Honoring the Past - The Tomato
March 29, 2013
The Scott County Arts Council, honored an important piece of Scott County history when this painting of a product of Morgan Foods from many years ago was painted on the barn at the beginning of the summer (2012).
The barn is located on 1050 S. Main Street just south of the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum in Scottburg.
Basketball Icon John Wooden had Link to Austin
July 19, 2012
I.C. Morgan’s ownership of a semi-pro baseball team known as the Austin Packers is well documented in the laurels of Austin history. Mr. Morgan also owned a professional basketball team for a short time, also known as the Austin Packers, and for a short span basketball legend John Wooden an Indiana native played for the Packers. Wooden grew up in Martinsville Indiana on a farm and played high school basketball for Martinsville from 1926-28 where he led his team to the state finals three consecutive years. In 1927, Martinsville won the state championship.
After high school Wooden attended Purdue University where he became the first player in the history of college basketball to be named consensus All-American three consecutive years (1930-1932). As great as Wooden was as a player he is recognized globally as a basketball coach. During a 12 year period (1964-1975) at UCLA Wooden guided the UCLA Bruins to ten NCAA Championships, including seven in a row. Before he became the Bruins head coach in 1948 he coached high school basketball for 11 years, two in Kentucky and nine in Indiana. Wooden passed away at his home in California in 2010, less than six months shy of his 100th birthday.
Wooden’s tenure at UCLA included coaching superstars like Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton. (Coach Wooden at right with Bill Walton)
Documentation provided by: Terry Rademacher (Borden Indiana
Donald Spicer: Last and First
October 8, 2011
Austin Police Officer Donald Spicer was the Chief of Police when Austin was still a town in 2007, making him the last Austin Town Chief of Police. In 2008, when Austin became a city he was Austin’s first city Chief of Police.
The Story of the Buffalo in Austin
September 15, 2011
For the past few decades visitors coming into the town of Austin from Highway 256 East, have been greeted to the community by a small herd of Buffalo owned by the Morgan Family. In 1978, John Morgan purchased a pair of Buffalo as a Christmas present for his mother Elsinore Morgan. The current herd that still roams the Morgan property is part of the original offspring from that 1978 Christmas present.
Pictured above are two Buffalo from the current herd which now totals about 17 Buffalo. It has been a common sight for years to see vehicles pulled along the Morgan property, and people taking pictures of the herd or just watching them. (Photo by Mike Barrett)
Austin High School Class of 1952 was first to go on Senior Trip
An Austin High School tradition known as the Senior Trip originated with the class of 1952. That year Austin High School Seniors visited the city of Chicago.
Indiana means Land of the Indians - How Kentuckians named Indiana
August 22, 2011
By the time Indiana became a state in 1816, the name Indiana had officially been around for years. The name Indiana means “Land of the Indians”, and apparently it originated from Americans settled in Kentucky. The Kentuckians often referred to the land north of the Ohio River or North Bank as the land of the Indians. In 1768, several colonies purchased the Iroquois claim to the northwest and established the Indiana Land Company, which is the first recorded use of the name of Indiana. Since Indiana, was heavily populated with different Indian tribes the name seemed both logical and appropriate to Congress, and a new territory was named the Indiana Territory in 1800, and then a few years later in 1816, the 19th state of the Union was officially named Indiana.
The original inhabitants of the land now known as Indiana included the Native American Indian Tribes of: The Illini in Western Indiana, the Miami Indians in Northern Indiana and the Shawnee Indians in Southern Indiana.
As the years passed and more tribes were forced west out of the Northeast sections of America, different tribes began to make Indiana as their homeland. Other tribes that relocated to Indiana were the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Miami, Plankeshaw, Delaware and Shawnee.
When settlers first came to Austin around 1839, there is documentation of friendly encounters with the Delaware Indians that were passing through on hunting and fishing trips. The Delaware’s lived on reservations hundreds of miles away in Indiana, but during certain times of the year they occupied campsites in Austin and other nearby locations.
The Shawnee Indians were known to have permanent homes in the early 1800s in nearby counties of Jackson, Jennings, Jefferson, Switzerland, Ripley and Bartholomew. But like the Delawares they were known to live on campsites in Austin and other parts of Scott County for short periods of time. Historians believe the massacre of the Pigeon Roost Settlement in Southern Scott County were the actions of a Shawnee Indian party.
Man buried in Austin was first child born in Louisville Kentucky
In 1816 William Harrod moved to Jennings Township (Austin Indiana) from Kentucky. Harrod was the son James N. Harrod an Indian fighter and veteran of the Revolutionary War, his mother was Elizabeth (Stewart) Harrod. William Harrod was born in 1780 in what is now known as Louisville, Kentucky. Official Kentucky state medical records disclose that Harrod was the first child born in Louisville. When he passed away in 1835, he was originally buried at Friendship Cemetery east of Austin. Later (1870) his remains were reinterred at the Harrod Farm Cemetery in northern rural Austin, which is now called Harrod Cemetery and is located on Harrod Road.
Mary Bowen – Politically Perfect - Won 11 Elections as Township Assessor
June 21, 2011
In 1962 Austin’s Mary Bowen ran for the office of the Jennings Township Assessor (Austin) and won, her first political contest. Mary was 30-years old at the time and she ran for the office 10 more times, winning each time. Voters of Austin must really have believed in Mary as she held the office for 44 consecutive years, until she retired in 2006. Mary was married to Carl Bowen who was an employee of the Austin Post Office for over 40 years. The Bowen’s raised three daughters and all attended Austin High School, Debra (1973), Dana (1977) and Dawn (1980).
After college Dana (Hauer) returned to Austin as an elementary schoolteacher.
Before Bogardus Corner
Bogardus Corner just three miles east of Austin is named in honor of the late Dr. Carl Bogardus. Before that the area was known as the Kyana Farm’s Corner, the name of the farm Dr. Bogardus lived on. The farm was established in the early 1800s by a settler from Kentucky named James Spurgeon, who settled in Scott County (Rural Austin) prior to 1820, and before Scott County was an official county or Austin was even named. Spurgeon’s name appears in 1820 U.S. Census in Scott County. Spurgeon squatted on the land for several years before he officially established a farm (Kyana Farm) just east of Austin about three miles in 1825. He purchased the land (80 acres) for $1.25 an acre.
Spurgeon contributed two acres of his land for a local cemetery. Oddly Spurgeon’s death is unknown and while he was buried in the cemetery named after him (Spurgeon Cemetery) his tombstone is unmarked. In 1858, Kyana Farm’s minus the two acre cemetery was sold to John Jones from Decatur County Indiana. The original part of the home we know as the Bogardus Home was built in 1858, by Jones. Bogardus family purchased the farm in 1941 and left the residence in the 1980s. (Spurgeon built a home on the property in 1825 but it was near where Spurgeon Cemetery is located today.)
KYANA Farm’s – Named by James Spurgeon in honor of his Kentucky roots and his new home Indiana. He took the abbreviation of Kentucky (KY) and the termination of Indiana (ana) and came up with KYANA.
Austin's Early Scientist
In 1951, Stephen S. Visher a professor at Indiana University, released a book “Indiana Scientists” published by the Indiana Academy of Science. The book included over 2,000 scientists and one of them was from Austin Indiana. Mr. J.M. Booe born in 1906 in Austin is one of the scientists featured in the book. Promotional remarks for the book included:
“The smaller cities and towns are more productive of scientists than the farms of large cities, Visher finds. This, he believes, is due to the relative concentration in small towns of alert and ambitious persons, who become the parents of leaders.”
Shoeless Lynn Surbur (1961)
In 1961, Austin High School senior Lynn Surbur finished 20th in the Indiana State Cross meet in Indianapolis. Surbur competed against 139 other runners, and was the first Austin High School athlete to compete in a State Finals event in any sport. Oh by the way, Surbur as he was accustomed to ran the course in his bare feet.
What’s in a Name?
A few miles outside the Austin city limits on State Road East 256, there are two areas know to Austin residents at “Bogardus Corner” and “Terry’s Corner.”
Bogardus Corner started being called that in the 1950s when Dr. Carl Ray Bogardus built a home on the corner of the 256 and a county road, which is also now called Bogardus Road.
About 1 mile east of Bogardus Corner is Terry’s Corner. Terry’s Corner was nicknamed that when Forest Terry and his wife Betty, constructed a business in the 1950s on the corner of State Road 256 and a county road, which is now called Terry’s Road. Before being called Terry’s Corner the area was known as Kendall’s Corner.
Some Austin Indiana Firsts
First Austin Postmaster – Levi Jennings in 1854
First Industry in Austin: Sapinsky and Steinberg Heading Mill (Timber) located in South Austin (Around 1852)
First Automobile: 1910 EMF owned by I.C. Morgan
First two points scored by an Austin High School basketball player: Jack Buzzard on October 9th 1914, versus Henryville on an outdoor court in front of Austin High School.
First Austin Schoolteacher: John Trulock in 1824 at Austin’s first schoolhouse. The house was a logged house located two miles east of Austin and two miles north.
First Austin schoolteacher within town limits: Elizabeth Warren from Ohio around 1853, taught in a log cabin in the middle of Austin. Location is belived to be the south parking lot behind the buisness buildings in downtown Austin.
First Austin Town Board: 1968 - Hubert Buchanan, Roy Schneck and Gilbert Warner.
First Austin Girl to Win Scott County Fair Queen: 1972 Mary Jo Shields (West)
First Austin Mayor: Doug Campbell in 2010
Austin’s First Doctor - Dr. Lyman Maynard
The first doctor to settle in Austin was Dr. Lyman Tyler Maynard sometime around 1860. Dr. Maynard was born in Steuben County, New York in 1829. He married Sophia Dailey of Jennings County Indiana in 1852. There are no records of how Dr. Maynard came to live in Austin or how long he lived here. Dr. Maynard passed away on December 26th 1906 in Missouri.
First Female Austin School Board Member
Darlene Hall was elected to the school board in 1999.
Donald Langdon Athletic Complex
July 8, 2011
For many years the Track and Athletic Field (includes baseball field) at Austin High School has been named after Don Langdon. For those of you who don’t know who Donald Langdon was:
Don Langdon was a 1952 graduate of Austin High School and was the son of Garland and Cleo Langdon. Don graduated from Hanover College in 1957 and began his teaching and coaching career at Austin High School that year.
Don was considered a very dedicated and determined young man who was taken from the community at a very young age. When he was just 32-years old in 1967 the healthy vibrant young man was diagnosed with leukemia, he passed away just a few weeks later on September 17th, 1967. Understandably his family and community were shocked, and deeply hurt by the sudden loss of someone who meant so much to so many.
At the time of his death Don was the Head Baseball Coach, and the Junior Varsity Basketball Coach. He was married to Mary Lou Campbell Langdon and was the father of one daughter, nine-year old Kathy Langdon.
Largest Graduating Classes at Austin High School
1992 - 107 Graduates
1991 - 106 Graduates
Just for the Record
In 1953 Deloris Riley was the Austin Centennial (100 years) Queen
In 2003 Ali Turner was the Austin Sesquicentennial (150 years) Queen
Just for the Record
The first marriage to take place in the county after the formation of Scott County, Indiana, was on April 1, 1820, when William Nation and Sarah Allhands of Jennings Township were married by Justice of the Peace, Aaron Jennings.
The Austin Vigilantes - Austin Indiana
Photo taken between 1966 – 1970 era. Pictured above are the Austin Vigilantes during the last period when the community of Austin did not have town police. The town was policed by the Scott County Sheriff’s Department but there were only three deputies at the time.
During this period the Austin Vigilantes were a group of local prominent businessman who worked together to help protect citizens and businesses. The Vigilantes did not have arresting powers but did help enforce the law. In the photo above are from left to right: Hubert Buchanan, Gilbert Warner, Red Lagenaur, Scott County Sheriff Leon Nicholas known as “Big Nick”, Lloyd Shields, Merle Gasaway and Verdie Deaton. This photo was printed on a calender called the Austin Vigilantes Calendar.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s the Austin Vigilantes were a force in the community and the lawless town seldom had trouble with thieves. The Vigilantes of this era operated a little differently than the ones pictured above. In the 1930's and 40's, when Austin had a problem with a thief or other unruly type it is believed to have been resolved very quickly and quietly, by the Austin Vigilantes whose identities to this day are still a mystery to most people.
What's in a Name: Spicer Town
For some reason the Westside of Austin has always been called Spicer Town. In the 1950’s the Spicer Town area was all farmland. Supposedly when the land was eventually sold off into plots, a man named Dewey Spicer bought a lot of the land where he and his family were the first to build homes in the area. Thus west Austin became commonly known as Spicer Town.
What’s in a Name: Booe Road
Why is Booe Road called Booe Road? The most likely reason comes from two retired postal employees Carl Rose and Edward Johnson. Both men told me that at one time Booe Road was actually 800 E Road. Over the years when the street sign began to age, the eight in the 800 E started wearing off. Eventually new people to the area believed the “8” was actually a “B” at one time, and started calling the road Booe Road. When the town renamed some of its streets in the 1950’s, 800 E Road became Booe Road.
Austin's Coldest Day - Minus 28 Degrees
The coldest temperature in the history of Austin occurred on January 5th, 1884 when the temperature hit a minus 28 degrees. The temperature was reported in the January 10th 1884 edition, of the Austin Chronicle.
Bird – Horse Tombstone at High School Track
December 30, 2010
Anyone that has attended the Austin School system has seen a tomstone of a horse near the high school track. The horse belonged to the A.W. Garriott family that owned the property before they sold it to the school district. The Garriott family farmed the land and also had a small business on the land.
When the school built the high school track in the 1960’s near the tombstone it could have been the end of the tombstone, but school officials directed contractors to leave it alone. As of this writing (2010) the tombstone is still there on the east side of the track, where it has been since 1928. Austin may be the only public school in America with a tombstone of a horse on its grounds. At right is a photo of Bird’s tombstone taken in 2010. Below is photo of Bird in the early 1900's with A.W. Garriott (man in buggy) and the boy is Cliff Kinney.
July 6, 2011
For many years the intersection of State Highway 256 and Hardy Lake Road (State Road 203) just east of Austin has commonly been referred to as Pioneer Village, due to a quick stop grocery store and gas station available to travelers at the intersection. Prior to that the area was known as Haney’s Corner, because a family named Haney lived near the corner and owned several pieces of land near the intersection.
Ausitn Graduate Tom Chilton – Drafted by NBA Team in 1961
When Tom Chilton graduated from Austin High School in 1961 he was only 16-years old and to young to go to college. Chilton got a job in Indianapolis and played basketball in an Industrialist league. There his talents were noticed by college scouts and before long he was playing for East Tennessee State. In 1961 he led the NCAA in scoring, and was voted to the Converse College All-American First Team.
In the 1961 NBA draft he was selected in the third round, and was the 30th overall pick by the St. Louis Hawks. After playing in exhibition games for the Hawks, Chilton was called to active duty by the United States Army. While in the service he injured his knee and his NBA career was over.
What’s In a Name: 5C Auto Parts – Austin Business
Submitted by Karen Payne
Orville Payne opened 5-C Auto in 1964. He named the business 5-C Auto because he planned, at that time, to specialize in the sale of salvage auto parts from the 5-Chevrolet (5-C) vehicles which were in circulation at that time, which were the Corvette, Corvair, Impala, Bel Air and the Biscayne. In 1963, Chevrolet sold 2,602,830 full-size Chevrolet vehicles, which astounded even other auto manufacturers. Orville was thinking because of the large volume of sales by Chevrolet, he could easily have an auto salvage yard that specialized in Chevrolet salvage parts.
Lisa Goodin – Basketball Star
Austin’s Lisa Goodin a 1980 Austin High School graduate led the nation in free-throw shooting in two different seasons, when she played Division 1 College Basketball for Eastern Kentucky. In 1981 Lisa shot 89.7% and in 1983 she shot 91%. Lisa was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Morgan Family has ties to Confederate General John Hunt Morgan of Morgan’s Raiders
From the Scott County Chronicle on March, 3rd 1949
Paragraph three of the news story reporting the death of I.C. Morgan, the President of Morgan Packing Company:
“Members of the Morgan family of Virginia came to Indiana and Kentucky in pioneer days. The Indiana branch became Abolitionists and Republicans. General Morgan, famous Confederate Army officer, who was famous for his leadership of Morgan’s Raiders through Kentucky and Indiana during the Civil War, was a member of the Kentucky branch of the Morgan family."
1889 – Austin’s White Oak and Hickory Trees
The Scott County Chronicle reported on June 20th 1889 that Austin was America’s leading producer of White Oak and Hickory chair splits. At that time there were several lumber mills in or near Austin.
Austin's (Indiana) First Newspaper
First Newspaper Published in Austin – The Argus published in October of 1859.
July 1890 Austin Indiana – Census Report
Jennings Township Population including town of Austin: 1,150
Town of Austin population: 225
What’s in a name: CIO Building at Morgan Foods
February 18, 2011
The CIO building at Morgan Foods is used for the storage of empty cans and for palletizing products as they are released from the processing area. Over the years there have been many discussions on why the building is called the CIO building. Apparently in 1937 when the Union was first formed at Morgan’s, it was the called the C.I.O which was short for the “Congress of Industrial Organizations”. Even though there were over 700 employees at Morgan’s at the time, only thirty of them joined the C.I.O., and all were employed in the company’s construction shop, which is the C.I.O building today.
After that the building was nicknamed the C.I.O building after their allegiance to the union by other employees, and is still called that by management and employees today.
In 1955 the C.I.O. union merged with the American Federation of Labor Union, forming the AFL-CIO union.
Scott County Service Station in Austin went 42-years without a lock on the door!
Jack Morgan opened the Scott County Service Station on August 7th, 1931. For 42 years the station was open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. When gasoline prices rose above $1.00 per gallon in 1973, the government set a ceiling price on the price per gallon, which resulted in a fuel shortage as the demand became greater than the supply. On December 1st, 1973 the Scott County Service Station was forced to close on Sunday’s and Mr. Morgan was forced to buy a lock for the door, for the first time. The service station which was located on the eastside of U.S. 31 near the Morgan Foods factory entrance remained open until 1995, when it closed for good.
Scott County Egg Prices 1903 versus 2011
An advertisement in the September 9th 1903, issue of the Scott County Chronicle offered eggs for 16 cents a dozen. The 2011 Scott County price for a dozen eggs was $1.64 on 2/4/11.
1936 - New High School and Gym cost almost $63,000.00
In 1936 the new Austin High School and Gymnasium was built for $62,640.00 by the Hancock and Keifer contractors of Brownstown Indiana.
Austin's First Brick School Building
Austin’s first brick schoolhouse was constructed in 1889 and built by J.W. Martin for a cost $3,500.00 - Source: Scott County Chronicle September 15th 1888
1884 School Enrollment
In 1884 the Austin Chronicle reported that the enrollment for all schools within Jennings Township, had enrollment of 396 students and nine teachers. The schools included Austin Grade School, Oar Springs, Wesley Chapel, New Providence and Harrod.
Austin Boxing Club – North Fourth Street
For a couple of years in the mid 1970’s there was an Austin Boxing Club. Austin businessman Orville Payne loaned a building on North Fourth Street to the club for training and hosting Sunday afternoon fights. Bleachers were built inside the building, and fights were scheduled mainly in the winter months. Normally a couple hundred people packed the small building, where smoking was allowed. Fighters slugged it out in the ring as the building was filled with cigarette smoke but no one ever complained of not getting their money’s worth.
Peeling Tomatoes for Wages in 1918
The Scott County Chronicle reported on August 28th 1918 that local women and girls were making good wages peeling tomatoes at the canning factories. The report stated that most women were making $4.00 per day and one young woman made as much as $7.00 last Sunday.
Information to Know
Clarksville, Indiana, just 30 miles to the south of Austin, Indiana, is the 2nd oldest town in Indiana. Clarksville, was established in 1783, and is named after General George Rogers Clark. Just for the record Vincennes, Indiana, is the oldest town in Indiana.
The Austin Packers Baseball Team was originally the Austin White Sox
The name of Austin’s first semi-pro baseball team owned by the Austin Canning Company was actually called the Austin White Sox in the early 1900’s. The White Sox became the Packers around 1920.
1943-44 Austin Basketball Team
Due to a shortage of male teachers during the start of World War II Mrs. Bernice McKinney was the varisty coach of the Austin Boys Basketball team. At the time she was only the 2nd female to coach a boys varsity team in the history of Indiana High School Basketball.
1983 -Pop Music Icon John Mellencamp films music video Pink Houses in Austin
"Pink Houses" video House
December 25, 2010
Christmas Day – Dec 25th, 2010 – - Austin Indiana – House on York Road used in 1983 John Mellencamp video for “Pink Houses”. – House was built in early 1900s – Photo by Kelsey Barrett -
Austin Indiana History
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