Looking Back: 11/14November 13, 2020
By BOB ALLES
65 Years Ago
Nov. 14, 1955
Former county surveyor Carl J. Heim of Jasper is in Memorial Hospital as a result of a harrowing ordeal he endured last Saturday when his right hand was caught in a corn picker for about eight hours before anyone came to his assistance. Mr. Heim, who will be 54 next month, had gone to his farm near the Ferdinand State Forest to harvest his corn crop. During the afternoon, he tried to dislodge an obstruction in the corn picker and the glove on his right hand was caught in the rollers, which started to pull his hand into the mechanism. Luckily, for Mr. Heim, the mechanism suddenly stopped just as his hand was going into the machine. For the next eight hours he called futilely for help. When he had not returned home by dark, Mrs. Heim sent their son, Ronnie, to Ferdinand to see what was detaining him. He went to the corn field and discovered what happened. His doctors were amazed that Mr. Heim remained conscious during all this time.
Any little boy or girl under 12 years of age who was born on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day has a chance to become mayor of Santa Claus for one year. The job will be a carefree one, according to plans outlined today by the Chamber of Commerce for this little southern Indiana town with the famous post office. Extra gifts from Santa were promised to the successful candidate by Kermit Talbott, president of the Santa Claus Chamber of Commerce. Talbott said three judges will select the 1956 honorary mayor of the Christmas-named town from snapshots and photographs mailed to the selection committee. Santa Claus is unincorporated, but has an official population of less than one hundred.
Jasper’s Wildcats led French Lick all the way last night in posting a 59-46 home floor victory to launch their 1955-56 basketball campaign. It was the first loss in three starts for the Red Devils. Nip Wuchner’s two tallest boys, seniors Butch Rees and Dick Persohn, accounted for 37 points between them. Rees, a 6-2 forward, collected 22 and Persohn, a 6-5 1/2 center and the only regular left from last winter, got 15. Meanwhile, Ivan Hollen’s Washington Hatchets brook loose in the fourth quarter last night to etch out a 49-36 SIAC triumph over the Huntingburg Hunters in the 1955-56 opener for both teams, played at Huntingburg’s gym. A 215-pound senior center Dave Leland scored nine points and 5-8 sophomore guard Bobby Craig also scored nine to pace the Hunters attack.
Whooping cough is reaching epidemic proportions in Dubois County, according to Dr. John M. Bretz of Huntingburg, the county health officer. Dr. Bretz said the incidence of whooping cough is especially severe in the Birdseye and Ferdinand communities. He said teachers and supervisors of public gatherings can help control the disease by making sure that children who do an excessive amount of coughing are kept at home and that children of families in which there is whooping cough are also kept at home unless they have been immunized. Dr. Bretz pointed out that whooping cough has an incubation period of seven to 10 days.
Ireland High’s Spuds survived a late Trojan rally to defeat the Troy Cagers 68-65 last night at the IHS gym and thus chalk up their third victory in as many games this season. Rich Gress found his basket eye and led the Irish to victory with 22 markers. Mike Schmitt racked up 19 and Rich Rudolph 10 for the winners while Tuggle led Troy with 20. Meanwhile Jasper gave Washington Catholic an 83-43 whacking last night at the Hatchet gym. Larry Loechte was high point man for the Wildcats this time with 17. Butch Rees had 16 and Dick Persohn 11.
Virgil “Bill” Opel, 43, a mechanic for Alvin C. Ruxer, local Ford dealer, was seriously injured yesterday afternoon when he was crushed beneath a car that dropped on him while he was adjusting the brakes. Mr. Opel had raised the front end of a 1955 Mercury with a lift and was working under the car when apparently the safety catch failed on the lift and the car dropped. The front bumper caught his right shoulder and doubled him under the car. Fellow employees lifted up the car and got him out, after which he was taken to Memorial Hospital.
50 Years Ago
Nov. 16, 1970
Pictured on the front page of this issue is Thomas L. Habig, president of the Jasper Corporation. He is shown presenting a check to the Jasper Memorial Hospital Fund Drive. The check is for a portion of the Jasper Corporation’s 3-year pledge of $100,000. Also pictured is Sister Mary Michael, president of the hospital’s board of directors, accepting the check while Sister Mary Kevin, the hospital administrator, looks on. The corporation’s pledge increases the total amount pledged to date to $579,795 toward a total fund goal of $800,000.
Pictured in this issue are the 50-Year members of the Huntingburg Order of Eastern Star. The following members received their 50-year pins last Thursday night when the Easter Star also observed Friends Night. Those members who received pins included: Claude Line, Mrs. Claude Line, Mrs. Ariel Partenheimer and Mrs. Edna Koehler. Also pictured is Helen Bell, Past Grand Matron of Indiana Grand Chapter O. E. S., who presented the pins.
Pictured in this issue is a new store located on Fourth Street in Huntingburg. The store was purchased several weeks ago by B. C. Ruttkar from St. Angelo who for many years had operated it as a men’s and boy’s clothing store. Ruttkar has just finished remodeling the front of the store with old brick and cedar shake shingles and named it The Toggery. It will continue as a men’s and boy’s apparel shop as well as carrying a line of ladies ready-to-wear under the new management. Ruttkar also operates a variety stores in Ferdinand, Winslow and Huntingburg.
A Southern Railway freight train left the track and overturned early today. Sixteen cars and four diesel engines of the freight, which consisted of about 85 cars, left the track. A spokesman for the railroad said at Huntingburg this morning that it has not been determined what caused the wreck. The engines and cars left the track, which was torn up for about 500 feet, about a mile and a half east of Kyana at 3:15 a.m. today. The track parallels Ind. 64 at the site of the mishap. The freight was westbound from Louisville to Princeton.
Leo C. “Cabby” O’Neill, the most successful coach in the history of Jasper High School who directed the Wildcats to the State Championship in 1949, and Louis “Nip” Wuchner, O’Neill’s assistant for many years before taking over the head coaching duties to lead Jasper into the semi-state twice, Wednesday, were named coaches for the J-Men Letterman Club team which will play the N-Men Letterman Club of Evansville North Nov. 29 at the Jasper High School gym. O’Neill and Wuchner came to Jasper in 1939. O’Neill was head coach for 13 years before Wuchner took over in 1952.
When a team commits a total of 21 errors and shoots only 41% from the field, you can’t exactly call it an impressive performance. But the Jasper High School coaching staff and the majority of the Jasper fans were pleased with what they saw Friday night as the Wildcats opened their 1970-71 basketball season with a 77-60 SIAC victory over the Washington Hatchets. Led by speedy guards Jim Wenzel and Slick Webber, the Wildcats ran the Hatchets off the floor. Led by 6-6 1/2 senior Wayne Bailey the Cats held a commanding 61 to 38 edge in rebounding. Meanwhile, the Huntingburg Happy Hunters easily defeated the Petersburg Indians, 63-39, Friday night at the Hunters’ home court in Huntingburg. The Hunters are under their new head coach Dale Glenn. The “Red Gang” of Holland coach Ray Roesner picked up their third straight victory by bombing the English Red Raiders 88-43 at Holland last night.
25 Years Ago
Nov. 20, 1995
Jasper went toe-to-toe with the biggest bully in Class 3A, looked them straight in the eye and threw the first punch. Then they beat top-ranked Roncalli silly. In a gentlemanly fashion, of course. Saturday, the second-ranked Cats got four TDs from junior quarterback Matt Mauck, domineering play from their offensive line and some dandy defense as they rubbed dirt in the face of the previously unbeaten, two-time defending state champs. The 32-14 whipping snapped the state’s longest winning streak at 19 games, avenged last season’s heartbreaking loss and assured Jasper of their fourth trip to the state finals. Jasper, who has never won a football state championship, will face third-ranked South Bend St. Joseph’s (13-0) on Saturday at Indianapolis’ RCA Dome.
Northeast Dubois school board members rejected middle school and high school remodeling bids Monday that were $548,800 higher than anticipated by architects, deciding to test the market again in a couple of months. Larry Phelps, an architect with Odle, McGuire & Shook, noted that the plans for the $5 million project were nothing fancy. He said contractors and their suppliers were just too busy to bid and those that did quoted high. Phelps said Northeast’s bid prices were 30 to 40% higher than per-square-foot costs of a Forest Park project bid one year ago. Once projects like the police station in Jasper are complete, people in the construction industry could be more interested in work, he said.
The town of Ferdinand won an $850,000 state loan/grant on Monday to extend utilities to the I-64 interchange, effectively opening a new corridor for development. “This is something we’ve been working on for six to seven years and it looks like its finally coming to fruition,” Council President Charles Schuler said. Schuler was at the Statehouse when the state budget committee awarded the loan/grant from the “Build Indiana” fund, which is supplied with lottery revenues. Half of the award — $425,000 — is a grant to the town. The other half will be in the form of a loan. Schuler said the money will be used to extend water and sewer mains and possibly electric lines to both sides of State Road 162 near the I-64 interchange. He expects the work to be completed sometime this spring. Schuler said developers have options to buy land along the corridor but have been waiting for assurances utilities will be provided. The proposed developments include a hotel, a fast food restaurant, a gas station and a subdivision, he said.
Nov. 23 Thanksgiving Day - No Paper
The annual Thanksgiving day dinner at Trinity United Church of Christ was bigger than ever this holiday and served more than 270 free meals and large helpings of Christian fellowship. This was the 12th year for the dinner, said Dave Hubster, who with his wife, Judy, and fellow church members, Allen and Judy Scherle, helped organize the dinner. “It’s really a community effort,” Hubster said. “There were about 20 to 25 volunteers. A number of people helped cook Wednesday evening and more helped set up Thursday.” Girl Scout Troop 108 from St. Joseph Parish helped set up tables and other volunteers from local churches also helped out, he said. The dinner was for anyone who wanted a good meal and fellowship, Hubster said. It wasn’t just for those who couldn’t afford it but also for those who otherwise would have been alone.
The Saturday feature this week is on the John and Sue Friedman family. Football may be the single common denominator in the John Friedman family. John and his four sons (Chris, Jody, Scott and Jeremy) have played football for the Jasper Wildcats. Sue has been the Booster Club secretary for years. Their home becomes football central from August to November. Because of their parents’ involvement in the Booster Club and team gatherings in their home, some players refer to them as mom and dad. Today, the youngest son (Jeremy) lives the dream for all of them as Jasper vies for a state championship at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. As a junior, Jeremy will experience something that his brothers dreamed of — playing for a state championship. Today, for the first time in 3 1/2 years as an entire family, they will watch a son and brother play, but this time for the state crown.
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