Tuesday, November 30

Paula Dunn

It’s Time To Talk Turkey!
Columnists, Paula Dunn

It’s Time To Talk Turkey!

By Paula Dunn It’s Turkey Time! Although Hamilton County has never been as big a producer of turkeys as it has been of cattle and hogs, there was about a 20-year period, from the 1930s to the 1950s, when thousands of turkeys were raised on local farms. In fact, the Nov. 7, 1953, Noblesville Daily Ledger reported that between 25,000 and 30,000 turkeys were raised here that year. The article pointed out that, if all those turkeys had been consumed here as well, every person in the county could have had a turkey! (I know it’s hard to imagine, but Hamilton County’s total population was around 28,000 then.) The earliest large-scale commercial turkey farm — at least the earliest I could find — belonged to William E. Brobst, Sr. Located two miles south of Noblesville on what i...
The Battle of Mudsock
Columnists, Paula Dunn

The Battle of Mudsock

By Paula Dunn Remember my reference to the “Battle of Mudsock” in the column about grave robbing? Since the 140th anniversary of that incident is just a couple of days away, this seemed like a good time to explain exactly what the “Battle of Mudsock” was. (“Mudsock,” “Mud Sock,” or sometimes just “The Sock” was an early nickname for Fishers — or Fisher’s Station, as it was known then. I’ve never been able to track down an authoritative source for the nickname’s origin, but I can tell you “Mudsock” was in use as early as the 1870s, and probably before that.) The November 25, 1881 Republican-Ledger described the “battle” as “one of the most bloody affrays that has ever been witnessed in the annals of our county’s history.” The fuss began the morning of Saturday, November ...
A surprise wartime reunion
Columnists, Paula Dunn

A surprise wartime reunion

By Paula Dunn One of the most interesting — and extraordinary — Hamilton County stories to come out of World War II actually took place near Hamburg, Germany. Just days before Germany officially surrendered to the Allies on May 7, 1945, the Noblesville Daily Ledger printed a letter Mrs. Nellie Castor had received from her brother, Sgt. Joe Casey, who was serving with the 638th Tank Destroyer Battalion. In the letter, dated April 15, Sgt. Casey told how a few days earlier he and another Noblesville soldier, Lt. Charles “Charley” Wann, had been riding into a German village their unit had just captured when Casey was startled to spot a familiar face. That face belonged to Pvt. Gordon Brattain, a classmate of Wann’s who was also well known to Casey. Brattain had been a prisone...
Roads, the Old Jail and more
Columnists, Paula Dunn

Roads, the Old Jail and more

By Paula Dunn It’s a reader feedback week! Pam Ferber wondered about the comment I made in the archaeology column that State Road 13 is now Allisonville Road. That was no misprint. I think I’ve written about this before, but in case other people have forgotten as well, what we know today as Allisonville Road was State Road 13 in the early 1930s. It became State Road 37 in 1936 when State Road 13 was rerouted. After the construction of today’s State Road 37 in the mid-1950s, the old State Road 13/37 was referred to as 37A. That lasted for several years, then in the mid-1970s the preferred designation became “Allisonville Road.” (Who remembers when 86th/82nd Street was State Road 100? I do, I do!) Ed Snyder was curious about Englewood Academy, the Bakers Corner scho...
The invasion of the body snatchers
Columnists, Paula Dunn

The invasion of the body snatchers

By Paula Dunn Picture this: It’s night in a small country cemetery in late September of 1901. All is quiet except for the conspiratorial murmurs of a gang of resurrectionists — more commonly called “ghouls” — who are engaged in digging up a freshly planted body. Their work is interrupted when another wagon arrives carrying more ghouls. The two groups proceed to fight over the corpse and bullets fly. Finally, the first group runs out of ammunition and flees, leaving their prize for the newcomers. Is this the plot of the latest blockbuster Halloween flick? Heck, no. That really happened in Fall Creek Township’s Beaver Cemetery. (Beaver Cemetery was later combined with the cemetery across the road and is now known as Highland Cemetery.) When I set out to research thi...
Wooly worm/persimmon seed forecast, 2021-2022
Columnists, Paula Dunn

Wooly worm/persimmon seed forecast, 2021-2022

By Paula Dunn Normally, I run the winter forecast column earlier than this, but everything seems to be late this year, weather-wise. I’m not sure what that bodes for the winter ahead. Sheridan’s expert at predicting the weather by folk signs, Clara Hoover, probably could have told us if she were still alive. Unfortunately, I don’t have her expertise. All I can do is provide the data Clara would have used and let you work out your own forecast. We’ll start with the number of fogs in August. That’s how many big snows we’re supposed to get. Since I live in the city and don’t always see fog that appears in the county’s lesser-populated areas, I based my count on the WISH-TV fog map. The map showed fog in at least some portion of Hamilton County on five days. Jeanne Fland...