Patriot News


  I visited with Shirley Gould Hite on Monday. Shirley is a 1960 graduate of Patriot High School. Shirley’s husband, David passed away in February 2022. They owned the beautiful farm at the top of Patriot Hill on 250, where Shirley still resides. Shirley and David had three children, Gina, Connie and Joey. Joey lives across 250 from Shirley, Gina lives in Dearborn County, and Connie lives near Florence, Indiana. Joey’s children, Joey Jr. and Ashley and their families have built new homes on the Hite property. Shirley’s great-nephew, Rod Hite, the Switzerland County School Corporation Superintendent, owns property adjacent to her. David farmed, worked at the Indiana-Michigan Power Plant in Lawrenceburg, and was a veteran of the United States Navy. A great family for sure!

  It was good to see Joyce Bailey and Carolyn Martin Stroobanndt in Patriot on Saturday for the Independence Day celebration. Joyce lives in Aurora now, and Carolyn lives in Rising Sun.

  Marlene Jones attended a get together for her high school class in Oldham County, Kentucky on Saturday.

  I spoke with Doug Leatherbury, attorney from Salem, Indiana this week. Doug lived in Patriot with his family when he was growing up. The Leatherburys lived in the house on the west side of the old Universalist Church that was later Reese’s Garage and is now owned by Bob Scudder. Doug is in his 55th year as a practicing attorney. He served as the Switzerland-Jefferson County Prosecutor from 1971-1975.

  Sympathy to the family of Richard Adams, Patriot High School 1954 graduate.

  Lots of concrete trucks have been coming down 250, heading to the bridge construction on the east side of town, hopefully those projects are ahead of schedule!

  One of Patriot’s favorite sons for sure, was the esteemed engineer Elwood Mead. I will be doing a more complete story on him at a later date, but I did want to share a story about him in this week’s column. My good friend, former Nevada Governor Bob List of Las Vegas, sent me a copy of an article that appeared in a recent edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal by Megan McArdle. The title of the article is “Infrastructure blues, Building Hoover Dam was quick compared to anything major today.”

  The story highlights the work of Elwood Mead, the lead engineer on the project, who completed the Hoover Dam, two years ahead of schedule. Contracts were let out on March 4th, 1931, and on September 30th, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt gave a speech at the opening of the dam, the tallest dam in the world. The cost of the dam was $2 billion in today’s dollars. As I stated earlier, I will do a more lengthy column on Mead at a later date, but it is great to see that his accomplishments are still being talked about almost a hundred years later. Former Governor Lists’ comment to me was, “Elwood Mead, the pride of Patriot, is still being celebrated!”

  Driving around the area, one sight that you no longer see is tobacco crops. For those of my generation and a few years later, almost every farm in the county had tobacco fields. By now, the fields would be laid by, possibly starting to bloom and begin the process that would lead to the harvest of the crops. I was in Owen County Kentucky recently, and it is the same all over our region, tobacco crops have disappeared, the result of the campaigns against tobacco due to health reasons and the government buyout of the tobacco bases, and what tobacco is grown here now is raised on large farms that contract directly with the tobacco companies. I am also guessing that much of our tobacco is imported from other countries.

  The results of the disappearance of the tobacco industry are many. Tobacco was the major cash crop on most of the farms, and many of the farms have now been sold, or divided. Communities such as Carrollton, Kentucky were hit extremely hard with the loss of revenue and jobs connected to the tobacco warehouses. Carrollton, at one time had several warehouses where farmers came to sell their tobacco and many would go to the restaurants, stores, or businesses like Earl Floyd Ford to purchase vehicles. Children went to college on money from raising tobacco. Farmers paid their mortgages, property taxes and other necessities when the tobacco was sold.

  Another change is the barns throughout our county, all of the older barns had or have tobacco tier poles. It occurred to me once, that children growing up now will really have no idea what the tiers in the old barns were used for and new barns built will no longer have the tiers. Some will remember the old barns tiered with poles cut out of the woods, tied or attached by baling wire. Sometimes they were not the sturdiest tiers to stand on! The easiest job housing tobacco was definitely in the top tiers. I would be interested in hearing any stories about raising tobacco. It was such a big part of our lives growing up, and has for the most part, completely disappeared.

  Another memory of growing up in rural areas was the ‘party line’ telephones. We lived on Meades Ridge, and everyone was on a party line if you have a telephone in your house. For those who do not remember those days, you might pick your phone up, and your neighbors were on there talking. Everyone was on the same telephone line! There was always a temptation to listen, and those using the phone could usually tell when someone else was ‘eavesdropping’. I remember my great grandmother saying that they had a neighbor who would eavesdrop, and as quiet as she tried to be, you could hear her canaries chirping in the background! Party lines meant no expectation of privacy, were sources of entertainment, and gossip, as well as ways to alert others when there was a community emergency. Some states had laws requiring someone to get off the line if a person said they had an emergency, or limiting the time you could be on the phone. I would not have wanted to have been the enforcer for those laws!

  One of our community businesses that has been an important part of the lives of so many families is Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home on Ferry Street in Vevay. It is the place that we turn to when we have deaths in our families. Sometimes, sadly, it is the only time that families tend to come together. For many years, it was owned and operated by Howard Buchanan. Howard , or ‘Buck’ as many called him, was a very close friend of my grandfather. Howard was meticulous in his work as a funeral director, and went to great lengths to take care of families in their time of grief.

  Howard eventually sold his business to Roger and Rodney Nay, who had worked with him, and you might say, learned the trade from him. Roger and Rodney continued to operate the business like Howard, treating grieving families like their family. Rodney has moved on to operate Morgan and Nay in Madison, a great business, and Roger and his daughters, Kayla and Laura operate Haskell and Morrison. Alan Bear has also worked there for many years. We are lucky to have them in our county, and thank them for the service that they offer to all of our families in time of need.

  Sympathy to the family of Janet Daugherty of Vevay. Janet’s husband, Wayne was a teacher and basketball coach at Patriot High School from 1966-1967. Janet’s funeral was Wednesday at the Switzerland Baptist Church in Vevay, with internment in the Vevay Cemetery.

  William Gibson owned a dry goods store in Patriot in the mid to late 1800’s. The building was a three story building located between third and fourth street along a section of Front Street that no longer exists. Front Street today ends at the intersection with Third Street next to the Town Hall. In earlier times it extended along the river west from the Town Hall. Gibson had been born in New York City. He was also the postmaster in Patriot for a while. His son, William D. Gibson, called ‘Junior’, worked as a clerk in his father’s store until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Junior served in the Navy on a gunboat during the war.

  His father died in 1863, and was buried in the Patriot Town Cemetery. Junior returned to Patriot and worked in the business and as postmaster. By 1870, Junior was living and working in Chicago as a bookkeeper. William Junior became the co-founder of the William D. Gibson Company, a major manufacturer of springs for beds, and later became the Gibson, Parish and Company. They manufactured many products.

  Silas Howe, a Civil War veteran from Patriot, eventually became President of the William D. Gibson Company. (this information comes from the Dibble Family history). The factory continued under different names as a part of Chicago, and in 1986 was purchased by Horwitz and Matthews and became one of the most interesting industrial to retail conversions in Chicago history. And just to think, it was connected at one time to a business on the banks of the Ohio River on Front Street in Patriot, Indiana.

  Ken Maynard Days was held this weekend in Vevay. The rain dampened things somewhat, but there were plenty of cowboys and cowgirls in Vevay for sure!

  ‘Patriot Reads’ will sponsor a Pool Party at the Rising Sun Community Pool on Saturday, July 29th, from  noon to 6 p.m. Call (513) 520-8185 to register for free admission! There will be prizes and snacks! This event is for high school age students, and the prizes will include backpacks, headphones and book sets! Be sure and call to register.

  Laverne Ballard Hayes of Rising Sun, and former student at Patriot High School is in Christ Hospital in Cincinnati for rehabilitation following a fall. I spoke with her on Saturday, and she is doing better, really looking forward to getting home.

  In 1914, Harvey Dibble and William Cook were written up in the Vevay Reveille for their large watermelon farm on the E.E. North farm in Mexico Bottoms. Harvey was a veteran of the Civil War, serving as a Private in the 18th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The 18th saw action in the Battle of Pea Ridge, which took place on March 7-8, 1862 in Arkansas. They also saw action in several battles as part of General Grant’s campaign to take Vicksburg. Harvey’s daughter, Nina, married Edward Charles Cook (nicknamed Sparky) in 1926. Edward was a half brother to my grandfather, Marshall Cook.

  In 1930, they were all living in the Harvey Dibble House in Patriot. This is the house where the Benzings lived, and the Halls currently live. Harvey Dibble died in 1933, the last Civil War veteran in Posey Township. Harvey was buried in the Patriot Eastview Cemetery. Edward and Nina lived in the Dibble House until 1937, when they moved to Rising Sun. William Cook was a former sheriff of Switzerland County.

Barrie’s Tidbits

“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage, or in friendship, is conversation.” — Oscar Wilde.

  The 1950 Graduating Class of Patriot High School PHSAA listing is not complete. I am in need of further information for: Ms. Juanita ___? Brown’s last address is Westport Indiana; Ms. Joann ___? Carringan, Columbus MS; Ms. Beverly ___? Davis, Madison Indiana. Please notify me or Carolyn, or Sara regarding these ladies. Thank you. I will be phoning Arbanna Armstrong Harris, Vera Kinman McAlister and Ruth Martin Lohide this. Ladies hope you do not mind! Those three ladies are my resource for information, great supporters of the PHSAA and very helpful, which I appreciate greatly.

  Spoke with Carolyn Martin Strooband, President of the PHSAA, and Sara Peebles Blades, Secretary/Treasurer. They shared information with me that is both delightful and concerning.

  The Vevay High School and Patriot High School are in the process of developing a Joint High School Museum to be housed in the Old Vevay Gym in downtown Vevay. My concern is that the museum in Vevay wants the pictures/photos of the PHS Graduates and all the memorabilia housed in the Patriot Town Hall. I understand that someone has already removed some of the memorabilia to place in the potential museum.

  The great town of Patriot is historical. What makes the history of the town so sweet is our High School, and all its attendees. PHSAA plans to hold the Alumni festivities in that hall for the remainder of its existence. I, for one, do not want any of that memorabilia to leave Patriot. When visitors are in town and when we meet there as a group every spring we look forward to viewing and enjoying the displays. They are about Patriot and they belong in Patriot.

  I am anxious to hear your opinions on this potential endeavor. Patriot will always exist and that Town Hall will always exist. I will do what I can to see the fruition of the joint museum as a successful endeavor. I think copying the photos, photographing the displays can be taken to the new museum, and I will do all I can to assure the memorabilia in our Town Hall stays in Patriot.

  I spoke this past week with Pamela Fisk Hutchinson, son Richie, Connie and David Fisk, Bobbie Patrick, Donna Robinson Hutton, Reta Minks Sprecher and Arthur Brown. Facebook chats with the family of Janet Cook Boggs. Oh she would love the current status of the Cincinnati Redlegs. Go Reds.

  Finally but not lastly, A great big Happy Birthday to Linda Brady Smith. She works so hard to keep up the store, therefore giving all of us a fun place to shop! Oh, and my Son, Michael Andrew turned “60” on July 17th. Unbelievable. Not that he survived but that I did !1Love you son.

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.”