Back when: June 19-25

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June 19

In 1895, Marcellus Neal of Greenfield became the first African-American graduate of Indiana University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. The university’s Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center is named for him and for Frances Marshall, IU’s first African-American female graduate. She received a bachelor of arts degree in 1919.

In 1967, Hancock County Commissioners sought an appropriation of $60,000 from the county council to buy new right-of-way along Mt. Comfort Road (County Road 600W), anticipating its upcoming role as a feeder for an interchange of Interstate 70.

In 2004, New Palestine High School’s baseball team won the Class 3A state championship, defeating Andrean 3-2 at Victory Field in Indianapolis. The win came a week after New Palestine’s softball team won its first state title, making the school the first in state history to win state titles in baseball and softball during the same season.

June 20

In 1927, the body of an infant girl was found along the traction line tracks in Willow Branch. The baby, wrapped in a towel and an Indianapolis newspaper, was thought to have been 15 to 20 hours old. Coroner C. M. Gibbs said the body had likely been there for several hours and was probably dropped out the window of a car.

June 21

In 1961, Wilkinson and Shirley were without electricity for about an hour after a major Public Service Co. of Indiana line “apparently was severed by high powered rifle shots,” according to the June 24, 1961, edition of the Daily Reporter.

In 2021, New Palestine High School graduate Samuel Voelz ran in the 800 meters final at the U.S. Olympic Trials Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. He missed the cut for the Olympic team but finished sixth in 1 minute, 45.54 seconds, setting both a Notre Dame program record and a new standard for the fastest Hoosier to ever run the event.

June 22

In 1903, multi-time Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan spoke in Greenfield.

In 2003, the Village (earlier known as the Weil Theater) marked its last day of operation. The last two films were “The Italian Job” and “Alex and Emma.” The Strahl family later donated the building at 122 W. Main St. to Hancock County Visitors Bureau, and it is now the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts.

June 23

In 1967, Hancock County Sheriff Bob Sebastian took three youths who were drunk on Main Street home in the wee hours of the morning instead of to jail as part of his recent decision to handle underage drinking this way. Sebastian said when he simply jailed youths and parents saw them in court, sober and contrite, parents didn’t always believe their children’s condition the night before. “Sebastian now believes the results will be better when parents see a child slobbering drunk and, perhaps, covered with vomit,” according to the June 23, 1967, edition of the Daily Reporter.

June 24

In 2002, a dedication service took place for a $2 million expansion at Mt. Comfort United Methodist Church.

June 25

In 1902, a glass factory in Wilkinson was blown down by a cyclone. Brown’s Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church was destroyed. Charlottesville Methodist Episcopal Church suffered enough damage to cause the pastor and congregation to begin to plan a new building. Farmers in the area suffered the loss of crops.