Sunday, August 22, 2021

Tennis Buddies

Step-sisters Emma Pearson, 15, a sophomore at Waldron High School, and Kate Linville, 16, junior at Shelbyville High School, take a break from tennis on a warm evening. | JACK BOYCE PHOTO

Remembering Gene Sexton

Dear readers,

Longtime local Shelbyville resident Gene Sexton died last week. Most of you probably knew him when he was the principal of Shelbyville Jr. High School. When I read that he had passed away, my mind instantly took me back to the 1976-77 school year. I’ll ask Mr. Peabody’s boy Sherman to set the Wayback Machine for the fall of 1976 in just a minute, but first, let’s answer this week’s mail.

Dear Kris,

Have you given up on promoting “The Helbing.” I noticed that it has been a while since you mentioned it.

Just wondering,

Rock Robertson

Dear Rock,

No, I haven’t given up. Later in the year, when the heat and humidity are a bit lower, I will put my new plan in action. It involves standing at the edge of Harrison Street near “The Helbing” and holding a sign offering free souvenirs to those who stop for a visit. Of course, just holding a sign won’t be enough. The sign will need to really be “worked” similar to the guys who twirl the signs to lure customers to “going out of business” sales. I figure that I can count on Jack Yeend and Terry Ogden to help. I heard that Jack has already been practicing some rad dance moves with his sign.

Now let’s take the Wayback Machine to the 1976-77 school year. Gene Sexton was principal of Shelbyville Jr. High School. I needed to complete the student teaching requirement to graduate from Ball State and get my teaching license for math.

Gene assigned me to teach with Jerry Higgins. I was given my teacher’s license at the end of the first semester. Gene invited me into his office. He congratulated me and asked if I wanted to stay on and teach 8th grade math the second semester. He didn’t have to ask twice. I said yes and got up to leave his office. Gene said, “But wait there’s more.” And just like a Ron Popeil infomercial, there was a lot more.

The Jr. High Chess Team had qualified to compete in the National Tournament in San Clemente, Calif. He had talked it over with the assistant principal, Elwood Thomas, and they decided that I was the new chess coach. I was honored that out of all the teachers at the Jr. High, Gene Sexton picked me for the job.

It was just me and the five members of the chess team who made the trip to California. The team came in second in the country and we all returned safely. I also learned something on that trip that more experienced teachers already knew: those five adolescent boys were experts at chess, but at getting into mischief they were geniuses.

Pop-up Event

David Finkel prepares for the Strand Theatre’s re-opening last night. A free “pop-up” showing of “Field of Dreams” was on at 7 p.m., announced just hours beforehand. It was the Strand’s first event in 531 days, organization officials said. | photo by ANNA TUNGATE


  • Residents are increasingly using the Shelby County Recycling District’s flag collection bins. SCRD Executive Director Lisa Carpenter said the organization collected 107 flags in June from the bins, up from 68 last December. “I take them over to the VFW, and then they'll do a burning ceremony,” Carpenter said. American flags should not be placed in trash cans. Locations for the bins are as follows:  Shelby County Courthouse, Shelby County Annex, Shelbyville City Hall, Fairland Town Hall, and the Pollution Prevention Center located at 1304 N. Michigan Road, Shelbyville. Flags are also accepted at the American Legion in Shelbyville and Morristown, along with the VFW.

  • Any glass recycled at the Shelby County Transfer Station, 1304 N. Michigan Road, Shelbyville, will be returned for local use. Knauf Insulation offered to cover transportation for the glass to a Hartford City plant, where it is processed and returned for use in insulation products.

  • The Shelbyville High School girls soccer team (2-1) defeated New Castle yesterday, 7-0.

  • Triton Central football (1-0) defeated Cascade, 45-7, on Friday. Quarterback Jace Stuckey threw four touchdown passes.

  • The Shelbyville High School Golden Bears (0-1) lost, 42-21, at Greensburg on Friday. Cael Lux rushed for a touchdown; quarterback Eli Chappelow tossed to Alex Macharia for a touchdown; and Chappelow scored on a sneak for a score.

  • CORRECTION: Two numbers were transposed in yesterday’s COVID update. The State does not update numbers on weekends, so we are republishing a corrected version of the latest statistics below. As of Friday, the state reported 5,426 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 18 from the previous day, out of 21,569 tests, an increase of 107 from the previous day. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 98. The State lists the fully vaccinated number for Shelby County at 18,979, an increase of 42 from the previous day.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: City officials from Bloomington, Carmel, and West Lafayette — and other Indiana lawmakers — sent a letter to Duke Energy this week urging the utility to make a faster transition to renewable energy. Some cities worry Duke will keep them from reaching their goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Among other things, the coalition wants Duke Energy to retire its Gibson coal plant by 2030, stop burning coal at its Edwardsport plant and replace that energy through renewables and energy efficiency. (Indiana Public Media)

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
Shelby County Commissioners approved funding an upgrade to the dispatch room map that would give the capability of locating cell phone callers to the 911 emergency line.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
Ten Shelby County girls would compete for the 12th annual Bears of Blue River Festival queen competition. Contestants were Tasha R. Hirschauer, Krystle A. Wonning, Amy R. Balting, Kimberly D. Suiter, Shannon L. Bevington, Misty L. DeBaun, Roberta J. King, Anetra L. Young, Ann Marie Doyle and Carolyn E. Zahnd. James Garrett would be the master of ceremonies for the event.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Shelbyville Mayor Dan Theobald was elected president of the South Central Indiana Mayors Roundtable Association.

The Shelbyville Police Department bought three used police cars - two 1979 Chevrolets and a 1978 Ford station wagon - at an auction to augment its new “take-home” police car program. The department purchased 17 vehicles in total, in addition to the eight previously owned squad cars. Policemen were allocated six gallons of gasoline a day and once they exceeded their allocation, they had to buy their own gas. The fire department also purchased a 1979 Chevrolet at the auction to replace a 1968 Dodge.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Construction of the new Tri-County Assembly of God church, built at the southwest corner of E. Michigan Road and the St. Paul Road, neared completion. Rev. Harold Throckmartin was the pastor.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
North Thurston was the new Elks Blue River County Club golf champion, winning by one stroke over Dave Spannbauer. John Alexander was third. Jan Zecchini was the new women’s champion.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
William L. (Bill) Garrett, 22, recently graduated from Indiana University as an All-American basketball player, was one of nine local men inducted into the armed forces. Others in the group were John Mitchell, Kenneth Abell, Norman Baker, Robert Harding, Jack Sheppard, Robert L. Stevens, Wayne Sanders and William McDonald.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
Rachael Sexton, 95, of Morristown, believed to be the oldest resident of Shelby County, died. She had been a pioneer teacher in the Hanover township schools and was a member of the Diapason singing class. Among her grandchildren was Dale Rafferty, a local attorney and later Shelby County Prosecutor.

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
Seventy-five of the 145 boys and girls under 16 years of age who had learned to swim at Porter Pool - called The Fish Club - were entertained by pool management at a party. Dorothy Jose, 9, won the bathing beauty contest. Martha Pettit was chosen as the most graceful swimmer and Richard Paxton won similar distinction among the boys. Lee Evans won the boys’ tub race and Phyllis Ash won the girls’ “tubbing” event. The 25-yard freestyle swimming race for boys was won by Herman Herald. Richard Paxton finished second and Robert Stadtmiller, third. Helen Records won the girls’ race; Martha Pettit finished second and Frances Poe, third.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Over 500 Shelby County Christians gathered at the city park for a combined service, although attendance was down from the previous year’s 1,000 mark. A dinner was held on the grounds. “It would be difficult to mention any product of garden, field and market that was not found at this feast,” The Republican said.


Emily Sue Alvis, 90, of Shelbyville passed away Friday, August 20, 2021, at her home.
She was born December 24, 1930, in Shelby County, the daughter of Dan and Camille (Whaley) Hey.  On December 26, 1955, she married Warren Lee “Ted” Alvis, and he preceded her in death on August 10, 2001. Emily is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Jo Oakley and husband, Harold, of Shelbyville; sons, Scott Alvis and wife, Chris, of North Vernon, and Kevin Leon Alvis of Indianapolis; her beloved yorkie, Samson; grandchildren, Tony Alvis and wife, Julie, of Shelbyville, Kevin M. Alvis and wife, Amy, of Indianapolis, Brandi Smith and husband, Jason, of Shelbyville, Craig Alvis and wife, Sherri, of Waldron, Patrick Alvis and wife, Nicole, of Shelbyville, Jeff Mohr of Texas, Chris Mohr and wife, Jamie, of Texas, Kelly Alvis of Iowa; numerous great-grandchildren; and great-step-grandchildren; along with several nieces and nephews.
In addition to Ted, Emily was preceded in death by her parents; son, William Daniel “Bill” Alvis and wife, Barbara Alvis, of North Vernon; brother, Dan Hey Jr. and wife, Joyce, of Shelbyville; and sister, Ann Davis and husband Colonel retired RE Davis, of South Carolina; long-time family friend, Claudine Ellington; and her adored Westie, Bonnie.

Emily graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1948 and attended Indiana University. She worked for Jesters Department Store in the administrative office for eight years before serving 25 years as a bookkeeper for Rodefelds, retiring in 1995. In addition, she worked for Freeman Family Funeral Homes from September 2001 to March 2008. Emily was a very active member of the Purdue/Shelby County Extension Homemakers Club for 50 years.  She served as the County president from 2001 to 2003 and was a member of the past presidents’ club of Shelby County.  She also served on numerous committees during her 50-year membership.  In addition, she was a member of the Women’s Business Professionals Association and was a court-appointed special advocate for Shelby County CASA (Court and Child Advocacy Group) volunteer.  Emily was also a member of the First Baptist Church. She was very talented in crafts earning numerous awards at both, State and County fairs.  Emily also enjoyed making floral arrangements for family and friends.  She enjoyed planting flowers each year as well.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home, with Rev. Bill Horner officiating. Interment will be at Miller Cemetery in Shelby County.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Welfare Fund, in care of, Blue River Community Foundation, 54 W. Broadway St., Suite 1, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176 or at Online condolences may be shared with Emily’s family at

Virginia Mae “Jinnie” Cord, 83, of Shelbyville peacefully passed away surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, April 17, 2021. A Celebration of Jinnie’s life will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, August 29, 2021 at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Guest eulogies at 3:30 p.m. Condolences may be shared with Jinnie’s family at