St. Patrick's Day weekend ended on a wet note as the sprinkles were in the form of rain and sparkles on dresses at Elegant "L", Harrison and Broadway, Shelbyville. | photo by JACK BOYCE
A woman, who described herself as having freakishly short arms told me that this physical attribute had once made her the most popular girl in high school. She explained that her T-rex body proportions made her the only girl in her high school allowed to wear a miniskirt.
It was in the 1960s and French designer André Courrèges was making his mark on French haute couture. Like the stock market, hemlines have always had their ups and downs, but the new miniskirt took the hemline into the stratosphere.
The woman explained that her high school dress code had a strict rule on the length of a girl’s skirt. The rule was simple. When a girl let her arms hang straight down at her side, the hemline of her skirt could not be above her fingertips. She told me that some schools had a rule that a girl’s skirt couldn’t be more than an inch above the knee. Her school had adopted the fingertip rule for ease in enforcement and to lessen the creepy element of having teachers measuring a girl’s skirt with a ruler. She considered herself the luckiest girl in high school.
I thought of that woman this week when I read about Shelbyville High School Assistant Principal Bri Kompara working on the dress code for next year. So, what passes for high school haute couture these days? According to Assistant Principal Kompara, it is pajama pants. Pajama pants are currently outlawed but may be approved for next year. I guess this year if a student was planning on shopping at Walmart after school, they would just have to change into their pajamas before going shopping.
The goal of the high school dress code is to be sure dress reflects “personal pride” and “not disrupt the learning environment.” The current draft mandates “Clothing must be worn so that all students’ chests, backs, and stomachs are covered by opaque material.”
Before the final draft is approved, I think the school might want to designate several other body parts that should be covered by opaque material. No doubt some of the students will be future lawyers and they might already be looking for loopholes in the dress code that can be exploited.
Editor’s Note: Meltzer’s column was a bit brief this week. I guess, with the construction on the public square completed, Meltzer doesn’t have as much time to work on his column while waiting on the traffic light at Mechanic Street. He promises to be working on something special for next week. And no, it isn’t another Helbing promotion. I asked. Supposedly he will be channeling a famous author.
Shelby County Indians: Lost Treasure in the Flat Rock and Other Tales
by DAVID CRAIG
We often refer to Europeans as being the first settlers of Shelby County. However, the county had a large Indian population hundreds of years before the Europeans came to North America. Over the years, farming and housing developments and Mother Nature have erased many of the traces of the true first settlers of Shelby County.
Donald Dragoo did one of the best studies of prehistoric culture in Shelby County. In the late 1940s, the U. S. Army proposed a flood control project on the Flat Rock River. The proposed dam and lake would have covered many of the villages and burial sites of the Indians. The threat of losing access to these sites prompted the state historical society to make the study of the prehistoric occupation sites a top priority. They commissioned Dragoo to do the survey. Of course, the Army abandoned the flood project. The study was completed and issued in 1951.
Dr. William DePrez Inlow had a keen interest in the early Indians of Shelby County. Dr. Inlow was one of the first persons contacted by the young Dragoo. The archeologist received invaluable assistance from the Inlows, and Dr. Inlow chronicled their discoveries in his book, "Key To The Shire's Scroll".
The survey team found most prehistoric occupation areas along the Flat Rock River in the southern portion of the county and along Sugar Creek and Buck Creek in the northwestern section of the county. The area in the vicinity of Blue River was swampy and unsuitable for villages.
One of the first sites examined was the Indian burial ground at Hogback. This is located just north of Freeport along Big Blue River. Among the artifacts uncovered at this burial site were turkey tail blades that were eight inches long and four inches wide. Dragoo classified this burial site and the Kinsley burial mound near Morristown as Hopewellian.
The mound that was of most interest to the archeologists was located near St. Paul along the Flat Rock River. This mound was known as the C.L. Lewis Stone Mound, and Dragoo did some excavating there.
Glen Black did an extensive excavation in 1951. The mound was 55'x50' and four feet high. The construction of the mound led the archeologists to classify it as Adena. There were over 20 burials in the mound. Among the items uncovered were copper beads and a copper dental inlay. The skeletal remains were accompanied by a number of cremated burials.
The Delaware Indians were the chief occupants of Shelby County when the Europeans began to settle the region. The main Delaware village was located near present day Anderson.
There were two Delaware villages along the Flat Rock River in the vicinity of the town of Flat Rock. The Porter family is well-known in Washington Township, and they owned the land where one of the villages was located. Mr. Terry Porter wrote a story for the historical society, as it had been handed down through the Porter family.
The village on the Porter land was said to have consisted of 70 tepees. The other village was just up the Flat Rock on the north bank.
According to Porter, when Tecumesh called for the tribes to unite against the whites, the Flat Rock Indians decided to join Tecumseh at Tippecanoe. The Indians had to travel light, so they buried their "treasure" in the Flat Rock River. The burial site was marked with a large stone. On the stone, the Miami totem and Delaware hieroglyphics were carved. Tecumesh was badly beaten at Tippecanoe, and the tribe fled to the west without returning to their Flat Rock village.
In the summer of 1852, members of the tribe that had lived along Flat Rock returned to claim the treasure. They spent many days searching along the river bottom and river banks in the area adjacent to the old Center School. The tree that marked the location on the bank where the treasure had been buried was no longer standing. The Indians searched the river for several days with no success.
It was many years later that a flood uncovered a stone with strange markings. A farmer found the large stone and used it in the foundation of his barn. Whatever the treasure consisted of is uncertain, but it is still buried in the Flat Rock River. The river channel has changed over the passing years, making it hard to guess the exact location of the burial site.
On September 7, 1912, an interesting relic was uncovered in a gravel pit along Flat Rock River about three and a half miles southwest of Waldron. In those days, the roads were paved with gravel. Farmers would haul gravel from a small local gravel pit and spread it on the roads. On that Saturday, gravel was being pulled out of the pit on the farm of George W. Smith when a skeleton was unearthed. It was buried about 18 inches under the ground, and the men thought it was the remains of an animal at first.
Upon closer examination, they realized the remains were human. The bones were in a very decayed state, and all but the skull and jaws turned to dust when handled. What was unique was how this person, Indian or White, had met death. An arrowhead was still lodged in the skull. Apparently, the Indian that committed the murder decided to let the elements and animals destroy the evidence.
This small section of the world we call Shelby County is special. The Indians found a good life here with plenty of game and resources. From our pioneer ancestors up to the present, we can truly say how lucky we are to live in Shelby County.
Today is the first day of Spring.
HOOSIER NEWS: Amid an outcry about high natural gas bills this winter, CenterPoint Energy announced Tuesday it would suspend disconnections through May 31. In a news release, the company called the move "an effort to help customers needing payment assistance." The prices for natural gas have risen around the globe, partly due to supply issues. A rate increase for area customers took effect in October, and advocates who spoke to the Evansville Courier & Press last month highlighted distribution fees on their bills that were often higher than the cost of natural gas itself.
NATIONAL NEWS: DraftKings closed up more than 23% this week, possibly related to a basketball tournament happening that a lot of people are betting on right now. (Morning Brew)
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: 2002
Dan Theobald, 54, started his new job as Shelby County Development Corp. executive director. He assured his old friend, Shelbyville Mayor Frank Zerr, he would not be living in the city. “I told Frank I’m looking for something in the county so rumors don’t get started that I came back to run for mayor,” Theobald told The Shelbyville News. Theobald had been mayor of his hometown from 1980 to 1991. For the first time, both the city and the county had pledged to give SCDC about $50,000 per year to help pay for its operations, essentially doubling the group’s budget.
30 YEARS AGO: 1992
Jess Willard, son of Bruce and Kelly Willard, won the Knights of Columbus Free Throw state competition in Greenwood.
Sarah Garlitch, Rita Mohr, Sharon Rowsy and Kathy Conrad were recognized for service at Farmers National Bank. Garlitch started at Farmers in 1967. She had been a customer service representative at Morristown since 1974. Mohr began in 1972, Rowsey started in 1977 and Conrad in 1982.
40 YEARS AGO: 1982
Cowboy Bob of WTTV joined Rebecca and Carla Gladson as the featured performer during a two-hour “Reach Out for Rebecca - A Celebration of Life” variety show. The event raised money for a bone marrow transplant for 5-year-old Rebecca. Carla, 9, would be the donor. The 7-foot-tall Pizza Monster mascot of Noble Roman Pizza chain was also on hand. County Court Judge Byron Wells was the event chairman. Mike Thomas also hosted a disco at Blue River Inn to raise money for the cause.
Deem Corporation acquired American Hercules Manufacturing, located on CR 100 N north of Shelbyville.
50 YEARS AGO: 1972
Beth Haskett and Nathan Haehl, seniors at Waldron High School, were crowned queen and king at the annual Waldron High School sweetheart dance. Michael Gosnell was crown bearer. Also carrying the crown for the queen was Cheryl Kuhn. Other members of the court were Jackie Davis, Mike Runnebohm, Debbie Crosby, Linda Kuhn, Kent Cassidy, Dwain Kuhn, Valerie Combs, Bobbie Gilles, Dennis Jacobs, Dennis Rhoades, Deanna Durbin, Karen Davis, Mike Jester and Dan Turner. The theme for the event was “The Stroke of Midnight.”
Local Jaycees conducted a honey sale, with proceeds going to aid those with disabilities. All 1,200 containers of honey were sold. Drive chairman Jerry Thomas and Jaycee president Leroy Whitcher presented Mayor Jerry Higgins with a jar of honey to commemorate the event’s success.
60 YEARS AGO: 1962
Most of the north side of the unoccupied Taylor’s Fish Fry on Vine Street was knocked down by a car which plowed into the structure. Sgt. William Benefiel and ambulance attendant Meredith Mann were injured slightly when a section of the wall fell while they were removing the driver from the car. The vehicle had jumped the curve after coming off the Walkerville Bridge.
70 YEARS AGO: 1952
Shelbyville was one of four Hoosier cities to test a new “rolling stop-sign” at certain street intersections. The signs would read, “Yield Right of Way” and would be implemented in Shelbyville, Anderson, Fort Wayne and Bloomington, state highway engineers said.
All local hotels and motels were booked as hundreds of out-of-state visitors gathered in Shelbyville for the Needlers’ John Deere Service farm implement auction. “Many of the implements placed on sale were of the horse-drawn type no longer used to any extent in this county but still employed in many southern areas, particularly in hilly country,” The Shelbyville News reported.
80 YEARS AGO: 1942
The Walkerville School Parent-Teacher Association bought a $100 war bond with funds from the club’s treasury. Miss Mae Stafford, teacher at Walkerville, helped organize the drive. A newspaper photo showed Buddy Rogers, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Rogers of Fair Ave., buying a $25 bond for himself.
The Gamble Store offered a “modernistic fish bowl, two hardy goldfish, aquarium jewels and green plants” for 9 cents with the purchase of a large box of fish food for 10 cents.
Correction: The name of a draftee was misspelled in yesterday's edition. It should have been Walker Curtis Carll, not Caril. Interestingly, Carll would have been 44 years old in 1942, his granddaughter, Nancy Everhart, noted. Carll also served in World War I.
90 YEARS AGO: 1932
A concert featuring John C. Holstein’s “One-Man Band” was held at the Red Men Hall in Marietta. Holstein played the instruments of an entire band without music copy, newspapers said. He specialized in “sacred and old-time melodies.” He simultaneously played a harmonica, guitar, bass drum, snare drum and cymbals, the latter three operated with special foot attachments.
100 YEARS AGO: 1922
Vehicles driven by Dr. W.W. Tindall and William Mitchell collided at the intersection of Harrison and Jackson Streets. Witnesses said the accident was to be expected; Mitchell had been driving his car on the wrong side of the street.
Miss May Drake, of Marietta, was the winner of a popularity contest in the town. She received 118,000 votes, and was presented with a handmade beaded bag.