Looking Back: 1/4

Caption text here.This picture of St. Joseph Church in Jasper was taken about 1880 as the church was being completed. Father Fidelis Maute was the pastor at the time, and each Sunday he read a list of names sufficient to provide enough unskilled labor, teams and wagons for the coming week. Fr. Fidelis bought a team of oxen and most of the time drove them himself. The church cost $80,000 in cash, including the cost of three altars made of white Italian marble. The first services in the new church were held Nov. 20, 1880. (Photograph from “Pictures from the Past... Jasper, Indiana,” by Arthur C. Nordhoff)

Ӣ65 Years Ago
Jan. 3, 1949
A New Year’s Eve prank that backfired sent six residents of the St. Anthony community, ranging in age from 16 to 52, to Stork Hospital for treatment of first-degree burns. All were released the same evening except for one, who will be a patient for another week or so. The celebrators had driven to the home of a friend, where they intended to set off a charge of blasting powder. While they were getting out of the car, one of the celebrators dropped a lighted cigarette into the can of blasting powder. The resulting explosion and fire burned all of the car’s occupants and also burned out the inside of the car.

Jasper Cub Scout Pack 182, sponsored by American Legion Post 147, will meet at the Legion Home on Tuesday for a reorganization  meeting. All boys ages 9 to 12 and also those who will become 9 during the next two months are invited to bring their parents to this meeting so that they may learn how to become a Cub Scout.

Jan. 4
A bolt of lightning crashing earthward during an electrical storm Monday night set the roof of the St. Joseph School building in Jasper ablaze and caused the most disastrous fire in this city’s history. The lightning struck the building at around 12:30 this morning. To fight the fire, all of the city’s available firefighting equipment was used, including the city’s two fire trucks and the auxiliary pumpers owned by Jasper Veneer Mills and Jasper Wood Products Co. When it became apparent that the local equipment could not cope with the blaze, calls were put in to Huntingburg and Loogootee for help. The blaze was rendered uncontrollable by a brisk east wind and the fact that the flat roof was of the built-up type composed of tar, which proved impervious to water. The damage is estimated at between $250,000 and $300,000.

Jan. 5
The 800 Jasper grade school students who were left without facilities when St. Joseph School was struck by lightning and burned Monday night will be accommodated in the Sixth Street school building where pupils will attend in shifts.

The National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., has ordered an election to be held within the next 30 days among employees of the New Indiana Chair Co. in Jasper to determine whether they wish to be represented for collective bargaining purposes by the American Federation of Labor or the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The unions, for which the employees can designate their choice in secret ballot, are the Furniture and Veneer Workers Local No. 331 AFL or the Furniture Workers Union Local No. 336 CIO.

Jan. 6
The Herald received a telegram this morning from Sen. Homer Capehart of Washington, D.C., announcing that the Rural Electrification Association has authorized a $140,000 loan to the Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative. Bert White, manager of the cooperative, is out of the city and could not be reached for comment, but it is understood the loan was made for the purpose of improving present facilities and building more lines.

Wednesday about 150 men attacked the job of clearing debris from the fire-razed St. Joseph School building. The debris was shoveled or pushed out of windows, and a small power shovel scooped the hunks of charred wood and twisted steel into a line of waiting trucks. A number of women were also on the job Wednesday and today, helping to remove dishes and other equipment from the kitchen and helping the sisters and schoolchildren remove books and other school supplies from water-soaked desks.

Jan. 7
The Armstrong Store, in the Y in Jasper, is having a contest during January. The local Maytag dealer will give away a new aluminum tub Maytag clothes washer in exchange for the old washer to the owner of the oldest Maytag washer in Dubois County still in operation. Entry can be made by mailing the model and serial number of your Maytag, together with your name and address, to Armstrong’s Store. The contest will be judged by the Maytag Co. of Newton, Iowa.

The Herald treated its 26 carriers to their annual holiday party Thursday. The event included a movie and a meal at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Circulation manager Kenny Lewis, Bob McFarland and Ed Rumbach of the Herald staff supervised the proceedings.

Jan. 8
Arthur M. Thurston, the new superintendent of the Indiana State Police, will inspect the Jasper post on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 18, it has been announced. At the same time he will discuss administrative policies with the troopers of the local post.

Great strides have been made in the past few days by a large group of volunteer workmen toward removing the debris from the fire-razed St. Joseph School building, and the work of removing the water-soaked plaster from the walls is in progress. Among those who inspected the damage Friday were Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter of St. Louis, former bishop of the Indianapolis diocese, and Right Rev. Ignatius Esser, OSB, abbot of Saint Meinrad Abbey.

Ӣ50 Years Ago
Jan. 6, 1964
Mr. and Mrs. Hilbert Blackgrave Jr. and family lost all their personal possessions except the night clothes they were wearing when the interior of their two-story home at Holland was gutted by fire early Sunday morning.

Jan. 7
From the “Square Shootin’” column by S.E. Stemle: We Jasperites, who long ago installed food waste disposers in the kitchen sinks on a citywide basis, are inclined to be unsympathetic when we read that garbage collections in some other town have been temporarily halted because the stuff is frozen so solidly in the cans that the garbage tippers can’t dislodge it. ... I wonder whether Jerry Newton, 9-year-old son of Mayor Jack Newton, has become resigned to the fact that the family will continue to live in the same home they lived in before pop was elected. Somehow he got the notion, during the campaign, that mayors lived in that big house across the highway from his grandma — the John L. Eckert residence.

The Huntingburg Hunters and Jasper Wildcats meet tonight in the 122nd game of the Net Series, one of the oldest basketball feuds in this part of the state.

Jan. 8
Robert L. Siebert, a partner in the operation of the Modern and Squire Shop clothing stores on the Jasper Square, is the new president of the Indiana Retail Men’s Wear Association. He was elected at the state convention of the group held in Indianapolis.

Staring certain defeat squarely in the face, the Jasper Wildcats calmly, coolly and collectively picked themselves up off the floor to wipe out a five-point deficit in the last two minutes and 44 seconds of play and went on to squeeze out a spine-tingling, nail-biting, 68-67 win over the Happy Hunters on Tuesday evening at Huntingburg. The victory enabled the Wildcats to keep possession of the Little Brown Jug until next season.

St. Benedict College at Ferdinand, now a four-year teacher-training institution, will operate as a two-year liberal arts college beginning in September, it was announced by the president of the college.

The annual Epiphany dinner for lay students and members of the faculty of St. Benedict College at Ferdinand was held Monday evening in the dining hall of Kordes Hall. The banquet has been a traditional event since laywomen were first admitted to the college in 1959.

Jan. 9
At its first regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Jasper’s new city council rejected on third reading the ordinance calling for an increase in the utility service board from five to seven members.

The Youth Center on East Sixth Street in Jasper, which has been closed to the teenagers temporarily because of the swiping of a dozen billiard balls from the pool tables, will be open again Friday night following the Jasper-Central game. The city police have appealed to the adult board to reopen the center if this can be done without apparently condoning the action of those who took the billiard balls as a prank.

At a special meeting of the board of directors of the Ferdinand Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, these officers were elected: Ernest Weyer, president; Ernest Wilmes, vice president; Clarence Weyer, secretary-treasurer, Edgar Vaal, assistant secretary-treasurer.

Jan. 10
Father Bert Gramelspacher, who recently returned to Jasper from his Maryknoll mission in Japan, was guest speaker Wednesday evening at the meeting of the Sodality of Our Lady at Holy Family Parish.

Jan. 11
It has been announced by Leon Fleck, president of the Dubois County Young Democrats, that the annual date set for the rabbit fest and membership rally is Thursday, Jan. 30.

Basketball queens were crowned in pretty pregame ceremonies Friday night at Dale, Holland and Jasper. They were, respectively, Sandy Kleeman, Linda Drennon and Sandra Bowen.

Ӣ25 Years Ago
Jan. 2, 1989
New Year’s holiday observed, no newspaper.

Jan. 3
The death of a Birdseye man Saturday from injuries he suffered in an accident five days earlier brought the county road fatality toll for 1988 to 11 deaths. The figure is believed to be the most ever in the county, where two or three deaths per year are not uncommon.

State Rep. Dennis Heeke, D-Dubois, wants the state to help counties begin regional waste management programs. He also would like a slight change in the marriage license application — the listing of parents’ names — and he thinks all volunteer fire departments ought to be authorized to raise money to cover their operating costs. Heeke will present legislation on these issues during the 1989 General Assembly.

The Holland Town Board preformed its annual restructuring of its three members in a special meeting Thursday night. Thomas Thacker will replace Charlie McPherron as president of the board.

Jan. 4
The proposed southside connector road drove onward toward reality Tuesday as the county and Jasper received a written building agreement from the state. The road would link State Road 162 near the county highway garage with U.S. 231 near the closed drive-in theater. If eventually approved by local, state and federal governments, the road is expected to cost about $5.8 million and could open in 1991 or 1992. The federal and state governments would pay the bulk of the project’s costs. The written agreement from the state puts pressure on the city and county, which are cooperating on the project, to approve the state-recommended route.

Jan. 5
A proposed shopping center south of Kmart got its first official nod of approval Wednesday after the city planning commission zoned the land as commercial property. If plans for the 27-acre shopping center are approved, it could include an expanded Kmart store, a grocery store and a clothing store. The center would be located on the southeast corner of State Road 162 and Rumbach Avenue.

Jan. 6
The Huntingburg Jaycees are taking nominations for service awards for Outstanding Young Fireman, Outstanding Young Educator, Outstanding Young Law Officer, Outstanding Young Religious Person and Boss of the Year as well as Distinguished Service Award. An awards banquet will be held Jan. 17.
Arnold Schwartzenegger and Danny Devito are staring in “Twins,” showing at the Astra along with “The Naked Gun.” At Jasper Cinemas, “Rainman,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “My Mother is an Alien” are showing.

Jan. 7
Ferdinand native Doug Lindauer is a professional fine artist who lives at the base of the Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole, Wyo. It is not enough for Lindauer, 27, to research the history of the mountain men and fur trappers of the early 1800s whom he paints. He has chosen to live the life himself near Yellowstone National Park. “I’m intent on becoming the best, and the only way you become the best is to immerse yourself in what you do — actually become what you paint,” he said.

More on DuboisCountyHerald.com