Coverlet Comes Home

The coverlet was woven by a German immigrant in a two-story building on South Washington Street in 1851.

For whom August Vogel made the intricately-woven, antique bedspread has been lost to history. But almost a century later, it ended up in the hands of Peter Murphy, who was teaching physics at Wabash College.

“It was at an auction in town and I recall giving $95 for it,” said Murphy, now retired in California, “and that must have seemed like a high price because I got a round of applause when I closed the deal.”

After following its owner to California and Kentucky, the coverlet has returned home to Crawfordsville. Murphy recently donated it to the Montgomery County Historical Society.

The society will add the covering to its collection, which includes tapestries that belonged to Henry and Joanna Lane.

“They’d hang them up to the door to keep the heat in the winter and take them down in the summer,” said Steve Frees, the historical society’s executive director.

Staff assumed

Murphy’s coverlet was woven at the Yountsville mill. Murphy has traced its history back to Vogel, who was known for keeping pigeons in the loft above his loom.

Vogel came to Crawfordsville in the 1840s by the way of Baltimore and Kentucky. By the 1850s, he’d sold his properties on South Washington after marrying his wife, Nancy.

Profiling Vogel for the Journal Review in the 1970s, Murphy said he likely competed against other weavers in

Greencastle and Fountain County.

Like most weavers of the day, Vogel often made his coverlets in two pieces that could be combined to make a bed-sized covering. 

Their large size made them difficult to hang as decoration.

“I don’t think that was ever sewn together,” Murphy said of his tapestry.

As he moved from the University of California-Berkeley to a Kentucky campus and back to California, the coverlet got tucked away somewhere on a shelf. Murphy came across it while downsizing the house after retiring from a laboratory.

The Crawfordsville District Public Library pointed him to the Lane Place, where the historical society is based. Lane Place also gets coverlets donated to the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County.

Murphy can only guess how much his coverlet is worth. He once saw an eBay listing asking $999 for one – and there were no takers.

County Council OKs joining economic group

After 45 minutes of debate, which occasionally grew loud, the Montgomery County Council approved an inter-local agreement with the City of Crawfordsville to join the Montgomery County Economic Development Authority. 

The favorable vote did not come county commissioners amended the document one more time for the council.

Commissioners worked with Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton to change wording in the agreement at the request of the county council. It was reported at Monday’s commissioner meeting, that the mayor agreed to four out of five changes. Barton did not want to prohibit the new authority from entering into regional economic organizations. Commissioners passed the agreement without the change which caused concern with a few council members.

Councilmen Mark Davidson and Gary Booth said they did not want the new authority to have permission to join a Regional Development Authority. The two men shared examples of how some counties experienced fiscal problems due to decisions by an R.D.A. Davidson and Booth both said they were uncomfortable with the authority joining an R.D.A., and did not believe it would be in the best interest of county taxpayers.

Commissioners present at the meeting, Jim Fulwider and John Frey, felt the mayor was being fair by agreeing to four of the five council

requests to change the original agreement. Frey mentioned that Indiana West Advantage was in a few regional economic development organizations, that promoted neighboring counties working together for the betterment of the whole region.

Davidson accused commissioners of passing the agreement without understanding what an R.D.A. is and what it could cost the county.

The irony of the discussion finally was addressed by County Council Attorney Rob Reimondo after he read the state statute regarding R.D.A. organization while the debate continued around him. He addressed the council and said according to state statute, no county can join an R.D.A. without the approval of both the city and county fiscal bodies. He proposed adding one line to the agreement that stated the authority will follow the state statute in regards to joining an R.D.A.

The discovery appeased the council, and Davidson made the motion to approve the agreement. The motion passed on a 6-1 tally with Richard Chastain casting the dissenting vote.

Chastain said he did not like the fact that the new authority was comprised of only “politicians” and he believed economic development should be in the hands of local business leaders.

The amended agreement will be delivered to Barton for the city to approve the amended agreement.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the position of county engineer with a salary range from $50,000 to $120,000 at the request of the commissioners. The formation of the position and salary range allows commissioners to start the search for an engineer that will provide engineering services to county projects.

• Received annual reports from the County Drainage Board and Wabash Valley Alliance Inc.

• Received a quarterly report from the Montgomery County Purdue Extension Office.

• Was invited to joint meeting of the commissioners, council, Redevelopment Commission and the Plan Commission. The meeting will be at

6 p.m. May 10 at the Crawfordsville District Public Library, 205 S. Washington St.

Pinwheels show children support

Local residents will have an opportunity to show support for children during the Pinwheels for Prevention event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the gazebo on the Lane Place grounds. 

The annual event is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau. The event is part of Child Abuse Prevention month.

“We want to show support for children in our community,” YSB Director Karen Branch said. “The goal is to recognize the role of the community in protecting Indiana’s most vulnerable youth.”

Everyone in attendance will receive a purple pinwheel, which is symbolizes support for children. Residents are asked to place these pinwheels outside any location as a visual reminder of the children who need protection.

The event will feature a proclamation from Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton announcing Child Abuse Prevention month in the city along with a commitment to protect children.

Speakers include Josh Pack, Rock Point Church youth pastor, who will discuss a “happy childhood.” Joan Crum, Montgomery County Department of Child Service Director, also will speak.

Students from Discovery Kids Preschool will entertain the crowd with singing.

All DCS case managers will be recognized for the work they do with local children.

At the conclusion of the event, refreshments will be served.

Other organizations involved with the event are Indiana Child Advocates, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and Kids First.

Hot Dogs take two from Athenians

Frankfort scored 13 runs during the first inning of their two game sweep of Crawfordsville Saturday.

The Hot Dogs won the first game of the twin bill in five innings 11-1, and the second 14-2. 

After posting a crooked number on the scoreboard in the top half of the first with eight runs, the Hot Dogs forced Crawfordsville coach Brittany Carpenter to replace starting pitcher Olivia Barnett. 

Mia Stadler replaced Barnett on the mound and settled in during the middle innings of game one, but the Athenian bats struggled to find a groove.

Crawfordsville (1-3) only managed three hits in the first contest and didn’t score their lone run until Barnett scored in the fifth.

Frankfort pitcher Avery Drew cruised through the five inning complete game, walking three and striking out eight, while earning the victory.

“It all started with our pitching today,” Frankfort coach Kevin Ricks said.

The double header at

Crawfordsville was Frankfort’s (2-0) first games of the season, and Rick’s was concerned his team may show signs of rust.

“With a limited time outside, we knew there were going to be things we were going to be deficient in,” he said. “But I was very pleased with the mentality our girls brought in.”

The Hot Dogs offense continued to roast in the second game, scoring five runs in each of the first two innings. They had five first inning hits, including RBI base knocks from Chloe Roberts and Morgan Dean. 

In the second inning, senior Samantha Melton squared up a Stadler pitch for a two RBI single, scoring Casey Robertson and Roberts.

For the second straight game, the Athenians were in a hard position to recover from.

“When you get down eight or nine it’s tough to mentally come back from that,” Carpenter said.

Unfortunately the Athenians faced yet another tough pitcher in game two.

Frankfort’s Carson Hackerd went the distance allowing two runs, which both came in the fifth inning, while walking two and striking out 10. The senior also had a strong performance at the plate, with a pair of hits and three runs scored. 

Hackerd led the Hot Dogs offensively for the day with five hits, five runs scored and three runs driven in. Melton also had three hits and a five RBI day.

Freshman Lauren Kellerman paced the Athenians at the dish with a pair of hits and two runs driven in.

Overall Ricks was pleased with the Hot Dogs performance.

“Today I was pretty pleased with everything,” he said. “Very pleased with our approach and how we played the game.”

Carpenter knows the Athenians can perform better from a physical standpoint, and hopes the mental aspect can help carry them there.

“Our whole postgame meeting was about mental toughness,” she said. “Because we know we can play better than that physically, but I think it was our mental state that kind of put us in that position on the field.”

Both teams return to action Tuesday evening with Frankfort playing host to Danville while the Athenians are home to Tri-West.

No. 2 Athenians shut out Mustangs

Crawfordsville’s baseball team lived up to their No. 2 state ranking with a 10-0, five inning win over Fountain Central Saturday.

The victory moves the Athenians to 5-1.

Trent Johnson picked up his first win of the season to even his record at 1-1, striking out nine of the 10 batters he faced. He also got his first two RBI with two sacrifice flies.

Brendan Dowell pitched the last two innings, striking out five. They combined for a no-hitter.

“The theme of the season continues to be pitching,” Athenians coach John Froedge said. “Both guys did well. We swung the bats well. The batting practice earlier in the day paid off.”

Johnson now has 30 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work. He has walked two. Dowell now has 15 punchouts in seven innings pitched.

“Depth at the pitching position is always a factor,” Froedge added. “We were going to use four guys today, and with conference games plus our Invitational next Saturday, guys have to be ready.”

The new pitch count rules had a direct impact on the Mustangs, who fall to 1-2 after two WRC wins over Riverton Parke last week.

“We had to go with our 4 and 5 pitchers,” FC coach Adam Acton said. “One guy was out because of the pitches he threw Tuesday, another because he pitches in our conference game Monday. The third guy was not here today. We made some good plays defensively, and we saw two of their best pitchers.”

Roger Dickison started for the Mustangs and went three innings. The junior allowed four hits and four runs. Jake Smith threw the last two innings as the Athenians got to the run rule limit.

Crawfordsville got a run in the first when Johnson walked to lead off and scored on a Caden Jones single. 

The bottom third of the order got their work done in the second when Kaile Wendelin, Will Kellerman and Brendan Dowell all got on base, and were driven in by Johnson, Carson Scott and Chase Dowell.

Batting nine in the fifth, starting with the bottom third again all reaching base, and all again scoring, the top of the order followed suit, with Scott, Jones and Josh Blackburn all getting on. Peyton Abney dropped a double into left field to score all three, and the game was done.

All nine hitters in the Athenian batting order reached base on the day, and seven scored at least once.

The Mustangs play host to WRC foe South Vermillion Monday, and play them on the road Tuesday.

“I liked our perseverance,” Acton said. “We didn’t get down. We kept battling. There are things to work on, but I feel this team is getting better.”

The Athenians start Sagamore Conference play Tuesday at home against Tri-West. 

“They are a much-improved team,” Froedge said of the Bruins, who then host Crawfordsville Thursday.

Crawfordsville also hosts three 4A teams next Saturday in the Athenian Invitational.

The Athenians take on Franklin Central at 10 Saturday morning, in front of the second game featuring Bedford North-Lawrence against Carmel, ranked No. 1 in the state.

“Carmel has about seven Div I guys,”Froedge said. “With three Class 4A teams here next Saturday, we are expecting a lot of great baseball.”

Junior Varsity

The Athenians junior varsity picked up their first win of the season with a 16-0 win over the Mustangs.

Cameron Saunders, Jacob Wemer, Branden Demoret and Cale McCarty combined to pitch a perfect game, striking out 10.

Wemer and Demoret each had four hits and three RBI, while Jake Decker had three hits and one RBI.

They host McCutcheon Monday.