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Monday, January 16, 2023
Second Baptist Celebrates MLK Jr.
Youth speaker Bronson Murray shares thoughts at Second Baptist Church yesterday during a Martin Luther King Jr.-themed program. A video tribute was included and Eric Hayes of Restoration Baptist Church in Indianapolis spoke on “Why We Can’t Wait.” | submitted
Black American Contributions to Shelby County, Part III
Editor’s note: Below is the final part of a series denoting historical newspaper items involving Black citizens in Shelby County, curated from a Paula Karmire compilation available in the Shelby County Public Library’s Genealogy Department. Below each name or subject is the text from the newspaper clipping.
Shelby Republican - July 16, 1884
Daniel Morgan is 50 years old today and has been a resident of Shelbyville for 28 years. Our older citizens remember when Dan first came to Shelbyville that it was a great curiosity to see a colored man that could read a newspaper. Dan was one of that kind and still reads a great deal. He feels well today and brought around cigars to the boys.
Shelby Democrat - November 3, 1892
A pension allowance was granted to Dan Morgan of Anderson, Indiana, formerly of this city, of $12 per month and $80 back pay for Civil War service.
Negro History Week, Shelby Republican - February 13, 1934
In connection with the "Negro History Week," which is being observed this week by colored residents of Shelbyville and the Booker T. Washington school, a dedication and Lincoln Day program was given last night at the remodeled school on S. Harrison Street. Dr A.E. Cowley gave an address on "The Ideals of Lincoln," followed by musical numbers by the Four-B and the R-P quartets. Miss Kathryn Coleman was accompanist for the quartets. James S. Creech presented the school with "Lincoln's Farewell Address to his Neighbors," written before leaving Springfield, Illinois for Washington. The address is printed in large type and framed and was a keepsake. Other speakers for the occasion were W.F. Loper, superintendent of city school, Rufus Fix and Harold Morris. The Revs. W.H. Bell and L.R. Simmons had charge of the devotionals. Miss Florence Robinson read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address after which a reception and tea were enjoyed. Several beautiful floral offerings were received by the school.
Murray, Ike, Shelbyville Democrat - June 4, 1906
While balancing himself in one of the chairs in front of the entrance to the Hotel Ray this morning, Ike Murray, the colored bellboy, fell backward through the plate glass beside the doors. The glass was smashed into small bits, but Ike escaped without a scratch.
Olympics, Shelby Democrat - August 21, 1941
Olympic games for colored youths at the Washington recreation center were staged Tuesday at Kennedy Park under the supervision of J.W. Ballard, city recreation director. Events were held in two classes, one for senior age group boys and another for younger entrants. Results of the various contests were as follows: Seniors: 60 yard dash - Sherman Jenkins, Richard Murray and Raymond Johnson; Broad jump - Sherman Jenkins, Raymond Johnson, Richard Murray, Frazier Williams; Distance run - John Dunn, Sherman Jenkins, Richard Murray; Softball throw for distance - Sherman Jenkins, Ray Johnson, Tom Brown; High jump - John Dunn, Sherman Jenkins, Frazier Williams; Softball throw for accuracy - Tom Brown, Pete Brown, Sherman Jenkins; Football throw for distance - John Dunn, Sherman Jenkins, Ray Johnson; Football throw for accuracy - Ray Johnson, Frazier Williams, Tom Brown; 60 yard dash - Bill Garrett, Eugene Sadler, Warren Mitchell; Broad jump - Bill Garrett, Marshall Murray, James Phillips; Softball throw for distance - James Phillips, Bill Garrett, Marshall Murray. Juniors: Softball throw for accuracy - James Garrett, James Phillips, Marshall Murray; Football throw for distance - Warren Mitchell, Ronald Dunn, Bill Garrett; Football throw for accuracy - James Garrett, Lawrence Brown, Ronald Dunn.
Pearson, Alex, Daily Evening Democrat - January 20, 1882
Alex Pearson waited on 88 persons at Benson's restaurant last night in one hour's time.
Shelby Democrat - July 18, 1878
The Place to Go for a good meal is Turman & Pearson's. Alex Pearson, the best cook in the city, is now a member of this firm, and they intend making it the fashionable, bon-ton restaurant of the place.
Shelby Democrat - December 10, 1891
Alex Pearson, happy Alex, our colored friend, has a portable stand now and he fluctuates between Joseph's comer and the basement under Carithers' harness shop. He keeps the best of fruits and peanuts and popcorn.
Shelby Republican - September 3, 1897
Dr. Peanut, Alex Pearson, will be under the old beech tree in the center of the fairground all next week with the best peanuts ever brought to town. The fair without Dr. Peanut would be a failure.
Shelby Republican - September 2, 1898
Alex Pearson, the only thoroughbred peanut vendor in the county, will be at the fairgrounds all next week on the same old spot, under the same old beech tree where he has been a number of years. See Alex for your goobers and get them nice and fresh.
Shelby Republican - April 3, 1903
Alex Pearson says his name is Mr. Alexander Pearson and he is the happiest man in town and it is just because he has been on this earth 52 years. Alex says he is "going to live anyhow until he dies so be jolly.” (This piece appeared two days after his fifty-second birthday.)
Shelbyville Republican - December 14, 1915
Alexander Pearson and supporting cast of members of the colored Knights of Pythias will give a minstrel show tonight at the City Opera House. Alex is there and knows how to handle himself in a minstrel show. Alexander, or "Peanut Alex" as he is better known, was born a slave. During the years of his life he has had many experiences. How old he is no one seems to know, and Alex knows no more about it than the rest of the citizens. He does not care for he says he feels as young today as when he came to Shelbyville. Alex arrived here shortly after the close of the Civil War and has been a fixture here ever since that time. He has been selling peanuts for years. From the efforts of Alex as a peanut vendor, there has been a shortage in the peanut market on several occasions. Alex has sold peanuts to about every man, woman and child in Shelbyville and Shelby county during his time. As the generations come and go, Alex still sells his peanuts and sticks his money in the bank. In former years, Alex was the master of the bass drum in the colored band which won fame for Shelbyville during the years it existed. As to the bass drum and the cymbals, Alex has no equal. He can make noises on both of them which no other person in the world can hope to equal. And at the same time he enjoys himself and so does everyone else. Alex will be ably supported tonight. The other members of the cast promise an excellent entertainment. Several numbers will be given by the Nightingale Quartet.
Shelbyville Republican - April 1, 1916
Alexander Pearson, the veteran peanut vendor of this city, passed his sixty-fifth birthday at his work of handling out the delicious warm nuts to the anxious boys and girls of the city as well as the older ones. He is more familiarly known as "Alex," and for more than 20 years past has kept the same location in which he is found at present. Mr. Pearson was born in 1851 on a farm near Richmond, Virginia. He was born into slavery, but under a very pleasant master. In a reminiscent talk this morning Mr Pearson recalled vividly to mind many of his happy experiences with this kind master. The master, Dr. John Harris, had four other slaves besides Mr. Pearson for whom he had clothes cut and fit just the same as for his family. Mr. Pearson was reared in the big home with the rest of the happy family. The aged Negro is the only remaining member of his family. His mother died when he was little more than six years old and the father died a few years later. His brother joined the Union army in the Civil War and fought to the end. He died a few years ago.
Porter, Harry, Shelby Republican - August 31, 1906
Harry Porter, the colored boot black at the Luther barber shop, fell asleep in his chair in front of the shop Tuesday afternoon and although numerous tricks were played upon him he refused to be awakened. Gus Schuler took the contract to wake him and secured a large firecracker. This was lighted and placed under his chair and Porter was soon staring blankly at the crowd which had gathered around. This morning he said it wasn't the noise of the firecracker that awoke him, but that he heard the shouts of the crowd standing around just after the giant cracker went off.
Robinson, Dave, Daily Evening Democrat - June 1, 1880
Dave Robinson, the colored porter at the Ray House, went to see his girl Friday night. He provided himself with a bottle of wine and a deck of cards, determining to have a "fly" time. Previous to starting for the abode of his adored one, he deposited the wine in the kitchen cupboard. During his temporary absence from the room, someone emptied the wine and replaced it with dishwater. Dave finally sailed out of the hotel with flying colors, the bottle safely tucked away in one of his coat pockets. After he had met and caressed his girl, he very politely offered her a sip of the sparkling beverage he had labored so hard and so long to obtain. The dusky beauty eagerly grasped the bottle and, placing it to her ruby lips, gave one long, delicious pull at it. And now Dave doesn't know whether a cyclone struck him or whether he missed his way home and was run over by a freight train.
Sadler, Ed, Shelby Democrat - June 7, 1906
Ed Sadler, a well-known colored man, has recently been living in a tent in the Ray addition, while he is having a house built. Last night when the rainstorm came up the tent was blown down and Sadler and his family consisting of 10 people, several of the children being very small, were given a thorough drenching. Most of the household goods were ruined.
Indianapolis Recorder - May 10, 1930
Just as the writer predicted, colored children would get no school building this year, the superintendent of the school board (Shelbyville) told parents and teachers they would erect them a school building next year. The writer told them it was hot air and now shows that it was right our taxpayers and colored citizens deserve better treatment.
Shelbyville Republican - November 30, 1933
While remodeling of the Booker T. Washington school is underway, including the construction of a new entrance fronting on Harrison street, the colored children taught there are enjoying a two- weeks' vacation. No classes were held in the school this week, as the preparations for alteration of the building were started last Monday and there will be no classes at the school next week. The pupils will make up for the loss of time, however, by having a Christmas vacation of only one week, instead of two. The three days of instruction lost this week will be added next spring, two during the Easter vacation and one at the close of school. In its meeting Tuesday night, the city school board approved one of two sketches of the new entrance to the building, prepared and submitted by city engineer, Clyde Yater. Improvement of the building calls for the tearing down of one section and the establishment of basement quarters, with inside toilets to be constructed. Nine men are employed in this civil works project.
Shelbyville News - May 11, 1949
Shelbyville's Board of School Trustees today announced the completion of plans for abandonment of the Booker T. Washington grade school at the close of the present semester. The decision of city educational authorities to discontinue classes at one of the community's five elementary school buildings was reached after long consideration and was announced officially by Superintendent, W.F. Loper. Because of a decrease in the school enrollment over a period of years, the board had felt it could no longer justify continuing the school. At best, the number eligible to attend this school would not exceed 25 in the six grades which have been taught by two teachers. Furthermore, the superintendent and board feel the other schools have advantages for these children to which they are entitled. They will have richer curriculum offerings in the fields of visual education, physical education, music, art, as well as auditorium programs and better building facilities. There will be the added advantage of one grade to the teacher. It has been necessary in recent years to admit children who were not six years of age when school began in order to have beginning classes. The per-capita cost in this school has been running about $225 as compared with $173.14 in other schools. Several schools of the state did away with segregation before the law was passed (to take effect in September 1949). Among them are Richmond, Anderson, Vincennes, Rushville, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Muncie and others. Superintendent Loper also announced children of the Washington school will attend school in the districts in which they live, unless crowded conditions might warrant transfers. The Washington building was built in 1870 and was remodeled about 15 years ago. Thus, it is the oldest Shelbyville school building still in use and originally erected as a city educational institution.
Shelbyville Volunteer-December 26, 1878
The Second Baptist Church held a festival and Christmas tree celebration at Samuel Hamilton's building last night. A large crowd was in attendance and our colored friends enjoyed themselves
Shelby Republican-August 16, 1898
The Second Baptist Church is engaged in holding a camp meeting in Cutsinger's grove, near Marietta. It is said that a very few nights ago one of the male members of the flock did a little shouting on his own account and before he made a finish he tore down a good portion of the platform and had the brethren hanging onto the lanterns that are used for light to prevent him from knocking them down.
Shelbyville Democrat- February 20, 1924
Shelbyville colored people will pay tribute to the memory of Abraham Lincoln in a specially arranged program that will be given at 3:00 o'clock next Sunday afternoon at the Wiley ME Church on S. Pike street. All colored residents of the city and their friends have been invited to attend the event. As a feature of the occasion a section of the church will be reserved for ex- slaves and colored veterans of the Civil War who are residing in Shelby county. These will take part in the program and will be called on for short talks in recollection of the days when Abraham Lincoln, at the head of the Union army forces, was striving to free the slaves of the Southland. Literary and musical entertainment has been arranged on the program for the mass meeting. Special papers on Abraham Lincoln and his life have been prepared and will be given at the event. The choir of the Second Baptist Church has been invited to give a special group of songs and musical numbers for the occasion.
In weekend basketball action, Shelbyville High School senior Kylee Edwards broke the girls’ program all-time single game scoring record with 45 points. The previous record of 43 points was held by Misty Smith. In boys’ action, the Golden Bears defeated conference foe Pendleton Heights on a game-winning three-pointer by Damon Badgley from an Ollie Sandman assist.
HOOSIER NEWS: On January 19, the Indiana Supreme Court will hear one of its most high-profile cases in recent history: A challenge to Indiana’s near-total abortion ban, which was passed last summer by Republican lawmakers. The law remains on hold after a preliminary injunction was issued in September. All five state Supreme Court justices who will hear the case were appointed by Republican governors. It was a Republican Owen County judge who approved the temporary hold on the law in the fall. “I think it’s hard to predict how they’re going to rule,” explained Jody Madeira, a law professor at the IU Maurer School of Law. “When you look at how liberty and autonomy evolve, that includes the right to privacy that encompasses the right to abortion,” she said. The lawsuit being heard by the state Supreme Court alleges a right to privacy violation under the Indiana Constitution. (Fox 59)
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 Shelbyville Parks Department discussed plans to have Sunset II Park (bordered by Sunset Drive, River Road and Conrey Road), Sunrise II (south of Sunrise Park across Howard Street) and Riverside Park (901 E. Washington St.) appraised with intentions of selling the properties to adjacent landowners. The small parks had not had playground equipment for years.
30 YEARS AGO: 1993
Charles J. Smith and his wife, a longtime Shelbyville Democrat, reported that he had enjoyed attending Gov. Evan Bayh’s inauguration ceremony. At the reception, the Smiths had met and talked with Bayh and three former governors. His only complaint was that he didn’t see any other Democrats from Shelby County there.
40 YEARS AGO: 1983
Shelbyville Central school teachers had been told they would receive an approximate amount rather than all of their back pay after signing a new contract because computer programmers couldn’t figure out how to calculate the payments. Sue Koester, however, spent several hours to find a way to reprogram the computer to write the checks in the correct amounts. Grateful teachers sent Mrs. Koester a balloon bouquet.
50 YEARS AGO: 1973
A burglar who apparently knew exactly where to look got about $1,000 cash and cigarettes in a break-in at Stuckey’s Pecan Shoppe off I-74 and State Road 244. Manager Larry Chancy notified authorities of the incident.
60 YEARS AGO: 1963
State Rep. Ralph Fenn of Howard County introduced himself to Shelby County’s State Rep. Robert Sheaffer at the statehouse and said his ancestors had settled in Shelby County’s early days at a spot a few miles southwest of Shelbyville in the tiny community later known as Fenn’s Station. Fenn said he still had relatives in the area.
70 YEARS AGO: 1953
The Guinea Pig, at Miller and Hendricks Streets, and Thomas Fruit Market, Boggstown Road and Road 29, announced plans to give away 600 ice cream bars - “tuffy chocolate covered ice cream sticks” - on Sunday to kids accompanied by an adult as part of a promotion.
80 YEARS AGO: 1943
A local can collection resulted in the donation of 60,000 tin cans. The collection so far had exceeded the expected amount, so the regional collection agency sent 500 pounds back to be stored here for the time being.
Mr. and Mrs. Preston Fox, 846 W. Franklin St., added a third star to their service flag. Tommie Fox, 19, had recently reported for service in the Navy. The couple’s oldest son, Jean, was a first lieutenant in the Army and another son, Harold, had been in the Navy’s Pacific fleet.
90 YEARS AGO: 1933
Chris Duffy, operator of a grocery store on North Vine Street for 25 years, wiped out his books, giving everyone a clean slate. He had been owed $10,000 by locals. Duffy said locals had supported him when times were good, and “that he believed it up to himself now to assist them when times were bad,” The Republican reported. He said he had noticed good customers avoiding his place, and he interpreted that as an indication of shame in view of their debt to him. “They helped me when I needed help, they put me on my feet,” he told The Republican. “It would be a poor kind of gratitude now for me to let them down, wouldn’t it? I’m going to help them by giving them a chance to start all over again.” He would still give everyone a line of credit, he said.
100 YEARS AGO: 1923
Two couples were ordered to “wash their children daily” after it was alleged their children had been sent to school dirty, The Republican reported. If the parents refused, the children would be taken from the parents, the paper said.