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  • A little White River Township history
    9/23/2020 By Paula Dunn
    You may have noticed I don’t write about White River or Wayne Townships very often.
    It’s not an intentional slight. The problem is, they have fewer residents than the rest of the townships in the county, which makes it more of a challenge to come up with column ideas featuring them.
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  • The 1870 Hamilton County Fair
    9/16/2020 By Paula Dunn
    Since the coronavirus kept us from having a county fair like we’re used to, and the Indiana State Fair was canceled completely, I thought this week we’d go back 150 years to September,1870, and spend a little time at Hamilton County’s first really big county fair.
    (A few fairs were held before 1870, but information on them is sketchy. They apparently weren’t considered important or successful enough to be noted in the county histories and no local newspapers from that time period are around to be checked.)
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  • George Boxley and the Three R's
    9/9/2020 By Paula Dunn
    I recently ran across an interesting article on pioneer and abolitionist George Boxley in the September 15, 1924 Noblesville Daily Ledger.
    Unlike many of the stories you’ll find about Boxley, the focus of this piece wasn’t on his anti-slavery activities, but rather on his role as Adams Township’s first teacher.
    Most of the information was taken from the memories of Sheridan resident Phineas G. Pearson, who as a youngster had been one of Boxley’s students. 
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  • Hamilton County's Labor Days past
    9/2/2020 By Paula Dunn
    I’ve avoided writing about Labor Day for a long time because I wasn’t sure I could gather enough material to make a decent column.
    Unlike Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Hamilton County residents have never celebrated Labor Day with fireworks, big parades, or special programs. It’s usually been a quiet, peaceful day when people just kicked back and did anything BUT labor.
    After a little digging, however, I decided I might actually be able to come up with some interesting details about the day.
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  • African Americans and 1920s politics
    8/26/2020 I’m always looking for timely column ideas in the old newspapers. This being a presidential election year, a story on the front page of the September 30, 1924 Noblesville Daily Ledger caught my eye.
    The article describes an address delivered by “Mrs. Ida Plummer,” on behalf of the Republican Party. (Her name was actually Ida Plummer Liston. Why the Ledger consistently referred to her by her maiden name is a mystery.)
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  • A Cicero Soldier in the Civil War
    8/19/2020 By Paula Dunn
    Several weeks ago I devoted a couple of columns to some early Cicero history I found in three 1936 newspaper articles penned by a former resident, Henry Clay Barnett.
    While researching Henry Barnett, I learned that letters his considerably older half brother, John Lympus Barnett, wrote during the Civil War had been published, so I tracked them down.
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  • Centennials, Sidewalk Sales and Old Cicero
    8/12/2020 By Paula Dunn
    More reader feedback!
    The column on Sheridan’s centennial stirred up memories for several people.
    Neil Stahl emailed that he got to drive a tractor that towed people-haulers around at the 1960 festivities, even though he’d just graduated from Sheridan High School earlier that year. He observed that doing that these days would probably require a special license and training.
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  • Noblesville's annual salute to madness
    8/5/2020 By Paula Dunn
    Long before people began rushing through their Thanksgiving dinners to get to Black Friday sales, this was a time of year many Hamilton County bargain hunters salivated over.
    Fifty years or so ago, Noblesville’s downtown merchants used to reserve a Friday and Saturday in early August for their Sidewalk Sales (or what one Noblesville Daily Ledger article called “Noblesville’s annual salute to madness.”)
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  • The celebrated Alexander Jester murder case
    7/29/2020 By Paula Dunn
    Several weeks ago I ran across a reference to "the celebrated Alexander Jester murder case” in an 1899 Hamilton County Ledger.
    Never having heard of Alexander Jester, and being basically snoopy, I went digging for information about him and his local connection. I discovered Jester’s trial was quite famous in its day for several reasons, the biggest of which was that the victim was the brother of John W. “Bet-A-Million” Gates.
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  • Paula picks Peyton
    7/22/2020 Last Thanksgiving I wrote a column expressing my thanks for Alexander, the new kitten in my life. I adopted Alex after the death of my cat, Oliver, because my other cat, Beau, had been so close to Oliver that I knew Beau would be unhappy as the only feline in the house.
    On paper, Alex seemed the perfect companion, but things didn’t quite turn out as I’d hoped. For nearly nine months I tried every strategy under the sun to bring the boys together and make them friends. Nothing worked.
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