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  • 3/15/2018 

    Several years ago I asked if anyone knew how some of Hamilton County’s roads got their names. The only story I collected was about Promise Road. (That was a good one, though!)

    I’m going to raise this subject again because I think it’s history worth preserving and because Tina Newby has asked about the history of Couden Road, located north of Strawtown.

    The origins of many county road names are pretty obvious. Some undoubtedly come from people who lived and/or owned land in the area (e.g. Brehm Road,) some from the road’s destination (e. g. Allisonville Road,) and some from a feature found on the road (e.g. Mule Barn Road).

    It’s the road names with no obvious origin, like Lantern, Atlantic and Mystic, I’m most curious about. I’m sure there are good stories behind them, but unless someone knows those stories and passes them on, they may well be lost forever.

  • 3/9/2018 Remember that old Chicago song, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
    I think the answer is “No, not in Indiana.”
    When I set out to write about this weeks’ time change I knew it would be complicated, but I didn’t realize just how complicated.
    For one thing, I wasn’t aware Daylight Saving Time had been around so long. It started in this country in 1918 with World War I.
    When the war ended, so did DST for the country as a whole, but it continued in some places as a local option. In Hamilton County, city workers were for it, but farmers were against it, and from everything I saw, the farmers won that round.
    During World War II, DST came back to the entire country year-round as “War Time,” then after the war ended in 1945, all of Indiana returned to Central Standard Time. (That was established as our time zone in 1918.)
  • 3/2/2018 Long before “Police Woman’” Angie Dickinson cuffed her first perp, or Cagney and Lacy chased down bad guys, Noblesville had . . . Mrs. Walter Sanders!
    Believe it or not, there was a woman on the Noblesville police force as early as 1916 — four years before the 19th Amendment gave women the vote.
    The June 22, 1916 Noblesville Daily Ledger announced that the city had a new policewoman “on the job, drawing her salary and ready for any duty assigned her.“ Although primarily hired to handle matters regarding girls and young women, she took the oath of office and was empowered to make arrests.
    The Ledger didn’t identify the new hire in the article, however. They couldn’t — they didn’t know who she was. “The name of this lady is held in the strictest confidence.
  • 2/23/2018 It’s been a long time since I’ve tested your Hamilton County knowledge — mainly because I couldn’t come up with a good category. I’ve got one now, though.
    Today you’ll be quizzed on “Hamilton County Nicknames.” All the questions and answers deal with towns, or parts of towns, in this county which have had “unofficial” names.
    Remember how the game is played. It’s just like a certain television show (which I’m not mentioning in order to keep the host from showing up at my house with a lawsuit!) I’ll give you the answer and you come up with the correct question.
  • 2/16/2018 When I set out to write something in honor of Black History Month for this week, it never occurred to me that I’d end up with a column about someone white.
    That was before I stumbled across the tale of Charles David Myers.
    On May 29, 1961 Myers was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi. The charges, according to the May 31, 1961 Noblesville Daily Ledger, were “inciting a riot, breaching the peace and disregarding racial segregation laws in Jackson.”
    Myers was a “Freedom Rider” — one of the people of the Civil Rights era, both black and white, who was willing to act upon his belief that segregation was wrong.
    I’m amazed that I knew nothing about this. Granted, when it happened I was more interested in playing with my Barbie than in the nightly news, but Myers’ story should be better known around here. I’m reasonably sure he was the only Freedom Rider from Indiana and I know he was the only one from Hamilton County.
  • 2/9/2018 I’ve got some reader feedback this week — and an announcement!
    Remember when I wrote that the Strawtown Pottery had once been an inn with cabins? Jeanne Flanders said the first time she ever voted it was in one of those tourist cabins. 
    She noted that the Trading Post, the restaurant which occupied the pottery building during the 1960s, had been owned by Kenneth and Donna Spannuth, and added that at that time another restaurant was located in the concrete building directly across Strawtown Avenue to the south. That building is currently boarded up, awaiting construction of the roundabout.
    Bob Whitmoyer wrote that, from the 1930s to 1961, his father, Monroe Whitmoyer, owned two milk routes in the area west of Noblesville and used to haul milk to Sheridan’s Indiana Condensed Milk factory.
    Bob provided a good description of the hauling process.
  • 2/2/2018 For most of my life I was aware of only two coliseums — the Colosseum in Rome and the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum — so the first time I ran across a reference to the “Cicero Coliseum” I was a little surprised.
    A coliseum? In Cicero?
    Yes, there was one. It was located at Magnetic Springs Park, which has an interesting history of its own.
    At the beginning of the 20th century a Millersburg native named Cassius “Cash” Scherer and his family farmed, and ran a saw mill and a sorghum mill, on land that bordered Cicero Creek, just west of the town of Cicero.
  • 1/26/2018 This year’s terrible flu season has been in the news so much lately and there have been so many references to the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, that I became curious to see how Hamilton County was affected in 1918.
    To begin with, the “Spanish influenza,” actually appears to have started at an army base in Kansas. It’s believed soldiers from the base who were sent overseas to fight in World War I spread the virus throughout Europe.
  • 1/19/2018 

    Had enough of winter yet? I sure have!

    As unpleasant as the weather has been this year, though, at least it hasn’t yet (knock wood!) equaled what county residents endured in 1936.

    On the night of Wednesday, January 22 of that year the temperature dipped to -20 degrees. It was either so cold or so windy, the courthouse clock stopped.

  • 1/12/2018 

    You can’t really walk anywhere in Strawtown without setting foot on historic ground — and I’m not just talking about Strawtown Koteewi Park. There’s a lot of history in Strawtown itself.

    Take the building on State Road 37 that houses Strawtown Pottery and Antiques. It started out over 80 years ago as a general store owned by a man named Ollie Stage.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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