Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


August 15, 2012

Smith: Shiloh, Tarkio and a big old serpent

Greensburg — Most of us pay little attention to cemeteries unless the graves of our loved ones have been disturbed.

Decatur County Historian Russell Wilhoit, recipient of the Indiana Historical Society's W. C. Heiss Family History/Genealogy Award, saw the need and did something about it.

Russell is president of the Cemetery Commission, and Shiloh Cemetery in Adams Township was badly in need of repairs and some loving care. Russell, George and Hunter Metz of New Point and Greg Meyer of Adams put in many hours of hard and extremely hot work repairing headstones and generally improving the historic old cemetery.

Kent Fenley inquired about what could be done. That's all it took to get the four men out working on it. Shiloh has more than 300 burials in it. At least 30 are marked only with a rock instead of a headstone, and a few are not marked at all.

Revolutionary War Veteran Joseph Lee and his wife are buried in Shiloh. Lee was born in Hunterton County, N.J. in 1762 and was 14 when the Revolutionary War began. He volunteered when he was 16.

Russell said it took them more than a month, and they repaired 80-plus stones and straightened several others. That makes five cemeteries they've done this summer: Butcher in Sandusky, Bowler-Jolliff near Carksburg, Clark-Elliott in Marion Twp. and Myers Cemetery on John Oldham's farm. Last summer they repaired Old Rossburg and Sandcreek.

Months ago Barbara Waits and others mentioned that a TV weatherman had announced what the weather was in Tarkio, Decatur County. Barbara knew where Tarkio was located because she lives in the area, but most people didn't. I only knew because I was there once to talk with Mr. B.J. Phelps. He lived on CR 500 South and told me that the word Tarkio meant Òwalnuts grow well hereÓ in certain Native American tribes.

I imagine that walnuts did indeed grow well in the area known as Tarkio but it may be that it got its name when families from Tarkio, Mo. moved here and settled in that area. Some years ago, a museum in Iowa had the Tarkio Valley Sloth Project. A bone from a giant Ice Age sloth had been found there. If we're lucky, maybe someone reading this can fill us in on the history of Decatur County's Tarkio.

I don't suppose anyone today can remember back in Oct. 1920 when a report of a monster snake loose in southern Decatur County hit the headlines. Bryan Robbins showed me the clipping about it some time ago. ÒProminent citizensÓ in southern Decatur County had seen a snake measuring from 25 to 35 feet long with proportionately large girth.

Probably Òprominent citizensÓ was used to indicate that it was upstanding people that saw that snake as opposed to non-upstanding, moonshine drinking people. Southern Decatur County men had stopped working in some sections and were searching for the monster armed with guns. A calf belonging to Robert Bishop was said to have been eaten by the snake. The entire community was nervous.

Some thought the reptile had escaped from a show but others remembered stories from other counties of a similar snake that had caused Model T Ford automobiles to overturn. Snakes of similar size were later reported in Kentucky, Kansas, Yellowstone National Park and Utah. It might have been the same snake because one that large could surely travel mighty fast.

I talked with Joy (Jessup) Jones of Westport after she read the column about Maddux Auction last week. Joy said that her dad (Neal Jessup) worked for the C. J. Lloyd Poultry House in the building where Maddux Auction is now located.

Her dad bought poultry and eggs from people in the southern part of Decatur County and hauled them to Greensburg to the Lloyd Poultry House. Lloyd's sent loads of chickens and eggs to just about every place in the country by railroad. ÒThe ladies would gather the eggs and leave them on the porch if they weren't home,Ó said Joy. ÒThen Dad would pick them up and leave the money for them.Ó The egg money meant a lot to families back then. Wives would usually save the money to buy school clothes or fabric to make them.

Joy said that Lloyd allowed her dad 50 cents for lunch, usually a sandwich and drink, and then he'd buy a loaf of bread and bring it home. Her dad had a little poultry house in Westport after Lloyd's went out of business but he later went into real estate. Joy's grandfather, Col. A. L. Jessup was an auctioneer and George Cann's book of Westport states that he worked his first sale in 1899.


Text Only
  • Thanks, Max

    Max Dickson has given the historical society a gift that many will enjoy for years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lee H. Hamilon: Government As Innovator? You Bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: There are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • How to deal with nuisance wild animals Most people enjoy watching wildlife and sometimes even interacting with critters on occasion. One of my favorite activities is keeping the bird feeder well supplied and seeing Hoosier song birds up close and personal. Sometimes there are situations w

    April 17, 2014

  • Self deposit box: Wolfsie takes a selfie of his check I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 17, 2014

  • Alice Woodhull: Back on the job Well, this is Alice, and I am back on the job. It has been two months since I got my new shoulder, and so far it is working like it should. I have had a couple weeks of therapy, plus doing a lot with it on my own, and I'm hoping it will soon be as g

    April 16, 2014

  • Linda Hamer Kennett: The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 16, 2014

  • Dr. Michael Layne: Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-11 is the Gospel passage that will be heard in many churches this Palm Sunday. Today, I want us to look at the last two verses: 10When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, "Who can this be?" 11The crowd a

    April 12, 2014

  • Jenni Hanna: Exploring the mystery of the bitcoin I've heard of a lot of synonyms for currency, but "bitcoins" was a new one to me. Although bitcoins (BTCs) have been around since 2009, they are something I've just recently learned about and am really struggling to understand. Bitcoins cannot be hel

    April 11, 2014

  • nws-gb041014-Spaulding headshot Jack Spaulding: A time not to adopt Springtime brings a host of new life into the outdoors. The fields, forest, and the nests and dens are full of new life and cute and cuddly baby critters as nature carries on procreation. Nature knows how to take care for her own, but unfortunately,

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've

    April 10, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.