Back when: Dec. 13-19


Rob Miller receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18, 2020. He became the first person to receive one of the vaccines in Hancock County.

Dec. 13

In 1901, the Barnard Family Orchestra gave its first concert in what is now Eden United Methodist Church. According to George Richman’s “History of Hancock County Indiana,” Elwood and Ola Barnard and their five children drove to Fortville to catch a train to Indianapolis for the children’s music lessons at the Metropolitan School of Music. The group played for Hancock County school commencements in 1902. The family later moved to Indianapolis and became popular on the chatauqua circuit.

In 1919, an astronomer reassured Hancock Countians that the “end of things” predicted for Dec. 17, 1919, would indeed not occur. He said the coming conjunction of planets to occur that day would not noticeably affect the planets or the sun.

Dec. 14

In 1932, Greenfield School Board announced in a special meeting that Christmas vacation would be two weeks long instead of one week because grippe and influenza were causing absences of 100 to 150 students. School officials said they didn’t want to receive less money from the state because of lower attendance rates and also reasoned it would be cheaper to have an extra week of school in the spring, during milder weather.

In 2007, a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy discovered during a traffic stop that a Green Township resident was actually a convicted rapist who had escaped from a North Carolina prison 19 years earlier and taken a different name.

Dec. 15

In 1942, former Daily Reporter staffer Jack Clark penned a letter home to Hancock County from French North Africa, where the newspaperman turned technical sergeant was stationed. Near the close of his letter, he expressed hope that censorship would later relax and allow him to write letters more descriptive of the country and its people. “I certainly hope so because this place has many interesting angles, which I would like to pass on to you back home.”

In 1967, Gov. Roger Branigan ordered the opening of the stretch of Interstate 70 between State Road 3 and Greenfield. Two Greenfield police offers spent four hours downtown in “biting cold” helping direct traffic as motorists exited the interstate and drove south toward Main Street (U.S. 40).

In 2007, Cynthia Erwin, owner of Cynthia’s Hallmark in Greenfield, the nation’s largest Hallmark store, died.

Dec. 16

In 1991, Hancock and Shelby county commissioners dedicated a $1.3 million bridge at county roads 500 West and 600 South.

Dec. 17

In 1942, Mrs. Robert Birch returned home to Greenfield with her new son, William Gilbert Birch, from Major Hospital in Shelbyville, where she delivered the 10-pound baby.

Dec. 18

In 1956, Greenfield Mayor James Allen and other city employees moved into the new Greenfield City Hall, vacating space they had rented in the Hancock County Courthouse. County commissioners had already determined who the next tenants would be: The Cancer Society and the Center Township Trustee. The city hall was later demolished, and in 2010 Hancock County Veterans Park was dedicated on the site.

In 2020, Rob Miller became the first person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Hancock County. The shot was administered by Lissa Ferrara. “Whether I was the first one or the last one, it’s great to have this,” said Miller, director of respiratory therapy at Hancock Regional Hospital. “This is a game-changer.” Miller was one of about 200 front-line health care workers to receive the first vaccinations against the novel coronavirus at the hospital that day.

Dec. 19

In 1977, the former Greenfield police station was demolished.