Patriot News 09/07/2023


  We had the misfortune to lose two of our residents this past week, with the deaths of Paula Turner and David Fisk. Prayers go out to both of their families in their passing.

  I stopped in for the open house at the Old Vevay High School Gymnasium this past Saturday. It looks great, and thanks to the school corporation for making this possible, as well as people from Patriot and Vevay High School who have donated items for display! I saw Carolyn Martin Stroobandt and Sara Peebles Blades there, as well as Patti Shannon Viers.

  Congratulations to the Switzerland County JV Football team on their 14-6 win over Trimble County Monday evening. Jachoby McKay, of Searcy Ridge, is a member of the JV and Varsity Football team. Also, congratulations to the Varsity Football team for their win over Trimble County. They are now 3-0, and play at Milan this week.

  Work is continuing on the bridge east of Patriot, as well as the road work on the west side near Florence. INDOT is still saying that work will be completed by mid-November. It will be great to have our east-west access restored!

  The Town of Patriot will be holding its annual 9/11 Memorial Candlelight Walk and Ceremony this Monday, September 11th. The event starts at the Town Hall and the candlelight walk proceeds along Front Street to Second Street and Plum Street, ending at the Town Flag Park. A ceremony is held remembering those who lost their lives on that fateful day. We also have the official changing of the flags at the Flag Park. The gathering begins at the Town Hall at dusk. More details will be announced soon. This event has been held every year since September 11th, 2002. A bill to make September 11th a National Day of mourning was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on October 25th, 2001 by Representative Vito Fossella (R-NY) with 22 co-sponsors.

  The result of this resolution was to proclaim September 11th, 2002 as Patriot Day. Subsequent Presidents from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have continued this memorial. The United States Flag is flown at half-mast on this day, and a national moment of silence is called for at 8:46 a.m., EDT, the exact time that the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. We also have a piece of steel from the WTC at the park as well as monuments to honor the firemen, policemen and first responders who lost their lives that day. What a fitting way to observe Patriot Day, by being in Patriot, Indiana, the only incorporated town in the USA named Patriot!

Churches of Patriot

  The Patriot Universalist Church was founded in 1835 by George Rogers. It was a key part of the Underground Railroad in Southern Indiana and by 1881, it had 211 members. The Universalist Church in Patriot hosted a state/region wide conference in the late 1800s.

  The Methodist Episcopal Church in Patriot was formed in 1838, and they built the church building in 1843.

  The Patriot Baptist Church started in the late 1800s when missionaries from Kentucky came over and began holding services in the Universalist Church building. The present Patriot Baptist Church building was built and dedicated in 1891.

  Temple Baptist Church began in the mid 1970s as a mission of the Green Chapel Baptist Church, located near Elrod, Indiana. Clarence Doyle was the pastor at Green Chapel and helped start Temple Baptist Church. They began meeting in the home of Hubert and Pearl Thomas, the present location of the church. Roger Wagner was the first pastor of Temple Baptist. Roger has pastored the Berean Baptist Church which is located near Cleveland, Tennessee since he left Patriot.

  I would be interested in hearing the history of the Methodist Church, as well as the Patriot Baptist Church. I do know that Dorothy Burley told me once that her high school graduation was held at the Methodist Church.


  The funeral service for longtime Patriot businessman, David Fisk was held on Saturday at the Markland Funeral Home in Rising Sun, with internment at the Eastview Cemetery. David and his wife, Connie Koons Fisk ran Fisk’s Grocery in Patriot for many years before selling it to Joey Rider. David’s mother, Peggy, and his grandmother, Wilma and her family, the Bliss’s ran the store before David and Connie. David and Connie were always together, and on most evenings you would see them sitting out on the beautiful deck at the Town Hall enjoying the lovely Ohio River.

  David’s memorial service was like going back in time in Patriot. It was good to see Tommy and Vicki Koons and Barrie Watters. Connie and Tommy’s mother, Mary Koons was there as well.. She lives in Versailles now, as does Tommy and Vickie. Bobbie Bond Patrick was also there. Joe Fisk, David and Connie’s son, who lives in Rising Sun, gave a moving eulogy for his father.

  My mother’s cousin, Ted Jones passed away this past week. Ted was the son of my great aunt, Gladys Cook Jones Peavler. He was born in Warsaw, Kentucky and graduated from Trimble County High School in Bedford, Ky. He spent most of his life in the Madison area. He is survived by his longtime companion, Sharon Spencer, and his children.

  Seeing the children get on the school bus each morning reminds me of my days riding the school bus. Sam Reese was my bus driver all twelve years of school. He was also my mother’s bus driver. You could set your clock by Sam’s consistency. We would look out the window and see him stopping at Leonard and Anna Oatman’s house precisely at 7:15 a.m. every morning. He rarely was late, and at the most, 2-3 minutes. I hardly ever remember him missing a day.

  Once he missed school when I was in the first or second grade, and his brother, Charlie drove the bus. I would get on and off the bus at my grandparents’, Marshall and Thelma Cooks’ house, since we lived back the lane behind them until 1966. Charlie forgot to let me off, and he realized it when he pulled into Oatmans. My mother and grandmother were there at the lane to meet me. Noone was too excited about the mix up! I remember we would go down the lane on Meades Ridge by the old Mead Cemetery. Pete and Pruda Smith and their children lived back there.

  That morning, Pete came out and got on the bus with the kids and rode to town to pick up his tractor that was being repaired at Reese’s Garage in town. Another time, one of the last students to get on the bus had been sprayed by a skunk before getting on the bus, and of course the smell was unbearable! When we got into school, Mr. Noe, the Principal, had all of us evacuate the building while they opened the windows and aired the building out. Of course, we thought that was pretty cool!

  Sam never had to say much on the bus, all he had to do was look at us in the mirror! We knew better than to get in trouble, because we would be in more trouble when we arrived home! I remember being scared to get on the bus when I started to school, and would try crying to my grandmother. Her response would be, “you better dry your eyes up, the older kids will make fun of you”! I would also try to sit close to the wood stove and tell my grandmother that I maybe had a fever. She would feel my face and remark, “that’s a strange fever, you’re only hot on one side of your face”I Needless to say, none of my attempts to stay home worked with my grandmother! I finally found an “imaginary friend” on the bus. That story is for another column!

  Melissa Jones took Rosa for a college visit on Friday at Northern Kentucky University. Patrick, Melissa , Rosa and Mason traveled to Louisville on Saturday for Rosa to visit the University of Louisville. Rosa graduates from high school in May.

  Patrick and Melissa Jones hosted a family birthday party for Rosa on Sunday, to celebrate her 18th birthday. Melissa’s family from Bright and Cleves, Ohio were there, as well as several of Rosa’s friends.

  The Long Run Association monthly men’s brotherhood prayers breakfast was held on Saturday at the New Liberty Baptist Church.

  I saw Zoe Rider working at the Patriot General Store this past week. I asked her how school was going, and if she was “learning anything”. She proceeded to talk to me in Spanish, and I was impressed by what she is learning in Spanish class! Zoe helps her dad in the store.

  I was taking Copper for a walk this week, or “he was really walking me”, and a cat ran in front of us by the Town Hall. Copper slipped off his collar and ran behind the building. Luckily my neighbor, Hunter Fisse was riding his bike on the street, and he jumped off and helped me catch him!

  Susie Romans Otter and Tony Rider are finishing their new home on Columbia Street in town. She was able to save the staircase, and some wood siding from her grandparents, Arthur and Nellie Romans’ house, which was located at the corner of Main and Second Street in town. She is going to use the staircase and siding in their new home. She is interested in getting a picture of that house that would have been taken when Arthur and Nellie lived there. If anyone knows of an existing picture, please let me know or get a hold of Susie.

  Kim Hutcherson Jannsen enjoyed a visit from her college friend, Karen Gire and her daughter, Julia this past weekend. Karen and Julia live in Kansas City. Karen was on the Purdue Rowing team with Kim from 1987-1990. Karen and Julia attended church with Kim and Sean Jannsen and Jill Hutcherson at the Patriot Baptist Church on Sunday.

  It was great to have Amanda Harris and her family at the Patriot Baptist Church on Sunday. Amanda used to live in the Patriot community, and was a member of our church. She and her family live in Rushville, Indiana now. I saw her son, Tripp in the store after church. He had been on a camping trip this weekend. Amanda told me that she is working on her college degree from Indiana East. She will soon be a junior, majoring in Political Science.

  Thanks to my neighbor, James Fisse for coming to fix our wood fence where a tree limb fell over it during one of our recent storms. James and his sons do a great job building any type of fence!

  Prayers for Lulu Belle Thomas who has been in the hospital. She is home now and improving.

  I saw Bobbie Bond Patrick and she told me that she has two of the willow baskets made by Cap Rea, and her brother, Craigie also has one!

  If you are not from Switzerland County, you probably would not know where “Bark Works” was, “is” located. When I was growing up, most people called Quercus Grove, Bark Works. At that time, Bark Works as we called it, was quite a bustling town! Why was it called Bark Works? Quercus Grove was laid out by Thomas Dugan, and in 1816 (the year that Indiana became a state, a Mr. Smith purchased a tract of land adjacent to Quercus Grove, and built machinery for grinding the bark of oak trees which he shipped by flat boat to New Orleans, and from there to Europe where it was used for coloring clothes, etc. Thus, the town became known as “Bark Works”. This method of dyeing with oak bark was called fermentation. There was also a process called bark tanning, which was a process of creating a durable, water repellent leather, by tanning animal hide with tree bark, preferable oak. Smith had quite a business going for many years.

  Monday was Labor Day. This is the day that we set aside to remember and honor the works and contributions of laborers to the achievements of our great nation. Many have worked, and still work, in mines, factories, farms, offices, businesses, schools and other places of work to earn a living for themselves and their families. These efforts have contributed to building the greatest nation in the history of the world, the United States of America.

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.”