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Looking back....

50 Years Ago in the Standard

July 14, 1966


Former Resident Reunited With Family After 46 Years – The following news was received this week from Mrs. Virgil L. Weir of Muncie, the former Mable Appleman, a native of LaGrange County.

    Recently, a salesman came to the door of the Weir’s home in Muncie and because her husband was not at home, Mrs. Weir would not grant him entrance. Even when he told her that he was the brother, Homer L. Appleman that she had last seen in 1920, she wouldn’t let him in until she saw his credentials and much to her surprise it was her brother.

    Next in age to her in the family of five children of Mr. and Mrs. James Appleman, farmers in the northeast part of LaGrange County, he left home when he was 16. On the spur of the moment he and two neighbor boys began hitchhiking west to California. They gave up in about a month. Though he began the trip with only 57 cents in his pocket, he continued west alone, working wherever he could.

    He wrote constantly to his parents. His father died, then his mother passed away in 1949 and he wrote no more.

    His father was born, lived and died on the family farm but Homer traveled everywhere. Shortly after he arrived in Hollywood, Calif., he met Tom Mix, the movie actor. He was in several group scenes in motion pictures with him and with Hoot Gibson.

    He also modeled men’s clothing while there and his picture appeared in many publications. Homer worked as a cowboy on large ranches, went to Alaska to pan gold, spent some time in Asia, Puerto Rico and Japan and was stationed in Hawaii with the Seabees in World War II.

    San Francisco, Calif., became home to him, his wife and their son and daughter. Two years after his wife’s death, he retired, moving to Miami in 1956 to make his home. Ironically, Mr. and Mrs. Weir had been spending winters, since his retirement, at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., only 16 miles from where Homer was living.

    Homer’s younger brother, Harold, now lives in Kendallville, his younger sister, Mrs. Helen Frederickson, in Elkhart, and another brother, Herman, resides in Indianapolis.

    All of the Appleman children were born and grew up in LaGrange County. Before moving to Muncie, Mrs. Weir was deputy county recorder in the county courthouse for several years.


NASA Test Airplane At Sunset Motel – A National Aeronautics and Space Administration aircraft, the X-15, and the two men who were transporting it stayed overnight with Mr. and Mrs. Ted Ferweda at the Sunset Motel in LaGrange Friday. The aircraft was on its way to be exhibited by the U.S. Air Force in the Miss Indiana Pageant Parade in Michigan City Saturday.


Pigeon River Raceland Officially Opens Gates – Pigeon River Raceland Corporation opened its gates initially Monday, July 4, to some 1,500 persons. Spirits were not dampened by the intermittent downpour of the afternoon and as “The show must go on,” the races were run and indications are that LaGrange County is in for some fine racing on this one and only one-fourth mile straightaway in a radius of 150 miles in the Midwest. The race Monday, July 4, attracted owners from as far as Oklahoma as well as various states of the mid-west.

    Officials for the race were veteran horsemen, Bob Greenman of Pleasant Lake, Cal Dickinson of Montgomery, Mich., Frazier “Dutch” Weaver of Wolcottville and George Schmich of Sturgis, Mich.

    This track is the most recent attraction at Robinson stables. Fred, his wife, Betty, their daughter, Sally, and Mrs. Ben Bordner (Jeanie), as well as Ben, maintain year-round programs of activities including summer camp, day camp, lessons, cutting classes, shows and a unique babysitting feature on New Year’s Eve.

    Starting gates were purchased at Amarillo, Tex., from a unique welding shop which is operated by five city firemen who operate the shop during their days off. Painted yellow, the gates add much color to the activities of the race.

    Current plans call for an addition of an inside rail, a photo finish and electric timer, paddock, jockeys’ quarters, isolation quarters for ailing horses and by no means least, a grandstand. However, Fred has built the track at the foot of a natural hillside arena which will suffice in the interim.


Chucklin’ Charley and Aunt Min – The Howe Community put on a real nice one hundred fiftieth year celebration the other night. A large crowd came to hear the speaker, eat homemade ice cream, see the interesting exhibit of antiques and just to visit with friends.

    Among the antiques was something I had never seen before – it was a set of flat boards that fit on the bottom of a horse’s foot to keep him from sinking in the mud. If they had a name for them I never heard it mentioned.


igh School

25 Years Ago in the News

July 19, 1991


Six contestants to vie for Miss LaGrange County crown – Six young women will be competing for the 1991 Miss LaGrange County Queen title when the event helps kick-off the start of the 4-H Fair week on Saturday, July 27. The six contestants will take to the stage at the 4-H pavilion in the contest scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

    Contestants for the LaGrange County 4-H Fair Queen contest this year are Heather Notestine, Michelle Yoquelet, Sharla Yoder, Heather Zolman, Ana Colon and Tonya Gick.


Hold reunion – LaGrange High School Class of 1961 held their 30th reunion at the LaGrange County Country Club on June 29. Those in attendance were Gordon Olds, Leland Cleveland, Kathy Blackman, Carolyn McCoy, Lynn Soblotne, Larry Taylor, Brenda Grossman, Terry Mickem, Betty Hill, Penne Blair, Linda Heign, Madeline Bornman, Jack Miller, Henry McCoy, Don Gray and Larry Helmer.