I came across a “Pathfinder’s Localeverage in a Model Town” recently and it occurred to me that there may be a few readers who don’t know that Greensburg was named City of Democracy.
I had to look up the word Localeverage and found nothing, so this is how the publication described it: “Localeverage is the influence that a select group has on a whole community – in an environment where leading families are known to all and their decisions have wide influence.” I don’t know if the publisher made up the definition and word or maybe it has gone out of style.
This publication must have been for the Junior Chamber of Commerce. It has wonderful photos of some of Decatur County’s citizens who were great people. It describes some as being “better educated, more substantial families” – stock owners, government bondholders, savings accounts, more privileged with 77 out of 100 owning their homes and 95 cars to every 100 families. They said the leading families are concentrated where local influence counts.
I knew several younger members of the families. Colonel Earl Gartin, for example, was called the greatest cattle auctioneer of all time. I knew his daughter and grandsons and liked them very much. And then Mayor Earl Woodward, who I didn’t know was pictured with Shel Smith, who I did know and thought his wife was wonderful in ways that I’ll tell you one day. Shel and his family are pictured.
Then Harold and Mrs. Ogden, Jack Busch, who I didn’t know, but then the Dr. C. W. Childress family, who I did know and thought was a truly fine gentleman.
Mrs. “Doc” Schazer and Mrs. Dale Parker are pictured helping “crippled children” by selling “Whirl-A-Ride” goods for Psi Iota Xi Sorority. There was A. J. Neinaber, who owned a large dairy here. There’s Mrs. Earl Gartin and Ernest T. McGee. There are several members of the Corya family. There’s a young Hubert Wickens, who was an attorney at the age of 21 and State Senator at the age of 25. There’s Stanton Guthrie.
Some years ago I wrote a series about the time in 1948 and 1949 when Greensburg, Indiana, was selected by the National Junior Chamber of Commerce from more than 200 cities in 36 states to represent “The City of Democracy” at the Brussels International J.C.C. Conference. A scale model of the city that the publication said cost $15,000 was made and taken to several countries for display to show the world what a model city looked like. (According to a local source, the scale model cost more like $12,000 but there was no proof of either amount found.)
By the time the publication had been printed the scale model had been to many countries after the big showing in Brussels, and the information given was that it was in the House Office Building in Washington, D.C. When some of us asked Senators from Indiana, including Senator Lugar (who was in office at the time) to help find the scale model no one was able to find any record of it.
This Pathfinder publication had some nice photos of the Square and surrounding areas, told of founder Col. Thomas Hendricks, and indicated that seven descendants of early settlers appeared on Pathfinders’ 1950 subscription list. A photo of the courthouse told how the tree had given the city much publicity before the Junior Jaycees turned world spotlight on the city.
The first page begins like this, “What makes Tower Tree Town tick?” Then it tells us, “Local residents say Greensburg, Indiana, is the place where folks stopped saying, ‘Whoa!’ to their automobiles in 1910.” It tells how 35 live wire young “Greensburgians” had raised $15,000 to construct a scale model of nine city blocks and dispatched four members to display it in Brussels, Belgium.
Sometime there will be more about this.