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

Beech Grove, Indiana

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Beech Grove welcomes new centenarian club member

Beech Grove, IN (February 28, 2019) IBG — One hundred years ago, on February. 23, 1919, Viola Arnold was born. It was a different age. The president was Woodrow Wilson. Congress had just passed an act to establish the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Women could now vote. A gallon of gas was $0.25 a gallon and a dozen eggs were $0.55. Future baseball player, Jackie Robinson was born, as was Nat King Cole. A “dingbat” was a stupid person, the Adventures of Ruth played in the movie theaters and the names Mary, Helen and Dorothy were just a few of the popular baby names for the time.

Saturday, Feb. 23, saw the Altenheim Senior Living facility’s reception hall decked out in long tables, balloons, chocolates and cakes, celebrating longtime Franklin Township’s resident guest of honor, Viola Arnold. The birthday girl marveled at the attention as longtime friends, family and church members steadily made their entrance to congratulate her upon reaching this milestone. “To me, it just feels like another day,” she stated, with a smile upon her face. “It’s no big thing, but it is, I guess. So far, I’ve been able to remember things fairly well, but I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a little bit less sharp.”

Remembering a close-knit community Back in the day, Franklin Township and Wanamaker was a close-knit community. Family members remained close. Everyone knew everybody. There were no strangers. “My maiden name was Rode. My great-grandparents emigrated from Germany. They had a business downtown … a livery stable where they boarded horses,” Viola recollected. “They bought this piece of ground out in Franklin Township and built a log cabin (where the present-day Hanna Haunted Acres sits). This farm finally came down to my mother and father. That’s where we lived.” In time, her father passed and her mother had a stroke. Her four brothers and one sister took care of their mother at the farm until her last days.

Viola was no longer a child, having worked at a couple of insurance agencies until landing a job at a factory on the Southside that produced tubes for jet engines — Tube Processing Corp.

“I retired to care for my mom,” she said. “We sold the farm when my mother died. There were six of us … if there had only been one or two, we might have kept it.” 

Viola and her brothers moved into homes close, along Hanna Street. Her sister moved to Edgewood Avenue.

Time marched on. Viola has lived in Altenheim since January 2017. Prior to that, she resided at other assisted living facilities, finally deciding she needed more long-term help, resulting in the move to Altenheim. Her son, John Arnold, reflected upon his parent’s history. “My parents grew up in church together. They had a few dates before World War II and then dad went to war. After he came back, they got married around 1947.” John smiled as his eyes looked back on precious memories. “I was going through mom’s stuff and found old letters between them written back and forth during the war.” Those are certainly keepers!

John’s dad and Viola’s husband, Harold Arnold, died in 1988. As guests milled about the room, ate cake, and reflected upon numerous photos of another time and place, Viola was busy entertaining her guests. She was busy! Driven by faith “I think my faith drives me. I was born and baptized as a baby. I’ve belonged to the St. John’s Lutheran Church on Southeastern Avenue ever since.” It’s faith in our salvation and faith that Jesus will take us to our final home! Her son, John, stated, “She’s made me a better person. In the last few years even! More calmer.” He looked back. “It was sad when we had to sell her house. However, she has taught me a lot more patience in things.” Viola agreed. “He never had patience before, but he does now! He lives one day at a time, just like I do.”

And … the secret of reaching the age of 100? “I don’t really have a secret. God has been good to me. And I think there’s a reason He’s keeping me here on this earth,” she offered. “And … I eat a lot of chocolate. I’d like to have a glass of wine, but no one’s offered it to me.”

STORY: Rick Hinton
SOURCE: The Southside Times

Be sure and "LIKE" us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/InvisibleBeechGrove

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

KeyBank in Beech Grove set to close May 31

Beech Grove, IN (February 27, 2019) IBG —Cleveland-based KeyCorp has announced plans to close 16 KeyBank branches throughout central Indiana. The bank says the consolidation is part of an effort to bring a new digital banking experience to the region. The affected branches will close on May 31 and KeyBank says they were carefully chosen so clients will still have a convenient location available.

KeyBank at 4645 South Emerson closes on May 31, 2019

Every employee affected by the consolidation will have a job opportunity at a new location, according to the bank.

KeyBank says it is also expanding its ATM presence in central Indiana, with more than 50 new ATMs being installed over the next several months. The bank is also adding the number of bankers within the market to more than 90 full-time employees.

The branches affected by the consolidation include: 

Linwood branch 4404 E. 10th St.
Rockville branch 5242 Rockville Road
Market Tower branch 10 W. Market St., Suite 100
Willow Lake branch 2433 Lake Circle Drive
Broad Ripple branch 6410 N. College Ave.
Clearwater branch 4729 E. 82nd St.
Beech Grove branch 4645 S. Emerson Ave.
Pleasant View branch 12591 Southeastern Ave.

Greenwood branch 980 E. Main St.

Noblesville branch 110 N. 9th St. Pebble Brook branch 17665 Pebble Center Drive

Whiteland branch 39 N. U.S. 31

Edgewood branch 3228 Nichol Ave.
Northgate branch 2246 Broadway St.

Southway branch 300 Southway Blvd. East
West Jefferson branch 2405 W. Jefferson St.

SOURCE: Inside Indiana Business

Be sure and "LIKE" us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/InvisibleBeechGrove

Looking Back: The Beech Grove Shops

Beech Grove, IN (February 27, 2019) IBG — The Beech Grove facility had been transferred to the control of the New York Central Lines and at one time operated over 2,000 miles of track in the eastern half of the country, providing both freight and passenger service from the East Coast all the way to the Mississippi River. During this time, the railroads were about the only travel method of choice for any long trip.

The massive complex in full swing after the recent addition of a new passenger paint and trim shop.

Various railroad companies aggressively competed for passenger business by introducing express routes between several major cities and offering more comfortable travel with club and dining cars and sleeping accommodations. The many staging tracks at the Beech Grove Shops are filled with cars awaiting either maintenance or some upgrading.

The Beech Grove Shops earned a reputation for first-class innovation and workmanship, providing passengers on the New York Central Lines the most modern amenities.

Be sure and "LIKE" us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/InvisibleBeechGrove

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

New AG education manager has Beech Grove ties

Beech Grove, IN (February 25, 2019) IBG — Today, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture announced the hiring of Kimberly Barkman as Agricultural Education Program Manager. Barkman will serve as a liaison between ISDA and the Indiana Department of Education, and schools with an agriculture program.

 “We are pleased to name Kim as our very first Agricultural Education Program Manager,” said Bruce Kettler, ISDA Director. “Her passion for students and almost decade long career in agricultural education has prepared her well for this position. We’re excited to welcome her to the team.”

Kimberly Barkman

Barkman grew up on a tobacco farm in Switzerland County. She participated in 4-H and served as the 2003 District 12 FFA President. In 2007, she graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education.

Taught at Triton Central and Beech Grove City Schools

Prior to joining the department, Barkman was an agricultural education teacher at Triton Central for two years and then taught at Beech Grove City Schools for six years. “ISDA historically has been connected to agricultural education and leadership development,” said Rob Hays, Indiana FFA Director.

“By creating this new position and bringing Kim on board, we are excited to strengthen our support of classroom teachers and agriculture offerings, along with supporting FFA efforts.” In her new role, Barkman will be responsible for supporting course framework and agriculture-based Career and Technology Education curriculum in schools across the state. She will also interpret education policies and review state standards as it relates to agriculture.

A large part of her job will be serving as a resource and liaison for Indiana’s agricultural education teachers to strengthen their programming. “I’m excited to be a voice and advocate for agricultural education in Indiana,” Barkman said. “I look forward to having a larger impact by supporting school districts and teachers across the state.” Barkman currently resides in Indianapolis with her husband, Nicholas.

Be sure and "LIKE" us on Facebook at: Facebook.com/InvisibleBeechGrove