Looking Back: 1/26

Photo courtesy of the Habig family
As the influx of German immigrants increased into Dubois County prior to the Civil War, the demand for their beloved drink of choice — beer — increased as well.  The first brewery was located on the south side of the Square in Jasper during the Civil War. Another brewery was found near the southwest corner of Seventh and Newton streets. Edward A. Hochgesang, the local brick manufacturer and masonry contractor, purchased this brewery soon after the end of the war. From October 1869 to November of the following year, Hochgesang built a new brick brewery building on the lot bounded by 11th, Main, 12th and Jackson streets on the northern outskirts of town. In 1884, after Hochgesang’s death, his widow, the former Cecilia Habig, sold the business to her brother, Anton Habig, and his brother-in-law and partner, Martin Eckstein. Habig bought out Eckstein  in 1899. This photo of the Habig Brewery was taken circa 1905. Today the lot is home to Jasper Public Library. (Photograph from “Images of America: Jasper and Huntingburg,” edited by Ron Flick and Jane Ammeson.)

65 Years Ago
Jan. 26, 1948

When an organization devoted to civic and patriotic causes observes an important milestone in its career it is worthy of public recognition. Such is the case of the American Legion Auxiliary unit in Jasper, which observes its silver jubilee this week. Among the group’s achievements and contributions to the local community is its work toward the establishment of a public library, which the unit adopted as its major project for the 1934. The auxiliary established the Dubois County and city of Jasper eighth- grade honor student medal and also sponsors the attendance of two girls to the annual Hoosier Girls State.

Jan. 27
The General Electric plant at Huntingburg, employing about 400 people, remained closed today on account of the gas shortage. Both the Tell City and Huntingburg plants were closed last Friday for the second time this year because of the inadequate gas supply. The gas allotment for the G.E. radio tube manufacturing plant at Tell City, which had been cut earlier this season, has been cut another 5 million cubic feet, making it imperative to close down this plant. While no gas is used at the Huntingburg plant, the shutting down of the Tell City plant cuts off the supply of parts for the Huntingburg subsidiary of G.E.

Triple Service Garage in the Skyline subdivision of Jasper is featuring the new 1948 Studebaker automobiles. The Champion and Commander models in convertible, sedan and coupe styles are superb examples of Studebaker’s revolutionary new postwar styling and engineering.

Jan. 28
Atomic Bomb, a three-gaited gelding show horse purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Alvin C. Ruxer of Jasper last month, is in Florida preparing to make the Sunshine Circuit of horse shows. Along with him is The Volcano, a champion five-gaited gelding also owned by the Ruxers. Included in the stops on the Sunshine Circuit are shows in Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, Miami (the Orange Bowl), West Palm Beach and Tampa. Both Ruxer horses have won enough blue ribbons in the past to be considered champions by the American Stud Horse Breeding Association.

Jan. 29
State leaders of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will join with patriotic organizations of southern Indiana in paying tribute to the mother of Abraham Lincoln, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, at the Lincoln Day Memorial Service to be held in the Nancy Hanks Lincoln Memorial Park in Lincoln City at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12. The service is sponsored annually by the Boonville Press Club in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Conservation and the Indiana Lincoln Union.

Jan. 30
The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday conducted the first union shop election in Jasper since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act. The election was held for production and maintenance employees of the Mid-West Mfg. Co. Under the provisions of the Taft-Hartley law, such an election is necessary for a union to get authorization to bargain for a union shop.

Of the 59 eligible voters, 55 cast ballots in Thursday’s election. Of this number, 28 were cast in favor of a union shop and 27 were against. Although more voted for than against, the vote was insufficient to grant the union authority to bargain for a union shop since it did not represent the majority of the eligible voters. A runoff election must be scheduled.

Jan. 31
General Electric’s “House of Magic,” a science show which has been presented before more than 12 million people during the past 13 years and which was one of the hit shows of the New York World’s Fair and of every major exposition since Chicago’s Century of Progress, is coming to Huntingburg soon. The show, which presents in an interesting and entertaining manner the marvels of modern science, will appear at the Huntingburg gym at 7 p.m. Feb. 6.

50 Years Ago
Jan. 26, 1963

Coach Pete Gill’s Ireland Spuds took a giant stride toward their fourth straight Patoka Valley Conference basketball conference title Friday night by bombing Ferdinand, 67-49. The loss marked the Crusaders’ first league defeat in five starts.

Another class of Dubois County residents has graduated from a Red Cross first aid class conducted by three members of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department, who announced that they will start another class Monday, Feb. 4. The class was conducted by Ray Gunselman, Leo “Pete” Hopf and Bill Kiefer.

S.E. “Bud” Durcholz, a 30-year-old farmer who lives in the Ireland community, was elected chairman of the Dubois County unit of the National Farmers Organization at their January meeting. At the same meeting, the “lock the granary door” campaign started by the national NFO organization was discussed. The bargaining plan is designed to keep corn and soybeans off the open market and put the pinch on feed lot operations for these commodities.

Jan. 28
Dubois Countians continued to shiver with the rest of the nation today after the thermometer took another nosedive overnight. The official low temperature recorded at the Jasper sewage treatment plant was 23 below zero. This came after a recorded high of 7 degrees above zero Sunday.

“Bastille Day” was a complete success Saturday in Jasper, it was reported today by Mrs. Jim Foley, county director of the March of Dimes fund campaign, which benefited from the event. According to Mrs. Foley, the two phones at the bastille were kept busy answering calls requesting that friends be “jailed.” It cost the caller $1 to have someone incarcerated and the defendant had to pay, also, to be released.

Mr. and Mrs. John Gentry opened a pair of businesses today at Huntingburg. Gentry’s Place is at 506 Fourth St. in the Katterhenry Building. Mr. Gentry will operate a television sales and repair shop, and Loraine Gentry will operate a beauty shop in the building.

Jan. 29
Six students for the priesthood from the Evansville Diocese, including two from Jasper’s St. Joseph Parish, will be ordained as subdeacons and deacons Feb. 2 and 3 at the Canisianum at Innsbruck, Austria. The Jasper students are Kenneth L. Graehler and Earl Rohleder. Both began their studies at the same time at the Saint Meinrad Seminary.

Owners of citizens band two-radio sets are forming a four-county Citizens Band Radio Club. Counties included are Dubois, Pike, Spencer and Warrick. The three Jasper men who organized the club are Paul Campbell, Charles Myers and Vincent Streicher. There are 18 men in the group.
The Jasper Civitan Club is bringing the Cross Roads Olympians wheelchair basketball team of Indianapolis to Jasper on Sunday afternoon for a benefit game that will be staged at the Jasper High School gymnasium.

Jan. 30
A training class for enumerators who will take the special population census in the city of Jasper was scheduled for this afternoon at City Hall, according to Mary C. House, of the U. S. Bureau of Census, who will supervise the project. Mrs. House said this morning that one crew leader and 12 enumerators have been appointed and will begin making their calls immediately following the four-hour training session.

Thirteen foreign-exchange students who are studying American industrial methods at Indiana State College will be in Jasper on Thursday for a tour of local manufacturing plants. Arrangements for the tour were made at the instigation of Bonnie Hopf of Jasper, who is a sophomore and member of the International Club at Indiana State.

Chester “Chet” Mutchman received the Distinguished Service Award at the annual Huntingburg Jaycee banquet held at Salem Parish Hall Tuesday night.

Jan. 31
Raymond A. Gunselman has been named manager of the Wilson Garden Center at 15th and Main streets in Jasper.

Tom Arnold, farm director of radio station WHAS, was announced as the featured speaker by J.H. Katterhenry, general manager of Huntingburg Production Credit Association, for the group’s annual meeting to be held in Salem Parish Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 12. During 1962, the Huntingburg Production Credit Association loaned $11,600 in the 10 counties that it serves in southwestern Indiana.

Feb. 1
Wayne Place, president of Jasper Rubber Products, has announced the realignment of key personnel to accommodate the existing and projected growth of the firm. Under the realignment, all production processing will be divided into separate divisions. Promoted to division managers were Jerome Streicher, basic products; Harold Weir, molded products; James Harris, planning, scheduling and finishing; Terry Friedman, sales engineering; and Jim Block, equipment, maintenance and tooling. Dow Roy “Max” McCune, former chief chemist, was promoted to operations manager and will coordinate all division activities.

Kenton Meyer was recently installed as president of the Holland Kiwanis Club. He is credit manager for Holland Custard & Ice Cream.

25 Years Ago
Jan. 26, 1988

The Greater Jasper School Board unanimously agreed Monday to convert Fifth Street School for students in kindergarten through grade two and 10th Street School for grades three to five. The plans call for Ireland Elementary to remain a K-5 school.

Area school corporations are beginning to look at the cost of asbestos inspections, which were mandated by the federal government under a 1986 law.

Little Henrietta is doing all the organizing at the Jasper office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. “Henrietta” is the name employees have given a new take-a-tab machine. It is just one of the changes at the local branch. The Jasper office is one of 65 branches that volunteered for early conversion from private control to state jurisdiction, and with that conversion came changes in how the office is being run. Now, when customers enter the Jasper office, they read Henrietta’s sign (Driver’s licenses to the left; all others take a number), take a numbered tab and sit down to wait.

Jan. 27
The 14th annual Junior Civitan Oakville 25-hour dance-a-thon will be held March 12 and 13 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Tracy Lynn Messmer will represent the Midwest District at the event. The contributions she collects for the dance marathon will be donated to a children’s hospital servicing the district.

Jan. 28
A preference for enhanced 911 by Dubois County’s two cities can only enhance local efforts to get a 911 system, says Bob Moats, the spark plug behind the local push for 911. Wednesday evening, Huntingburg officials said they thought basic 911 might be inferior to the city’s current system but indicated they might like enhanced 911, provided the price is right. Two weeks ago, Jasper officials announced they were pursuing getting an enhanced system for their city rather than wait for any county system to be approved and installed.

Jan. 29
The Huntingburg Utility Board passed a resolution Thursday evening to go along with a 9.1 percent hike in electric rates proposed by the Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Co. Electric Superintendent Loma Hartke said Huntingburg had little to gain, and probably would pay more, by contesting the increase.

Jan. 30
Mike Kellams, Birdseye Town Board president, said during a board meeting Thursday that the board would support a proposal for a new county income tax to pay for the new jail. During a board discussion of the topic, Kellams described the economic development income tax discussed by county elected officials at a Jan. 21 meeting as “the lesser of two evils,” when compared to a hike in property taxes to pay for the jail.

Feb. 1
Approximately 500 students from 28 southern Indiana high schools converged on Southridge High School in Huntingburg on Saturday for the district Office Education Association contest. During the six-hour competition, students competed in more than two dozen events, including verbal communications, computer graphics, shorthand, business math, keyboarding, business law, proofreading and personal finance.

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