Looking Back: 2/15February 14, 2020
Compiled by Bob Alles
• 65 Years Ago
Feb. 14, 1955
About 1,500 persons, including quite a few from surrounding communities, heard the Jasper High School Band in concert at the JHS gym yesterday evening and unanimously decided that the band is ready for its trip to the Cherry Blossom Festival at Washington, D. C., in April. Under the masterful baton of Director Tom Bishop, the band played such varied numbers as The Rosary and Copa Cabana. Arrangements for both these numbers, as well as some of the others on the program, were written by Harold Walters, a native of Seymour.
A flash fire that started in a spray booth yesterday afternoon completely destroyed the Ferdinand Furniture Company plant at Marengo with a loss estimated at $200,000. An electrical spark ignited fumes while the plant superintendent, Romus Mehling, and other men employed in the plant were making repairs. The fire spread quickly through the plant, which was not equipped with a sprinkler system. Marengo has no water system, and Bob Menke, manager and secretary of the firm, said this morning that for this reason no sprinkler system was installed. The fire broke out around 3 o’clock, and in an hour’s time the two-story plant had burned to the ground.
Nip Wuchner’s Wildcats trailed Reitz for nearly 281⁄2 minutes of the 32 at the Central gym last night, finally took the lead on a quick popup under the basket by Kenny Kunkel with 2:33 to go, and held on grimly for a 52-49 decision over Clarence Riggs’ inspired Panthers. The host netters went the last six minutes of the game without getting a point. Jasper closed its 1954-55 Southern Indiana Athletic Conference season with a 12-2 record. New Albany, 8-1, has only to lick Bloomington on the Bulldogs’ home floor Friday evening to clinch the title. In the event of an upset that would have to be the biggest of the winter, the Cats would have the championship. Eddie Kapp played a whale of a ball game for Jasper. He led his team in points (19) and rebounds.
Two Huntingburg sectional basketball tournament favorites, the 18-1 Holland Dutchmen and Jasper’s 17-2 Wildcats, landed in the long bracket of the IHSAA drawing and will open the tourney at 7 o’clock next Wednesday evening. Another favorite, the 14-5 Happy Hunters, went into the bye bracket of this year’s pairings and will play Ireland’s 13-6 Spuds in the 2:30 tilt two days later, on Friday afternoon, Feb. 25. Winslow’s defending sectional and regional champions drew the Dubois Jeeps for the third straight time and they’ll clash at 8:15 on Wednesday night.
Adam Blessinger, chairman of the Dubois County U. S. Savings Bond Division, has received a report that Indiana’s Savings Bonds sales for January showed a gain of more than 4,000,000 over the corresponding period of last year. January sales were $18,649,221 compared with $14,561,755 for January, 1954 — a gain of more than 28 percent. The national sales gain was 18 per cent. Sales for Dubois County were $142,689 compared with $88,244 for January last year.
Marv Cave’s Hot Dogs won all the way at Frankfort last night, drubbing the Jasper Wildcats 60-46 in a game which, when “the horses” were called off the visitors were down 25. A relentlessly eager zone harrassed the Wildcat shooters from the word go. Donnie Bates, who’d scored 29 on the Hot Dogs last year, was a particular target this time. He was held to six points.
Bob Roberson, the greatest basketball point-maker in Birdseye High School history, added 34 to his season’s total last night for 454 in 17 games and a four-year reckoning of 1,830 — which may be a state record. He got his latest points in pacing Jim Cawood’s Yellow Jackets to a 58-54 victory over the Oil Township cagers at the Huntingburg old gym.
• 50 Years Ago
Feb. 16, 1970
Michael Martin, executive director of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce, announced today that two representatives of the Indiana State Highway Commission will be in Jasper this Wednesday when they will meet with the Chamber’s Traffic Safety Highway Committee. Martin said that the meeting will begin at 11:30 Wednesday morning in the K of C Club. Lee Higgins and Robert Eskew, both of the district office at Vincennes, will meet with the 15-member traffic safety committee. Emphasis will be on highways planned for the Jasper and Dubois County area. Martin recently appeared before the State Highway Officials at Indianapolis in an attempt to secure a bypass for the city of Jasper. The executive director requested that a bypass be included in the State Statutory Road Program for the years 1971-73.
From Jerry Birge’s Keeping Score column: Very few people know it, but the Evansville North scorebook was completely wrong (road numbers instead of home numbers) Friday night. Rule 3 clearly states that the squad list and correct numbers must be submitted to the scorekeepers 10 minutes prior to the game. For any changes in a player’s number listed in the book is an automatic technical foul at the start of the game. Jasper coach Ed Schultheis called it to the attention of the officials (Bob Davidson and Jim DeGroote), a couple of veterans at their job, but neither would uphold the rule. However, further down the line in rule 3 is the following: “It shall be fully understood that the referee has no authority whatsoever to waive the penalty when neglect or oversight is the cause for the team not fulfilling these obligations.”
The Perry Central Commodores, the new entry in the Huntingburg sectional basketball tourney, will jump right into the action next Wednesday evening when they meet the Ireland Spuds in the opening game of the local tourney at 7 p.m. This was determined this morning when the IHSAA made its blind draw in the association’s offices in Indianapolis. Also on opening night, two of the pre-tourney favorites — Ferdinand and Huntingburg — will clash head-on in the 8:15 game. Completing the pairings, Birdseye was matched against Holland at 7 p.m. Thursday followed by Jasper and Dubois at 8:15 that same evening.
Walter (Jerk) Heichelbech, 44, of 207 East Twelfth St., a Jasper restaurant proprietor, died at 1:35 Tuesday afternoon in Memorial Hospital of cancer. He had been in failing health for the past year. Mr. Heichelbech and his wife, Betty, had operated Heichelbech’s Restaurant for the past 18 years.
Pictured on the front page of this issue is a couple married for 65 years. Mr. and Mrs. John Kendall, Eighth and Shelby St., Huntingburg, will observe their anniversary Friday. No special celebration is planned due to the recent illness of Mr. Kendall. They were married at Lamar on Feb. 20, 1905. They are the parents of nine children, Mrs. George Logsdon, Mrs. Sarah Mayo, Mrs. Jess Hall, Mrs. Herman Schaeffer, Mrs. John Patton and Clarence, Ted, Everett and Russell Kendall. John Kendall is 85 and Mrs. Kendall is 84.
A 37-year-old Ferdinand man died in a fire that destroyed his home Thursday evening. Bernard “Cheesy” Woebkenberg, an employee of the Acme Metal Products Company in Jasper, became the second person to die in a residence fire in Dubois County this month. On the morning of Feb. 3, Miss Margaret Ann Gutzweiler lost her life in a fire that destroyed the apartment in which she lived with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Gutzweiler, in Jasper’s downtown business section. The fire in the home which was occupied by Mr. Woebkenberg and his mother, Mrs. Irma Woebkenberg, was discovered shortly after 8 p.m.The victim’s mother was not at home at the time the fire broke out.
The Jasper Wildcats won the basketball championship of the prestigious Southern Indiana Athletic Conference Friday night with a 64-52 victory over the Bedford Stonecutters in their final regular season game before a capacity crowd at the Jasper gym. The victory and the conference championship put the icing on the finest Jasper basketball season in 10 years — a 17-3 overall mark, a 13-2 slate in the SIAC. It was the fifth SIAC basketball crown for the Cats who also won it in 1960, 1944, 1943 and 1941.
• 25 Years Ago
Feb. 20, 1995
The local boys basketball sectional, hosted by Southridge, will open Tuesday, Feb. 28, when No. 16 Pike Central (18-1) plays Northeast Dubois (9-10) at 6:30 p. m. Jasper (15-4) and Wood Memorial (5-13) will then follow that matchup at 8:00. On Friday, March 3, Forest Park (13-6) and Southridge (6-13) will play in the bye round at 6:30 p. m. and the winners of games 1 and 2 will meet at 8 p. m. The championship game is set for 7:30 p. m. Saturday, March 4.
The storybook careers of four Pike Central seniors came to an end Saturday in the semifinals of the Seymour Girls Basketball Semistate. After posting a 67-25 record in four seasons, the Lady Chargers’ Adrienne Seitz, Michelle Russell, Lori Evans and Angie Blatnic all covered their heads with towels and wept as the final seconds ticked off the clock in their 69-52 loss to No. 8-ranked and Final Four-bound Washington. The Lady Hatchets went on to defeat Scottsburg, 73-61 in the championship game to earn a berth in Saturday’s state finals at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.
Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center today announced it has exceeded its goal of raising $2.5 million in the Heritage of Healing Fund Drive that concluded today. The drive raised $2,530,746 in pledges for the hospital’s building expansion project. If the total amount that is actually collected exceeds the goal amount, Kimball International has promised to donate an additional million dollars as part of a “challenge donation.” The hospital is erecting a “Wall of Giving” in its lobby to thank those who donated $1,000 or more.
A reduction in force at Abbey Press has claimed the jobs of 38 full-time and 23 part-time workers. Tuesday’s layoffs cut across various divisions and levels of the company and followed an intensive three-month strategic planning and market assessment, according to its chief operating officer, the Rev. Carl Deitchman. Abbey Press, owned and operated by the St. Meinrad Archabbey, was begun in 1867 by Benedictine monks and has served as the marketplace in its present capacity for more than 30 years. Until Tuesday, Abbey Press employed 230 full-time and up to 200 part-time workers.
One in 10 Dubois County school children is approved to receive free or reduced-price lunches, and even more would probably meet the eligibility requirements. The problem is their parents aren’t willing to sign them up, local educators say. “Many people would prefer to pay and don’t want a hand-out,” said Lee Begle, Ferdinand elementary principal. “I think you will find that in most of Dubois County.” During October, the last month for which complete numbers are available from the Department of Education, the four local school corporations had 497 students approved for free lunches and 207 for reduced lunches.
Jasper senior wrestler Mike Pilcher was recently named to the 1995 wrestling first team academic all-state selections. Pilcher accepted his honor on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame Banquet in Greenwood. The banquet was sponsored by the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association. In his four years at JHS Pilcher has received over 34 academic and athletic awards and honors, including having the distinction of having the highest SAT score among all of the all-state selections. Pilcher scored a perfect 800 on the math section of the test.
The Saturday feature story in this edition is on the Marian Heights Academy, which opened 125 years ago with one teacher for academics and one for sewing and cooking. Today, young women from around the world travel to “the hill” for serious studies and unique learning opportunities. The all-girls Catholic boarding school prides itself on a low student-teacher ratio of 7 to 1 and a small student body that acts like an incubator for close friendships that endure long after the girls leave the school-on-the-hill in Ferdinand. Annual tuition and board now stands at $13,900 for domestic students (4,000 for tuition only), and nearly all of the recent graduates have gone on to college.The school is run by the sisters of St. Benedict.
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