Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

September 21, 2013

Decatur Co. History in 100 Objects

By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG — How much can a hundred, miscellaneous artifacts tell you about a county’s history?

According to Greensburg Community High School (GCHS) Teacher John Pratt, a heck of a lot. With that in mind, Pratt has recently launched a project to tell “Decatur County History in 100 Objects.”

“The idea,” Pratt explained, “is to co-host an exhibit at the museum with unique items which will do a good job in reflecting our history. If you go through this exhibit, you will have a good all-around background into the key events and people that has made the county what it is today.”

In creating the exhibit, Pratt hopes to attract a wide variety of items from a wide, representative swath of community residents.

“If you have a unique piece of local history,” Pratt said, “we’d like to borrow it for the exhibit, which will run the first three weeks of November.”

Those dates will coincide with Pratt’s upcoming Fall Chautauqua on Nov. 5 and 6, part of which will be themed around the Civil War and its local impact.

In example of the types of items Pratt hopes to gather, he offered the following list: Artwork, photographs, postcards, sheet music or musical instruments, sports memorabilia, local newspapers, military medals, primary documents (deeds, licenses, etc.), fossils, native American artifacts, flags, and diaries.

“That’s just to name a few,” Pratt said, adding, “We hope to have enough Civil War items for a separate room.”

Pratt assured would-be donators that all donated items will be kept under lock and key and handled with utmost care. Items will be available for return at the close of the exhibit.

The objective of the project, according to Pratt, is to expose and inform students of the “wealth of history that exists within our own county borders.” To that end, each of his students will be assigned an object to research and report on; the resulting synopses will be displayed with each item; a corresponding museum program will be compiled for guests to the exhibit.

Tom Porter, of Greensburg’s Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home has donated the first item to Pratt’s collection: The Notary Republic Seal of one Will Cumback, former Indiana Lt. Governor and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln.

“He [Cumback] was the reason Abe Lincoln stopped by in Greensburg on the way to his first inauguration,” Pratt said.

To find out about donating an object to this project, call GCHS History Teacher at 663-7176 ext. 1222 or email Mr. Pratt at

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011