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June 22, 2017

OSD: Brock and Jones honored for longevity, life in Whitley County

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(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Above, Robert Brock, left, and Kenneth E. Jones, right, were recipients of the Old Settlers Days awards this evening, recognizing their long lives spent in Whitley County. Below, Brock and Jones receive their awards. At bottom, from left, is OSD president Gene Smith, Robert Brock, Kenneth Jones, OSD first vice president Ralph Bailey and OSD second vice president Mike Schrader.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

They unfurled the record books and unbound the pencils today as volunteers welcomed scores of settlers -- the young and the old -- for Old Settlers Registration Day. Awards617.jpg
Held at the Whitley County Historical Museum, the event serves to record the names of generations upon generations of settlers in a time honored tradition. Some scribe their names in the record books for the first time, tentatively adding their name and date of arrival in Whitley County. Others make a point of participating in this poignant event year after year, sharing hugs, stories and smiles with friends who are there to do the same thing.
At the end of the day, volunteers take stock of the day and the chairman of the Registration Day activities, Gloria Smith, tallies the results -- naming an Oldest Settler and a Longest Continuous Resident. Awards are presented to those individuals later in the evening.
OSD president Gene Smith, flanked by first vice president Ralph Bailey and second vice president Mike Schrader, presented awards Thursday evening to Robert Brock and Kenneth Jones.
Brock was named Longest Continuous Resident while Jones was recognized as the Oldest Settler.
Robert Brock, aged 93 years, 7 months and 20 days is a lifelong resident of Whitley County.
He was a graduate of Jefferson High School's Class of 1940. A World War II veteran, Brock served in the US Army for three years -- two of those years were in the South Pacific.
He and his 96-year-old wife, June, have been married for 59 years and have four children, 10 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren. 
Brock worked for the US Postal Service and retired after 38 years of service. He doesn't do it anymore, but says he once loved fishing. He credits hard work for his long life.
In looking back over the 93 years spent living and growing old in Whitley County, the growing number of homes and, presumably, the growing population has been most notable to him.
Kenneth E. Jones, aged 96 years, 7 months and 18 days, moved to Whitley County with his family from Louisville, Kentucky, in 1927. Jones enlisted in the US Navy when World War II broke out and continued serving until October 25, 1945. Of the most memorable experiences of the war, Jones recounts the Battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific Theater. The battle occurred November 20-23, 1943, involving Americans, Koreans and Japanese.
Jones retired as a diesel mechanic after 30 years, working in Fort Wayne.
He married his Caroline in 1975 and the couple lived at Old Lake. While living at Old Lake, Jones enjoyed cutting stones and for a time, operated a rock store. He enjoyed making jewelry with the stones he cut by hand. In the early 1990s, the couple moved to Columbia City. Mrs. Jones died in 2013.
The couple have six children, 16 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and several step great grandchildren.
Jones marvels at his long life, saying he believes the key to being so spry at 96 is simple: keep moving! Jones stays busy and active, walking often. He said he mowed the grass himself up until he was 95 and cares for his home.

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Old Settlers Days: Looking forward and back

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(Talk of the Town photos by Jennifer Zartman Romano)
Above, from left, is Old Settlers Days second vice president Mike Schrader, first vice president Ralph Bailey and 2017 OSD president Gene Smith. Below, Jim Brock, Mike Schrader and Ralph Bailey visit at the annual Red Coats Dinner. At bottom, from left, Red Coats Kay Fleck, John Lefever and Laura Lefever enjoy conversation at the dinner.

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

The Old Settlers Days Association's annual Red Coats Dinner simultaneously looked to the past and forward, to the future Tuesday evening.
Gathering alongside friends, the organization's leaders spanning the decades, Red Coat recipients shared stories of the past, reflected on departed friends and considered the future of the 114-year-old festival in Whitley County.
On the occasion of the 107th anniversary of the dinner, 2017 OSD president Gene Smith addressed fellow honorees in attendance and spoke about the changes felt by the organization over the years -- as well as a need to make more changes to make the event relevant to future generations.RedCoats2617.jpg
Smith specifically cited the roles of several people, including John Lefever, Mike Redman, Michelle Patton, Mike Schrader, Terry Smith, Rick Kreps, Mike Christie, Gloria Smith and Bill Webber for the multitude of jobs they perform to make the event happen each year. "There's a tremendous group of people in the background to make it happen," Smith said, adding that over the years, changes in permitting and other processes have made putting on the annual festival more complicated -- but something each volunteer does gladly to serve the community.
Smith recounted his own fond memories of rides, highwire acts, daredevils and delights at Old Settlers.
"As we have enjoyed Old Settlers Days over the years, what memories are we creating for our youth?" he asked. Looking around the room, he then asked anyone under age 55 to stand up and just four people stood.
"Most of those downtown (at Old Settlers Days) are less than half the age of those seated in this room," he said, adding that it was critical to the future of the festival to honor tradition, but to embrace change.RedCoats3617.jpg
"We need to honor the people in this room and those who've gone before us," he continued, but added, "We need to put (OSD) on a path to ensure it's success for the next 100 years." To do that, Smith advised creating a committee of high school students, college students and young parents to gather input about what younger generations might enjoy or find relevant during Old Settlers Days each year. With that information, he hopes the organization's leadership can pull together ideas and implement activities that will draw crowds and grow support for the festival.
While Smith's speech looked toward the future, the Red Coats also looked fondly at the past as they remembered two of their fellow men who passed away in the past year.
Red Coat Dee Trier spoke of his uncle, Vernon Trier, remembering times spent at the family business and at the family home on Chauncey Street.
"He took me in and guided me," Trier said of his uncle. "He told me you're going to have to work hard, but you'll enjoy the rewards. Vern...my whole life...helped me and guided me...he was my uncle, my boss and my partner."
Trier co-founded Little League in Columbia City, was involved in swim team and served as a coach, in addition to serving as a past OSD president. He was a member of the Elks and the Jaycees. "He was very involved in this community and it gave a lot back to him," he said.
Red Coat Tim Bloom remembered Dr. Clark Waterfall, the much beloved nonagenarian veterinarian that passed away last week.
Bloom lived across the street from the Waterfall family and had many beautiful memories of Doc Waterfall and his role in his life.
"I learned a lot about how families should function," Bloom said. "Clark and Margaret put family first. There was nothing more important to Clark than his wife, his children and his grandchildren. The community was his family as well."
A gentle, humble man, Bloom mused at how Waterfall could adeptly tangle with animals ten times his size and how nurturing he was to creatures of all shapes and sizes. Following a successful career, Waterfall went back to school, became a writer and published a book. He served important roles within the community, wisely leading and advising, right up until the very end of his life. Waterfall was an active board member of the Whitley County Historical Society, enjoyed local history, shared wonderful stories and was the treasurer for the Community Foundation of Whitley County.
"He was friendly, sharing, extremely humble...our community has last a very talented and valuable settler. We would all do well to emulate his life," Bloom concluded.
OSD Historian Michelle Patton also shared some remembrances of history, including the minutes of the July 31, 1963, Old Settlers meeting. Patton described the meeting as a "shotgun wedding" of the Old Settlers Days Association and the American Legion who came together to jointly present aspects of the festival. In her remarks, Patton shared that many downtown business owners at that time voiced objections to having the festival downtown. "Some things never change," she said, eliciting knowing laughter from the audience, many of whom had heard those same objections over the years.

Marcia McNagny named 2017 Red Coat recipient

By Jennifer Zartman Romano

Columbia City attorney Marcia McNagny has been selected as the 2017 Red Coat, an award bestowed upon her Tuesday evening during the annual Old Settlers Days Association Red Coats Dinner held at the Eagles Nest Event Center in Columbia City.
McNagny was not present to accept the honor, but 2016 honoree Mike Schrader spoke of her many contributions to the well-being of the community.
A lifelong resident of Whitley County, McNagny is a 1992 graduate of Columbia City High School and later graduated from Miami University of Ohio before gaining her degree in law from Indiana University.
McNagny is a partner in the Myers, Hockemeyer, McNagny law office in downtown Columbia City and currently serves as the attorney for the City of Columbia City. Over the years, McNagny has served as a volunteer for many organizations, including Camp Whitley.
McNagny's mother, the later former judge Pat McNagny, was also named as a Red Coat recipient and served as the Old Settlers Days president 20 years ago in 1997.

June 19, 2017

Annual Old Settlers Days about to begin in Columbia City

The full schedule of events for the 2017 Old Settler's Day & American Legion Festival is as follows:
Tuesday, June 20
- Poor Jack Amusements Midway open 5 p.m. to close in downtown Columbia City
- Whitley County Council on Aging Brats & Chips at Woodlands Senior Center at 11:30 a.m. RSVP 244-6068
- Dominoes Tournament at Woodlands Senior Center at 12 p.m.
- Whitley County Historical Museum open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Paint the Museum event
- OSD Past Presidents "Red Coat Dinner" 5:45 p.m. at the Eagle's Nest Event Center
- Junk Yard Band oldies concert on the Courthouse Stage at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21
- Poor Jack Amusements Midway open 5 p.m. to close in downtown Columbia City
- Whitley County Council on Aging Coney Dogs & Cheese Fries at Woodlands Senior Center at 11:30 a.m. RSVP 244-6068
- Skip Bo Tournament at Woodlands Senior Center at 12:15 p.m.
- Whitley County Historical Museum open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Paint the Museum event
- Whitley County EDC's Summer Mish Mash at 6 p.m. at Chapman's Brewing
- Last Call Band jazz/blues concert on the Courthouse Stage at 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 22
- Poor Jack Amusements Midway open 1 p.m. to close in downtown Columbia City
- Poor Jack Amusements Wristband Day 1-5 p.m.
- Old Settlers Day Registration at the Whitley County Historical Museum 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Whitley County Historical Society Civil War Parade at noon from the museum to the Civil War monument on the courthouse lawn
- Whitley County Council on Aging Coney lasagna at Woodlands Senior Center at 11:30 a.m. RSVP 244-6068
- Curtis Smith to crown senior king and queen at the Woodlands Senior Center at 11:30 a.m.
- Whitley County Historical Museum open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Paint the Museum event
- OSD Beef, Chicken & Noodle Lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church
- OSD Noodle Dinner 4 to 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church
- OSD Horseshoe Tournament at Whitley County Horseshoe Club, 2445 West SR 205, starts at 1 p.m.
- Friends of the Peabody Library Book Sale 5 to 8 p.m. at the library
- OSD Oldest & Longest Citizen Awards at 7:30 p.m. at the Courthouse Stage
- He Said, She Said rock concert on the Courthouse Stage at 8 p.m.

Friday, June 23
- Poor Jack Amusements Midway open 5 p.m. to close in downtown Columbia City
- Whitley County Council on Aging Loaded Baked Potatoes at Woodlands Senior Center at 11:30 a.m. RSVP 244-6068
- Euchre Tournament at Woodlands Senior Center at 12:15 p.m.
- Whitley County Historical Museum open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Paint the Museum event
- Friends of the Peabody Library Book Sale 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the library
- Big Caddy Daddy rock/country concert on the Courthouse Stage at 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 24
- Poor Jack Amusements Midway open 1 p.m. to close in downtown Columbia City
- Poor Jack Amusements Wristband Day 1-5 p.m.
- Whitley County Farmers Market 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Parkview Whitley Hospital
- 2017 Whitley County Master Gardeners' Garden Walk - various locations 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Friends of the Peabody Library Book Sale 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the library

- American Legion Old Settlers Day Parade at 6 p.m. 

Whitley County Annual Garden Walk to showcase seven Churubusco gardens

Article provided

The popular annual Garden Walk, sponsored by Whitley County Master Gardeners, Inc. is on Saturday, June 24th from 9 to3. The garden walk is a chance to see some spectacular gardens - getting ideas for their own home as well as talking to gardening enthusiasts. Additionally an artist at each garden will be painting a garden scene.
The gardens in this year's walk are:
(1) Jeni Schmidt - 9115 E. Orchard Lane;
(2) Wayne & Lorele Yager - 425 Woodland Place;
(3)Terry & Connie Bechman - 5801 E. Anderson Rd;
(4) Mark & Donna Pence - 5369 N 700 E;
(5) Bob & Liz Schemm - 5351 N 700 E;
(6) Rob & Dena Pope - 6185 N 650 E and;
(7) Churubusco Community Park - 605 N Krieger.
All are in Churubusco. Participants may proceed in any sequence desired.
Until June 23, tickets are $8 each and may be purchased from Whitley County Purdue Extension Office, Farmers and Merchants Bank, Jones Greenhouse, Terrapin Antiques or any Whitley County Master Gardener. On June 24, tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at any garden.
Whitley County Master Gardeners, Inc. is a Not For Profit entity with primary emphasis on horticultural education. The Master Gardeners also help maintain many public gardens in Columbia City and Churubusco.

Whitley County's Purdue Extension Office presenting series of summer harvest preservation workshops

From reports

Picture your garden overflowing with plump, juicy tomatoes, shiny green peppers, and crisp green beans. Imagine picking juicy peaches, pears, and apples from the local orchards or selecting fresh produce from baskets at the farmers' markets.
Why not save some of this bounty to enjoy all through the year? Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or greatly slow down spoilage, loss of quality, edibility, or nutritive value caused or accelerated by microorganisms.
Learn to preserve foods safely. The Purdue Extension Service in Whitley County will be conducting 'Preserving Nature's Bounty' workshops to discuss safe home food preservation procedures and to answer the frequently asked questions on canning, freezing, and drying foods.
Workshops are scheduled for:
- Tuesday, June 27, 6 to 8 p.m., South Whitley Community Public Library. Reservations due June 23.
- Wednesday, July 26, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 6 to 8 p.m., Whitley County Extension Office. Reservations due July 21.
- Wednesday, August 2, 6 to 8 p.m., Churubusco Scout Building. Reservations due July 28.
- Tuesday, August 15,  9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 6 to 8 p.m., Whitley County Extension Office. Reservations due August 11.
To register, call 244-7615 or 625-3313. Cost is $3 per person, payable at the door. For more information, contact Cindy Barnett, Extension Educator,  cbarnett@purdue.edu 

IPFW to host accelerated admission day Thursday

From reports

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) will hold an accelerated admission day Thursday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Office of Admissions, located in the Walb Student Union, Room 121. During the event, people interested in taking fall classes as undergraduate students will find out immediately if they are admitted. Registration is now open and online applications must be submitted by Tuesday, June 20 (at least 48 hours), to be considered. On the day of the event, the process from check-in to a decision will take approximately 45 minutes.
"With summer flying by, we want to make sure students and their families get the support they need as they prepare for college in the fall," said Kenneth Christmon, associate vice chancellor of admissions. "The university is committed to our mission of serving the educational needs of students in the northeast Indiana region and beyond, and this is one more way we can provide access to those wishing to pursue higher education."

To register for the Accelerated Admission Day, visit theAdmissions Registration website. To submit an online application, visit the Admissions Login website. 

For more information, contact Kenneth Christmon, associate vice chancellor of admissions, 260-481-6812 orchristmk@ipfw.edu.

Community Conversation: United Way director to share projects, information about annual Day of Caring

From reports
 
Need something cleaned or painted at your agency? Want help with yard work or repairs to a building? You don't have to be a United Way member agency to submit an application to be a Day of Caring project. The United Way of Whitley County's Day of Caring will be the featured topic for the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center Community Conversation this week.
On Tuesday, June 20 at 11:30 a.m. at Stir Crazy in downtown Columbia City, United Way Director Cindy Baker will discuss the 2017 United Way of Whitley County Day of Caring and help local non-profits identify projects that local volunteer teams might help complete that day.
Baker will provide applications, discuss the process and the kickoff event in Whitley County. She will also share how 300+ community members roll up their sleeves to help non-profits during the Annual Day of Caring. Enjoy a beverage, salad or sandwich at this informal gathering.