Looking Back: 11/9November 8, 2019
Compiled by Bob Alles
• 65 Years Ago
November 8, 1954
Pictured on the front page of this issue is part of the approximately two and a half-million dollars worth of equipment being used by the Ray P. Olinger Construction Company of Huntingburg in the building of the dam for Jasper’s new 205 acre reservior lake east of Jasper. The equipment is shown as it stood idle yesterday afternoon while its operators observed the Sabbath Day. Unusually frequent rains for this time of year have recently slowed the work.
Jasper’s Wildcats are getting ready to start another basketball season. The anticipation is exceeded only by the apprehension. The school is in a situation of having something but not being sure how much. For every group of optimists around town there’s a leering prophet of woe. Coach Louis (Nip) Wuchner begins his third year as head man on the scene with half of the 1954 sectional squad back. Those boys are Donnie Bates, highest scorer in the history of JHS, Ed Kapp, Charley Kreilein, Kenny Kunkel and Bill Weisheit. Gary Giesler and Dick Persohn are a couple of more who will be suited up with the varsity group when French Lick comes over Friday evening. Larry Loechte, Donald Kress, Gerald Braun and Bob Miller from last year’s B team are there, and Butch Rees would be only it happens he’s out with an arm broken in football practice a few weeks ago.
Ireland’s Spuds posted their second victory in as many games this young basketball season when they went over to Spurgeon last night and outshot the Cardinals 68-61 with a fourth-quarter flourish. Winslow’s Eskimos, defending sectional and regional champs, won their first one under new Coach A. C. Smith last night at Dubois, downing the Jeeps 38-26. Mr. Smith succeeded Kern McGlothlin, who’s now the principal at Winslow.
Huntingburg’s Happy Hunters have their entire starting team back with which to go goalin’ this winter, and there’s enough competition for berths that that quintet may not stay intact from week to week. The five veterans, now seniors, became a unit as starters late in the 1953-54 campaign after a succession of defeats that was in considerable contrast to the record of the SIAC champs of the previous season. Those who were starters in the 1954 sectional as juniors were Buddy Blemker, Wayne Singer, Glen Fierst, Joe Henderson and Donnie Elshoff. However, Holland High School’s hardwood veterans keep growing taller and Lowell McGlothlin’s 1954-55 contingent, opening its season Friday night against the Cannelton Bulldogs at Cannelton, has more height than any squad in Dubois County.
Four Jasper men have returned from a nine-weeks trip to Europe in which they spent the greater part of their stay on the continent in Germany, the country from which their ancestors migrated to America. One of the most interesting and enjoyable highlights of the tour for Virgil Gramelspacher, Albert and Fred Rumbach and Alphonse A. Sermersheim was their contact with relatives and conversations with folks bearing such well known local names as Eckert, Eckerle, Schmitt and Wehr. The trip across the Atlantic was made both ways on the Holland-Amerika steamer Niew Amsterdam. The four men spent five days in Paris visiting with Paul “Buzz” Rumbach, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Rumbach.
The Jasper Wildcats opened their 1954-55 hardwood season with a methodical 67-36 victory over French Lick at the JHS gym last night. Don Bates, slender senior forward who holds the school’s scoring record, was the high pointer with 23. He obtained 19 in the first half, during which session Jasper was establishing the kind of lead the visitors could do nothing about whittling. Bates was bothered by an old leg ailment in the second half. The two tall boys of the Gold and Black team, 6-3 Charley Kreilein and 6-51⁄2 Dick Persohn, got 24 markers between them, 13 going to Charley.
• 50 Years Ago
November 10, 1969
About 2,000 persons visited the new toll center building of the Indiana Telephone Corporation in Jasper on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Almost 1,000 of them signed a guest register. The visitors were fascinated by the complex array of sophisticated, ultra-modern equipment contained in the new toll center. According to Christopher C. May, the company vice-president, many persons remarked that they had no idea the operation was so complex. Mayor Jack Newton wielded the scissors at the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday that commemerated the completion of the new toll center building on south Newton Street.
At last night’s meeting of the Jasper Utility Service Board Mayor Jack Newton asked for and received authorization to advertise the present city hall building for sale in anticipation of erecting a new building on east Sixth Street to contain all of the city offices. The present building is owned by the utilities. Mayor Newton had previously received the go-ahead sign from the City Council for his plan to sell the city hall building and also the fire station building which adjoins it on the east. The mayor said that he feels now is a good time to sell the buildings. The city owns four lots on the south side of east Sixth Street extending eastward from Mill, and Mayor Newton has proposed that a building be erected on the site that would house the offices of the Park and Recreation Department, the city clerk-treasurer, the police and fire departments, all utility departments and the mayor’s office.
The Otwell Millers will open their 1969-70 basketball season tonight playing host to the Birdseye Yellowjackets at the Petersburg High School gym. Six of Otwell’s nine home games will be played this season at Petersburg because of the large crowds expected to follow the Millers who a year ago won the Patoka Valley Conference with a perfect 7-0 record and then went on to win the Washington sectional before losing to powerful Vincennes in the regional. The Millers of Andy Anderson finished the 1968-69 campaign with a 20-4 record.
Holland High School has one of the richest basketball traditions in southern Indiana. Over the years the school, which has had enrollments just under and just above 100 students, has been one of the most successful on the floor. With the likes of Ray Roesner, Joe Todrank, Gene Tormohlen, Dave Lowenstein, Don Buse and many other talented individuals, the Dutchmen have mowed down many foes. The high points at Holland came in 1953 when the Dutchmen gunned down Huntingburg to win the Huntingburg sectional, in 1955 when they upset a Jasper team in the first game of the sectional after Jasper was one of the pre-tourney picks to win the state finals, in 1967 when the Dutchmen won the Huntingburg sectional for the second time and in 1968 when Hollland completed a perfect 20-0 season and then capped it off with still another sectional title. Ray Roesner returns to his alma mater this year to replace the successful Woody Neel who went north to coach the Anderson Indians.
Pictured on the front page of this issue is Tom Schnellenberger, operator of Tom’s Tire and Supply Co., who was elected president of the Huntingburg Chamber of Commerce. Also pictured are Norbert Olinger, who was elected vice-president, and Jack Davis, who was named secretary-treasurer. Schnellenberger is a member of the Huntingburg City Council. Olinger is a partner in the Olinger Construction Co. and Humer, Inc.. Davis is public relations director of the First National Bank. He was formerly the head basketball coach at Huntingburg High School.
The Otwell Millers, Ireland Spuds and Holland Dutchmen all posted victories Friday night in the only area high school basketball action. Otwell, with Steve Barrett and Ricky Weisman again leading the way, posted its second win in as many starts with a 54-45 PVC defeat over Chrisney, and Ireland’s Spuds rolled to their third straight win as they blasted the Birdseye Yellowjackets, 95-60. Ray Roesner made his debut as head coach of the Holland Dutchmen a successful one as the Dutch downed Dubois, 81-43, at Dubois.
• 25 Years Ago
Nov. 14, 1994
Earl F. “Woody” Buechler, one of Dubois County’s most respected and pioneering educators, died Saturday at Memorial Hospital in Jasper. Buechler, 67, was superintendent of the Southeast Dubois County School Corporation from 1969 until his retirement in July of 1985. Before then, he was superintendent of the Dubois County Schools from 1961 to 1969. In addition to serving as superintendent of the Southeast Dubois and Dubois County, Buechler was the principal of the Ireland Southside School for eight years and taught for four years at Ireland High School. Buechler was named Indiana’s Outstanding Educator for 1985 by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.
Pictured in this issue is Gilbert Verkamp, president and chief executive officer of Aristokraft. He is shown standing in a kitchen at the Aristokraft showroom in Jasper. The kitchen shows the company’s Decora Kensington Line. The business, founded in 1954, has grown to become the nation’s second largest manufacturer of quality kitchen and bath cabinetry. Verkamp this year received the second Dubois County Distinguished Citizen Award.
Adrienne Seitz is now finished with the preliminary stuff. The Pike Central senior signed a basketball scholarship Tuesday to attend the University of Southern Indiana. “I wanted to get it over with,” the 5-foot-10 guard said. “Now I can start concentrating on the season.” Seitz, a first-team all-state pick by Hoosier Basketball Magazine, scored 17 points per game last year, leading the Chargers to a 17-5 record and a fifth straight trip to the Seymour Semistate. “I’m very happy for Adrienne. I know she will be a tremendous player for them,” Pike Central coach Steve Barrett said.
Navy Fireman Apprentice Adam W. Steckler, son of Allen W. and Margaret A. Steckler of Rt. 1, Ferdinand, recently sailed to the Persian Gulf aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Cleveland in response to yet another crisis in Iraq. Stecker is one of 4,000 sailors and Marines who make up the four-ship USS Tripoli Amphibious Ready Group. While deployed, Steckler has had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong, Singapore, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates. The 1993 graduate of Heritage Hills High School, Lincoln City, joined the Navy in August, 1993.
Jasper Plant Foods, one of the area’s largest and best known agribusinesses, announced this morning that it intends to merge with the Chicago-based Vigoro Corporation. Mike Hochgesang, president of Jasper Plant Foods and its sister company, Petersburg Plant Foods, said both companies were included in the proposed merger. Jasper Plant Foods’ operations in Otwell and Wheatland were also part of the deal, Hochgesang said. The company’s fiscal 1994 sales were about $11 million. Vigoro Corporation’s were approximately $800 million. All of Jasper Plant Foods’ current employees will remain with the company.
Holiday World’s 1994 marketing efforts were praised during the ninth annual Brass Ring Awards ceremony earlier this month. The Brass Ring Awards are presented each year by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions during the group’s annual, week-long convention. This year the convention was held in Miami. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari received a first place for radio commercial; second place for a television commercial, third place for brochures and third place for print advertisement. All the awards were for parks with attendance between 250,000 and 500,000. It was the most awards Holiday World had ever taken in one year. In addition, the seminar “Food Service 2000” received a Service Award for the best workshop presented during the 1994 convention. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari had a record attendance in 1994 of 393,000.
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