Sixty years ago today I was on pins and needles because I was about to spend a week with my Sheridan relatives while the town celebrated its centennial.
I wasn’t five years old yet and don’t recall everything about that visit, but I do remember the 1860s dress  — complete with pantaloons — my mother made for me. You had to be properly attired if you wanted to be an official “Centennial Belle.” (I still have my certificate and Centennial Belle pin!)
Sheridan celebrated its 100th birthday with an eight-day extravaganza, each day of which had a different theme. The official observance began Saturday, July 2, with “Grand Opening Day.”  This was followed by “Century of Faith Day,” “Independence Day,” “Youth Day,” “Civic Day,” “Rural-Urban Day,” “Ladies Day,” and “Youth on Parade Day.”
The fun started well before that, though.
In May,“Dear Departed Dullus Dan Razor (bless his Strappin’ Soul)” was buried in a small wooden “casket” near Barrick’s Barber Shop.
“Dullus Dan” was actually a big razor and the significance of his “passing” was that Sheridan’s male residents stopped shaving in honor of the Centennial. The “Brothers of the Brush” competed to see who could grow the best beard, with the beards being judged on the final day of the celebration.
There was also a shave-off that day, much to the relief of some of the men’s wives.
(One thing I do recall of the Centennial are the cards with mouth-shaped openings that were passed out so Centennial Belles could safely kiss their significant others without getting tickled by facial hair!)
In the days leading up to the Centennial celebration, a caravan made up of an Indianapolis Times reporter and his escorts traveled north from Monument Circle in a surrey with fringe on top. The reporter had been sworn in as a U. S. Postal Courier so he could transport a special mailbag of Centennial souvenirs to Sheridan.
After stops at Conner Prairie, Carmel, Noblesville and Deming, the group arrived in Sheridan in time to participate in the opening day’s big, two-hour parade.
To accommodate the anticipated crowds, no parking was allowed on Main Street between the railroad and First Street during the Centennial, and Ohio and Georgia Streets were designated one-way streets. (They remain that way to this day.)
A small log cabin was brought in and placed on Main Street in the center of town to serve as headquarters for the celebration. Visitors could vie for the chance to own the cabin after the Centennial ended.  
The souvenir booklet produced by the Sheridan Centennial Association is a treasure trove of historical photos and information about Sheridan’s history, as well a source of details on the celebration itself.
This was such a huge affair I don’t have room to mention all the contests, performances and displays in the booklet, but the Centennial Ball, Queen contest, style show, ice cream social, baseball games, antique displays, dancing, musical performances and fireworks were some of the big draws.
“Down Through the Years,” a pageant highlighting Sheridan’s history, was also presented at the high school football field nearly every night.
One of the more unique aspects of the Centennial was the “Kangaroo Court.” Those who failed to follow the Centennial’s “regulations,” (that meant wearing a beard, badge or bonnet) could be tried in the court and held in a “jail” in downtown Sheridan until a fine was paid.
(This was all in good fun. No resident was forced to participate if they didn’t want to and the “bail” collected went to a good cause.)
Thanks to Winona Moss for research help. (WInona headed one of the Centennial program committees.)

Paula Dunn’s From Time to Thyme column appears each Wednesday in The Times. Contact her at