Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

April 10, 2013

Senior Stars: Belva Stapp

Greensburg — Belva Stapp, 92, was born and raised in Marion Township Jan. 9, 1921 to Lorin and Marie Hutchison.

Belva still lives on the family farm which was once 364 acres, and has since expanded to 700. The farm was bought by her grandfather in 1905, and has since had every kind of livestock and crop possible for a southeastern, Indiana farm, she said.

Belva still remembers when her family farmed with two horses, Ruby and Jack, because there were no tractors.

Belva said the farm had up to 70 cattle for the family’s dairy farm until a great tornado which ripped through the county in the 1970’s. Belva said she found drivers licenses in the fields from Kentucky and Ohio.

Belva walked to the town’s one-room school house until the eighth grade. She said she was the only the girl in her class, and she was quite the tomboy.

She was the only person who could climb the rope during gym class, and Belva also pitched on her softball team.

She would go to Greensburg High School, and became a graduate in 1939.

Belva’s family was well-off and instead of walking, her father would drive her to school. Lorin taught Belva how to drive, an accomplishment, Belva said, because not many women drove back then. She said her father didn’t teach her three sisters or her brother to drive.

Belva said that as a junior and senior in high school she helped her teacher, Miss Sullivan, balance money books and grade papers.

Belva’s yearbook picture was captioned with, “Speed demon at typing and shorthand,” Belva said. Such skills which would stay with her for a lifetime, because bookkeeping and numbers would be part of many of Belva’s future jobs.

Belva said she had wanted to go to college, but her teacher said she didn’t have anything left to learn. Belva would later take classes about small business, but never went to college because of her teacher’s advice.

Belva married Wendell Stapp Sept. 5, 1942.

The couple would eventually move to Moody Field, Ga. due to Wendell’s orders from the Air Force. Belva would continue balancing books for a company in Georgia until the Stapps returned to Indiana.

The Stapps also lived in Dayton, Ohio and Alabama due to Wendell's military orders. Belva and Wendell went on to start Custom Conveyor, Inc. These days, Belva still rents three houses, and for 13 years rented her home as a vacationing area for families seeking some country solitude.

Belva and Wendell had three daughters and one son together; Saundra Fry, Cathy Gully, Synthia League, and James "Jim" Stapp, proprietor of the popular vacation spot, Stapp's Circle S Ranch.

Her family has always been close, Belva said.

She and Wendell even celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary by taking the entire family to Hawaii. The family has traveled to Europe in the past, Belva said, and her grandchildren enjoy staying for weeks at a time at her farm to ride horses.

“I’ve never rode a horse, but I’ve rode a camel,” Belva joked as she shared stories about her travels.

Belva said she’s traveled to every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

“I’m just very, very thankful for my life,” said Belva.

Belva has also survived open heart surgery. “My get up and go hasn’t left me,” she said.

Belva described the key to living a good, long life this way: “You take one day at a time. And don’t judge anyone until you walk in their shoes.”

If you know a senior who deserves a moment in the spotlight, please contact news@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-663-3111, ext. 7056.

Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at news@greensburgdailynews.com or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. April 22 1 to 3 p.m. - Euchre at

    April 19, 2014

  • Hoosiers need to move over for workers GREENSBURG - Hoosiers need to slow down and move over to allow a cushion of space for vehicles stopped on the road's shoulder, particularly on the interstates. National Work Zone Awareness Week was last week and the 17th anniversary of Indiana State

    April 19, 2014

  • Lunch Menus April 21 – April 25 Good Shepherd Christian Academy Monday - Pizza, grape tomatoes, strawberries and cake, milk Tuesday - Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, ice cream, milk Wednesday - Chicken nuggets, tater tots, green beans, casserole, applesauce, milk Thu

    April 19, 2014

  • Graduation rates high GREENSBURG -- Greensburg and South Decatur High schools had among the best graduation rates in the state last year. North Decatur High School ranked near the middle, but still above the state average. Greensburg reported a graduation rate of 99.3 per

    April 19, 2014

  • nws-gb041914-pig virus photo Pig virus taking toll GREENSBURG -- When Decatur County farmer Jeff Smiley ducked into the nursery barn, about two dozen piglets rushed into a corner of their pen, their pinkish hides bouncing into one another like a porcine version of bumper cars. The piglet's round nose

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb041914-santee fire station - pic1 (please place on pg1) Clarksburg Vol. Fire Department breaks ground on Station 2 CLARKSBURG -- In 2012, members of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) Board of Directors proposed building a new Firehouse to service the Lake Santee Community. CVFD Board President Wayne Geiss recalls that construction of a separate Fire

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • A pedicure that cured all my pet peeves Since I was a young person, I always had some pets around. Most of these have been dogs, hunting dogs in particular. And I loved my pets. In getting older, I discovered that having a pet dog around is a lot of work. More work than I care to do in lig

    April 19, 2014

  • Church Briefs Liberty Baptist Church Sunday, April 20 - Resurrection Sunday Liberty Baptist Church will have Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. in the Sanctuary, with the women doing the program. Following the Sunrise service the men of the congregation will serve Easter B

    April 19, 2014

  • Cards RHP Kelly on DL WASHINGTON -- St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Cardinals also optioned righty reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie right-handers Eric Forn

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-ymca flat rock - pic2 Local retreat mostly unknown around Decatur County ST. PAUL -- Out in the northwest corner of Decatur County lies a place that's largely unknown within the county itself. Oddly enough, this hideaway of natural splendor is anything but secret to the rest of the world. From Spain and Hong Kong they com

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos