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Examining the history of Beech Grove while highlighting businesses that are seemingly "Invisible" by others

Friday, September 28, 2018

Beech Grove native Lloyd Wright set to retire in 2019

Indianapolis, IN. (September 28, 2018) IBG — Longtime WFYI President and CEO Lloyd Wright, a native of Beech Grove is preparing to retire after 30 years at the helm of central Indiana’s public broadcasting stations. He announced his decision at today’s board of directors meeting and will remain in his position while working with the board in its search for his successor.

Lloyd Wright joined WFYI in 1988 as director of program production. (Photo: Provided by WFYI)

“I knew this day would eventually come,” Wright said. “I’ve been unbelievably fortunate to represent WFYI and public media all these years, and there’s no doubt I’ll miss it, but I’m looking forward to the next chapter of life while still being part of the WFYI family.”

Wright, 65, is the longest-serving station manager in Indianapolis. He joined WFYI in 1988 as director of Program Production before being appointed president and CEO the following year. Among his many achievements are:
• Transitioning the stations into the digital age, developing WFYI 1, WFYI 2 (PBS KIDS) and WFYI 3 (Create) for television; 90.1 FM HD1 (NPR) and 90.2 FM HD2 – The Point for radio and online; and wfyi.org
• Adjusting the 90.1 FM format to meet audience demand for NPR news content; the station now boasts the two largest news/talk radio programs in the country with “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”
• Growing the station’s operational budget by 450 percent and membership to 25,000
• Implementing strategies to tell important Indiana stories through programs like “Across Indiana,” “Communities Building Community with Judy O’Bannon,” “Indiana Week In Review,” “Attucks:  The School That Opened a City” and “Eva”
• Leading station staff efforts that have earned more than 120 regional Emmys and four “Station of Excellence” awards, something no other area station has done
• Increasing WFYI’s local journalism efforts to fill a void in the market
• Relocating the station in 2008 to its current modern facility at 1630 N. Meridian St.
• Developing dozens of community partnerships
• Leading three capital campaigns that raised more than $34 million

“Lloyd Wright has expertly led WFYI through incredible growth and extraordinary changes over the last three decades,” WFYI Board Chairman Michael Heaton said. “He’s expanded our audience, grown our membership and has always shown remarkable integrity and character. We wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement, and we know he’ll continue to be one of WFYI’s greatest ambassadors for years to come.”

Wright was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Association Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2013 and has received numerous other local and national awards. He is well respected by his peers around the country having served four three-year terms on the PBS Board of Directors and as a Chair Emeritus of the American Public Television (APT) Board of Directors.

"Throughout his extraordinary career with WFYI, Lloyd Wright has demonstrated a deep commitment to the mission of public media,” PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said. “We at PBS are especially appreciative of Lloyd’s leadership and his many contributions to the public broadcasting system, including his service on the PBS Board of Directors. Lloyd is an inspiration to all of us fortunate to call him colleague and friend."

Wright is a Beech Grove native who, upon graduation from Indiana University, began his professional career as director of instructional broadcasting with the Indiana Department of Education. That eventually led to positions with the IU News Bureau and then WTTW-TV in Chicago before he joined WFYI in May 1988.

Among his many awards and recognitions are two Sagamore of the Wabash honors, the highest award given by the governor to recognize distinguished service to the state of Indiana.

“Lloyd has long been a community pillar and an exceptional leader with a passion for the educational aspect of public broadcasting,” Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said. “He has done so much to help prepare children for school and adults alike for lifelong learning.  He is simply one of Indiana’s finest, ever.”

The search is now on to find Wright’s successor. Heaton said the board will conduct a national search, which could take several months, and Wright will stay on to ensure a smooth transition of duties.

In Wright’s honor, WFYI today announced the creation of the Lloyd Wright Legacy Fund, which will support future unique Indiana storytelling programming at the station. The new fund will be tied to the station’s upcoming 50th anniversary in October 2020.

“I’m honored and humbled to have a worthwhile cause live on in my name,” Wright said. “I have so many people to thank for their support of me and WFYI over these many years.  I especially appreciate the dedication of our talented, award-winning staff and our dedicated volunteers who helped to found the station in 1970."

“I believe public media is a crucial part of any community, and to be a part of building it in my hometown over all these years is extremely gratifying, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity.”

SOURCE: WFYI

Friday, August 31, 2018

Recruiters eye Hornet Josh Fryar

Beech Grove, Indiana (August 31, 2018) — Prospect Josh Fryar, a  6'4" 259 pound Offensive Lineman is the No. 1 center in the 2020 recruiting class in the early going and will start the 2018 season with a visit to Iowa State.

Fryar also holds offers from the likes of Indiana (where his father played), Purdue and Cincinnati.

Josh Fryar

Fryar was accepted to be at Purdue this past Thursday for its opener and is considering trips to Iowa, Indiana and Toledo throughout the month of September. 


SOURCE: Des Moines Register
SOURCE: HUDL

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beech Grove, Indiana sex offender caught in Ohio

Beech Grove, Indiana (August 10, 2018) — An Ohio County sheriff’s deputy on Sunday arrested a convicted sex offender from Indiana who was reportedly taking photos of juveniles participating in a swim meet for athletes up to 14 years old at the Spire Institute athletic complex.

James F. Renick, 69, of 56 S. Third Ave., Beech Grove, Indiana, faces one second-degree misdemeanor count of obstructing justice in Western County Court for reportedly providing a false identity when confronted by the deputy.

Mug Shot: James F. Renick

One of the swim meet officials contacted county authorities after Renick made confusing statements about his reason for being at the meet. Officials said Renick was wearing a photographer’s vest and carried professional cameras. They’d previously seen him at swim meets at Cleveland State University, Columbus and Canton, as well as Indiana University-Perdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“(An official) told me that James was instructed to only take pictures of the children while they were in a certain area of the water and not while they (were) waiting in the dive area,” the deputy wrote in his report. “(The official) and I both observed James taking pictures of the children while they were standing in a restricted area.”

When approached by the deputy, Renick reportedly gave the deputy a fake name and date of birth. The county dispatcher checking that information was unable to return any police records, the report states.

Renick “appeared very nervous, his hands began to shake and he fumbled with removing SD cards from his camera and switching it with another,” the report states. Renick’s reasons for attending the event changed multiple times while speaking with the deputy, he noted.

“I told James that I didn’t believe a word he was saying,” the deputy wrote. “James said he would just leave the facility.”

When asked, Renick also denied being a registered sex offender or under any conditions preventing him from being around children. Upon exiting the complex, however, Renick produced his driver’s license and dispatchers learned he is a registered sex offender for life.

Renick, a former TV news reporter, pleaded guilty in 1996 to molesting two boys under the age of 10 in Pennsylvania, and served six years in a Pennsylvania state prison.

According to The (Allentown) Morning Call, authorities conducting a June 1995 search of Renick’s Pennsylvania home found “thousands of photographs of young boys naked and in bathing suits” as well as other sexually explicit material.

Sex Offender Data Sheet: James F. Renick

The Ashtabula County deputy on Sunday searched three of Renick’s camera memory cards and while they had many images of children at sporting events, none of the images were sexually explicit or involved nudity, the report states.

In 2015, 13 years after he was released from prison, Renick was caught with camera equipment outside his Indiana home and sentenced to an additional two years of probation for breaking a condition of his release, according to The (Scranton) Times-Tribune.

Renick remains in the Ashtabula County jail. He pleaded not guilty Monday in Western County Court, where his bond was set at $25,000 or 10 percent cash or surety, with the condition that he have no contact with children or photography equipment. A court hearing date is set for Aug. 21 in that court.

Court records do not list an attorney for Renick.

Search for sex offenders in your area: Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry  

SOURCE: Star Beacon

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Beech Grove City Schools will receive $226,028 for drug abuse fight

Beech Grove, Indiana (August 9, 2018) — Adults in Indiana are more likely to die from a drug overdose than a car accident. And for many Hoosiers, substance abuse begins in adolescence.

That’s what spurred the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, an Indianapolis philanthropy, to create an ambitious grant program to help schools roll out new substance use prevention strategies. The foundation announced Tuesday $7.5 million in grants to 24 Marion County schools and districts.



Because substance abuse often begins early, schools across Indiana have an opportunity to reduce drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. But just 11 percent of Marion County schools reported using a proven prevention curriculum in a survey last year. With the grants, the foundation hopes to increase the number of schools using evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs, said Claire Fiddian-Green, president and CEO of the foundation.

“It feels like a really urgent need to help equip students with information so they can make better decisions and not fall into the trap of addiction,” Fiddian-Green said. “Schools can and should play a really powerful role.”

The foundation has committed more than $10.2 million since January at Marion County schools, including the $7.5 million in implementation grants announced Tuesday, $860,000 in planning grants, and about $1.8 million in ongoing technical assistance and evaluation.

The grants are expected to help schools reach over 71,000 children and teenagers — about 44 percent of all students in the county — over the next two school years.

The largest grant will go to Indianapolis Public Schools, which was awarded $1.7 million. The grant will allow the district to use proven resources to help students avoid substance use, Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said in a statement.

“Opioid use has reached a crisis level in central Indiana and across the state,” he said.

School-based drug abuse prevention classes have a spotty track record. The best known substance abuse prevention program is D.A.R.E., Drug Abuse Resistance Education. That program has been found to be completely ineffective. But there are other approaches that have been shown to work.

Fairbanks partnered with the Indiana Prevention Resource Center to develop a list of programs that research shows lead to short- and long-term reductions in drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, Fiddian-Green said. In order to receive the grants, schools must choose from those evidence-based programs.

Indianapolis Public Schools will use Second Step in elementary and middle schools. The program is not specific to substance abuse — instead, it is a broad social-emotional learning curriculum designed to promote social-emotional competence and self-regulation.

As opioid use has roiled Indiana, Fairbanks has supported other efforts to address the immediate crisis, such grants focused on expanding access to treatment, Fiddian-Green said. But the foundation is also looking for longer-term strategies to reduce abuse in the future.

“It’s opioids today, it could be something else tomorrow,” she said. “Prevention with children and teens seems like the next place to go.”

These 24 Marion County schools and districts received grants

Beech Grove City Schools $226,028

Bishop Chatard High School $100,655

Cardinal Ritter High School $108,545

Cathedral High School $86,010

Cold Springs School $146,275

Edison School of the Arts $29,744

Franklin Township Community School Corporation $235,501

Global Preparatory Academy $12,430

Indiana Math and Science Academies $130,000

Indianapolis Public Schools $1,738,721

KIPP Indy Public Schools $180,500

Lighthouse Academies $192,104

Matchbook Learning $176,871

MSD of Decatur Township $283,587

MSD of Lawrence Township $943,551

MSD of Wayne Township $1,282,439

Perry Township Schools $517,265

Purdue Polytechnic High School $341,049

Roncalli High School $139,294

Scecina Memorial High School $85,704

Shepherd Community School $130,199

The Independence Academy $24,870

The Orchard School $142,500

Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School $260,000

SOURCE: ChalkBeat
By Dylan Peers McCoy

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Beech Grove Schools receive grant money from Lily Endowment

Beech Grove, Indiana (July 21, 2018) — About a year ago, the counselors in the Beech Grove school district made a discovery: They were spending less than half of their time on counseling.

Instead of meeting with students one-on-one or in small groups, they were spending most of their days on routine tasks, such as overseeing lunch, proctoring exams, and filling in for secretaries.

When they realized how much time those other tasks were taking away from counseling work, it was “an eye-opener for everyone,” said Paige Anderson, the district college and career coordinator.


The counselors began tracking their time as part of a planning grant from the Lilly Endowment, a prominent Indianapolis-based philanthropy. In 2016, the foundation launched Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students, a $49 million effort to improve counseling in Indiana. Experts say meaningful counseling can help schools support students as they navigate problems both at home and in the classroom. (The Lilly Endowment also supports Chalkbeat. Learn more about our funding here.)

What Beech Grove staff members learned during their planning process is already changing their approach to counseling, said Trudi Wolfe, a counselor at Central Elementary School, who was instrumental in applying for the Lilly grants. Now, administrators are taking on more tasks like proctoring tests. And one intermediate school hired a new counselor.

“The schools will take counselors and meet the needs of the school,” Wolfe said. “Part of the process is helping administrators understand, school counselors need to be doing school counseling.”

Last month, the endowment announced its second round of implementation grants, which awarded about $12.2 million to 39 schools and districts. Beech Grove will receive $259,727 to redesign its counseling program to focus on the social and emotional needs of students, with the largest chunk of that money going to staff training.
The aim is to develop a strategy for handling the trauma that students face at home, said Wolfe. Over the past 10 years, the number of students in the district who are poor enough to get subsidized meals has risen by about 25 percentage points to 72 percent of students.

Beech Grove has also been affected by the opioid crisis, said Wolfe. “We have kids living with parents who are dependent on drugs, and they are not meeting the needs of their children.”

Those growing challenges mean that it is essential for counselors to have a plan for helping students instead of just meeting the needs of each day, Wolfe said.

Counseling is an investment that can have long-term benefits. After Colorado began an initiative to hire more school counselors, participating schools had higher graduation rates, increased enrollment in career-and-technical programs, and more students taking college-level courses. A 2016 report found that by keeping students from dropping out, the Colorado program saved taxpayers more than $319 million.

But in Indiana schools, counselors often have large caseloads. In 2014-2015, Indiana had an average of 543 students per counselor, above the national average and significantly higher than the American School Counselor Association recommendation of no more than 250 students per counselor.

Hiring more counselors alone is not enough to create stronger school counseling programs, said Tim Poynton, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston who studies counseling. They also have to spend their time on meaningful counseling work.

“You need more school counselors. That’s necessary, but it’s also not sufficient,” said Poynton. “If you hire more school counselors, and you have them doing lunch duty and things that basically you don’t need a master’s degree in school counseling to do, then you’re not going to see those important metrics move.”

When schools were applying for the Lilly Endowment grants, many reported that counselors were focused on urgent social and emotional challenges and struggled to help students plan for the future, according to the endowment.

Those challenges can have ripple effects, making it harder for school staff to tackle long-term goals such as ensuring that students sign up and meet the requirements for the state’s scholarship program, 21st Century Scholars.

If counseling is done well, most students will be prepared to go to college, even if they do not seem interested when they are in high school, Poynton said. But when counselors are dealing with urgent problems, they have significantly less time to devote to college preparation, he said.

“In urban schools, school counselors are often focused on getting students to school and meeting their immediate needs,” Poynton said. “In the higher-performing suburban schools, where the students and families don’t have those same kind of issues or concerns, the emphasis is almost entirely on the college-going process.”

In a statement from the endowment, Vice President for Education Sara B. Cobb said the response to the Lilly grants shows increased awareness of the crucial need for counseling programs.

“We are impressed with how school leaders have engaged a wide variety of community partners to assess the academic, college, career and social and emotional needs of their students, and respond to them,” Cobb said.

The Lilly grants are going to a broad array of schools, and they are using the money in different ways. At Damar Charter Academy, which educates students with special needs, few students earn traditional diplomas or have good options for higher education. That’s why school staff plan to use the $100,000 counseling grant they received to build relationships with employers and create training programs for skills such as small engine repair, automotive maintenance, landscaping, and culinary arts, said Julie GurulĂ©, director of student services.

“If we can commit to getting them the skills they need while they are with us,” she said, “they will be able to go out and gain meaningful employment, and … lead the kind of lives that we all want to.”

These are the districts and schools in Marion County that received counseling grants. (Find the full list here.)

Beech Grove City Schools $259,727
Damar Charter School $100,000
Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township $671,300
Purdue Polytechnic Indianapolis High School $100,000

SOURCE: Chalkbeat
By Dylan Peers McCoy

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Indy in the 50's

Indianapolis, IN (June 20, 2018) — World War II didn't just slow Indianapolis down, it practically brought it to a halt. The images of an overgrown Indianapolis Speedway is startling. But when the war ended, Indianapolis and its people emerged ready to make a better life for themselves and their neighbors.


As the GIs returned home, they bought shiny new cars, drove out to the suburbs, purchased their dream homes and began filling them with babies. Relive Indy in the '50s as you stroll through the decade with WISH-TV news anchor and Indianapolis native Mark Ahern. Reminisce about what was in fashion, on film and what people did for fun.

See hundreds of historical photos and never before seen footage, and hear unique perspectives from local celebrities like basketball legend Oscar Robertson in this film, previously enjoyed on public television.

Get ready to go back to a simpler time of hula hoops, black-and-white television, jazz and drive-ins in Indy in the '50s.



Indy in the ’50s, hosted by WISH-TV news anchor and Indianapolis native Mike Ahern, takes an entertaining stroll through the decade to look at what was popular in fashion, movies, meeting places and leisure activities.

Running Time: 1 hour, 22 minutes,  33 seconds

SOURCE: WFYI | Aired: 12/03/98 | Rating: NR

Monday, June 11, 2018

Main Street: A hot hub for Pokemon Go

Beech Grove, IN (June 11, 2018) — We have all heard of the much talked about game Pokemon Go, when it first hit the market two years ago. For a while there were rather humorous stories about people doing the most outlandish things in order to obtain virtual monsters in certain spots. The augmented reality game has maintained its popularity and Niantic, one of the developers, keeps innovating the game.

Prior to Pokemon Go’s existence, Niantic had developed another game called Ingress which would become the very foundation building base for Pokemon Go. All the maps for specialized locations are shared between both games.

A smartphone is needed to play these games

Indianapolis as a whole has many spots to enjoy both Ingress and Pokemon Go. However Beech Grove is a very interesting hub for both Augmented Reality games. The reason lies with Main Street and the organizations that occupy this part of Southern Indianapolis.

Ingress, the game that predates Pokemon Go already set up bases and points of interest for the game to be tied with churches, known landmarks and nonprofit organizations. Main Street of Beech Grove from 8th to 6th alone boasts 2 Gyms and 3 Pokestops. (Portals and fields in Ingress). In a span of five minutes up and down (on foot) this small stretch of Main, players of both games can get a hefty amount of gameplay in this small area.

In fact it’s not uncommon for people to either play the game on foot or drive and park in order to play in Beech Grove. Though Irvington on Washington may have more locations, the spots are far more spread out. Parking or leisure play without feeling rushed is difficult, which is why many play in Beech Grove.

So the next time you see someone park at the side of a street for a few minutes on their phone or sitting on a bench on Main Street in Beech Grove, chances are that the person may just be playing Ingress or Pokemon Go.

Written by: Hannah Lee

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Transporting Residents in Beech Grove, Indiana

Beech Grove, IN (May 29, 2018) — Transporting of residents in Beech Grove has a rich history all into itself, from horse drawn carriages, trains and buses. Around 1910, driver Pete Hunt was transporting several residents down the “Old Hack line,” a route running from downtown Beech Grove, to several stops along Churchman Avenue and Prospect Street, operating at least three times per day. The proprietor of this horse drawn transportation service was Guy Rutledge.


Because the horse-and-carriage operation charged a hefty 15¢, and less-expensive traveling options developed, the line fell to competition and closed in January 1911, just two months before the Beech Grove Traction Company began servicing the area.


Over time, trains, traditional buses, jitney bus service, the interurban, horses and buggies, and eventually horseless carriages all competed to transport area residents. After the discontinuance of the Old Hack Line, Guy Rutledge managed the Beech Grove Transfer Company.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Beech Grove students visit Italy


Beech Grove, IN (April 19, 2018) — Led by Beech Grove Middle School art teacher Jonee Sutton, Beech Grove middle schoolers and their chaperones experienced the thrill of a lifetime by visiting Italy over spring break. The highlights of their trip included viewing architectural wonders and art masterpieces.

The children are (in no particular order) Devon Alderman, Etta Allen, Karinne Bailey, Jolynne Bogard, Cheyenne Boone, Quinten Brooks, Julie Butcher, Georgia Cailey, Jennifer Carreto, Abigail Colson, Kaleah Estep, Isabella Foster, Renae George, Kyla Goebel, Christopher Hammer, Alyssa Harrell, Jace Hodge, Hanna Horsley, Shelby Howard, Kimberly Jinks, Tobias Kinder, Nathan Laker, Ava Lantzer, Ian Laughlin, Jessica Qualls, Grace Randall, Hannah Roe, Riley Rose, Sophia Simon, Kyle Sutton, Kelsey Terry, Daneja Troutman, Lily Turner and Zoe Wilson.

Also enjoying the scenery are Chrystal and Christopher Hammer

PHOTOS: Chrystal Hammer

Friday, April 6, 2018

Beech Grove Senior Center

Beech Grove, IN (April 6, 2018) — The Beech Grove community initiated efforts to address the concerns, situations, and needs of the city’s aging population. Arising from the research efforts of an Indiana University student intern, then Mayor Geshwiler appointed a special committee to look at enriching the lives of the city’s senior citizens.

Senior Center Staff in 1981

The Central Indiana Council on Aging awarded the city of Beech Grove a grant for transportation and outreach. With the city’s match, the Beech Grove Senior Center became a reality in a tiny room located in city hall. In 1976, a permanent building was then purchased, and in subsequent years facilities, services, and outreach have expanded.

Beech Grove "People Mover" rolling down Beech Grove streets in 1983

The city also purchased an old high school bus in 1978, which was reconditioned and upgraded by employees at the Amtrak Shops as a community service, demonstrating the continuing relationship between the Shops and the city.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Sarah Tittle Bolton was a pioneering Hoosier poet

Beech Grove, IN (March 29, 2018) — Sarah Tittle Bolton was Indiana’s unofficial poet laureate from the 1850's until her death in 1893. She was also one of the first poets to gain a following in any of the Midwestern states during the pioneer era. 

Born in 1814, Sarah saw one of her poems published in the Madison (Indiana) Banner when she was 14, an astonishing achievement for a girl at a time when literature was considered the province of men.   

From that point onward, until she reached 18, she contributed poems regularly for publication in both the Madison and Cincinnati newspapers.

At 17, Sarah married a young newspaper editor, Nathaniel Bolton, and returned with him to the infant state capital, Indianapolis. In 1847, Nathaniel was elected Indiana State Librarian and found his duties included maintaining the Statehouse. In 1850, Gov. Joseph Wright decided to hold an important public reception in the Statehouse, which badly needed cleaning and a new carpet. 

Nathaniel Bolton was compelled to buy a new carpet for the reception, and Sarah took on the arduous task of sewing together the carpet pieces in time for the reception. During this ordeal, she composed what became her most famous poem, “Paddle Your Own Canoe,” and submitted it to a Cincinnati newspaper. It was reproduced in many other newspapers and eventually was translated into eight languages, confirming its universal message that a person must take the initiative to achieve what is worthwhile in life:

            “…Nothing great is lightly won,

            Nothing won is lost;

            Every good deed, nobly done,

            Will repay the cost.

            Leave to Heaven, in humble trust,

            All you will do;

            But, if you succeed, you must

            Paddle your own canoe...”

Sarah Bolton was also an early proponent of women’s rights in Indiana.  In 1850, she aided Robert Dale Owen as he attempted to incorporate the right of women to hold property in the state Constitution of 1851. Much later, she was a close friend of May Wright Sewall, the indomitable advocate for women’s suffrage and equality with men.

In 1855, Nathaniel Bolton was appointed U.S. consul to Geneva, Switzerland by President Franklin Pierce, and Sarah accompanied her husband to Europe, where she traveled in Germany, France, Italy and Austria. In 1858, Nathaniel died, and Sarah returned to Indiana. 

In 1871 Sarah purchased a farmhouse southeast of Indianapolis in what is now Beech Grove. She called the story and half cottage “Beech Bank,” after the trees growing nearby. It provided her with quiet and communion with nature, and she began writing poetry again.   Her second best known poem was composed after moving to Beech Bank. It was a tribute to her home state, “Indiana”:

            “…She gives the hungry stranger bread

            Her helpless poor are clothed and fed

            As freely as the Father spread

            The feast of mystic manna.

            The sick in body, wrecked in mind,

            The orphaned child, the dumb, the

            Blind

            A free and safe asylum find.

            In generous Indiana…”


 Unfortunately, Sarah T. Bolton did not find commercial success with her writings.  She published one volume of her poetry at her own expense and lost money on the venture.   But her literary works circulated widely, and she was cherished by some of the next generation of Hoosier authors, such as James Whitcomb Riley, a young poet whom she encouraged and who visited her in Beech Bank. 



Although she did not gain wealth through her writings, Sarah Taylor Bolton was recognized by some of the great literary figures of the day as an outstanding poet.  New York newspaper editor and nature poet William Cullen Bryant thought her Civil War poem “Left on the Battlefield” to be one of the greatest war poems ever written and included it in a collection he published of the 50 greatest such poems.

In 1941, Gov. Henry Schricker dedicated a bronze tablet honoring Sarah Bolton’s literary achievements in the rotunda of the Indiana Statehouse. Her home, Beech Bank, has been preserved on South 17th Avenue in Beech Grove.

SOURCE: IndyStar
Story: James Glass

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Anna Churchman

Beech Grove, IN (January 25, 2018) — Anna Churchman, in a rare picture from 1897, was the matriarch of Hillside. She married Francis McClintock Churchman on October 12, 1859, in Janesville, Wisconsin. The couple eventually had seven children. Her husband, being of English and Quaker heritage, was a reputable, hardworking man noted for his integrity. 

He began his career at age 19 as a clerk at S. A. Fletcher Bank on Washington Street, the predecessor of the American Fletcher National Bank of Indianapolis, Indiana, and within five years made managing partner, a position he held until his death. 

Within the then-relatively small, but close-knit, Indianapolis business community, Churchman was highly regarded for his ability to make loans based solely on the character of the applicant and a firm handshake. 

While not much for going out of the town, rather preferring to keep private and tending to his family, Francis was well known and likewise knew many people. He is one of only a few Hoosiers to have had their likeness immortalized in a portrait by Indiana artist. T. C. Steele.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hotel Dennis

Beech Grove, IN (January 12, 2018) — Looking West from Fourth Avenue, the Hotel Dennis welcomed travelers and workers in need of a room. The hotel rented rooms by the day or week. The sign at the rear advertises Barbecue dinners in a very little developed area around 1930.

Hotel Dennis in Beech Grove, Indiana