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Conner Prairie
Noblesville, Indiana
Saturday, November 3, 2007

Submitted by Robert H. Everitt

Eighty members and guests of the Society of Indiana Pioneers met on Saturday, November 3, at Conner Prairie near Noblesville for the 92nd Annual Meeting. After hearing a report on the year’s activities from President Jamia Jacobsen, the following slate of candidates to serve on the Board of Governors for terms expiring in 2010 was presented and unanimously accepted by the membership:

  • Louise Terese DeMore, Indianapolis
  • Ruth Ellen Lathom Dorrel (Mrs. Warren W.)*, Franklin
  • Ralph D. Gray, Indianapolis
  • Mary Alice Hines*, Indianapolis
  • Marilyn Louise Hicks Hoffman (Mrs. John M.) Indianapolis
  • Mary Jane Coleman Meeker (Mrs. Howard R., Jr.)*, Carmel
  • Michael Haydon Miller*, Albany

*Elected to serve a second term.

2007-08 Society of Indiana Pioneers officers (left to right): Mary Ellen Simpers, Registrar; Tom Ewbank, President; Jamia Jacobsen, Immediate Past President; Ken Beasley, Vice-President/President-Elect; Joan Everitt, Yearbook Editor; Bob Everitt, Secretary. Not pictured: Bruce Oakley, Treasurer.

In a special presentation, Dr. Jim Fadely announced the establishment of the Society of Indiana Pioneers Medallion to be awarded biennially to persons who render exemplary service to the Society. From nominees submitted by the membership, a committee of the Board of Governors selected Evie Rhodehamel as the first recipient of the Medallion. An etched crystal medallion was presented to Evie who was recognized with an appreciative standing ovation.

Evie Rhodehamel received the first Society of Indiana Pioneers Medallion from Dr. Jim Fadely. 

Guests of the Society for this event were two of the three winners of the 2007 Society of Indiana Pioneers Fellowships: Kevin L. Gooding (Purdue University) and Matt Salafia (University of Notre Dame). They expressed their appreciation for the support by the Society and made brief presentations on the progress in their doctoral research. The third winner, Keith A. Erekson (Indiana University Bloomington), was unable to attend, but Fellowship Chair Dr. Jim Fadely read a letter of appreciation from him.

Reporting on the 2007 Pilgrimages, Nelson Price presented slides and commentary on the Spring one-day pilgrimage to Wabash, Indiana, and the Fall overnight pilgrimage to the Evansville area and New Harmony.

New Society members attending their first Annual Meeting (from left): Jack Crisman, Sue Chrisman, Helen Dickenson, Asa Dunnington, John Klotz, Jane Klotz, Jack Morgan, Betty Tucker, and Judy Singleton.

A buffet lunch was provided followed by a roll call of members by Evie Rhodehamel. Persons attending the annual meeting for the first time were recognized. A most interesting program followed: “Pioneer Indiana through a Saint’s Eyes”. Sister Barbara DohertyMary Kathleen Fleming, and Sister Marie Kevin, all from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College related the remarkable story of the College’s foundress, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, who settled near Terre Haute from her native France in 1840. A certificate designating St. Mother Theodore Guerin as an Indiana Pioneer was presented to Sister Marie Kevin by President-elect Tom Ewbank.

President Tom Ewbank presents a certificate designating St. Mother Theodore Guerin as an Indiana Pioneer to (from left) Sister Marie Kevin, Mary Kathleen Fleming, and Sister Barbara Doherty.

Following tradition, the meeting was adjourned with the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana”.