A CELEBRATION OF A VILLAGE - SESQUICENTENNIAL 2005
Part 2 of 13
Beginning with February issue of the ECHO and continuing through April 2005, you are
being offered a look at Elkhart's history.
2000 - April of 2005
We are here today celebrating a brand new century. What a wonderful feeling. In the
years 2000 to 2004, the following families moved to the village, Benner, Mulkins, Barker,
Freeman, Fairchild, Garber, McNeil, Krueger, Twist, Bly, Foster, Fights, and Maudlin.
In June of 1999 the village signed a resolution to determine the eligibility of our area as
a Redevelopment Project area, to see if we were eligible to become a TIF (Tax
Increment Financing) area. In March of 2000 the ordinance was voted upon as we found
out that much of the village was eligible.
In July of 2000 the Alumni of ECHS held their 5th banquet with 516 reservations.
In December of 2000 we gained another 224 acres when different parcels of farmland
were annexed to the village. These were close parcels to the village limits plus the
acreage of the Turris Coal Mine.
Also in December of 2000, a new business opened, The Blue Moon Bar owned by Teri
Hanner. It was completely renovated and is located in the building once housed by the
Blue Monday at the corner of Gov. Oglesby and Latham Street.
In 2002, we acquired our first brand new squad car for the use of our police officer. In
June of 2002, “Under the Prairie” museum opened with many wonderful artifacts inside
and is owned and operated by Bob Mazrim and the Blue Stem Bakery opened and has
wonderful treats for the sweet tooth and delicious soups and sandwiches, it is owned
and operated by Cynthia Hinton. These two businesses are located where the
hardware store used to be.
On March 19, 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom began and again our young men went off
to fight. Two from here, Travis Moore and Clayton Judd left for two different tours to
serve. In 2003 we purchased new “Welcome to Elkhart” banners to be set at all points
entering the village. Also in 2003, the village board acquired our first computer with our
own web site, (www.elkhartillinois.com) and also purchased a large copier for the use of
the village. We can now make our own 250 copies of our newsletter each month. Jeff
and Carol Kutz are the editors of the ECHO. All copies (12 months) of the newsletter are
on our web site. In February of 2003 Andrea and Peter Niehaus bought the Legion
Building (old bank building) and have done a complete renovation. They opened on May
1 of 2004 and have crafts, art and many other items of interest. Their business is called
In February of 2004, the papers were signed which makes the Village owners of the
Veterans Park; it was a gift from Susan Green a few years ago. In February of 2004, we
accepted the plat of 45.38 acres to the village, as Rick and Kathy Kaesebier are
developing Prairie Pointe Estates. This is land located north of Kennedy Road and east
of Interstate 55.
Businesses here today, old and new are; Blue Moon Bar, owner Teri Hanner, Miss Jessie’
s Art and Frames owned by James Ransom, The Blue Stem Bakery owned by Cynthia
Hinton and Under the Prairie Museum owned by Bob Mazrim, The Talk of the Town,
owner Peg Brown, The Illini Bank, Richardson’s Repair owned by Bill and Kathy Cosby,
Horsefeathers owned by Peter and Andrea Niehaus, The Hair Hut owned by Teri Hanner,
Davis Truck Service owned by Karl Davis, Davis Bros. Trucking owned by Jerry Davis and
we have Ron Davis Straw Co. and trucking, Elkhart Grain Company, D&T Construction
owned by Dan and Teresa Durchholz, Bob Peters Construction, Elkhart Fertilizer owned
by Steve Urish, S&W Contract Services owned by Warren and Sue Rogers, Custom
Wood Craft by Lacy Hall Sr., State Farm Insurance with Deron Powell, A to Z Antiques
owned by Ed Dyer, Hinds Bus Service owned by Brian Hinds, Lyle Fout Construction, Phil
Pickett Construction and Folkes Air Conditioning. I do hope I did not miss anyone.
The village has many organizations; The American Legion has 64 members, The
American Legion Auxiliary has 50 members, NAG, Senior lunches, Historical Society,
United States Post Office, 62634 postmaster Kirk Duncan, Public Library, Librarian Donna
Cunningham, Booster Club of the grade school, Village Board with President, Clerk, and
6 trustees being elected and the treasurer is appointed.
Our police department now numbers three part-time officers, Joe Danosky, Joe Luduke
and Paul Poole. And then we have all those good people who are here to help anyone
for any reason when they are needed, I speak of all the good residents who continue to
work together, if you are new in the village, just ask around if you want to donate time
for any cause whatsoever. It will be appreciated and we have just the spot for you.
Two townships, Elkhart and Hurlbut, divide the village. They are separated by an
imaginary line that runs, as the crow flies, from the south road (south from Gillett Street)
to the north road (north of the new fire station building). The Elkhart Township road
commissioner is Richard Lanterman and the Hurlbut township road commissioner is
Richard (Slip) Gleason. They do their best to keep the roads in each township in good
repair. The village employee, Mike Cyrulik keeps the village roads and water supply
running smoothly. We have over 250 voters in Elkhart Township and over 240 voters in
Hurlbut Township and we have always voted in the Republican majority. When you go
vote, the township hall is for Elkhart village/township and the Hurlbut township hall is
the place to go if you live in Hurlbut Township.
In October of 2004, ECHS held its sixth Quinquennial reunion with hundreds of our
alumni attending. We felt we should have it a year earlier this time because of the
sesquicentennial celebration coming this July. It should also be mentioned that Don
Lanterman saved the cornerstone from the high school when it was demolished in 1974.
He is now asking permission to have it laid at one of our parks in the village for all
alumni to appreciate.
Next month, come back again for the end of the story. Gwen