Looking Back: 4/6

Photo courtesy of Bernie and Sharon (Sturm) Messmer
In May 1888, Jasper druggist Martin Friedman decided to erect a new brick building on the southeast corner of the Square in Jasper. Instead of demolishing the aging wood-frame building already on the lot, Friedman decided to move it to the adjacent lot. In this photo, the moving crew uses a Kitten steam engine from Ferdinand, as bystanders watch. In the background is the three-story building that Martin’s brother, Joseph, had constructed two years prior and that today houses Sturm Hardware Store. At left is Ben’s Starlight Saloon, operated at the time by Ben Krodel.


65 Years Ago
April 5, 1948

Both Jasper and Huntingburg high school bands will take part in the state contest in Greencastle on May 1 as a result of their placing in the First Division in the Southern Indiana Band, Orchestra and Vocal Contest in Huntingburg on Saturday. More than 5,000 people were in Huntingburg for the all-day program, which culminated late in the afternoon with a marching contest at Municipal Park.
About 200 people attended a box social sponsored by the Dubois County Rural Youth group at the Rustic Tavern on Thursday night. Reversing the usual pattern of a box social, the boys prepared the boxes and the girls bought them. Among those present were quite a few members of the Dubois County Farm Bureau, the organization that sponsors the Rural Youth movement.

Work on the new lights for Recreation Field in Jasper was slated to get under way today. Members of the committee in charge of erecting the new lighting system to make night baseball possible have made arrangements with Leo Grewe, former superintendent of Huntingburg Utilities, to put up the lights. Grewe will work in cooperation with Adam Bishop, superintendent of the Jasper Utilities plant.

April 6
A petition to allow boats on Huntingburg City Lake was presented to the Huntingburg Common Council on Monday night. City Attorney John Ax was directed to write to the State Board of Health concerning the matter.

Betty Rowekamp of Jasper was installed as president of the Indiana Association of Future Homemakers of America at a state meeting held at Indiana Central College, Indianapolis, Friday and Saturday.

Big Willie Sakel, steady forward on the Huntingburg Hunter basketball team last winter, was presented with the Kiwanis award for sportsmanship, playing ability and citizenship at a regular meeting of that organization at noon Monday. Sakel was the backbone of the 1948 Huntingburg team and was its ace rebound artist.

Stork Hospital in Huntingburg has added to its equipment a machine for the inhalation of penicillin oxygen mist, used in the treatment of sinusitis.

April 7
Three investment firms, one from Indianapolis and two from Cincinnati, Ohio, were successful bidders for Jasper’s $550,000 bond issue, being floated to make necessary additions to the local light plant. The joint bid calls for an interest rate of 2 3/4 percent, and payment of a premium in the amount of $10,037.99 by the investment firms for the privilege of acquiring the issue. This very low interest rate speaks highly for Jasper’s credit rating. The actual interest rate, after deducting the premium, will be 2.55 percent. The bid was accepted by Alphonse J. Sermersheim, city clerk-treasurer, in the presence of City Attorney Arthur C. Nordhoff.

Harold Schmutzler was installed as Huntingburg Veterans of Foreign Wars commander Monday night. Almost 100 members witnessed the installation ceremonies at the Huntingburg post.
The Fiesta, Jasper’s newest restaurant, at 14th and Mill streets, will have its grand opening Thursday night. Entertainment will be provided by The Desk City Four, Jasper’s own barbershop quartet. The new establishment is owned by Victor Lehnen and Charles and Eugene Gutzweiler.
The Huntingburg Merchants semipro baseball team retained Ike Blemker as its manager at an organizational meeting Tuesday night.

April 8
The members of St. Augustine Council 497, Young Men’s Institute of Huntingburg will observe the golden anniversary of the council Sunday. A 35-page booklet giving the history of the Huntingburg YMI council is off the press. The book is dedicated to Felix Sermersheim, the only charter member of the club. Sermersheim served as the first financial secretary and now is treasurer.

April 9
The St. Joseph School Warriors of Jasper advanced to the diocesan cage finals by defeating Chrisney and Huntingburg teams at St. Meinrad on Thursday night for the deanery crown.

April 10
In typical spring training fashion, the hitters showed evidence of being ahead of the pitchers as Jasper High School’s baseball team put the finishing touches on preparation for its opener Tuesday with Tell City. Tuesday’s game will launch a 13-game schedule for the Jasper team, including 12 Southern Indiana Athletic Conference contests.

The Huntingburg Hunter baseball team got off to a bad start in its SIAC title defense Friday, dropping an 11-2 decision to the Central Bears at Bosse Field. The Hunters were in the ballgame until the sixth frame, when a six-run splurge by the Bears settled the issue.

50 Years Ago
April 8, 1963

Melvin Fleck, an eighth-grade pupil at Holy Family School in Jasper, won the Dubois County Spelling Bee on Saturday afternoon in competition with the champion spellers from 20 other schools. The runner-up, Debbie Leinenbach, an eighth-grader at Ireland’s North Side School, contested his right to the championship for 24 rounds after the other 19 spellers had been eliminated from the competition.

Sylvan Mehringer of R. 3, Jasper, has purchased the stock and equipment in the tire business on South Main Street that had been operated since 1947 by Raymond “Chick” Berg. Gilbert Berg, a brother of the late owner, has been employed there since 1943 and will continue his work with the new owner. In addition to retreading tires, the firm handles a line of new tires and does vulcanizing and repairing of flats.

The fact that the athletic teams representing Manhattan College in New York are called the “Jaspers” and that there is a building on that campus named “Jasper Hall” may be responsible in part for a contribution received recently by Cohere Inc. toward the construction of a college near Jasper, Indiana. Manhattan College is conducted by the Christian Brothers, the same world-renowned order of educators that has agreed to staff and operate the new college at Jasper when it opens its doors in 1966. In acknowledging the gift, Cohere officials today added that a number of other alumni of Christian Brothers schools throughout the country also have expressed an interest in participating in the local project.

April 9
Ernest Mathies of Dubois will hold the grand opening of his new IGA Foodliner on Thursday. Mathies started in the grocery business four years ago when he purchased the general store of O.D. Jones. Since then, as the town grew, he saw the need for a larger grocery store, and last October he began the construction of a large new building to house his IGA Foodliner. In addition to the grocery department, he will operate a general dry goods department, carrying a line of sportswear, shoes, work clothes, sewing needs, infant clothing, etc. The owner will be assisted by his brother, Virgil, who will manage the meat department.

April 10
The top award for junior leadership in the 4-H Club program was presented to three Dubois County youths Tuesday night at the sixth annual Dubois County Agricultural Achievement Banquet held in the American Legion Home in Jasper. Alfred Bartelt, chairman of the Dubois County Extension Committee, presided as master of ceremonies for the program, which was attended by 265 people. One of the highlights of the evening was when Dubois County 4-H Club agent Mabel Mattingly presented the 4-H Junior Leadership Key Club awards to Carol Jean Klem, St. Anthony; Jacqueline Schnellenberger, Huntingburg; and David Ring, Holland.

April 11
At the Region E Jaycees meeting in Evansville on Saturday, the Jasper Jaycees claimed three of five awards presented for outstanding service. The Jasper club was cited as best in the region, which consists of 26 clubs and more than 1,250 Jaycees, for its work in the extension of new clubs in Springs Valley and Dubois. Leon Fleck was named Outstanding Jaycee in the region for February, and Bob Steffe received the Outstanding Jaycee Award for March.

April 12
Ed Keusch of Dubois, a young man who makes a track coach’s job easy, did it again Thursday afternoon at a triangular track meet at Odon. Keusch bettered the school mark once again in the shot put with a heave of 46 feet, 4 inches. On Monday of this week he broke the old mark by heaving the shot 45 feet, 11 1/2 inches. The Dubois senior, who is a southpaw, tried throwing it right-handed the other day and tossed it “only” 40 feet. Keusch was the top individual performer of the afternoon as he won or tied for first place in four events. In addition to winning the shot, he won the high and low hurdles and tied for first place in the high jump.

April 13
Memorial Hospital recently received donations of some needed equipment, courtesy of a civic club and a local sorority. The Jasper Jaycees have donated a cardioscope that is used on patients during operations. The local Tri Kappa Sorority donated a suction machine that is used during the recovery period. The metal roll-away stand on which the new equipment sits was made at Carl Sharer’s Acme Metal Products plant and also has been donated to the hospital. The donated items were accepted by the hospital administrator.

25 Years Ago
April 4, 1988

Jasper native Spike Gehlhausen, who lives in Indianapolis, has been entered as a driver in this year’s Indianapolis 500 race. He will drive the J.P. Racing Team 1987 Lola-Cosworth entered by C.R. Possell of Colton, Calif.

April 5
The Dubois County Commissioners approved a slightly scaled-down jail design Monday, cutting two jail cells and making other minor changes for the planned lockup. The proposed jail is expected to include 52 jail cells, down from 54, and a smaller, sally-port entrance where police can drive into a locked garage so prisoners will not have to be taken outdoors.

The Parket Market grocery store in Jasper has welcomed a new manager, Bob Schaaf.

April 6
The Jasper Chamber of Commerce has purchased and moved into its new headquarters at Sixth and Clay streets. Executive Director Nancy Eckerle says that what she likes best about the new permanent location is that it is near the Square, which makes it highly visible to the people most likely to use it — local business owners, visiting salespeople, people wanting to relocate to the area and the public.

April 7
For the first time, Kimball International has been included on the Fortune 500 list, earning the title as one of the “elite.” Gary Beckman, company vice president, credits Kimball’s growth and other companies’ mergers for its ranking on the list. Kimball is No. 492 on the list, with annual sales of $477.1 million, and is one of nine Indiana companies to make the list this year.

The Schnitzelbank Restaurant can build its planned expansion within 7 feet of the city’s right of way on State Road 162, the Jasper Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously ruled Wednesday night. The planned expansion toward the highway will include an office, restrooms, a portico and a covered walkway, owner Larry Hanselman said. The board’s permission was required for the restaurant to build that close to the highway.

April 8
Wolfgang Joas, a West German citizen who is employed at Möbel Corp. in Ferdinand in a work exchange program, says Americans have left “good impressions” on him during his stay here. Joas started working at Möbel in December and will leave Ferdinand in June. The worker exchange program is sponsored by the nonprofit Carl Duisberg Society. Art Ruhe, president of Möbel, says the program exchanges information on the common problems that face businesses everywhere.

April 9
The new nine holes at Jasper Municipal Golf Course officially opened Friday with the City Administration Invitational Golf Scramble. Jasper Mayor Jerome Alles was the first of 36 golfers to tee off in the first event on the new portion of the 18-hole course. Rounding out the first foursome were City Councilman Vic Knies, former mayor Jack Newton and park board member Jane Gramelspacher.

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