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Newton County Fact Book

A guide to local government, education, resources and more.

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

Newton County Fact Book 2019

History of Newton County


he original Newton County was formed by statute on February 7, 1835, and was a roughly square area some 30 miles on a side, encompassing what is now the northern half of the county, the northern half of Jasper County, and a large section to the north. The northern border was cut back to the Kankakee River on February 1, 1836, with all land north of the Kankakee River going to Lake and Porter counties. The county was abolished and combined with Jasper County in 1839. On December 8, 1859, the county was re-created and the borders were redrawn to essentially their current state. Newton County is named after Sgt. John Newton, who served under Gen. Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox�, in the American Revolutionary War. It is adjacent to Jasper County, which was named after Sgt. William Jasper, whose story is similar. At least four other states, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas, have adjacent Jasper and Newton Counties, as though these two were remembered as a pair. Newton County was the last county to be organized in Indiana.


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County Government

Pages 4-8

Town of Goodland

Page 10

Town of Brook Town of Kentland Town of Morocco

Town of Mount Ayr Libraries Township Trustees

South Newton Schools Sam Rice

North Newton Schools Attractions

Events Bison

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Page 11

Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 14 Page 15

Pages 16 & 20 Page 18

Pages 19 & 22 Pages 23-24 Pages 25-26

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

Newton County Government Newton County Commissioners

Kyle Conrad

Tim Drenth

Mickey Read

District 1

District 2

District 3

The Newton County Board of Commissioners meet at 3 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at the courthouse in Kentland. The commissioners also meet at 3 p.m. on the third Monday at the Government Center in Morocco. Phone - (888) 663-9866 x 2500.

We support the best livestock producers in our five county area! We provide the very top grade of meat for your family - the grill for the weekend, the week or your freezer. Since 1964

HANFORD PACKING CO. 11391 N. St. Rd. 55, Thayer, IN


Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Newton County Council

Tim Lohr

Scott Carlson

Michael Mark

David Atkinson

District 1

District 2

District 3

District 4

Abbey Rossiter

Pat Mulligan

Scott McCord




The Newton County Council meet on the second Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at the Government Center in Morocco.

Newton County’s Only Full-Service Grocery Store! Save Now and Improve Your Home's Curb Appeal Call now or come visit our showroom to find out how to stand out on your street with a Clopay garage door.

For more information, contact: 1250 W. 180th Lane • Lowell, IN 46356 (219) 696-4279 1-800-584-5845 email:

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

Newton County Elected Officials

Kristen Hoskins

Tami Jackson

Jessica Firkins



Corrie Myers

Circuit Court Clerk


Jeff Drinski


Tom VanVleet

Chris Knochel





Teri Knowles Treasurer

Hair Haven By Becca 219.474.3028

Hon. Daniel Molter Hon. Jeryl Leach Superior Court JUdge

Whicker’s Car Care

Towing & Recovery

Dorsey Whicker, Owner 154 N. Railroad St. Brook, IN 47922

115 N. Third Street Kentland, IN

Hair • Nails Tanning & Spray Tan Massages

Circuit Court JUdge

(219) 863-0257

24/7 Service

Full Service Shop:

Detailing, Brakes, Tires, Oil Changes

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Newton County Government Services

Newton County EMS Director - Anthonye VanWienen Billing - Paula Knapp (888) 663-9866 Ext 5100 Animal Shelter Director - Kris Flanigan 3214 E 100 N, Morocco, IN 47963 (Enos) (219) 285-2187 Building Department Commissioner: Glen (Butch) Cain Building Department (Suite 700) 4117 S 240 W, Morocco, IN 47963

Economic Development Director – Tim Myers 4117 S 240 W (Suite 100), Morocco, IN 47963 (888) 663-9866 Ext 2601 Emergency Management Agency Director – Ray Chambers 3218 W 100 N, Morocco, IN 47963 (219) 285-0833 x 5300 Highway Department Superintendent –David Pluimer 3640 S 275 W, Morocco, IN 47963 PO Box 477, Morocco, IN 47963 (219) 285-2595 Maintenance Department Director – John Hivley 312 E Seymour St., Kentland, IN 47951 (888) 663-9866 x 5500 Probation Department Newton County Courthouse 201 N 3rd St., Kentland, IN 47951 (888) 663-9866 x 1600 Health Department 4117 S 240 W, Morocco, IN 47963 Kim Durham, RN: Public Health Nurse (888) 663-9866 x 2200 Recyling Coordinator/Educator - Diane Gonczy (888) 663-9866 x 2513

Fowler (765) 884-1707 Lafayette (765) 838-0663


Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Newton County Courthouse Building Newton County Government Center

Materials Paint, Lumber,

Soil and Water Conservation District Drywall, Siding, Executive Director - Rose Morgan 213 E. North Street, Morocco, IN 47963 Windows, (219) 285-2217 Doors, Veteran’s Service Officer Albert Parr 4117 S 240 W, Morocco, IN 47963 (888) 663-9866 EXT 2514

705 E. 10th St., Fowler • 765-884-0500

1219 E 400 N Fowler, IN 47944

We work on all makes and models 24-hour Emergency Service 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Fowler, IN • 765-884-0176

“We Do It Right The First Time”

Cabinets, Flooring & Hardware

Fischbach Enterprises

Debby Shufflebarger

® REALTOR Cell: 765-366-4772 301 N. 6th, Kentland, IN • 219.613.6917 • 219.474.6964 Office: 765-884-1467

Town of Brook

Newton County Fact Book 2019


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rook, so named because of two creeks that flowed to the south of the settlement, was platted and organized in 1856 by S.H. Benjamin. The town experienced tremendous growth during the latter half of the 19th century and in 1888, the railroad came through town. George Ade American humorist, writer, newspaper columnist and playwright - built Hazelden Farm, an English Manor/Tudor-style estate, near Brook. Brook Town Hall

PO Box 182 Brook, IN 47922 219-275-6181

Town Council Matthew Beasley - President Rex Chapman Jeff Laffoon

Brook Fourth of July Parade

Clerk/Treasurer - Maria D’Ambrose Utility Clerk - Kathy Babcock Town Superintendent - Nick Snodgrass Town Marshal - Chip Flahive Fire Chief - Kyle Conrad Building Commissioner - Jeff Snodgrass

Newton County’s Community Bank Since 1931

Member FDIC

224 W. Main St., Brook, IN 47922


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Town of Goodland

Newton County Fact Book 2019

oodland, located in the southeastern corner of Newton County, was laid out in 1866. The town was given its name because of the high quality of soil in the area.

Town Hall

110 N. Benton St., Goodland, IN 47948 PO Box 269, Goodland, IN 47948 219-297-4841

Town Council

Jim Butler – President Gary Rheude Trisha Dowden

Clerk/Treasurer - Tina Ward Street/Water Superintendent - Sam Rees Sewer Superintendent - Pat Meyer Town Marshal - Dillon Hall Fire Chief - Jeff Miiller Building Inspector - Lane Lareaux

Banquets Leagues Banquets--Golf Golf Outings Outings - Leagues JuniorGolf Golf -- Weddings Weddings Junior Catering - Our Place or Yours!

– Open to the Public – – Open to the Public – 3705EESt. St. Rd. Rd. 16 16 Brook, 3705 Brook,ININ 219.275.7771 219.275.7771

The Kentucky Headhunters

Goodstock 2016

Cheryl Coy, Administrator This home is aA.relaxing living experience 5098 W 550 N, Earl Park, IN 47942 for the retired ladies of Indiana and 219.474.6136 surrounding areas. The Caldwell Home is located in a peaceful, beautiful country setting outside the quaint town of Earl Park, Indiana.

Finally a home you deserve and can afford!! For more information or a tour; please contact us at


5098 W 550 N, Earl Park, IN 47942

Town of Kentland

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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“Where Agriculture and Industry Meet”

Kentland is the county seat of Newton County. Founded in 1860 by Alexander J. Kent as Kent, it was soon lengthened to Kentland. The town is also the birthplace of George Ade, playwright, author, humorist and benefactor of Purdue University’s Ross-Ade Stadium, home to Boilermaker football. Town Hall 300 N. 3rd St. Kentland, IN 47951 219-474-5062 Town Council James Sammons - President Debby Shufflebarger Mike Rowe

Welcome to Kentland sign Clerk/Treasurer - Judy King Utility Clerk - Andrea Standish Town Manager - TJ Firkins Town Marshal - Julian Elson Fire Chief - Matt Wittenborn Building Commissioner - Matt Wittenborn

407 N Old U.S. Highway 41 • Boswell, IN 47921

765-869-4218 800-499-0457

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Town of Morocco

Newton County Fact Book 2019

Morocco the “Home of Hoosier Hospitality” was established in 1851 by John Murphey, making it the first town in Newton County. Morocco is also the birthplace of Baseball Hall of Famer Sam Rice. Town Hall 112 E. State St. Morocco IN 47963 219-285-2070 Town Council Bob Gonczy – President Duke Gagnon Scott Hivley Clerk/Treasurer - Sherri Rainford Town Marshal - Dustin Gary Fire Chief - Jeremy Vanderwall Building Commissioner - David Hoaks Planning Commission President - Mike Williamson Utility Board President - Steve Howell Conservancy District President - King Clark Antique Snowmobile Museum of Morocco 124 E. State Street Morocco, Indiana 47963 219.285.2008 Open - Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Weekends by Appointment

Etter Tire Service 219 East 5th Street

Fowler, IN 47944

Koby Wallpe Sales Associate Your local independent tire dealer 765-585-8851

Antique Snowmobile Museum of Indiana

Newton County Fact Book 2019

Town of Mount Ayr

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Mount Ayr was laid out as a town in 1882 when the railroad was extended to that point. The town was named after Mount Airy, North Carolina, the native home of its founder. PO Box 216 Mt. Ayr, IN 47964 219-394-2460

Mt. Ayr Community Center

Town Council Larry Berenda – President Richard Warne Steven Scheckel Clerk/Treasurer - Karen Warne Building Commissioner - Dan Thomas

Mt. Ayr Arbor Day

Stockland Service, Inc.

Ken Courtney


2841 E. 850 N. RD.

Stockland, IL 60967

FreshestSeafood Shrimp for 600 Freshest 600 Miles Miles!

RDM Aquaculture LLC

101 N. 850 E., Fowler, IN 47944 Shrimp –765.583.0052 Tilapia – Crawdads

101 N.Hours: 850 E. Business Mon.-Thur. 9 Fowler, INam-4pm 47944 Fri. 9am-6 pm 765.583.0052 Sat. 9 am-noon

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Newton County Libraries

Brook Public Library Director – Kristine Wright 100 W. Main St. Brook, IN 47922 219-275-2471

Goodland Public Library Director – Steve McNelly 111 S. Newton St. Goodland, IN 47948 219-297-4431 Kentland Public Library Director – Roberta Dewing 210 E. Graham St. Kentland, IN 47951 219-474-5044 Newton County Public Libraries Director – Mary K. Emmrich Lake Village Public Library 9444 N. 315 W PO BOX 206 Lake Village, IN 46349 219-992-3490 Morocco Public Library 205 S. West St. PO Box 87 Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-2664 Roselawn Public Library 4421 E. State Road 10 PO Box 57 Roselawn, IN 46372 219-345-2010

Newton County Fact Book 2019

Newton County Township Trustees

Beaver - Mindy Mathis 219-285-6913 Colfax - Kathy Haas 765-427-2412 Grant - Kevin Dowden 765-656-6486 Iroquois - Jane Risley 219-275-8841 Jackson - June Miller 219-218-3558

Jefferson - Jacob Shufflebarger 219-474-3330 Lake - Nikki Hanger 219-992-9116 Lincoln - Sharyn Harvey 219-345-4071 McClellan - Mary Jarvis 219-285-2437 Washington - Kim Wright 219-275-5111

A Community Bank Owned in the Communities it Serves · Fowler · Kentland · Williamsport

765-884-1200 or 800-439-3951

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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South Newton School Corporation Office of Administration Superintendent - Casey Hall 13232 S. 50 E. Kentland, Indiana 47951 219-474-5184

South Newton Elementary Principal - Amber DeYoung 13188 South 50 East Kentland, IN 47951 219-474-5167 888-763-9866

South Newton Middle School Principal - Tansey Mulligan 13100 South 50 East Kentland, IN 47951 219-474-5167 888-763-9866

South Newton's Precision Ag course

South Newton High School Principal – Charles Huckstep 13102 South 50 East Kentland, IN 47951 219-474-5167 888-763-9866

KINDELL INSURANCE SERVICES, LLC We represent the following excellent insurance companies: Auto Owners, Hastings Mutual, Indiana Farmers, Progressive, First Chicago, Underwriters Alliance of Indiana, as well as several specialty companies

Contact us today: Ph. 219-474-6088 Fax: 219-474-6089 101 N. 6th St. Kentland, IN 47951

Pictured left to right: LeAnn, Lori & Tom

The team to call for your insurance needs.

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

Morocco honors career, life of MLB Hall of Famer and native son, Sam Rice

BY MICHAEL JOHNSON MOROCCO – The roadside historical marker dedication in Morocco had all the makings of a day at the ballpark. There was the smell of freshly popped popcorn and hot dogs in the air. There were dozens of folks milling around, chatting it up while awaiting the start of ceremonies, much like baseball fans rooting for their favorite team and anticipating the emergence from the dugout of their favorite player. But unlike a baseball game, not even a burst of heavy rain during the May 25 ceremony dampened spirits or caused a delay. It was going to happen, rain or shine. In Morocco, there’s no doubt about their favorite player’s identity. He was a man who suffered a horrific family tragedy and rose to stardom in an era full of flamboyant personalities. Life dealt him a high and tight pitch, knocking him to the ground. But he dusted himself off, in true baseball fashion, and amassed a smash-hit 20-year career filled with dependability and consistency that led him to enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. That man was Edgar Charles “Sam” Rice. “I first learned about the story of Sam Rice in a Sports Illustrated article,’” said Bob Gonczy, president of the Morocco Town Council, during Saturday’s state historical marker dedication ceremony at the Scott-Lucas House. “His incredible journey and personal story of picking up the pieces of his life, overcoming the odds and making something of himself and achieving greatness is as American as small towns, apple pie and, frankly, baseball.” The marker is the first for Newton County, which prior to Saturday had been one of four in Indiana that did not have one. One had been erected in 1966 on US 24 at the Indiana-Illinois state line a few miles west of Morocco. It commemorated the state line survey of 1821, but it disappeared – no one knows when or by what means – and it hasn’t been seen since. Tim Myers, director of the Newton County Economic Development Commission, has been a longtime fan of Rice, who was born in Morocco in 1890 and played for the Washington Senators from 1915-1933 (he missed the 1918 season due to his World War I military service). Rice ended his career in 1934 after only one season with the Cleveland Indians. “This one is kind of my passion,” he said. “It’s kind of cool that this ended up being the first marker that we did.” The Senators later relocated in 1961 from Washington, D.C., to Minneapolis, where they are now the present-day Minnesota Twins. The team inherited all of the Senators’ alltime records, several of which Rice owns to this day, including at-bats (8,934), runs (1,466), hits (2,889), doubles (479) and triples (183). Rice is second on the Twin’s all-time leaderboard in games played (2,307), stolen bases (346) and total bases (3,833), tied for third in batting average (.323) with Goose Goslin and Joe Mauer, and fourth in RBI (1,045).

Unveiling of historical marker Inside the Scott-Lucas House was a display featuring photographs, baseball cards, an oil painting and other memorabilia from Myers’ personal collection. There was even an early 1900s baseball glove (not Rice’s) and a baseball Myers polished to make it look much older than its 30 years.

Rice’s early life tragedy

Rice didn’t start playing professional baseball until his mid-20s. He had tried out for ballclubs in Watseka, Ill., and Galesburg, Ill., but was deemed not talented enough to make those squads. But it was the tryout with the Galesburg team that ultimately changed – and probably saved – his life. During that tryout in April 1912 – a little more than a week after the Titanic sank – Rice, who lived in Watseka at the time, traveled to the tryout while his wife, Beulah, and two children, Bernie, 3, and Ethel, 18 months, went to visit Sam’s parents and sisters in Morocco. After a day of visiting friends in nearby Iroquois, Ill., the Rices returned to their Morocco farm. At about 6:30 p.m. that day — April 21, 1921 — an F4 tornado (wind speeds of 207-260 mph) carved a path from Crescent City, Ill., and through the Rice family farm. The twister killed Rice’s wife and two children, along with his mother, two sisters and a farmhand. Rice’s father passed away a few days later. Sam Rice’s entire family was wiped out in a matter of minutes. He never spoke of it to anyone — not sportswriters, not fellow ballplayers, not even his two subsequent wives. He never had any more children of his own. In fact, Rice’s personal tragedy didn’t come to light until that Sports Illustrated story Gonczy mentioned in his ceremony remarks.

Continued on Page 20... See RICE

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

North Newton School Corporation Administrative office 310 S. Lincoln St. PO Box 8 Morocco, IN 47963 219.285.2228

Lake Village Elementary School Principal – Kristen Hankins 3281 W. 950 N. Lake Village, IN 46349 219.992.3311 Lincoln Elementary School Principal – Jennifer Neal 10280 N. 450 E. Demotte, IN 46310 (Roselawn) 219.345.3458 Morocco Elementary School Principal – Christine Lawbaugh 310 S. Lincoln St. PO Box 50 Morocco, IN 47963 219.285.2258

Lake Village Elementary 4th Grade Authors North Newton Jr/Sr High School 1641 W. 250 N. Morocco, IN 47963 219.285.2252

F WLER GET INVOLVED. GET RESULTS. The North Newton Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting growth and economic development, advocating for sound public policy, and serving our members with outstanding programs and benefits. NNCC is the premier advocate of the region’s business community. NNCC is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business, and enhancing the quality of life in the Greater North Newton area. Our single-minded goal is to help your business grow and prosper. By promoting a strong local economy, advancing the interests of the business community, and serving our members, we can make our community an even better place to live, work, and play. If your organization isn’t currently a Chamber member we invite you to join now.

2019 North Newton Chamber of Commerce Executive Board

President: Larry Dowty Vice President: Sharyn Harvey Secretary: Debbie Rossiter Treasurer: Bonnie Oxley

Annual Fundraisers held to benefit:

• Scholarships for NNHS • We host Meet the Candidates • We sponsor The Angel Tree Join us for our monthly luncheon meeting the 2nd Tuesday each month at 12 noon. Roselawn American Legion

Contact the Chamber Office at (219) 345-2525, PO Box 266 Roselawn, IN 46372


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Newton County Fact Book 2019

Newton County Attractions

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Antique Snowmobile Museum of Morocco 124 E. State Street Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-2008 Fair Oaks Farms 856 N. 600 E. Fair Oaks, IN 47963 219-374-2025 877-536-1194 Hazelden Country Club 2705 E. SR 16 Brook, IN 47922 219-275-771 LaSalle Fish & Wildlife Area 4752 W. 1050 N. Lake Village, IN 46349 219-992-3019

Hazelden Country Club

Continued on Page 22 James A. Sammons CEO

Phone 219-474-6144 • Fax 219-474-5175

E MERSON -S ONDGERATH 127 W. Seymour • Kentland, IN 47951



Kentland Federal Savings & Loan Assn.

Visit these businesse 116 N. Third St., Box 87 Kentland, IN 47951

Tel. (219) 474-5888 Fax (219) 474-5875

a local family caring for our community 500 S. Grant Ave. (765) 884-1520 Fowler, IN 47944 Follow us on We are a preferred provider for Blue Cross, MDwise & Tricare

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

RICE ...

Continued from Page 16

Keeping secrets

Titled “The Secrets of Sam: Hall of Famer Sam Rice came out of nowhere to play rightfield for the Washington Senators. But where was nowhere?” author Steve Wulf revealed that a 1984 story by John Yost of the Newton County Enterprise detailed the Rice family tragedy. Yost was the first person to have uncovered Rice’s unknown past. Rice had passed away 10 years prior to the story’s publication. Suddenly, Rice’s Hall of Fame credentials became a side note. Forget that Rice collected 2,987 hits during his 20year baseball career – 13 hits shy of the coveted 3,000 mark. Forget that he batted above .300 in 15 of those 20 seasons (he accumulated a lifetime batting average of .322), or set the American League record with 182 singles in 1925, led the AL with 216 hits in 1924 and 1926, led the league with 454 putouts in 1920 and 385 in 1922. Forget that he led the Washington Senators to three American League pennants (1924, 1925, 1933) and one World Series championship (1924); or that in 1925, he had 227 hits. He stole a league-high 63 bases in 1920. He was fourth in AL Most Valuable Player voting in 1926.

The catch

Oh, and there’s also the controversy over a catch he made — or did he? — during the 1925 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. As the story goes from news reports of the time, Rice chased a flyball off the bat of Pirates catcher Earl Smith, leaped and made a backhanded catch near the fence. Rice then tumbled over a 4-foot-high fence and disappeared into the crowd. He emerged moments later with the ball in his glove. Some people said he caught it, others said he didn’t. Umpires ruled it a catch and the play stood. Rice penned a letter prior to his hall of fame induction with instructions not to open it until after his death. It supposedly revealed the “truth” about the play. In that letter, he described the play and wrote, “At no time did I lose possession of the ball.” That letter is currently in Cooperstown.

Just short of 3,000

For Myers, his failure to reach 3,000 hits and still make the Hall of Fame is what stands out most. “The thing I think is so cool, not only about the tornado and the family thing, and carrying that burden and never talking about it, is the fact that he had 2,987 hits. When he retired, I think there were only six or seven guys in baseball that had 3,000 hits. That was it. Nowadays if someone got that close, they would be given every opportunity to get 3,000. In those days, no one crunched those numbers or did that stuff. He’s always going to be the guy closest to 3,000 that didn’t make it.” According to, Rice was given an opportunity by Senators team owner Clark Griffith to return

The Historical Marker and achieve the 3,000-hit benchmark, but Rice declined the offer. “He was a completely different kind of ballplayer — he had the defense, the speed and hit for average — he still played in the same era as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and those great (New York) Yankee teams,” Myers said. “That’s another thing that’s kind of cool – for the Washington Senators to have won the American League pennant in 1924 and ’25, that was right in the heart of all those great Yankees teams. (The Senators) upset them in those two years to win the pennant.”

The marker

Getting the marker ready for Saturday was the culmination of a year-long process for Myers, Morocco and Newton

County in working with the Indiana Historical Society. The director of the marker program, Casey Pfeiffer, personally took on the research for the Rice marker to verify facts and get things lined up for the marker installation. “This is exciting for me because, not only is this Newton County’s first historical marker, but also as a baseball fan to be able to do the research on this,” she said. “As someone from Cleveland and Sam Rice playing his last year there, it was extra special as well. Sam Rice was an incredible player and he led an incredible life. He wasn’t a power hitter, he wasn’t a flashy player, but he was reliable, consistent and an amazing contact hitter.”

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Page 22

Newton County Fact Book 2019

Newton County Attractions

Legion Lanes 402 N. Walker St. Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-6286

Lugene Links Golf Course 8687 N. 300 W. Lake Village, IN 46349 219-992-337 Kankakee Sands The Nature Conservancy 3294 N. US Hwy. 41 Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-2184 Oak Lake Family Campground & RV Park 5310 E. 900 N. Fair Oaks, IN 47943 219-306-8223 Pioneer Family Campground 1276 E. 900 N. Lake Village IN, 46349 219-345-4472 US 41 Dragstrip 2695 W. 50 S. Morocco, IN 47963 219-313-9528 US 41 Speedway 7437 N. US Hwy. 41 Lake Village, IN 46349 815-693-0092

Pioneer Family Campground

Willow Slough Fish & Wildlife Area 6312 W. 100 N. Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-2704 Willow Slough Shooting Range 1803 S. 700 W. Morocco, IN 47963 219-285-2704

Daily’s Service Station Keith Daily 711 E. 5th St. Fowler, IN 47944

(765) 884-1270

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Festivials and Events

Goodland Grand Prix June 28, 2019 - June 30, 2019 Foster Park Goodland, IN 47948

Brook 4th of July Celebration Brook, IN 47922 The 100th Newton County Pun’kin Vine Fair July 15, 2019 - July 20, 2019 Newton County Fairgrounds 12189 S. Punkin Vine Rd. Kentland, IN 47951 Phone: 219-474-5745 Oak Ridge Boys Concert July 20, 2019 - Newton County Pun’kin Vine Fair Newton County Fairgrounds 12189 S. Punkin Vine Rd. Kentland, IN 47951 Phone: 219-474-5745

The Oak Ridge Boys

114 N. Polk St., Morocco • 219-285-2307 • Rick McCann, President Locally Owned & Operated Since 1998

217 East State St., P.O. Box 591, Morocco, IN 47963

NAPA REMINGTON 6221 W. US HWY. 24 • Remington

(219) 261-2992

Shaun Wynn, Broker/Owner

Ryan Kindig,

Associate Broker

Office: (219) 285-2700

Gary Hancock, Insurance Agent

Cell: (219) 869-1777

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

Festivials and Events

Goodstock Music Festival August 24, 2019 Foster Park 100 S. Benton St. Goodland, IN Community Bandfest (10th Anniversary) September 7, 2019 Roselawn True Value Parking Lot Brook Fish Fry Brunton Park Sept. 14 Morocco Homecoming Memorial Day weekend 2020 Morocco, IN 47963


and Towing

24/7 Towing & Recovery Ron Risley - Owner/Mechanic Auto, Truck & Mower Repair 600 W. Main St., Brook, IN 47922 Phone 219.275.6100 Fax: 219.275.6200

Brook Fish Fry Janet’s Embroidery Business Logo - Hats - Jackets Sweatshirts - T-Shirts - Afghans Monograms - Towels & More Janet Alter 9515 W 1600 S Goodland, IN

Cell: 219-863-3108 Call for evening appointments and available hours

Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Bison now roam the prairies of Kankakee Sands in Newton County BY ALYSSA NYBERG

Kankakee Sands Nursery Manager and Outreach Coordinator

We are all far, far, far too young to have seen bison roaming wild in Indiana. What a sight that must have been! About 200 years ago, herds of bison were here grazing, from the flats of northern Indiana to the hills of southern Indiana. Great herds of bison, estimated at 60 million, once roamed the prairies of our nation. Historically, bison were found throughout Indiana and were an integral part of our grassland landscape. The last bison in Newton County was shot at Beaver Lake in 1824; the last bison in the state of Indiana was shot in Orange County in 1830. Bison are North America’s largest land mammal. They are massive mammals. The males, or bulls, can be six feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 2000 pounds. Females, or cows, are roughly five feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 1200 pounds. Despite their size, they can run 35 miles per hour. On average, bison live 15 to 20 years. Females typically give birth to one calf per year. Calves are reddish brown in color and are affectionately called “cinnamons”. In April of 2017, the first bison calf was born at Kankakee Sands. Kankakee Sands is an 8,300-acre prairie restoration in Newton County, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting lands and waters in Indiana to preserve our natural heritage. The Conservancy’s goal at Kankakee Sands is to connect together three biologically diverse natural areas in Newton County: Conrad Station Savanna, Beaver Lake Nature Preserve, and Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area. To date, we have planted more than 6,800 acres of dry and wet prairie at Kankakee Sands using more than 600 species of native plants. With these natural areas now connected, there

The Bison at Kankakee Sands (PHOTO BY MICHAEL QUIGLEY) are more than 20,000 acres of contiguous habitat in Newton County for plants, insects, birds and mammals to traverse. The movie Field of Dreams made famous the saying, “If you build it, they will come”, and for many animal species, that rule has held true at Kankakee Sands. When we made portions of Kankakee Sands wetter by removing ditches, the amphibians returned. As the na-

Continued on Page 26... See BISON

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Newton County Fact Book 2019


Continued from Page 25

tive flowers, grasses and sedges began to establish, the small mammals and birds moved in. Once the small animals returned, the raptors and the larger mammals followed. But the bison was one mammal that was not going to return on its own. So, in October of 2016, we brought a small herd of bison from a Nature Conservancy preserve in South Dakota to a 1,060-acre pasture at Kankakee Sands in Newton County. The bison were brought here for a very important reason: to help us manage the prairie, which is exactly what bison naturally do. Bison are herbivores that forage primarily on grasses and sedges. We anticipate that this simple action will have a multitude of effects. A greater number of wildflowers should grow, bloom and set seed when the grasses and sedges, which compete for light and space, are reduced. This diversity of wildflowers should attract a greater diversity of insects and animals. The overall height of the vegetation will likely be reduced as bison graze, and this in turn will provide critical shortgrass habitat for such rare birds as the upland sandpiper. Bison wallows, or shallow depressions, are created when the bison roll and twist in the earth. These wallows then fill with rainwater. We expect that amphibians and wildlife will be attracted to these prairie potholes. Bison churn up the soil with their powerful hooves. This disturbance on the soil may provide a spot for annual plants, such as the rare forked bluecurls, to germinate. The bison are here for another reason, too: to remind us of our history. They remind us of the nation that we once were, wild and open and the land of possibility. They remind us of the many, many that have lived in this country before us, spending their lives on this same land that we do today. Bison remind us that we have a history, and that it is a history worth remembering and sharing with the next generation. We hope the bison at Kankakee Sands will inspire us all to learn more about and appreciate prairies and conservation, as well as

The newest calf

(PHOTO BY GARY SOPER AT WILDLIFE IN NATURE) our local and national history. We are thrilled to have bison at Kankakee Sands. This has been years in the making and it has taken much partnership and cooperation to make it happen. We are grateful to everyone who has made the bison herd at Kankakee Sands a reality, including the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the donors who have made bison possible through their charitable donations, and our many volunteers who graciously give us their time and energy. Though our work of bringing bison to Kankakee Sands is finished, for the prairies of Kankakee Sands, this is only the beginning. Let’s watch as the bison transform our prairies into vibrant, biologically diverse, beautiful landscapes. Come enjoy the beauty and the magic of Newton County and Kankakee Sands. The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands is 8,300 acres of prairie and savanna habitat in Northwest Indiana, open every day of the year for public enjoyment. The Nature Conservancy is an international, membership-based non-profit organization. For more information about Kankakee Sands, visit www.nature. org/KankakeeSands or call the office at 219-285-2184.

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

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Newton County Fact Book 2019

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2019-20 Newton County Indiana Fact Book