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.


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.

Town Water Rates to Raise 1%

In addition to the previously approved 4% increase in local sewer rates next year, Crothersville Utility customers will feel a 1% increase in water rates by the end of the first quarter of 2015. That was the decision of the Crothersville Town Council when the met last Tuesday for their regular December meeting.

Utility customers will see a 1% increase each year for the next four years in their water bill.

“We don’t like the idea of going a long time without an increase then having a large spike up in rates,” said council president Ardell Mitchell. “Lower, gradual annual increases will be easier on the consumers.”

That will mean for a consumer of the minimum amount of water-4,000 gallons-their rate will go up 34¢ from $33.40 to $33.74 per month. A larger consumer using 10,000 gallons would see their water bill go from $83.50 to $84.34.

The rates for wastewater treatment (sewer) were previously scheduled to increase 4% in 2015.

The town council opted to no increase trash collection fees even though the town will be paying 3% more for weekly trash pick up in 2015.
In 2014 the town pays Rumpke of Indiana $9.19 per household per month to pick up trash. The charge to the consumer is $9.50.
In 2015 that weekly fee paid to Rumpke rises to $9.47 per household leaving only a 3-cent margin per household per month.
Historically, the town pays for the semi annual trash pickup from that profit margin.

But at the suggestion of council Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson, the town will use the recycling stipend paid to the town from the Jackson County Solid Waste District to fund the semi-annual trash pickups. In the past the recycling stipend was used to bolster the town’s general fund.

In a final matter, the town approved moving to electronic payment of the monthly combined water-sewer-trash and recycling bill for those who prefer to pay by credit or debit card.

Clerk-Treasurer Terry Richey told the council that govpaynet accepts all credit and debit cards and there will be no charge to the town for using their service.

However, residents who use electronic pay will experience an additional convenience fee on their credit/debit card statement.

For a monthly bill up to $50, a $1.50 service fee will be added. From $50 to $75 there will be a $1.75 service fee and for $75 to $100 there will be a $3 fee.

The council approved beginning electronic payments at town hall and will be seeking to add a link to the town’s website to allow for payment from home computers.

Court Orders Derelict Building Repairs

The owner of a historic brick building at the stoplight in Crothersville has less than 60 days to make repairs to the structure.

Earlier this year the Town of Crothersville’s Safety Board recommended that the town council cite Nathan Ray of Seymour and Environmental Awareness Reached Through Helping Hands (EARTHH) for not making renovations to the structure to make it secure.

After notifying the owner of the building’s deficiencies and gaining no response, the town, through their attorney Jeff Lorenzo, asked the court to intervene.

In granting the injunction, Jackson Circuit Court Judge Richard Poynter agreed with the town and ordered Ray and EARTHH to:

  • Make the building weather tight including repair or boarding up windows and any major leaks to the roof be address,
  • Gutters to be repaired or installed to ensure proper drainage of rain and snow,
  • The canopy located over the front of the building on East Howard Street shall be removed,
  • Loose and broken bricks are to be removed and repaired with appropriate tuckpointing completed.

Judge Poynter gave Ray 30 days from the date of the injunction on Nov. 18 to complete the court ordered work.

Poynter also ordered the iron structural columns on the front of the building to be either removed or rebuilt with appropriate structural support constructed within 60 days of his order.

The two-story brick building was originally built in the late 1800’s as the Odd Fellows Lodge Hall and the lower floors have served the community as a pharmacy, library, barber shop and a variety o f other retail establishments over the years.

On October 17 of this year the property was offered for sale at the county delinquent tax sale but the property but the minimum bid of $5,276 was not made.