Patriot News 07/27/2023


  Well, the yellow buses will be rolling soon, as the new school year begins! The first day for students in the Switzerland County School Corporation, will be August 9th. The summer has flown by! The Summer Food program will continue through tomorrow (July 28th). The program is available every day for children 18 years of age and younger, from 10-11 a.m. at Harris Park in Patriot.

  Marlene Jones traveled to Crestwood Kentucky on Wednesday for a birthday luncheon for her father, John Adams who will turn 87 on Friday. Also present were, Jim and Shar Batts and Landon Montgomery, Jarrod and Ian Van Winkle and myself.

  Sympathy to the family of Todd Johns of Vevay. Todd was the husband of Debbie Thomas Johns. I have a family connection with the Johns family, as my Maternal Great Grandmother was Mattie Johns Webster, of Grant County, Kentucky. My Great Grandmother Mattie would have been a great aunt to Todd.

  Speaking of my Great Grandmother Mattie, I remember going to see her at her home in Gold Valley Kentucky which was near Jonesville, Kentucky. It supposedly got its name from gold having been discovered there at one time. When we arrived at her house the first time I can remember going there, Grandma Mattie was sitting out on the front porch smoking a corn cob pipe with a big straw hat on! She lived there with her son, Curt, my grandmother’s brother.

  Great Grandma Mattie’s husband Thomas Webster died when my mother was a little girl. There used to be a friend named Andy Kinman who would visit every day, and if we were there, he would always offer us a piece of juicy fruit chewing gum. I also remember how “slow” they talked. I guess it was just part of their dialect. They always called my grandmother, Thelma Webster Cook, “Whitey”, because she turned gray early. From the time I could remember her, her hair was snow white.

  My grandmother’s name was Thelma, she had a sister, Zelma, and Marceline, and brothers Curt, Harvey, Junior, Harley, and Clifford. My Great Grandmother Mattie and most of her family are buried in the cemetery at Concord Church in Gold Valley near Jonesville. I drive through there occasionally when I am over in Kentucky. So many memories from my childhood.

  We had an interesting evening at Bible School on Wednesday at the Patriot Baptist Church. After we had our Bible lesson and watched a video, we went out in the alley next to the church to play a game with the children. The game involved putting whipped cream on someone’s face, and each team had to see how many little goldfish crackers you could place on the person with the whip cream on their face. I volunteered to have the whipped cream on my face and the game commenced. I noticed several children running up the ally. I soon realized that we were being attacked by a swarm of bees that were coming out of the ground next to the alley! A few children were stung, and I was stung once on my ankle. Luckily, no one had any serious reactions. Thanks to Sandy Piencikowski for bringing first aid materials over and also to Patrick and Mason Jones for dropping off Bactine! Jeff and Sue came over later to take care of the bees. Needless to say, we will all remember that game in Bible School for many years!

  My mother, Leah Jones, had a call this week from her aunt. Corrine Webster, who lives in Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Corrine has been enjoying a visit from her son, Adam, who lives in Georgia.

  Thursday was the last day for Bible School at the Patriot Baptist Church. We have had a great three days! Thanks to all of the children who came, and to the adults who helped including: Marlene Jones, Shelby Allison, Marsha Roeschlein, Ruth Rose, Elizabeth Thomas, Roberta McKay, Lois McKay, Bobbi Fox and Jill Hutcherson. The children all enjoyed pizza on the last day, provided by Bobbi and Mike Fox.

  Mason Jones of Meades Ridge, has been in marching band camp all week at Rising Sun Middle School. Mason will be in the eighth grade this coming year at Rising Sun Middle School. He plays the trombone in the band, and also is a member of the middle school swim team.

  Marlene Jones went to Lexington, Kentucky to visit her twin sister, Sharlene and her husband Jim over the weekend. Marlene and Sharlene had a birthday on Saturday. Their friend from High school, Marti Pfalsgraf Gibson joined them for the weekend of fun and celebration.

  On Sunday, a birthday party was held for Helen (‘Baddie’) Van Winkle at the country club in Richmond, Kentucky. Helen recently observed her 95th birthday!


  Patriot was still a thriving business center in 1916. Businesses included:

  • Bert Couch- Tinner

  • Daniel Scudder- Veterinarian Surgeon

  • George Platt- Wagon Maker and Blacksmith

  • Couch and Broadwell- Hardware and Roofing

  • J.E. Brown and Sons- Groceries and Meats

  • Charles Bodey- Lumber and Coal

  • William Humphreys- Undertaker

  • Wm. Gockel and Sons- General Store

  • Charles Lyon- Real Estate

  • C.J. Hume- Tobacco Buyer

  • S.V. McHuron- General Store

  • Emerson Brothers- Restaurant and Confectioner

  • A.L. North- Automobiles

  • Leonard Scudder- Hardware and Farm Machinery

  • T. Sechrist- Lawyer

  • Ben Searcy- Doctor

  • Ed Mottier- Fruits and Vineyard

  • O.W. Olcott- Druggist

  • Grace Vandaren- Milliner (Ladies Hats)

  • Julia Wickman- S.S. Agent

Early Patriot


(From, “Harriman’s  History of Switzerland County”)

  Eliphalet Case was a prominent businessman in Patriot. He moved to Patriot in the mid-1840’s from Lowell, Massachusetts. Interestingly, Lowell, Massachusetts was known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, because of its textile mills and factories. Case’s wife did not join him and stayed in Massachusetts. Case possessed considerable wealth, and was a visionary. Healso tended to be a poor manager, and his first attempt at a business in Patriot failed. In 1852, he and Sylvansus Howe erected a large distillery and mill in Patriot. Their timing was great as they had much success during the Civil War. The business was purchased by W.T. Pate, and continued to operate until 1877. The business was then sold to C.H. Davis in Cincinnati. Overall, it was a very strong business, with one November posting showing revenue of $ 224,000, a staggering profit at that time. They manufactured about 700,000 gallons of whiskey a year, and purchased much of the corn raised in this area.

  E.E. and W.F. North, erected a flour mill in Patriot in 1881. In the beginning, they had a capacity of about 100 barrels a day, and increased their output each year. Their quality of flour was known as some of the best in the state, doing a business of about $ 30,000 per year.


  It was great to visit with Norman Earls and Cindy Kerr on Friday! Cindy has quite a wood shop/studio! She sure does some beautiful work! Norman and I enjoyed talking about some good old days at Switzerland County High School. We were both members of the 1975 graduating class.

  Sue Van Sickle and her sister, Linda Smith had a big yard sale at Sue’s home on Main Street in Vevay. They sure had beautiful weather for it.

  I was very saddened to hear of the sudden death of Larry Ray. Larry was a year behind me in school, and no doubt, in my mind, the best baseball player ever to come out of Switzerland County. When I was in the 6th Grade, I played on my first Little League team, the Dodgers. Larry was on our team, and his father, Bill Ray was the coach, along with Elmer Johnson. You could tell even at that young age, that Larry was a gifted baseball player.

  He had a stellar career in high school, and with Roane State and Kentucky Wesleyan in college. He was drafted by the Houston Astros out of college, and was an all star all through the minor leagues. He rose up through A and AA baseball, driving in 107 RBI in AA in 1981, with 21 home runs. He was the MVP of the Astros minor league organizations in 1981.

  He came up to the Major Leagues in 1982, getting his first and only Major League hit off the Dodger pitcher, Tom Niedenfuer. Steve Garvey, the great Dodger, made sure that Larry received the ball from his first hit. He also had an RBI playing against the Cincinnati Reds. I always felt that Larry could have had a long major league career had he got a break to play more.

  In 1981, the year that Larry had the big year playing AA with the Astros’ Columbus, Georgia team, I drove to Knoxville with Larry’s father, Bill to watch Larry play. We saw three games including a double header. Larry had several hits and RBIs in those games. After the first game, Bill and I took Larry and one of his teammates to KFC. Lots of great memories.

  The last time I saw Larry was when he came in for his induction into the Switzerland County School Hall of Fame. I was able to bid on, and win an autographed baseball that Larry had donated for the auction. I will always treasure that baseball for sure. I would like to see the school consider naming the baseball field after Larry, he didn’t play on that particular field, but he was, again in my opinion, the best baseball player to ever take the field for Switzerland County. Rest in peace my friend.

  The Patriot High School Alumni officers and Ronnie Mitchell met with Switzerland County School Superintendent, Rod Hite on Thursday at the Patriot Town Hall to discuss the Patriot High School memorabilia that will be a part of the museum that will be located in the old Vevay Gymnasium on Seminary Street. This will be a great tribute to both the Patriot Trojans and the Vevay Warriors. Barrie Watters was not able to attend the meeting, but spoke with Superintendent Hite earlier in the week.

  It was good to see Ronnie Mitchell at the meeting. Ronnie graduated from Patriot High School in 1966, and ended up with the second most points in basketball, next to all time scorer Basil Armstrong. Ronnie was inducted into the Switzerland County Athletic Hall of Fame, along with Basil, in the first class of inductees. After high school, Ronnie joined the Marine Corps, spending over 20 years and retiring from the Marines. Ronnie lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky now. He worked for Western Kentucky University for several years as an Associate Professor in their department of organizational leadership.

  Jill Hutcherson traveled to Chapel Hill, Tennessee for the Lions Super Tractor Pull of the South. Brucie was one of the former national champions recognized and honored at the tractor pull, sponsored by the National Tractor Pullers Association. Jill represented her late husband at the event.

Barry’s Tidbits

  “It is OK to live a life others do not understand” — Jennie Win.

  Great News! All of the Patriot High School Photos and Memorabilia will remain in the beautiful Town of Patriot, Indiana.

  “Yea, Go Trojans”. The items will be displayed in the Patriot town hall where I am positive they will remain secure. The Patriot Town Board and the citizens of the town have taken very good care of them over the past years. I am currently putting together a list of all PHS Graduates to be displayed in the Town Hall and for the list to also be displayed in the “upcoming” Patriot/Vevay High Schools Museum which at this writing is coming along nicely.

  I wish to take this opportunity to thank The Patriot Town Board and Citizens of the Town that assist with the preservation of Patriot High and its Memorabilia. Thank you all.

  I would like to thank Tony Rider for his assurances that all of the PHS items housed in the Town Hall will be safe and secure. Thanks, Tony.

  I spoke with Rod Hite, Superintendent of Switzerland County Schools and President of the Vevay High School Alumni Association. He has been very instrumental in the development of the “Museum” and in particular the inclusion of PHS in that project. He realizes and understands the issues regarding the importance of keeping PHS alive within the Town of Patriot. Thanks Rod.

  I also want to thank Ruth Martin Lohide for her assistance with the registry denoting the members of the 1954 PHS Graduates, and their whereabouts. Thank you, Ruth.

  I wish a great big thank you to all of those PHS members who have given me support over the past weeks concerning PHS and your assistance with keeping “ Her Alive”. Thank you.

  I am looking forward to seeing all of you at the next PHSAA “Bash” which, as you now know, will be held in the Town of Patriot!

Mike’s Closing

  That’s all for this week! Please remember to send me news to use to (812) 290-3088, or You can send news to Barrie at (828) 335-8270, or

  Until next week, in the words of Glen Campbell, remember to “try a little kindness, and shine your light for everyone you meet.”