Sunday, July 4, 2021

Let Freedom Ring

Clear skies and temperatures in the 70s brought out a large crowd for the Waldron Fourth of July parade yesterday.


Local patriots (L to R) Margaret Cole, along with her daughter, Cathy Collins, and her son-in-law, Bill Collins, wait for the start of the Waldron Parade.

Dear readers,

The United States of America is 245 years old today. Local patriots celebrated yesterday in Waldron with a parade and fireworks. If you missed yesterday’s celebration, don’t worry: I took plenty of notes with my No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil.

On our way to Waldron, we stopped at St. Vincent cemetery, where the Daughters of the American Revolution had a ceremony at my Aunt Martha’s gravesite. My Aunt Martha had been a loyal member of the DAR. Addison Times columnist and DAR member LuAnn Mason will be filing a detailed report.

Arriving in Waldron, my family set up our lawn chairs in front of the Waldron Baptist Church. Several spectators asked me why Team Schwinn wasn’t in the parade this year. I explained that Skeeter’s legs were still too sore from his recent bike ride to California. I am planning on having Team Schwinn in parade shape for next year.

While waiting on the parade to begin, Laurin Smith, Realtor, passed out plastic bags to spectators. It was a good idea. Laurin got some advertising, and the spectators got a place to put all the candy that would be thrown from the parade floats.

The first unit in the parade was a scout troop. Their float was a camping scene complete with a tent, all on a wagon pulled by a Ford tractor. The scouts had good throwing arms, and I caught my first pieces of candy. Following the scouts were fire trucks, athletic teams, horses, motorcycles, classic cars, trucks, tractors, and, of course, the ladies of the DAR. The American flags were too numerous to count and, as expected, red, white and blue were the colors of choice for most float decorations.

A few of my favorite parade units were as follows:

  • David Lawver’s 1924 Model T Ford.

  • Karen and Steve Seymour on their “his and hers” antique tractors, Karen driving a Farmall and Steve was driving a McCormick Deering. Steve and Karen just recently moved to Waldron from Shelbyville.

  • Gage Sutton and Drew Shrader are two young men from Shelbyville who entertained the crowd with their ability to ride wheelies on their motorcycles. I was impressed. They could each ride a wheelie further than Shelbyville wheelie champion Terry Ogden ever did on his Schwinn Stingray. Then again, Gage and Drew don’t have to peddle.

  • No 4th of July parade is complete without horses. General Washington couldn’t have won the war without his horse, Nelson. Twins, Mary Finney and Megan Fix, along with Mary’s daughter, Sydney, and her niece, Bryley Fix, rode horses in the parade.

A wonderful time was had by all, and, most importantly, I can report that patriotism is alive and well in Waldron, Ind.


  • New officers were elected this week for Shelbyville Rotary Club. Amy McQueen was elected president, succeeding Martin Zinser; Becky Benish is president-elect; Linda Sanders is vice president; Max Ward is secretary; and Beth Prince is treasurer.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: The longest continuously-operating radio station in Indiana, WBAA, appears to be moving out of Purdue University's operation. Purdue University announced on Thursday that a letter of intent for WBAA radio AM and FM to be operated by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Media has been signed. Licensed on April 4, 1922, as one of several AM stations signed on by land-grant schools in the Midwest, according to the Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau, WBAA offers NPR, BBC and other news programming. MIPM currently operates WFYI public radio broadcasting in central Indiana. The goal of this transfer of power is to enhance the stations public service mission while preserving WBAA's strong local heritage, according to a statement. (Indiana Public Media)

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: Announcement of the Ellettsville Journal being the latest Hoosier newspaper to close reminds me how fortunate we are to have your partnership! Thank you for supporting local stories, such as yesterday’s article on the Athletic Club merging with the YMCA and MHP. Research has consistently shown that when local media closes, costs rise for local governments, in turn creating higher taxes. Daily edition subscribers: your 20-cent daily contribution and support of local journalism is important and appreciated. Thank you for all you do! - Kristiaan Rawlings

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 week’s mystery photo has no writing on the back. The short dresses and apparent paved road would indicate it’s not truly as old as it may appear. If you recognize anyone, please email Donna Dennison,, head of genealogy and history at the Shelby County Public Library. A special thanks is in order to Don Schiesz, of Alabama, who identified all of the “Class of 1930” members in a previous mystery photo.


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
Two Girl Scout troops from Waldron hit the 114,000 mark in their effort to join the “One Million Club” in collecting pop can tabs. Troop members were Brittanie Clapp, Adrienne Runshe, Danni Hibner, Lydia Bullard, Brooke McDaniels, Tawni Morningstar, Charlotte Davenport and Natasha Boyer. Leaders were Lisa Clapp, Jane Runshe, Voncile Bullard and Chris Williams.

Former POW Ed Cockerham, 76, died. His plane had been shot down by the Nazi army while he was flying a bombing mission over northern Germany in World War II. He was in Stalag Luft I prisoner of war camp for nine months before Russian soldiers liberated him. In 1951, Cockerham became the first Allstate agent in Shelbyville. Later, he began working with George Brunner at Marcia Kuhn’s real estate office. After Cockerham’s first wife, Jetta, died in a boating accident in 1989, he married his childhood sweetheart, Jackie (Sollar) Krebs, who had passed away in April.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
Dwain and Teresa Goodwin opened Circle Gifts at 5 Public Square, the former site of Molly’s Sweet Shoppe.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
A plaque with the names of 563 Vietnam veterans from Shelby County was dedicated at 9 a.m., July 4, in the courthouse. Former Army Warrant Officer John F. Lewis, Vietnam veteran and then superintendent of the St. Paul Quarry, raised the money for the plaque. Rev. Wilbur Harley, preacher at the Fairland Christian Church, was the dedication speaker. Lewis introduced the former chaplain. “(Harley) went on patrol with us. He laughed with us and looked at our pictures of our families. He even ate the moldy cookies you all mailed to us. And, sometimes, he held our hands when we died.” Lewis said Vietnam veterans deserved their place of honor alongside other veterans. “We got embroiled in something that was a debatable issue. But it is not the soldier’s duty to debate; he must answer the call,” he said.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
The Skyline drive-in theater hosted a “Gala 4th of July show” with a giant aerial fireworks display. On the screen were James Stewart and Henry Fonda in “Firecreek.”

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
Judy Weintraut was crowned queen during the annual Fourth of July “Kiddies Day” held at the Waldron School. The queen had been determined by the number of one-cent votes sold by the girls. A pet and hobby parade was held and winners were: Kathy and Billy Richards, open class, and Cindy and Charles Hadley, most original. Allen Small was winner of a bubble gum contest. Bicycle race winners were Victor Nasby and Mike Cuellar and tricycle race winners were Jimmy Irwin, Valerie Goodwin, Vanessa Goodwin and Mike Nasby.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Candidates for queen at the Tenth District Young Democrat dance, to be held at the Forty & Eight chateau at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, were Irene Weintraut, Middy Beyer, Derrith Snyder, Martha Jean Coy, Wilma Adkins, Carrie Faye Theobald and Charlene Beyer. Bob Huesman was chairman for the dance.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
”Shelby County joined the nation - and that portion of the world which still lays claim to democratic leanings - in observing the anniversary of the nation’s independence,” The Republican reported. Residents paused at 5 p.m. to listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt broadcast his Fourth of July message to the world. “It was the second ‘safe and sane’ Fourth Indiana residents have observed, during which no wayward firecracker broke the sabbatical silence,” the paper said. A professional fireworks show, however, was held at the fairgrounds. The crowd was estimated at a minimum of 5,000.

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
A spark from fireworks at a show at the Blue River Country Club fell into a pile of other fireworks, igniting them and injuring three boys. Russell Spurlin, Edward Page and George Smith were all severely burned in the incident. Drs. Herbert and Fred Inlow and Walter McFadden attended to the boys and said no permanent injury would result.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Local man Roger Babson told The Republican that the cause for the automobile manufacturing slump was the maintenance cost, most notably gasoline. Babson predicted future cars would be made of cotton, formaldehyde and glue. The fuel would be coal dust. “Babson is never a joker,” the paper said, establishing his credentials. “When it comes to compiling statistics that no one ever reads, but are kept for reference, he has the world beat.”


None today