Looking Back: 12/7

In 1905, Joseph L. Eckstein purchased from Matilda Geier three lots in the Maurice de Palais Addition and soon thereafter constructed a sawmill that furnished lumber for the factories in Jasper. This mill was north of 13th Street and west of Vine Street. The homes in the background are on Vine Street and some on 15th Street. After the death of Eckstein in 1912, the sawmill business was operated by his two sons, Louis J. and Clem. In 1919, they purchased from Adolph Egloff and others a property on South Clay Street west of First Street and soon thereafter constructed a more modern sawmill at that location. On April 1, 1922, the property on East 13th Street was sold to a new company, Jasper Office Furniture Co., organized by Joseph Sturm and others. (Photograph from “Pictures from the Past... Jasper, Indiana,” by Arthur C. Nordhoff)

Ӣ 65 Years Ago
Dec. 6, 1948
Odilo “Oats” Berger has been appointed manager of the Dubois County auto license branch, succeeding Claire Knepp, who served in that capacity for the past four years. An auditor from the Office of Secretary of State is in Jasper today to check the office, after which Mr. Berger will take over. The office will be moved from the Astra Theatre building to the former Becher and Son Mortuary building on West Sixth Street.

At the December meeting of the Board of Dubois County Commissioners, which was held this morning in the commissioners room in the courthouse, the members of the board of trustees of the Town of Holland presented a petition for the annexation of additional territory to their growing town. The commissioners, after studying the maps and blueprints presented by the Holland board of trustees, approved the annexation.

Dec. 7
The Little Theatre of Jasper formally came into being Monday night when 22 members met to adopt a constitution and elect officers. Seven officers, making up the executive board, were chosen by the group. They are Jack Rumbach, chairman; Jerome Schneider, vice chairman; Bettie Egler, secretary; Helen Marie Kreilein, treasurer; Louise Sonderman and Tom Salb, board members, and Rev. Ralph Endress, adviser. The play selection committee appointed at a previous meeting and the executive board were given the authority to complete plans for the group’s first production, to be staged early next year. The possibility of producing a radio play with a Christmas theme during the holiday season also was discussed.

The radio network of which the Indiana State Police Post radio station at Jasper is the center is being widened this week by Tell City’s installation of a police radio system. The radio equipment has been installed in Tell City’s police patrol cars, in the office of Mayor Volmar Franz and in the police station.
Plans were going forward today for the selection of a young man in Jasper to receive the Distinguished Service Award for 1948. The award, an annual presentation of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, will be made in Jasper for the first time this year by the newly organized Jasper Jaycees.

Dec. 8
Accuracy at the free-throw line paid big dividends for coach Jim Beers’ Huntingburg Hunters as they rang up a 42-39 victory over their arch-rivals, the Jasper Wildcats, in Huntingburg High School gymnasium Tuesday night. Although outscored from the field, 16 to 15, the Hunters made good 12 of 16 attempts from the free-throw line to provide their margin of victory. The win was the 35th for Huntingburg in the 78-game series and kept clean Beers’ slate against Jasper teams.

Dec. 9
Della Hemmer of Huntingburg rated 15th place in competition to be the 1948 Champion Corn Grower of Indiana. Her yield was 169.1 bushels per acre, compared to the winner’s yield of 180.9 bushels to the acre. Miss Hemmer is the first woman to place this high in the corn-growing contest. There were 2,285 growers in the competition.

Dec. 10
An architect’s drawing of the proposed Holy Family Parish building in Jasper has been presented to the building committee. The committee consists of Lawrence Hochgesang, Joseph Hasenour, James F. Hochgesang, Frank Schroering and Louis Vonderschmitt. The plans should be completed in the very near future, according to Rev. Othmar Schroeder, who will serve as the first pastor.

The members of the Furniture Workers Union of America, Local 331-H have voted to affiliate with the Upholsterers International Union of North America, an American Federation of Labor group. The members of Local 331-H are employees of the Huntingburg Furniture Co. plants in Huntingburg and Ferdinand. The vote to affiliate with the AFL group received unanimous support.

Dec. 11
Capt. Jerome “Dimp” Stenftenagel crowned Patty Dischinger Jasper High School Basketball Queen for 1948-49 prior to the Jasper-Washington game in the JHS gymnasium Friday night. The Wildcats beat the Hatchets by a score of 58-27.

Dean Annakin, professor of sociology at Indiana State Teachers College, told the Dubois County teachers at their meeting in the courthouse this morning that Americans will have to work hard to meet the challenge of the present world chaos. His subject was ”Teaching Ideals in an Age of Chaos.” Mr. Annakin said that professional groups bear an added responsibility in shaping the future course of America’s progress.

Rev. Henry Joseph Sztuczko, who lived at Providence Home in Jasper from 1936 to 1939 as one of the religious brothers who staff the local institution operated by the Sons of Divine Providence, has returned here after being ordained a priest in Italy. Father Sztuczko is a brother of Rev. Thaddeus Sztuczko who left for Italy last year to begin his studies for the priesthood after having been at Providence Home for seven years.

Ӣ 50 Years Ago
Dec. 9, 1963
Briefly and simply, the purposes and benefits of the proposed Patoka Reservoir have been outlined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its recent brochure containing pertinent info: “The project plan considered would serve the purposes of flood control, general recreation, fish and wildlife recreation and water supply and water quality control. Operation of the reservoir for flood control would control the maximum flood of record at the dam site and would reduce the stage of a flood equal in magnitude to the 1961 flood by 3.3 feet at Jasper and 1 foot at Winslow.”

Two men escaped with minor injuries when their small foreign car went through a guardrail on the straight stretch of U.S. 231 just south of radio station WITZ around 6:15 p.m. Saturday and burned. The driver and owner of the Porsche 1600 Super, Gary Howard, 28, Winslow, was taken to Memorial Hospital, as was his passenger, Gary Frank, 20, of Ireland.

Dec. 10
Contributions to the Jasper Community Christmas Party Fund have passed the $500 mark, according to the report today.

At Monday night’s regular meeting of the Jasper Utility Service Board, John P. Curtin, manager of the utilities, said that the way the gas pressure was maintained during the present cold spell convinces him that there is no reason the city should have any trouble supplying any of its customers during the coming months. He reported that there have been no complaints from any part of the city, including the newly annexed areas.

Dec. 11
Beck’s Restaurant and Bar in the southeast corner of Jasper’s public Square will hold an open house Thursday in the firm’s newly remodeled quarters. Beginning at 4 p.m., roses and favors will be given to all patrons who attend during the rest of the day and evening.

A new supermarket that reflects the confidence of its owners in the future of their community will have its grand opening Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Haysville. The new store is on a corner of U.S. 231 and Haysville’s main street. It was built by Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Nigg, who will be assisted in its operation by two sons, Levi and David, and six other employees.

The 10th annual Jaycee Outstanding Young Farmer award banquet was held Tuesday night at Salem Parish Hall in Huntingburg. Jaycees from Dubois, Ferdinand, Holland, Huntingburg and Jasper were present to honor Lee Joe Welp of Route 2, Birdseye, who received this year’s award.

Dec. 12
There are 22 steps required for a project such as the Patoka Reservoir to reach completion and the public hearing set for tonight at 7  in the armory in Jasper is one of them. Five steps have gone before, including the determination of need by local residents.

At Wednesday nights’s monthly meeting of Mayor Francis Sermersheim and the Jasper Common Council, Councilman Jim Brendle asked whether the city would consider training a man to take care of gas appliances of local residents who have switched from bottled gas to the natural gas supplied by the city. He pointed out that suppliers of bottled gas take care of mechanical adjustments on stoves and other appliances for which they supply gas, but when these customers change over to natural gas, the bottled-gas dealers, of which Mr. Brendle is one, are not authorized to make adjustments to the appliances. He said that as far as he knows, none of the bottled-gas dealers is licensed to make adjustments on appliances serviced by the city from its natural-gas mains.

Dec. 13
Santa was busy distributing treats to the small fry at Saturday afternoon’s community Christmas party sponsored at Holland by the community’s civic clubs. About 500 people attended.

Dec. 14
Nine high schools with fewer than 50 pupils each will have to close after this school year. The list includes Stendal and Spurgeon high schools in Pike County. All of the schools on the list have been cited for failure to meet state educational standards.

Ӣ 25 Years Ago
Dec. 5, 1988
Taking over the Jasper landfill is too risky and too expensive, a consultant told Dubois County officials this morning. Instead of taking over the Jasper landfill, the county should work to open a new landfill and use the existing landfill as a stopgap measure, engineer Richard Thomas said.

Dec. 6
Huntingburg councilmen took two big steps Monday toward keeping plenty of clean water on hand for residents. First, they gave final approval to a series of new rules for use of the land around the city lake, including some controversial amendments that were opposed by the city’s planning commission. Second, they authorized Huntingburg’s mayor to improve the city’s chances of getting additional water from the Patoka Lake Regional Water District.

Unemployment in Dubois County dropped to another record low in October when the rate slid to 2.2 percent. In August, the county also dropped to a 14-year low, with a 2.8 percent jobless rate. The low October figure ties the county for the lowest unemployment rate in the state for the month.

Dec. 7
Some radon gas tests that have been done in Dubois County homes show results that are slightly high, but the radon gas levels are not alarming, according to Donna Oeding, county sanitarian. Since the tests, which take two to three days to conduct, were made available at the sanitarian’s office two months ago, 60 homeowners have requested them.

Dec. 8
A month after residents spoke out against a fire station on their street, the city has approved building it where originally planned. No one protested the fire station during Wednesday’s Jasper Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, and the board unanimously approved building a fire station on a residential lot at Villa Drive and east 35th Street.

Dec. 9
The stray dogs should be howlin’ for joy in 1989. According to LaVerne Brosmer of the Dubois County Humane Society, a much-needed animal shelter will finally be under construction around March. In the last four years the society has raised $120,000 to build the shelter, which will be located on property donated by the City of Jasper on Old U.S. 231 behind the city garage.

If construction stays on schedule and membership drives continue, Ferdinand will have a community center in eight months. And the community center board will not have any unpaid bills. After four years of planning and fundraising, on Thursday the board awarded tentative contracts — pending final financial arrangements — for construction of the $430,000 building.

Dec. 10
The Saturday feature is about Ryan Kempf. His attitude landed him the title of Easter Seal Society Poster Child for 1989. The 8-year-old has cerebral palsy. He also has a will that knows no boundaries.
Two church rectories were burglarized during Masses on Thursday night and a parsonage was broken into early Thursday morning in what state police believe were related incidents. A burglar or burglars entered the St. Celestine Catholic Church rectory in Celestine through a window and took $280 cash. About $80 was taken from the St. Joseph Catholic Church rectory in Dale. Nothing was taken at the parsonage of Christ Lutheran Church in Haysville.

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