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home : columnists : paula dunn August 21, 2017


Eugene L. Brown takes on the phone company
I recently called my local phone company to question some information about my long distance carrier which they'd included on their bill.

Since they only supply my local service, the customer service rep just kept repeating they didn't handle my long distance and knew nothing about it - never mind that they clearly had a record of my long distance carrier since they'd put that information on the bill they'd just sent me.

Friday, August 18, 2017
Back to school ... In the 60s
I can't believe school is in session already. Man, have things changed since I was growing up here in the 1960s.

I remember my mother said on several occasions that Dale Swanson (the Noblesville School Superintendent in those days) once told her Noblesville students would never start school before Labor Day as long as he was in charge.

And we never did.

Friday, August 4, 2017
The sweet life at Acorn Farm
I think I first heard about Herb and Dee Sweet from Betty Gerrard (Betsy Birdwhistle.) Betty became friends with the Sweet's daughter, Judee Sweet, when they worked together at Conner Prairie.

Judee eventually left the museum and went on to create the character of Hoosier pioneer woodswoman, "Buckeye." As half of the duo of "Buckeye and Molly," and later "Buckeye and Hollow Bones," she's performed at school, corporate and social gatherings all over Indiana, as well as at the Pioneer Village at the State Fair.

Friday, July 28, 2017
On the air (In more ways than one)
What do a radio station, a television station, birds and the Bible all have in common?

No, that's not the start of a joke or riddle. I'm dead serious.

The answer is Dr. Wendell Hansen.

Don't feel bad if you didn't know that. I didn't know it myself until just recently. This turned out to be one of those columns that took an unexpected left turn.

REALLY unexpected.

Friday, July 21, 2017
The Joseph family's burglar
A few weeks ago when I wrote about Noblesville's early Jewish families, I didn't have room to get into too much detail about Louis N. Joseph and there's a good bit more to be said about him.

As I noted previously, he was one of the wealthiest men in Hamilton County in his day. Besides running the J. Joseph & Co. clothing store on the south side of the courthouse square (you can still see the "Joseph" at the top of the building,) he had a lot of other business interests in this county, as well as some in Shelbyville and Indianapolis.

Friday, July 14, 2017
Judge Vestal's OTHER bicentennial predictions
Continuing with life in Hamilton County during the Bicentennial year of 1976 (as told to the Noblesville Kiwanis Club by Judge Meade Vestal in 1940!) . . .

Last week I covered some of the judge's less-than-accurate predictions. He made other guesses about the future, however, and some of those were either right on target or came unbelievably close.

Friday, July 7, 2017
Judge Vestal's predictions for the Bicentennial Year
I originally planned to write a column with some Fourth of July or patriotic theme this week, but while scanning the old newspapers for an idea, I ran across a story that was just too good to ignore. It might not be about the Fourth of July, but it does concern this country's Bicentennial.

Sort of.

Friday, June 30, 2017
Lucky Teter, Norman Norell, saving the Nickel Plate and more
More reader feedback!

After the column on Lucky Teter ran, Mike Reed emailed to say his grandfather, Frank Reed, and Lucky (known as "Earl" then) were both members of Noblesville High School's class of 1919.

Mike sent me a photo of a page from the 1919 NHS yearbook showing that year's basketball team. Frank and Earl/Lucky played on the first string.
(1 comments)

Friday, June 23, 2017
Confessions of a Catnip Cultivator
Having written mostly about local history lately, I figured it was probably high time (thyme?) for me to do a garden column and renew my credentials as Jerry Snyder's "Young (HA!) Gardener Friend."

I've been fascinated by herbs ever since I first encountered them growing outside William Conner's kitchen when I worked at Conner Prairie.

Friday, June 16, 2017
More on Noblesville's Early Jewish families
Continuing with Noblesville's early Jewish families . . .

When Harry Levinson left for Indianapolis in 1905, he sold his store to Moses Haas of Tipton.

Moses was a Civil War veteran who originally came from Germany. He'd had a retail clothing business in Tipton since 1871, M. Haas & Sons, and after he bought the Levinson store, he operated it as a branch of his Tipton establishment, placing his son, Albert, in charge.

Friday, June 9, 2017
Noblesville's early Jewish families
When it comes to religion, Noblesville has always been predominantly Protestant. However, over the years a handful of Jewish families have also made their homes here, despite the closest synagogue being several miles away.

Although few in number, those families have produced several individuals who've played significant roles in making Noblesville the city it is today.

The first Jewish residents to leave their mark were Newman Levinson and his wife, Minnie.

Friday, June 2, 2017
The secret language of cemeteries
Many of you will probably be heading to one or more of our local cemeteries this weekend to decorate graves for Memorial Day.

While you're there, take a moment and look around. I can pretty much guarantee you'll spot some fascinating and unusual monuments, especially if the cemetery has burials from the 19th century.

Friday, May 26, 2017



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