Skip to main content

Meridian Hills Country Club
Indianapolis, Indiana
Saturday, November 5, 2016

Submitted by Robert H. Everitt

The 2016 annual meeting of The Society of Indiana Pioneers was held at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis on Saturday, November 5, 2016, with more than 110 members and guests in attendance. Members greeted one another and visited the table where copies of the Society’s centennial project publications, Deep Forest and Pioneer Founders of Indiana, were offered for sale.

Pioneers’ 100th Anniversary cake

After the meeting was called to order, minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting were approved as distributed, and the Treasurer’s report distributed by Treasurer Bruce Oakley was received for audit.

The membership elected the following members to the Board of Governors:

For a one-year term ending in 2017:

  • Eric N. Ward, Cambridge, MA

For three-year terms ending in 2019:

  • Janet Lempke Barb, Indianapolis
  • Jinsie Scott Bingham, Greencastle
  • Dr. Robert Eugene Clements, Indianapolis
  • Thomas G. Fisher, Indianapolis
  • John Kyle Herder, Sr., Indianapolis
  • Jeanie Joan Pike Hornung, New Palestine
  • Andrea Davis Neal, Indianapolis

President Fadely acknowledged the service of Helen J. Dickinson, Terri L. Gorney, Edward L. Hultgren, Jr., and Evaline H. Rhodehamel, all of whom had completed two consecutive three-year terms and were not eligible under the By-laws for another term on the Board.

The Board elected the following as officers of the Society for one-year terms:

  • Dr. Charles F. Bragg – President
  • Julie Hughes Newhouse – Vice President/President-elect
  • Robert H. Everitt – Secretary
  • Bruce W. Oakley – Treasurer
  • Marcia Ahrens Krieg – Registrar
  • Joan R. Everitt – Yearbook Editor
  • Dr. James P. Fadely – Immediate Past President

Pilgrimage Chair Nelson Price highlighted the 2016 Pilgrimages: Corydon, Cedar Farm, and Madison in the spring and Lincoln’s Boyhood Home, New Harmony, and Vincennes in the fall. He also announced dates and destinations for the 2017 Pilgrimages: June 10 to Jeffersonville and New Albany, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky; October 13-14 to Crown Point, Beverly Shores, and other points of interest in northwest Indiana.

At the luncheon that followed the adjournment of the business meeting, President Fadely noted that eight current members of the Society are direct descendants of a signer of the 1816 Indiana constitution. Of those, five were in attendance and were recognized to receive a memento from the Society to mark the occasion: Brenda Lynn Barnes DeBoalt, a descendant of Charles Polke; Christine Alton Fisher, a descendant of Dennis Pennington; Melissa Jane Gough, a descendant of Jeremiah Cox; Robert Allen Griffin, a descendant of Robert Hanna, Jr.; and Robert R. Stevens, a descendant of John Badollet.

Awards Chair William Rhodehamel introduced Dawn Crone, sponsor of the Brownsburg High School History Club, and Courtney Johnson, president of the Club. The Brownsburg club was selected as the 2016 recipient of the Society of Indiana Pioneers John H. Holliday Award, presented annually to a class or club that submits a nomination describing participation in a project, program, or activity related to early Indiana history in the current school year. A check for $500 was presented to Ms. Crone and Courtney.

Dawn Crone and Courtney Johnson

Elizabeth Cruft Holliday, the mother of Board member Evie Rhodehamel, led the first roll call at a meeting of Society members in the Riley Room of Indianapolis’ Claypool Hotel in December 1916. This year, William Rhodehamel, son of Evie Rhodehamel, grandson of Elizabeth Cruft Holliday (Hitz), and great-grandson of John H. Holliday, led the Roll Call by calling the roll of members and having them acknowledge the decade during which their earliest pioneer ancestor entered what is now the State of Indiana. Only one person stood when the period “prior to 1800” was called.

To conclude the program, Board member Andrea Neal, educator and author of “Road Trip: A Pocket History of Indiana”, presented interesting remarks on some of the 100 persons and sites noted in her book.

Andrea Neal, speaker, and Society board member, with a copy of her newly published book.

Following tradition, the meeting was adjourned by singing “Back Home Again in Indiana”, this year led by Treasurer Bruce Oakley.