Newspaper sold; Klan conducts final rally

Do you like to look at old newspapers? I do, and yesterday’s news is tomorrow’s history. A June 7, 1973, edition of the Daily Reporter tells us that on that date Home News Enterprises took over the publication of the paper from the Spencer family. The paper’s founder, Newton Ramsey, started the Daily Reporter on April 26, 1908, and his family published it until Home News bought it out.

At the time of the sale the publishers were Mrs. Dale Spencer Miner and Mrs. Phyllis Spencer Berndt. Included in the sale was the Greenfield Republican, which was in the estate of Mrs. Dorothea B. Spencer, who had recently passed away.

Also in this edition was the story of the last KKK rally, which happened June 3, 1973, in a field at County Road 700 North and County Road 300 East. Grand Dragon William Chaney called the meeting to order. Fewer than 50 people showed up, and there was no cross burning because of the rain. According to the speaker, the Klan was limited to all native-born white Christians. In earlier days, 20,000 people from all over east central Indiana would come to Klan rallies in Greenfield.

Hancock County has two round barns, one in McCordsville and the other in the Mt. Comfort area. An architect, Benton Steele from Pendleton, promoted the round barn concept in a 1903 brochure titled “Ideal Circular Barn.”

The photo inside the pamphlet was the Littleton Barn (Kingen Barn) in Hancock County. It was promoted as Indiana’s largest round barn.

Frank L. Littleton (1868-1935), who owned the McCordsville structure, helped Isaac McNamee and Horace Duncan patent the roof design.

As a partner he collected royalties from farmers for the right to build a round barn. The 1905 patent, “Self-supporting Conical Roof,” was an improvement over the circular barn design. By the way, Horace Duncan (1877-1928) was known as the “Round Barn Man” from Knightstown.

Enough. I have told everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.