Looking Back: 1/2December 31, 2020
By BOB ALLES
65 Years Ago
Jan. 2, 1956 New Year’s Day Observed - No Paper
The New Year was in its third day before Mr. Stork decided to bless Jasper parents with a newborn and thus provide a winner for the annual “First Baby” contest conducted by the Daily Herald with the cooperation of Jasper merchants. At least, that’s the way it appears at this time as the first baby born to Jasper parents in Memorial Hospital since the clock ticked past midnight last Saturday was the 10-pound, 5-ounce boy born to Mr. and Mrs. Alva Earl Elliott, 1520 Mill St., this morning at 6:05. Thus the tiny infant Elliott is the unofficial winner of the 1956 Baby Derby and the title will become official if no earlier births to parents of Jasper or Jasper rural residents are reported to the Daily Herald by tomorrow evening.
Huntingburg remains a sectional and regional basketball center, according to the list of 1956 tournament sites announced this morning by the IHSAA. Twelve teams will again compete in the Huntingburg sectional — six from Dubois County, four from Pike and two from Orange. The Dubois County teams are Huntingburg, Holland, Birdseye, Jasper, Dubois and Ireland. Those from Orange County will be French Lick and West Baden and the Pike countians will be Stendal, Spurgeon, Winslow and Otwell. Ferdinand again goes to another sectional, competing at Tell City in the same area in which the Crusaders have been assigned at tourney time. Petersburg goes again to the Washington sectional. In the Huntingburg regional tourney, the sectional winners from Sullivan, Vincennes, Washington and Huntingburg once more will be playing.
Harry C. Geisel, former American League baseball umpire, will be the guest speaker next Monday evening, Jan. 9, on the first Jasper K of C program of the new year, it was announced by Paul F. Wuchner, lecturer for Council 1584. The program at which Mr. Geisel will talk will be open to men of all faiths. It will be immediately after the regular meeting at the K. of C. Home. A nationally known figure in the baseball world, Mr. Geisel called balls and strikes for 29 years, 18 of it in the American League. During this time, he umpired in three World Series and two All-Star games.
The modern, new $400,000 addition to the Stork Memorial Hospital at Huntingburg will be formally dedicated next Sunday. At 11 a.m. Most Reverend Henry J. Grimmelsman, bishop of the Evansville diocese, will officiate at a private Mass in the hospital chapel. At 12 noon he will bless the new wing in the presence of the clergy, and at 1 p.m., a banquet will be served in the hospital cafeteria for invited guests. Open house for the public will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., at which time everyone will be welcome to inspect the beautiful and modern rooms, equipment and facilities. The new 40-room addition will give the hospital a total of 70 beds. In 1951, when Dr. and Mrs.H. K. Stork turned the hospital over to the Sisters of St. Benedict at Ferdinand, it was a 28-bed hospital.
Jasper’s Wildcats out-defensed, out-shot and out-ran the Vincennes Alices last night for a 68-39 SIAC victory at the JHS gym. It brought to 9-3 the overall record for Nip Wuchner’s squad and left Chet Francis’ green-clads at 3-5. Jasper’s scoring was quite well balanced among four of the starters. Butch Rees and John Hoffman each had 15 points, Dick Persohn 12 and Jody Giesler 11. Meanwhile, Bob Gardner’s Rockport Zebras came from behind in the last minute of play last night with two free throws that nipped Huntingburg’s hard fighting Hunters 52-51 at the Rockport gym. The Hunters' Bob Craig with 25 markers was the game’s leading scorer. Teammate Dennis Stetter had a good night too with 15 points.
50 Years Ago
Jan. 4, 1971
The host Seymour Owls prevailed as champions, Jasper and Bloomfield both tasted defeat for the first time this season, Jeffersonville’s highly-publicized Mike Flynn turned in his finest and his poorest efforts of the season and the fans were treated to some exciting basketball Saturday in the Seymour Holiday Tournament held in the new 8,500-seat Seymour gym. Barney Scott’s Seymour team defeated Bloomfield (81-78) and Jeffersonville (82-67) to win the tournament. Bloomfield’s loss to the Owls was their first of the year after nine wins, but the Cardinals came back to win the consolation to hand Jasper its second straight loss, 78-66. In the afternoon action, Jasper lost to Jeff, 62-61, their first loss in nine outings. Jeff’s Mike Flynn scored 35 points to lead the Red Devils to victory. Flynn was then held to “only” 17 in the championship game against Seymour.
Things were quiet in the maternity wards of Dubois County’s hospitals on New Year’s Day, but Jan. 2 marked the arrival of the first babies of 1971 in both Memorial Hospital in Jasper and at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Huntingburg. Mr. and Mr. Eugene Recker of Route 1, Jasper, became the parents of the first New Year’s baby at 9:07 a.m. Saturday when their son was born at Memorial Hospital. Weighing 8 lbs. 1 1/4 oz., the lad became the winner of the “First Baby” Contest sponsored by Jasper business people in the HERALD. He is the first child for the Reckers. At 1:46 p.m. on Saturday, an 8 lb. 3 oz. girl was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Huntingburg to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Garris, Route 2, Velpen. At home waiting the new arrival are two other Garris children, a boy and a girl.
Classes, which will be offered during the second semester at Vincennes University-Jasper Center, were announced today. Registration for the second semester will be held Jan. 25 and 26, with classes beginning Feb. 1. The second semester will end May 28. Cost for full-time students will be: Tuition, $300 per semester; library fee, $5; student activity fee, $10, and general laboratory fee, $10. Part-time students will pay tuition of $19 per credit hour and general laboratory fee of $10 per semester.
Adding to the attractiveness of Jasper’s downtown store-front array is the new Schneider’s Furniture store that occupies most of the former Tivoli Theatre building in the northwest corner of the Public Square. The firm, a corporate enterprise operated by two brothers, Tom and Rich Schneider, and their wives, has moved from its former quarters in the 500 block of Main Street and will observe its grand opening from Friday through Jan. 30. During this time, the store will also hold its January clearance sale. Bernard Gutzweiler and his son, Gerald, who own the Tivoli building, spared no expenses in remodeling the space formerly occupied by the theater to suit the needs of their new tenants.
Some people have put action behind their growing concern about the rapidly rising rate of suicides and attempted suicides in Dubois County. Recently, the Community Services Committee of Memorial Hospital joined with members of the Dubois County Mental Health Association in the efforts it has been making to form a Suicide Prevention Service. Acting as liaison for the two groups are Mrs. Bettie Egler and Mrs. Laraine Laube who head the project for the Mental Health Association. As public relations director at Memorial, Mrs. Egler is chairman of its Community Services Committee. Mrs. Laube is the social service director at Memorial.
“You can’t commit 29 errors against a team like Central and get away with it,” said Jasper High School basketball coach Ed Schultheis in a tomb-like Jasper dressing room in the Central gym in Evansville Friday night moments after his Jasper Wildcats, once ranked as high as third in the state, stumbled to their third straight loss. Central’s full court press, which had little effect on their first eight foes this season, had Jasper on edge all evening, forcing them into a season-high 29 floor errors. Meanwhile, the Huntingburg Happy Hunters fell to the Tecumseh Braves, 43-36, Friday night in an upset game at Lynnville, for their seventh loss of the season.
25 Years Ago
Jan. 8, 1996
Dubois County fared a little better than many of its neighboring counties and much better than most of the country’s northeast but still struggled through one of the worst snowstorms of recent years over the weekend. Extensive drifting from 20 to 40 mph winds closed many rural roads, locally as well as across the Northeast region. In Dubois County, the weekend officially added eight inches of new snow to what was left of the 4 inches recorded last Tuesday. One new inch fell by 7 a.m. Saturday, 6 inches more by 7 a.m. Sunday and a final inch fell before 7 a.m. today. The snow was followed by temperatures in the single digits in places. Officially, Jasper’s lowest low temperature reading was 11 degrees.
Safety and serenity are two reasons why Santa Claus residents are far more satisfied with their community than most Americans, according to a recent survey. The survey, filled out by 44 residents in October, consists of 100 questions in 20 categories such as cost of living, health care services, pollution, recreation and safety. It was conducted for free by the Colorado-based Center for Creative Leadership, which is developing a national database to rank responses. “Overall, the results are very positive,” said councilman Don Aronoff, who arranged for the town to be surveyed. Santa Claus was rated “very high” compared to other communities in seven of the 20 categories, including safety, serenity, education and lack of pollution.
After a public hearing at which no one objected, the Ferdinand town council gave final approval Tuesday to a 10-year, $516,000 property tax abatement on a warehouse Best Chairs Transit Inc. plans to build. Company officials said the 175,000-square-foot warehouse would allow Best Chairs to convert its existing warehouse into additional manufacturing space, creating 40 $7-per-hour jobs with a total annual payroll of about $537,000. Best Chairs created Best Chairs Transit last year to handle its warehousing and shipping operations. The $4.27 million warehouse — to be completed by Sept. 1 — will be built next to the existing 132,000-square-foot warehouse, which will be converted to house Best Chairs’ recliner division.
Sometimes seeing is believing. Residents who have complained for years about low water pressure presented the Holland town council with a convincing piece of visual evidence Wednesday night: A section of a 2-inch cast-iron water pipe that was almost completely plugged by 50 years of corrosion. The pipe was removed from the west end of Linn Street last week when a water leak was repaired. The eight property owners in the area signed a petition urging the town to replace the 250-foot encrusted line. “The flow on that block is pathetic,” said Fire Chief Ken Smith. “Those eight property owners deserve better than that.” Smith said the low flow rate could also make it difficult to fight fires in that part of town.
The Skate Palace offered freebies to rollerskaters dressed in red and wearing red ribbons. Southeast students opposed to substance abuse took drug-free messages to elementary classrooms, factories and church parking lots. St. Joseph’s Hospital served patients meals on trays decorated with red place mats, and included a substance abuse article on red paper in a monthly newsletter. Those observances of Red Ribbon Week in Jasper, Huntingburg and Ferdinand earned honors from the Dubois County Substance Abuse Task force this week. Task force coordinator Marti Thornbury presented the 1995 Red Ribbon Employer Awards at a membership meeting Tuesday.
The Jasper Wildcats defeated Washington 72-48 in a Big Eight Conference game played in Jasper’s gym. The win raised the Cats’ record to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in the Big Eight. Mr. Basketball candidate Michael Lewis again assumed the scoring leadership with 28 points, but he got plenty of help even though Doug Wigand was the only other Cat in double figures with 11. Eight different Jasper players found their way into the scoring column. Meanwhile, Southridge (6-4) had a five-game victory run ended as the Central Bears (5-3) upended the Raiders 67-63. Raider point guard Derek Prior had a game-high 21 points. In other area games, Northeast Dubois (5-5) kept Paoli (0-9) winless with a 54-48 win behind 16 points from Bill Mattingly. Dustin Stillwell scored 18 points to lead Pike Central over Heritage Hills 62-60. Josh Wetzel had 20 points to lead the scoring for Heritage Hills.
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