Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 4, 2008

Help the Party Come to Life

Sesquicentennial Committee Seeks Volunteers

Joe Hornaday

When the clocks strike midnight on Jan. 1, 2009, most of the world will revel in celebration and prepare to roll over their calendars for the new year. But for the people of Greensburg, 2009 has in store something more.

Next year marks the city of Greensburg’s sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday. During the week of June 13 through 20, residents, visitors and business owners will be invited to experience Greensburg’s 150th anniversary by participating in the celebration. But before the party can go on, organizers are calling on the community to help make it a reality.

According to event coordinator Jill Clift, volunteers are still needed. Each day of the celebration will have an individual theme like religious heritage, arts and crafts day, Ag day, young Americans day or industrial progress day. Those who may be interested in helping out will need to be able to commit a few hours every month up until the days of the sesquicentennial. Those who have a particular interest or set of ideas would be the most helpful, Clift said.

The anniversary celebration is set to take place all around the city, including the downtown square and the fairgrounds, while commemorating the founding of the city. Decatur County was established in 1821 and named after naval war hero Commodore Stephen Decatur. In 1822, the local government was created at the county seat of Greensburg, which was named after one of the founder’s hometowns in Pennsylvania.

It was not until the 1870s when people began to notice limbs jutting out from the freshly constructed courthouse tower. Soon afterwards, the nickname “Tree City” was commonplace.

Those who wish to help make the Tree City’s sesquicentennial bigger and better are encouraged to visit the coordinators on the Web at, or call Decatur County Tourism at 222-8733 or Jill Clift at 812-593-8738.

Clift noted that anyone willing to help out should make contact as soon as possible. She also encouraged anyone with an interesting or exciting story from the past of Greensburg to visit the Website to share that story. Some of those shared memories will be published on the Website. The tentative schedule of events can also be found there.