This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Milroy was here

On Tuesday night the Jasper County Historical Society had its monthly meeting, with a focus on General Milroy. The Fourth of July will be the centennial of the dedication of the General Milroy statue in Milroy Park, and the historical society has begun to plan a centennial celebration. The 4th will be on a Sunday, and they think something from about 2:00 until 4:00 will work. The mayor will attend and read a proclamation, and they have a number of other ideas that they are considering.

One of the items in the display case in the Historical Society museum is this postcard from a century ago publicizing the dedication of the statue. It must have worked very well, because an estimated 8,000 people attended. (I wonder who did that estimation. It seems very high to me.)
After discussing the centennial, the floor was open for people to tell anything they knew about Milroy. One lady read a letter from Milroy to his wife. Milroy did not suffer from a lack of self esteem. The letter indicated that he was full of himself.

Another person said that Milroy Avenue was originally named McCoy Street or Avenue. Sometime around the turn of the century, one of the McCoys, the one who built the large white four-square on Milroy Avenue, ended up owing a large amount of money to local people, and that money was never repaid. He fled town, but came back to get possessions from the house. An apparent misunderstanding, sort of like the story of Thomas Becket, led someone to put a stick of dynamite in the house, and it blew out part of a wall. The house was eventually repaired, but the citizens were then quite willing to rename the street to Milroy. (If I have any of these details wrong, or if anyone wants to fill in the gaps, feel free to comment.)

In other bits of news, there will be a traveling exhibit called the Faces of Lincoln at the Historical Society Museum during March. It tells the story of photography using Lincoln as the subject. You will be able to see it on Saturdays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27, from 10 am to 1 pm, and also on the open house on March 16 from 6pm to 8pm. This exhibit is provided by the Indiana Historical Society.

Finally, back to the centennial celebration. What would you like to see there? What would make this an event that you would enjoy attending? Some of the people in charge occasionally read this blog, so anything you write will get to them. (I intentionally left out some of the things they were considering because I thought it would be interesting to see what members of the community would suggest.)


Ed said...

I'm not too surprised to hear that he was full of himself, wasn't he originally a lawyer? I know he was one heck of a failure during the Civil War, giving up several thousand soldiers at Winchester because he was too pigheaded to pull out despite his advisers. He had some other magnificent defeats but Winchester was completely avoidable. I think they eventually shipped him to TN where he could do less harm.

g said...

How about a barbershop quartet? an ice cream social? Horseshoe pitching in the park? three legged races?

Anonymous said...

A flyover! With candy dropped from the cockpit. Or would that be considered a bombing run?