Sympathy to the family of Toni Smith Billingsley of Rising Sun. Toni was a 1948 graduate of Patriot High School. She was a classmate of Betty Clifton Lucas. Toni and her family grew up in the Quercus Grove area. She had two brothers, Chester graduated from Patriot High School and Bobby graduated in 1951 from PHS. Chester passed away in 2012, and Bobby lives in Plant City, Florida.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about Ethan Hussong of our community, who was competing for a $1,000 Art Scholarship from the GFWC/IFC. He was notified this week that he was awarded the scholarship! Congratulations Ethan! Ethan is a senior at Switzerland County High School. His original art entry was submitted to the local Eggleston Club.
I am glad to report that Marlene’s father, John Adams, is now back at his home in Crestwood, Kentucky following surgery and rehabilitation. I know he is happy to be home!
May is here, and the Patriot Alumni Annual Dinner and Meeting is around the corner! It will be held on May 27th, at the Switzerland County Elementary School. The Patriot High School Alumni Association is the oldest alumni organization in the county, and one of the oldest in the State of Indiana. I will be attending to cover the event for our column. I attended Patriot schools through the sixth grade, and finished my junior and senior high classes at Switzerland County Schools (after the consolidation).
I would like to highlight former teachers, administrators and staff from Patriot Elementary, Junior and Senior High School. Please send me information as you have it.
I am going to start this series with information on Bill Roeschlein. Bill was the principal of Patriot High School from 1964-1968, the last principal to serve at Patriot, before school consolidation. Bill was born in 1922 in Clay County, Indiana, and graduated from Staunton High School in 1940, where he also played basketball and baseball. He received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Indiana State Teachers College, now Indiana State University.
Bill was inducted into the United States Army in 1942, and served in the South Pacific, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He participated in the Battles of New Guinea, Luzon, the Philippines, and also served in Tokyo.
He married Marsha Ferguson in 1964, and was blessed with two sons and a daughter. After the war, he began teaching and coaching at Staunton, from 1951-1964. He won three sectionals in basketball and also coached American Legion Baseball in Brazil, Indiana. In 1964, Bill was hired to be the principal of Patriot High School and in 1969, he became the first principal of Switzerland County High School. He left education briefly in 1972 and returned as principal in 1979 and retired in 1984.
After retiring, Bill served four terms on the Switzerland County School Board. He was a long time member of the Patriot Baptist Church, serving as a deacon for several years. Bill passed away in 2004, leaving a loving family an outstanding legacy as a teacher, coach, principal, mentor and friend.
On a personal note, I was in the second grade when Bill came to Patriot as a high school principal. The elementary school was still in the old elementary school building. Each morning we would collect lunch and milk money and a student would be assigned to take the money to the office in the high school. When my turn came, Miss Dorothy gave me the money bag and I walked in the high school, up the stairs to the principal’s office. I saw Bill there, got scared and ran back to Miss Dorothy’s room. That was back when we were scared to go to the principal’s office! Bill and I had many laughs on that matter many times over the years. Bill’s widow, Marsha, recently retired from the Switzerland Circuit Court, and is a faithful member of the Patriot Baptist Church, serving as Church Clerk.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, returning veterans sought to stay connected, and many formed “Grant Clubs”, clubs named after, and in support of General Ulysses Grant. Patriot had a Grant Club, and I am not sure where it was located. In 1868, the “Fighting Boys in Blue” as the veterans were called, met at the Patriot Universalist Church to officially organize. The meeting was called to order by R.C. Moore, and Bela Herrick was chosen President, and James Stevenson was elected secretary. Other officers included, R.C. Moore, Captain; Joshua Scranton, 1st Lieutenant; William Bonnell, 2nd Lieutenant; George Wade, Orderly Sergeant; Asahel Carpenter, 2nd Sergeant and Theodore Bunnell, 3rd Sergeant. The Boys in Blue also had a political aim, and that was helping elect General Grant to the office of President in 1868, which indeed did occur, as Grant became the 18th President in 1869. There were also Boys in Blue Clubs in Vevay and Cotton Township. Patriot also had an American Legion Post after World War I.
Update on Posey Township resident, Bryce Turner who is a freshman baseball player at Tennessee Community College. Bryce has played in 45 games, batting .336, with three home runs, 27 RBI, and 21 runs scored. Keep up the great work Bryce! Bryce’s parents, Mike and Mindy Turner live on Searcy Ridge.
Jim and Bonnie
Jim and Bonnie Bennett lived in and around Patriot for many years. Jim’s mother, Alice and his brother, John William were our neighbors on Meades Ridge when I was growing up. His other brother, Joe, and his wife Helen, lived down by the North Bend Farm. A sister, Mary Alice Henry, lived off Swanson Road.
Jim worked on the county highway at one time and also owned and operated the 66 Station that Bill and Judy Dickerson once owned, where the Flag Park is now. Joe and Bonnie had one son, Bruce, who died a few years ago. Bruce’s wife Louann Konradi Bennett still lives in Patriot, with her children Brandon, Logan and Breeann. Bonnie had two children from her first marriage, Wayne Duckworth who still lives in Patriot, and Amber Reed who lives out by Allensville. Jim also served on the Patriot Town Board.
The Detmer Family
One of the prettiest farms in Posey Township would have to be the Detmer’s farm on State Road 250. The Detmers also owned a farm on Egypt Bottoms east of Patriot. Carroll Detmer graduated from Patriot High School in 1938. He married Juanita Day from Vevay in 1943. Carroll and Juanita had one son, Albert Allen. Carroll and Juanita ran the family farm and were members of the Concord Community Church. Carroll served on the Switzerland County Health Board, the Extension Board and was the President of Switzerland County Farm Bureau. He also represented Switzerland County on the Dillsboro Co-op Board, the S&O Insurance Board in Rising Sun, the Eastview Cemetery Board, Treasurer of the Posey Township Emergency Unit, and a Director of the Vevay Deposit Bank.
Carroll’s grandson, Allen and his wife Michelle and daughters now live on the Detmer Farm on 250. Albert Allen and his wife Cleo, now live in Vevay. Thanks to the Detmer family for their years of civic and community service!
Jake and Alma Detmer lived on Patriot Hill (250) where the Joey Rider family lives now. Jake was an uncle of Carroll Detmer. When I was a young boy we went to Jake and Alma’s to buy eggs. They also ran a dairy farm. I loved going there. Alma and Jake would always come out and talk to us. They were good, hard working, honest people for sure!
On a side note, my mother’s family, the Cooks, were connected to the Detmers. Walter Cook, my mother’s uncle, was married to Bernice Edna Detmer, who was born in Patriot in 1895.
I was sorry to hear of the death of former Cincinnati Mayor and news anchor, Jerry Springer. Jerry definitely sparked a lot of controversy over the years, but he was a very intelligent guy who was passionate about issues that mattered to him. I enjoyed his time as a news anchor at WLWT Channel 5 in Cincinnati. I remember when he did a story on the homeless in Cincinnati, he grew a beard and lived among the homeless in Cincinnati. His story brought much to light regarding the plight of the homeless. I met Jerry several times and always found him friendly and engaging. He always ended the news with an op-ed on an issue of the day and with the closing words, “take care of yourself, and each other”. Very good advice for sure.
Well, Thursday morning, I got up, got ready for work, got in my car, drove west on 156 like I have thousands of times, never thought about the road closure, until I reached the barricades! So, I turned around, drove back to Wade Road, up Bryants Creek Road to 250. I had not been up Bryants Creek Road in a long time. Such a beautiful drive!
I had a good visit with Libby Brown Markland on Friday. Libby graduated from Vevay High School in 1951, her husband Sam graduated from Patriot High School in 1949. Libby still lives upstairs at the funeral home in Rising Sun, and still assists with funerals when she can. Libby has a new great grandson, with the birth of August Markland Sutton, the new son of Tom and Beth Markland Sutton. Congratulations to the Markland and Sutton families!
Everett (Snip) Wiley,
At it again…
Anytime anyone got sick, we headed to Doc Fessler’s office in Rising Sun. I’ve shared before that you didn’t make appointments then, you just went in and signed your name on a paper and waited your turn. There was never any question as to whether you would see the doctor, the question was “when:; as Doc didn’t get in a hurry, and always had an office and street full of people to see. It wasn’t uncommon to wait hours to see the doctor, and it would be longer if you saw an ambulance stop and take someone in on a gurney!
Snip also went to Doc Fessler for his ailments. We would sit out in the car and the nurse, Lena Buddenburg would come to the door and call you in when it was your turn. Lena was a fabulous nurse, but at times she could be impatient and somewhat “cranky”. My grandfather, Marshall Cook, liked to tease and he would send Snip to the door to knock and see how much longer his wait was. After several knocks, Lena would finally come to the door, and say, “Mr. Wiley, please return to the car, we will call you when it’s your turn”.
After another time or so of doing that, she would either get more cranky, or bring Snip in to stop his pestering! One time, during a longer than usual wait, Snip asked me to walk across the street with him to Virgil Baker’s meat store. Snip wanted to get some liver and onions, so he could in his words, “smother the liver in onions”. I walked up to the counter with Snip and told Virgil that Snip wanted to “drown his liver in onions”. Snip and Virgil had a laugh over that.
That was also the day that Snip bought us each a Milky Way, his favorite candy bar. We sat in the back seat of the car and enjoyed those candy bars! After eating them, he handed me a couple more quarters, and said, “go back over there and get us a couple more of those Milky Ways”! Needless to say, I hurried across the street to get a couple more! I still enjoy a Milky Way occasionally, and every time I bite into one, my memories go back many years to sitting in the back of my grandfather’s Chevy Impala, eating Milky Way’s with Snip!
Patrick and Melissa Jones, Rosa, Aruzhan and Mason went to Cincinnati on Saturday for family pictures. Before the photo shoot, they enjoyed a late lunch at Olive Garden in Florence, Aruzhan’s favorite restaurant.
I had a good visit with Randy and Kim Jones on Friday in Rising Sun. Most of our conversation was catching up on family. Kim’s mother, Freda Poling Walker still lives in the family home on 250, surrounded by her children, Debbie, Kim and Leon. Freda’s husband, Harry (Tuffy) dies a few years ago. Tuffy and my father worked together at Seagrams for several years. I attended church for several years with Randy’s parents, Ray and Ruth Jones. Prayers for Freda as she had a recent fall.
Charla Azbell of Noblesville spent the weekend with Dollie Green and Mary Lynn Reese. Dollie and Charla enjoyed shopping in Florence, Kentucky and Rookwood in Ohio. Mary Lynn stayed home making doggie treats for Dungy!
The Month of May, according to the Gregorian Calendar, is named after Maia the Goddess of Springtime and Growth. Historically, the gentle warmth of the month caused flowers to blossom, crops to sprout, and people to dance. Children made garlands from greenery and participated in joyful celebrations on the first day of May. “and a bird overheard sang Follow and a bird to the right sang Here; and the arch of the leaves was hollow, and the meaning of May was clear.”
— Algernon Charles Swinburne.
Talked with Pam (Hutchinson) this week and she has happily moved to the window section of her room and enjoys the bird feeder family brought there for her. She hopes to come down to see us all end of May.
Spoke with Sarah Peebles this week and of course our discussions led to the PHS Alumni Association Gathering on May 27th at 4 p.m. How very fortunate we are to have the opportunity to get together and keep the wonderful Patriot High School Trojan memories alive. Please
come on come all, let us celebrate together.
This meeting will be of utmost importance this year. Decisions will need to be made on that evening. The more of you present to assist in the decision making the better the outcome. For one, our funds are very low. The talks of change, perhaps the venue, will need to be made. Secondly, combining the Secretary Treasurer positions into one will be another possibility. Most important is the position of the Secretary is up for nomination and vote. I am hoping at this writing that our current holder, Carolyn Martin Stroobandt will be nominated again. Carolyn has done a marvelous job these past two years. She is accurate, always timely, so friendly to all, and oh so very dependable. Thank you Carolyn for a job well done.
There will be some items raffled during the session this year. Please, if you have anything you would like to donate for the raffle, please bring with you! See you then.
I had a nice conversation with Duane Scudder this week. He has informed me that his Doctor has given him a clean bill of health and no more treatments are necessary. What a relief to him, Tina and his family and friends. Duane is the youngest son of Delbert and Mary Ann Cook Scudder, both sides of his family are PHS Graduates. I am sure you agree with me that Duane brought a lot of pleasure to the people of our community while delivering the mail there. Thanks Duane!
Sorry to hear about Antionette Smith’s passing. Toni, as we knew her, was a 1948 Graduate of PHS. This would have been her 75th anniversary. Next week’s edition will have the list of surviving members of that class that we hope to see at Alumni this year.
Til next week, peace and love, please spread that around.
That’s all for this week. Please remember to send us news for upcoming columns! Contact me at (812) 290-3088 or by email at email@example.com; or Barrie by phone at (828) 335-8270 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next week, in the words of Glen Campbell, remember to “try a little kindness, and shine your light for everyone you meet”, and in memory of former Cincinnati Mayor and news anchor, Jerry Springer, “take care of yourself and each other”.