Looking Back: 7/25July 24, 2020
Compiled by Bob Alles
• 65 Years Ago
July 25, 1955
Adam Blessinger, chairman of the Dubois County U. S. Savings Bonds committee, has been notified that this county’s Savings Bonds sales for the first half of the year were $620,479 and $483,186 for the first six months of 1954. Savings Bonds sales in the state were $92,226,439 during the first six months of the current year compared with $78,087,758 for the corresponding period of 1954 — a gain of 18 per cent. National sales for the first half of the year were $2,852,000,000 — a gain of 13 per cent over last year.
Pictured on the front page of this issue are eight Dubois County young men who left this morning to begin their terms in the Army. After being inducted at Ft. Knox, Ky., they will receive their basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. In the photo are: Francis J. Kunz, Jasper; Jimmie Ray Newman, Huntingburg; Maurice M. Renner, Jasper; Hugo Rahman, Ferdinand; Gerald E. Sermersheim, Jasper; Russel E. Langebrake, Holland; Thomas E. Fehribach, Rt. 4, Jasper (the leader); and William J. Buechlein, Jasper. All but Newman and Renner are volunteers.
Many Dubois County farmers and their wives went up in an airplane for the first time yesterday during the county’s first rural air lift and saw how their property looked from up above. A total of 189 persons took advantage of the bargain rates in air transport made possible by the Soil Conservation Service, in cooperation with the banks of Jasper and Huntingburg. The Dubois County State Bank and the German-American Bank of Jasper and the First National Bank of Huntingburg paid half of the $2 fare in all cases. The whole air lift went off without a hitch. Ray Duncan, head of Duncan Aviation, Inc., who manages the Huntingburg Airport, took up passengers in his Stinson most of the day, while a plane owned by Albert Rudolph of Boone Township was piloted by Carl Schultz of Huntingburg. Later in the afternoon the Stinson was taken out of service and replaced with a plane from Vincennes flown by Jeep Price of that city.
Almost 200 persons attended the first-anniversary dinner meeting of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce Wednesday evening at the American Legion Home. The main speaker of the evening was Robert Whyte Mason, who lives in Chicago and serves the middle west as counsel general for the British Empire. Mr. Mason said that ever since he visited French Lick during the Indianapolis Speedway race he has looked forward to coming to this vicinity for a speaking engagement, and when invited to come to Jasper he jumped at the chance.
O. A. Kremp, who operates the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Jasper, has bought out the Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. plant on West Fourth Street from E. J. Krodel. Mr. Kremp bought the equipment and trucks, and will continue to bottle the same drinks as were produced in the plant under the ownership of Mr. Krodel. These include the Barq’s line, Suncrest Orange, and Dr. Pepper. The same personnel will be retained , and the new owner will install his son-in-law, Earl “Bud” Salb as manager.
Pictured on the sports page of this issue are two trapeze stars who are coming to the 69th annual Dubois County Fair next week (Aug. 7-12). The fair, to be held at Municipal Park in Huntingburg, will feature Billy and Rosalie Siegrist on the flying trapeze. Siegrist is one of the greatest names of trapeze performers. Billy and Rosalie are the son and daughter of Charles Siegrist, recently featured in Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus. Their performance runs about 10 minutes. They are the only man and woman to perfect a mid-air passing leap between two flying trapeze bars and Billy is the only man to accomplish a blindfolded leap without the aid of a catcher.
• 50 Years Ago
July 27, 1970
The Colonial Bar of Huntingburg won the Dubois Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament Saturday night with a hard-earned 10-8 victory over Matheis Cafe of Dubois. Charlie Schneider, tourney manager, presented the Most Valuable Player Trophy to Larry Bair of Matheis Cafe. Bair went 12-for-15 in the tourney as he led his team to a second place finish. Ron Poindexter of Colonial Bar was presented with the Sportsmanship Award. Poindexter went 11-for-19 in tournament play and drove in what proved to be the winning run in the championship game.
Fred O’Brien, former head basketball coach at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic and Loogootee St. John’s high schools, has been named head basketball coach at Otwell High School, according to an announcement today from Carl Swift, superintendent of the Pike County School Corporation. O’Brien, who resides in Jasper, replaces Howard “Andy” Anderson as head coach. Anderson resigned earlier this month to become principal at Otwell High School. O’Brien, a native of Huntingburg, graduated from Huntingburg High School in 1951. He received his college degree from Xavier in 1955. O’Brien, 37, is married to the former Gloria Bretz of Huntingburg. The couple has five children.
In a surprise move, Ed Schultheis, head basketball coach at Jasper High School, and Ed Yarbrough, freshman basketball coach, have been named assistant football coaches for the 1970 season. Schultheis, who served as a football assistant from 1961 to 1966, will coach football only until Oct. 1. when he will begin working with the basketball team. Yarbrough will also remain as freshman basketball coach, but won’t begin coaching basketball until the completion of the football season. Dennis Forler, head football coach at Owensville for the past two seasons and a former head coach at Dale and Perry Central, will also join Jerry Brewer’s JHS grid staff this fall as freshman coach. Another new coach, Mike Hile, a native of Dale who did his student teaching last year at Jasper where he helped with the football program, has been added to the grade school football staff.
The pilot and a passenger flying in a rented plane were injured when the plane ran out of fuel and crash landed early today on a farm near Holland. Both the pilot, Steve Krietemeyer, 22, and his passenger, Bruce T. Blythe, 21, were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Huntingburg. The men, both from Evansville, suffered head lacerations, back injuries and possible skull fractures. The plane, a Cessna 337A Super Skymaster twin-engine craft that they had rented from Tri-State Aero company of Evansville, was not badly damaged. The plane crash-landed around 2:40 a.m. The two men had flown to North Carolina and were returning to Evansville when the pilot noticed, just after passing the airport south of Huntingburg, that the fuel supply was dangerously low.
Five Southern Railway diesel engines pulling a train of 94 coal cars were derailed together with two of the cars in the Huntingburg railway yards at about 10:20 this morning. The train, pulling coal cars from the Peabody Coal Co., was en route from Boonville to Princeton when the accident occurred. Four of the diesel engines were tilted at a steep angle. The other one was on its side and appeared to be badly damaged. No one was reported hurt in the mishap. Railway officials are investigating the cause of the derailment. Frank Crim, trainmaster at Huntingburg, said this morning that nobody knew at that time what had happened. Although no streets were blocked by the accident, the Washington Street crossing to State Road 64 has been closed to traffic.
Arthur C. Dall, general sales manager for North American Products Corporation of Jasper, was the featured speaker at the National Hardboard Seminar held recently in Louisville. Dall’s topic was “Engineer Tools for Machining Particle Board” and covered in depth the factors and variations that need consideration before a cutting tool can be produced that will operate with maximum efficiency. North American Products Corporation is a manufacturer of carbide cutting tools and operates a Carbi-Service Division plant in Jasper, which offers full maintenance service on all carbide cutting tools.
• 25 Years Ago
July 31, 1995
A survivor of the Bataan Death March will be raising consciousness about POWs and MIAs in the Strassenfest Parade Sunday, a date marking the 50th anniversary of the atomic bomb drop on Hiroshima. Former POW Ralph Knox, Jasper, one of Indiana’s most highly decorated veterans, was liberated from 40 months of forced labor in Japan 50 years ago this month, on Aug. 29, 1945. He will ride in parade position No. 22, which will be a red 1975 Oldsmobile convertible with an American flag and a prisoner-of-war banner attached. Knox, a retired contract administrator for Kimball Electronics, knows there is still a lot of controversy about the use of the atomic bomb. He maintains it was the right thing to do. “I think Harry Truman did the only thing he could do to win the war and save millions of Americans’ lives,” Knox says.
Monday afternoon’s deluge dumped 1.55 inches of rain in Jasper. Huntingburg got six-tenths of an inch. And the adult fiction section of the Jasper Public Library got 1.5 inches as the downpour leaked through the library roof, destroying part of the ceiling and somewhere between a dozen and 100 books. Water from the 3 p.m. rain began seeping through the ceiling of the library’s central section at about 3:30 p.m. For 45 minutes, library employees rushed about with buckets to catch the drips. “It all started with just one leak. and then — Boom! — there were leaks all over the place and water was streaming in,” said Denise Schroering, a library assistant. One particularly large leak filled a 35-gallon garbage can in about five minutes, according to library director Mary Guptill.
Hilda Ruxer, who with her late husband, Alvin, donated millions of dollars to the community, died Tuesday morning at the age of 84, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Originally from Louisville, Mrs. Ruxer moved to Jasper with Mr. Ruxer in 1936, three years after they married. With her support, Mr. Ruxer quickly established himself as a leading businessman, starting several businesses including a Ford dealership, Jasper Engine and Transmission Exchange, Ruxer Farms and the Jasper State Bank. Relatives say Mrs. Ruxer was the inspiration for many of the couple’s philanthropic activities. “Whatever success they had, she always believed in giving back to the community,” said Bob Ruxer, her nephew.
Holy Family School has replaced a voluntary program of giving with a per-family tuition. A set tuition takes the guesswork out of bill paying, which was a problem under the previous volunteer-assistance program. “We had to assure ourselves a consistent level of income and not depend solely on weekly collections, which can fluctuate quite a bit,” said Noel Fleck, chairman of the administration and finance ministry. The school previously asked students’ parents to commit, through financial letters of intent, to a certain level of giving: $1,300 for one child, $1,400 for two and $1,600 for three or more. Research showed only 50 percent were living up to the goals, Fleck said. This year’s tuition is $1,500 per family, plus $150 in book fees per student. “We’re still asking for about the same amount of money per family but by calling it a tuition, we can now enforce it,” he said.
Newspaper photography is inherently transient. Fleeting images are captioned on film, printed in a daily paper and then — unless they become etched in the viewer’s memory — lost forever in the bottom of a bird cage or recycling bin. To help its readers reclaim the images that have documented life in Dubois County for the past 15 years, The Herald as produced a coffee-table book that features 93 of its most memorable photographs. The 112-page hardcover book “Friends and Neighbors: A tribute to the People of Dubois County” is a part of the newpaper’s 100th anniversary celebration.
Eric R. Olinger has been promoted to president of the First National Bank of Huntingburg by its board of directors. A graduate of Southridge High School, Olinger earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Evansville and attended the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife, Karen (Krempp), have two children, Brooke, 8, and Michael, 5.
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