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November 11, 2014 • Headlines

Members of Margaret Mary Health’s breast cancer support group pictured above include (from left) front row: Karen Trenkamp, Dawn Strange, Lou Voegele, Kim Oblinger, Tracy Fox and Rhonda Belter; back row: Jenny Mehlon, Naomi Melia, Janine Huff, Joy Cole, Linda Pulskamp and Sharon Schoentrup. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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Medals presented to World War II widow

Mary Mattingly

“It makes me proud all over again,” said Viola Schwier of Batesville upon receiving her husband Carl’s Purple Heart and several other medals for his service during World War II. The medals had been lost or destroyed and Carl had come to the county veteran’s services office several months ago for assistance in replacing them.

Carl Schwier medal presentation to Viola


Above left, Kyle Moss of the Versailles Legion Post, county veterans services officer Ken Hylton, and State Rep. Randy Frye, present Carl Schwier’s medals to his widow Viola, sons Navy veteran Andy Schwier of Milan and Jeff Schwier, Batesville, and daughter Carla Neuman, Rushville

Carl Schwier


Pictured left is Carl Schwier during his Army days. He passed away June 23.

Unfortunately, he passed away June 23, three days before he could see the new medals. Kyle Moss with Versailles American Legion Post #173, Ken Hylton, the state legion commander and the county veterans services officer, presented six service medals to the family at the county commissioners meeting on Monday, which seemed appropriate since it was one day before the national Veterans Day holiday. State Rep. Randy Frye also gave the family an American flag and certificate. Carl’s widow, Viola, sons Andy and Jeff and daughter Carla Neuman of Rushville were on hand. He and Viola had been married 67 years.

70 blankets distributed today
DAR chapter remembers vets

Mary Mattingly

A Ripley County organization not only feels warm and fuzzy about our veterans, but is doing something to make veterans feel that way, literally.

Ross Run Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution


Pictured right, back left, DAR members Ruth Pickett, Judy Kappes, Cheryl Welch and Janice Wilson; front, left Sandra Meisberger and Helen Einhaus.

The Ross Run Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has presented 70 veterans who are patients at various nursing homes in the county with fleece lap blankets. The group used to do this at Christmas, but the DAR members thought Veterans Day would be a perfect time to bestow their gratitude. The 21 local DAR members donate the 50” by 60” blankets, which they often refer to as “lap robes” when they used to make them from scratch. A thank you card is attached to each. They used to give a gift bag of toiletries, but thought the blankets might be a more appropriate way to say thanks. Members comb discount stores throughout the year looking for sales on the popular blankets.

Judy Kappes, Ross Run chapter regent, said, “We’ve done this for at least 20 years. Patriotism is part of our agenda.” Two of their recipients are females at Silver Memories nursing home, and they’ll receive a shawl instead of blanket.
They also attach a handmade felt ornament to hang on the facilities Christmas tree. “Again, it’s a thank you for their service and dedication,” Kappes said. The chapter will also send packages of necessary items as well as at least 100 Christmas cards to the active military this year.  While many may have heard of the DAR, of their good works, particularly of the state essay youth scholarship contest, many may not know who they are, nor what they do.

The DAR is a women’s service organization dedicated to promoting historic preservation, education, patriotism and honoring the patriots of the Revolutionary War. It’s a non-political, non-profit volunteer organization. The local chapter organized in February 1974, and the chapter’s name commemorates an event in 1781 when the first white man, William Ross, entered what is now Ripley County. A former tenant on General George Washington’s plantation, Ross was with General George Rogers Clark and as a straggler, ventured up a creek which later became known as Ross’ Run. It’s near the state park, the local women said.

The only criteria to be a member of the DAR is to be of lineal descent from Patriots of the American Revolution. Death, birth or marriage certificates are ways to prove it, and generally obtained through state health departments. Helen Einhaus , one of the three charter founders, along with Cheryl Welch and Judy Jordan, has two descendents from the Revolutionary War, and another member, Marlene McDerment has five. The members will help anyone interested in researching their genealogical background. “It’s not always easy to find your family history. You have to dig, dig, dig!” Ross Run registrar Sandra Meisberger said; however, it’s easier today with the Internet, and the DAR suggests going to for clues. There’s also “Find a Grave” online for each state that can be helpful.

There are nearly 3,000 DAR chapters in all 50 states. The local chapter has several non-residents of the county, most with ties to the community. For example, McDerment lives in Ohio but is cousin to Judy Kappes. Another member lives in Pennsylvania and another resides in New Orleans. They even have an active member in Chile doing missionary work! Besides the lineal descent proof, you have to be 18 years old to join, and those up to age 35 are classified as junior members. Five of their 21 members are “ junior members.”

Former teacher Ethel Mathias was a DAR member. The Versailles resident passed away in 2012 at the age of 107. The chapter put a bronze DAR medal on her tombstone to signify her membership and lineage. DAR members have that option for their own gravesite.

The Ross Run chapter meets monthly, except for July and January, on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Ripley County Historical Archives building (formerly a bank) at the courthouse square. (Cheryl Welch is president of the historical society and has access to the building.) DAR encourages women who care about fostering good citizenship, who want to honor their ancestors, who are devoted to educating our youth and want to preserve the past for future generations to join. As the local members also say, it’s what you make of it. For more information contact Welch, vice regent, at 812-689-5767 or Kappes at 812-534-3608.

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Veterans Day 2014: Veterans defend us 365 days a year (guest column) page 4
• Milan hires trooper as school resource officer
• Angel Tree needs volunteers (page 3)

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