The September Red HOT Hatter meeting will be tomorrow (Friday, September 18th) at 11 a.m. at the Ridge Winery Tasting Room located at 11048 E. State Road 156 east of Vevay. The deck and tasting room will allow us enough room to move about and stay as socially distanced as we wish. If so desired, the interior of the building can be avoided completely as there is ample room on the covered porch and access can be gained by entering by the stairway to the left of the main door. Since they only serve cheese plates and wine, I would suggest those planning to attend brown bag your lunch and bring it with you. I do need an RSVP please, because if we do not have enough individuals interested in attending, I see no reason to have a meeting until after the pandemic subsides. Again, our primary concern is everyone’s health. You may RSVP if you will make the meeting tomorrow at the Ridge Winery by calling Kay (812) 594-2281, Joyce (812) 571-2234 or texting (317) 443-8857. At this meeting, we will discuss whether to have our monthly meetings for the rest of the year or simply re-start in January of 2021.
Pastor Roy Duckworth and the Church of Christ at Florence presented a truly touching September 11th, 2001 Remembrance Service last Friday utilizing proper social distancing by having it on Hill Street in front of the church. Each attending individual affiliated with police, fire, EMS and the military at some time in their lives was honored with a Certificate of Appreciation, a formal thank you for your service. Prayers offered by Ken Byars on behalf of the military and Gary Wentworth on behalf of first responders were very well received. The entire service was very well done and very much appreciated!
The service was also well attended: of course, the infamous P & G were there — Patty Chase and Glenda Sullivan. I sat with Rita Brogan and had the pleasure of meeting Debbie Gregory. No better inspiration has ever been bestowed on a writer than an appreciative reader and both Debbie and Rita were highly encouraging. Debbie immediately asked for updates on the Two Terrible Twin Tomcats, especially Leroy Gibbs. Of course, I had to brag (?) on Gibbs. The morning after I returned from Florida last month, I was quite surprised to find that Gibbs had made a very special catch early that morning in celebration of his Mommy’s return: a very freshly killed, partial bird carcass was lying just a few inches from my feet when I awoke that morning. Although I still utilize my flexible screening to allow the free access of all of my critters in and out of the house during the day, after the bird carcass I have restricted the access of the Tomcats while I’m still in bed.
And much to the delight of “Aunt Bea” aka Sharon Levell, I heard requests for more recipes. Those will return once the Patriot historical excerpts are complete which will be soon.
Please continue very special prayers for Eylah Leppert and her parents as she struggles with her health issues. Prayer List: Posey Tappers Kathryn Turner, Jake and Mickie Rader and Lulu Belle Thomas; Bill and Sharon Levell; Red HOT Hatters Laura Riga and June Lack; Firefighter Ron Brunner, Pam Minch, Barbara Barnhill, Barbara DeNoon, Ellyn Kern and Jerry Brown. As well as all law enforcement officers and their families as well as everyone affected by the current national unrest; everyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am quite happy to share that my historical excerpts on Patriot have become quite popular. Furthermore, I have received inquiries into the purchase of that book. Having checked with Barry Brown at the Switzerland County Library, we are not sure that there is a printed copy available. Fortunately, years ago Barry copied it off a website on Patriot that no longer exists. He shared his copy with me and that is what I have shared in the newspaper. The original piece, I am afraid, is a typographical nightmare and has required a good deal of editing and correcting. Nearly at the end now, I will attempt to ascertain exactly how long a document it is (as corrected) and endeavor to obtain a price for a re-print. First, of course, I will need to do some research on copyright restrictions if there are any and consult with Pat Lanman, the publisher of the Vevay Newspapers.
In honor of Patriot’s 200th Anniversary, I am continuing with excerpts from H.F. Emerson’s 1931 publication “Historical Sketch of the Town of Patriot” entitled ‘Prominent Native Sons’:
• “Daniel Wait Howe was born in Patriot in 1838 the son of Daniel and Lucy (Hicks) Howe, and died in Indianapolis, Nov. 2, 1921. He was president of the Indiana Historical Society from 1901 to 1920, becoming honorary president for life. For fourteen years he was judge of the Superior Court and was a former president of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He was the author of “Puritan Republic” and “Civil War Times.”
• Silas Howe, who for years was a leading merchant of Patriot, later moved to Chicago and became associated with Gibson & Parish, which later became William Gibson Co., of which he was president at the time of his death. This company was one of the largest manufacturers of springs in the country and made Mr. Howe probably the only millionaire the hamlet has produced. There is an interesting anecdote connected with him during his service in the Civil War.
He was on furlough and visiting his mother, who lived at Sugar Creek, Ky., when one night he heard horsemen drew up in front of the house. Upon looking out he saw they were Confederate soldiers and there was no doubt that they were intent upon his capture. He dropped out of a back window, crawled down a creek bed to the Ohio and though the river was full of ice, he swam to the Indiana shore and reached Patriot in an almost frozen condition.
• David Mottier, a local boy and a member of the first graduating class of Patriot High School, has held the chair of botany in Indiana University for many years and is still the professor of that branch of study. Beside his education gained in state universities he has studied in Bon, Germany, thus giving him an enviable reputation in his line of endeavor.
• Omar and Walter Cunningham, brothers and graduates of the local school and of Purdue University, each selected the same course of study, that of agriculture. Omar is now (1931) professor of that department in the University of New Mexico, while Walter fills the same chair in the University of Arizona.
• Dr. Emerson A. North, a graduate of the local high school; Purdue in pharmacy; and University of Cincinnati in medicine; now is a professor of psychiatry in the latter institution and director of the Mental Hygiene Clinic of that city.
• Elwood Mead is doubtlessly the most widely and nationally known man to come from the community as the following excerpt from the Indianapolis Star will show: “In the little town of Patriot, in Switzerland county, Indiana, 72 years ago, there was born to Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Mead a son, named Elwood Mead, who is now known throughout the United States and in foreign countries as one of the outstanding civil engineers of the day. Some men begin to think of easing up their activities at 70. Mead looks and acts like a man who is just starting. No wonder he looks and acts that way. The biggest task of his career faces him. He is to build the Hoover Dam in the Colorado river, the largest dam ever conceived in the United States. The job falls to Mead because he is U.S. Commissioner of Reclamation. When the dam is completed there will be displayed on the structure a brass plate reading: “Elwood Mead, Engineer in Charge.”
This man, who spent his boyhood and youth in southern Indiana and got his education at Purdue University, can look on monuments to his engineering skill in many places. In 1907, 24 when Australia had a serious water problem, the Australian commission asked him to solve the problem and he devoted eight years to that work. The United States Reclamation Service was in need of help and one day Mead got a note from Calvin Coolidge asking him to take hold of the service and straighten out the tangles. Mead has since been at the head of the Reclamation Service. Mead entered Purdue University in 1878, and four years later was graduated. For years Elwood Mead occupied a chair in the faculty of Leland and Stanford University, and he was the authority called upon and sent to determine the cause of the great dam break disaster in California a few years ago. There are many sons and daughters who have gone out from the old town that are not recorded in “Who’s Who” and who may not be considered among the prominent, but they are taking their places among the workers laboring for a better country and happier times, and where ever they may be the majority will acquire themselves with credit.”
You may contact me several ways: by leaving a note or message inside the door of 1995 Front Street in Patriot; or by calling my home at (812) 594-2281; or dropping me a note at P.O. Box #01, Patriot, Indiana, 47038. In addition, you may send me an email at PatriotNews1995@gmail.com. If you have anything for me to include in this article, please send it to me. Information can be received any day of the week but normally my deadline is Sunday at noon for that week’s issue of the paper. Any news received later will appear in the following week’s article. If you need something in a particular issue, please get it to me early.