Looking Back: 3/8

The Stewart Hotel was located at the southeast corner of Eighth and Main streets. The business was established by Mrs. Generosa Gasser and her son,  Louis Gasser, on June 1, 1891. The hotel originally consisted of the remodeled Gasser home and contained six guest rooms. Some time later, twelve guest rooms were added by building another story and extending the building to the east the full 100 foot depth of the lot. In 1929-30, a third floor was added and the whole building was encased with a buff brick exterior. For fifty-seven years the hotel operated a dining room that seated 125 guests. Over time, four generations of the Gasser family operated the hotel. In the photo, the second man from the right wearing the vest and the Derby hat was the proprietor, Louis Gasser. (Photograph from “Pictures from the Past... Jasper, Indiana,” by Arthur C. Nordhoff)

Ӣ 65 Years Ago
March 7, 1949
The Jasper Wildcats will meet the Bedford Stonecutters in the first game of the Bloomington semi-finals next Saturday by virtue of their triumph in Vincennes Saturday. Coach Cabby O’Neill’s Wildcats overcame halftime odds to defeat a sterling Monroe City team in the Regional finals at Vincennes, 57-55. Spellbound fans saw one of the most spectacular comebacks ever staged in the Coliseum as the O’Neillmen refused to allow an eleven point deficit in the third quarter break their spirit.

March 8
The members of Dubois County Ship No. 90, Navy Club of the U.S.A., are being asked to sign up as volunteers for a stand-by blood bank, it was announced this morning by Commandant Harold Bettag. At the last meeting, held on February 11, it was voted by the members present to have the Navy Club offer this vital service to any resident of Dubois County. Commandant Bettag pointed out on numerous occasions in the past when residents of Dubois County required blood transfusions it was impossible to find a local donor with the right type. Based on information already received, Navy Club members who have volunteered to serve as blood donors can supply all four different blood types.

March 9
At the regular meeting of Mayor Herbert Thyen and the city council yesterday evening, the Edward Fritch Pontiac Company was the successful bidder on two pick-up trucks which the city is purchasing for the street department and the power plant.

Four Jasper High School students, members of the JHS debate team, were the featured speakers at the noon luncheon meeting of the Jasper Kiwanis Club yesterday at Wehrle’s Restaurant. The four students, James Schubert and Duane Stemle, speaking on the affirmative, with Margaret Wilson and Bill Dudine retaliating with the negative viewpoints, debated on the topic, “The United Nations should be Revised into a Federal World Government”. Frances Seng, also a JHS student, directed the debate team.

March 10
In the closing hours of the Indiana legislature Governor Schricker signed three bills which were introduced jointly into the Senate by Senator Leo J. Stemle of Jasper. One of the bills authorizes the State Highway Commission to receive a refund in the event the commission finds that a portion of a previously paid for right of way is unnecessary. Another bill authorizes the New Harmony Memorial Commission to wind up its affairs and file a final report to the governor, and the third bill permits the Indiana Department of Conservation to trade lands with the federal government.

Recently the National Beta Club was organized at Dubois High School. The purpose of the leadership-service organization is to reward achievement, and to encourage and assist its members to continue their education after high school. Sponsoring the chapter is Mr. A. J. Kreitzer.

March 11
President Lena Bonifer of the VFW Auxiliary to Post 673, today announced that the Polio Hot Pack is now available to any resident of Dubois County. This polio pack will be kept at the VFW club and anyone wishing to use it can contact Edward Seng, club manager, she said. According to Mrs. Bonifer, the pack is a mechanical hydrothermal device which facilitates the administration of the Sister Kenny treatment and, if used early in the case, many times prevents the crippling effects which result from infantile paralysis.

The 1949 “Silver Anniversary” model Chrysler is on display today in the salesroom of Hoffman & Klueh, in the “Y” at Jasper. The new Chrysler shows more changes in design and engineering than any previous model.

March 12
Jasper’s new garbage disposal plan is gaining wide recognition as a pioneer project. Today’s Herald contains a story sent over International News Service wires to all INS papers this morning. Excerpted from the story — Mayor H. E. Thyen, of this Dubois County seat of 6,200 population, and other leaders in the project, have found they are pioneers. When the mayor sought information on the idea of garbage disposals in individual homes taking the place of garbage collection by the city, he found that no municipality had ever tried such a plan. Jasper had to clear a legislative hurdle in the just concluded Indiana General Assembly in order to open the way for the plan. A law, authored by State Senators Leo Stemle, of Jasper, and D. Russel Bontrager, of Elkhart, was passed, permitting cities to issue revenue bonds for purchase, installation, and maintenance of electric garbage grinding units. The bonds could be paid off by fees assessed against the homeowners or occupants.

Ӣ 50 years Ago
March 9, 1964
Water damage which the manager said would run into thousands of dollars resulted at the Jasper Table Company plant on South Main Street Sunday night. Manager Omer Sturm said that apparently one of the downspouts became stopped up and the gutter filled with water, with the result that a section of the roof over the shipping room gave way. When the roof caved in it broke one of the water pipes that feed the sprinkler system. When the pipe broke it began to flood the plant. Mr. Sturm said there was about $45,000 worth of finished furniture in cartons in the shipping room, and damage is extensive.

Springs Valley won the Huntingburg regional tournament by beating North Knox and Loogootee.

March 10
Ray “Pete” Gill, head basketball coach at Ireland High School the past two seasons, announced today that he plans to resign his coaching and teaching position at Ireland at the close of the present school year. Coach Gill plans to seek a coaching position in a larger school for next year. It was just a year ago that Coach Gill put the Ireland Spuds on the basketball map in Indiana, when he guided the Spuds to their first sectional and regional championships in the history of the school.

The Patoka River passed its highest 1961 flood level at Dubois this morning and continued to inch nearer that mark at Jasper although the rate of rise has slowed down since the rains have stopped. It was reported by Leo Brelage, manager of the Indiana Cabinet Co. at Dubois that the 1961 crest was exceeded there this morning by about three-fourths of an inch. Meanwhile, the reading at the Patoka River bridge at Jasper at 11 a. m. was 13.75 feet.

March 11
As many as 25 men were working at one time yesterday to save the dam at the privately-owned 17-acre Jasper Lake east of Jasper, and their work paid off. Three truck loads of sand were used to sandbag a break in the dam, and while the water was still going over the two spillways and through two valves early today, the water level is dropping and the dam is considered to be in no danger. On Monday afternoon someone noticed that there was a hole in the dam. It is believed to have been caused by muskrats which tunnelled through the dam. As soon as possible the level of the lake will dropped sufficiently to permit making permanent repairs.

Last Saturday’s regional basketball tournament at Huntingburg attracted 12,278 fans for both sessions, according to the financial report released today by Principal E. H. Loehr of the host school. Both sessions were classed as complete sellouts. The greatest pre-tourney sale of season tickets was recorded this year as 6,099 ducats were sold in advance of the tourney, leaving just 40 single session tickets available for each session of the tourney. Tourney receipts for the 1964 meet totaled $12,298. Expenses, other than transportation, came to $1,516.35.

March 12
Jasperites were joining citizens of the Dubois and Upper Patoka areas today in getting ready for the “big cleanup” as the Patoka’s waters began to inch slowly back into its banks. After coming to a stand about 4 p.m. Tuesday at Dubois, the river halted its upward surge at Jasper at about 8 p.m. Wednesday. The crest at Dubois Tuesday afternoon was 23 feet. By eleven o’clock this morning it was reported by Ralph Seger who is recording the levels in Dubois that the river had dropped three feet. At Jasper, meanwhile, the river rose to 15.17 feet.

March 13
Officials touring flood-stricken southern Indiana took time out at noon Thursday for lunch at the American Legion Home in Jasper. Legislators that visited the city were Senators Vance Hartke and Birch Bayh and Congressman Winfield K. Denton. Also touring the local area were Maj. Kenneth E. McIntyre, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and John Mitchell, director of the Indiana Flood Control and Water Resources Commission.

March 14
Paul East, head basketball coach at Jasper High School the past three years, resigned his coaching position today, according to an announcement made by Bernard Gallagher, superintendent of Jasper schools. Mr. East, who has been guidance counsellor for the past two years, will remain on the JHS faculty in that capacity.

Ӣ 25 Years Ago
March 6, 1989
Jasper Coach Ed Yarbrough’s Wildcats beat Southridge, 49-37, in the championship game of the sectional at Huntingburg Memorial Gym Saturday night. The win gave Jasper its first sectional title since 1981.

A new DMI furniture plant in Dubois County will employ 100 people when it begins production in October and up to 150 people within two years, according to plans announced by the company’s president. Donald Dreber, president and chief executive officer of DMI Furniture, said this morning that a 180,000 square foot plant will be built next to a company warehouse in Huntingburg. Production is scheduled to begin at the new facility October 1.

March 7
On the day when the Huntingburg Common Council was expected to open up more land for industrial growth, the council learned more residents may object to the plan than first thought and decided for now to study the matter further. The council, as well as Mayor Connie Nass, want to prepare for industrial growth by rezoning a large area around the industrial bypass from agricultural to heavy industrial. The bypass project will link U. S. 231 north of the city, with State Road 64 west of town.

March 8
Thirty days after arsonists set fire to Pine Ridge Elementary School, renovations that could cost as high as $275,000 are about to begin. Southeast Dubois School Corporation Superintendent Ron Etienne received the $275,000 figure from insurance adjustors after they inspected the damage done to Pine Ridge after a fire on Feb. 11. Krempp Lumber was authorized by the school board Tuesday night to become the contractor for the project.

The Calumet Lake is advertising its 3rd annual Home and Garden Show, to be held this weekend. There will be over 30 exhibitors at the show. Prizes will be awarded Sunday afternoon at the end of the Home Show. The Calumet Lake is offering a $500 Grand Prize.

Southridge senior Annette Lange has been named the MVP of The Herald’s All-Area girls basketball team for the third straight year. This year’s team was the fourth annual, chosen by sports writers at The Herald. Also picked for the team were Amy Kissling, Southridge senior; Pike Central’s Jenny Boyd, junior, and Tricia Deffendoll, sophomore; and Jasper’s Tara Bayer, senior.

March 9
Paying off loans to expand Fifth Street and Ireland elementary schools could cost the Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools up to $1.26 million a year for 20 years. The property tax rate will have to be increased by up to 99 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in order to repay about $11 million in loans needed for the construction projects, Superintendent Walter Stutz said Wednesday. The loan-repayment and property-tax estimates were provided to the school board Wednesday afternoon by Summers & Company of Indianapolis, a firm that prepares the legal work needed to sell government bonds.

March 10
Green beer is only a small part of the town of Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, according to Greg Leinenbach, one of six members of the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee. The festival begins this Saturday and includes a parade, music, volleyball, free-throw shooting, running races, a turkey plop contest, a flea market, a craft show and plenty of food. The Shamrock Pub and Restaurant and The Chicken Place will both serve green beer.

March 11
Charles Stenftenagel, vice president of Sten’s Lawnmower Parts, Inc., was elected president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Aftermarket Association during the group’s third annual meeting in Fort Myers, Fla., last week. Stenftenagel, who has been with Sten’s since 1984, will be serving his second term as president of the organization.

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