Sunday, March 7, 2021

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Shelby County Republican precinct committeepersons re-elected chairman Rob Nolley, vice-chair Jill Nolley, secretary Jenny Meltzer, and treasurer Terry Smith at a meeting yesterday morning held at Occasions Banquet Hall.

A ‘Blessing’ Undisguised: Exploring the Blessing/DePrez Building

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from the Grover Center’s “Explore Shelby” series. The entire post, along with approximately 60 photos, can be viewed at the link below.

John Blessing, the harbinger of this new era, had been preparing for this specific night over the course of a year. Having served as the owner of the Distillery east of the city for three years, the director of First National Bank for the last four years, and the owner of successful hardware business since 1867, Blessing’s interactions with the community no doubt guided his vision: creating an opera house, the likes of which the community had never seen.

Read the full article and see the photos here…

Dear readers,

It still hurts from time to time when I think about how Sean Penn scooped me with the El Chapo interview. Most of you probably know that Oprah is interviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tonight. Not to be outdone, I convinced the Prince and Duchess of Sussex to stop by my house on West Mechanic Street for a little pre-interview on their way to Oprah’s house. Enjoy.

Kris: So, did you have any problem finding the place?

Harry: Meghan spotted the Union Jack and said, “That must be it.” It took me by surprise. Thanks, it was a nice touch.

Kris: Harry, since you are a prince why isn’t Meghan a princess?

Meghan: I’ll take this one. Kris, it’s just an example of all the stupid rules that came with marrying into Harry’s family. Picky, picky, picky, I wasn’t even allowed to drink tea the normal way. You know, like a large, sweet tea from McDonald’s or a big gulp from 7-11. No, it’s all hot tea and that’s just the beginning. Believe me, you can’t have it your way at café Windsor. Milk can only be put in some types of tea. Other kinds of tea must be enjoyed with a slice of lemon. It’s one hassle after another with that family of Harry’s. The worst was when I learned that Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, is a descendent of Anne Boleyn.

Kris: No kidding. So, did that incident with Henry VIII upset you?

Meghan: Oh, I don’t mind all that gruesome stuff from the past, but the Boleyn girls were all known for having six fingers on one hand. People always joke about counting all the fingers and toes when you have a baby. Well, it was the first thing I did when Archie was born. Speaking of Archie, did you know I got the name Archie from the Archie comic book? If the baby would have been a girl, I was going to name her Betty or Veronica. Oh, the craziest thing about Harry’s family is that they aren’t even English.

Kris: What do you mean they aren’t English?

Meghan: Yea, they are all Germans. They just made up the whole “House of Windsor” thing to sound English around WWI when being a German wasn’t popular.

Kris: Wow, Harry is there any truth to all of this?

Harry: It’s all bloody true.

Kris: Even the German thing?

Harry: Yes, even the German thing. Sometime back in the 18th century the English line of Stewarts ran dry and the German, George Ludwig, became King. It was the House of Saxe-Coburg until WWI when George V made up the Windsor name. The House of Windsor does really sound British, doesn’t it. Anyway, it was really a bit of luck. Family legend has it that Windsor was the name of a liquor George was especially fond of. Just think, if old George had different tastes, Meghan might have married into the “House of Jack Daniels.”

Kris: I’m afraid we are out of time. Tell Oprah I want to interview her and Stedman sometime.

Harry: It has been a pleasure. I do have a question for you. What is that lovely stainless-steel sculpture we passed on our way into town?


  • The Triton Central Tigers won the sectional, 66-65, with a buzzer-beater over South Decatur last night.

  • Southwestern pulled off a double-overtime victory, 68-67, over Morristown last night to claim the sectional crown.

  • Shelbyville High School freshman Kaliyah Brown finished eighth on the vault at regionals yesterday.

  • As of yesterday, the state reported 4,633 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 9 from the previous day, out of 18,440 tests, an increase of 38 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 91. As of yesterday, the state reported 7,856 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Shelby County, an increase of 232 from the previous day, and 5,307 have been fully vaccinated, an increase of 124 from the previous day.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: One question still looms over the vaccine rollout: when will children be eligible to get shots of their own? Pfizer’s vaccine has been cleared for kids 16 and older, but the Federal Drug Administration hasn’t greenlit inoculations for anyone younger. That could change – and soon. “The hope is to have the vaccine ready for children and adolescents by August 2021, prior to the beginning of school in fall,” Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi, an associate professor of public health at the University of Evansville, said Thursday. Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky hinted at a similar timeline during an interview with the Washington Post on Wednesday. He said a vaccine for those 18 and younger could arrive by September. The company launched studies for kids between the ages of 12 and 18 last week. If those go well, they’ll branch into younger demographics. (Evansville Courier & Press)

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"This Week in Shelby County" works by George L. Stubbs Sr. are owned by the Shelby County Historical Society (Grover Center) and used with permission.


News around Shelbyville and the surrounding area as reported on or about this date in history. Selections are curated from the Shelby County Public Library Genealogy Department.

20 YEARS AGO: 2001
After objections from some nearby residents, the Shelbyville Plan Commission tabled discussion of annexing land for a 300-unit manufactured housing subdivision called Twelve Oaks at 1825 McKay Road. The developers of nearby Southern Trace spoke against the proposed community.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
The Shelby County Board of Zoning Appeals approved a Morgantown woman’s plan to open a country and gospel music family entertainment center in the vacant Hendricks Township school building. The school had been closed since 1977, when Southwestern Consolidated Schools opened its elementary. The center, proposed to be named Linnie Kelley’s Old Tim Opry, would feature country and western bands and singers on Friday nights and Saturdays. Gospel shows would on Sundays.

The Town of St. Paul hired Tony Ledford, succeeding Richard Sebastian, as the town marshal.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Mayor Dan Theobald, who had recently returned from the National League of Cities conference in Washington D.C., told city officials there was a strong likelihood that the city’s CETA program would not be funded. If so, nearly half of the 28 street department employees would be lost and not replaced. Theobald also indicated that he favored incorporating property on the city’s fringes. “Too long, a sign on the outside of town has said welcome to Shelbyville, but don’t try to change it. It’s time to take that sign down,” he said.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
St. Joseph school science fair winners were sixth-graders Janet Laughlin and Kathy Unger and fifth-graders Kelly McKenney and Troy Stieneker.

Firemen extinguished a blaze in the A & W Root Beer Drive-In, E. Michigan Road, after it was discovered by Patrolman Jack Smith. A pot of corn oil had been left on a hot plate, causing the fire.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
Sheriff Edghill Moore and Shelbyville Mayor Elmer McNay warned trash haulers to make certain their truckloads were secured properly. Moore said the Old Franklin Road between Shelbyville and the city dump was “a real mess.” Trash was falling off trucks and littering the road, the two reported. Moore said his department planned to patrol the road to the dump and would arrest truck drivers with leaky loads of trash.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
”Unprotected railroad crossings, long a bone of contention in Shelbyville, soon will have 24-hour-a-day flasher signals operating for the protection of motorists crossing the right-of-way of the New York Central railroad line through Shelbyville,” The Shelbyville News reported. The equipment had arrived at the Big Four freight depot and would be installed at Washington Street, then protected by watchmen only during daylight hours; Franklin-Noble St. intersection, also protected only by daytime watchmen; Jackson Street, guarded only by a bell; and John Street, also a bell installation. Pennsylvania, Mechanic, and the Pike-Walker St. crossings already had flashers. The campaign to protect the crossings began in 1949 when the new railroad depot was dedicated, followed by a city council ordinance that fined the railroad $25 per day for the lack of flashers.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
Shelbyville Mayor Ed Shook was given an extra year in office thanks to a new “skip-election” law passed by the state general assembly. Shook had been elected in 1938 but the new law moved the next election to 1943. Proponents of the measure contended that municipal elections should be kept separate from state and national elections to safeguard home rule and avoid confusion of issues. Opponents of the bill had contended it would cost the state needless expense by providing for extra election machinery.

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
"Farmers of Shelby County…were grateful for the bounteous precipitation, while city residents were more or less dissatisfied with the slush which covered the sidewalks,” The Republican said of the recent heavy rain and sleet, which caused significant damage to telephone lines. Interurban service was halted due to the issues.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Four teenage Sugar Creek township school boys faced charges of incorrigibility in Judge Alonzo Blair’s juvenile court. Floyd and Orville Brannin and Ralph and Lewis Sandefur allegedly “cursed, occupied two seats, sitting in one and placing their feet in the other, and rocked the school building,” former teacher Bernice Pitman, who retired due to the boys’ behavior, and her daughter, Bessie Harrell, the new teacher, said. “On one occasion when the teacher attempted to give one of the youths a switching, the boy broke up the whip,” The Republican reported. Judge Blair took the case under advisement but admonished the boys and their parents that he intended to support the teachers. He advised that the young men had better behave if they “desired to avoid commitment to the Indiana Boys’ School.”


Mark R. Eads, 69, of Shelbyville passed away Friday, March 5, 2021, at Our Hospice of South Central Indiana in Columbus. He was born August 25, 1951, in Shelbyville, the son of Richard Earl and Pauline (Williams) Eads. Mark is survived by his mother of Fort Myers, Florida; sons, Andy Eads and significant other, Nikki Adams, Jason Eads, Jarrod Procell, all of Shelbyville, and Del Denney and wife, Claudia, of Plainfield; daughter, Jessica Eads of Indianapolis; brother, Michael Eads and wife, Valerie, of Fort Wayne; sister, Melissa Conidaris and husband Robert, of Fort Myers, Florida; grandchildren, Megan Eads, Jordon Brown, Neko Procell, Chloe Denney, Ellie Denney and Kody Sellers; mothers of his children, Mary Eads and Leslie Eads; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father.

Mark graduated in 1969 from Shelbyville High School. He attended First United Methodist Church. Mark was a journeyman electrician for Miller Eads Electrical, retiring in 2010. He was a member of the Shelbyville Knights of Columbus and IBEW No. 481. Mark enjoyed golfing and fishing. He also enjoyed watching NASCAR and Indiana sport teams. Mark never met a stranger and even if you met him once, he left an indelible mark on you.  He always made you feel as if you were the most important person in the room.

A gathering of friends will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. A Celebration of Mark’s life will follow at 7 p.m., with Rev. Bill Horner officiating. Family and friends are invited to view the service via livestreaming on our facebook page Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, 2626 17th St., Columbus, Indiana 47201 or Shelbyville Knights of Columbus, 413 E. South St., Shelbyville, Indiana 46176. Online condolences may be shared with Mark’s family at

John Rhodes Jewett was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marybelle "Bram" Bramhall Jewett; his sister Martha Jewett Yeo; and his parents Chester Aten Jewett and Grace Rhodes Jewett. Mr. Jewett is survived by his children, John Rhodes Jewett Jr. (Perry), and Jane Bramhall Jewett, his grandchildren, Lauren Bockstahler Jewett Prifogle (Kyle), John Rhodes Jewett III (Charlene), Charles William Jewett (Eri), his great grandchildren Emerson Grace Jewett Prifogle, and Bramhall William Nash Prifogle, his nephews Thomas Shackleton Yeo and John Jewett Yeo.

Mr. Jewett was born in Indianapolis during the mayoral term of his uncle Charles W. Jewett. He was devoted to his family and his love and care touched all. His grandfather Jewett, a Methodist minister, inspired him to be a faithful Christian and to live by the "golden rule". His father was the example he followed. He would often say, "I hope my father is as proud of me as I am of him."

In 1936 the Jewetts moved to Shelby County to live on his maternal grandfather Alonzo Rhodes's farm. Mr. Jewett graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1940. He graduated a Rector Scholar from DePauw University. During World War II he served in the US Army Signal Corp in China. He returned in 1946 and married Marybelle Bramhall. Mrs. Jewett died in 2018 after 72 years of marriage.

Mr. Jewett worked briefly at Eli Lilly before joining the Pitman-Moore Company in 1949. He represented Pitman-Moore as one of only 6 companies licensed to manufacture the polio vaccine. In 1962 he joined the F.C. Tucker Company as a commercial realtor. He was instrumental in the development of Market Square Arena, serving as President of Market Square Associates and later also as Chairman/CEO of the NBA Indiana Pacers.

Mr. Jewett was active in many civic organizations throughout the years and was especially involved in Republican politics. He was a past President of the DePauw Alumni Association and in 2003 he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Frank O'Bannon. He loved the family farm, and he and Mrs. Jewett were longtime members of Meridian Street United Methodist Church and former members of Meridian Hills Country Club.