This year is nearly on the books and what was normal last year, isn’t and may never be again. We have all changed and we are not the same as we were this time last year. I for one have lost a very dear friend and I mourn her passing daily. We have all learned to treasure our family and loved ones in a new and different way. We are learning to cherish those in our lives and take nothing for granted. Christmas is about re-birth and beginning anew. Please celebrate the coming of the Christ Child and the promises and hope He gives us all. Merry Christmas, My Friends!
Christmas Eve 1886, 134 years ago, the Patriot Town Marshall Alexander Smith Rice was shot in the performance of his duties while arresting Charles Whitson. Despite being seriously wounded in the abdomen, the officer drew and killed Whitson. He eventually died of his wounds on April 17, 1887 at the age of 38. This information was recently discovered as excerpts of H.F. Emerson’s 1931 publication ‘Historical Sketch of the Town of Patriot’ were included in this column.
Barry Brown, Switzerland County Historian, researched the incident upon hearing of the discovery and was diligent in his efforts to document the Marshall’s death. The original incident according to the Coroner’s Report published in The Vevay Reveille (January 6, 1887) began at a saloon owned by Andrew Shafer when Charles Whitson challenged Will O’Brien to a fight. A total of four men were involved in the altercation.
“At this time Smith Rice, Marshall of Patriot, arrived and stepped between O’Brien and the other two men and said he did not want any disturbance, and they must keep quiet. About this time Whitson fired a shot. Rice, the Marshall, grabbed hold of Whitson and a couple more shots were fired while they were together… Rice and Whitson held to each other and got to the floor, one shot after another came from the same party while they were on the floor.”
To the best of my knowledge, Marshall Alexander Smith Rice has not been properly recognized for his sacrifice and efforts are being made at this time to rectify that oversight. It is, however, my understanding that Gardy Smith is a descendant.
It may have taken 134 years, but this Christmas Eve, please remember a local hero — Patriot Town Marshall Alexander Smith Rice for his ultimate sacrifice.
The first Patriot Town Board meeting of 2021 will be held on Tuesday, January 5th, at 5 p.m. This is normally an organizational meeting during which decisions are made on the positions of Town Attorney and the Town Board President. Elizabeth Thomas has been the President of the Town Board since first appointed in 2016.
So very sad to hear of the passing of Steve “Bear” Bladen and EJ Pompa. Prayers of solace and comfort for the families of each.
Please continue very special prayers for Eylah Leppert and her parents as she struggles with her health issues.
Prayer List: For the patients and staff of Swiss Villa Nursing and Rehab; Cindy and Mike Gardner, Ken Byars, Janet Bond, Posey Tappers Stasia Wiseman, Alanna Smith, Brigetta Hetzel, Kathryn Turner, Jake and Mickie Rader and Lulu Belle Thomas; Bill and Sharon Levell; Red HOT Hatters Laura Riga and June Lack; Firefighters Ron Brunner and Brian Hughes, Pam Minch, Barbara Barnhill, Barbara DeNoon, Ellyn Kern and Jerry Brown – as well as anyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aunt Bea (Sharon Levell) and I have yet one more recipe to recommend:
2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 1/3 C. Creamy Peanut Butter
¼ C. Butter, melted
2/3 C. Graham Cracker crumbs
1 T. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 C. White Chocolate, melted
2 tsp. Coconut Oil
Sprinkles, for garnish
Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, graham cracker crumbs, maple syrup and salt. Using a whisk or hand mixer, mix ingredients until smooth and fully incorporated. Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine melted white chocolate and coconut oil and stir until smooth. Dip peanut butter balls in the white chocolate and place on cooling rack (excess chocolate with drip off). Top with Sprinkles, then refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.
Anyone interested in purchasing the ‘Historical Sketch of the Town of Patriot’ by H.F. Emerson (1931) that I have featured for several months may do so at the Patriot Town Hall for $10.
You may only contact me by either calling me at (317) 443-8857 or send me an email at PatriotNews1995@gmail.com. If you have anything for me to include in this article, please send it to me. Information can be received any day of the week but normally my deadline is Sunday at noon for that week’s issue of the paper. Any news received later will appear in the following week’s article. If you need something in a particular issue, please get it to me early.