A CELEBRATION OF A VILLAGE - SESQUICENTENNIAL 2005
Part 3 of 13
Beginning with February issue of the ECHO and continuing through April 2005, you are
being offered a look at Elkhart's history.
Bolyard, Wallace, L. Drake, Bayless, Bailey, Reeley, Wyatt, Beatty, G. Caldwell, and
In 1990, the Welch elevator was sold to John Gehlbach, Don Ludwig, Bill Drake, Susan
Foote and Barry Taper and it was renamed Elkhart Grain Company.
In March of 1991 the village started to hold their recycling day every other month and it
is still going well. On January 17, 1991 Operation Desert Storm began and later that
year we welcomed home our resident who served in this war, Ray Miller, son of Marge,
came home to a hero's welcome when a large crowd of the town people met him on
Main Street and cheered him all the way to the grade school where we had a brief
program to welcome him home.
In 1991 Davis Truck Service built a new office at the corner of Bohan and Latham. On
June 14, 1991 The Blue Monday restaurant and lounge closed their doors. And on
December 6, 1991 Miss Jessie's opened next door. James Ransom is the owner of the
recently renovated building that once held the Lee's grocery store. He is in the frame
and arts sales. He is also an accomplished artist himself.
With the land Merl Welch had purchased on the north side of the hill in 1976, in 1995 he
has started work on the development of 53 acres of his sub-division and will be called
Elkhart Hill sub-division.
On May 9, 1995 Elkhart received the full blunt of a F3 tornado. Bingville really got hit the
worst because of the openness. Records show that many have touched down near by
but never has one touched down in the village. The hill has always been our guardian
angel. It came to town very slow from the southwest, which gave us all time to get to
safety. The Governor was out the next day and declared it a disaster area with over $5
million worth of damage to the village and to many close farm homes that had damage
also. We lost many building that housed Davis Truck Service and Davis Bros. Trucking
and one house was moved 5 inches off its foundation (and was replaced with a new
home). With all Elkhart residents and farmers helping each other, most of it was cleaned
up within 36 hours, but we had some mighty tired people too.
The Elkhart township building was a small building located on the frontage road north of
Davis' Trucking. The tornado of '95 took it down and it was rebuilt again within months
and made just a little bigger and holds all their equipment.
In June of 1996 Merl Welch and Janet Baumhardt donated to the village, 2.5 acres of
land where we could build our much-needed community park. We received a park grant
of $93,000.00, got some cash together from the village and residents and set about
starting our dream. It was dedicated in the summer of 1998 and is located in Bingville
off Steller Street, on land where our high school once set.
Also in 1996 the village bought three lots located at the corner of Bogardus and Gov.
Oglesby Street. Plans were to put a PUBLIC village parking lot there, which was done.
Also in the spring of 1996, the 'floor' of the Veterans Park on Main Street was beginning
to crumble, as it had been laid out over the remains of an old building (Taylor's Grocery).
With money from the village and the tiresome labor of some of the men from the Legion
and the ladies of the Auxiliary, it got a complete facelift.
In the summer of 1997, 39 4-H members, parents and 5 leaders all planted 25 trees
along the west side of ole 66. They had received a grant for $1,000.00 from the National
4-H Council for this project. They are growing, but slowly.
In June 1998, Peggy Brown bought the Talk of the Town Tavern. She has fantastic
chicken dinners on Wednesday night and tasty fish dinners on Friday, which are all very
good. She also has a complete breakfast menu and lunch specials.
In August of 1998 Hurlbut Township built a large new building on the service road out
by the Shell station. It was finished in the fall of 1999. In previous years, it was located
in a large metal building on the back of a lot in the 200 block of South Latham Street
and a small building located south of the Marathon station was the Hurlbut Township
voting hall. It was dismantled in 2000. The new building will hold all their trucks,
equipment and is also used as the Hurlbut township voting hall.
In previous years we always had a night watchman, but in 1998 with Terry Moore as
Mayor, we established our first police department. Our first officer, working part-time
was/is Joe Danosky.
New businesses joining us are D & T Construction, owned by Teresa and Dan Durchholz,
and Miss Jessie's owned by James Ransom.
Hope you are still learning something about your hometown and the village.
Until next time, Gwen