Patriot News


  It was good to run into Dee Smith and Becky Purnell on Monday at the Patriot General Store! Dee grew up in Patriot and his parents, Hobe and Ada Smith, ran the post office, and raised their family there as well. Dee’s siblings are Gardalen, Channie and Kevin. Dee retired from the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department.

  Mason Jones continues to have a good year as part of the Rising Sun Middle School Swim team. He participated in meets in Vevay and Madison this week, placing second in the 50 Yard Backstroke and fifth in the 50 Yard Freestyle in both meets.

  Catherine Allen was born in Patriot in 1851, the daughter of clergyman John Allen, and Ellen Lazarus. Her parents had been members of several communal societies, previously living in Massachusetts and Terre Haute. Catherine and her family moved to New York where they joined a utopian society. Catherine and her brother were sent to a boarding school in New York that was run by the Shakers. While there, Catherine made a decision to join the Shaker society. Catherine gained a reputation as a noted supporter of women’s rights, animals and women’s suffrage. Catherine received a teaching certificate, and influenced the Shaker education curriculum as well as publishing, “A Full Century of Communism, the History of the Alethians, formally called Quakers.”

  Catherine became First Eldress of the Central Shaker Ministry. Catherine was committed to preserving Shaker documents, her efforts led to the preservation of over 10,000 items of Shaker culture. She also continued to be involved in political matters, spearheading a petition drive for universal women’s suffrage.

  Catherine died of cancer in 1922 in New Lebanon, New York. In recognition of her work in the preservation of Shaker documents and history, her name and image are on the bookplate used by the Shaker Literature and Manuscript Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Library in Cleveland, Ohio. (Information from Wikipedia).

  As I was researching this information I was greatly impressed to see that a woman born in Patriot was a national leader in helping women earn the right to vote in the United States. Her efforts, no doubt greatly influenced the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified in 1920, recognizing the right of women to vote.

  It was good to see Gene Brady the other day in the Patriot General Store! Yes, it is the place to mingle for sure! Gene was good friends with Ronnie Minch, who lived with my grandparents, Marshall and Thelma Cook when finishing at Patriot High School! I asked Gene if he remembered his pet fox that he used to bring with him, I sure do! They also were inducted into the Army together, and both served in Vietnam.

  When Gene and Ronnie were stationed at Fort Knox, my parents took my brother and I there to visit. Gene’s mother, Thelma Brady, also went with us! What a great experience! We saw Ronnie and Gene, and also Kenny Riley who was stationed there as well.. We packed a picnic and enjoyed lunch while we were there! What great memories! Years later, Wayne Daugherty and I took the junior class on a field trip to Fort Knox. The class enjoyed eating in a mess hall, and we also toured the George Patton Museum.

  Sympathy to the family of Alanna Renyer Smith of Patriot. Alanna was the daughter of the late Harry and Barbara Ann DuVall Renyer. She was in the Switzerland County High School Class of 1971.

  Growing up on Meades Ridge in the 1960’s and 1970’s it sure seems like life was a lot simpler. We lived in a house behind my grandparents house (I was born in that house!) and we had an outside “privy” and our heat was wood and coal. I don’t ever remember feeling bored, there were always things to do outside, whether it was working in tobacco or the garden, or playing “Army” or a pick-up baseball game. My dad worked at Seagrams and mom worked there in the house and on the farm.

  My grandparents and mom milked a few cows, raised tobacco, hay and big gardens. They sold Grade B milk in the milk cans that were kept cool in an air cooled cooler on the front porch. Lowell McCreary was our “milk man”.

  My grandfather, Marshall Cook, was involved in politics, so I kind of grew up in a political household. I remember sitting in their kitchen many times around the wood stove listening to my grandfather talk to potential candidates and local politicians. I remember, as a kid, especially the County Sheriffs, actually both Switzerland and Ohio County. In Switzerland County, I can remember Ora Scudder, Tommy McKay, Ralph Brown and Gary Forwood. In Ohio County, Joe Cunningham, Bob Brown, Jim Conner and Swede Colen. Tommy McKay was from here in Patriot. His daughter Lois was in my class all through elementary and high school. Jim Conner and his wife Jean and children, lived on North Branch Road before moving to Rising Sun.

  Joe Cunningham was a cousin to Minne Bailey. Minnie’s brother Russell Cunningham was a former sheriff of Dearborn County. Russell was married to Bonnie Minks. My grandfather passed away in 1982, so these were the Sheriffs that I remember during his lifetime. I also remember Joe Backer, the area conservation officer or “game warden” as they were called, stopping by often to talk.

  Back then, the farmers were pretty self-sufficient. My grandfather butchered his own hogs, that was always a big day on the farm. I really never cared for it, because I would get too attached to the pigs, although I did like eating the tenderloin and pork chops! Another big day on the farm was in the Fall with tomato canning. I can still remember the smell, as my grandmother would cook the tomatoes and start the canning process. Fall was a busy time with canning, harvesting the tobacco crop, and also going to the field to pick the pumpkins and squash.

  My grandfather never owned a tractor, he did all of his farming with horses and mules. He raised Belgians and Percherons and always had a mule to plow tobacco with. I used to watch him go up and down the tobacco rows with the mule, never stepping on a tobacco plant. One day when I was about 11 or 12, he told me to take the reins and I got behind the plow and the old mule would not move! He knew exactly when my grandfather wasn’t there! I used to help water the horses, they were so gentle and tame, but I was always afraid that they would accidentally step on me! I will share more next week!

  The Patriot Ordinance Committee met this past week. They are working with the Town Board to come up with a vision for what we want our town to look like in the future. If anyone has ideas or thoughts please drop them off at Town Hall. We are all proud of our town, and want our town and surrounding community to be the very best it can be! All of us working together will bring success!

  Jim and Minnie Bailey were good friends of mine, and my family, along with their girls, Betty, Donna and Joyce. They lived in a house that was over by where the fire house is now. Minnie sold Avon for years. She would come to my grandparents, Marshall and Thelma Cook to sell her Avon, and they would visit all day! Minnie would stay for dinner and supper that night! My, the stories and memories they shared! I had also remembered them living on Searcy’s Ridge. Their house in Patriot was always a welcome place to neighbors and friends alike. There was always food and a coffee pot on. Many nights I would visit there, and Floyd and Jean Rose would stop by to play cards. The evening was filled with laughter and fun. I don’t think people visit like they used to. I guess that everyone is busy now, and don’t have time to visit. I think we would all be better off if we could go back to those times when we had more interaction with family and friends and less time with technology and running too and fro.

  The Patriot Baptist Church will hold a special Long Run Association Lenten Service on March 5th at 6:30 p.m. There will be a time of fellowship and food at 5:30 p.m. at the church. There will be special music and the message will be delivered by Reverend Denny French of Warsaw, Kentucky. Denny was the Pastor of the Paint Lick Baptist Church in Gallatin County, for many years. The community is invited!

  Melissa Jones, Rosa, Aruzhan and Mason attended a family birthday party in Bright, Indiana on Saturday.

  Rosa Jones attended a 4-H Camp Counselor meeting with Maddie Levell on Thursday in Holton, Indiana.

  My mother, Leah Jones enjoyed a telephone call from longtime friend Lulu Belle Thomas this week.

  If you get an opportunity on a pretty, warmer day, take a walk or drive along Front Street in Patriot. It is so beautiful there, and the view across the river in Kentucky is breathtaking! There is a shelter there where one can sit and gaze at the river and admire our special part of God’s creation here on earth!

Barrie’s Tidbits

  Patriot High School, never let us forget! Go Trojans! Those of us privileged enough to have gone to school there will have an evening of celebration on Saturday May 27th, 2023, at Switzerland County Elementary School in East Enterprise. Please attend, come one, come all.

  Birthdays this month of the “Patriot Girls” that I knew are: Janet Oatman Strimple, Bonnie Minks Cunningham, and Alice Evans Craig. Hope to see you ladies in May! Please, those of you whose birthdays I am not aware of forgive me, in the meanwhile let me know who you are. Arthur had one too, however I posted that earlier!

  “There was one of two things I had a right to, Liberty or Death; If I could not have one I could have the other.” — Harriet Tubman

  I saw Jean Scudder Rose’ picture on Facebook the other day and it reminded me of her and her family. Jean graduated Patriot High in I believe 1953. She was the daughter of Brett and Helen Scudder. Two of Patriots great citizens. Brett was a member of the Town Board and worked very hard for the betterment of our community. He was diligent in helping to get city water throughout the area in the early 60’s. He was stricken with Spinal Arthritis and needed a lot of care. His wife Helen was so special in helping him meet his needs all of those years, and of course Jean was right there with her. What terrific women they were.

  I was also reminded of the Pohlkotte family who lived where the Jones’ live now. The one I knew was Bobby. I cannot remember the elder ones’ names. I believe they left Patriot around 1959. The older brother graduated Patriot High but Bobby went to an academy in Indianapolis his high school years. Anyone out there with more information about them please let me know.

  Alice Evans Craig is back in the area. She moved to Rising Sun last week. Good luck in your new home Alice! She lived for quite a few years in the Florence Kentucky area. She was an airline host and moved there to be closer to the Greater Cincinnati Airport.

  See you in May I hope! Call me at (828) 335-8270.

Mike’s Closing

  That’s all until next week. Remember to send me any news that we can use to (812) 290-3088, or You can reach Barry at the above cell phone number, or

  In the words of Glen Campbell, remember to, “Try a little kindness and shine your light for everyone you meet.”