A History of Hancock County in the Twentieth Century
Dorothy June Williams and Thomas E.Q.Williams, ©1995

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Agriculture Part 1 Farm Life at Turn of 20th Century, County Agents Begin in 1918, Tomato Farming from 1920's to 1950's, The O'Hara Era: Late 20's -  
                   50's, Auction Records of Farmer Losing Land in Depression of 30's, Lights in Country in 1930's, Farm Stats 1938, The ASCS: County
                   Biggest Bankers, Old Fairgrounds Begun in 1940's; Soil and Water Conservation Service Begins in 1955, How Apple Street Fairgrounds
                   Came to Be
Agriculture Part 2 Directory of Hancock County Farmers in 1962, The Famous 1976 Farm Progress Show, Farm Stats in the 1980's, County 4-H Fair
                   1993, The No Til Revolution, Crop Prediction, County Hoosier Homestead Farmers, County Agents over the Century.
Climate and Disasters Overview, Oct 1, 1906 Explosion of New Palestine Town Hall, Shirley Fire of 1908, Brandywine Creek Flood of 1913, 1918 
                   Influenza Epidemic, Pennsylvania Railroad Chemical Tank Car Derailment in 1956, 1976 County Ice Storm, Blizzard of 1978, March 1986 Tornados, Wild Bull Injuries, Coldest Dayu of the Century Jan. 19, 1994, 1994 Eclipse, Hancock County's "Fortville Fault" and Earthquake Experiences
Commerce, Industry, General Development, Part 1 "Natural Gas Bust" Begins Twentieth Century, Population Decline in the First of the Century, the
                  "Trees" Automobile in 1906, The Story of the Railroads
Commerce, Industry, General Development, Part 2 (Orphan Trains, Eli Lily's 20th Century in Greenfield, Overview of County Economic and Financial  
                    History, A Walk in Greenfield's Downtown in the 1930's)
Commerce, Industry, General Development, Part 3 (History of Hancock County Banking, County During Depression, Hancock's Cities and Towns in 
                     1938, Greenfield Post Office, Hancock Manufacturing in 1930's)
Commerce, Industry, General Development, Part 4 (WWII Rationing, Baby Boom in Second Half Century, Racism Problems in Second Half Century,
                      Greenfield On the Air, A Footnote on a Garbage Incinerator, How I-70 Happened to Go Near Greenfield)
Commerce, Industry, General Development, Part 5 (1980'S Revitalization Movement, Working at IPT: The County's Chief Employer in 1988, 1991
                      Businesses with Over $10 Income, Economic County, Greenfield Chamber of Commerce, Changing Shopping Patterns, Shopping Center 
                      1993, How a New Home is Built in 1993. Neighborhood Feel Leads to Huge Increase in Subdivisions, Keeping Up: County's Outstanding 
                      Citizens.
Culture of the County, Part 1 1900's to 1910's: An Epoch of Community Building in a County of Declining Economy.
Culture of the County, Part 2 1920's to 1930's: An Epoch of social Confusion and Eventual Depression,.1940's to 1950's An Epoch of Initial Resurgence
                     as Suburban Community Amidst Disintegrating Social Neighborhood Institutions
Culture of the County, Part 3 1960's, 1970's, 1980's: An Epoch of Community Frustration Leading to a Commitment to Stability, 1990's: An Epoch of
                     Community Prosperity
Folkore, Holidays  and County Year Long Festivities Some County Folklore Figures, Legend of Abraham Lincoln Visit to Cleveland Inn, Gypsies, Great
                      Iron Lady of Blue River, The Ghost Town of Petersburg, Oklahoma (a gas boom camp and town, ), Devil's Canyon, General Listing of
                      Holidays During the Century, 1928 Hancock County Centennial, 1949 Centennial of the Birth of James Whitcomb Riley, 1949 Centennial of
                      Founding of Fortville, Indiana Sesquicentennial, 1976 Bicentennial of the United States,
Lawyers, Law Enforcement, Notable Court Cases and Brady Gang Jailbreak  Edward Felt, Hancock County's Only Appellate Jurist, the County's
                      Courthouse through the Century, The Clara Carl Trial, 1920's Poisonings in Philadelphia; did Carrie Simmons Poison Her Children? A
                      Murder Trial; A Note About Charles Tindall; the Brady Gang Breakout of the Hancock County Jail; The 1939 Main Street Tindall/Swain
                      Suicide; When Indiana's Lawyer Died in Greenfield in 1940; The Fortville Furniture Co. Thanksgiving Day Burglary, The Problem of "Gun
                      Control; Jury Trial of Dr Hales, Alleged Sodomist and Rapist; 1971 Charles Wilson Murder Case; Hancock County Pioneer's New Court in
                      1972;
Law continued and Murder of Sheriff The Murder of Malcolm Grass, Sheriff;  Hancock County's New 1988 Jail; The Course of Prosecution of Grass
                     Murderers; Child  Support Cases; Establishment of 911 Service in 1991; Living Not to Die on Trial Rule 76; Fallen Warrior from Shotgun
                     Blast; A Friday Morning Sentencing; Hancock County Sheriff's Department 1993; Greenfield City Police Dept. 1993; Hancock County Bar
                     Association  Membership.
Medical and Hospital History The Hancock Memorial Hospital, A Medical Doctor of the First Half Century, Home Doctoring in the 1920's, The County
                     Infirmary for the Indigent and Elderly, A Family Medical Doctor of the Second Half Century, Keeping the Dead Alive, A New Hip at 84,
                     The Hancock County Plan for County Patients Released from Central State Hospital for the Mentally Ill, Sextuplets in Greenfield, Hancock
                     County's Medicaid Crisis, Double Lung Transplant, Medical Doctors Who Have Hancock Memorial Hospital Privileges in 1993, Hancock
                     Memorial Hospital Volunteers 1993
Military History of the County and its Twentieth Century Casualties  Our Hancock County War Dead from WWI, WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War,
          World War I Events in Hancock County, The 1923 Construction of the Memorial Building in Greenfield, The World War II Draft Board, National
           Guard Unit Formed in Greenfield in 1947 and the National Guard Armory in Riley Park Built in 1956, The Vietnam Era County Draft Board of the
           1960's, Greenfield's Army Unit Committed in Vietnam, Hancock County Troops in Operation Desert Storm, 1991 Operation Thanks, Vietnam
           War Memorial, Greenfield Legionnaires, Keeping Alive the American Revolution
Newspapers of Greenfield and the County A History of Greenfield's Newspapers, A History of Hancock County Newspapers Outside Greenfield,
            Prominent Hancock County Journalists
Public Officers and Elections 1
Public Officers Selected officials of 20th Century
Religious History of County in 20th Cent
Riley Festival and Riley Heritage 1
Riley Festival and Riley Heritage 2
Sayings
Schools and Libraries
Sesquicentennial History of Hancock County (short version)
Sesquicentennial History of  Greenfield, Indiana (short version)
County Sagamores
Old Log Jail and Museum
County Pre-History
Blue River Twp History
Customers from Account Book of lst General Store in Hancock County
Earliest Settlers of the Various Townships
Beginnings of Law and Order in Hancock County
 


 

Dorothy June Williams and Thomas E.Q. Williams

A HISTORY OF HANCOCK COUNTY INDIANA
IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

ISBN# 1-887495-01-0

90000

9 78 887 49501

Copyright 1995 Thomas E. Williams

Coiny Press, 202 E. Main
Greenfield, IN 46140

library of Congress Catalog Card Number 95-092307

Williams; Dorothy J. (1908-) WiiIiarns, Thomas E. (1944-)

1. History, American, 2. (NT) History, Indiana, 3. (NT) History, Hancock County, Indiana

All rights reserved. No part of this hook may be reproduCed, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing

from the publisher.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

AGRICUALRE.......................................................................................... 1
"Horse and Buggy" Period Recollection of Farm Life, 1; The County Agents, 4; Tomato Farming from 1920's to 1950's, 7; The O'Hara Era of County Farming, 10; Auction Records of Depression Farmer Losing Land, 13; Lights in the Country in 1930's, 14; Hancock Farm Statistics, 1938, 18; Planning the Agricultural Economy (ASCS), 18; The Era After Purchase of Old Fairgrounds, 72; Soil and Water Conservation Service Established 1954. 24; 1955 Apple St. 4-H Fairgrounds Purchase, 26; Directory of Farmers as of 1962, 28; 1976 Farm Progress Show, 41; Farming Statistics for 1980's, 42; County 4-H Fair of 1993, 49; Growing up in Country, 1993, 50; No-Til Revolution at Century Close, 52, Predicting Crops, 54; Status of Farming in 1994, 56; County Hoosier Homestead Farmers, 57.

SLIMATE AND DISASTERS.................................................................. 62
Overview. Weather and Climate. 62; Oct.1, 1906. Explosion of New Palestine Town Hall, 62; Shirley Fire of 1908, 63; Brandywine Creek Flood of 1913, 64; Greenfield Pennsy Chemical Tank Car Derailment, 66: 1976 Ice Storm, 69; Blizzard of 1978, 70; March 10, 1986 Tornadoes, 74; Wild Bull Injuries, 78: The Coldest Day of the Century, Jan. 19, 1994, 79; 1994 Eclipse, 82; Hancock County's "Fortville Fault" and Earthquake Experiences, 83.

COMMERCE, INDUSTRY (*L) GENERAL DEVELOPMENT 86
Greenfield's 20th Century "Gas Bust" at the Century Start, 86; Progression of Population Decline in 1st of Century, 93; Trees Automobile, Hancock County's Auto Industry of 1906, 94: Story of the Railroads, 96: The Orphan Trains. 111; A Century of Eli Lilly in Hancock County, 114; Hancock County's Economic Response to World War One, 121; Grocery Stores in 1920's, 124; An Economic and Financial Overview of County Development, 125; A 1929 Walk in Downtown Greenfield, 130; A History of Hancock County Banking, 138; Carrying the County through the Depression, 144; Senate Bill One of 1985, 149; County Banks Go Topsy Turvey in Size, 149; Hancock's City and Towns in 1938, 151: Building of Greenfield Post Office in 1931

and Its Century of Service, 152; Hancock's Manufacturing in 1938 and 1935, 161; World War Rationing in Hancock County, 161; Population Increase in 2nd Half Century, 165; "White Blacklash- in 1960's and Greenfield Development of that Era, 166: Greenfield on the Air in 1962, Indiana's First Stereo FM Radio Station, 172; A Footnote about Greenfield's 1960's Garbage Incinerator, 175; Greenfield's I-70's Corridor to the World, 176; 1980's Revitalization Movement, 181; A Slight 1980's Baby Boom, Resurgence in Industry, 185; Working at IPT, County's Largest Employer Coming in 1988, 186; 1991 Businesses in Hancock County with Over Ten Million in Income, 188: Economic Council Chalking up New Industry, 189; The Greenfield Chamber of Commerce, 191: Greenfield's Changing Shopping Patterns, 195: Shopping Center, 1993, 197: How a New Home Gets Built in 1993, 204; Neighborhood "Feel- of Hancock County Life Spurs Subdivision Growth. 206; -Keeping Up the County" Outstanding Citizens Honored, 208.

CULTURE, HOOSIER LIFE AND LEISURE........... 212 1900'S TO 1910'S: An Epoch of Community Building in a County of Declining Economy, 212: 1920's TO 1930's: An Epoch of Social Confusion and Eventual Depression, 228; 1940's TO 1950's: An Epoch of Initial Resurgence as Suburban Community Amidst Disintegrating Social Neighborhood Institutions, 243; 1960's, 1970's. 1980's: An Epoch of Community Frustration Leading to a Commitment to Stability, 254; 1990's: An Epoch of Community Prosperity, 267.

FOLKLORE.................................. 284

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES ANC YEAR-LONG FESTIVALS THROUGH THE

CENTURY....................................... 290 Five Year-long Celebrations in Hancock County, 298; 1928 Hancock County Centennial, 298; The Centennial of the Birth of James Whitcomb Riley, 1949, 299: The Fortville Centennial of 1949, 301; 1966 Indiana Susquicentennial. 306; The 1976 National Bi­Centennial, 307.

LAWYERS, LEGAL ADMINISTRATION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT.... 309 Edward Felt, Hancock County's Appellate Jurist, 309: The County's Courthouse through the Century, 310: The Clara Carl Trial. 1920's Poisonings in Philadelphia, 310; Did Carrie Simmons Poison Her Children? A Murder Trial, 314; A Note About Charles Tindall, 316; The Brady Gang Breakout of the Hancock County Jail, 317; The 1939 Main Street Tindall\Swain Murder\Suicide, 320; When Indiana's Lawyer Died in Greenfield in 1940, 324; The Fortville Furniture Co. Thanksgiving Day Burglary, 327; The Problem of Gun Control, 329; 1967 Jury Trial of Dr. Hales, Alleged Sodomist and Rapist,332: 1971 Charles Wilson Murder Case, 334; Hancock County Pioneers New Court in 1972, 337; The Murder of Malcolm Grass, Sheriff, 338; New 1988 Jail, 342; The Course of Prosecution of Grass Murderers, 344; Child Support Cases, 346; Establishment of 911 Service in 1991, 347; Living Not to Die on Trial Rule 76, 349; Fallen Warrior from Shotgun Blast, 351; A Friday Morning Sentencing, 352; Hancock County Sheriff's Dept, 1993, 354; Greenfield City Police Dept., 1993, 354; Hancock Co. Bar Assn. Membership, 354.

MEDICAL AND RELATED SUBJECTS................. 357 Hancock Memorial Hospital, 357: A Medical Doctor of 1st Half Century, 362; Home Doctoring for Colds in 1920's, 364; County Infirmary for Indigent and Elderly, 366; A Family Medical Doctor of the Second Half Century, 367; Keeping the Dead Alive, 370: A New Hip at 84, 372: The Hancock County Plan for Mentally Ill, 372; Sextuplets in Greenfield, 374: Hancock Co.'s Medicaid Crisis, 376; Double Lung Transplant, 377: Medical Doctors. 1993, 378; Hancock Memorial Hospital Volunteers, 1993, 379.

MILITARY EXPERIENCES IN HANCOCK COUNTY..... 381 Our Hancock County War Dead from World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War, 381; World War I events in Hancock County, 382; The 1923 Construction of Memorial Building, 384; The World War II Draft Board, 386; National Guard Unit Formed in Greenfield 1947 and Armory in Riley Park built in 1956. 387; The Vietnam Era County Draft Board of the 1960's, 388; Greenfield's Army Unit in Vietnam. 390; Hancock County Troops in Operation Desert Storm. 391: The 1991 Operation Thanks, 394; Vietnam War Memorial, 397; Greenfield Legionaires, 398: Keeping Alive the American Revolution, DAR, 400.

NEWSPAPERS IN HANCOCK COUNTY.................................................................... 403 A History of Greenfield's Newspapers, 403; A History of Newspapers of Hancock County Outside Greenfield, 411; Hancock County Journalists in Other than Hancock County Media, 412.

PUBLIC OFFICERS AND SELECTED OFFICIAL ACTIVITIES........................ 414 The Earliest Political Recollection, 414; Political Campaign Buttons, 414; Women in Public Positions, a Twentieth Century Phenomenon, 416; A Political Speech in the New Deal Era Delivered at a Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner in 1940, 417; Harry Truman Campaigns in Greenfield in 1948, 422; Greenfield's City Hall and Mayors, 427: Greenfield's Most Colorful Mayor, Berry Hurley, 427; Jack New for Governor, 431; Berry Hurley, Wildcard in City Elections, 432; The Extortion and Bribery Conviction of Our State Senator in 1980, 434; Prosecuting of Drunk Drivers. 437; Hancock County's 9.7 Million in Income Tax in 1993, 438; Surveyer's Office and Marks of Our Land Survey System, 440; County Reappraisals, 442; How the Bureaucracy Can Sometimes Break Down, 443; Third Party for the County?, /1115; Setting up Poles in 1994, 447: Hancock County at Century End, A Republican County?. 450; 1993 City of Greenfield Officials, 452; A General Election Night at the Courthouse, 452; Legislative Representation in Indiana General Assembly in the 20th Century, 455: 20th Century County Officers and Township Trustees, 457.

RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES................... 455 A Protestant Revival at the Start of the Century, 465: The County's Most Famous Churchman, Father O'Donnell, 467; Hancock County's Holiness Movement Leader, Rev. John Hatfield, 468; Philadelphia Methodist Church Gives the County the Chapel in the Park, 470; The Hope House Miracle, 471; Lenton Lunches, 474; Hancock County at Easter, 474: A Church Service in 1993, 476; How a New Church Got Built at Century End, 478; Church Directory, 1993, 480.

RILEY HERITAGE AND FESTIVAL..................... 489 James Whitcomb Riley, Entertainer and Author, 489; Youth, 495; How the Riley Home Got Built. 496: Riley's Signpainting Career in Greenfield, 497; Riley and Alcohol, 498; Riley's Favorite Month, 498;

Riley's Handwriting, 500; An Additional Riley Story from American Civil War Days, 501; The Origin of Riley Days, 1912, 502; The 1918 Courthouse Statue of Riley and How it Got There, 504; The Bixler Paintings of the Ole Swimmin' Hole, 504; Riley Old Home Society History, 506; 1935 Hoagy Carmichael Visit to Greenfield at a Riley Dinner, 508; Riley Home Opens to Public, 1937, 509; Riley Festival Formalizes in 1970, 513; A "Mother" of All Church Dinners, 518; The 1973 City Purchase of the Riley Museum, 520; Riley Festival, 1993, 520; The Mayor's Breakfast, 526: Riley's Poetry Quoted at Funerals and Religious Services, 528.

SAYINGS....................................... 531

HANCOCK COUNTY SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES....... 533 Schools at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, 533; Blue River Township, 533; Brandywine Township, 534: Brown Township, 535; Buck Creek Township, 536; Center Township, 536; Green Township, 538; Jackson Township, 539: Sugar Creek Township, 540, Vernon Township, 541; Attending a One Room School, 542; The Last One Room School, 544; The County School Superintendents, 547; The School Wars of the 1960's, 550; Emily's Graduation, 1992, 553: Paying for the Schools, 555; Mount Vernon School Boards and Superintendents, 556: Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock School Boards and Superintendents. 557; Greenfield Central Community School Corporation School Boards and Superintendents, 557; Eastern Hancock School Boards and Superintendents, 558. Libraries of the County, 558; A Tale of Two Greenfield Public Library Librarians, 558; The Fortville Library, 569; New Palestine's Community "Volunteer" Library, 569.

HISTORICAL APPENDIX......................... 571 A Sesquicentennial History of Hancock County, 571; A Sesquicentennial History of Greenfield, 573; The County's Sagamores of the Wabash, 576: The 1967 Opening of the Old Log Jail Museum, 578; Evidence of Hancock County's Prehistoric Past, 579; Historical Account of Blue River Township by Tubby Toms, 581; The 1993 Effort to Save the Great Iron Lady of Blue River, 583; The Legend of an Abraham Lincoln Visit to

Hancock County, 585; Customer's From Account Book of First General Store in Hancock County, 587; Petersburg, One of the Hancock County Ghost Towns, 591; Historic Preservation Board Established 1984, 593; Shirley's Reeves Home Restoration, 594: Oklahoma, a Former Gas Boom Worker's Camp and Town, 595, The Rooster by John Fowler Mitchell.  Beginnings of Law and Order in Hancock County.

ADDENDUM FOR A NEW CENTURY: the 21ST

The flood and tornadoes of 2008. A Presidential Visit in 2008.  Groundhog days of Spring 2008.  Gas prices soar as Bush presidency is ending in 2008.