Sunday, October 17, 2021

THE OLD LANDMARK

A stone previously located above the Winchester Methodist Episcopal Church door, off State Road 9 near CR 700 S, has been returned to its place, at the concrete steps that once led into the building (also see undated photograph below). The church was badly damaged by severe weather in 1989 and eventually demolished. Services were last held around 1941, Tom Debaun said. His son, Jay Debaun, headed the effort. Also contributing to the cause were the elder Debaun’s sons, Tom Debaun and Mike Debaun, and his brother, Tim Debaun. Bruce Hill raised the steps back level and Scott Wampler and his crew performed the concrete and masonry work. A cemetery fund is held at Fifth Third Bank, and donations are welcome and appreciated. | photos contributed


SHELBY COUNTY ARTS FEST

Local school art teachers and their students were among participants in yesterday’s Shelby County Arts Fest at Echo Effect, 102 E. Washington St., Shelbyville. | photo by JACK BOYCE


A VIEW FROM MY SCHWINN: The Grocery Store's the Super Mart, uh-huh

Mrs. Elsie Williams, a loyal customer of Mickey's T-Mart, checks out for the last time. Mrs. Williams lives on the block where Addison Times columnist Kris Meltzer lived in his youth. Meltzer enjoyed their chance meeting. They spent a few minutes reminiscing. Meltzer learned something about his former neighbor that he did not know. She is Mayor Tom DeBaun's Aunt.  

by KRIS MELTZER

Dear readers,  

The news of Harry and Brian Meeke closing Mickey’s T-Mart brought a touch of sadness to the community this week. I was a little boy when Louden’s, the store that later became Mickey’s T-Mart, was built in 1960.  My family lived on the south side of Shelbyville, and I remember it well. The building wasn’t as big as it is now. The south part of the building, including the corner where Don’s Pizza is located and all the building along Howard St., was added a few years later.  

In my mind’s eye, I can picture the store as it was when first built. Hook’s Drugs was in the north end of the building. The doors to Hook’s and Louden’s were directly across from each other. In 1966, when Louden’s was expanded to the south, the entrance was moved, and a space-age “air” door was installed. There were no doors to open when entering or exiting the store. The difference in temperature between the inside of the store and the great outdoors was maintained by the flow of air from grates in the floor and ceiling. I’m guessing that the “air” door wasn’t all that good at keeping the outside air out because it was replaced with traditional automatic doors a few years later. 

There was no shortage of grocery stores in the Shelbyville of my youth. Just like Harry and Brian Meeke, the owners of those groceries were at their stores working every day. Also, just like the Meekes, the store name was the family name. 

Several of the kids I knew had family members in the grocery business. Gayle Wiley’s parents, Clyde and Minnie, had a grocery on Noble Street. Kevin Zerr’s dad, Paul, was always busy behind the meat counter slicing pickle loaf for customers at Zerr’s, located on East Mechanic Street. Kevin’s Uncle Francis managed the Zerr’s located at Five Points. James Dean’s (not the one who became a movie star) dad owned Dean’s Market at the intersection of Colescott, Montgomery and Miller Ave. Frank Poe’s grandfather, Frank Schoentrup, had Schoentrup’s Grocery at the intersection of Elm and Evans streets.  

Mickey’s T-Mart will be missed. It now will fade into what is known as “the good old days.” Reminiscing is all that remains.    

On a happy note, local firefighter Paul Schoentrup, the great-grandson of grocer Frank Schoentrup, is carrying on the family tradition of being in the food business.  Paul and his wife, Olivia, raise beef, pork, and chickens on their farm located on Cemetery Road. Schoentrup Farms is the name of their business, and they do sell directly to the public. They also offer home delivery, but I don’t think they have pickle loaf.  

History has turned the page, uh-huh. 


NOTEBOOK

  • Ownership of Dayton’s Family Affair at Belair Shopping Center has changed hands, with J&J Pizza purchasing the business. Hours and menu will remain virtually the same, the restaurant announced on social media. Dayton’s will continue to cater and operate a concession stand.

  • Waldron claimed the volleyball sectional title yesterday, winning in three sets over Morristown. Triton Central lost a close sectional championship game against No. 4-ranked Covenant Christian.

  • Shelbyville High School cross country senior Stefanie Howard advanced to semi-state with a podium finish of 20th at regionals yesterday. IHSAA Semi-state action will be held at the Blue River Cross Country course next Saturday, Oct. 23. Junior Kaila Brattain was just nine seconds short of qualifying for semi-state.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: An Israeli company is spending $1.5 billion to create the nation’s largest solar installation. The installation will cover 13,000 acres in Starke and Pulaski counties. The Mammoth Solar Farm is expected to generate 1.3 gigawatts of clean energy. Doral Renewables LLC’s project will take an estimated three years to build. Construction will begin in earnest next year, creating 500 construction jobs. Once it’s built, the project will require up to 50 full-time jobs to maintain. Doral is working with American Electric Power on the project. The project is being built in three phases, with the $475 million first phase — producing 400 megawatts of clean energy — expected to become operational by mid-2023. (Northwest Indiana Times)


MYSTERY PHOTO

The above unidentified “mystery photo” is in the Shelby County Public Library Genealogy Department files. If you recognize anyone, please email Donna Dennison, ddennison@sscpl.lib.in.us, head of genealogy and history at the Shelby County Public Library. Thank you for your help!


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: 2001
The developers of Victoria Trace filed a proposed site plan for making a golf course community on 330 acres in northwest Shelby County.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
A Bavarian House busboy was arrested for stealing $8,300 from the restaurant.

While enrollment throughout the Northwestern, Shelby Eastern and Southwestern schools had declined over the previous five years, Shelbyville Central Schools had seen an increase. But enrollment at Shelbyville High School was approximately 400 students lower than in the mid-1970s.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
Thies Knauf, president of Knauf Fiber Glass, and others flew to Washington D.C. to meet with Sens. Richard Lugar and Dan Quayle to discuss the future of the Conrail tracks from Indianapolis through Shelbyville to Cincinnati. Conrail had announced plans to abandon the line through Shelbyville.

Some officials at Major Hospital weren’t sure they liked the rock garden concept set up at the front of the new hospital. The idea of attempting to preserve cornerstones, an archway, columns and other stone pieces of memorabilia from previous hospital construction was a good one, officials said, but the architect’s arrangement of the stones at the southeast corner of the new building had raised some eyebrows. “In fact, some observers say the stones remind them of a cemetery - and you’ll have to admit, that’s the last image that any hospital needs,” The Shelbyville News said.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Shelbyville High School students presented “Hello Dolly” at Breck Auditorium. A newspaper photo showed Alvis Willis, Bill Zabriski, Dee Ann Lockman and Bob Carmony rehearsing. Another photo showed Dee Ann Lockman, who would play Dolly, running through parts of the musical score with director Fred Prescott and accompanists Lola Wolfe and Carol Finkel. In other SHS news, the band won first place in a competition in Southport. Band members celebrated with dinner at the Chicken and Steak Inn. Rhonda Fitz won first place for her twirling.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
A Fairland married couple filed suit against the State of Indiana, claiming that the construction of the new Interstate 74 had deprived them of access to the road. The couple also complained the new road drained onto their property, causing flooding.

The Shelbyville Police Department traded two old motorcycles in to purchase a new one. Sgt. Dallas Phillips operated the new motorcycle, which had a special speedometer and a flashing red light.

A cornerstone-laying ceremony was held for the new Elks Country Club Lodge on N. State Road 9. Rev. James Horner, pastor of the First Christian Church, delivered a short address. The structure would include golf and pool locker facilities, a golf pro shop, a kitchen, bar and dining room, lounge area and a sizable patio overlooking the golf course to the north.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
“Ladies Day” was held at the local J.C. Penney store. Bonita Stroup was chosen by the “salesgirls” to serve as manager for the event, and Leafie Shadley would be assistant manager. The male leaders were “demoted” for the duration of the two-day sale.

Acting Police Chief Gene Junken said arrests would be made for those parking trucks in the city’s business district.

Noble Township grade school won the county softball championship. Players were Larry Justus, Sandy Chappelow, Danny Scripture, Bill Sebastian, Jim Friddle, Rondle Price, Jim Isley, Lowell Armstrong, Paul Dwiggins, Jim Copeland and Laurel Aldridge. Russell Weinantz was principal and coach.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
Shelby County boys took three of the first five positions in the third annual district vocational agriculture corn husking contest, held at the Thad Major farm operated by Rube Wilkins. Russell Wilson of Mt. Auburn won the competition, edging out Bill Miller, Flat Rock, and Paul Dunagan, Fairland.

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
An armed “masked coverall bandit” held up Mr. and Mrs. Frank Means at their home one mile north of London. The robbery netted $2.50. It was the third such robbery over the previous few days.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Major John Webster, a decorated military veteran and friend of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Major who spent summers in Shelbyville, died at age 72 at his home on Mackinac Island, Mich. Webster had also been an “Indian agent in the Northwest division” during the Roosevelt administration. The Republican described him as “highly educated, with a world of experience, he was an entertainer far above the ordinary.” Webster also owned a home on N. Harrison Street.

Robert Lewis, of near Lewis Creek, showed off a pumpkin he grew weighing 115 pounds. It was put on display at the Shelby National Bank.


OBITUARIES

None today