most beautiful building in the county and one of my favorite courthouses ever. While old buildings built later are going down, this is one building we are still in awe of. I loved the outside of the Rosenbaum building and sure hope the Alles Bros. building, a home of so much history can be preserved. The Hovey Houses are important to us as is the Coliseum and the Post Office. It takes money to preserve these buildings....I hope we choose wisely.

Alexandrian Public Library.....1934

Another Alexandrian Library photo of 1934.

A few items remain...there is a drawer cabinet that once held our cards in the Indiana Room. Two other items include an old umbrella stand was remade to hold some Hoosier magazines and at least one beautiful large long table is still used. In the center is a plug and I was told it once held a light has been refinished and looks strong enough to last another century.

Mt.Vernon Library.....1934

Mt. Vernon Library.....1934

Another Government Program That Benefited Mt. Vernon.....1934

Some call it socialism, this redistribution of wealth from one neighborhood to another. That's how we got a Coliseum, a post office and now a grant for revitalized riverfront. Grants will come for a new police station too I believe. Back in 1933 the first Booker T. Washington School burned from a defective flue at Third and Owen Streets. Roosevelt came in as President and started many New Deal programs to stimulate the economy. One of his big ideas was the Civil Works Administration (CWA). The new BTW school was built by workers from the C.W.A. and the Public Works Administration. That program paid minimum wage for "shovel ready" work. The materials came from the old high school that was located on College Avenue and then then that area became College Avenue Park until the new Alexandrian Public Library was built. Booker T. Washington was used as a school until 1953 with high school students being integrated into the high school on Canal Street during the 1949-50 school year.

Acting Chief of Police Killed in Gun Battle on College Avenue....1934

A battle of revolvers on College Avenue between First and Second streets resulted in the death of acting Chief of Police Robert Randolph and Stephen Hembes, a concrete worker on State Highway 62, whom the officer was attempting to arrest for intoxication. Hembes had been drinking heavily during the afternoon and a half hour previous to the gun battle had been ordered to go home by Chief Randolph and patrolman Bevens. Following along in a patrol car to make sure the man went home they were crusing along College Avenue when Hembes fired three shots from his Colt revolver with the third shot hitting the officer. Randolph fired three shots from his Smith & Wesson pistol hitting Hembes in the temple. Randolph had been a Mt. Vernon policeman for 25 years and was a native of New Harmony. Hembes was born in Mt. Vernon and had an excellent reputation; except when he was drinking.

Memoirs of Civil War Days Here..... 1861-1865

In the 1890's records of the Committee of Safety organization were discovered on the shelves of the First National Bank. All these documents were turned over to Major G.W. Kimball, adjutant of Harrow Post, Grand Army of Republic, to be placed in with the Post's records. In 1934, Kimball disclosed some of the contents for the first time publicly. The first meeting of the committee of safety, the records show, was the morning of April 20, 1861 in the Clerk's office. Hostilities along the northern boundary of Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Mt. Vernon, prompted our meeting, which had charge of various military components. Those present at the first meeting were E.R. James, J.D. Hinch, John Burtis, John Mann, John Pitcher, E.T. Sullivan, Joseph Edson, H.P. Casselberry, J.M. Lockwood, Thomas Newman, Charles Haas, Joseph Showers, John B. Gardiner, William Nettleton, Absalom Mackey, J.H. Chaffin, Jacob Dieterle, John M. Barter, Joseph F. Welborn, A.P. Hovey, and Milton Black. At the first meeting the governor was asked to provide arms and ordinance. The board of trustees of Mt. Vernon was asked for $1000 for the defense of the town and the finance committee was instructed to purchase all the powder that could be found in the town. That same afternoon a second meeting was held at which the first company of Mt. Vernon artillery, 210 men in command of Captain Jesse Oatman, reported for duty. Another semi-military unit of 100 men became known as "The Home Guard.' They were under Captain A.P. Hovey. We also had the Union Guard under the command of Captain Ferdinand Koch, the Mt. Vernon Guards, in charge of Captain William Larkin and the Posey Boys with R.F. Barter as captain. That sounds like a lot of units considering most young men were already in the war. At a meeting two days later, the Posey County commissioners asked for an appropriation for defense. All noisy demonstrations now became illegal on the city streets and no boys were permitted out after 10 PM at night. Strange to me during war time that no flags were allowed to be displayed from any business house, the court house or private residence for the duration. Seven days later they changed their minds regarding the display of the flag as Absalom Mackey was appointed to procure and erect a flag on the court house. Guards were put on the city streets starting in May of 1861. "All places of business within the town of Mt. Vernon shall be required to close up precisely at 10 PM and all persons found on the streets after that hour shall give an account of themselves to the officer on watch, and if not satisfactory such person or persons shall be put under arrest until morning, when legal proceedings shall be instituted against them." The committee passed a resolution in early May sending kindest feelings to their Kentucky neighbors and stood ready at the call to those who stood with the Union. On May 15th, a delegation from Kentucky visited Mt. Vernon and confirmed continued amicable relations and "friendly relations to the end by pledging our lives, fortunes and sacred honors." The meetings continued every Wednesday it seems and the last meeting recorded was August 20. 1861. At that meeting it was ordered that the trustees be authorized to take 100 guns and place them in the hands of the citizens for the defense of the town. Although no record is made of the incident, Major Kimball informed us that a company of Home Guards crossed the Ohio to repel the rebels during 1861 and this invasion was called the "Hovey Raid." My reading of this was that it was very controversial and atrocities may have been done. Five pieces of artillery were received here and were placed at advantageous points along the river front.

Negro Veteran of Civil War Dies.....1934

Josiah Foster, 93, Civil War veteran as a private in Company K, 111th regiment of the U.S. Colored Infantry, died at his home at 421 East Ninth Street. Funeral was at the Colored Methodist Church and burial at the colored Odd Fellow cemetery. The death of Foster left but one colored Civil War veteran in Mt. Vernon....William Tinsley.

200 Year Old Spectacles On Display.....1934

A pair of eye glasses over two hundred years old in the possession of Dr. N.N. Williams, Mt. Vernon dentist, were on display in the show window of Ike Rosenbaum, local jeweler and optometrist. They were hand made with rims and temples of wrought iron and the latter of hinged design. The lenses were very small. They originally belonged to Dr. Williams' great-great grandmother and were brought from England in 1740.

Indian Chiefs at New Harmony Rodeo.....1934

Among the Indians at the Tri-State Rodeo which drew large crowds was Chief Search the Enemy, a son of Yellow Robe who was a great warrior and powerful Chief of the Sioux, Chief Shout At was there who was known by his good nature and so was Red Goose, who was present at the "Custer Massacre." White Shield, who was a great dancer, was also in attendance. These Indians along with others were from the Rosebud division of the great Sioux tribe. They camped at a village of their own at the fairgrounds and played Lacrosse, put on many dances and participated in trick riding and roping. They were in charge of Clarence Cordry, who spent 30 years as a government agent among the Sioux and other Native American tribes. The local Boy Scouts also had an opportunity to study woodcraft and Indian lore from the Chiefs. Two carloads of Brahma bulls and steers were shipped in from Sonora, Mexico for the rodeo. Two people were hurt during the rodeo, but not seriously, and the affair was said to have been a financial success. Shorty Ricker, the world champion bulldogger was on hand and wrestled down a 1500 pound steer in less than 4 seconds.

Famous Evangelist Speaks in Mt. Vernon on Dangers of Integration....1934

Rev. E.J. Rollins, internationally known evangelist from Detroit accepted an invitation by the First Christian Church and helped lead a revival at the Coliseum. He was famous international figure and spoke at many undenominational services and at chautauquas. He was a favorite at law enforcement and was praised by "Billy" Sunday, Homer Rodeheaver, and Harry Clarke, also famous religious leaders of that time. He made a name for himself speaking of the dangers of racial integration and spoke of it in an aggressive way that stirred up his congregations. He was in the Billy Graham Motor City Crusade of 1953. Billy Sunday wrote of Rollins: "I have known him for years. He is a gospel preacher and conducts great meetings in Detroit every summer and has my absolute confidence and backing as a God fearing person."

1934 Sioux Native Americans are Part of New Harmony Rodeo

38,000 people came for the Tri-state rodeo. A mounted march to the grounds from a downtown parade with contestants, Indians preceded it. There was bull riding, bareback riding, Sioux ceremonial dance, etc. In 1935 a second rodeo came attracting large crowds with four ranked cowboys in attendance. A street parade included a 95 year old stage coach once belonging to the Wells Fargo Company. Music was furnished by a 22 piece cowboy band and 200 Sioux tribal members pitched their teepees on the New Harmony fairgrounds.

Airplane Flights at Grover Keck's Farm.....1934

Two planes for passengers, under the auspices of Keck Motor Company began fights for citizens at a charge at Grover Keck's farm east of Mt. Vernon on State Highway 62. The tri-motored all metal Ford cabin monoplanes with an open cockpit arrived here from Bloomington. The first six to ride were some of Mt. Vernon's finest: Charles Knowles, Philip Rowe, Paul L. Short, Beuford Alldredge, Grover Keck, and Clinton Maurer.

Hundreds Line Fourth Street to Watch Cavalry Unit Pass By On Way To Ft. Riley......1934

Schools closed, business was virtually suspended and our military delegation including Lieutenant Colonel Merle Weissinger, Edward Alles, President of Commerce Dr. Jenkinson and Captain Philip Rowe stood by and watched the First Cavalry unit of the United States Army, established in 1838 move along our streets towards the New Harmony Bridge. The unit included 587 men, 37 officers and 200 motor vehicles, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Adna Chaffee. They had been on the move from Ft. Knox Kentucky to Ft. Riley, Kansas for summer maneuvers. One of the four Christy tanks had caught fire in Evansville and broke the regiment in half, resulting that the outfit passed through Mt. Vernon in two mains. They were making about 150 miles a day and had camped in Owensboro, Kentucky and would camp again at McCleansboro, Illinois on their way westward.

1934 Griffin High School Sectional Champs

Coach Ray Goldman said, "None of my players wanted to sit beside me on the bench because I pinched their knees in the excitement of the moment." The Tornados defeated the Wildcats twice that season including the Posey County Tourney Championship game.

Ira Rothrock Pharmacy.....1934

Born just west of the first state capital of Indiana...Corydon he spent his early days working on a farm doing the chores that farmers do. His first job away from home was driving a rig....a five team binder and threshing outfit. At age 24 he moved to Mt. Vernon and soon he was off to war in France. When the "world was safe for democracy," Ira joined his brother in business until 1929 and his brother went to Evansville. The Rothrock pharmacy seems to have been a very serious place. It was located on Main Street, formerly Dawson's Drugs. Later it became Culley's. Ira was a Mason, an Elk and a member of the American Legion. He served 8 years in the National Guard and helped organize Battery E, 139th Field Artillery. He wasn't much on hobbies it seems other than reading. Very pronounced and definite in his opinions. He wasn't "wishy-washy." I met him just one day at the draft board in 1969.....I will leave it to your imagination of how that one worked out. I hope I didn't upset him so as he died in 1971. At his store he didn't believe in "soda jerks," and fountains. He was there to fill prescriptions. "You step into my store and you realize that it is a drug store."

Mt. Vernon Native James Posey in Jail with John Dillinger When he Escapes from Crown Point.....March 1934

James Posey,26, Negro cellmate of Herbert Youngblood, who escaped with John Dillinger from jail at Crown Point, Indiana with a fake gun decided to stay in the jail rather than escape with the famous criminal. Posey born and raised in Mt. Vernon had resided in Gary Indiana for the past few years. Posey accompanied Dillinger and Youngblood to the jail garage, but then decided he was not going to go. Dillinger whittled a rail of a washboard with a razor handle and painted it black with shoe polish to fool the guards. John escaped with machine guns. He took a hostage to drive him to Chicago and then it became a federal manhunt with the FBI which ultimately led to Dillinger's death. Dillinger after acquiring the Thompson machine guns raked his fake pistol across the cell bars in front of the police, grinned and said, "This is what I did it with." Posey was in jail for a robbery charge and before Dillinger was killed he was expected to be an important witness at a future grand jury trial.

California Orangeade Bottled by Mt. Vernon Creamery..1934

The summer of 1934 brought a new line at the local Mt. Vernon Creamery on College Avenue. Bireley's Orange soda drink was the product. It was pasteurized, non-carbonated and was a "healthful beverage of fruit juices of tree ripe Valencia oranges and a dash of lemon juice sweetened." It was placed in town at most "refreshment parlors" at 5 cents a bottle and could be delivered to your home by calling the creamery.

Town Square.....1934

The First Booker T. Washington School in Mt. Vernon Is Destroyed by Fire.....November 1933

At that time it was the oldest school building in the city, built in 1872 by contractor Edward Brown. You have heard of Brown Street haven't you? Well, there you go. Carpentry work was done by Edward Brown, Sam Houts and William Smith. The building was framed by Adam Zuinger and Tom Alelen was the principal brick layer. Lumber was furnished by Charles Smith of Mt. Vernon (lumber yard, later Mt. Vernon Lumber) and Langstaff and Orm of Paduch, Ky., who shipped material here by flatboat. It was originally the Eastern School for white pupils.

Mt. Vernon's First Tri-State Fair.....October 1933

The four day fair had many activities. There was an open house at the Memorial coliseum where they served around 800 each day. Motor boat races were held at the riverfront and one boat piloted by a local man had his motor fall off into the river. Clifford Tribble of Owensboro, KY, thrilled the crowd with his plane doing snap rolls, inside loops, power dives, tail spins and falling leaps. He also performed the very difficult outside from an inverted position. His Waco taper winged plane was equipped with a 225 horsepower Curtis Wright whirlwind motor. Boxing and wrestling matches were held at the court square. Merle Weissinger was the referee for the three events. The Owen Dunn Post No. 5 did an exhibition drill in a splendid manner. A little boy did a dance number and then we were entertained by an accordion expert. Free circus acts followed with trapeze, swinging ladder and iron jaw butterfly acts. Don LaVola, a Cuban slack wire walker of merit walked the line at 18 foot. 1500 people jammed the coliseum for the beauty contest with every seat taken and people standing in every nook and corner of the building. Miss Nellie Bailey of our city was crowned queen and was given a gift from the Ike Rosenbaum jewelry store. A free dance followed and the kids partied late. There were exhibits that featured an art show at the Alles Bros. furniture store, an antique show at the coliseum and a flower show at the Elk's home. Mt. Vernon high school boys appeared and did an excellent tumbling act. There were over 100 entries in the pet parade and prices were given away like for the animal with the longest tail, most comical outfit, ugliest dog, smallest pig, prettiest pony, and the largest rabbit. There were tap dancers, and even a rolling pin throwing contest for distance and accuracy. Over 8000 saw all the events it was estimated.

Mt. Vernon Mill Opens.....September 1933

Operation of the new mill of the Mt. Vernon Milling Company, built on the site of the structure destroyed by fire a year ago opened. It will produce pearl hominy, hominy feed grits, corn meal, and corn oil and be able to convert 5000 bushels of corn each 24 hours. It was expected to provide employment of more than 100 persons. When the old mill was destroyed it had employed 92 people. The new mill is five stories in height, and a warehouse of three stories. Frank Keck is President of the Mill. So, when you are out and about check out the mill and look around....there is a pumpkin show on Main Street at the Standard Oil station, a clover seed show at Gronemeier's, a squash show at Strack's, a soy bean show at Oscar Keck's Craft Shop, a bailed hay show at the J.J. Moll feed and seed store, and the tallest stalks of corn around or on show at the Neu Way Cleaners and the Walton Maytag Company.

No Surprise...Posey Chooses Being Wet Over Dry.....June 1933

In December Prohibition would be repealed with the 21st Amendment ending alcohol prohibition mandated by the 18th Amendment. The election in Posey County of June 6 went smoothly and quietly. About 50% of the registered voters turned out to vote 3037 for ratification and 1037 against. Shortly afterwards Charles Joest became the first retailer of beer in Mt. Vernon with his restaurant at the corner of Second and Main. The Elks Club was dispensing the beverage also. The wet delegates were Albert Heckmann of New Harmony and John Moeller of Mt. Vernon. One Democrat and one Republican they were and they went to the convention June 26, to represent our county as delegates for a vote on repealing the 18th Amendment. "The Public" newspaper, predicted the vote would be dry and explained to the voters where to place their X....Sorry about your luck.

"Colored" Fraternities Hold Lincoln Birthday Progarm....February 1933

Walden lodge and Sheba chapter, "colored" fraternities of Mt. Vernon held a Lincoln birthday program at Community Hall Sunday afternoon before a large audience. The program included an address by Mrs. Sallie Stewart, president of the women's federation of clubs. Entertainment was provided by a jug band of Lincoln High School of Evansville.

A Depression Christmas.....1933

Stallman's Grocery at 417 East Third Street opened on October 5th with a complete line of groceries, notions and school supplies. Phone 319-J. Within just weeks of opening burglars entered the store in midweek but received little for their trouble only three or four packages of cigarettes. No cash was stolen. An unlocked safe was ransacked as was an empty cash register. The thieves gained entrance by breaking the glass in a rear window and releasing a lock after they had made a crude attempt to "jimmy" the window.

"Santa Claus will visit more homes in Mt. Vernon and Posey County this year than was anticipated several weeks ago. His visit has been made possible through our President and our governor in their program of relief work. Many a child, and even the mother and father, would have gone through the holidays of 1933 without a crumb of bread, much less some delicacy. It is a blessing that this program is working smoothly at this time and many men who have not had an opportunity to earn a dollar for the past two years are now at work and are happy. In these homes Santa will appear not with a heaping bag but with enough to change a nothingness Christmas into a cheerful one. Christmas time is for the children and they are to be made happy." That December over 200 toys were repaired and painted by city fireman, wives of fireman and Boy Scout Troup 1. Later the Boy's Booster Club of the high school volunteered. The Elks Lodge had a Christmas tree party and the toys were distributed to children under the age of twelve that would not have received a visit from Santa. Santa Claus presented the toys in person and each child also received a gift of nuts, fruits, and candies. Manager Davis of the New Vernon theatre also provided the poor children with a Christmas morning show featuring Will Rodgers in "Dr. Bull" and "The Pied Piper" as well as a short comedy of "The Three Little Pigs."

E.H Fuhrer Looks Back on Fifty Years of Milling Industry.....1933

President of the Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company looked back on his career at the same business in the same location in Mt. Vernon. In 1883 the first mill was erected on the site of the present structure, and then known as the Fuhrer, Boyce & Company. W. C. Fuhrer, father of the present milling company president was head of that mill and the late George Washington Boyce was also connected with the company. This mill was the first complete steel roller mill west of the Allegheny Mountains. On October 19 of that year E.H. entered the employ of the company as a common laborer. He saw the plant change hands a number of times. The property was next acquired by W.C. Fuhrer and company, one of the owners being D. J. Mackey. Still later the mill was purchased by the Kaufman Milling Company of St. Louis. In 1899 the mill was destroyed by fire and the Kaufman Company withdrew from the field and the plant was reorganized with W.C. Fuhrer as president and E.H. Fuhrer as secretary-treasurer. Following the death of W.C., William Ford became president and upon his death E.H. was elevated to president. The present mill was erected in 1900 and is of brick construction and three stories high and has the capacity of 600 barrels daily. Mammoth concrete and steel wheat bins provide a storage capacity of 150,000 bushels and an elevator of 45,000 bushels capacity provides storage for corn. Dictator is the chief brand of flour manufactured and the greater portion of the output is sold in the southern markets. The Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company is strictly a Mt. Vernon institution, the entire personnel from the president down to the most humble laborer, being residents of this city. E.H. was born here in 1864 on the site of the present Paul Sort undertaking establishment on Main Street. He is connected with the People's Bank & Trust company as a director and has extensive farm lands locally.

Prohibition, Volstead Act and 3.2 Beer.....1933

The 18th amendment was passed in 1919; Indiana was the 27th state to pass it out of the 46 states that voted for it. Of course, we all know prohibition was a failure, the jails filled up with shiners and in early 1933 the Volstead Act was passed allowing 3.2 or near beer to be produced. When it rolled into Posey County in a truck produced by Falls City Brewing Company of Louisville it was sold for $2.75 a case, including a dollar for deposit for the case. Local residents were allowed only one case per day. Business was swift. In a local vote, Posey County voted to return to being "wet." Albert Heckman and John Moeller were the delegates to the Indiana Convention for the repeal of the 18th Amendment. The "wets" carried 56 of the 92 counties in Indiana and became the 10th state to repeal the law. The 21st Amendment ended prohibition later that year.

Ann Hovey; MV Film Actress.....1933-1938

Ann was a chorus girl and minor film actress of the 1930's, primarily in B movies. Born in Mt. Vernon into the prominent Hovey family, she was a descendant of Alvin Peterson Hovey, General of the Union army in the Civil War and governor of Indiana from 1888-1891. Her mother had been part of the San Francisco high society scene until marrying Ann's father, a prominent banker. She began appearing in films in 1933, her first being 42nd Street starring Ginger Rogers and Warner Baxter. Her first credited role was the 1933 film Private Detective, starring William Powell. She was in six films that year and three in 1934. She was selected as one of thirteen girls to be "WAMPAS Baby Stars". In 1935 she was in one film called Circus Shadows. Dark haired and pretty, Hovey caught the eye of studios and in 1936 was signed by RKO. That year she was placed in her most memorable role in a supporting role to cowboy film star Tom Keene and Joan Barclay in the western The Glory Trail. In 1937 she appeared in five films and in 1938 she appeared in her final role in Flirting with Fate. That year she married William Crowelll of the Crowell Publishing Company and retired from acting. She later was divorced and married Robert Husey, a press agent, to whom she would remain, married to until her death at age of 96 in 2007. Born in 1912, she attended grade school in Mt. Vernon and in June 1929 graduated from high school. She studied music and dramatics in Chicago. She was 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 98 pounds. She was of French-Irish extraction and had brown hair and dark brown eyes.

The First Booker T. Washington School.....1869-1933

Originally called the Eastern School and it was then used by white students. Carpentry work was done by one of our best, Edward Brown, Sam Houts and William Smith. Tom Allen was the main bricklayer and the framing done by Adam Quinzer, Charles Smith, and Charles Springer of Mt. Vernon. Material was shipped from Kentucky by flatboats for the construction. It was for a time the oldest public school building in the city. It was located at 3rd and Owen Streets at the east end of town which was called Belleville back then. Fire was believed to have been caused by an overheated coal stove.

MVHS circa 1933

MVHS circa 1933 before the distinctive concrete wall was constructed. Opened February 22, 1929. Auditorium had seating capacity of 750. Picture appeared in 1933 Western Star, but could be older.

Former Resident Describes Long Beach Earthquake of 1933

Roy Utley at the time was living in Coachella, California, 131 miles east of Long Beach where the quake was most severe. "The quake (later said to be a 6.4 magnitude) started at exactly 5:55 P.M. (Pacific Coast Time) and lasted for more than a minute. I was sitting near the radio listening to the news of the banking situation and all of a sudden the radio stopped and the lights of our store flashed as though a severe electrical storm was approaching. Then I look toward the back bar of our soda fountain and it was rocking end-wise, just as a log or board would on a rough body of water. Then I ran from the building into the street, only to see hundreds of others there also. The quake shook the earth so hard that telephone wires swayed to and fro for five minutes after the shock. At the time of the quake my wife and baby were visiting in Colton, 81 miles away and I tried to get a long distance call to them and it was one hour and 15 minutes before the call was completed. Long Beach, a city of 160,000 was almost entirely demolished and 63 are known to be dead and 1000 injured with property damage of 25 million dollars. Ten thousand sailors and marines and many American Legion are protecting property and the city is under martial law and all telephone communication is disrupted. Water mains and gas lines are broken and people are boiling their water. In the beautiful Lincoln Park in Long Beach are tents, emergency hospitals and relief stations. In another small town, Compton people are living in the public square and loads of oranges, cabbage, flour, etc., have been piled up there to help in the relief work. It was here that a giant gas tank burst, and 85,000 gallons of gasoline flooded the streets. Please pray for us!" The earthquake thankfully happened after school was out. 230 schools were destroyed or severely damaged in the quake. New laws were enacted after the quake setting guidelines for earthquake resistant schools.

As Others See Us.....1933

The following article on Mt. Vernon appeared in the Hagerstown, Indiana Exponent:" The southwest section of the state offers some interesting surprises if you have never toured the pocket. Mount Vernon, county seat of Posey County, is a quaint town, full of rich history and interesting characters. If you're the great granddaughter of the ex-governor Hovey of Indiana or the grandnephew of a former ambassador you're all set. You don't necessarily need a lot of sheckles in your pocket but you must have "blue blood" in your veins. The town has some talented musicians, well-read physicians and lawyers. Most of the farms are owned by large land owners and tilled by tenants. It is common to see farms of 100 to 1000 acres. Horses are rare. In this section they have Hinnies, a cross breed between a mule and a stallion. They stand hilly country better than horses. The Saturday night shoppers in this section are interesting to study. Fishing and duck hunting are favorite sports. Hovey's Lake, a short distance from Mt. Vernon, offers both. The fish include chiefly cat, crappies, buffalo, carp and bass. Three hunters recently shot 73 ducks and were prosecuted for bagging more than the limit. The bottom of the Ohio River belongs to Kentucky and you can fish in a boat as long as you don't have it anchored. As soon as you drop an anchor you're on Kentucky soil. Cypress and pecan trees are plentiful. Pecans sell for ten cents a pound and they beg you to buy them! A 650 acre stock farm is located on an island. The only woman on the island is a "negro mammy" who keeps house. Corn is raised in the lowlands and farmers there depend on the overflow of the river to fertilize. Some years it floods and they work desperately to save their crops. Houses and barns here are built on stilts so they will be above the water mark and during flood seasons the least expensive homes are deserted.

"Retired Rube" Goes Historical.....1933

?Retired Rube was the pen name of John S. Williams a retired school teacher in Mt. Vernon. Back in the thirties he would write some short stories in the Western Star as well as some great one liners on everyday life. On this particular day he said that Mt. Vernon was never called McFadin's Bluff by the pioneers. A point about a mile and half below Mt. Vernon was called however, "Hagemann rocks." He went on to say that two McFadin brothers lived on the high bluff down there and each had a log cabin about forty yards apart, "and they gave no posterity the name McFadin's Bluff." He said they left no descendants. Another McFadin family lived at the foot of what is now College Avenue and that family contributed the name McFadin's Landing. The head of this family was a cousin of the two other heads. His first name was Andrew, nicknamed "Teedle-de-dum." One of his five children, Katie, grew up to maturity and married Thomas Black, a great uncle of "Retired Rube."

Retired Rube tells a Fish Story and a little History.....1933

"One hot day in July when I was a boy eight or ten years old, I went to my grandpap's to ketch him a mess of fish. There was a small, muddy pond down in a sink hole in his field about 75 yards from the house which was full of little mudcats. I remember running nearly all the way over there and that I was awfully hot when I arrived. Also that grandpap said: "Why Johnnie, you have been runnin' like a work hoss. Sot down in the shade of the house, lean you back again' the wall and, here take this turkey wing fan and fan yourself. I don't intend to let you do no fishin' till you cool off." And I like a dutiful grandchild, "sot down" with my back to the wall and used the turkey wing fan rather vigorously. After I'd blowed awhile, I asked: "Grandpap, how big a place was McFadin's Landin' when you named it Mt. Vernon?" "Oh, hit wern't much of a place. There was only one store, three cooper shops, eleven saloons, five dwellin' houses and three or four houses built out over the river on posts. Then, threw was a sort of a blacksmith and gunsmith shop combined, but the feller that kept hit didn't git much to do 'cause us old pioneers managed to do most of our own blacksmithin' and gunfixin'. There was lots of drinkin' andn fightin' goin' on most of the time. You see, they was a big sand bar right out in front of the town and a steamboat landin' at the foot of hit, whicht give the town hits name. Sometimes there'd be a lot of flatboats tied up along the bar and their crews would all make for the saloons, and first thing you know some feller would start a fight. You see them flatboaters wuz a rough set, and so wuz the people of the town. Sometimes there'd be a big old steamboat at the landin' with 30 or 40 roust-a -bouts loadin' cord wood and all of 'em singin' as they trotted back and forth, nevery carryin' more'n one stick ata time. They sang "Nellie Gray," "Old Black Joe" and a lot of others." "Hit sounded like about 40 hives of bees all buzzlin' at onct. But clear out now, and ketch me a mess of feesh." I did and we cleaned white peerch and buffalo feeshes all day long sitting on a hickory log and tellin' stories."

Mt. Vernon Circus Performer Dies.....1933

Vincent Keefer, 62, was a battle ax juggler! Now that sounds bad. What would make you want to do that? Vince was the son of Ed, a cobbler in the city for many years that had a frame building on Main Street were later the Old First National Bank became located. As a youngster he lived on Mill Street opposite the county jail. For many years he made annual trips with show and carnival companies. With his brother they formed the team of Kiralfo Bros. and appeared in many circuses and on Chautauqua circuits during the 1880's. The juggling team was with the Wallace circus in 1888 and played with the famous "Black Crook" company through Texas. They appeared with the Terrell Brothers circus in 1889. He later moved to Evansville.

Vine Pruner, Gift from 65 Years Prior, Still in Use in 1933

When Fred Freimiller, 84, a well-known Mt. Vernon horticulturist was seen around town trimming grape vines and shrubbery for people, few realize that the vine pruner he was using was a piece of history. The pruner he had was over 65 years old and was presented to him by an employer when Mr. Freimiller worked in a flower garden in his home town of Zurich, Switzerland. The pruner was given to him as a New Year's present. Freddie came to the United States in 1871 and located in Mt. Vernon, shortly afterwards and brought with him his pruner. During all these intervening years he has used the tool in his work and continued to remain in good condition and Freimiller wouldn't trade it for a carload of new ones. "A piece of home."

Pastors Speak on Death Penalty and Smoking to Kiwanis Gathering.....1933

I can just see the local Kiwanis squirming in their seats, putting out their butts as local religious leaders from the tri-state talk about sin. One Methodist parson said, "The Christian teaching is that the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I think you'd have to call smoking a sin." A Roman Catholic said, "Those who fail to make a reasonable effort to stop smoking are committing a sin by unnecessarily incurring a danger to their health." A Rabbi jumped in and said, "Moderate smoking is not sinful but we are against chain smoking. A Southern Baptist exclaimed, "Those Christians using tobacco were hurting the cause of Christ." One minister said: "I am not prepared to call smoking a sin because the surgeon general's report on smoking was not completely conclusive." That's a good one. Maybe, one day they will write it on the side of the pack. hahaha. Now we get to the good stuff.....murderous capital punishment. They all seemed to be in agreement here that the death penalty was a deterrent to murder. The pastor of the Christian Church here in Mt. Vernon said: "The homicide rate will not be decreased until the criminals are given to understand that they cannot hold life lightly." I wonder what they would think of the many innocent men who died legally by the hands of men who were innocent? Jesus himself was a victim of capital punishment. Thomas Jefferson himself said: "I shall ask for the abolition of the punishment of death until I have the infallibility of human judgment demonstrated to me." And if you are into theology....I like Romans 12:17: "Recompense to no man evil for evil."

Memorial Day.....1933

Major G.W. Kimball, adjutant of Harrow Post, G.A.R. read the general orders and Damian Ofer delivered Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address. Music included numbers by Mrs. Frank Fessenden, "Peace to the Grave, and "Let Us Have Peace," accompanied on the violin by Miss Barbara Fessenden. Rev. Buroker spoke on the subject, "Are We Americans?" Some of his remarks included: "To be an American requires something more than birth. But I wonder if we have not made too much of this matter of American birth, for it alone is no proof of one's Americanism. Benedict Arnold was born in America. Aaron Burr, who rose to the vice-presidency, though he was born in America, was guilty of treason. The larger part of our criminals could boast as well as us of their American birth. To be an American goes beyond the use of a ballot, for most people vote not as Americans, but as a political party. But party regularity does not put the seal of purity upon citizenship. In the final analysis it makes but little difference to which party a man belongs today, for the difference between the two parties is the difference between Tweedle-Dee-Dee and Tweedle-Dee-Dum. In one party there is moral rottenness and in the other there is political corruption. Loyalty and fidelity to the ideals of the nation are the things which make one an American in the truest and finest sense of the word." Following the address, the Woman's Relief Corps conducted ritualistic services placing flowers on the graves of veterans. After the benediction, a firing squad of the American Legion fired a salute over the graves and a bugler sounded "Taps."

Six Decades of MV Speakers Represented at High School Program.....1933

A unique program commemorating the observance of new and old graduates attracted over 300 to the Mt. Vernon auditorium. Music was furnished by the Mt. Vernon High School orchestra under the direction of Prof. Norman Beeson. In opening the session, M.N. O'Bannon, superintendent of schools stated that this high school was commissioned in 1874. For sixty years the Mt. Vernon High School has been recognized in the highest class by the state of Indiana. "There are 874 high schools, and Mt. Vernon is one of the 127 first class schools. Of 1,624 graduates from Mt. Vernon during the past sixty years, 713 were boys and 911 girls. In checking we have found graduates in all states of the union and foreign countries." A.S. Gronemeier, member of the class of 1895 and member of the board of school trustees, presided over the meeting. Mr. Gronemeir said, "It is quite a distinction to be able to say you are a graduate of the Mt. Vernon High School, whether it was back in 1874 or in 1933. We have only thank our good city and the good taxpayers for this wonderful institution, which has been kept going during the period of depression and we expect to maintain the same high standard in the years to come." The oldest living graduate, Thomas Brown of 1878 graduated in a class of five students. "In order to secure your diploma, it was necessary to write and delivery your own speech from memory. The fear was often expressed then by the public of too much education and discouraged." Brown told the recent graduates to smile and work and allow no side tracks along the way." James Blackburn, graduate of 1891, stated that his classmates were not so far different from today. "A uniform course of study was adopted by the state legislature in 1889 that made a great improvement in rural schools." His closing comments were of the making of great men , in military, literary and political life from Mt. Vernon. William Egil, graduate of 1897 spoke of his youth and that only one member of his class had passed away. He felt the students of today were granted more privileges then the strict upbringing of his time and felt that was better. "If I have any recommendations to offer, I would suggest that the Bible should be taught, and we should reveal political waste." Other speakers gave addresses to including M.W. Fuhrer a graduate of 1910.

"My Baby; She Wrote Me A Letter".....1933

Back when "leaving on a jet plane" was unusual. Miss Jesse Lamb of eastern Lynn Township wrote her mother in route by airplane from Chicago to New York. Of course this was before jet airlines. She wrote: "I am now 6000 feet in the air on one of the fastest planes of the United Air Lines and what a thrill it has been. This is the most perfect means of transportation-so smooth, clean and pleasant. The world is certainly beautiful from up here. We left Chicago at 9:30 in the morning and at 4:30 we will be in New York City. We are running along now at about 115 miles per hour but it seems as if we are hardly moving. We are now passing over Lake Erie and will soon be passing over the mountains. This is a wonderful experience and one that I will always remember."


The Mt. Vernon Creamery announced a cash prize of $5 in gold to the person submitting the best name for their new confection....a chocolate nut sundae on a stick. The new treat is already been put on sale to local dealers. No word on what they called about "Sundae Nutty Bar?"

Charles Smith Lumber...Later Mt. Vernon Lumber.....1933

This business was one of the oldest in Mt. Vernon history right up there with the Alles Bros. Furniture Store and Forthoffer Bottling Works. Established in 1868 by the late Charles Smith and his son Charles Jr., the mill at that time was located at Sycamore and Sawmill. That mill was destroyed by fire in 1886 and in 1888 the plant was rebuilt on West Second Street. Many sons followed keeping the original name....C. Edward, Ira, and Clinton. Around 1925 there was another terrible fire and over $30,000 of materials were destroyed. Having faith in the community the buildings were promptly rebuilt. Eventually, in the early 30's they acquired a nearby concrete plant and then were able to supply concrete as well as lumber, shingles, roofing, sashes, door and window frames and building materials in general.

Arrow Restaurant.....1933

The Arrow Restaurant became the newest Mt. Vernon eatery. Located at 219 Main Street, it was here you could buy a plate lunch, special order sandwiches, with draft or bottled beer. They were also a sponsor for the local semi-pro baseball team.

Local Circus Performer Dies.....1933

F.V. Kiefer, known as Vincent Kiralfo, once a juggler for Barnum & Bailey's, Ringling Bros. Circus died at his sisters in Cynthiana. Born in Mt. Vernon he was a regular on vaudeville, circus, and Chautauqua circuits. He died 60 years to the day of his birthday.

Tank Car Oil Company.....1933

Located at 1000 Walnut Street in Mt. Vernon. It had gas back then at around 16 cents a gallon. They featured Goodrich tires and tubes and the store was under the direction of Mr. Dalton Alldredge. Pull up and the boys will be waiting at the pump to put in your gas and oil as well as look over the water, air, and windshield. They carry the very best petroleum products so don't you fret none. Let them drain your crankcase and fill it up. Here you got more for your money so tell your friends. They fix flats too so I'll see you there!

Old Hand Press Goes to New Harmony Museum.....1933

Over three quarters of a century for the New Harmony Register and as the New Harmony Advertiser was put in by this Washington hand press. It had printed the papers of editors Harry Slater and his father Charles before him and was retired when the Register closed business. The press, a six-column, two page press, or at least part of it was to print the Western Atlas and the Gleaner, which papers preceded the New Harmony Advertiser. It was known as the oldest Washington press in service in the state and was believed to have been the oldest of its type left intact in the country. It was well over a century old. There were seven fonts of wood type, all made in New Harmony by hand some time prior to 1850, perhaps by Josiah Warren. The two imposing stones each 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 feet were originally made for grave stones and bear the inscriptions carved upon them. New Harmony was a Rappite community and it was the custom to cover the grave with these stones. The museum also received complete files going back to 1858. In addition all the antique furniture of the weekly was donated. Within the pigeon holes of an old desk were found many old and interesting pamphlets, papers and books. Among these was an Indiana pocket manual printed in 1845 and a Shipmaster's Assistant, printed in 1801, which had been the property of Gad Peck, the captain of a privateer. The Advertiser, which later became the Register, was published until 1861. It closed for a spell when the editor closed up shop and joined the Union army. That was Charles Slater who was born in London in 1826 and as a boy shipped as a sailor to the Indies. He came to America at age 14, landing in Galveston. At Victoria when Texas was still part of Mexico and land was being given away he took a square mile and settled upon it. While there he took part in some Indian fighting along with his farming. Due to sickness, he left his land and arrived in New Harmony in 1848 with a theatrical troupe and fell in love with the town. He died in 1894 and his son took over.

Historical Items of Mrs. Hanby Donated to Historical Society.....1933

118 articles of historical value were turned over as a gift and exhibited at the society's headquarters at Memorial Coliseum. Mrs. Hanby, former president of the society was a tireless collector. The collection included articles of furniture, household collections of glass, silver, china, etc., that belonged to her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Dunn. A few pieces were owned by pioneer families of Posey County. The Posey County Historical Society, starting with a modest collection of 46 pieces now possessed more than 700.

Fox Hunt is Big Success in Cynthiana.....1933

Got up this mornin sittin with ~Stormy~ et brekfust and was reeding bout the old paper on a fox hunt. Tellin the missus about it sum and she kleered her throte en winkin et me, she just sort of hum humed me. Maybe you will like it better: You see they were having the Second Annual Posey County Fox Hunt for four days at Christi's Grove south of New Harmony. The foxes I like to chase or foxy and Jimi; but these are those bushy tailed ones. Each evening the crowds gathered early and by night the grounds were packed with people and cars. Estimated at around 3000 visitors for the four nights. Fox hunters from all over came it seems, pitching their tents and staying the entire meet. They had orchestras and they danced until midnight. Over 100 dogs were registered and several trades and sales were made. Each night chases were held in several different places as there being too many hunters and dogs for a single chase. One day they judged the dogs and gave out of awards. No body from Mt. Vernon won a single thing...all the awards went to Kickapoos, Rappites, Acorns, and Annas.....Rigged!'

"Flying Fishers", Noted Aerialists, Visit Here.....August 1932

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fisher and daughter, Connie, better known in the circus as the "Flying Fishers" aerialists with a national reputation, were visitors in Mt. Vernon as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Biff Carr and Eddie Jerome, well known stage artists. For six seasons, the "Flying Fishers" presented the feature aerial act of the Barnum and Bailey circus. Mr. Fisher was with the Hagenback-Wallace circus for several seasons and was with that show when it visited Mt. Vernon in 1914. They later played independent fair association bookings and were in route to Bloomington Illinois when they stopped in to see old friends.

Stunt Flying on Highway 62.....August 1932

Hundreds of Mt. Vernon and Posey residents witnessed more thrills than a circus for the small admission price of ten cents given at the Grabert field, two miles east of town on state highway 62. All proceeds derived from the exhibition were given to a charity organization for the relief of the unemployed and was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The state highway was patrolled by state police in order to prevent incidents and to avoid a congestion of traffic or parking on the highway. Martin Jensen, popular and international known aviator used his own plane, the Jensen Trainer, engaged in a series of loops, barrel rolls, turns and reversements. He stalled the ship and floated almost stationary and climbed to an altitude of 1000 feet in one minute's time. With this plane Jensen is enabled to climb almost straight up, a feat that can be accomplished by no other model. Five other planes accompanied the Jensen Trainer and were in charge of Pilots Weber, Schlundt and Copeland and an aviator of the American Airways company. The six planes flying in formation over the city was a treat for the air minded of Mt. Vernon and this was the first time this had ever been seen here. Jensen's Trainer plane and his Waco model were piloted to Mt. Vernon by Dave Alldredge More on Alldredge, manager of the Gonnerman Auto Company and an aviation enthusiast. At that time Alldredge was a student aviator. The planes went as slow as 22 miles per hour and as fast as 130.

Hundreds Locally View Eclipse.....1932

On August 31, a Wednesday in 1932 residents bought out their smoked glasses and photograph negatives to view the solar eclipse. This type of eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. In ancient days, people sometimes thought of these as a bad omen. I guess a depression would be a reason. The next one would occur in 1963...whoops JFK assassination. Actually, bad things occur every day somewhere. But, it is a known fact that during such eclipses birds run to their nests and sleep habits are affected.

Hundreds Gather To Witness Soldiers' Departure.....August 1932

A crowd of several hundred persons was present at the L&N depot just after midnight to witness the departure of Battery E, 139th Field Artillery, for a two week intensive training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. The 69 men and four commissioned officers of the battery were in command of Captain Phillip E. Rowe.

Evansville Reporter Provides Own Story.....Summer 1932

Let's slip out of the county for this beaut.... Around midnight after a hard hot days work, John McCormick, newspaper reporter was anxious to get home. As he stepped out of his office onto the sidewalk, he saw his auto just a whizzing by and two young teens occupying it. He hailed a quick taxi and they took chase catching them three miles out of the city. McCormick leaped out with an auto crank and subdued the thieves. He personally took them to jail, wrote his story, and went to bed.....A little banjo music please!

John C. Leffel Steps Down from Newspaper Business.....July 1932

Retirement came after 56 years as head of the Western Star newspaper in Mt. Vernon. So entrenched in the community and he saw so much and wrote of what he saw since 1876. He even published a Posey County History in 1913. The Star now belongs to his son Herbert and may it continue to be one of ablest edited and best printed papers in the pocket." Few men last at a job for 56 years and his works cannot be measured in words."

Neu-Way Cleaners Locates In New Quarters.....May 1932

At 409 Main Street the Neu-Way Cleaners moved into the building for which many years was occupied by the Hempfling meat market. A portion of the building will also be leased to the Walton Maytag Company.

Wonder If It Would Work For Crows?.....May 1932

In the days past it was quite common to hear of someone having "snakes in their boot," but not until this moment did we hear of "snakes in his cherry tree." But these were imitation snakes and were put there on purpose. Ex-Mayor John Moeller, who served from 1909-1913, was the originator of that idea, which came about when birds threatened to eat all of his cherries before he had an opportunity to pick them. "Jack" placed pieces of garden hose, arranged to have the appearance of snakes in the top of his two trees and stated that now the birds "gave his trees a wide berth." The idea worked and he advised any "Doubting Thomas" to call at his residence and watch the birds taking a look at the improvised snakes and then fly on their way. So there you go...if you don't have a garbage can lid, put a garden hose on your trash and see if it scares the crows; but not the garbage collector.

New Empress Theatre Opens.....May 1932

Mt. Vernon's newest talkie house, the New Empress, owned and operated by V. Grubb, former manager of the Vernon opened in May after a restoration. The entire interior of the former Empress theatre has been torn out and rebuilt. Included was a spacious lobby, from which entrance to the main floor or balcony can be made. Sanitary drinking fountains have been placed in the lobby. All floors were elevated sufficiently that any seat in the house is a good one. In the rear of the main floor has been placed the screen, which is directly over the furnace room. On either side are wide exits, which lead into the alley. On the balcony floor is the business office, rest rooms, store room, and the motion picture booth. The entire interior and exterior were redecorated. The lighting system is one of the best that could be installed. It was possible to completely turn off or dim any light or any series of lights in the theatre. It had a seating capacity of 450 of which 150 are in the balcony. The first picture to show in the new improved theatre was "Dance Team", a Fox production.

Mt. Vernon Honors War Dead.....May 31, 1932

Amid the flower and flag bedecked graves of Bellefontaine cemetery, Mt. Vernon as tradition bears out honored their soldiers of many wars. Three of the five surviving local Civil War veterans, Alonzo Erwin, G.W. Kimball and J. M. Nelson were present. Harrow Relief Corps, Legionnaires, Spanish-American war veterans and the public composed the remainder of the large audience. In ideal weather the Rev. A.J. Schneider, pastor of Trinity Evangelical church was the principal speaker.

What's In the Post Office Cornerstone? I'll Tell Ya....Spring 1932

In April 1932 the laying of the cornerstone of the new $75,000 federal building at the corner of Walnut and Third Street took place. The Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club and civil city officials ran the program. Postmaster Philip E. Rowe presided and introduced the various speakers. So, skipping all the speeches...what is in the box? "Newspapers of the city, a telephone directory, a list of present post office employees, postcards of Mt. Vernon, C of C and Kiwanis membership lists, (of course), and Washington bi-centennial stamps." I'm a little disappointed. We should get more creative with these things! Long ago a school was constructed in the 1860's and they included names of all the single women between 16 and that is interesting! What would you like to see in a cornerstone? Well, I guess that is all they had room for in their time capsule do-hicky......time for Postmaster Rowe and ex-postmaster, W.O. Wilson to spread the mortar and tap her down. 84 years now...I bet that copy of newspaper is in worse condition than the one I am reading from currently. Too bad they didn't put some whiskey or something in there to make it fun one day......Ah, politicians have no spunk!

Retired Rube Speaks of McFadin Cemetery......1932

"Sometime in the early 1880's my uncle, George D. Rowe and I were eating dinner at the old Damron house, Mt. Vernon, Ind., which stood at the foot of, the then, Store Street, now College Avenue, West corner. We had iced tea for dinner, the first I had ever drunk. I was in my early twenties. While eating, my uncle, who sat opposite me said, "John, did you know that you were eating your dinner right over a grave yard?" "Why no, what do you mean?" "Well, old 'Teedle-de Dum (Andrew) McFadin and his entire family were buried right under this hotel." The graves were not marked and of course the carpenters of the hotel didn't know anything about it." Rube said the above story was traditional, that it was handed down, from father to son and not historical. Rube thought that surely someone would have planted a stake somewhere bearing the legend "McFadin Grave Yard." If so, those carpenters might have built the Damron house a "leetle furder" up or down or to the side.

Retired Rube Speaks of the Naming of Mt. Vernon and his Ancestor.....1932

?Retired Rube was a retired school teacher from Mt. Vernon whose real name was John S. Williams. Back in 1932 he was 75 years old and had a column in the Western Star newspaper, usually with quips of short sentences. Sometimes he wrote an entire column. Here he writes about the Row family: "I happen to know that this George Rowe was my great grandfather. I also happen to know that the family moved into Indiana territory from Hardin County, Kentucky in the year 1809. The facts are George Row (not Rowe) was present and presided at the meeting Samuel Row (not Rowe) voluntarily suggested that this town of McFadin's Landin' be named Mt. Vernon after George Washington's home. The family name "Row" was changed to Rowe in the early 1840's. This was done to make the name more English." He went on, "It was Samuel who suggested the name be changed and he was married to Absolem Duckworth's daughter Polly (Mary). For a while the couple lived with his father, George Row, on the latter's farm, near the present town of Upton. Later he built an old hewed log house which still stands (1932), an hundred and five years old." This cabin was on the Hillecrest Orchard and built in 1827. "Mr. Row and his wife lived there until there were five children in the family." They moved to Harrison County, Indiana for a while and three of the children, George, Frank, and Mary returned to Posey County. George was elected trustee of Black Township several times. 'Retired Rube' taught four terms of school under him from 1879-1883. Rube said he had two uncles and an aunt living here in Posey during his boyhood days and had many interesting opportunities to discuss the early pioneers of Posey county. "Many letters passed back and forth. We didn't mail letters in my boyhood days. We passed 'em." "My grandfather was born in Kentucky in 1796 and was 61 when I was born. I always knew him as an old gray headed man, of kindly disposition and childlike in action, and full of legends and stories of the Posey County of his day. I use to ply him with all sorts of questions when a child. And to this day, although I am past 75, in imagination, I can still see the dear old fellow sitting in a splint bottomed chair, he made with his own hands, tilted back against the wall, on the shady side of the house, with me sitting on the ground beside him. And I still hear him, as he sat with eyes more than half closed, droning out those wonderful legends so dear to the heart of my childhood.

"Give Me Three Steps"....Prisoner Jumps Into Ohio River to Evade Police.....1932

Oscar Maynard, 25, formerly of Mt. Vernon, but more recently of Waukegan, Illinois, jumped into the Ohio River at the foot of College Avenue but was later captured and taken to jail. Maynard was arrested by county officers a week earlier on a charge of reckless driving after he had driven his car into the cars of two others. The reckless driving took place on state highway 69 near Solitude. Later he wrecked his own car near the Gill school house northwest of town. He was tried before Mayor Bamberger in city court which was held in the office of Prosecutor William Wilson in the Odd Fellows building and was sentenced to three months on the state penal farm and fined $50 and costs after he had plead guilty. Just as Sheriff Louis Holtzmeier and Deputy Sheriff Louis Thomas reached the sidewalk after descending the stairs from the Odd Fellows building, Maynard asked permission to converse with a woman standing nearby. The officers granted his request and Maynard immediately ran down West Fourth Street. Sheriff Holtzmeier took three shots at the fleeing prisoner, one of which took effect, but one shot drilled a hole in the side of the brick wall of the Newmann building, one half block west of Main. Maynard darted down the alley alongside the Newmann building, ran across vacant lots, through alleys and finally ran entirely through the residence of Harry Cotner, West Second street, between Mill and College Avenue and then to the Ohio River, where he jumped in and defied the officers to come and get him, claiming he was in Kentucky territory. Sheriff Holtzmeier and Deputy Thomas were joined in the chase by State Highway Patrolman Gilbert Behrick and Chief of Police William Lawrence. The county officers secured boats and followed their prisoner, who floated down the Ohio. Several times Maynard grabbed the boat and when officers attempted to take hold of him, he would drop back into the river. When opposite the Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company, the man was taken into custody after having become exhausted, his condition requiring the services of a physician after his removal to county jail. His condition was serious, but the prisoner was removed to the penal farm and began his sentence. He had previously served time for theft of hogs in this vicinity.

Local Creamery Now Delivers In Time For Breakfast.....1932

The Mt. Vernon Creamery inaugurated a new delivery plan which enables their customers to have fresh milk at the breakfast table. Trucks of the company now start their deliveries at 4 o'clock in the morning and Holger Anderson, manager and owner of the creamery asks that all customers place their empty bottles out the night before.

"A Patriot in Hoops", Latest Work of Former Resident.....1932

Miss Frances Cavanah, 1889-1882 at this time completed a new book. She was a well-known writer of short stories, articles, and text books for children. Some of the books she wrote were" Boyhood Adventures of the Presidents, Pocahontas, A Little Girl of Jamestown, Jerry Lind's America, When Americans Came to New Orleans, We Wanted To Be Free, They Lived In the Wilderness of the Nation, and About the Men Who Sparked the War Between the States. She was associate editor of Child's Life Magazine and wrote children's plays. Her comedy, "The Roasted Goose," was presented in 1929 by the Evansville Community Players under the direction of Miss Frances Goldern. Miss Cavanah spent most of her early years in Mt. Vernon and Evansville, her father was principal of the Central school here. She was a student of Central High School in Evansville before attending DePauw University in Greencastle where she graduated in 1920. She moved later to Chicago. She was a member of many organizations including the Delta Delta Delta Sorority, Theta Sigma Phi, Mortar Board, The Society of Midland Authors, The Chicago Drama League, and the Illinois Woman's Press Association.

Son of Steamboat Engineer Visits Captain Nelson.....1932

Alex Taylor, a printer in Henderson, Kentucky, with members of his family, were in Mt. Vernon and called on Capt. J.M. Nelson, then oldest native born Mt. Vernon resident and captain of the gunboat, General Sherman on the Mississippi River during the Civil War. "Uncle Matt" who that year celebrated his 90th birthday was given a feature story in an Evansville newspaper which was read by the Taylor family. Henry Taylor had been the first assistant engineer on the General Sherman. The warship was launched in 1864 and was 168 feet in length and was side wheeled propelled by a steam engine. Its armament was two 20 pounder Parrott rifles and three 24 pounder howitzers and was tin clad armored. It was constructed in Chattanooga Tennessee and spent most of her service on the Upper Tennessee River It patrolled between Decatur, Alabama and Muscle Shoals, Alabama controlling guerrilla attacks and preventing major elements of the Confederate general John Hood from crossing the river into Tennessee. It also convoyed Union supply ships and shelled Confederate emplacements along the rivers.

Rural Mail Carrier Retires After Thirty Years.....1932

A.J. Pendell, 63 retired from the delivering mail in the summer of 1932. He started in July of 1902 at a time when good roads were unheard of and automobiles were rare. He first carried mail on Route 12, which became Route 11, and still later Route 7. This route covered that section east of Mt. Vernon and in the vicinity of West Franklin. The carrier of Route 1 took the mail to Mr. Pendell, who met him at what is known as the Derrington corner on the township line, from which place the mail was then distributed to his patrons. He recalled many hardships experienced in the early days of his work forced to carry mail over dirt roads with a horse and wagon. Once a heavy rain caused the highway leading to Crunk's settlement to be overflowed for a distance of half a mile. The water froze but Pendell with his team attempted to break through the ice. After covering half the distance the ice became thicker and it was necessary for the horses to paw hard with their fore feet in order to break the ice, but the mail was carried through, although it was under great difficulty.

Woodstock or Occupy Washington D.C.? No Bonus Army.....1932

In May of 1932 tens of thousands of World War 1 veterans marched on Washington demanding bonus money promised them by congress in 1924 to be paid in 1945. Because of the deep depression a movement started to demand their bonus money NOW! Things remained quite calm during much of the protest that lasted three months. The House of Representatives decided to allow the protesters the money they wanted. However, the Senate denied the passage 62-18 which didn't go over well in "Hooverville." The veterans decided to stay and for a month they did until General Douglas McArthur was ordered to move them out of the tent city they had erected. Tear gas was pumped into the camp, bricks were thrown back, warning shots were fired and everything was torched by the invading Army from the 3rd Cavalry, the 12th infantry, and the 1st tank regiment. This was the largest group of soldiers in Washington D.C. since the Civil War. The Mt. Vernon Western Star newspaper showed several photos of the skirmish. The vets during the newly formed Roosevelt term finally received their benefits 9 years before they were scheduled to get them.

Underpriviledged Children Guests of Kiwanis Club See Zoo.....1932

Approximately 100 underprivileged local children made the trip to Evansville to see Mesker Park and the zoo guests of the Mt. Vernon Kiwanis Club according to President C.C. Maurer. Automobiles left Mt. Vernon around 1 P.M. and would return about 7.

Reading the Ads.....1932

Looks like there is an attractive bargain being offered by Boyce & Williams in their advertisement on page six of the Western Star newspaper. They are offering a Gem razor for a dollar, five blades and a 35 cent tube of Palmolive or Colgate shaving cream for 35 cents. Might as well stock up fellas. I always wanted to use one of those shaving cups with a horse on it. That cool brush the barber made suds with while giving you a shave with a straight razor. Never had one, do barbers still give shaves? I haven't been to a barber since the mid-sixties? PJ gave me my haircuts in recent years and now my niece Missy. Sometimes they trim my mustache, ear hair and eyebrows, but nobody offers to shave me. LOL.

Those Darn Methodists After Our Smokes.....1932

We shudder as those Methodists of the Methodist Episcopal Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Morals who are after our tobacco or so says Clarence Wolfe, publisher of the New Harmony Times. "They have put tobacco on the tabooed list and are armed to the teeth, ready to smite it hip and thigh as one of the dragons left to vanquish." He said he never enjoyed tobacco himself and could view the battle from the side lines of the two contending armies. "Once it was the demon rum, now it is demon nicotine. Tobacco always seemed innocent enough and to bring a harmless enjoyment to those who use it doesn't seem fair. So far as I know it never caused a man to beat his wife; it never did take bread from hungry children and it never filled asylums with mental cases. One sometimes wonders what the world is coming to-such a state of perfection will it reach that man will become a fair understudy to the angels." The Methodists are militant and have won several hard fought battles. Years ago Major Menzies, prominent Mt. Vernon attorney, said of the Methodists that they never give up. They opposed slavery and won the fight, they always fought whiskey and it went by the board, now they are after tobacco.

New Harmony Gold Star Mother Visits Battlefields of Europe.....1932

Mrs. Nathan Holland sailed from New York in May to France to visit the World War battlefields and cemeteries of Europe. Mrs. Holland had a nephew buried in France, Charles Hobbs, who was killed with the English army in the early days of the war. Her own son, Joseph Oxford, lost his life when the Cyclops mysteriously disappeared somewhere between South America and the United States. No bodies or wreckage were ever found. No records of German submarine attacks. This ship appears regularly on television of stories about the Bermuda Triangle.

According to the "New Harmony Register" of 1932

Baseball first appeared here locally in October of 1867.

Cotner Barber Shop in Full Renovation.....1932

"One of the most sanitary shops in the state of Indiana," is how Harry D. Cotner put it as renovation of the interior of his shop neared completion. The shop on West Second Street included quite an investment. "We have spent every cent for materials and labor in Mt. Vernon in accordance with our policy of putting back our profits from our business into our business." The shop had four chairs and bath facilities. Walls and the ceiling were panted pastel shades, waiting chairs painted, the back bar varnished, and the barber chairs too. In the barber business since 1914, Harry would put in a "special cooling system" later that summer.

Snake Comes Back to Life....Causes Wreck in New Harmony.....1932

A four foot snake, a bunch of Rappite boys and girls and a car all piled up together in a wreck that fall. The teens were on a field study outing and encountered this snake. The boys beat the reptile to death and in the interest of science decided to take it triumphantly to the school for close inspection and perhaps dissection. So the dead snake was given the honor place in the vehicle and the hero and heroines headed for home. Everything was honky dory for a while then the snake resurrected itself and looked warlike and "assumed command of the car." Panic prevailed, kids screaming, the steering wheel was let go of, one boy was thrown partly through the car top, injuring his shoulder and the car smashed into a gate or something. Everybody got out alive including the snake that made his getaway.

~Wavy~ Finds Who's Who Presidential Poll of 1932 Interesting.....

Polls are interesting and most of them are quite accurate today in the time period they are taken. It has gotten to be a pretty precise tool. In 1932 a poll was conducted of all the people whose names appeared in Who's Who. Postcard ballots were sent out and in late September the results were announced. 28,000 cards were sent out and not even 10 % were returned...2,239 replies. Those balloted were politicians, writers, lawyers, engineers, educators, clergymen, scientists, physicians, military officers and artists. The totals: Herbert Hoover, Republican.....1646; Franklin D. Roosevelt, Democrat.....514; Norman Thomas, Socialist and pacifist.....69; Alfred Smith, Democrat....10; William Foster, Communist...0; and William Upshaw, Prohibition....0. Well, the general Election came and Roosevelt won 42 states to Hoover's 6.

Post Office Spy Slots.....1932

~Wavy~ was up at the post office mailing a book off to a satisfied customer and I started rapping with one of the federal employees about the spy slots close to the ceiling. Long ago, many people did not have checking accounts and paid bills by sending cash through the mails. Federal inspectors would show up unannounced and undetected, climb the hidden catwalk into a cork filled room and spy on their employees for theft. Leonard Brown tipped me off on this a few years ago as one of his relatives worked there over 60 years ago. May have even been the postmaster. I forget. The employee I talked to said she had been there way over a decade and had been up there only once. She said she was told a 45 revolver was also there at one time. I could tell by her demeanor that I wasn't gonna get a tour to the chamber or out the little door to the roof. I don't really want to see the draft board room again in the basement. ~Wavy~ is still trying to get over Miss Pettyjohn.

Turn of Century MV Teacher Becomes National Activist...

Born in Chicago of Jewish immigrants Lillian Herstein attended Northwestern University earning a degree in Latin and Greek. Like most educated women of her era she became a school teacher, coming to Mt. Vernon for a while before heading back to Chicago to teach in 1912. She taught high school and college for 36 years and became a union and civil rights activist. She joined the newly formed Federation of Women High Teachers in 1914 and advanced to the executive council and started organizing across the country. She joined the Labor Party and in 1932 she ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Illinois. She ran as a progressive calling for old age pensions and unemployment benefits. She worked to secure human rights, equally for women and minorities. She said, "one cannot tell where genius lies by race, creed, religion, or sex." She supported Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 and FDR selected her to a special delegation of the International Labor Federation that met in Geneva Switzerland. She lived to age 96 and never married. Life magazine called her the "most important woman in the American Labor Movement in 1937."

New Harmony Depression Story.....1932

According to the New Harmony Times and Editor Clarence Wolfe quite a commotion was stirring at the Ed Garrett Garage when a fellow tried to pay for gasoline with a twenty dollar bill. It was said to have been the largest piece of currency seen on Church Street since Louie Cox sold his cow in 1924. Ed looked at the bill and his heart started to flutter and he turned the color of a blue blaze...damn near fainted. Finally, he composed himself enough to say he couldn't change it. Policeman John Russell just happened to be in the garage at the time and enough money was rounded up to change the bill for the customer. Russell took several snap shots of the money thinking he had heard that the government was no longer making any money larger than a dollar. He exclaimed: "I bet we hear from that fellow later."

Man Sets Out Trot Line to Catch His False Teeth.....1932

A man made a high dive into the Wabash River and came up minus his $17 pair of glasses and his upper set of false teeth. He said, "If any fisherman catches a catfish wearing a pair of specs and a set of false teeth you know where to return them." People made fun of him and one said he should try to coax his teeth to the surface by holding hot dogs and chocolate drops above the place they went under.

"Just Like Romeo and Juliet" at the Infirmary.....1932

In 1932 two inmates, both over 50 years of age eloped from the Posey County Infirmary/Poor House by way of a removed screen and a ladder. An investigation found they took all their clothes with them and had been having an affair in secret for many months. It was felt that their love urge became so strong that they decided to leave what was comfortable to them and to challenge once again the perils of the outside world. Several months later, the woman Clara returned to the infirmary saying that Charles would not marry her, so she left him. The infirmary has said a "not welcome" sign is figuratively being hung for Charles at the home.

Bus Service Ended Between New Harmony and Mt. Vernon.....1932

After 16 years there would be no more bus travel between the two communities. An estimated 439,855 miles were traveled by Lawrence Glichman who was the owner and driver. Reason given for the discontinuance was the growing number of private vehicles now owned.

Clyde Wilson Father of Seven Pens Poem.....1932

"The farmers fight the chicken hawks and oft time shoot a crow, the truckmen kill the sparrows to let their gardens grow; Now there's one bird I am after and it's not a wren or lark, Its paid me seven visits Oh, tell me where's that damn stork?"

Artist Completes Additional Paintings of Mt. Vernon...I Would Love To See Even One.....1932

James F. Davis completed the painting of additional pictures of historic old building in Mt. Vernon. I wonder what happen to them. Included in the group were the old Wolflin & Munchoff distillery, erected in 1855 just south of the C & E I railroad depot on the river front and which burned in 1873; the old plank road toll house, which was formerly located just north of the city; the general store of Darius North, of which North cemetery is named, located on the southeast corner of Water street and College Avenue; the old Farmer's hotel which was located on Walnut Street ; the C.M. tannery building on Locust street, between Second and Third, which was still standing in 1932; the C.W. Thomas wharf boat, and the old Nelson House, later known as the Damron House which was located on the northwest corner of Water street and College Avenue. He also touched up a previous painting of Mt. Vernon made in 1888 from the hills west of town. Prominent in that portrait was the old Peerless Mills, destroyed by fire, the old Masonic building now occupied by Alles Bros. Furniture Company and the court house.

Evansville Man Found Murdered on Highway 69.....1932

The mutilated body of a man was found in a ditch on highway 69, one mile west of Mt. Vernon. At first two families lay claim to the body found by two farm hands on their way to work. The head of the man had been fractured in front and back, his throat had been cut, his two index fingers severed and four deep stab wounds were inflicted in his back, one piercing a lung and the other a kidney. The right shoulder was also dislocated. The body found by Louis Key and Claude Meredith of Mt. Vernon was later identified as Albert Johnson, 31, of Evansville. Evidence of a terrific struggle was revealed alongside the highway at the top of the ditch where the body was found. At the scene was a large pool of blood and about 150 feet west was a smaller pool, near which a button was found. The button came from the victim's trousers. A piece of "moulder's lead" was found nearby, believed to be the instrument used on Johnson's head. The body dressed in a tie was found with a pipe and a portion of a twist of tobacco, safety razor, pocket knife, comb, razor sharpener, aluminum cup, shaving brush and belt. It was said he came looking for work. Several Mt. Vernon persons expressed their beliefs that they saw the victim in town over several days. Several truck drivers came forward stating they had given the man lifts between Uniontown, Kentucky and Mt. Vernon, but the man would invariably get off the trucks when nearing the city limits. At first the body was identified as Clifton Claibourne of Evansville. Two families and several relatives all identified the mutilated body. It was finally identified by a heel scar from a co-worker of that from molten metal when the two men worked together. A minister, Rev. Harold Clayeanip told authorities that he had seen a car parked near the scene of the murder the night before and two men walking slowly along the edge of the ditch. They made an effort to shield their faces with their hands. After the Johnson funeral, Mrs. Johnson was taken into custody by police of Evansville for questioning as they alleged she was a lover of Clifton Claibourne. She stoutly denied she had been acquainted with the man and was released. Another man was arrested in Louisville after he wrote a letter telling his wife to remove the "red" out of his clothes. Brought to Posey County he was questioned and it was determined that the "red" meant a receipt. Soon the suspect became Claibourne himself and 500 printed descriptions of the man were sent out across the country for a nationwide manhunt. A charge of murder was filed against him in the Posey circuit court and a warrant issued. Witnesses said they heard a commotion during the night of the murder at about the time the correct time. A woman's voice could be heard according to one's testimony. Sad to say I am unable to finish this story...I have searched in months ahead with no success. On the internet I have not been able to find graves for the two men. I found one lead of a death of a Clifton Claibourne, 31, in a Miami paper in late March (one month after murder) but I can't bring the story up as the print is too small. So, maybe if you are interested, maybe someone can try something else to give us ..."the rest of the story."


Martin Jensen (r), pioneer aviator with mechanic came to Mt. Vernon in the 1930's several times. He flew in at least once to a farm and took a few on rides. In 1932, he and his wife came to Mt. Vernon to visit his sister living here...Mrs Holger Anderson.


No meal at the jail this year for the prisoners...why?...because it was empty for the first time in over a year. Merchants were thankful, I guess as they had their sales the next day..."Black Friday?" No record of pushing and shoving to get into Stinson's Bros. Dry Goods despite nice sales in ladies coats trimmed in fur for the nice price of $5. Rosenbaum's did a good trade too selling famous Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls for men at $1.39 each.

Blimp Akron Passes Over Posey County.....October 1931

The giant dirigible Akron, then largest in the world, passed over northern Posey County in a trial flight. Motorists from Mt. Vernon motored to a point east of New Harmony to view the large airship. It later crashed in New Jersey in 1933 killing 73 people in a weather related accident.

Tragic Drowning of Two Local Businessmen.....June 1931

William Bryant, 47, and Harvey Breeze, 37, met their deaths when their boat capsized in the Ohio River. Other members of the boating party included attorney R.U. Barker, Edward Alles, publisher of the Mt. Vernon Democrat, and Carl Clemens, an employee of Breeze Motor Company. Barker was credited with saving the three others lives from the watery grave. Hundreds of citizens thronged the river front as the Mt. Vernon ferry boat brought in the body of Breeze. Four days later the body of Bryant was recovered from the accident by the aid of a dream by Elijah Rhodes of Point Township. In his dream he recounted that he plainly saw the location of the body. He notified authorities of his vivid dream and together with his brother Arthur, went to that spot in a motor boat and there they found the body.

Nice Day For A Drive and Maybe a Little Sightseeing.....June 1931

Sunday marked a number of autos moving up and down the streets of New Harmony from Poseyville, Mt. Vernon, and Southern Illinois. Nice to have a bridge to bring over visitors so easily. They all took advantage of the good weather and machines of all sizes could be seen and the pall of dust from the gravel they frequented. A little Bonnie and Clyde music and a flask fills the picture for me.

Two Business Men Meet River Death.....June 1931

A motor boat containing five prominent men of Mt. Vernon capsized in the Ohio River and two lost their lives in the surging waters. William Bryant, 47, manager and owner of the Bryant Company and director of the Chamber of Commerce was one of them. The other was Harvey Breeze, 37, garage owner, and exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge. Other members who survived were attorney R.U. Barker, Edward Alles, owner and publisher of the Mt. Vernon Daily Democrat and Carl Clemens, employee of the Breeze garage. The five men were testing out a new motor boat when it struck a mud bar and capsized throwing the five men into the river. Those surviving clung to the wrecked boat and Mr. Bryant and Mr. Breeze both good swimmers started for the shore but didn't make it.

Mt. Vernon Grads.....1931

This photo is of Frank Fessenden Jr., on the left and George Ashworth on the right, freshmen at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Ashworth had graduated from Mt. Vernon in 1929 and Fessenden in 1930. George went on to be a sucessful football coach here in Mt. Vernon and a college coach and is in the Mt. Vernon Athletic Hall of Fame and the Indiana Sports Hall of Fame also.

Mt. Vernon Water Works.....1931

The plant opened in March of 1886 and furnished our community with an adequate supply of water drawn from the Ohio River. Some pipes existed until the 21st Century. In the thirties, pumps had a daily capacity of three and one quarter million gallons, drawing the water from the river and forcing it into settling tanks where impurities were eliminated. From the filters, the water flowed by gravity to a clear water well from which the high service pumps with a capacity of four million gallons a day force the water through twenty one miles of mains comprising the distribution system. The people and businesses of Mt. Vernon at that time were using between sixty and eighty million gallons of water a year and had 1300 customers with over 100 fire hydrants.

"Oh my, I wish they wouldn't do that, don't dance so close. Come on now".....1931

A big old liquor party in western Black Township climaxed at a dance when two men received knife cuts and a chauffeur was shot. Now you women gonna have to be more discreet...don't let them men get all up in your stuff and expect nothing to come of it.

The Tank Car Oil Company in 1931 was selling gas at 12.9 cents per gallon.

Also that spring the first electrically operated gasoline pump in Posey County was installed at the Gulf station on West Fourth Street with William Miller the operator. I guess "bad guys" thought they were making a killing down at the Tank Car station at 10th and Walnut, because a hold up occurred that year where the attendant was forced to lie on the floor while the bandit helped himself to $45 from the cash drawer of the station owned by Dalton Alldredge. John Starken the attendant was unharmed. There was a grand opening of the Shell station on East Fourth owned by Harry Green. For a buck you could get four gallons of gas and a quart of oil. Air is free. Retired Rube Sez: "In these times of depression how can many people afford to burn up two and three dollars' worth of joy gas every week, running around going nowhere?"

A Precious Little Wine Glass Now Apparently Lost.....1931

During the days of slavery, a family named Carter had several children, one in particular was a lad named Abe Lincoln Carter born into slavery. At around 17 the Civil War ended and the Carters like many ex slaves, came north looking for opportunity. They had few possessions, but one of them was a little wine glass that Cynthia Carter's master always drank his wine from. Cynthia was a fine lady who was always helping on the big days of the plantation like those of wheat threshing, butchering, and if someone had a baby. Mrs. Clarence Todd in Mt. Vernon in 1931 recalled that in 1882 her baby sister was born so Cynthia came over, cleaned up the house every few days, cared for the mother, and baked a huge jar of cookies. Cindy was a big woman and in summer she was barefoot. A hired man hitched the horse to the buggy and took Mrs. Carter home. Mrs. Todd rode along and when they got to her gate, Cynthia asked her to wait a second and she brought out the little wine glass and gave it to her young friend. She said, "When I was in slavery, I would fill up the glass many times for my master while nursing two babies at one time, one on each breast." Cynthia lost her husband and became blind and almost was paralyzed, but lived maybe to a hundred. Nobody knew for sure as no one kept records much of slaves. Mrs. Todd came often to visit Cindy from time to time and she would cry and kiss her hand each trip. That little wine glass was of little material value, next to nothing really; but Mrs. Todd kept it until 1931 when she gave it to the Posey County Historical Society. That little wine glass that survived slavery and the floods locally of 1884 and 1913 is lost for all time probably. You see the artifacts once preserved for all of us to see was stored at the Coliseum and was stolen in the 1930's. I hope that never happens again!

Carmi Hoe Found.....1931

William Hubele, resided a few miles northwest of Carmi and made an astonishing discovery while operating his sawmill, when the saw uncovered a hole with a foot and a half iron handle imbedded in a tree trunk a distance of eight inches. The tree had grown entirely around both hoe and handle. The hoe was hand forged and different in design from the present day hoe. It was in a fair state of preservation, although the sharpened point had rusted away. When the big saw struck the metal it dulled the saw points and blocked the machine. Hubele started looking and found the hoe. The tool was imbedded in the log at a distance of about 15 foot from the ground, before the tree was cut down, and how it came to be in the tree is a mystery, the only theory being offered was that some 50 years ago the hoe was leaned against a white oak sapling and that as the tree grew it enveloped the hoe carrying it upward to the 15 foot height.

B.O. Hanby Writes Books of Poems.....1931

B.O. by all accounts was quite a character. People would see him whizzing through town in his car, top down, beard flying over his shoulder in the wind. Son of a famous author, his father composed the anti-slavery song, "Darling Nellie Gray." It is easily found on U Tube. B.O. was a local historian and he traveled too in his jalopy to New York, Washington D.C. etc., reporting on what he had seen and who he had seen. He was a pioneer publisher in Posey County establishing "The Unafraid" in 1905 which was socialism in content. He later became more of a Republican due to the issue of slavery and that party's connection to ending it. At this time he completed a booklet called, "The Lovers' Gate," a collection of some of his poems and verses. Interesting man.

Letters and 2 Cent Stamps.....1931

The 1931 letters found in the home are personal letters to Dr. Rutter from former Poseyville friends who moved to Covina California. They describe a continuous town between Covina and Los Angeles, fields of vegetables, beautiful snow capped mountains and buying oranges for 10 cents a dozen. Funny, that neither the writer nor the reader has an street address and of course no zip code as yet. Just a name, town, and state. The friend in California said he lives next door to the Post Office and they know where he lives.

MV Fullback Closes Out Great Career.....December 1930

Francis Deig, grizzly 190 pound fullback at Marquette University learned his trade here in Mt. Vernon. The "Hoosier Hurricane" developed into one of the greatest fullbacks to ever wear the blue and gold and his highly efficient punting was a big part of the success of the Marquette eleven. Coach Frank Murray called him "the outstanding man and most consistent performer in the backfield of this undefeated team. He is a giant on offense and has been the most reliable performer on defense, both against passes and in backing up the line." In his last performance for the Hilltoppers against the Butler Bulldogs, Deig crashed over for his team's last touchdown as Marquette won 25-0. Milwaukee Journal said, "He'll be missed!" After a visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Deig, in Mt. Vernon he left for Dallas, Texas to play in a Midwest aggregation of college players to battle the all-star southwestern stars. The players from this section were gathered together by Coach Bob Zuppke of the University of Illinois and include the very best players in the Midwest. The game was played on New Year's Day.

Mulberry Street Bridge Closed.....December 1930

The city council at the request of the L&N Railroad ordered the Mulberry Street bridge closed to traffic for the winter. The railroad believes the bridge to be unsafe, due to the fact that the concrete in the structure was weakening because it had been poured during the cold weather. The company plans to erect a new bridge over this street but to avoid a repetition of poor concrete, will not attempt reconstruction work until the spring.

Local Children's Wishes from Santa During the Depression.....1930

Usually, each year the newspapers run a few letters from elementary students as to what they would like for Christmas. There are always a few heartwarming stories of children who ask for a father to come back from the war, to remember the poor, or a sibling. Looking at depression era letters one is struck by the simplicity of their requests. Children ask for a simple Christmas tree, a wagon, a ball, nuts, apples, oranges, socks, handkerchiefs, dolls, and candy. They want something for their mother like a pair of gloves or a dress. They want something for the baby of the house or a grandparent to get well. It really is the little things that matter isn't it?

Tuberculosis Warning in Schools.....December 1930

Tuberculosis was said to claim more lives of people between the ages of 15 and 40. In fact, Posey County led the state in deaths from the disease in 1929 with 28. Teachers were put on alert to look for over fatigue and poor nutrition habits from their students to insure the health of our young people.

Saltzman Sells Store.....December 1930

Edward E. Saltzman, owner of the grocery store at Main and Second streets for five years, sold his business to C.P. Higginbotham, for over 20 years a merchant in Shawneetown, Illinois. Mr. Saltzman and his wife will spend the winter in Ohio.

Leo The Roaring Lion.....1930

Remember that roaring lion that would be at the start or end of old movies? Well, on November of 1930, Leo passed through Mt. Vernon en route to Evansville on a world tour in an auto cage. Guess we were not big enough for a visit.

Editor Calls For Good Sportsmanship.....October 1930

Editor Leffel said that football is a great game, but after all it is only a game, not to be taken seriously and nothing from which we should leave it with feelings of animosity and anger. He called for common decency in accepting defeat with good grace and recognizing that officials know more about the game than the by- standers. He went on to say that we should not offer alibis when the game is lost. He mentioned in Mt. Vernon that hardly a football season passes without some gross violation of good sportsmanship among our followers. He mentioned the loud jeers at officials who make a call against our team and that when we go on the road we represent our town. He asked that we please don't ruin the experience with our poor behavior. Mt. Vernon lost every game that season and scored only once in the first game of the season.

Local Minister Observes 101st Birthday.....September 1930

Rev. Louis Miller of 515 East Second Street celebrated his 101st birthday at the home of his son ex-mayor Samuel J. Miller at 330 East Third Street. Rev. Miller was the county's oldest citizen and notwithstanding his advanced years is in good health. He was a retired minister of the German Methodist Episcopal conference and was years ago pastor of the St. Paul's Church in Mt. Vernon. Don't know how long he lived, but he did reach 102. He was born in Alsace-Lorraine in 1829 and came to America when he was ten.

Hero Dog "Jerry" , Dead From Poisoning.....September 1930

Jerry the German police dog owned by Edward Galloway, died from poisoning. The dog proved himself a hero a few months prior when he snatched a small dog from in front of the grinding wheels of a freight train near the L&N station. Persons who witnessed the act of the dog stated that the animal in this episode almost displayed human intelligence. Jerry was the friend of everyone in the neighborhood and naturally his owner was very fond of him. He was brought to Mt. Vernon by Mr. Galloway from Jackson, Mississippi when a puppy of four months. He was a registered specimen of his breed and very faithful and always seen at the heels of his master. Very sad that someone would take upon himself to end this beautiful creature's life.

Horseradish.....September, 1930

In September 1930 horse radish manufactured by Joe Wolf of near St. Phillips, made its appearance in the local markets in town. The product was put up in neat glass containers with an attractive designed label. The quality of the product was very fine and those who purchased either the 10 or 15 cent jar were high in their praise. Mr. Wolf stated that he was enjoying a good demand for his product and that many places in Evansville and Henderson were giving him repeat orders which encouraged him to increase his output. Bet it would be good on a nice bratwurst with onion.

School Cafeteria Started.....September 1930

A public school cafeteria, which has been the dream of school officials for some time, became a reality. The cafeteria was housed in the basement of the Central building (burned in 1945), in the rooms formerly used by the domestic science and manual training departments before the six year High School plan was inaugurated. A competent cook and helpers were employed and the diet was under the supervision of Miss Anormalee Martin, head of the domestic science department. The cafeteria will serve noon lunches at cost to students of the rural district and of Mt. Vernon, as well as teachers. Eventually, it was planned to operate the High School continuously from the opening to the closing which would mean pupils and teachers would obtain their lunches at different periods.

Baby Rides Into City - On the Fender.....August 1930

Joseph Folz, three year old son of George Folz residing several miles out of town on State Road 62 had an unusual trip into Mt. Vernon. Mr. Folz brought a number of sacks of wheat to the Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company in the rear of his sedan and when he left home told his children, who were playing about the car, that they were not to accompany him, little Joseph thought differently. When Mr. Folz arrived at the mill he found that the child had ridden into the city on the running board of the machine. The father did not know his child was riding in the dangerous position until after he stopped at the mill.

"Don't Bring Me Down".....August 1930

Back at this time there were people doing weird things like sitting up in a tree all day to set endurance records. Mt. Vernon had one of these characters and he lived on North Mulberry Street. I don't know his last name, but he was nine years old and his first name was Herman. The little boy was determined to stay put in a tree for at least 100 hours! Twice he was tempted to stop this attempt and "come down to earth." His aunt offered him an opportunity to go to St. Louis for a short visit, but that didn't work. The family was even in the process of moving to another residence; but he still didn't come down and they moved anyway. When he passed the 100 hour mark he came down and his mother was very proud. "He went up there on his own accord", she said, "and there was no way we could get him to come down, I even offered him money to come down." "You only offered me a nickel," interrupted Herman. Good for him. I think we should revive some of this tradition. I think I would like to set the record for sitting in a chair the longest having lap dances!! Hahaha. Nah, run through money real fast that way.

Little Girl Fatally Injured On Way To Movies.....August 1930

Tragedy followed in the footsteps of little Vivian Douglas, 9, granddaughter of Mrs. Levi Douglas of West Seventh street as she was en route to the Vernon theatre for an evening of entertainment. Early Saturday evening as she was hurrying across Main at Fourth, she was hit by a local man in his automobile. After being struck the little girl was picked up by Herman Walters and was taken to the office of Dr. John Doerr. She was found to be badly bruised, injured internally with a crushed chest and abdomen and suffered lacerations about the head. She was taken home and carried into the Douglas home and was still conscious and telling everyone she felt better. She died ten minutes later. According to witnesses of the accident the traffic light showed green and as a result the police exonerated the driver from all blame.

Horse's Kick Fatal to Batteryman.....August 1930

Private John Hutchinson of Point Township, 18, of Battery E, 139th Field Artillery died at Camp Knox, Kentucky, being the result of injuries received when he was kicked by a horse while performing his duties with the guard unit while training at the military camp. An autopsy discovered a blood clot on the brain as the cause of death. The young private had only been in the guard one week. His remains were laid to rest at the Greathouse Church cemetery with military rites.

Lightning Strike in Rappite Graveyard.....July 1930

Around 9:30 PM that July weekend their came a terrible electric storm passing just south of New Harmony. A bolt of lightning seemed to be thrown from the clouds into the Rappite Cemetery, where it struck a locust tree and tore half of it to pieces. Bark was stripped from the trunk and the ground plowed up a considerable distance. A dove on a nest or at roost was killed. The demolished tree stood about 30 yards from John Axton's barn. The stroke was quite startling, as the storm was apparently a long way from New Harmony and the sky was pretty clear over town. None of the rain even fell in town. Many people in that locality felt the shock of the bolt. Mrs Neva Glump stood not more than 50 yards away when the tree was struck as she walked from her home to the cemetery to get a better look at the gorgeous electric display in the storm clouds south.

Looking Back at Old Fourth of July's From a 1930 Perspective

Editor Leffel in 1930 looked at the planned celebration in town for Independence Day and thought back to his unique set of memories to another time. "There was something about it in years gone that cannot be duplicated in our present age. Life was then lived on a different plane. There were no cars, except for a few which marked real wealth. There were few interests outside the limits of the city and people worked hard and long with nothing like radio, or the movie to give them a vision of the color of the outside world. With nothing but a drab outlook, according to modern standards, it is no wonder that people turned out on the Fourth determined to have a good time, and it is further no wonder that forms of entertainment that were comparatively simple brought pleasure and excitement. Our lives are now surrounded with so many wonders that we are a bit blaze. We are getting hard to entertain." We say that today over eighty years later that our kids don't play outside anymore, too much video games, and TV to play baseball in the hot sun. What will they say in another few decades?

Golf Gardens Opens To The Public.....July 1930

The Mt. Vernon Golf Gardens owned and managed by C.C. Maurer and Charles E. Lawrence opened to the public with a large crowd taking advantage of the first opportunity to enjoy miniature golf in Mt. Vernon. The Golf Gardens were located at Fourth and Wood Streets in the site of the old car barns. The course was 18 holes, excellently lighted with eight large flood lights, installed by Oscar Keck, local electrical contractor. Besides providing the city with amusement the course adds to the beauty of the city, replacing an unsightly lot.

Mulberry Street Bridge Built by L& N Opens To Traffic....July 10, 1931

Putt putt anyone.....July 1930

In July 1930, C.C. Maurer and Charles Lawrence, two local young men, began construction of a miniature golf course on the site of the old interurban car barn on East Fourth Street. Opening was July 15th.

Memorial Tree Marker Arrives.....July 1930

Early in the spring of 1930, the Harrow Relief Corps planted and dedicated on the high school grounds near Sixth Street a memorial tree for Union soldiers. The marker arrived in July made of bronze on a stone base.

New Cases of Smallpox in Mt. Vernon.....June 1930

After we thought the city had been cleared of smallpox following a slight epidemic several months prior, two new cases emerged within Mt. Vernon. According to Dr. W.E. Jenkinson, secretary of the city board of health one case was discovered at 215 Chestnut and another at a resident on North Canal Street. Both appear to be mild cases.

Carnival at Old High School Grounds.....May 1930

A galaxy of stars appearing in costume marched down the main drag with their gold and silver wagons. Heading the parade was the "spieler" whose voice rang out: "l-a-d-i-e-s a-n-d g-e-n-t-l-e-m-e-n", etc. there was Junior Thomas, the heavyweight prizefighter who announced he would fight anyone white or black under the age of ten years old. haha. He rode in a chariot stripped to the waist displaying his muscular power. Glenn Highman, a world renowned clown had spectators holding their sides with laughter. The carnival was held on North Main Street on the old school grounds (Exclyn Company) and inside the big top there were fortune tellers, no show would be complete without them. So everyone come on out and enjoy the shows and the concessions, and don't forget another circus comes in next week!

Skull of Unknown Animal Dug Out of River Bed.....May 1930

A large skull of some unknown animal of pre-historic days was dug out of the Ohio River bed three miles above West Franklin by Earl Hostetler, mussel man of that place. The skull is of the flat type, similar to that of an alligator. Near the back on either side of the skull is a 10 inch horn which is 4 1/2 inches in diameter at the base. The horns measure 37 inches from tip to tip. From the base of the skull to the base of the horns is 18 inches. The eyes point at an angle of 45 degrees from the nose and between the eyes is a space of 15 inches. The entire skull weighs 38 pounds. The skull was put on display at the store of Pacific Hendricks in West Franklin. A few weeks later the skull had been classified by Richard Soaper of Henderson, Kentucky as that of a water buffalo, now extinct, but was found in this section of the country about 1000 years ago. According to Mr. Soaper there were three other such skulls in the United States.

Burglars Rob High School - Loot is $84.50.....April 1930

Burglars entered the Mt. Vernon High school building secured cash from the safes in the offices of Superintendent M. O'Bannon and Principal G.S. Rust and caused damages to the building estimated to around $400. The work of the thieves was discovered by Herman Hofmann, janitor. Entrance was gained by smashing a window in the rear. A rear door had been removed from the hinges. Locked doors leading from the manual training room and adjacent rooms were also removed from their hinges. The safes were chiseled and pried open, the cold chisels having been secured from the manual training room and a heavy poker and shaker from the furnace room. All were found in the principal's office, giving evidence that the superintendent's office was entered first.

Help Wanted.....April, 1930

Hall Clock Made Here Attracting Attention at DeFur's.....April 1930

A seven foot hall clock, made by Herman Banknect of Mt. Vernon, is attracting considerable attention in the show window of the DeFur and Son paint store. The clock was made without the use of the regular cabinet making tool. The case was said to be one of beauty and made of inlaid walnut. The works were imported from Germany, former home of Banknecht, and are of the best obtainable. The clock chimes every quarter hour.

Mumps Cause Closing of Booker T. Washington.....1930

The Booker T. Washington school was closed from March 27 to April 7 in 1930 when an epidemic of mumps claimed 50% of the student body.

Vernon Theatre Launches "Talkies".....January 1930

Installation of DeFarest sound equipment was completed and now the cinema house will have a talking movie picture. The owner, V.F. Grubb stated that the first one would be a Fox Production of backstage life in Hollywood. Doesn't sound all that appealing to about you?

Old Rappite Mill Wheel Found at Old Dam.....January 1930

What was probably an important find was made by Dr. C.L. Rawlings who found a water wheel that once turned a Rappite mill. Found near the center of the falls and was covered by an immense slab that had been washed over the remaining timbers. "Only a section of the wheel could be removed but it was understood the trustees of the Workingmen's Institute would unearth the balance and reconstruct it." The wheel was oak, fastened with wooden pins and hand wrought nails evidently bound with iron. The find came as the river was experiencing exceeding lowness of water. Long ago the followers of George Rapp erected the mill, with the water wheel turning by the water that poured through the stream known as the Cut-off. When in the course of time the stream became sluggish with silt, rude plows drawn by oxen deepened the channel so the burrs might turn and grind the corn. Corn pone was found on almost every settler's table back then.

Pet Parade Poem.....1930's

We see them every summer parade...our kids pulling wagons with their cute little animals. Here is a poem from eighty years ago from the Western Star Newspaper: Hats off, here comes the band with uniforms knobby and music so grand. Shall we give them a cheer as they pass in review; To herald the coming of others to you. Who are these others, open your eyes wide, Tis a band of dear children with pets at their side. Let's give them a cheer as they pass on their way; With hearts bursting on this, their very big day. Ready and willing to do their best, that the Pet Parade may be a big success. And, what of the pets, the dogs and the cats. The chickens and guineas, the rabbits, and rats. The ponies and pigeons, the ducks and the geese, Won't you please rise and applaud at the very least?

The Unusual As Seen Down The Main Drag.....1930

This was a new column in the Western Star in the spring of that year. One of the first weird ones I noticed was of a street light globe out on Wolflin Street in which dead bugs accumulated to a depth of six inches.

Unearthed Handmade Ring Found.....1930

George Robinson, in charge of Hovey Lake, while digging at the east of his residence unearthed a finger ring which has the appearance of being hand-made. The metal of the ring resembles that of brass, but upon close examination it was found to be a metal unknown to him or those who have examined it. It is thought to be a ring made by the Daytons, early settlers of Point Township, since it was found at a point where it is known that one of their houses stood. The ring was given to Otto C. Klein and will later be placed in the coliseum building in the department of relics. Now that to me is interesting. What happened to that department? What else may have been there? Mr. Robinson was said to have found a number of articles near the lake and on the lands adjoining which indicate that in the early days the Indians lived in that section. An Indian burial ground is said to have been at a point near what is known as the lake club house.

Delivery Horse Retires.....1930

After 16 years of faithful service in delivery of flour and feed of the Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company throughout the city, a 24 year old horse was recently put on the pension list of the company when they secured a new truck which will make future deliveries. It was estimated that the horse traveled 96,000 miles in making deliveries. The horse has now been retired to the farm of Eugene Fuhrer, head of the mill where he will spend the remainder of his life at leisure in the barn and on the pasture.

80 Year Old "Horse" On Display at Western Star Paper.....1930

A "Schnitzel Bank," better known as a "cooper's horse," which is 87 years old, was on display at the newspaper office in Mt. Vernon. The "horse" was made by John Yunker shortly after his arrival in Posey County in 1843, coming here from Germany. He was a cooper by trade and made the 'horse" for his own use. Old time coopers used this article to shave off the old hickory hoops, which were used around barrels very extensively a half century ago. At the death of Mr. Yunker in 1919, the horse became the property of his oldest son Carl and later to John Yunker.

School Lunches Used 9,485 Bottles of Milk.....1930

During the 16 weeks that milk lunches were provided for the children of the Mt. Vernon schools, a total of 9,485 bottles were consumed, according to a report given to the Parent-Teacher club at the Central building. The report of treasurer Klotz showed that the sum of $556.67 had been expended, which included straws, crackers and milk. Around $300 was spent by the club and the remainder paid for by the children. I remember I would have milk money when I went to Hedges Central. We ate in these old barracks looking buildings that were put up following the fire at Central in 1945. I remember my mother would tie the change I needed for my lunch in a knot in a handkerchief so I wouldn't lose it. Anybody else do this? I had a heck of a time getting that knot out at time

"How Hot Is It?".....early 1930's

Lately, we are experiencing here high ninety degree temperatures with a heat index of 115. It has been brutal on those of us working outside and cooling centers have been set up all around the tri-state to help those without air conditioning. Most of my life we have had that luxury, but that was not always the case for mankind. Back in the early 1930's we were having a hot summer with little rain and Tim Crunk had a story that Ripley's Believe It or Not could have used. Crunk was the city street commissioner then and he had a testament of the intense heat on the streets. He stated that he sniffed the odor of burning rags during one afternoon and when he arrived home following his day's work he discovered that the heat from the pavements had scorched his socks and he was wearing a pair of heavy soled shoes....."Believe It or Not."

Black students in Point twp prior to 1930

I have forgotten the name of the school. Several of these children's last name was Napoleon. Records show that several eventually went to Booker T Washington in town.

Local Prohibitionary Era Wisdom?.....1930

Back in the 1930's we had a retired school teacher who had a column in the papers called, "Retired Rube Sez." He would have little sentences of wit from time to time. Here is an example: "Why don't they prohibit autos? They kill more people than whiskey."

New Harmony Bridge and Ferry.....1930

The ferry ran a course defined by two steel cables stretched from bank to bank. The first ferry here was established by the Rappities in 1815. The bridge opened in 1930.

Wrestling at the Coliseum......The 1930's

Back in those days the Coliseum was used for all types of purposes. We had educational meetings, instructional meetings, union meetings, a place to sometimes watch a movie, swimming, basketball, political rallies, concerts, minstrel tours, and even a circus or two. In the thirties we also had wrestling and boxing matches. The Bennett Bros. Athletic Club including later mayor James Bennett would put on many thrills for the sporting public. We had Golden Glove boxers and "freak" fighting which was a boxer versus a wrestler. Opportunities for black men at this time were limited, but in the ring they excelled and could make a few bucks. Locally we had the likes of "Slick" Anderson, Hez Cox, Charles Wilkerson, "Knockout Hobby", and "Terrible Stewart" to name but a few. Merle Weisinger was often the referee and the announcer many times was George Green.

Undertaker A.W. Neumann.....1843-1930's

This gentleman lived into his 90's and came from Saxton, Germany where he was born in 1843. He came to the United States in 1850 with his parents on a sailing ship taking five weeks to cross the ocean. It took another three weeks by steamboat from New Orleans to get to Evansville. The river was full of floating ice at the time and his family was forced to stay in Cairo, Illinois for a week because of it. His father was named John and he was a carpenter and he helped build the old St. Matthew's church. The family moved from Evansville to Mt. Vernon in 1856 with their goods being sent here by a lumber raft. A.W. and his mother came here overland in a horse and buggy. A.W. had 9 siblings, but they all died while young. His first work in Mt. Vernon was as a bartender in the saloon operated in connection with a hotel of Daniel Leffel, father of John C. Leffel, founder of the Western Star newspaper. The hotel was located on Third and College. Later he was employed as a clerk in the Schafer drug store which was located on Main Street in the building later occupied by the Western Union Telegraph company. Following this work he was employed in the cabinet factory operated by the father of T.B. Brown, which located in the alley in the rear of the present site of St. Matthew's church. In 1859 he started to learn the undertaking business working for Carl Schiela. After mastering this profession he entered business for himself in 1872 on West Fourth Street, between Main and College Avenue, having always been located in the same place. He retired at age 84. He did the first case of embalming in Posey County and for several years made his own coffins, using walnut and yellow poplar lumber. He also purchased the first factory made coffin in Posey County. He accumulated considerable property in Mt. Vernon, among which were the buildings located in the quarter block of the southeast corner of Fourth Street and College Avenue. Twice he lost his buildings by fire and each time he rebuilt them on the same site. When he first came to Mt. Vernon the city extended east only as far as Canal Street and west only to Mill Creek. North the city extended only to Ninth Street, that section north being a commons. There were no railroads, the only means of transportation being overland or by steamboat. The city lighted by gas lights. Building west of Mill Street was started after the railroad boom. Mr. Neumann was a member of the Trinity Evangelical church. During his early years h served the church as Sunday School superintendent, trustee, and secretary-treasurer. As trustee of the church he took a prominent part in the building of the present edifice. In 1869 he married Katherina Kaufmann residents of Bufkin. They had ten children. He was a lifelong democrat and a member of the Odd Fellows lodge and the German Aid Society.

Downtown view.....1930s

Odd Fellows Building.....1930


New Harmony Bridge.....1930

New Harmony Bridge.....1930

New Harmony Bridge.....1930

50 Years After Great Fire of 1880; A Witness Describes It.....1930

James Davis wrote an article published in the Western Star about the night of October 19, 1880...the greatest fire of the downtown district in Mt. Vernon. On that evening it was moderately cool and frosty. He was awakened from his peaceful slumber by the ringing of the old Methodist Episcopal Church bell that was rang when something within the town was on fire. The bell was mounted on a large frame platform, held about 25 feet in the air by large 10X10 inch uprights, substantially braced and the sound was such it was said that it could be heard over the four corners of town. The bell was located in the southwest corner of the old churchyard on Walnut Street. The tone was said to be peculiar and different from the other bells in the city. The bell a short time after the fire cracked and although repaired it was never the same. Anyway, James arose and while dressing went to the window to see where the fire was. He saw a bright glare in the southern sky and he knew the fire was on Main Street. He ran down Main and with neighbors and friends he yelled "Fire" at the top of their voices. He soon saw that the fire was in the business house of Gerding's candy and confectionery store, a three story brick building located on the west side of Main, between Second and Third. Just north of the burning building was the George Henrich gents' furnishing store and tonsorial parlor of four chairs, and the Mt. Vernon Banking company, the latter on the alley. Buildings south of the burning store were Rosenbaum & Harlem, dry goods and merchant tailors, the New Era dry goods and grocery store, opened and operated by George Naas, a former county treasurer, and a building on the corner occupied by Dr. William McArthur, a celebrated patent medicine manufacturer and druggist. This was the only building of the whole block that was not destroyed. "Other buildings consumed, located from the alley north to Third Street, were the Fuhrer-Boyce store, the John Burtis restaurant, Tischendorf & Sutcliffe's millinery, Peter Walter's saloon, James Dunn restaurant, Ike Kahn's saloon, John Zimmerman's shoe shop, George Feldman's barber shop, Freeman, Pfeffer & Wey's Meat Shop, Martha Overton's residence, Clark's jewelry store and Rhein's shoe shop." Arriving on the scene, Davis noticed that there were enough men on the bucket brigade and the best place for him to help would be with the salvage crew. "I first went into the confectionery store of Charles Gerding and carried out merchandise until the fire began to eat its way into the ceiling of the first floor. I then assisted in carrying out goods from the Rosenbaum & Harlem store until it was unsafe to re-enter and started on the New Era building." The New Era building was a large store and was later the location of the Stinson Bros. Dry Goods. "The building ran to the alley in the rear and on the north was the dry goods department and on the south was the grocery department. In the center was a large skylight. As I passed under the skylight with my arms full of dry goods the glass broke and glass rained down and cut my arms." James rushed home and his mother bandaged his hands and he then returned to the fire. The fire burned north consuming wooden buildings all the way to the corner of Third and Main. There were a number of saloons and restaurants and outside the street was littered with cigars. "The street was not littered with whiskey and wine however as it was consumed by the workers." Remember at this time there was neither fire department nor firefighting equipment.

Copy of 'Hunk-a-Dora" given to Posey Historical Society.....1930

Funny name for a paper isn't it? This paper was a four page affair, dated June 20, 1867 and was said to be published semi-monthly in Mt. Vernon. The paper was distributed gratis with a circulation of 500. This particular paper was given by Mrs. Ida Edson Jean of Houston, Texas visiting in town in the fall of 1930. The paper was said to be in a well preserved state with not even a faded mark being noticed. The Western Star newspaper looked it over and said the quality of paper was superior to what they were using then, but unfortunately, the publication did not mention the editor or the address of the office. News items of interest were few. There was a item on steamboats like the Mayflower and Mary Swan operating in our area and an article of the completion of the Solitude covered bridge by a Mr. Washer. A list of marriage licenses was noted. Among the advertisers were J. A. Smith and Bro., fancy tobacco; W.F. Stiehl, ice cream; Cafe DeParis, Leonard and Jones, dry goods; Patmore and King, groceries and liquors; Hollingsworth, dentist; Whittelsey, Jewelry; Hazle Weare, groceries; George Henrich, barber; Andrew Fogas, cigar mfg; Noel and Milner, dry goods; Pearse, physician; and Terry agent for the Cannelton, Sash, and Door factory.

The "Biggest Little Grocery".....1920's and 1930's

It's amazing the number of little groceries there were before they got large. It seems every few blocks was one...I continue finding ones I never heard of like Dunn's at Fourth and College Avenue. This business started around 1925 by Elmo Dunn. Although located in a small building it was said to have had a unusually large stock of items and had a "systematic arrangement of stocking." Patrons often marveled at the completeness of the store. Fresh vegetables were carried at all times. Dunn started in the business at age 12, employed in the Charles Joest grocery once located in a building on North Main Street which has since been torn down. He clerked for eight years in other locations too before starting his own business. He was assisted by his wife and Miss Edna Kost.

Retired Rube Sez to the 1% 'ers of his Time.....1930

The man who already has more than his share and is still trying to get more comes within two feet of being a hog.

The original McFaddin memorial from the 1930's at the riverfront. Where did it go?

I have seen pictures of it during the '37 flood, but none since. I don't know where it is either. Was by there today and I guess Homeland Security is not concerned with workers taking there break under the tree.

South Carolina Town Named After Mt. Vernon Man.....1930

So enthused were the citizens of Hamburg, S.C., just across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia with the work Charles Car did as a National Red Cross worker that they changed the name of their town to Carrsville. The son of Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Carr, he had been assigned to work in Hamburg, an all African-American town of about 100 residents. The river had been cutting into the little town and the Red Cross undertook to move the town one and a half miles back from the river. The population was so pleased with his work that the immediately changed their name...welcome Carrsville!

Worrying About Forgetting the Railroads Editorial.....1930

Mr. Wofe, editor of the New Harmony Times was lamenting the neglect of a great transportation source....the railway. "A century ago we bragged of the pork, the corn, the cattle, horses, oats and lard we sent out to southern markets and the settlers who came in. The arrival of fifty-four steamboats within fifty-five days are recorded in Vincennes and of flat boats nearing five hundred passing down in the same length of time. Ten new counties had been formed above Terre Haute, with a population of seventy thousand pioneers, men and women ancestors of a sturdy race. One hundred years ago folks the Wabash was a great inland artery along which poised the life blood of a nation; today it is anemic, a wreck, and intermittent sandbar, a tangled mass of weeds and willows through which a sluggish river creeps. One hundred years ago its bosom bore the incoming flood of settlers and carried out their produce to the marts of the world; today it is a drainage canal into which the creeks and ditches and cesspools of the north country drain. The neglect of the Wabash and the American waterways as a whole was the stupid crime of the nineteenth century. Ignoring the possibilities of the river, the people turned to the more rapid form of transportation and these natural highways were neglected until today it would exhaust the wealth of a nation to restore them. What the nineteenth century did twentieth is in a fair way to repeat. Turning to the truck, the railways are being neglected in favor of this new form of transportation which is carrying a prodigious amount of produce of a certain kind, taking from the railways a necessary earning that makes their existence possible. If this keeps on, the railways of the country will join the rivers in the graveyard of discarded things......a streak of rust on a right of way."

Heironimus and Miller Garage.....1930's

Located at 331 West Second it featured general automobile repairing and sold exide batteries and Kelly-Springfield tires. They had a towing service and only the best of mechanics on duty to repair all makes of cars.

Roast Pork by Electrocution.....1931

When a hired hand of Andrew Darnell of 121 South Barter Street left the barnyard in the rear of the Darnell home he knocked to the ground an electric wire running from the residence to the barn. Picking up the wire and escaping any shock because the wire was insulated, he wound it around a post near a watering trough. A short time later, Mrs. Darnell heard a pig squealing frantically, and rushing out found that the pigs had chewed insulation off the wire. One of the pigs was dead and the others were running around, "like mercury on a saucer." The 80 pound porker was electrocuted. Using an iron handle hatchet to rake the wire away from the pigs, Mrs. Darnell was severely shocked and the hatchet was tossed 20 feet away. Shazam!

Main Street.....1930's

65 Year Old Blind Man Denied Marriage of 15 Year Old Girl.....1930

They all recognized that times were hard, but approval for a 65 year old blind man from Illinois and a 15 year old companion, also from Illinois was denied at the Posey Circuit Clerk's Office. They came in seeking a marriage license and "circumstances were deplorable" even as the mother of the girl was present to give her consent to the union. Clerk Lloyd Dixon's denial was passed on law. "A girl under 16 years of age cannot be licensed to wed under Indiana statutes even though her mother does consent to the union unless a court order directs the issue of the license."

Pistol Falls Out of Policeman's Holster and Shoots Victim.....1930

Thomas Brown, prominent Mt. Vernon resident was accidently shot when a pistol fell from the holster of Chief of Police, W.D. Lawrence as the two were at the home of Herman Johnson, seeking evidence that might determine the whereabouts of the accused slayer. Brown was taken to Deaconess Hospital and was said to continue to improve with no complications.

Henry Ford Uses Our Straw in his Hot Rod Lincolns.....1930

Come the New Year and the temperatures turned cold at the local Strawboard manufacturing plant on the west side of town. They continued operation through a weekend instead of suspending for Sunday as usual to avoid a freeze up during the extreme cold weather. A new contract was made with Ford where five carloads of product monthly was sent to Detroit to manufacture Triplex glass for Ford and Lincoln auto windshields. The strawboard is used as a cushion in the hydraulic pressure process of manufacturing the glass.

Old Booker T Washington Before Fire of 1933

MVHS Canal Street Statistics.....1930's

The basement housed the vocational and prevocational departments consisting of laboratories for physics, chemistry and biology, sewing rooms, kitchen, agriculture and industrial arts and the heating plant. The home economics rooms were finished in ivory glazed brick and the other rooms in the basement in salt glazed brown brick. The first floor was a main lobby with terrazzo floors and stairways leading to the main corridors of the first and second floors. All corridors were terrazzo (exposed marble chips). There were six large classrooms and a study hall seating 125 and offices for the superintendent, principal, dean of girls, girl's restroom, two general offices and toilets. In the south wing of the first floor was the gym with a seating capacity of 1200. The floor was 46X80 feet. In the north wing was the auditorium with a seating capacity of 720. It had a equipped stage with a proscenium opening 17 x 30 feet. The balcony was reached by the second floor and contained a fireproof motion picture booth. The second floor contained 8 large class rooms and a study hall with capacity of 125. This floor also contained a teacher's rest room and toilets. An electric fire alarm system and class bells were operated by a master clock and the heating and ventilating were of the latest approved kinds. The roof was Johns Manville and the corridors contained individual ventilated steel lockers for the students. The gym contained showers and team rooms with private offices.

Defiance Tire Company in 1930's Became Lutterman's Market....

Additions were added at the Defiance Company, owned by the Walker family who sold the building to Edward Lutterman.

1930 Hoop Pole

The Hoop Pole had just gone to a hardback cover for the first time in 1929 then the Depression hit. The annual was sub par in 1930, the worst in school history. It disappeared altogether the next year until the depression ended.

Posey Pioneer Family Find Purse with Old Receipts of Interest.....1930

Sylvanus Johnson, 60, while looking through some old papers at the home of his father Pitts, of near Farmersville discovered a purse in which were a number of receipts. Sylvanus, county agent officer, found one from Thomas F. Prosser, editor of the Mt. Vernon Courier for a subscription starting in the spring of 1838 and it was issued to D.F. Johnson, his grandfather. The first paper in the county was the New Harmony Gazette, published in 1825. D.F. was born in 1804 in New York State. The first Johnson in Posey was Rufus who brought his family here in 1822. As a matter of fact the Johnson's traced their roots to Captain Edward Johnson who came from England with Governor John Winthrop at the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. Other receipts found by Sylvanus included one issued by Rufus Johnson, great grandfather of the attendance officer, by Dr. Moses Winings, showing payment of $8.75 for medical services to the Johnson family and the date was November28, 1820. Other receipts issued to Rufus showed he paid $1 for school tuition on April 22, 1829 and on December 9, 1840; he paid $1.17 in full for one third part of the state and county tax on a farm which belonged to Samuel Phillips. All the receipts were written in ink on a very good grade of paper and were well preserved. It is said that the Johnson family were the first famers in the county to bring a reaper onto the farm fields. I can't imagine the burdens they endured when the land was wild and the weather unforgiving.

Editor Donates Birds to MVHS.....1930

John C. Leffel, editor of the Western Star, donated a number of mounted birds to the biology department of the local high school. The specimen included a Great Northern loon, a rail, a clipper rail, Great Blue heron, and a cormorant.

Unusual on the Main Drag.....1930

Long ago we had our first miniature golf course, known as the "Golf Gardens" at Fourth and Wood Streets. Bob Stinson, was putting off at the eighteenth hole and hit the ball with so much force that it went over not only the mound but also the hazard, the fence, and bounced off the edge of a car and into the pocket of Fred Dietz nearby. Unusual hole in one. No free game awarded however.

Partial Poem about Covered Bridge at Solitude by D.M. Duckworth. Bridged Stood 1867-1930

For the bridge was to have a wooden frame and stand there night and day. So they covered it over with a clapboard roof, lest its timbers might decay. With yellow popular and white oak beams, they built it strong and good, it bore the traffic for many a day, for sixty-two years it stood. Our fathers with oxen to wagon and part with their grinding across it came. Taking it down to the old water mill that stood just down the stream. Lads and lassies both on horse then with horses to buggies they rode. The traction steam engine drawing thresher also passed over this bridge and road. Then the automobile, with its horn and its lights, came by at a rapid gait and the state taking over this once plank road, declared this bridge...out of date. They have built a fill and straightened the road that the Ford can have a straight run and the bridge was left and a curve cut off, so now they are tearing it down today. W.T. Washer built this bridge, a workman skilled in his way. The bridge like its builder, has served its time, and is now being taken away. Washer was from Cannelton Indiana and was an active bridge builder after the Civil War. He built at least 20 covered bridges of which at least 4 are still standing. His bridges were built in Posey, Gibson, Vanderburgh, Perry and Spencer counties.

Old Relic Shown at Western Star Newspaper Office.....1930

A trunk, maybe 200 years old brought to the States by J.J. Juncker, from Darmstadt, Germany in 1843 was on display at the Western Star office on East Second Street. The old relic was made entirely by hand and the nails used for holding it secure were wooden pegs, the body is tongue and grooved, the hinges hand-made and extend the entire width of the trunk. The lock was hand-made. I wonder if it is still around? These Junckers lived in the Caborn area and was handed down to that time to sons of John, Jake and Phillip who were all deceased by 1930. The trunk seemed to be in the possession of a Rev Townsend and he said he thought it would one day be in a museum.

There Once Was A Restaurant Called "Shadow." 1920's-30's?

I come across an ad without an address in Mt. Vernon of a restaurant owned by August Gentil and assisted by Mrs. Gentil and Joyce Blackburn. Now I am familiar with Gentil's which was the predecessor of Gundi's, but I have not heard of Shadow They said they bought out the building and the fixtures from the Smokewell on the same location. It advertised ice cream, sherbets, tasty sandwiches and cigars. I can just see a fat old stogie pushed into a dish of ice cream....yuk! They also sold some sort of box candy called "Elmer's." Sure would like a location if possible. (Bob Gentil says: Was on Main and Third in the old Whipple building)

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Whitmore Handle Factory Moves to New Location.....Spring, 1920

Building started on the new factory of the Whitmore Handle Company in May situated on the site of the old canning factory on the Lower New Harmony road and the L&N railroad and will enable the management to double their capacity as well as have better shipping facilities. The present factory building on East Tenth Street will be moved and used as a warehouse for the finished product. This building measures 32X60 feet. The new factory will measure 42X84 feet and will be more than twice the size as the old. An engine room and dry kiln measuring 12X24 feet and a building 36X50 feet are to be used for storing the raw material are also to be constructed. The management was President N.N. Williams, VP Horace Smith, and Secretary Treasurer William Ruminer. The old factory is running at full capacity and has been unable to fill all present orders. The new facility will enable them to fill orders more promptly and if needed to expand to meet increased needs.

New Harmony Bridge Worker Makes Big Splash Into Wabash.....November 1929

Richard Dunn, working on the Harmony Way Bridge was struck by a piece of pump pipe and knocked from the trestle into eight feet of water. After another worker said, "he came up after what seemed to be an extremely long time," he was rescued. The pipe was swinging overhead when a piece 18 feet long broke off and struck Dunn on the head, making a severe scalp wound. Dunn returned to work a few days later.

Last Covered Bridge in Posey Expires.....October 24, 1929

The old covered bridge over Big Creek at Solitude erected by W. T. Washer in 1867 was torn down. Still in fairly good condition, it was no longer necessary since the new route of State Highway 65 is just east of the bridge where a culvert has been built over the creek.

Dancing Girls at the Coliseum....THAT's ENTERTAINMENT!...October 1929

Carr Bros I believe we're from Mt. Vernon. They called one "Biff" I run across his name a bunch in the 1920's as a MC and a entertainer, actually going back to his high school days. Decades later at a milestone class reunion ....maybe a 50th he MC'd it.

What Happened on Black Tuesday in Mt. Vernon.....October 1929?

At 231 B on Main Street is a relic of another time with a mystery I have not been able to crack. Following a lead from Becky Higgins I was led up to the apartment for rent by Beth McFaddin Higgins to view this bedroom where two complete walls are dedicated to stocks and grain futures. Bernie and Linda Moll once owned this building and they uncovered the wall when they took down the wallpaper maybe around 2004. He was told by an old timer, now deceased that on "Black Tuesday," October 29, 1929 a man stockbroker took his life by shooting himself in the head. I have searched almost everywhere I can for death records of a suicide on that time period, by a gun in that building to no avail. In 1929 this building would have been owned by Charles Dawson who was a pharmacist before Ira Rothrock. Dawson didn't die for a few more years (1935) and not by suicide. I can't find any business for that building listed anywhere on the second floor. The First National Bank was on the corner of Third and Main Street connected to this building. I have been thinking maybe there was a connection with the bank. Still no body or name. I am sorry I have let you down, but maybe some future historian will pick up the ball and continue the search. The man would have been very tall unless he stood on something. I am 5'10' and it is at least four or five inches taller than me.

Major Builder of MV Buildings, Jake Behrick Dies.....September 1929

Jake Behrick, 62, senior member of a contracting firm of Jake Behrick & Son, ex city councilman, democratic political leader, civic worker passed on at his home at 215 West Eighth Street. He had been in bad health for over a year and had been visiting several different spas for a nervous disorder produced by a lesion on the brain. Early in life he learned the carpenter's trade under his father. Forty years he had been engaged in building in Mt. Vernon, Southern Indiana, and Illinois. Among his major projects were the Memorial coliseum, the new High School (Canal Street), Elk's Home, Eagles Home, Masonic Temple, Short Funeral Home, Keck Garage, and the James Whitcomb Riley School. He also for a time managed the Industrial Brick Company in town. Interment was at Bellefontaine cemetery.

Large Showcase Is Addition to Museum.....August 1929

The Posey County Historical Society has added to the equipment of the museum room in the coliseum, a large show case, 23 feet in length.

Weilbrenner Adds Meat Market.....1929

In June of 1929 an arrangement was made with the removal of the Henry Knight meat market on West Fourth Street to the Weilbrenner store. Mr. Knight would continue to run the meat market within the Weilbrenner store as a separate section. A full line of fresh and cured meats would be handled along with delivery service. Remember he is right there on Main between the two filling stations, Standard Oil and Hawkeye. Come on down....they give trading stamps also, plus meat and groceries may be ordered at the same time for delivery under the same credit arrangements as before...good people Weilbrenner...come get u sum! "Our customers will be benefited by the prompt and pleasing service and now we have two phones 153 and today ma'am."

Plane Lands in Farmer's Field....Damages Wheat.....June 1929

A plane bearing the identification "C-89, Missouri and Pacific Lines," on the wings landed in the wheat field of Arthur Topper and Will Redman in Western Black Township, then ran the length of two football fields an took to the air, before the farmers could reach it. I bet they had a few choice words for the pilot! The wheat was bent to the ground in both fields and was a considerable loss. Is there insurance for such an occasion?

Whip Blow Results In Loss of Eye.....April 20, 1929

Loren Walker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Neal Walker, West Sixth Street, lost sight in one eye as the result of a blow in the optic from the tip of a whip while he was driving a team near Savah. Removal of the eyeball was found necessary.

Actual Work Begins on New Harmony Bridge.....April 25, 1929

The man in the pit on the left was a New Harmony native named Clayton and he actually had the distinction of shoveling the first dirt. This is a partial of a larger picture. Some others identified are from the left Thomas Richards, Edgar Leathers, Ulya Pyle, John Pyle, Mrs. Nan Boren....the rest I don't know. I know one is C.P. Wolfe the New Harmony Times editor. I believe second to right in front. Pyle was a promoter as was Leathers. Earlier that day a ceremonial stake was driven by E.H. Goode, engineer for the United States War Department. The papers were there for the county and the Evansville Courier. Certainly Illinois had their dignitaries there also.

MVHS Dedicated on Washington's Birthday...February 22, 1929

One of the largest indoor audiences ever assembled in Mt. Vernon to that time came to view the $200,000 high school. A crowd estimated at 2,500 witnessed the simple patriotic ceremony. Dr. Henry Noble Sherwood of the University of Louisville defined it, "The American school house is the paramount building in the United States and its task of building citizenship, the nation's greatest problem." State Superintendent Roy Wiseheart, was on hand devoting his address to the discussion of problems of most school administrations, dwelling on the proper housing of pupils in the new age. We had music by the school orchestra, the high school chorus, the audience sang, "America," a few more speeches including one from Mayor Samuel J. Miller, a presentation of gifts to the school from clubs and sorority's, more music and then the benediction.

Van Calvin Saloon on corner of 2nd and Main.....Late 1920's

Commissioner's Meeting Gleanings from 1821-1829

The tax rate for 1821 looks odd from today's perspective: Each male over twenty years of age $1.50; each work oxen charged 25 cents each; each silver watch 25 cents each; a gold watch would cost you 50cents each; a four wheeled pleasure carriage were a $1.25; a two wheel carriage a buck; each horse, mare, mule or ass over three years old would cost you 37 and a half cents each; and a bound servant over 12 years of age would ring you up $2. In 1821 a new township was created and called Daniel. In 1826 we had rules laid down for the commissioner meetings. No member could be absent more than five minutes at a time without permission. No member could be interrupted when speaking or speak more than twice on anyone subject without permission. Profound silence shall be observed except for the member speaking. There would be not spirits drank while the courthouse is in session. If you screw up it will cost you 50 cents. In 1825, Jesse Welborn was called on to start a collection for the building of a court house in Mt. Vernon. In 1829 we had James McFadden licensed to retail foreign and domestic spirits within the town. Thomas Duckaut was allowed $1 for killing a wolf and James Phillip was allowed $3 for killing six wolves under six months of age. W. J. Lowry was allowed $4.50 for making a coffin for Polly Smith a poor woman. Legroo Bennett was released from paying taxes by having served in the Revolutionary War.

New Harmony Ferry.....1929

A Mecca For Shoppers.....1929

The Niblo Variety Store, 403-407 Main Street was a popular place for decades. It carried a large stock of variety goods form women's and girl's dresses to dishes, curtain materials, notions, hosiery, enamel and tin ware, baskets, kitchen utensils, stationery, toilet articles, bric-brac, toys, and candles. Mr. Niblo came to Mt. Vernon from Olney, Illinois in 1913 and moved to the location on Main in 1924. Later my generation remember this as the location of Tresslar's. In the sales department assisting Mr. Niblo was his wife and their daughter Mildred, Miss Cora Shaw and Miss Grace Dixon. Fred Blesch was the janitor and other salespeople were added during the holidays.

A New School.....1929

Erected at a cost of $200,000 the site was purchased in 1920 and the city council issued bonds in 1928 in the amount of $50,000 to assist the city in paying for the structure. It was then like 293 others in the state of Indiana, a six year high school. The building was 128 feet wide and 237 1/2 feet long in a Tudor gothic design both interior and exterior. All the outside windows were equipped with Draper adjustable shades and each radiator of the heating system was self-regulating. The building was said to be 95% fireproof with all stairwells being constructed of concrete and steel. It had a gymnasium and a auditorium. Built-in lockers were in the hallway and a trophy case and a bulletin board both built-in. Drinking fountains were located in the hallways. The auditorium sat 747 and had a balcony. There was a 20x30 foot stage with front curtains of red velour and a second of greenish blue velour. The stage had border and foot lights and controlled by dimmers. Dressing rooms were underneath the stage. There were biological, physics and chemistry laboratories and places for manual training like cooking, sewing and woodworking. There was a print shop and agricultural departments. The gym was 80X80 with dressing rooms and offices for both girls' and men's coaches. (We had a girls' basketball team until 1930). The gym playing surface was 41X76 with two glass backboards, one on each end and four wooden backboards on the two sides of the court. Could accommodate 1100 spectators. The ticket booth for the gym was as you entered from Sixth street. Much of the equipment was bought right here at Pearson's Furniture, Gronemeier's Hardware and others. Gates were installed in the hallways of the first and second floors to close these areas off to visitors. Doors were all made of oak and each room numbered, those in the basement being in the teens, the first floor the twenties and the second floor the thirties.

1929 Posey County Historical Society Says Abe Lincoln Gave Speech at Grafton Bridge

I would like to see this proof, but B.O. Hanby said a paper prepared by a J.F. Davis proved that Lincoln did in fact speak nearby, but no date or details were forthcoming. Maybe I'll find it in this big stack of papers I am going through. I hate reading of relics once given to the society that we no longer have. You see years ago we had a good start to fill a museum of Posey County items. Gifts of the past year like a portrait of Judge Edson, photographs of the toll gate markers of the Old Plank Road. There were annual reports from George Washington's Mt. Vernon that were shipped to our Mt. Vernon ever since 1909. There was an interesting will listed that bequeath some property to his Indian wife in Mt. Vernon. All these items and many more disappeared when the Coliseum was broken into during the 1930's.

Something Called a "Ornithologist" Goes Looking for Water Turkeys in Hovey Lake.....1929

~Wavy~, he don't know the ways of the woods. I love going listening to what I would call the whip-poor-wills and I like watching birds on the lakes and enjoy walks through trails stomping on yellow leaves. I usually do this in places like Harmony State Park or Audubon Park. Nobody with guns there to mistake me for....well a turkey. I don't grow any "plants" anymore, but those who do may have booby traps about and you never know when you might run up on a meth lab. Getting back my story here this "Ornithologist" fellow, a Mr. Samuel Perkins from the State, along with several assistants (pencil pushers) and Mr. Hanby took off spending a part of a week studying the "water turkey," of which claims there were a number in the lake. This turkey was about the size of a common turkey and was proportioned about the same. "It is not known whether it is a destructive bird or whether the fowl can be used for food," said the Ornithologist man. The state representative and the gang waded into the lake checking the species from early morning until roosting time at night that July of 1929. I guess they met with success as the party went out several different times that month and found the bird perched in cypress trees and swimming. They said they saw as many as forty in a single place. They wanted to find them nesting but were unsuccessful. They wanted to see the nests. They found a old one lined with feathers of gulls. Lots of things out there in Hovey it seems. They talked about "prothonotary warblers" and rare wood ducks. You ever notice how complicated the names of plants and wildlife are? They went to Half Moon Pond (that thar is good name), but found no turkeys; but there was some "cormorants" perched on the north side. They were surprised by that. ~Wavy~ would know a cormorant if I fell over one. Lots of Cardinals on the fence posts I imagine, but no Cubs were found. Mocking birds were plentiful, but none were heard. Weird. "Chuck-will's Widow" was heard. Leonard Brown, you are a bird watcher; what the hell is that? They stalked a pair of barred owls and were harassed by a number of crows. We have them in need to go to the country for them. Mr. Perkins was so impressed with our lake and woods that he planned another safari into the wilds in August. Hanby just complained about the "skeeters."

Pharmacist Fogas Dies.....1929

William Fogas and his drugstore at the corner of Second and Main were well known. Many of the old postcards of Main Street show the Fogas name on the side of the pharmacy. William Henry Fogas was born in Mt. Vernon in 1862, the son of a German immigrant. His father came to Mt. Vernon in 1861 and established the first cigar factory known at that time. He conducted that business until 1904 when he died and the business went over to William Frier. William here was a Republican, graduated from MVHS in 1878, and Pharmacy School in St. Louis in 1884. He came back to Mt. Vernon and worked for Joseph Gardiner, druggist until he passed on. He had one daughter...Alice.

Owen Dunn Post Drums On Display.....1929

The newly organized post drum corps displayed in the show window of the Rosenbaum Brothers Department store, 24 drums which were a product of Indianapolis. Each was stamped with the American Legion seal. This drum was recently found in an auction in another state, purchased and brought home.

Historic Show Case On Display by Historical Society.....1929

One of the largest movable show cases in Mt. Vernon was donated to the Posey County Historical Society that was owned by George Henrich which he purchased in 1850 and used it in his barber shop at 215 Main Street.

Washington No Longer On Two Pieces of Currency...MV Reacts to New Money.....1929

Before July 1, 1929 there was eleven different denominations made in 39 designs! Washington for instance was on the dollar bill and the twenty. Counterfeiters would change the numbers and the public sometimes got confused. Uncle Sam also reduced the size of the bills to save printing costs and to make them more convenient to handle. Now Mt. Vernonites could put money in an envelope without folding them, something which the old bills would not do. Locals liked how more money would fit in the palm of your hand for counting and did not take up so much room in their billfolds. So, all you Hoosiers memorize all the portraits on the new bills so you will not be shortchanged.

Look What's Happin' Out In the Streets".....1929

John "Judge" Hermann, local garage man and Pontiac/Oakland distributor became a patient of Deaconess Hospital, suffering from a fracture of the skull when he was thrown to the street from the running board of an auto on East Fifth Street and Walnut. John you see was riding on the running board of a Ford coupe of Miss Bess Geissler, Griffin school teacher. Somehow I get the feeling this was a good looking school marm. Passengers in the car were Miss Kemp, another school teacher and a Griffin High School student. It seems to have been fairly common for people to hop on the running board back in the day, maybe that's why they call them running boards. Heck, I don't know...I only saw them when Capone was shooting up Chicago and gangsters were riding shotgun in the movies. The trio of Misses had arraigned for storage of the auto at the garage and Herman was in route to MVHS which was the scene of the Posey County Basketball Tourney. Dr. Doerr rushed brother John to the hospital where a xray showed the fracture of the skull at the base of the ear. Reports later said he was improving nicely and "taking nourishment." By the way, the Griffin Tornadoes defeated the Stewartsville club 30-24 in the championship game. The Wildcats were "smoked" by the Poseyville Posies 30-16. You would think a team with starters with last names of Aud, Ashworth, Bishop, Abell, and Schafer would be belter than that ....wouldn't you?

Burglar Fires on Nightwatchman...Makes Large Mess...Gains No Loot.....1929

Wm. Landreth, Sycamore Street, night watchman at the Sunlight Milling Company had a narrow escape late one night when he was fired upon by a burglar operating for over an hour in the Westhoff Brothers Garage, just east of the mill. Landreth threw a flashlight on the intruder and the bad guy fired a shot with the bullet going through the plate glass window of the A.A. Schenk Grocery across the street. The burglar then fled. Nothing of value was taken from the garage, but the entire interior of the garage showed evidence of a search for money. Landreth had saw movement earlier but thought that Mr. Westhoff was in the building. No identity of the gunman was noted and he got away.

Mountaineers Trample Boonville.....1929

That's the title of a Western Star article in the fall of 1929. Although if you have read my book on boy's basketball, the 1912 team was called the Brownies only because the coach was George Brown. The Mountaineers became our first official nickname I guess in the 1920's. Getting back to this game in 1929 of which the paper said the "mountaineer Indians scalped the Boonville Pioneers 19-13. Before all the line plunges, end runs, aerial attacks there was a big monster pow-wow at the Athletic Field. The night started at Sherburne Park with a parade of youngsters running down the street with the band and drum corps taking part. I can remember a "snake dance" winding through town for a big game when I was in school. Probably~Wavy~ got to hold hands with a girl for the first time. Maybe, I am exaggerating just a tad. After the group of spirited students got back to the park they had one of them pep sessions where the postmaster, Phillip E. Rowe, gave a big inspiring rah rah speech. "Go play like a house afire!"

MVHS Moves Into New School, New Principal, New Nickname.....1929

Back in the 1980's longtime Mt Vernon principal and 1915 graduate Charlie Hames would drive over to see the hippie and he would bring me money wrapped in rubber bands that he had collected of sales of my hardback book, "From Brownies to Wildcats." Because having him as a salesman to push it, it was like having LBJ twisting arms in the Senate. That first book has sold more than any of my seven to date. He would sit at my dinner table and we would discuss sports and students and World War I and just about anything. He couldn't remember me from school or my family. That bothered him because he knew and remembered just about everything about Mt. Vernon. Well, I asked him about the Wildcat nickname and the school colors. He went on in great detail and said that G.S. Rust was selected Mt. Vernon principal in August of 1929 to succeed Earl Nash who resigned after five years to attend Columbia University in New York. Rust had been a teacher in the Mt. Vernon school for about four years and principal of the Junior High for a couple. He also taught history and science at the Senior High. Mt. Vernon was being called, "The Mountaineers" and well Rust looked for a new beginning in a new school. What kind of mascot is a mountain and we don't have a mountain? Rust, according to Hames took the gray school color of Evansville Reitz where Rust had been and the maroon from the University of Chicago where Rust did graduate work. The Wildcats came from Northwestern University which he had also attended. Don't you wish he was a UCLA graduate?

Main Street.....1929

Don't Wreck It While I'm Gone Son!.....September 1928

William "Butch" Dieterle, driver for the Mt. Vernon Fire Department, returned from his annual ten day vacation which he spent with relatives and friends in Louisville, Jeffersonville, New Albany, Chicago and Genoa. During his absence his son, George had charge of the truck.

Train Car Derails and Burns.....September 1928

A wreck estimated at worth over $100,000 occurred on the L&N tracks at the trestle, spanning Big Creek, between Welborn Switch and Upton Station. It was thought that one of the cars derailed near the trestle and when it passed over it caught the ties and caused the wreck. The engine and the greater portion of the train had crossed the trestle before the wreck occurred. Seven cars were carried into the ravine fifteen feet below and were piled in a twisted mass of steel. A tank of 1000 gallons of gasoline went over and immediately caught fire blazing and raging 40 feet high. Railroad people warned everyone to stay away as of the probable chance of an explosion. It was thought the fire would burn ten to twelve hours and could be contained within the ravine.

Blowing Up Stump, Local Gets Powder Burns.....May, 1928

Harold Brown, son of L.C. Brown of the post office, suffered wounds to his face and eyes caused by a powder blast. Shortly after dinner, Harold attempted to blow up a stump in the yard on College Avenue. He put the powder in the hollow of the stump and then dropped a lighted match on it. Not getting away quickly enough the blaze burst up into his face and blinded him. He was taken to an eye specialist and the injury was deemed quite serious and may result in defective vision.

New School.....April, 1928

On April 18, 1928 ground was broken for Mt. Vernon's new High School building on the corner of Canal and Sixth streets. A plow drawn by the members of the 1928 graduating class turned the first dirt towards the erection of a new building.

Old Dam in New Harmony Opens for the Season.....April 1928

The Old Dam, owned and operated by Charles Dawson, of Mt. Vernon was opened for the public on April 22nd. Dawson had been busy for weeks engaged in getting the place in readiness for the trek of visitors that were sure to come.

Stocker's Grocery Opens...1928

In March of 1928, Frank Stocker bought his store from the Gerber Grocery at 735 East Second Street. Frank also owned a store in Evansville. Charles "Jack" Hix was the manager of the Mt. Vernon store. Over the years into the late thirties and maybe 40's it made many changes. In 1933 it had a meat market, operated in conjunction with the grocery and then was equipped with a modern refrigeration system and they slaughtered their own fresh meats. As time went by, more equipment was added to meet modern sanitary standards, like a modern meat display case. Don't want all them animals just hanging from the ceiling. hahaha.

"The Public" Newspaper Suffers Fire Loss.....February 1928

Editor B.O. Hanby offered appreciation to the Cynthiana Argus and the Mt. Vernon Daily Democrat for assistance in getting his paper out. He called it, "Competitive Courtesy." Flames originated from a defective gas line extending from a tank to the burner of a linotype machine, swept the Public, newspaper and job printing office on North Main Street burning the interior of the south half of the frame building, Several fonts were melted, office furniture destroyed, and machinery damaged. The only insurance was for the linotype machine. Mr. Hanby stated he intended to rebuild and hoped, "The Public" would continue without interruption. Hanby said that the Editor's Grief is one of trying situations with many objectionable features that the general public does not realize. "A country editor always tries to get the paper out on time and free of mistakes. Just think of the job of looking at every word in a newspaper and see that it is correct and at the same time be obliged to always having it printed and distributed on time. Then think of the annoyance of having all kinds of interruptions whereas machinery difficulties that can go wrong. Ads are submitted in a timely matter for sales, etc., and I must deliver. Anyways, there is always some matter that happens to delay the work of going to press. Now it is not every day we have a 'hot time' in the press room like yesterday; but if not for skilled management the entire building would have burned."

Pete Fox.....1928

Future Detroit Tiger World Series star, pitched for Mt. Vernon in 1928 and his catcher was "Liz" Ehrman in the old I-K (Indiana-Kentucky) League. Fox was a batting star in the World Series of 1934 and 1935.

School Wagons.....1928

Was talking to Beverly Tucker in the antique shop on Fourth Street recently, you know the place where Toler's and Lutterman's Markets once were. She had some nice items to look at like old calendars of local establishments, coins, books, pictures, etc. Some I have shown in the past, some new ones I will show as time goes on. I looked at a little booklet on the school system of 1928. Here we have listings of teachers, administrators, principals, etc. The usual things you may imagine that would be there. What struck me though were wagon drivers in the school system. Somehow I envisioned that children walked to schools in the old days. You know five miles to and fro in blizzards all up hill. You have heard the stories. Well evidently, we had in some areas wagons and horse driven buggys to pick children up. That is surprising to me, and yet by 1928 cars were around too. Just a little odd to never know what you are gonna find when you are looking for something else. What treasures are out there still be found!

Big Bingo in town with Circus.....1928

In September the Robbins Bros. Circus marched down the street in a large parade and the big menagerie were also features of the circus. The crowd was large for the free parade but did not fill the large big top tent. There were all sorts of things to see however and it went in a real snappy way with little wasted time between shows. There were 4 rings, 300 horses, 600 animals, elephants and camels, a band of Sioux Indians, ten sea lions, performing zebras, dogs, ponies and birds. Also there were African lions, tigers, panthers and pumas. "Big Bingo", the largest elephant in the world was on hand. Any two elephants it was said could hide behind this pachyderm. The ad said Bingo was born in India about 154 years ago! Really? Bingo is so old he just had to stand there and show off. He was not in the parade and no longer does tricks. There were several spectacles including a tribute to fairyland where a cast of 300 actors did a ballet of 100 fairies. There was classy riding as the Hodgini family did comic antics while riding. Applause was numerous for Hadji Be Linzeed tumbling act of Arabia and the Montazuma family from Japan which presented juggling. The closing feature was a salute to "Historic America" which depicted the historic events of America with characters representing Paul Revere, Spirit of 76, Grant, Robert E. Lee, Lincoln, The Rebellion, The Great War, Coolidge, and a patriotic musical finish. Oh I forgot much more like the polar bears and the high jumping wolf, a reenactment of an attack on a covered wagon by real Indians and much more including clowns, more clowns and even more clowns. When it was all done the circus packed up back into the 30 double length rail cars and moved to another town for another show.

Palace Pocket Parlor BIG on Ice Cream....1928

Edgar Alldredge, proprietor of the Palace Pocket Parlor on Main Street, was informed by the Tip Top Creamery Company of Vincennes, of which he is the local dealer, that he had exceeded the sales of all their customers for the hot month of August. During the scorching month he sold 621 gallons of ice cream and in the last eight months has sold 2887 gallons of the cold stuff. I guess the locals really love their ice cream as this does not include the hundreds of gallons of ice cream sold by many other dealers in the city representing other companies.

Something New for Mt. Vernon Gridiron Game with Oakland City.....1928

A snake dance, starting at Sherburne Park and making its way down Main Street preceded a monster pow-wow and pep session at Athletic Park...the first of its kind ever here. The affair was sponsored by the Hi-Y club of the Senior High. The snake dance occurred on Friday evening and on Saturday the Mountaineers (what our nickname was before Wildcats) defeated the Oakland City crew 25-7. Over 300 rooters were said to be in attendance. The "Scrappin' Pencemen" (Ed Pence was coach) consistently ripped the opposition with gains of five, eight and nine yards. Malcolm Abell and "Kelly" Defur were the outstanding performers for the locals. Another new item was that the yard lines were marked off for easier viewing. Each of the 5 yard lines were marked plainly in large white figures on a maroon background. The markers were permanent and can be taken up and used for future games.

More Words Found to School Song I Wasn't Aware Of.....1928

Was looking through a Memory Book that once belonged to the late Mildred Blake, a 1928 Mt. Vernon graduate, a fine violinist, and a school teacher. There were all sorts of memories in this book of recitals, orchestra clippings, girls' basketball mementos, even a wrapper from a candy bar that coach Homer Allgood gave to each player before an important game. One page struck my eye...the School Song. The first verse I was familiar with from standing and singing it at countless athletic events. Here is the full version: "We will shout for the red and white boys and we'll yell Mt. Vernon High. Never daunted, never taunted, we will rout M..V..H..S...Rah! Rah! Rah! Loyal to our school boys, till we die we'll praise her name. In victory or defeat, we'll never ever retreat, but fight for her the same. "March , march on down the field, shouting Mt. Vernon High. Break there the enemy's line, their strength to defy. We'll give a long shout for Vernon's men; We're here to win again. Fight, fight unto the end, Mt. Vernon High."

700 Mile Bike Ride for Boy Scouts.....Late 1920's

One spring three boy scouts, Malcolm Aydt, Frank Fessenden Jr., John Schenk Jr. and their assistant scoutmaster, Thomas Underwood took off on an adventure from Mt. Vernon equipped with only simple camping equipment. They traveled as far south as Clarksville, Tennessee stopping at such places as Providence, Kentucky, Bowling Green, Mammoth Cave and Frankfort. They visited the grave of Daniel Boone and of the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. They saw Louisville and Indiana's first state capital in Corydon. They were gone for three weeks camping in farmer's fields and parks, cooking their own meals and repairing their own bikes. I think that should be worth a merit badge or two!

Keenie's Pop Corn Crispies On Market Soon.....1928

Mt. Vernon had a new industry manufacturing Keenie's Pop Corn Crispies, which was started by Louis Kuehn in a building constructed in the rear of his residence at 616 East Second street. Kuehn installed a King Quary electric popper at a cost of $250 which was to supply four bushels of popped corn each hour. After it is popped it is conveyed into a heating tank where the syrup is cooked into the corn. It is then molded, pressed and wrapped and ready for delivery. Kuehn is ready to handle all orders, large or small and will make deliveries of reasonable quantities to any part of town.

Keck Motor Company.....1928

At one time it was the oldest car dealership in Indiana.

The Main Street School, Its Beginning and Its Ending.....1928

B.O. Hanby, publisher of "The Public" wrote an article in his Christmas issue of 1928 about the old Main Street School that sat on North Main, later becoming the home of the Overhall and Exylin raincoat factory. Back in 1833 that land belonged to John Burlison, being part of a tract of 25 acres sold to him by Samuel James on May30, 1812. On September 27, 1833, Mr. Burlison sold 4 acres of this land for the use and benefit of the Board of Trustees of the Posey County Seminary. The sale was made to George Green, Auditor, for $200. The land later was sold to the school trustees who at that time were Joseph Welborn, Simon Pearse, and John Pfeffr. That sale took place in 1874. At this time period the Seminary building was torn down and the Main Street building constructed in 1884. Now back in 1928 one person still alive who attended the old Seminary school was still alive...his name was Mat Nelson, who graduated from the institution at age 18. The Seminary use to charge $1.50 per month and those attended were of the age between 10 and 25. The course of study was about the requirement of being a freshman year in high school. Mr. Nelson talked of an old classmate by the name of Miles Wilsey and he seemed to be quite the character. Wilsey became smitten by a young lady, who was the daughter of an aristocratic family in town. Now Miles in that time was considered a pretty handsome country lad, but he had "big feet incased in large rough shoes." The girl was Emille Sullivan. Miles he told her..."You are my girl." Her reply was to spit on is shoes! That was hint enough for Wilsey. Heart broken, Emile married an Evansville man and Miles.... he sort of disappeared, never to be known from again it seems. Well, on that sad note, the new school on Canal Street was completed and early in 1929 the merry voices of children would be heard elsewhere.

Smelting Cupola Arrives at Staples.....1928

A smelting cupola was installed for the John Staples Foundry on West Second Street. A new edition 35 feet by 85 feet has been added and they expect to melt two tons an hour with the installation of the cupola. From what ~Wavy~ understand a cupola of this sort is a shell lined by refracting brick. I was just learning about smelt this. This dog is too old to learn new tricks!

Boat Parade.....1928

Now this sounds a little different. It was Labor Day and Mt. Vernon scheduled this boat parade. I bet that was sort of cool. MVHS Principal G.S. Rust introduced water basketball at the riverfront. That's sounds like a winner. Lifeguards? Later between homemade ice cream and homemade jellies we had boat racing between Henderson Ky., and Evansville. No results were given in the sports page; but Ruth goes over 50 homeruns again in New York. Damn Yankees!

Western Union Clocks Installed in Mt. Vernon.....1928

Western Union clocks were installed in Mt. Vernon through the efforts of C.J. Heath of Chicago, Western Union representative. I don't know the precise locations. I do remember a clock in my youth on Main between Third and Fourth Streets. Not sure that is one of them. The article said that the telegraph company put the clock in place and takes care of it and that the hands are "regulated hourly on the basis of official time from the naval observatory at Washington." Heath said, "When the world was very young, time meant little. There were no trains to catch and no business meetings to meet, but now....well it's a different story."

Councilman Injured at Black's Grove...1928

Councilman Guy Green, of the second ward and local weather and river observer was knocked unconscious while moving logs at Black's Grove. A heavy cable on one end of which was fastened a pulley dealt the blow which resulted in the injury. The cable had been bent in pulling logs out of the creek and Green and other workmen with the assistance of a team of horses were endeavoring to straighten it and in some manner the cable which was wound around a tree, slipped and the pulley end flew around the tree striking Green in the back. He will recover, but if it had struck him in the head, death would have been instant.

Tragedy When Carriage and Auto Meet in the Dark.....1928

Mrs. Karl Winiger, 32, was instantly killed and her three year old son, Paul William, was seriously injured, Sunday morning at 12:30 o'clock when an auto driven by a Evansville man struck a horse drawn surrey in which the family was riding. The family, father, mother and three children were returning from Mt. Vernon to their home near Caborn, when the accident occurred on the concrete Evansville-Mt. Vernon highway, three and one-half miles east of Mt. Vernon. They had no light on the surrey. The auto driver and two female companions were returning to Evansville at the time of the crash and were unable to see the rig until it was directly in front of his vehicle. Another automobile driven by Buell Utley was approaching from the opposite direction and it is believed that the lights from Utley's machine also hampered visibility. The surrey was hurled 20 feet from the road, the force of the impact removing the horse from the vehicle. Mrs. Winiger and the children were occupying the back seat. Mrs. Winiger was not thrown out of the surrey and was struck by the auto. The baby received concussions about the head. All other occupants were only bruised. After striking the surrey, the car swerved across the highway and was struck by the Utley car. In the Utley car were the driver, Manfred Stein, Miss Katherine Jeffries and Miss Mary Lucile Causey. Jeffries suffered a cut on the hand from broken glass. Funeral was in the Caborn church cemetery.

More Words Found to School Song I Wasn't Aware Of.....1928

I was looking through a Memory Book that once belonged to the late Mildred Blake, a 1928 Mt. Vernon graduate, a fine violinist, and a school teacher. There were all sorts of memories in this book of recitals, orchestra clippings, girls' basketball mementos, even a wrapper from a candy bar that coach Homer Allgood gave to each player before an important game. One page struck my eye...the School Song. The first verse I was familiar with from standing and singing it at countless athletic events. Here is the full version: "We will shout for the red and white boys and we'll yell Mt. Vernon High. Never daunted, never taunted, we will rout M..V..H..S...Rah! Rah! Rah! Loyal to our school boys, till we die we'll praise her name. In victory or defeat, we'll never ever retreat, but fight for her the same. "March, march on down the field, shouting Mt. Vernon High. Break there the enemies' line, their strength to defy. We'll give a long shout for Vernon's men. We're here to win again. Fight, fight unto the end, Mt. Vernon High."

Hoop Pole Junior from November 1927

The usual found in a school newspaper. One article was "Mice Beware!" It said the school was in need of a Pied Piper. Mice had got into Mr. Pence's assortment of bugs and insects and he was overwhelmed with grief, sadness and anger. He said if he catches them he will skin it and dissect it alive.

Visits Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in Dugout.....September 1927

?Joe Boy Kaiser, nine month old son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kaiser of Mt. Vernon attended a game at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis between the Browns and the Yankees and through a friend who was St. Louis Globe Democrat sports editor they were able to meet the "Bambino" and the "Iron Horse." "Joe Boy" met the homerun twins with the Babe holding him and playing with him for some time. Ruth presented the fan with an autographed scorecard.

Gentry Bros. Circus Pleases Large Audiences...September 1927

Large audiences filled the white top at both the afternoon and evening performances of the Gentry Brothers Circus. The trained animal acts were especially good, the performing elephants were said to have been the best ever seen here. There were trained dogs and ponies and horses and for the first time performing goats. Bare back riders and tight wire artists drew their share of applause and the children loved the "pep" of the clowns. The circus came in by rail containing 300 horses, 60 aerialists, 30 riders, 60 acrobats, 5 bands, three rings , 30 clowns and 2 stages.

New Harmony Girl Sees Lindbergh's Triumph in Paris.....June 1927

Miss Mary Fretageot, of New Harmony and niece of A.B. Hart of Mt. Vernon saw Colonel Charles Lindbergh in Paris. Miss Fretageot was studying French in Paris with a former college instructor. She told the New Harmony Times: "He looks just like his pictures, a broad smile, and wavy hair and is a splendid looking boy. You have never seen nor heard of such entertaining and enthusiasm as there is still for him. Truly, he's the hero of the day. The papers are full of articles and pictures every day and the public knows what he does at every hour." "I have never seen so many American flags before, not even on the Fourth of July, streets are lined with French and American flags. I think it is Lindbergh's youth, simplicity, and sincerity that have won the French." Later, that month Father J.T. Bauer of St. Mathew's church and a stamp collector was thrilled to receive a letter from Washington, D.C., bearing one of the new air mail stamps issued in honor of Colonel Lindbergh. The stamp bears a picture of "The Spirit of St. Louis," the plane piloted by Lindy.

Five Arrests For Home Brew and White Mule.....June 1927

Three raids were made by Sheriff Al Rowe and his deputies during the weekend resulting in five arrests and a quantity of home brew and white mule. The first residence raided was on Mackey ferry road, seizing a gallon of "white mule" which was hidden under the floor. The next raid was on West Sixth Street as officers seized 14 pints, eight quarters, and an eight gallon jar willed with home brew. The third raid was at the "Y" crossing of the railroads as officers arrested two men and seized a quantity of home brew the men had on ice.

Locally Built Boat Launched.....June 1927

A new boat was launched into the Ohio River by owner, William Inthoff of East Water Street. The craft is 23 feet and eight inches in length with a six foot beam, and is driven by a 4 cylinder Cadillac engine. In the bow of the boat is a seat for at least three persons and just aft of this seat is the engine. The motor steering wheel of the automobile engine is used for the boat, which has a wind shield directly in front of the pilot's seat. Fifteen persons could easily be accommodated on this craft which is capable of making a speed of between 17 and 20 miles per hour. The cabin portion has a removable canopy top, which will furnish protection from the sun's rays or from storms. The boat was constructed by Richard Floyd of Mt. Vernon an experienced boat builder and one of the best workmen locally.

Judge Clements Presented With Historic Gavel.....May 1927

Judge Herdis F. Clements of the Posey County circuit court, was presented with a gavel that has a historic value. The presentation was made by M.N. O'Bannon, city superintendent of schools. The gavel is made from the famous Constitutional elm, recently cut down at Corydon, Indiana, the state's first capital. It was under this tree that the first Indiana constitutional convention was held in June, 1816. In 1927, only the trunk of the tree remained and was protected from the weather by a shelter.

Law Prohibiting Mailing of Firearms is Now Effective.....May 1927

The amendment to the postal laws and regulations, prohibiting the mailing of firearms in now effective and Postmaster Phillip Rowe has authorized the following warning: "Pistols, revolvers and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person are hereby declared to be non-mailable and shall not be deposited in or carried by the mails or delivered by any person in the postal service. Anyone caught doing the above will be fined not exceeding $1000 or imprisoned more than two years, or both." How about that? Gun control from a Republican President and Republican control of both houses of congress! Moses, I mean Charlton Heston was four years old and they had to tear his rattle from his cold, almost clammy like dead hands I would imagine.

New Swings Donated For Sherburne Park.....April 1927

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Cronbach, former residents of Mt.Vernon, but now of Santa Monica, California, again displayed their interest in Mt. Vernon children. Being the donors of the park on the river front, they have continued to bring joy into the hearts of the little ones. Although many miles from us, their thoughts are still here with their kind deeds. The latest addition was six swings made especially for use in public play grounds and amusement parks. They were purchased locally and were erected by Edward Stallman, a close personal friend to the Cronbachs. Sometimes we take for granted the gifts like this and of Brittlebank and of grants and scholarships by individuals and the hard work of volunteers to help our community. Whether it is cleaning the river front of trash, helping in the community mission, or coaching a Little League team those things are very important. Hey.."It takes a village!" Thank you.

Negro Spiritual Group Plays Coliseum-Main Floor Reserved For Whites.....1927

In May of 1927, Guy Bishop, principal of the Booker T. Washington school and captain of the Ben Hur team of the Bethel A.M.E. church under the auspices of which Douglas High School Glee club of 40 voices of Evansville would sing here had to make the announcement in the paper that the main floor of the auditorium would be reserved for white patrons. The balcony would be used by people of color and no reserved seats would be sold. The Douglas singers came with a fine reputation as a musical organization with a program of negro spirituals and folk songs. Some of the songs sang were: "Go Down Moses", "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", "Old Black Joe", "Suwanee River", "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny", and "Little Liz."

Improvements at the Dreamland.....1927

W. Jackson, who recently came into possession of the Dreamland theatre on Main Street, having purchased it from R. Bishop, is arranging to make extensive improvements to the interior of his "photo playhouse." Among the improvements was the installation of a large blower. The blower is used to purify the air and makes his theater as he says, "one of the niftiest little playhouses in the state."

Poem in The Democrat.....1927

A woman who owned a big Lincoln, Thought she could drive without think'in. While she drove she would talk; but she drove off the Main Street dock ; Now the ferrymen think she is still a sink'in..

MVHS on College....1927

Coliseum Swimming Pool Opens and Busy.....December 1926

Posey County's first and only swimming pool located in the Memorial Coliseum has been crowded nightly. The water temperature is a steady 75 degrees and is sterilized and doubly filtered. "Bathers desiring to rent suits may do so by seeing the custodian at the coliseum." Really? People rented suits? Come on! Once when I got married in 1975, we spent our first night in nice hotel that had a pool on the top floor...very nice, torch lit; but I had not packed a suit. At the front desk, I swear to God, they sold me what they called a water resistant paper suit. Wear it once then it was disposable. Haha. Funny thing was I sure looked funny in the elevator in my paper suit. LOL

Heroism by Theodore Roosevelt "Peanuts" Waller Saves Property and Lives.....June 1926

The Western Star reported that on June 13, 1926 Theodore Waller averted a serious train wreck at the L&N depot in Mt. Vernon. The excursion train bound for St. Louis came into the station and Waller observed that one wheel looked strange to him. As the train pulled out, Theodore ran to the front of the train and notified the conductor of a potential problem. A wrecker from Howell was summoned and the damage was repaired. A formal citation was presented to him for his alertness. Theodore (1903-1986) was the father of Carlton "Tiny" Waller many of us remember as the great local baseball star that lost his leg in the grain elevator accident.

Local Survivor of the Battle of Shiloh.....April 1926

Sylvanus Barnett of Mt. Vernon celebrated the 64th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh with a drink and is the sole survivor of Co. B. 25th Indiana which was company of Posey County soldiers who took part in the battle in southwestern Tennessee on April 6-7, 1862. In the union victory, 3500 were killed and over 15,000 were wounded.

Zebroid Sale.....April 1926

Phil Hageman sells two of his zebroids in the St. Louis stockyards netting $1000 for the pair.

Special Judge Sentences Man to Five years For Still.....April 1926

Charged with possession of a still Owen Williams 29, of Mt. Vernon was found guilty by Special Judge George Zimmerman and sentenced him to five years in the state reformatory and fined him $500 and costs. He advised the prisoner not to return to this city but to start a new life anew in another location. Williams said he had no intention of returning. Williams was arrested by Sheriff Rowe and deputies as they made a raid on the Julius Gore farm in Point township. Williams, Gore, and Henry Williams were standing around the still when the raid was made, but the other two escaped. Of course, during Prohibition, a lot of shine was being produced in the country, especially Point township. I have heard stories of gangsters coming as far away as Chicago to pick up moonshine. Another raid I will mention happened in 1929 at "Jerry's Place", just north of Farmersville where Sheriff Thomas found 84 quarts of home brew, seven half pints of white mule, and a pint of peach brandy. All of the liquor was concealed under the floor. The place was busted from a tip from a 13 year old boy who had been caught with liquor and "squealed".

Girls Invited to Take Part in National Tourney.....March 15, 1926

Coach Allgood's Southern Indiana Champs 18-1 fresh off an invitational tourney championship in Huntingburg received further honors when it received an invitation to participate in a Westfield Challenge Club Tournament in Youngstown, Ohio. The local girls planned on attending but a telephone call from A.L. Trester, secretary of the Indiana High School Athletic Association halted all plans when he refused to permit any girls' team from the state entering the national contest. Mt. Vernon claimed the Southern Indiana Championship and the State Championship when no takers came from Northern Indiana. Mt. Vernon's only loss on the season was 34-32 to Huntingburg (T) which stopped Mt. Vernon's 27 game regular season win streak.

Posey County Giant.....January 1926

In 1926, 17 year old Teddy Engler traveled with the Shrine Circus and the Hagenback-Wallace circus. He was 7 foot 2 inches tall and weighed 169 pounds. The picture is with his dad who was 5 foot 8 inches. 1926 MVHS basketball team won 15 games that year, but I still think we could have used him.

Fogas Drug Store.....1926

Second and Main Street, long identified with Mt. Vernon's early history, was established by the present owner, William H. Fogas, in 1884 and is the oldest in the city. Mr. Fogas received his early training with James G. Gardiner, druggist of this city, remaining with Mr. Gardiner until his death in 1880. From 1880 until 1884 Mr. Fogas was a clerk for William M. McArthur & Company, and while in their employ he completed a course in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Following his graduation he established the present business which is one of the oldest establishments in the city. Mr. Fogas' standing among the pharmacists of the state is attested by his appointment as a member of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy in 1907 by Gov. Hanly, re-appointed in 1908 and appointed by Gov Marshall in 1912. The Fogas drug store, known throughout Posey County as The Rexall Store, carrries a complete line of everyting usually found in a first class store of its kind. Mr. Fogas is assisted by Joest Wade, clerk.

Van Camp Packing Company....1926

In the spring of 1925, the Van Camp Company chose Mt. Vernon as a site for a canning plant because it was located in the center of an agricultural district with rich soil and climatic conditions.

Years before a small tomato canning plant was operated in Mt. Vernon on the site northwest of L&N on the New Harmony Road, but was abandoned, chiefly because of a lack of capital. (I believe the area he is referring to is the section of houses just past the tracks and before you get to Grant Street.)

Black's Grove....1926

At one time it was looked upon as one of the city's beauty spots consisting of 20.71 acres of woodland with many of the native trees being over a century old. It was located in the northwestern section of Mt. Vernon. In the twenties, G. W. Kimball, came into possession of the park through inheritance, being part of the old James homestead entered in 1811 by Rev. Samuel Jones, the first Primitive Baptist minister, locally and the great grandfather of Mrs. Kimball. This wooded part was cut from the original grant by the L&N and the C&EI railroad tracks. The Kimballs came into possession 36 years prior (1890) and took great pride in beautifying the park and holding all kinds of outdoor community affairs there. Decayed stumps and brush were removed and new trees were planted. I have seen accounts going back to the 1870's of gatherings of people here when the railroad first came through. Fourth of July gatherings were held there for decades. Political rallys were held here and many times politicians would step right from the trains and get on the soap box. Some years alcohol was allowed and some years not. Sometimes segregated celebrations were held for Independence days. When not in use, sometimes hobos and gypsy's would make camp in the woods until the sheriff would run them off.

Located on Lower New Harmony Road just south of the railroad tracks in the back of the Farm Bureau Refinery shelter-house.

Mt. Vernon Strawboard Plant.....1926

Occupied twenty one acres of ground on Mt. Vernon's west side and had offices at Water and Parke Streets. In the twenties it ran 24 hours a day, everyday, but Sunday. One hundred and twenty men were employed with an annual payroll of $125,000. This corporation was originally organized by John W. Funke, Ferd Funke, Joseph Funke, M. French, and Frank Endress all of Evansville. Construction began in 1903 and completed the next year. The plant manufactured straw and chip board, container combination for egg case fillers, shoe boxes, etc. Most of the straw is brought in from a large radius of our city. The company consumes 100 tons or two carloads of coal daily and had the largest steam engine in Southern Indiana. A row of boilers almost a half a city block long were necessary to furnish the steam. Coal was fed into the fire boxes by means of automatic hoppers. Ten wagons were used daily in hauling loose straw to the plant.

Fuhrer-Ford Milling Company.....1926

Mt. Vernon Coliseum.....1926

The site was selected by Board of Trustees in May of 1920 from property once owned by Jacob Cronbach and Dr. D.C. Ramsey. Mt. Vernon paid $11,000 for the two lots and the $200,000 building was dedicated on November 18, 1926. On Armistice Day of 1926, a salute of eleven guns was fired by a squad of soldiers from local Battery E at the foot of Walnut Street. Services were held in the auditorium where a roll call of Posey County Gold Star men was read. Two addresses were given, one from Judge Thomas Coulter of Vincennes and another from ex-governor of Kentucky, A.O. Stanley. Mt. Vernon C of C Band played patriotic music. The woodwork inside the building is mahogany and the four main columns in front weigh 25 tons each. Three entrance doors signified the different branches of the then military services-the Army, Navy, and Marines. Two cannons were put in place in front of the building. The cornerstone was laid February 24, 1926. The box contains records of coliseum proceedings, papers pertaining to the G.A.R. Woman's Relief Corps, War Mothers, American Legion, Battery E, Boy Scouts, and all Posey County veterans of the First World War, Spanish-American War, and Civil War. Copies of all Mt. Vernon newspapers were also included. Plaques were later added in the foyer of the Coliseum to honor the Posey County dead who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. There was then a gymnasium that had a hardwood floor originally that measured 70X40 feet with a seating capacity from 600-800 people. Mt. Vernon High School basketball was played there from 1927-1929. The first game was a 35-8 loss to Cynthiana. First win was a 29-5 victory over Stewartsville. I remember playing recreation basketball there in the winters of my youth. The court had a very low ceiling. There was also a swimming pool which was "big time" back in those days. During the 1937 flood the coliseum was used as a Red Cross post and many people were helped here with shelter, food, instruction, and compassion. The building was used for dances, lectures, beauty pageants and even boxing matches. It is now government offices and used for court cases.

Lady Champs and "Never Miss Sally".....1926

Mt. Vernon Girl's Basketball did not start as some believe after Title 9 in the mid 1970's. We played basketball from 1917-1930. Shortly following Armistice Day of World War I until the stock market crash preceding the Great Depression, Mt. Vernon girls dominated Southern Indiana basketball like no team has ever duplicated. These inspired teams took on the best Southern Indiana could offer and were usually victorious. At home, especially at the old Armory building they were, it seems invincible. Not only did they win, they did it by large margins. Some of their scoring totals would be hard pressed to be reached even today by boy's teams. From 1917-1930 the Lady Champs were 135-38. In 1925-1926 the girls were 36-1! Their only loss was by 2 to Huntingburg early in 1926. The best player for the locals and one of the best in all of Indiana was Sara "Never Miss Sally" McGregor. Some of her highlights were 42 points in a 50-14 win over Reitz, 38 in a 47-15 victory over Newburgh, 18 in a 26-17 win over then 8-0 Central, and a school record 56 points and 27 field goals in a 72-2 win over Memorial! At the end of the regular season, an invitational tournament was held in Huntingburg for the mythical state championship. The Mt. Vernon lasses defeated three opponents, including Reitz 11-7 in the championship game in front of 1000 fans. Each MV squad member was given a plant by a Huntingburg florist, and the school was given a 14 inch loving cup. More honors followed when the girls were invited to a Westfield Challenge Tourney in Youngstown, Ohio for a National Tourney; but A.L. Trester, Secretary of the Indiana High School Athletic Association refused to allow them to travel out of state. How good was "Sally?" Well she averaged 4 points more a game than the opposition her last 2 years! She was once described in the Evansville Courier as "the fastest forward ever produced in Southern Indiana with speed that would make the famous Man O War look like a plow horse." The Western Star said, "When other girls were playing with their dolls, she was tossing 'em through the hoops on a rough backboard in the backyard of her home." I had the privilege to meet Sara in the 1980's when she was inducted into the Mt. Vernon Hall of Fame. Unable to continue her basketball due to no college basketball in that era, she did graduate from the University of Pittsburgh after which she taught girl's physical education in Pennsylvania and Hawaii, playing lots of golf.

Some 1926 Mt. Vernon Businesses

  • Weilbrenner & Sons (Distributors of Bake Flour) 501-505 Main
  • Lynn Strack (Plumbing and Heating) 415 Main
  • Hempfling's Meat Market 409 Main
  • Breeze Greenhouse 913 Mill
  • Steven's Studio (Artistic Photographs, Kodaks, finishing, Albums) 4031/2 Main, upstairs
  • George Ashworth Dry Goods and Grocery 819 Main
  • Mt. Vernon National Bank and Trust 215 Main
  • The Old First National Bank 233 Main
  • Abel Shoe Doctor 321 West Second
  • Hironimus and Miller Garage (Kelly-Springfield Tires, Repairs) 331 W. Second
  • Rowe and Rawlinson grocery 400 W. Second
  • Thompson's Tire Store 345 W. Fourth
  • Claude Wilson (Custom Blacksmithing and Harness
  • Charles Hagamann (Mt. Vernon Ferry and Beach Resort) at door of Main
  • Alles Bros. Furniture (Stoves, Rugs, Linoleum, shades, and Edison phonographs) 127-29 W. Second
  • Charles Joest (The Sandwich Shop) corner Main and Second
  • Lawrence Reedel (Hardware, John Deere Implements and repairs)
  • Elwin Lichtenerger (car repair, Ford parts, Tires) 132 E. Second
  • Rosenbaum & Bros. (Mail Order and Mall Dept store) 309-15 Main
  • Schenk Hardware (Red Jacket Pumps) 205 Main
  • Boyce & Williams (Drugs, Kodaks, School supplies) 333 Main
  • Rothrock Bros. (Drugs and Drug Sundries)
  • Hartung Bros (Popular Dry Goods)
  • The Bryant Co (Dry Goods, clothing and shoes) 132 Main
  • John Forthoffer (Soft drinks) 113-15 Main
  • Clem Schenk Plumbing and Heating, Tin and Sheet metal 212 Main
  • J.G. Herrmann (Garage-Buick) 418-420 Main
  • Peoples Bank & Trust 4th and Main
  • Fogas Rexall Drug Store 201 Main
  • George Weckesser (soft drinks, candies and sandwiches) 300 Main
  • Clem Schenk (Plumbing, roofing, repairing and electric lights) 212 Main
  • Niblo's Variety Store (ornamental and useful articles for the home) 403-407 Main
  • James Pearson & Sons (Your home outfitters) 327-29 Main
  • Suddoth-Lawrence Insurance Agency 408-410 Main
  • Charles Smith Lumber, sash and Doors 338 W. Second
  • Scholey's Laundry
  • John Alldredge (Groceries and Notions) 300 W. Second
  • Stinson Bros. (Dry Goods) 207 Main
  • Schlomar Jeweler 220 Main
  • Hurley & Son Groceries 1001 Main
  • West Bros. Bakery
  • James Monroe (Feeds, Seeds) 218-20 W. Second
  • Schiela's Millinery and Jewelry 327 Main
  • Southern Indiana gas and Electric 319 Main
  • Ike Rosenbaum Jeweler 303 Main
  • Oliver's Restaurant 125 W. Second
  • The Service Shoe Shop 331 Main
  • Cyrus Ward Chrysler Motor Vehicles 114 College Ave
  • The Craft Shop (Electrical contractor) 411 Main
  • Peter Espenschied Groceries and Lunches 1101 Main
  • Farmers Elevator (poultry, feeds, fertilizers) 1018 Main
  • Home Mill and Grain Company 1017 Main

Former Mt. Vernon Girl Pipe Organist at Grand Theatre.....1926

Anna Louise Kuebler has been hired as the pipe organist at the Grand theatre in Evansville. For several months she held the same position at the Strand, but transferred to the Grand at a considerable increase in salary.

Western Star Looks Back On Fifty Years.....1926

Some of the things they mentioned in their article that had changed since 1876 included the Central School (destroyed by fire in 1945) being constructed once a site of another school and old buildings that were once there and razed. They said every church in Mt. Vernon with the exception of the Presbyterian Church was built since the establishment of their newspaper. The lodges were built for the Masonic Home, Elk's, Eagles, Modern Woodman of America and the Odd Fellow's building. People's Bank was organized and the Mt. Vernon National Bank & Trust reorganized. Mills were established like Fuhrer-Ford and the Home Mill & Grain and the Mt. Vernon Milling Company. The Keck-Gonnerman plant with its various buildings were not here then. More came like Keck Motor Company, Gonnerman Auto Company, Sherburne Park and practically all the beautiful homes in our city. Main Street was practically rebuilt and the buildings there once composed of frame, office, and mercantile buildings of one story were destroyed by the great fire of October 1880 which burned all the buildings from Fogas corner to the First National Bank. The greatest progress mentioned in the life of the local newspaper was electricity. Fifty years before planes, automobiles, submarines, radio, electric cars, trains, and lighting systems were just dreams. The Star reported that now their office is propelled by electric power and not steam. They commented that they had seen the county rise from its primitive origin to modern times. They had the good fortune to write and print all the important news items of Mt. Vernon and Posey County. It told of the birth of children "who come to brighten and gladden the home," and extended the hand of sympathy in the hour of sorrow and grief, and it advocated progress.

A Tale of a Fire.....1926

After the great fire of 1880 when Main Street lost so many buildings in a blaze, the Mt. Vernon Fire Department was originated. As far as I can tell, no fire fighter has ever lost his life...thank God. In 1926, we came close at a fire on Main of the Utley Variety Store. All three floors of the building were burning when fireman came on the scene and five lines of hoses were brought out to fight the fire. Hoses were used in the front and back of the store as well as the roof of the Stinson building adjoining the store to the south. Firemen went inside the structure to get at the fire and while directing efforts, Chief Chris Wilderman fell two floors from the second floor to the basement which was filled with burning debris. Because of the noise of the fire, his yells for help were not heard. He finally managed to find his way out of the basement and continued his duties. How he got out, remained a mystery. The fire was finally extinguished by the fire department, the police department, members of Battery E and many volunteers.

"The Shadow Knows".....1926

A new place in town to rendezvous and to enjoy the treats of ice cream, sherbets, tasty sandwiches, a cool drink and even a nickel cigar. Yes, light one up; nobody here to stop you, no state government telling you no....heck before it was "The Shadow" it was the Smokewell Cigar know it had to smell like an old ash tray! hahaha. August Gentil and his wife; however, have done a wonderful job of bringing in the trade of a "higher class" of people in an attractive setting. You can buy Elmer's box candy too to take home with you. Come on down and let Joyce Blackburn wait on you and fix you a cool treat.

Want To Play Some Pocket Pool? Hahaha..Head to the Palace.....1926

On New Year's Day of 1913, a fellow named Curtis and another named Edgar Alldredge opened a nice recreational pool parlor at 221 Main Street. Here friends met for hours of pleasure following a day's work. Must have been a nice place, doesn't seem like the ones I remember with gambling in the back room, smoke filled, cussing. etc. This one had a up to date fountain which served drinks and sodas and sundaes. It had candy boxes and Tip Top ice cream made in Vincennes in a wide variety of flavors. Then there were fresh fruits and nuts to put on them. They even delivered their ice cream in quarts upon request to your home. What was Mt. Vernon coming to? Oh, I was Prohibition.

Weisinger Funeral Home.....1926

It was one of the oldest in town established by Henry Weisinger on the same site at Mill and West Fourth Street in 1866. It then went to A.V. Weisinger then to Merle. On the second floor were four show rooms and a preparation room. Today (2012) it is Funk's Carpet.

Mt. Vernon Creamery as it looked in 1926.

Of course, I have written before of the creamery that was founded by Holder Anderson who came from Denmark. He came to Mt. Vernon in 1926 and purchased this building at 214 College Avenue from Edgar Thomas. Later his two sons Jack and Bob took over. Ice cream mix was purchased already made, ready to freeze, and when it reached the creamery it was only necessary to add the coloring, flavor, fruits or nuts whatever the case may have been. The mix was placed in the freezer where it was tested to have at least 10 percent fat which was required by law. They also made pasteurized Grade A milk, butter, cottage cheese and various ice cream confections such as caramel cold krunch, snappy pacs, special bricks and individual molds.

"The Lucky Eleven Club" Has Me Stumped.....1920's?

Maybe a cigar club? Three got stogies. What would they have in common? This may be even before the 20's. Those are some pretty starched high collars. Quite a difference in social status it seems from the back 9 to the front 2. I thought of politicians and custodians but they all seem relatively young. Maybe if I look in a few biographies of the names I know I will gain a clue. So much to do and so little time.


In 1926, future owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Sidney Weil visited his uncle Ike Wolf on East Third Street in Mt. Vernon and three years later, Sidney's mother, Minnie came to visit her brother-in-law.

Weisinger's Funeral Home.....1926

Established on West Fourth Street in 1866 by the late Henry Weisinger. This building replaced an earlier building on the same site. This one now Funk's Carpet was a two story concrete structure with furnished offices on the first floor and on the second floor four show rooms, preparation room and a suite of rooms used for services and comfort of relatives. A.V. and his son Merle Weisinger took over the business in 1904.

Mt. Vernon Girls End Two Long Winning Streaks, But Start Another....1925-1926

"Lady Champs," Mt. Vernon's elite high school mythical state champions were defeated by Huntingburg at their place 34-32. This stopped MV's 19 game winning streak and 27 game regular season winning streak. Huntingburg hit the winning basket with less than ten seconds left in the game. Neither team substituted in the game. Mt. Vernon was led by future school Hall of Famer, Sara "Never Miss Sally" McGregor with 24 points. Immediately the team won 17 more in a row claiming another state title. The good times ended in 1927 in their opening loss 18-15 to Mt. Olympus and they went 6-9-1 that season for their first losing season since they started playing in 1917. Basketball for girls was stopped after the 1930 season and their record for 14 years of play was 135-38-4. The girls were 43-9 against Evansville teams and never lost to a Posey County team except in one alumni game. It was stopp