Over a year ago, attorney Jack Hittle suggested I write a column that would provide a little background on the people whom family, friends or organizations have memorialized on benches around Noblesville.
It was a great idea, but at the time I was frantically trying to finish the final chapters of “A Brief History of Noblesville.” I knew a column like the one Jack proposed would involve more research time than I could spare, so I put the idea on a back burner and just worked on it whenever I could.
The subject turned out to be even more complicated than I originally thought. There isn’t one single bench dedication program in Noblesville — there are THREE!
The Noblesville Street Department is responsible for the benches in downtown Noblesville, the Noblesville Parks Foundation is in charge of the benches in Noblesville’s city parks, and Friends of Hamilton County Parks manages bench dedications for the Noblesville parks run by the county.
(Are you beginning to see why this column took so long to write?)
I began my quest for information with Evelyn Lees, the Noblesville City Clerk. She contacted someone in the Noblesville Street Department who was able to provide some details about the downtown Noblesville benches.
When someone wants to dedicate a bench through city’s street department, the plaque is ordered and approved, and the department orders the bench. Whoever requests the bench foots the bill. (By the way, benches aren’t cheap.)
Since this doesn’t happen very often, the department currently has no list of dedicated benches, but I know of three around the courthouse square.
Denzel Hufford’s bench was donated by the Noblesville Preservation Alliance, of which she was a founding member. She also was a Master Gardener. (I remember Jerry Snyder raving about Denzel’s garden!)
Another bench is dedicated to Don Roberts. Unless you’re completely new to town, there probably isn’t much I can tell you about Don you don’t already know. A U. S. Navy veteran, he taught aviation and industrial arts at Noblesville High School for years, but his passion was flying.
He also worked as a contractor (his ads claimed he could “fix anything but a broken heart”!) and he built two of the three Santa Houses that have appeared on the courthouse lawn at Christmastime. For 12 years he even played Santa Claus.
The third bench honors two past presidents of the Noblesville Lions Club, Jack Davis and Jack Logan.
Jack Davis worked for the American National Bank for over 30 years and drove a school bus for the Noblesville schools for 10 years. He served on the board of Crownland Cemetery and was a member of Noblesville’s Masonic lodge for over 50 years.
Jack Logan was also in banking for 30 years, but at Wainwright Bank and Trust. He was active in the Hamilton County Theatre Guild and other organizations, and he volunteered hundreds of hours at Riverview Hospital. His wife, Patricia, was Noblesville’s first female mayor.
Moving on to Noblesville’s city parks . . .  
Mike Hoffmeister, the assistant director of the Noblesville Parks and Recreation Department, provided a copy of the Noblesville Parks Foundation’s bench dedication request form.
To dedicate a memorial bench in one of the city parks, donors can fill out an application specifying how the plaque should read and where they would like the bench located. (Contact the Noblesville Parks and Recreation Department for additional details.)
I noted six dedicated benches in Noblesville’s city parks.
In Federal Hill Commons:
Michael Marinaro’s bench is located by the drop-off area. Marinaro, a self-employed structural engineer, was a community and church volunteer, and a platelet donor.
I’m out of space — more benches next week!
-Paula Dunn’s From Time to Thyme column appears each Friday in The Times. Contact her at younggardenerfriend@gmail.com