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September 1, 2015 • Headline News
The Osgood Museum opened in 2006 and features many exhibits from the town, including the first fire engine, Maxwell and Model T cars, photos from the school and business memorabilia. MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Versailles Fire Department helped with the bomb threat investigation by blocking US 50 Sunday for about two hours. Police are seeking tips to identify the caller.
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Freak accident takes life of local woman

A freak lawn mower accident took the life of a beloved Versailles woman. According to the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Wilma Hughes, 81, was mowing her property off of CR 450 South Thursday near Correct when she slid into the creek and the mower overturned, pinning her underneath. Police believe she was making a turn and was close to the edge when the accident occurred. Dispatch got the call at 4:47 p.m. Her husband, Bill, had been looking for her for about an hour on the property before he spotted her in the creek. Police also noted it was the only place there was water in the creek. She was pronounced dead at the scene. New Marion Fire Department, Rescue 69 and Ripley County medic assisted the sheriff’s office at the scene.

Pictured left is Wilma Hughes.

Many Versailles residents were shocked and saddened at the loss of Hughes. She and her husband were named by the Versailles Lions Club as Lions of the Year in 2014 and recognized at the annual Pumpkin Show. She was always a big volunteer for the show, a frequent baking contest winner and of recent years, a judge.

She and Bill also raised giant pumpkins for the event. Wilma was also very active in her church, the Versailles Baptist Church, and a volunteer with Big Oaks Conservation Society. Click here for her complete obituary.

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One-of-a-kind car rolls into Osgood museum

Mary Mattingly

Henry P. King is a perfect example of America’s ingenuity. An energetic inventor who passed away in 1934, his innovative genius rolled into the Osgood Museum last month. The Osgood man built a steam car in 1898, which was quite innovative at the time, and could actually still operate today. The museum received the car, which still has many original features, from the late Paul Scholle family “They graciously decided this is where it needed to be. They (wife Mary and children) still own it, so if they want to put it in a parade they can get it out, “ said Bill Gloyd, president of the Osgood Museum. “We are so pleased and excited to get it.”

1898 King Steam Car at Osgood MuseumMARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
Bill Gloyd shows off the 1898 King Steam Car that is now on display at the Osgood Museum on Buckeye Street. Henry P. King was from Osgood and designed the car. There’s a water tank underneath the seat.

1898 King Steam Car at Osgood Museum

The wood carriage came from a Cincinnati company, but it was King who designed the rest. There’s a water tank under the seat , a compartment for the kerosene or fuel in the truck, which was probably used to start the engine, Gloyd surmised, and a built-in tool box to house his wrenches . “It’s had innovations on it that were not used until modern times,” he noted. The steam car was registered in 1904 and after HP King died, it was sold to a junk yard in Greensburg, but the next day Henry Humphrey brought it back to Osgood, and put it in storage until 1956 for the town’s sesquicentennial parade. It was also used in a 1962 parade when Richard Nixon came to Columbus, Indiana. The story goes that King, who also owned the Osgood Foundry and Machine Shop, lived in Osgood and needed transportation to visit his family in Benham, hence the steam car. A marker by the car indicates the first time he used it the steering wheel went out and he had to use a monkey wrench to drive it home.

This was not King’s only invention. He invented individual generators for houses, and also figured out the gear ratio for an engine so a train could go up the steep incline in nearby Madison. He invented the electric dynamo and in 1903 organized the King Storage Battery Co. King obtained a patent and stock was sold for $10 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. He received offers throughout the country from manufacturers but chose to keep his company in Osgood where it would benefit his friends.

Gloyd said King wasn’t a rich man though, but used his engineering and design gifts in a good way for the community and country. History records show that he hung the only street light in Osgood at one time, and ran a power line across the street. “He was ahead of his time,” Gloyd said. His grandsons apparently had the same kind of aptitude and developed other products and inventions.

The steam car is quite the attraction for the museum. “Kids flock to the car,” Gloyd noticed. They also like the 1925 Ford Model T and Maxwell 1911, both displayed toward the back of the museum with the King Steam car.

A watch from Lincoln is one of exhibits at museum

Besides the King Steam Car, the Osgood Museum has hundreds if not thousands of other interesting exhibits about Osgood, enough to keep a visitor engaged for hours! The Reynolds Foundation owns the museum and funded the renovations from the former auto parts store to open it in 2006.

Some museum highlights:
• Door frame from the Osgood jail.
• Two large movie projectors and film reels from the early 1920’s of the Damm Theatre,
• Photo of The Ripley House, 1876, a true hotel with a bar and dining area and 31 rooms. Osgood had five hotels in the early 1900s. The hotel registrar has the signature of a JC Osgood from New York in 1888. They think he may have been related to the town’s founder.
• First fire truck in Osgood, purchased for $800 in 1887.
• A gold watch given by President Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Harding when he was appointed to be governor of the Utah territory. Harding was an abolitionist from Milan, but he had a granddaughter who lived in Osgood and she kept much of his mementoes. “I tell the kids they now hold something that Abraham Lincoln had in his hand,” Bill Gloyd said.
• Wallpaper enlarged from a 1914 photo of the Cox Quarry on Tanglewood. Bill Gloyd’s grandfather is in the photo.
• Class composite photos from Osgood High School when it was the “Home of the Osgood Cowboys” from the early 1900s to 1980s (It became Jac-Cen-Del High School in the 60s).
• WWII items, such as ration books from local families and memorabilia from local soldiers.
• Ripley County Bank’s old check cashing machine that dates from the turn of the century.
• A wood plank from the road going from Napoleon and Versailles. “The curb plank on each side was laid. People in wagons or buggies would sleep and the horse would pull to the side and I’ve been told it was cut this way so it would wake the driver up!” Bill Gloyd, museum president, said.
• An advertisement from WV Neal and Sons thanking their automobile customers. They sold 285 automobiles in 1927.
• A display from US Shoe Co. in Osgood, which closed in 1998, is located at the front left of the building. There’s also a photo of another industry in town, a dairy farm that was the largest single owned dairy farm in the state with 600 cows.
• Rollover mailbox which kept mail dry, patented in 1901.
• There are also framed copies of articles from the Osgood Journal, which was established in 1865.

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