Reflections of the past week of 12-24-09


News compiled by Ginny Leap from past issues of

Switzerland County newspapers


Pete Furnish was announced last Thursday night as the 1999 recipient of the Paul Ogle Community Service Award. The presentation was made at the annual Christmas dinner meeting of the Switzerland County Chamber of Commerce. John Keeton, last year’s recipient, had the honor of presenting this year’s award.

Floyd “Squeaky” and Jeanette Knaus have celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. The couple was married on December 19th, 1964. The Knaus’ celebrated with family this past Sunday.

As the Ohio River Valley Conference heads into the holiday break, Switzerland County players Carrie Wiley and Kurtis Gregory have been honored for their efforts on the basketball court.


Don R. Wallis, Sr., publisher of the Vevay Newspapers, Inc., and The Madison Courier, died Wednesday afternoon, December 27th. Don Wallis, 78, had been associated with The Madison Courier for more than 37 years. He was named business manager of the newspaper in June of 1952 and became its publisher in June of 1962. He purchased The Vevay Reveille-Enterprise and The Switzerland Democrat in 1959. As the publisher of the papers he was recognized in 1973 as having the Best Weekly Newspaper in the State of Indiana. He was a strong supporter over the years of many community activities and events in Switzerland and Jefferson counties and had served on numerous committees and organizations.

Arlie John Baer, 68, of Vevay died of smoke inhalation when a fire engulfed his one-story frame home on Main Cross Street in Vevay on Wednesday morning, December 27th.

A Christmas Eve traffic crash on State Road 56 in Switzerland County resulted in the death of a 16-year-old youth and injuries to his sister. Roger W. Reed, 16, son of Paul Roger and Karen Seel Reed, route 3, Vevay, in Jefferson County, died of injuries in the one-vehicle accident Sunday. His sister, Gina M. Reed, 17, was injured in the accident.


Town Board President Roy Branham advised earlier this week that the latest word from the cable TV people was that they would begin work this past Monday putting the system in, and that it would be completed by January 31st. The Vevay Newspapers assigned one of its ace reporters to keep an eye on the installers but at dusk Monday no sign of them had been spotted. Ditto for Tuesday. However, Wednesday morning one of the cable TV men wandered into the newspaper office – while the ace reporter was busy elsewhere – and announced that they had arrived. When the reporter finally caught up with them they were at lunch, but their equipment was in evidence. Looks like Vevay is going to get cable TV after all.

Sixteen months after it initially disapproved the application, the Environmental Protection Agency last Friday gave its approval to the construction of a coal-fired plant at Patriot. The construction permit, issued by the EPA’s Chicago office, removes the major obstacle to Indianapolis Power and Light Company’s plans for the $1.4 billion plant along the Ohio River, two and one-half miles north of Patriot.


Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corporation is accepting applications for a Headstart director for the next 30 days. The salary has been set at $10,000 per year.

Russell Pickett is working with a collection committee representing Vevay Athletic Club, Kappa Kappa Kappa Sorority, Vevay American Legion, Vevay Kiwanis Club, and Vevay United Methodist Church to provide Christmas gifts for Switzerland County’s underprivileged children. U.S. Shoe donated 200 pairs of shoes, The Randall Company contributed used toys to the gift lists, and shoes, toys, and other gifts are being distributed with the help of Switzerland County School Corporation, Switzerland County Mental Health Association, and the county welfare department.

A report of Indiana State Highway Commission shows Switzerland County and its incorporated towns received $355,095.36 in motor vehicle tax funds for road and street construction and repair during 1968.


Several homes in the Florence area had window panes blown out by the force of the explosion that ripped Warsaw, Kentucky, Christmas Day. However there was no widespread damage from the blast. It was triggered by a spark that ignited a three hours’ accumulation of propane gas in and around the Smith Distributing Company, Pepsi-Cola and Oertel’s 92 distributors for the Warsaw area.

A family dinner was given by Miss Kathleen Allen of Vevay in honor of the 94th birthday of her grandfather, Ab Howard, with whom she resides.

Patrons of the Bear Branch Farmers’ Mutual Telephone Company have been offered a flat $3,000 by the Rural Telephone Corporation of Dillsboro for its stock, franchise and rights. No definite action was taken on the proposition but it was taken under consideration and another open meeting will be held some time in January.


Albert L. Miles of near Bennington is planning to attend the fourth annual clinic of flying farmers of Indiana which will be held at Purdue University on December 30th and 31st. Mr. Miles who is not only a successful farmer is a most enthusiastic pilot who owns his own plane and landing field.

Mr. and Mrs. Vincent D. Jones announce the birth of Craig Douglas, December 13th at Passavant Hospital, Chicago. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces. He has a sister Marcy Lee, age three. Mrs. Jones was before her marriage Miss Marcia Dittgen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Dittgen.

Fire, reported to have been caused by a poor connection in a gas range, badly damaged the kitchen at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Fredenburgh in Florence last week.


The city of Vevay has been authorized by the Indiana Public Service Commission to issue bonds to the amount of $13,000 for the purpose of purchasing a dynamo, and engine and meters for the electric light plant. They will be 20 years, five percent bonds in denominations of $1,000 each.

Simon Beymer, 86, president of the National Bank in Rising Sun died at home there Monday. Mr. Beymer and his partner, Lemuel Bledsoe operated a business in Florence for 28 years. His early life was spent as a clerk in a store in Vevay.

R. T. Butter, a former resident of Patriot, died Tuesday at his home in Seabreeze, Florida. He had written a number of successful songs and poems.

Clarence Rea of Patriot has bought 10 lots on the edge of the town and expects to start a willow patch for the purpose of making baskets.


John Steele, former storekeeper at Bennington and Aaron, died at his home in Ohio County Friday after a three-month illness.

Navigation was suspended on the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Louisville Friday night because of heavy ice gorges.

Last Saturday was a genuine old-fashioned Christmas Day. Snow began falling about dark Christmas Eve and continued during the greater part of the night. Saturday morning the snow began falling again and in the afternoon the atmosphere grew colder, freezing the ice so that it was just right for coasting and sleighing.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Culbertson December 28th, a girl.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Newton Tebow of Cincinnati December 27th, a daughter.

Clarence Knox is operating a bus between Vevay and Madison while river navigation is suspended.

Visits of the stork: Pearl, daughter born to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Wiseman, Craig Township; Jesse Lewis, son born to Charles M. Romerill and wife, Craig Township; Pearl Jeanette, daughter born to Frank Crutchlow and wife, Pleasant Township; a son December 26th to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Montayne, Mount Sterling.


The barge “Mary” belonging to Schrupf and Told of Florence and loaded with produce sunk at New Orleans December 6th with a loss to the firm of about $2,500.

Born to Will Lee and wife of Sugar Branch December 23rd, a son.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Millard F. Smith of East Enterprise December 13th, a son.

Born to Levi Seymour and wife of East Enterprise December 19th, a son.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Shaw of Craig Township December 15th, a son.

At a meeting of the City Council Monday night a committee composed of Mayor Manning, J. F. Plew, O. S. Johnson and John Smiley was appointed to study the cost of installing electric lights in Vevay.


The following is a list of persons who have erected homes in the city during the year 1869 and their estimated value.

John W. Banta, frame $1,200; John D. Works, frame $700; George Oakley, frame, $800; Thomas McKimens, frame $550; H. E. Banta, frame, $700; Frank Pickett, frame, $550; M. W. Tague, frame, $650; Montgomery Patton, frame $550; John F. Doan, frame, $1,000; James Harwood, addition, $300; Zadig Rous, addition, $500; F. L. Grisard, frame, $500; L. F. Works, addition, $350; Frank Bonner, frame, $1,100; Charles Goldenburg, frame, $350; Charles Kiesel, frame, $700; Hannibal Greenleaf, $700; Charles Thiebaud, frame, $1,100; O. S. Waldo, frame, $1,350.

Amie LeClerc, 8, died December 17th from injuries which he received when he fell on the sidewalk and struck his head. The accident occurred in front of his mother’s hotel when he ran into another little boy.


On Thursday last a hay boat belonging to U. P. Schenck and son was cut down by the ice two miles below Shawneetown, Illinois. A small portion of the hay was saved and the loss is about $2,200. Two coal boats sank at the same time.

A barge of coal sank on the Patriot bar Sunday night.

T. Jagers, above Vevay, has made a large quantity of superior vinegar this year out of Chinese sugar cane.

Born December 25th, a son, to Dr. T. L. and Sarah P. Danglade.