Celebrating the history of
Ohio County and Rising Sun
50 YEARS AGO
August 25th, 1966
The Rising Sun-Ohio County faculty for the 1966-67 school year includes seven new teachers according to an announcement by John G. Roeder, superintendent. In Rising Sun Elementary faculty members include: Charles H. Johnson, principal; Judith Lange, grade 2; Virgil Adams, grade 5; and Bill Lakes, 6 and 7 grade social studies and reading. New high school faculty members include Joy P. Briggs, English; Nolan T. Hughes, agriculture; and Sandra Mingua, English and Social Studies. Returning Rising Sun Elementary faculty members are Carolyn Brown, Thelma Collins, Thelma Dibble, Mary Heim, Patty Johnson, Pauline Miller, Harlan Royce, Helen Sheldon, Shirley Slack, Homer Tucker, Edith Wilson, Morgan Drescher and Emmet Van Buskirk. Returning high school faculty members are: Gerald Johnson, Verna Carpenter, William H. Clifton, Jr., Dillon Dorrell, Morgan Drescher, John Huron, Glen Kelley, Grace McCurry, Virgil Neaman, Janet O’Neal, Jerry Tucker, Robert O’Neal, Emmett Van Buskirk, and Michael Wilson.
All Cass Union faculty members are returning: Charles St. Clair, Elizabeth Bailey, Florence Cook, Isabell Griffith, and Morgan Drescher and Emmett Van Buskirk. School lunches will be served in the Cass Union and Rising Sun Elementary schools. Because of a cut in federal commodities the elementary school lunch price will be increased from 25 cents to 30 cents a day. High School lunches are 35 cents per day. First day of school is September 2 and the last day of school is May 25.
By Dorotha Stegemiller: If the Ohio County Historical Society is successful in its search of old treasures, the future historical museum can display a real oddity – an electric chair made in Rising Sun. About 40 years ago two electric chairs were built in Rising Sun and, according to records caused “a hubbub of excitement in the quiet and peaceful village.” Smith Riggs, 65, an unassuming, church going coppersmith, could hammer fantastic designs from iron at white heat on an anvil. He emerged into the public eye when he singled out to fashion that dread instrument of death. At first, Mr. Riggs was reluctant to accept he contract because he “thought what a terrible thing it would be if an innocent man would be electrocuted in one of them. After long persuasion he decided someone had to do it, and agreed to make the new-type chairs. Ernest Williamson, a carpenter, was hired to form the wooden frameworks. Classified as “more humane,” the chairs were constructed with clamps instead of straps. This lessened the time required to strap in a doomed man by about eight minutes – a time when seconds would see like hours. An adjustable reclining back was included for more comfort. The chairs were made of heavy three-inch air-dried white oak. The timber was cut from woods near Rising Sun. Upon completion, the chairs were shipped to the penitentiaries at Joliet and Menard, Illinois. The little blacksmith shop on Front Street at Main resumed normal operations and the incident was forgotten – until now. If one of the chairs is ever returned to Rising Sun heads will shake again and opposition will be stated. But, the majority of the people will take a broader view of the matter, in the interest of history.
Rising Sun won the Traveling All-Star Little League tournament held here last Sunday with shut-out games pitched by Kenny Brown and Gary Walton.
When Dr. Gordon S. Fessler, a general practitioner for 24 years in Rising Sun wishes to escape from the pressures of his general practice he steps into a special room in his home – and into a new world. The 55-by-22 foot room contains mountains, prairie, waterfront and hill scenes, all typical of various regions of the United States. Each topographical feature is a scene meticulously constructed to scale from photographs by Dr. Fessler. When Dr. Fessler “travels” in his own private world, he goes by train and can select a locomotive from a collection representing about every known prototype ever used in the United States. Dr. Fessler is a nationally known model railroader who describes working on his hobby “like a vacation from home”.
Leonard C. Gibson, 80, passed away August 20th, in the North Miami General Hospital. He was the third generation owner of G. B. Gibson Sons Company for approximately forty years, engaging in the heating, plumbing and hardware business until 1957 when he retired.
At the Palace Theatre in Aurora, now showing “The Ten Commandments”.