Monday, February 20, 2023
(VICE) PRESIDENTS DAY
photos by JACK BOYCE
It may be Presidents Day, but locals will have to suffice with a little information on our former Vice President, Shelbyville native Thomas A. Hendricks. Above is a photo of the sign outside the site of his adult home. Below, his childhood home, reconstructed and located at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.
Thomas’s father, Major John Hendricks, built the cabin in 1822, shortly after arriving in Shelby County with his wife and three small boys. The cabin was originally located on the north side of where E. Michigan Rd. would later be established (now East State Road 44/East Broadway Street), near the present-day H&R Block, across from the former Fire Station No. 2.
After living in the log cabin for a decade, the family built a larger brick home in the vicinity of the present-day Chicken Inn restaurant. The old cabin was rented out for a time, later sold, then sided and remodeled. Albert Degelow lived there for many years. When Degelow decided to build a new structure on the lot, he gave the cabin to the Shelby County Historical Society.
Graham Lemmon, realizing the historical value of the cabin, supervised the dismantling process, numbered the logs, moved them with a wrecker to his business and preserved them. A couple of years later, the Shelby County Fair Board and the Historical Society agreed on a location for the cabin on the fairgrounds.
The cabin was originally 18’x22’ but due to some deterioration on the ends of the logs, it was shortened to 16’x20’ in size. All of the logs were able to be used except one, which was replaced by Everett Eberhart. One of Shelby County’s most famous log cabin builders, Brady Meltzer, was asked to oversee the rebuilding process.
“At first a concrete slab was poured, but this didn’t seem quite right, so Ralph Cochran had a tree in his woods cut down, dried, milled and furnished the material for the floor,” the late Kermitt Money, a local historian, wrote.
The brick for the hearth, fireplace and walk came from the old Bassett one-room school on North State Road 9. The fireplace was built by Dillard McGee and the walk laid by Mrs. V.B. Hungate. The roof was hand-split resawn cedar shakes and was purchased from the Fountaintown Grain and Lumber Company. The split rail fence was purchased from the Ford Fence Company. The cabin was wired and fitted with special fixtures for indirect lighting by Paul Carmony, who donated all of the time and material. The inscription on a bronze plaque was designed by Paul Wolf, and he purchased it with the help of the State Historical Society. Dellekamp Landscaping volunteered to provide the vines, trees and bushes. After the cabin was completed, a committee of Sue Matchett, Jean White and Money purchased time-period furniture.
On July 4, 1962, the cabin was dedicated. Rev. Ronald Felty gave the invocation, Ruth Green led a Clubs Chorus, Major Gen. John Anderson shared thoughts on Shelbyville’s 140th anniversary, former Indiana Gov. Henry Schricker spoke and Gendron Wintin dedicated the cabin.
The Historical Society Board at the time consisted of Russell Pitts, V.B. Hungate, John Wetnight, Mary Layden, Gendron Wintin, Paul Wolf, Mrs. A.B. Merryman, Martha Creed, Mrs. L.R. Pitts, Roy Ray, Cochran, and Money.
Lt. Gov. helps launch crowdfunding campaign for Shelby County Players
The above rendering shows plans for a new Shelby County Players performance venue.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) last week launched a crowdfunding campaign to expand and upgrade the former 44 Bowling Alley in Shelbyville into a civic performance venue. If this crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal of raising $50,000 by April 18, 2023, the project led by the Shelby County Players will receive a matching grant as part of IHCDA’s CreatINg Places program.
“This project will increase opportunities for artists, musicians, and residents of all ages and talents to be creative and have fun together,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “We can't wait to see the transformation of this former bowling alley into a dynamic community space.”
Funds from this campaign will be used to build a stage in the lobby, provide light and sound equipment for the stage, create gallery space for local art displays and more.
“We are excited for this matching opportunity which will help create a versatile public lobby space in our soon-to-be state-of-the art theatre.” stated Cindy Leahy, SCP Managing Director. “This project has been a 10-year journey, with expansion and renovation of the former 44 Bowl scheduled to be completed by year-end. We are so grateful for our volunteers’ diligence and the outpouring of community support for this project.”
Since the CreatINg Places program began in 2016, projects have raised more than $7.5 million in public funds and an additional $6.3 million in matching IHCDA funds. The program is available to projects located in Indiana communities. Non-profit entities (with 501c3 or 501c4 status) and local units of government are eligible to apply.
Eligible projects must have a minimum total development cost of $10,000, where the recipient will receive $5,000 in IHCDA matching funds should it successfully raise $5,000 through Patronicity. IHCDA will provide matching grant funds up to $50,000 per project.
BELOW: Cindy Leahy, Shelby County Players Managing Director, accepts the first IHCDA Crowdfunding donation from Michiya Kajiwara (Kaji), President & CEO of Kimura Foundry America in Shelbyville, Indiana.
HOOSIER NEWS: Forbes Travel Guide released its 2023 Star Awards, naming Conrad Indianapolis, 50 W. Washington St., a “recommended” hotel, the only property in Indiana to receive such a distinction. Forbes Travel inspectors appeared “wowed” both by the hotel’s artwork and its amenities. “Art infuses a stay at the hotel, from the lobby’s Long-Sharp Gallery, which displays rotating exhibitions of work by modern masters, to the 18th-floor Gallery Suite, whose walls boast original Warhol and Picasso pieces,” wrote inspectors, adding the centrally located Conrad had “alluring amenities, from a sumptuous salon to the sunlit sixth-floor indoor infinity pool, may mean you struggle to step out your front door.” A complete list of winners, which includes 360 Five-Star, 585 Four-Star and 433 Recommended hotels, including restaurants, spas, and cruise ships, can be found online at forbestravelguide.com/award-winners.
NATIONAL NEWS: A new analysis found that self-funding U.S. Congressional candidates dumped $297 million of their own money into their campaigns — 8 percent of the $3.6 billion raised by federal candidates in the whole 2022 cycle — but at the end of the day, most of them lost. Of the 44 candidates who spent more than $1 million of their own money on their campaign, only seven won a seat, a failure rate of 84.1 percent. (Open Secrets)
SHELBY COUNTY PEOPLE & PLACES: CHARLES S. POLLITT
Editor’s note: In the mid- to late 1940s, The Shelbyville Republican published a series of articles by Ave Lewis and Hortense Montgomery covering community people and places. Below is one of those features.
Charles S. Pollitt, one of the old guards at the H.H. Walker Wholesale Grocery Company, cut his “grocery eye-teeth” with the Walkers when the late H.H. Walker operated a retail grocery business across the street from The Democrat, and son George was in short pants.
Last April, Mr. Pollitt completed two dozen years with the Walkers, and crowding 60 himself, is still going strong. He first went to work for the firm as a delivery boy while he was attending high school in what now is the Administration Building. At first, it was an after school and Saturday job, but when his father, Obediah Pollitt, died in 1905, he left school in order to turn over a larger contribution toward the family upkeep.
His next venture into the business world - odd job man at the old "Dinky"- netted young Pollitt a weekly $5 gold piece for two years. About that time, Claude Williamson formed a horse and wagon delivery company which served Shelbyville merchants for about a year, but turned again to the grocery business in the O.L. Means Department Store, located then in the southwest corner of the Public Square. He eventually took charge of that grocery department during the years between 1910 and 1923, which he spent with the concern.
When the employer sold out to the Index Notion Company, Mr. Pollitt worked for a brief time with Carl Strickler, operator of a retail grocery on West Broadway, but returned to the fold of H.H. Walker in April 1923. A newcomer in wholesale grocery business at that time, the Walker Company had taken over the original Kennedy Carliner building on West Washington street, but kept its former retail store as office space. The company's present office occupied what formerly was the old Carliner elevator, modernized now.
The Pollitt family came to Shelbyville from Morristown in 1900, when Charlie was 13 years old. He was born in Hanover township July 18, 1887, where his father was a farmer. In 1910, the Pollitt youth married his school-day sweetheart, Opal Hubbard, originally of St. Louis Crossing, and they set up housekeeping in a little home on Walker Street. Their only daughter, Mrs. George Achenback, lives here. Since 1926, the Pollitts have lived just south of town on the Columbus Road. They have a pet Boston Bull named Patty who has ruled the Pollitt roost for 14 years.
Charlie is a baseball fan. He has an ally in Mrs. Pollitt, and the pair travel often to Cincinnati to root lustily for the Reds. Mrs. Pollitt has yearnings for a vacation trip to California; Charlie thinks New York might be a fascinating place to go. But they usually spend their vacations with his sister, Mrs. Anna Pearson, in Whiteland.
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.
THIS DAY IN SHELBY COUNTY HISTORY
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: 2003
The Lady Golden Bears captured their first girls’ basketball sectional title since 1979 with a 53-40 win over South Dearborn. A newspaper photo showed Audra Blackford cutting a piece of the net at Greensburg High School following the win.
30 YEARS AGO: 1993
Shelby County Commissioners opened the door to a planned $45 million Indian Trace golf course and housing development by giving preliminary approval to the Johnson County town of Edinburgh to annex a 300-acre corner of Shelby County.
40 YEARS AGO: 1983
Local pharmacists said Tylenol sales were on the rise again. Tylenol capsules had been pulled off drug counters nationwide in October after seven people died taking capsules laced with cyanide. The deaths triggered a wave of copycat incidents nationwide, none of them fatal. A few local pharmacists said some customers indicated they had trouble getting the new safety-sealed containers open.
50 YEARS AGO: 1973
The Blue River Vocational Technical Center received a gift of a tract of land made by the Tokheim Corp., 801 St. Joe Street. The additional land would connect the school to Shelbyville Central Schools property. Tentative plans called for construction of a walkway from SHS to Blue River.
60 YEARS AGO: 1963
Three Shelbyville Elks Lodge members - Parrish Fuller, H.E. “Brownie” Wagner and Henry Joseph - were presented with 50-year pins. Brig. Gen. D. Wray DePrez, who had been an Elks member 57 years, made the presentation. Russell Goodrich was also a 50-year member, but was unable to attend the banquet.
70 YEARS AGO: 1953
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hack of Meridian St. reported their new line of work breeding chinchillas was going well. The Hacks also operated Meridian Gardens Florist Shop.
80 YEARS AGO: 1943
Sectional basketball tickets went on sale at the Thrasher, Worland and Haag drug stores and at Griffey Bros. sporting goods. They were expected to sell out quickly at $1.40 a piece, SHS Principal J.W.O. Breck said.
90 YEARS AGO: 1933
An upcoming dog-badger fight would be staged in the local National Guard Armory on E. Washington St. Promoters, who were predicting a record crowd, “said today they anticipated no interference from authorities, but, in the event that such interference should take place, would refund money to those who have paid to see the strangely mixed duel,” The Republican said. The reporter said the officials would be “the city’s highest officers,” but warned “mind, your reporter is only repeating what he hears.”
100 YEARS AGO: 1923
Work began on redecorating the interior of the Carnegie Public Library. The building had been constructed 20 years prior, and the walls were in poor condition from cigarette smoke.