Monday, February 27, 2023
BUSINESS ON THE WAY
With exterior work nearing completion, interior construction is underway at the incoming Harbor Freight store in Bel Aire Shopping Center. The store is set to open in March.
The Shelby County Plan Commission tomorrow night will consider several petitions, including:
A request to subdivide six and one-half acres zoned industrial from a 49-acre parent tract and waive subdivision standards at 5445 S. Smithland Road, Shelbyville, to allow for a natural gas injection facility. The property is located near Marietta and across the road from the facility owned by the Michigan Wisconsin Pipeline. The operation would involve injecting natural gas produced by animals at local farms into an existing TC Energy natural gas pipeline, according to the Plan Commission staff report. The natural gas would be cleaned and compressed into tube trailers at the farm and delivered to the site by truck on a regular basis. The petitioner says they currently have a large contract with a dairy farm in Decatur County. “Most of the pipelines moving gas on site will be below grade,” a letter from the petitioner’s project engineer states. “Equipment associated with this project that will be above grade include the decanters, compressors, ANR metering and regulation station, filter separator, emergency generator, and a monitoring and control building. The equipment is needed to manage gas pressure and meter the injection into the gas transmission main.” The staff is recommending approval with stipulations;
A request to rezone a small lot from Neighborhood Commercial to Highway Commercial to allow for the operation of a pizza restaurant at 506 W. Carey Street, Fairland. A 2,700 square foot commercial building has existed on the property since 1945. Historical uses of the property have included a grocery and convenience store, sandwich shop and gas station. The Fairland Town Board has issued a letter in support of the proposal.
A request to vacate six lots at 15 & 17 Hale Road and 1016 W. Hendricks St., Shelbyville, including a request to subdivide the area into a commercial lot and two two-family residential lots for duplexes;
A requestion to rezone nearly 15 acres from Agricultural to Residential Estate for two new single-family residential lots on land east of and adjoining 453 E 700 S, Shelbyville, in Washington Township. The petitioner plans to list the lots for sale as single-family building lots; and,
In old business, consider rezoning 243 acres from Conservation Agricultural and Single-Family Residential to High Impact on land north of CR 1200 S, south of Old State Road 252, east of CR 100 W and west of State Road 9, Flat Rock, allowing Heritage Aggregates LLC to expand mining operations. The mining will move progressively from the existing quarry to the new area over a 50-year timeframe. Although blasting and crushing of aggregate would occur on site, processing and sale of the product would occur at the existing stone quarry site.
The Shelbyville Plan Commission meets tonight to consider a petition from Tom Davis and Bill Poland to rezone 1501 South Harrison Street from single-family residential to Business General. The property sits at the corner of S. Harrison and McKinley Street. The structure is an old home that has most recently been used as a commercial space, according to city plan documents. As follow up to a successful rezoning, the petitioners intend to renovate the building and use it as offices.
In a sign that spring must be imminent, Cabell’s Ice Cream, 1658 East State Road 44, opens today for the season. Hours are 1 - 9 p.m.
HOOSIER NEWS: A report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows the number of farms in Indiana decreased in 2022. While the number of active farms in the state decreased from 55,100 to 54,800, the average farm size increased by one acre to 270 acres per farm. Nathanial Warenski, Indiana State Statistician of the USDA, said the numbers reflect a national trend. (Indiana Public Media)
SHELBY COUNTY PEOPLE & PLACES: MORIS VANWAY
ABOVE: Today’s Buck’s Plumbing Supply at the corner of Jefferson Ave. and South Harrison Street once housed Moris VanWay’s shop. The bottom 8-10 inches of stained brick on the building is from the Flood of 1913, building owner Tim Turner has said.
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.
“Take it down to Moris VanWay, ask him, and he'll straighten you out.” That's advice often given to amateur, and even skilled, mechanics who have some intricate mechanical problem confronting them. For Moris is somewhat of a “jack of all trades” in things mechanical and is known for having one of the “best” minds in town along that line. Many are the ideas which have been developed in his shop on the corner of Harrison and First Streets. But he doesn't patent any of his inventions. Too much trouble, he says, and “besides, patents don't mean too much.” He'd rather let the other fellow do the actual full scale producing.
“Experimental engineering” is what he terms his business, and he explained that as being the designing and building of all sorts of special equipment for all sorts of work. Right now he's working on particular machinery to be used in the manufacture of radio tubes. He's been delving into the radio field since before he was out of high school back in 1915 when “radio” was known only as wireless telegraphy. And all of his experience paid off during the day. Although very few people knew it, intensive experimentation in radar and underwater sound equipment went on in the shop that always has been a favorite hangout for the men that know the difference between a micrometer and a reamer. Actually made in the shop during the war years was all the lens coating equipment needed by RCA for all types of guns and bomb sights and television. Moris says this naturally was all very “hush-hush,” and that the men working for him didn't know on what they were laboring. And he chuckles as he remembers that he was threatened with arrest during one of the local blackouts because work went right on in his place with no turning off of lights.
He recalls, too, quite a technical tussle with some war “authorities” when they demanded that he install a high fence and guards about his place of business. He could think of no better way of advertising that he was doing secretive war work. The fence didn't go up and the guards didn't walk.
Moris' father, the late Harry VanWay, bought the tri-cornered lot where the two-story shop is located in 1904 and operated a confectionery there until 1915. Moris opened his shop in the upstairs rooms in 1918 and from 1920 to 1937 his work consisted mainly of building and repairing radios. He then branched into the experimental field, and two years ago took over the entire building. A grocery store had occupied the downstairs rooms for some time after his father no longer conducted his business.
At one time he designed and built gas heaters for homes and business establishments; at another he mainly was occupied with photoengraving, and during still another period he was experimenting with loudspeaker equipment for airplanes. And from 1929 through 1931 he developed and built talking motion picture equipment and installed the machines in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
His hobby is guns, and while he doesn't have a “collection,” he can talk in minute detail of almost any type of gun that is built. He's vice-president of the National Muzzle-Loading Rifle Association, and each year sees him trek down to Friendship for the annual matches. This year he took his 11-year-old son, Johnnie, with him for the week and he announces with pride that "Johnnie is quite a shot."
The rest of his family consists of his wife, Helen, an ex-nurse who now is national president of Kappa Kappa Sigma sorority, his 10-year-old blonde daughter, Jane Anne, and his mother, who has an attractive cottage-home on Flat Rock River where the VanWays go often for relaxation.
Moris once was intensely interested in flying too. He learned, as did many other local fliers, under Harold Carroon at the old Nave field northeast of town. But he's given that up. He's too busy with all the intricacies of machinery - and with answering questions from people wanting to know what to do with cameras, engravings, guns and the hundreds of other gadgets which look so simple once they're developed and put into operation.
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
Waldron community officials said the annual fireworks show might fizzle out. One challenge was that the county fair had announced plans to provide fireworks on the Fourth. In 1952, Paul and Mary Stafford and Mark and Katherine Rick launched the fireworks celebration as a Kiddies Day. The festival had been an annual staple for 50 years, except only a few instances when construction - of schools and sewer lines - got in the way. The Staffords, in their 80s, had been grand marshals for the parade’s 50th anniversary. Officials said they would meet in March to make a determination.
30 YEARS AGO: 1993
Lisa Applegate, escorted by Pat Essex, was crowned queen during the Morristown High School basketball homecoming.
40 YEARS AGO: 1983
Secretary Kay McLeod and bookkeeper Sue Kester worked on the first computer purchased by the Shelbyville Central Schools administration building to input February accounting information.
50 YEARS AGO: 1973
Dr. Richard Farrell began practicing with Dr. James Kent at the Shelbyville Foot Clinic, 124 W. Franklin St.
60 YEARS AGO: 1963
Kevin Wilson, 10, R.R. 1, Morrison, found a sum of money on the sidewalk in Shelbyville and turned it over to police. Police Chief Ezra Dagley told Wilson if no one came to claim it, he could keep the money. Since no one claimed it within a few days, the money was returned to Wilson. He said he would split it between SCUFFY, his church and his savings account.
70 YEARS AGO: 1953
Shelbyville police, state officers, sheriff’s officers and the fire department rushed to the scene of a reported emergency at the south edge of Shelbyville, but found it was a dog instead of a boy who had fallen into a gravel and trash pit behind the old Lutz Canning Factory on McKay Road. Although a report said a boy was in danger, firemen first arrived and found a Collie dog in the pit, which contained tomato pulp and other waste material and water. Firemen laid planks into the pit and a man crawled out as far as he could. Using a lasso, he threw it at the dog but missed. He then flipped the rope and the loop went around the dog’s neck and the animal was pulled to safety.
80 YEARS AGO: 1943
A wild chase of two men in a stolen automobile, which took pursuing police over city streets and miles of country roads, ended at Norristown with apprehension of the pair by a cruising unit from the state police. According to the report turned in by members of the Shelbyville night police force, the initial officers had been sitting in their “prowl car” on the Public Square when the pursuit began.
90 YEARS AGO: 1933
The Strand Theatre announced plans to celebrate its 17th anniversary. The Strand and The Alhambra were both operated by the same management. On Saturday, March 4, 1916, W.C. Meloy had opened The Strand. He still owned it in 1933.
100 YEARS AGO: 1923
Local physicians had been working non-stop due to continued influenza outbreaks, newspapers said. The Republican urged people to not return to school or work until completely well.
As a kid of 10 or so I went to talk to Morris about HAM radios, he spent a lot of time talking to me about the radios and what I needed to do to get licensed. His shop was fascinating place full of equipment and stuff. A memorable experience. I later settled for CB radio ha