Back when – November 14 to 20

Nov. 14

In 1902, George and Fannie Andis’ only child, a son, was born and died. Believing her son might have survived if there had been a hospital near, Fannie Andis later advocated for and donated toward one; Hancock County Memorial Hospital was established in 1951.

In 1908, the cornerstone for the Carnegie library on North Street in Greenfield was laid during a snow storm with “brief but impressive” ceremonies. Among the items placed in a box inside was a copy of the Daily Reporter.

In 1973, Irving Materials Inc. purchased in an auction the hand-crafted black walnut desk where James Whitcomb Riley wrote many of his poems. It was taken to the Riley Home on Main Street.

Nov. 15

In 1884, Charles Lee O’Donnell was born in Greenfield. He would grow up to become a Catholic priest; in 1928, he became the 11th president of the University of Notre Dame. In 1947, Greenfield Kiwanis Club paid tribute to O’Donnell with a bronze plaque in Riley Park.

Nov. 16

In 1973, Greenfield-Central High School’s football team won the Class AA state championship, defeating Blackford 21-12.

In 1975, the original Doe Creek Middle School was dedicated at 2279 S. County Road 600W in New Palestine.

Nov. 17

In 1984, hunters found a body later discovered to be 11-year-old Margaret “Peggy Sue” Altes. In 1986, 29-year-old Jerry Watkins was convicted on two counts of murder in the sexual assault and stabbing death of the girl, his sister-in-law. Watkins was released in 2001 after DNA tests cleared him but implicated Joseph McCormick.

Nov. 18

In 1909, an unidentified man was buried in Park Cemetery. The body, estimated to be of a man around 70 years of age, was discovered in a field near Cumberland by a farmer gathering corn when his horses apparently saw it first and were startled.

Nov. 19

In 1973, the City of Greenfield bought the John F. Mitchell home next to James Whitcomb Riley’s boyhood home on Main Street. The Mitchell building became the Riley Museum.

Nov. 20

In 1999, a reception in the Eastern Hancock High School cafeteria honored the school’s national championship in livestock judging earned at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville. Team members Tony Holliday, Wesley Broadwater, Jake Wilson and Luke McDonnell were coached by teacher Mike Witte.