Crothersville Encouraged To Begin Making Bicentennial Plans

In 2016 the State of Indiana and Jackson County will be celebrating its 200th anniversary and bicentennial celebrations are being encouraged.

Former Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and Former 9th District Congressman Lee Hamilton are co-chairing the Indiana Bicentennial Commission and are encouraging Hoosier communities-even those that were not in existence when Indiana became a state in 1816-to join in the celebration to “showcase the best of Indiana communities in all 92 counties.”

Brownstown businessman Carl Shake is encouraging the towns and communities of Jackson County to begin making plans for what each can do to celebrate the state and county’s 200th birthday.

“Many of you may remember the sesquicentennial celebration in 1966, we want to encourage all communities in the county to make special plans for the bicentennial,” Shake recently told the Crothersville Town Council.

Town Council President Ardell Mitchell said the Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival is the logical and best choice for Crothersville’s bicentennial celebration effort.

Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival Director Sherry Bridges agreed and welcomed the additional historic events to the festival in 2016.

“I can see churches and school organizations joining in to celebrate their history and heritage in the Crothersville community,” said Bridges. “Families dressed in period pioneer clothing, perhaps a community meal composed of food available and cooked as it would have been in 1816, organizing pioneer children’s games for today’s youngsters to play are all some ideas that quickly come to mind.”

She added that the Crothersville Historical and Heritage Association using Hamacher Hall (the former Presbyterian Church) is a logical headquarters for the town’s bicentennial efforts.

The Red, White & Blue Festival has its roots in a bicentennial celebration. In 1976 when the US Bicentennial was being celebrated, local volunteers joined the observation but instead of celebrating on July 4 as most all other communities did, the locals opted for Flag Day weekend for the Crothersville celebration.

And that community bicentennial festival has continued ever since, observing its 40th anniversary in 2015.

“In fact, 50 years ago in 1966 no community had their own signature festival,” said Bridges. “The county’s sesquicentennial effort was a major organizational and management effort. Today each community has its own festival on which bicentennial events can be built.”

Crothersville, which celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2008, was a forested wilderness between the two forks of the Muscatatuck Rivers when Indiana became a state and Jackson County was officially formed in 1816. At that time the only inhabitants were the indigenous Native Americans.

It wasn’t until the mid-1800’s that a railroad was built through what would become Crothersville and the area experienced some settling by early pioneers.

In 1858 John Hamacher plotted the town of Haysville (because he thought the area was conducive for growing hay) which became Crothersville when are railroad superintendent named Crothers agreed to build a depot in the town if the community leaders would change the name to Crothersville.

“It doesn’t matter that Crothersville…and Seymour and Medora for that matter…weren’t established in 1816,” said Shake. “We want every community to be a part of this celebration.”

He pointed out that a county history book was published in 1966 during the sesquicentennial and he has plans to update that book to sell during the 200th celebration.

“This is all an early work in progress but we want all communities to begin thinking what they want to contribute to the party,” Shake told the council.


MacKenzie Farmer Named CHS DAR Good Citizen

MacKenzie FarmerThe members of Fort Vallonia Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution have announced the school representatives for this year’s Good Citizen award. Each of the participating schools in the county selects their Good Citizen to represent that school in the DAR contest. Each of these students is entered in the Jackson County DAR Good Citizen Program and Scholarship Contest. Winners of the county contest proceed to the Indiana state contest. The next steps for state winners are the regional and national contests. Scholarships are awarded at the state, regional and national levels.

The candidate from Crothersville High School is MacKenzie Kristine Farmer, daughter of Ed and Kristie Farmer.

Representing Brownstown Central High School is Amanda Marie Stuckwisch, daughter of Ed and Sara Stuckwisch; Kiana Brooke, daughter of Amber Thompson, is representing Medora High School; Daniel Dale Hauersperger, son of Len and Maria Hauersperger is the Seymour High School candidate; and Seth Patrterson, son of Jeff & Tammy Patterson is the Trinity Lutheran High School representative.

Those chosen from each high school complete a detailed application including their grades, school and community activities, patriotism, their thoughts on these issues, and plans for the future. Each student is then required to write an essay on a topic chosen by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, which is revealed to them when they are in a supervised room with no reference materials and a two hour time limit.

All the candiates will be invited to a Fort Vallonia Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens dinner in March where they will all be honored and the Jackson County Good Citizen Contest winner will be presented. The top thirteen Good Citizens in the state are then invited to the Indiana DAR Good Citizen banquet in May where the state winner will be announced.

The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American History and securing America’s future through better education.


Nazarene Church, Bethany Baptist Plan Christmas Programs Sunday

The Crothersville Church of the Nazarene will hold a special Christmas concert this Sunday, Dec. 21. Beginning at 6 p.m.

‘A Warm Family Christmas’ will feature the Mark Dubbeld family performing traditional favorites and new Christmas songs written by Janene & Mark Dubbeld, an Irish tenor.

The public is cordially invited to join in the concert.

Bethany Baptist Church will hold 4th Sunday Advent Service during Morning Worship Service, this Sunday, Dec. 21, with the Junior Baptist Youth bringing a special program.

The public is invited to join Bethany’s Caroling Christmas Cantata at 6 p.m. with sandwiches, chips, drinks and desserts served afterwards.

The church is located at 9511 E 800 S of Crothersville.

If you need a ride or directions please contact Bill at 498-2300, Tracy at 793-3033 or 498-4448 or Pastor Randy Smith at 502-939-6236.


A Christmas Treasure

by Curt KovenerCurt-line

“Silent Night,” which has been translated into nearly 300 languages, has become an anchor for Christmas celebrations throughout the world. Its lullaby-like melody and simple message of heavenly peace can be heard from small town street corners in mid-America to magnificent cathedrals in Europe and from outdoor candlelight concerts in Australia to palm thatched huts in northern Peru.
Although we may never know the exact circumstances and emotions which inspired Joseph Mohr to write his poem, we do know that he wrote the words in 1816…the same year Indiana became a state and Jackson County was organized. At that time he was assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, an Alpine village near the home of his grandfather in the southern part of the province of Salzburg, Austria.
We hear many fairytales concerning the composition of what has become the world’s best loved Christmas carol. These include silly stories about mice eating the bellows of the organ and Fr. Mohr being forced to quickly compose some words for a new carol so there could be music at Midnight Mass.
Did mice really chew the organ bellows and thus prevent it from working on Christmas Eve in 1818? Probably not. Hungry mice were an ongoing problem in the harsh winter environment of an unheated church and repairs could be easily made to organ bellows. A Franz Gruber sketch of mice nibbling the organ bellows has been published in several books.
Some historians feel that the constant flooding of the Salzach River in Oberndorf, Austria caused rust and mildew in the organ. Others think that Joseph Mohr simply wanted a new song for the Christmas service.
Although the words were written by the poet-priest-musician, Joseph Mohr, in 1816, it was not until the music was added by Franz Gruber on December 24, 1818, that “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!” became a precious gift to all mankind. Although some fables claim that it was set aside and forgotten. Creators, Joseph Mohr’s guitar arrangement, penned around 1820, and several Franz Gruber arrangements (through 1855) can be seen at various museums in Austria.
The popularity of “Silent Night” can almost be termed “miraculous.” After all, the words were written by a modest curate and the music composed by a musician hardly known outside the province where he resided. There was no celebrity to sing at the world premiere and no mass-communication systems existed to spread the fame of the carol. However, its powerful message of peace has crossed all borders and language barriers, conquering the hearts of Christmas-celebrating people everywhere.
The original church of St. Nicholas, in Oberndorf where “Stille Nacht” was first heard in 1818, was torn down in the early part of the 20th century after sustaining damage from the flooding of the nearby Salzach. The Silent Night Chapel was erected on the spot in front of the main altar where Gruber and Mohr stood with the choir to introduce the six-stanza carol. In a higher section of Oberndorf, another church was built and the original pulpit and altars from the old church were moved there. Every Christmas at Midnight Mass, singers stand in front of the same altars and recreate the moment when the song heard ’round the world was first performed nearly 200 years ago.


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Youngsters Build Gingerbread Houses

Youngsters Build Gingerbread HousesKarina Gullett reaches for some candy to decorate the gingerbread house she was making during last Thursday¹s holiday craft time at the Crothersville Library.

Youngsters of all ages used small cardboard milk cartons for the foundation and applied icing as glue to cement graham crackers to the milk carton. Then icing, candy, marshmallow, red & green mints, and red licorice were used to make seasonal decorations to the tiny structures.

About 15 youngsters and their families took part in the seasonal activity at the local library.

Karina is the 6-year-old daughter of Matthew and Heather Gullett of Crothersville.