The white heat of salesmanship

I didn’t intend to devote two columns to Col. R. C. Foland, but while I was researching his Polar Bear activities, I noticed his auctioneering career was pretty interesting, too. He put as much energy into promoting auctions as THE way to sell real estate as he did in trying to recruit members for his…

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Hamilton County’s Polar Bear

A few years ago, while thumbing through the Noblesville Daily Ledger’s 1992 pictorial history of Hamilton County, I was startled to run across a rather cheeky  — and I mean that in every sense of the word — photo of local auctioneer,  Col. R. C. (Roland C.) Foland. (He wasn’t in the military. “Colonel” is…

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Talking about Murder at the Model Mill

About this time, 120 years ago, the talk of the town was one of the most heinous murders ever to take place in Hamilton County, a crime so infamous, it made newspapers around the country. The victim was a 27 year-old Richmond, Virginia native named John Seay. Seay had come here seven years earlier to…

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The annual Notable Nineties salute

Well, we’ve made it through another year — pandemic and all. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you know what comes next. This is when I recognize all our Notable Nineties by printing the entire list. If you’re not a regular reader, an explanation is in order. When Jerry Snyder was writing her…

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From Paula . . .

(This originally appeared in 2020, but is still valid.) Feeling down because Noblesville’s annual Christmas parade was canceled this year due to the pandemic? Don’t worry, I have a solution. I’ve borrowed a time machine so we can go back to December 1, 1962 to see Noblesville’s very first Christmas parade.  I got the contraption…

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Dear Santa, can you please bring me . . .

Okay, hands up everybody who’s ever written a letter to Santa Claus. If your hand is waving in the air, you’re part of a tradition that dates back to the early 1870s. What children in those days didn’t know, however, is that Santa never received that mail. Although some letters were forwarded to local charity…

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The Mysterious Mr. Morse

I doubt if many people today have ever heard of Joseph Morse, but at one time he was one of Noblesville’s more prominent residents. In fact, he was so well regarded, his obituary in the June 1, 1877 Noblesville Ledger runs longer than a half page. Back then most people didn’t rate more than a…

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