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Alexandria Monroe Township Historical Society

1936 to 1946
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04-21-1937
Abandonment of electric lines (Indiana Railroad).

08-26-1937
Danner Brothers store to open Saturday.

08-26-1937
Danner Brothers store to open Saturday.

09-22-1938
The swimming pool at Beulah Park is nearly complete.

12-14-1938
Danner Store to open in Alexandria tomorrow.

10-10-1939
Reports of a tomato battle between groups of Alexandria and Orestes youths last night may result in an investigation by deputies from the sheriffs office at Anderson. One youth is said to have been rendered unconscious in a hand-to-hand scrimmage which followed the tomato fight and several automobiles were disabled by sand dropped into the gasoline tanks. This afternoon an Orestes resident asked that the state police be sent there to prevent further disturbances.

10-13-1939
A fire at Coxes IGA store caused several hundred dollars of damage.

12-16-1939
Four Miami Indians arrested for spearing fish near Peru, Indiana, claim that they had rights to the fish.

05-25-1940
Employees at the Alexandria Fire Department are sad today, because yesterday afternoon they buried one of their best friends. Ill several days without responding to treatment, Caesar, a year old white and black spotted coach dog died at eleven oclock a.m. Friday. The dog was being trained by firemen to replace Nigger, the official canine mascot of almost fifteen years, was given to the firemen when but ten weeks old and had grown up as a real companion to all of them. The firemen said that he was learning his duties very rapidly in the department. Plans to secure another dog have not been made, but they are expected to do so shortly, as Nigger is becoming quite feeble and suffers with a rheumatic condition. It will not be long before he will be required to remain at the station when the truck responds to a call.

Times Tribune paperboy, Carl Green, 13, was killed by a Nickel Plate train as train hits bicycle.

07-02-1940
Elwood honors Republican presidential nominee, Wendell L. Willkie.

09-26-1940
Formal opening of the new Cox market. Dave Cox new self service super market in the south half of the former Leeson department store building at Harrison and john streets, recently purchased by Mr. Cox, is having its formal opening today. Honoring the occasion, Mr. Cox has provided a great variety of food bargains in every department of the store and which are detailed in advertising elsewhere in this issue. The new store room is remodeled and redecorated, contains much new equipment in addition to that which was removed from the former store. Electrically cooled racks are provided for fruits and vegetables, and the former meat coolers and display cases have been supplemented with another large one of the most modern type.

10-01-1940
Hoodlums throw eggs at Willkie while in passing train in Michigan.

10-29-1940
Orestes, the nearest town on the map to the boyhood home of Wendell Willkie, will stage a big rally Wednesday evening at the Knights of Pythias hall. This will bring down the curtain on the Republican campaign. King Davis, GOP committeeman of the Orestes precinct, is in charge of arrangements. Speakers for the evening will be Sam Johnson and C.S. Arnkins. The entire county ticket will be present. Fife and drum corps from Summitville and Elwood will begin playing at 7 oclock. There will be a program of music with the speaking about 8 oclock. Refreshments will be served immediately after the speaking program. Incidentally, certain history will be made with the Willkie rally. In 1895 when Orestes was first incorporated, Herman F. Willkie, father of presidential nominee, Wendell L. Willkie, was elected as the towns first city attorney. He served three terms in this office during the Orestes boom, in the days of natural gas and window factories. Mr. and Mrs. Herman Willkie, were organizers of the Orestes Knights of Pythias and Pythian Sisters fraternal orders in whose hall the rally is being held. King Davis stated that the Orestes Townsend club and the Orestes GOP committee, composed of Harlan Plackard, Raymond Davis, and Ferrol Johnson, are making efforts to have delegations from all surrounding towns. Also arrangements have been made to provide transportation to those who live in Alexandria, and have no way to attend.

11-07-1940
The Alexandria Fire Department is mourning the death of Nigger the departments mascot.

12-06-1940
Three hundred pupils at Middletown protested the resignation of their city superintendent of schools, Wilbur Shirey. Shirey is now back on the job.

01-01-1941
January 20th has been set by the Indiana Railroad as the date when interurban car service from Indianapolis to Fort Wayne, by way of Anderson, Muncie, and New Castle will stop. This action will eliminate the last of the electric lines of the old Union Traction Company, which formerly included more that 400 miles of electric railway in this section of Indiana and constituted the largest system of its kind in the country, furnishing transportation to about a hundred cities and villages. The interurban cars will be replaced by buses and freight trucks.

06-23-1941
Raymond Davis, who for more than ten years has been connected with the Herman Benefiel market on West Washington Street resigned his place there Saturday to engage in business for himself in his home town of Orestes. Today he took over the L. Mitchell Market there, which he will operate in the future. Mr. Mitchell, who now lives in Anderson, has taken a position in the United States Civil Service.

07-03-1941
William E. Blake, 44, one of the best known business men of Orestes, and a life-long resident of the north part of Madison county, died in the Henry county hospital at New Castle at 6:45 a.m. today from injuries he sustained in a 35-foot fall while at work on the construction of a cement silo on the Everett Conway farm, one and three-fourths mile southeast of Moreland, in Henry county.

12-12-1941
Knights of Pythias celebrate 50th birthday in Alexandria.

01-27-1942
A Nickel Plate locomotive struck and killed two local residents at Olive Branch Crossing, within a half mile of their home. Charles Elsworth 57 and his wife May 59, A small trailer was hitched to the rear of their automobile and was loaded with corn. It is believed that they were enroute to one of the mills to have the corn ground. Dessie Buckles witnessed the accident, told officers that their car stopped six feet from the crossing on the north side of the tracks. The automobile then proceeded southward and was struck by the locomotive, dragging the vehicle 500 feet west of the crossing.

04-25-1942
Mrs. Mary Timmons and Mrs. Harriett Beatson, teachers in the Orestes School, brought their pupils on the annual train ride from Orestes to Alexandria two days ago. Pupils in the first, third, and fourth grades participated. The teachers and their students visited the fire department, police headquarters, public library, and other places of interest.

08-12-1942
Joe Hartwell, 23, of Orestes, who is employed at Guide Lamp at Anderson, is confined to St. Johns Hospital in Anderson with a fracture of the right hip, which he suffered when he fell 30 feet from a tree at 4 oclock p.m. yesterday. He also suffered a number of cuts and bruises about the head, face, and arms. Hartwell and a friend were hunting squirrels in a woods near Orestes. He had shot a squirrel, but in falling the animal lodged in a fork some 40 feet above the ground. Hartwell climbed the tree intending to retrieve the game and fell to the ground when a limb broke. He was brought to the Overpeck Clinic here for first aid treatment, and later taken to St. Johns Hospital in the Roger C. Gipe ambulance.

11-17-1942
Dr. J.L. Carpenter will close his offices here Friday the 20th in order to take a position as plant physician of the Guide Lamp division of General Motors. He opened his offices in Alexandria in 1929 on West Washington Street. Dr. Carpenter graduated from Indiana University Medical School and served his internship at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis and in Vancouver, Canada.

03-01-1944
Guy Foster, chairman of the Kid Kanteen committee which was recently named to remote a series of youth parties for high school students, and possibly later for some of their friends, announced today that plans have been made for another series of these parties during the months of March and April. More details are available in the article.

06-21-1944
The Kid Kanteen will be sponsored by the Masonic lodge of Alexandria.

06-27-1944
Preparations were going forward today for the first of the Kid Kanteen meetings to be held under the sponsorship of the Masonic Lodge in Alexandria.

07-17-1944
Former employees of the Union Traction Company met at Beulah Park in Alexandria for a picnic. Nearly 300 were on hand to enjoy the basket dinners.

10-05-1944
Herbert Hughes, chairman of the adult committee in charge of the Kid Kanteen, announced today that a juke box has been purchased as additional equipment for the organization. It is expected that the machine will be installed and ready for use at the party on Saturday night.

10-10-1944
The Kid Kanteen was inspected today by a group from Summitville planning a similar operation there.

10-10-1944
New York pays a final tribute to Wendell L. Willkie. Willkie died Sunday.

10-11-1944
Willkies body arrives in Rushville.

11-24-1944
Due to a recent ban by OPA that was lifted, midget racing may resume at Armscamp Speedway at Alexandria.

01-01-1945
Due to the fact that some frozen water pipes at the Johns-Manville club rooms on East Washington Street could not be repaired in time for use of the rooms Saturday night, the weekly party of the Kid Kanteen was held at the high school building. The upper floor and some of the class rooms were used for dancing and a number of games, and those who attended enjoyed the party a great deal. Kanteen officers and committeemen are making plans to get into permanent quarters, with all of the equipment, as quickly as possible, and some decisions along that line may be made before the week is out.

04-18-1945
Ernie Pyle, a peaceful little guy who became World War IIs greatest correspondent, was killed in front line action. Secretary of Navy, James Forrestal, announced that the 44-year old Scripps-Howard columnist was killed instantly by a Japanese machine gun bullet on a small island off Okinawa. He was killed in the company of foot soldiers, the men for whom he had the greatest admiration. It was because he always sought the company of the infantrymen that Pyle became known as the foxhole reporter. Pyle was shot three time through the temple. Another correspondent, Jack Hooley, spoke of the mishap in a broadcast from Le Shima: Pyle was headed for the front with Col. Joseph Coolidge of Arkansas, when a burst of fire sent them scrambling from their jeep. Pyle was born August 3, 1900, on a farm near Dana, Indiana. His father, William Pyle, still lives there. His mother, about whom he wrote from time to time in his column, died while he was in England in March of 1941. He was married on July 7, 1925, to Geraldine Siebolds, then a government clerk in Washington. She lives in Albuquerque, N.M., where they built a home a few years ago. Ernie attended Indiana University for 3 1/2 years and quit without graduating. He broke into the newspaper business working at the Laporte, Indiana Herald. Later he was brought to Washington D.C. by the late Earl Martin, then editor of the Washington Daily News.

05-09-1945
Edgar Frazee is free again, being released by the Germans following the surrender. Frazee is from Alexandria and was the first local serviceman to be captured.

07-26-1945
Plans for broadening the Kid Kid Kanteen.

08-08-1945
Bomb dropped on Hiroshima

08-10-1945
Nagasaki laid low by Atomic on Wednesday. War may be over.

08-15-1945
President Truman announces that Japan surrendered last night.

05-08-1946
The nationwide coal strike struck Orestes and Alexandria for the first time when an announcement was made by the Nickel Plate Railroad that passenger service would be eliminated until the strike was over. There would also be an embargo on practically all of the freight shipped by rail.

05-23-1946
Armscamp Speedway, at Alexandria, will host of the Consolidated Midget Racing Association for the rest of the season. Harold Hurst of Muncie is the track director and the starter is Ralph Ormsby of Cincinnati. Bob Breeding and Swede Carpenter, of Indianapolis have swept all previous features at Armscamp. A field of 40 will be trying to knock the two from their present throne.

05-27-1946
Coal pits are idle as miners stay home. Local railroads and patrons are feeling the brunt of the strike.

05-31-1946
Saturday night, June 15th, has been named as the tentative date for the opening of the new Kid Kanteen quarters at the northwest corner of Church and Harrison streets. For the present, it is being planned to hold parties two nights each week during the summer for the youth of the community, and if any changes are to be made in this program they will be announced later. There has been a very generous response to the request which was made two weeks ago for donations of furniture of various kinds to equip the new club rooms, and the officers and members of the Kids Kanteen appreciate this very much. It was also announced that several more straight chairs, two or three davenports, two or three large easy chairs, and a few more table or floor lamps are needed to complete the furnishings. On Saturday night of this week, the last of the Kanteen parties will be held at the Johns-Manville Club on East Washington Street. There will be no party June 8th.

06-14-1946
The first fatality at the municipal swimming pool in Beulah Park happened shortly after 2 oclock yesterday afternoon when Terry Francis, nine year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clegg Jr., lost his life when he slipped into the deep water section of the pool.

06-20-1946
New Cox Store to open in Alexandria.

06-24-1946
Armscamp Speedway competition.

07-08-1946
Robert M. Yelvington, Alexandria Times Tribune Editor dies suddenly in Indianapolis.

07-11-1946
Kid Kanteen opening Friday promises to be a magnificent affair. Two or three months ago the teenage boys and girls of Alexandria opened negotiations with a number of building owners and fraternal organizations in the city to obtain a new Kid Kanteen headquarters which, in their own phraseology, they might call their own. After many organizational meetings and a great deal of hard work from the young people and a group of interested citizens and parents, nine rooms were leased for the Kid Kanteen headquarters at the corner of Church and Harrison streets, and the new Kids Kanteen will celebrate its grand opening Friday night 8 till 11:30 p.m. For the past year and a half members of the Johns-Manville club graciously loaned the use of their club rooms for weekly Saturday night meetings of the Kanteen. Prior to the use of these rooms the young people met at different times in the Masonic home and the high school gymnasium. Kanteen President is Mrs. Joan Carnahan, and board chairman is Arthur Trout. A significant cleanup project was finally completed in time for the grand opening. Floors have been washed, sanded, and refinished; the woodwork has been painted ivory; four walls were papered, five were painted; furniture has been collected, cleaned, and painted; drapes made for the windows among numerous other improvements. There is now powder and wash rooms, a fine coke-bar room, complete with painted bar and booths. An attractive and comfortable lounge has been arranged in the center of the room with the card room to the front. The dance hall has been papered and painted in powder blue with subdued lights around the wall paneling. Attractive floor and table lamps have been placed in advantages spots. Bowls and vases of cut flowers will be arranged in the entertaining rooms on opening night. Gene Farquar will serve as master of ceremonies for the dedication ceremonies. The welcome will be given by Miss Carnahan, who will introduce the Kanteen and adult committees. Mr. Trout, as advisory chairman, will acknowledge the various gifts and donations and the outstanding work of several youth members. Mayor Harry DeMoss will formally present the new Kanteen for the use of young folk in the city, and Miss Carnahan will give a brief acceptance speech. Rev. Franklin Bruce, pastor of the Presbyterian church will be the dedication speaker. Miss Carnahan will close the program by announcing additional features of the evening which will include dancing to the music of Bill Masters orchestra and a cleverly arranged floor show. The floor show will include a twirling act by Bert Tomlinson, assisted by Sue Ann Hines, junior majorette; a reading by Marilyn Morton; piano solo by Miss Albert Schmidt; vocal solo by Miss Phyllis Holmes, accompanied by Miss Lynn Russell; and another vocal solo by Miss Martha Imler, accompanied by Miss Doris Shawhan. There will also be an open house on Friday July 12 from 3 oclock p.m. till 6 oclock.

07-12-1946
Kid Kanteen opens tonight.

07-15-1946
Speaking before a throng of approximately 400 members and wellwishers along with Rev. C. Franklin Bruce dedicated the new Kids Kanteen.

09-12-1946
Orestes McMahan, 69, for whom the town of Orestes was named, died at his country home north of Orestes at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning September 12th, following a long illness. He was born on Christmas Day, 1876, in the little village then known as Lowrys Switch, the son of Nathan and Ellen (McClead) McMahan. Not long after his birth, the town board decided to change the name of the town and asked for suggestions for the name. Mr. McMahan sent in his sons name, and upon its acceptance, the town became known as Orestes. Mr. McMahan was a farmer all his life and was never married. He resided on the home place north of Orestes with his two sisters, Miss Stella McMahan, at home, who survives, and Miss Edna McMahan, who preceded him in death in 1943. The body was taken to the Roger C. Gipe funeral home, where it rested until the final services were held at 2 oclock this afternoon at the First Christian Church in Orestes, under the direction of Rev. Paul W. Boyer, the pastor. Interment was in Parkview cemetery. Music for the service was furnished by Mrs. Charley Dellinger. Pallbearers were Paul Swaim, George Morgan, Hugh Robinson, George Myers, Fred Emmons and George Mann.

09-17-1946
Fire of undetermined origin last night completely destroyed the grandstand at the Armscamp Speedway at Alexandria. The blaze apparently started behind the box seats at the east end of the grandstand, and the flames, with the help of a steady northeast breeze, completely consumed the stands, although bleachers, which are separate from the grandstands, were unharmed. No official estimate of the damage has been made by Fire Chief Mace Hitchens, although Bernie Morgan, of Parker, who with his brother Lou are owners of the track, estimate the loss at approximately $20,000. The stand seated approximately 4,000 persons on the south side of the asphalt oval, which was undamaged by the flames. According to present plans, races which are scheduled for next Sunday night will be carried out as planned by members of the Consolidated Midget Racing Association. A large crowd gathered quickly along state road 28 and on the grounds of the racing plant soon after the fire department was called at 6:15 p.m., and remained to watch the holocaust. The blaze had evidently started at least a half an hour before arrival of the fire fighters, and was never headed despite their efforts to arrest its progress. Working under handicaps, the department emptied the tank on the pumper, and returned to the hydrant at the end of Harrison Street to refill the tank. On their return, the flames had progressed too far to be successfully controlled. Two American flags at the corner of the grandstands, were burned from their standards, as ex-servicemen in the crowd of spectators winced at the sight. Transformer equipment at the west end of the grandstand was destroyed as the flames consumed the wooded structure, despite efforts to play a stream of the precious water supply on them. Co-owner, Bernie Morgan, said that nearly $500 worth of paint had been delivered about four oclock in the afternoon, and that there was no sign of a fire at that time. Explosions caused by the burning paint added to the display, and scattered the paint far and wide. The boys at the fire department wiped paint off the truck at the station house for nearly three quarters of an hour before it was put to bed for the night. The track was built in April of 1941 by Joe Armstrong and Frank Scampmorte of Anderson, and the track was first opened to the public in July of that year. Closed during 1943 and 1944, it was reopened in 1945 when the Office of Defense Transportation permitted a relaxation of war-time travel restrictions. In February of this year, the track was purchased by the present owners, who have held races there every Sunday night during the season. Spectators joined efforts in trying to save what materials could be salvaged, and succeeded in saving some 250 folding chairs, a paint spray, three gallon jugs of hot dog relish, a small truck and the amplifier for the public address system were rescued through the efforts of Bob Ferguson and Jack Roesler. The flames were visible for miles through the countryside, and spectators were present from as far north as Fairmount, 12 miles away, where the glare from the fire was plainly visible, and gave rise to rumors that the whole town was afire. (NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPHS)