2015-11-10 / Front Page

November 15th OCHGS Educational Program Will Focus on Owen County Bicentennial Celebration

by Jason Kinney
OCHGS President

This old photo of the Hyatt-Chaney House in Coal City is one of many historic photos in the SEW’s Owen County Bicentennial Calendar. In 1886 James Hyatt built the finest house in town with bricks from his Coal City brick factory. Hyatt’s house on Main Street is of mixed styles and when built had the latest amenities, including carbide lighting and running water. Among the more notable of the home’s many owners were Lincoln and Belle (Hubbell) Chaney, local merchants; the house is still known to some as “the Chaney House”. (Carl Smith Photo)This old photo of the Hyatt-Chaney House in Coal City is one of many historic photos in the SEW’s Owen County Bicentennial Calendar. In 1886 James Hyatt built the finest house in town with bricks from his Coal City brick factory. Hyatt’s house on Main Street is of mixed styles and when built had the latest amenities, including carbide lighting and running water. Among the more notable of the home’s many owners were Lincoln and Belle (Hubbell) Chaney, local merchants; the house is still known to some as “the Chaney House”. (Carl Smith Photo)In the year 2016 Indiana will celebrate two hundred years of statehood and thanks to the hard work of the Owen County Bicentennial Committee our county is gearing up to join in and organize some local festivities to commemorate the event.

Would you like to learn more about Owen County’s plans for the upcoming Bicentennial celebration? If so, please attend the Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society’s (OCHGS) annual meeting and educational program about the bicentennial on Sunday, November 15th, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at the IGA building in Spencer. The program is free and open to the public. OCHGS will welcome Mark Rogers, President and CEO of the Owen County Community Foundation, as the featured speaker. Rogers is the chair of the Owen County Bicentennial Committee and will discuss how Owen County is planning to celebrate its heritage in 2016. One of the goals is for every community in the county to participate and we welcome your input.


School children in Coal City pictured on Main Street with downtown in the background (photo looking north). According to an Indianapolis Star article from 1976, this photo of Parents Day was taken in 1906. This is one of many historic photos in the SEW’s Owen County Bicentennial Calendar. Can you help us identify people in the picture? If so, please write to Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society (OCHGS), P.O. Box 569, Spencer, IN 47460, or contact Jason Kinney at jakinney@ umail.iu.edu or 812-829-9810. (Carl Smith Photo) School children in Coal City pictured on Main Street with downtown in the background (photo looking north). According to an Indianapolis Star article from 1976, this photo of Parents Day was taken in 1906. This is one of many historic photos in the SEW’s Owen County Bicentennial Calendar. Can you help us identify people in the picture? If so, please write to Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society (OCHGS), P.O. Box 569, Spencer, IN 47460, or contact Jason Kinney at jakinney@ umail.iu.edu or 812-829-9810. (Carl Smith Photo) The Owen County Bicentennial Committee is organized into the same four pillars used by the State to plan the statewide celebration: Nature Conservation, Youth & Education, Community Involvement, and Historical Celebrations. This will be an informative, enjoyable, and enlightening program. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Spencer Evening World’s 2016 Owen County Bicentennial Calendar, which features a variety of historic photographs from across the county, will be available for free at the program. The calendar was a project of the SEW, World Arts, Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society (OCHGS), and the Owen County Heritage & Culture Center. Many of the historic photographs came from OCHGS’s collection, including the above cover photo of Dr. Boaz Yocum’s residence and office in Coal City. This photo was one of many historic photos restored by Carl Smith, a well-known Owen County professional photographer from Coal City, for the Coal City Centennial Celebration in 1975. Among the pictures featured in the calendar are ten photos that were either restored or taken by the late Carl Smith. OCHGS thanks Roselyn Smith and her daughter Elizabeth for sharing these photos with us. The above photo shows, left to right: Mrs. Yocum, Mabel Yocum, Paul Yocum, Dr. Yocum, and his “Flanders Car.” T he following is some history of Dr. Yocum from the Coal City Centennial History 1875-1975 book: “Dr.Yocum spent more than fifty years attending to the medical needs of the people in and around Coal City. About 1896 Dr. Yocum bought Dr. Van Horn’s office and residence on Main Street and began his practice here. The residence had been built in 1888 and was remodeled in 1900. (It is now the home of Mrs. John [Gilma Gene] Fulk.) [1975] Office calls were 25 or 50 cents with house calls $1.00 to $1.25. In 1911, a Studebaker car ‘Flanders’ was purchased by Dr. Yocum to help with his medical practice. This was the second car owned by a resident of Coal City. Dr. Yocum continued his medical practice until 1951 when he retired. Death came to him in 1953 but the memory of Dr. Yocum lingers still. [the house is no longer standing]” T he house was built for Dr. John R. VanHorn, the druggist in town. The first telephone system in Coal City was installed in this house, connecting it to the drugstore. Pick up your free copy of the calendar at the OCHGS program! (Carl Smith Photo)The Spencer Evening World’s 2016 Owen County Bicentennial Calendar, which features a variety of historic photographs from across the county, will be available for free at the program. The calendar was a project of the SEW, World Arts, Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society (OCHGS), and the Owen County Heritage & Culture Center. Many of the historic photographs came from OCHGS’s collection, including the above cover photo of Dr. Boaz Yocum’s residence and office in Coal City. This photo was one of many historic photos restored by Carl Smith, a well-known Owen County professional photographer from Coal City, for the Coal City Centennial Celebration in 1975. Among the pictures featured in the calendar are ten photos that were either restored or taken by the late Carl Smith. OCHGS thanks Roselyn Smith and her daughter Elizabeth for sharing these photos with us. The above photo shows, left to right: Mrs. Yocum, Mabel Yocum, Paul Yocum, Dr. Yocum, and his “Flanders Car.” T he following is some history of Dr. Yocum from the Coal City Centennial History 1875-1975 book: “Dr.Yocum spent more than fifty years attending to the medical needs of the people in and around Coal City. About 1896 Dr. Yocum bought Dr. Van Horn’s office and residence on Main Street and began his practice here. The residence had been built in 1888 and was remodeled in 1900. (It is now the home of Mrs. John [Gilma Gene] Fulk.) [1975] Office calls were 25 or 50 cents with house calls $1.00 to $1.25. In 1911, a Studebaker car ‘Flanders’ was purchased by Dr. Yocum to help with his medical practice. This was the second car owned by a resident of Coal City. Dr. Yocum continued his medical practice until 1951 when he retired. Death came to him in 1953 but the memory of Dr. Yocum lingers still. [the house is no longer standing]” T he house was built for Dr. John R. VanHorn, the druggist in town. The first telephone system in Coal City was installed in this house, connecting it to the drugstore. Pick up your free copy of the calendar at the OCHGS program! (Carl Smith Photo)To kick-off the celebration, the Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society partnered with the Owen County Heritage & Culture Center, the Spencer Evening World, and World Arts, Inc. to produce the Spencer Evening World’s 2016 Owen County Bicentennial Calendar, which is full of historic photographs. The calendars are free and will be available at the program. Plan to attend and pick up your copy!


In a continuing tradition of producing a free Owen County calendar, the Spencer Evening World and World Arts, Inc. project is now complete for 2016 and available to the public. The calendars are currently available at the SEW office, 114 East Franklin Street, during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In a continuing tradition of producing a free Owen County calendar, the Spencer Evening World and World Arts, Inc. project is now complete for 2016 and available to the public. The calendars are currently available at the SEW office, 114 East Franklin Street, during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After Rogers’ presentation, the members of OCHGS will elect 2016 executive officers and board members.

The In God’s Arms Fellowship Hall (old IGA grocery store) is located at 95 West Franklin Street in Spencer and is handicap accessible. Plan to join us on Sunday, November 15th, at 2:00 p.m. to learn about Owen County’s upcoming Bicentennial party!

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