Looking Back: 4/4April 3, 2020
Compiled by Bob Alles
• 65 Years Ago
April 4, 1955
An explosion believed caused by ignited gasoline fumes demolished the Ferdinand Garage building on Ferdinand’s main street around midnight Saturday with a loss estimated at more than $50,000. Trooper Carl Sharer of the State Police, who went into the basement of the wrecked brick and concrete building yesterday said that gas had accumulated in the well of a sump pump used to remove water from the basement, and that when the sump pump motor started up, the spark ignited the fumes. However, Renus Leinenbach, one of the two brothers who operate the garage and auto agency, told the Herald this morning that the 1,000 gallon tanks buried under the sidewalk in front of the building apparently did not have a leak, and he is at a loss to explain how gas could have leaked into the sump pump well. He said an employee of the D-X distributor pumped out the tanks, and found no water in them.
Dubois County’s two SIAC baseball clubs begin their 1955 schedules this week. Kenny Richardson’s Huntingburg team plays the Central Bears at Evansville and probably will lead with their ace — Buddy Blemker. Including Blemker, there are five returning regulars. The others are Don Elshoff, Joe Henderson, Jerry Hemmerlein and Paul Tanner. Wes Settle’s Jasper Wildcats open against a strong non-conference opponent, the Plainville Midgets. Coach Settle, who until last season was guiding the Midgets, has announced his probable lineup. Jerry Schneider, pitch, Jody Giesler, catch, Ken Kunkel at first, Dick Flick, second, Donnie Bates, short, Willie Haas, third, Alvin Brenner in left, Kenny Ackerman in center, and Donnie Kress in right.
About 275 persons, including members and officials of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, attended the meeting of the VFW Auxiliary held yesterday evening at the VFW Home in Jasper for members from the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th Indiana districts. Following a chicken dinner, the national president of the Auxiliary, Mrs. Thomas F. Holz of Philadelphia gave a talk in which she discussed a trip to Europe, the education of Korean orphans and the Freedom Foundation Awards Jury.
A one-hit pitching job by Jerry Schneider, eight hits including a home run by Ken Kunkel, and 11 Plainville errors combined yesterday afternoon for a 14-0 Jasper victory over the Midgets in the 1955 baseball opener at chilly, wind-swept Recreation Field. The only safe blow off Schneider came in the first inning after two strike outs when First Baseman Allen smacked one that the lanky pitcher partly deflected but which couldn’t be fielded in time for the put-out. Another strikeout (Jerry got 13 altogether) retired the side. During the game Plainville had but three men on base. Jerry walked two. Donnie Bates was four-for-four, including two doubles, and Don Otto had a triple and Kenny Ackerman added a double for the Wildcats.
Director Tom Bishop of the Jasper High School band yesterday received a personal letter, signed by President Eisenhower, acknowledging the gift of a leather-upholstered executive type chair which was presented to the chief executive when the band was in Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The chair, which was donated by the Jasper Chair Company for presentation by the band to the president, was accepted by Presidential Aide Homer Gruenther on the White House lawn.
From the It Happened In And Around JASPER column: G. K. “Bill” LeMastus, local life underwriter for the Commonwealth Life Insurance Company, attended a school at the company’s home office in Louisville this week. Mr. LeMastus is one of a class of Commonwealth careermen who are studying the operation of a life insurance company. Meg O’Neill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. “Cabby” O’Neill, is home from I. U. for a few days. Jack Leas spent the weekend visiting friends in Louisville. Mr. and Mrs. Ivel Wilson had as a house-guest for a few days, his nephew, Jack Cato, of Indianapolis.
• 50 Years Ago
April 6, 1970
More than $200 in cash plus 81 blank money orders were stolen from the rural post office station in Nigg’s supermarket in Haysville early Sunday morning. Members of the Indiana State Police, the Sheriff’s Dept., and Federal postal inspectors are investigating the break-in. Reports indicate the break-in occurred sometime between 1:30 and 3:30 a.m. Sunday when thieves broke out a glass on the east door of the supermarket. Once inside the store the thieves entered the post office which is housed inside the market. Here they took the safe that contained the cash and money orders. The safe was later found alongside the Portersville-Haysville Road about a quarter mile from the store. A two-way radio, valued at about $170, was also taken.
Officials of St. Meinrad Seminary have announced that a $100,000 grant has been awarded the seminary by the Lily Endowment, Inc. Charles G. Williams, Lily Endowment Director for Religion, announced the grant to the Very Rev. Hilary Ottensmeyer, O. S. B., president of St. Meinrad College, on March 25. The grant was made to St. Meinrad, stated Williams, “in consideration of the historical, present and projected contributions of St. Meinrad Seminary to theological education in Indiana and the nation and, further, reflects our interest in the outstanding leadership you and your colleagues are providing, not only at St. Meinrad, but in the theological education enterprise in the midwest.”
James Mueller, assistant basketball coach at Springs Valley High School for the past nine years, has been named head basketball, track and cross country coach at Dubois High School, according to an announcement today from Don Pope, superintendent of the Northeast Dubois County School Corporation. Mueller, a native of West Baden, succeeds Adrian “Butch” Crim, who resigned from the position Feb. 23 after serving as Dubois coach for two years. Mueller will move to Dubois this summer where he will teach driver’s education during the summer. Mueller, 30, is married to the former Jill Burkel of Louisville.
Kenneth Schnaus, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Schnaus of Rt. 1, Jasper, has been elected student of the month for April by the faculty of ITT Business Institute of Evansville. Kenny graduated from Ireland High School in 1968. After graduation, he entered the institute, majoring in data processing-business administration. He will graduate in June after completing a two-year program in the field of accounting and programming. While attending ITT, he has been listed on the honor roll and has served as president of the Indiana Social club. His outstanding academic and citizenship record has helped him earn this honor. He is presently employed as the night manager for Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant. ITT Business Institute is affiliated with International Telephone and Telegraph’s Education Services.
Pictured on the front page of this issue are several officials who were on hand for a historic moment yesterday. The first connection of the Hoosier Energy transmission line to the Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative system was completed Thursday afternoon when Clarence Whitsitt, president of the Dubois REC, threw a switch at the substation located near the Gus Ahrens farm west of Huntingburg, a short distance north of Ind. 64. Some other officials on hand for the occasion were Tom Chanley, secretary-treasurer of the Dubois REC, Kent Mikkelsen of Bloomington, chief transmission engineer for Hoosier Energy; Tom R. Gibbs, chief substation engineer of Hoosier Energy; and Leo H. Hochgesang, general manager of the Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.
James U. Weyer, local representative for Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company, Lexington, Kentucky, was selected “Man of the Month” for February. The award is given to the sales representative each month who has achieved the most sales of the company’s 1,000 combination sales representatives.
• 25 Years Ago
April 10, 1995
Dubois County produced three of the state’s 13 champions crowned Saturday at the Odyssey of the Mind state finals. Two Greater Jasper teams and a Forest Park squad qualified for trips to the 1995 OM World Finals at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, May 25-27. Eight other local teams placed in the top three of their events at Belzer Middle School in Indianapolis. This year, a record 26 teams from Dubois, Pike and Spencer counties competed at the state championships.
Alan Henderson, Pat Knight and rag-tag group of Indiana University hoop stars from the recent past blew into the Jasper High school gym on Tuesday, giving local fans a heapin’ helpin’ of Hurrin’ Hoosier Hysteria. The ex-collegiate colossals put on a dazzling display of dunks, long-range shooting and good-natured humor, putting smiles across the faces of the 400-plus in attendance. The IU All-Stars narrowly ousted the Jasper All-Stars, 148-146.
It wasn’t exactly pretty but Southridge coach Gary Meyer will take Tuesday’s victory over Tecumseh, warts and all. With the contest knotted at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Southridge junior Trey Lytton scored from third base after an ill-advised pick-off throw from Braves’pitcher Travis Dauby sailed wide down the left field line. The 4-3 Pocket Athletic Conference win improved the Raiders to 4-1 on the season while visiting Tecumseh fell to an inglorious 1-5.
Pictured on the front page of this issue are Anna and John Sinclair, 96 and 95 respectively. They will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary next weekend. Both were previously married for close to 50 years. “I took my doctor’s advice when he said, ‘ John if you want to live to be an old man, marry an older woman,’ John said. John had previously married Mary Foltz of Madison on March 19, 1919 when he was 19. They had two daughters and a son. In 1920, Anna married Charles Andry, a Birdseye High School teacher. They never had children and he died in 1964. John and Anna had a few dates in 1918. Then they became reacquainted in 1969 when John returned to Birdseye for the 50-year reunion of his high school class. Then John began visiting Anna regularly, and they got married on April 24, 1970 in Indianapolis.
Revenues and net income grew sharply during fiscal 1995’s third quarter for Kimball International Inc., an Indiana-based furniture and electronics manufacturer. For the three months ending March 31, net income was $10.8 million (52 cents per Class B share). That represents a 24 percent increase over year-earlier quarterly earnings of $8.7 million (42 cents per Class B share). Revenue expanded 14 percent to a record $236.8 million. “With earnings exceeding 50 cents a share for the second straight quarter, we’re beginning to see payback from the company’s efficiency and process improvement initiatives,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas A. Habig. “We are able to grow the business while controlling overhead costs.”
J. Robert Yost, superintendent of the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation, was honored on March 25 by the Indiana Region 8 Jaycees with induction into the Region 8 Hall of Fame. Yost was honored during the annual region election meeting hosted by the Lanesville Jaycees. He is only the 12th inductee into the Hall of Fame. In his comments upon receiving the honor, Yost encouraged the membership to continue to provide leadership training to young adults through community involvement in the Jaycee organization.
Aristokraft, Inc., has promoted Charlie Vollmer to vice president of manufacturing. He has been with Aristokraft for 23 years. Vollmer, along with his wife, Joyce, and their two children, is a life-long resident of the Jasper area.
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