The summer of 1976 will remain for years in the minds of many people of this rural community. As the nation celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the America nation, Springville was not to be left out.
The week long celebration included many activities for all ages. In preparing for the festivities, many people worked extremely hard to make the week a success. Spearheading the celebration was the Springville Volunteer Fire Department, Lonnie Jones, Chairman.
On Monday, August 9, a gospel sing was presented with the “Majestics” as the feature attraction.
Tuesday night’s main attraction was “Historical Night” at the gymnasium. Many people contributed to this event by having displays of old pictures, antiques, etc. Some were in costume, demonstrating “old-time” tasks. There were featured speakers that night also.
Wednesday night featured two main events: a ping pong tournament and a horseshoe pitching contest.
An ice cream social was held on Thursday evening with a feature length movie entitled “Thirty Years of Fun”. The movie was shown on a large screen on the north side of the gymnasium.
The Springville PTO sponsored a carnival inside the gym on Friday evening.
Throughout the week there were concession stands operating, a dunking tank, and other activities to highlight the week.
The climax of the bicentennial celebration was a parade, the likes of which this community had never seen before. It was estimated that some 2,000 spectators lined the highway and side roads to view it. Parade Marshall, Richard Lugar, led the parade of 37 units from the Feeder Auction grounds down the highway, turning south at the Marathon station, and down into Springville. Riding with the Marshall was Curtis Armstrong, age 101, the community’s oldest citizen.
The best float award went to the Methodist youth group for their “John Gray – Hunter – Pioneer” entry. The most original float award went to the Church of Jesus Christ. Terry McKnight, of Bedford, won the best horse and rider combination award.
One of the main features of the parade was the Bedford-North Lawrence Marching Band. The best drill team in the parade was the Knights of Templar of Bloomington. Many antique cars were featured. The winners of the antique car awards went to Albert Ritter and John Gray.
Judging the parade entries were Lawrence County Court Judge Linda Chezem; Steve Ferguson, a Bloomington attorney; and Jim Armstrong, a Springville native and Indiana Director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The parade chairman was Dennis Godsey.
On Saturday, August 14, a ham and bean supper was prepared by the Volunteer Fire Department. Over 1,200 people were served.
Lonnie Jones, chairman of the event said, “People really enjoyed it. We’re all tired now, but everyone is very pleased. We’re glad we could put it on for the community.”
The bicentennial observance at Springville caused Aldyce M. Jackson, retired mail carrier of the community, as well as the “poet laureate” of Springville, to put some of his thoughts on that topic into verse.
The little town of Springville was founded, oldsters tell, Eighteen-hundred-thirty-two and prospered well. The early settlers labored as farmers of the land; As timber men they labored in forest as a band.
A railroad through the village and trains that ran thereon, Made business for so many who might have soon been gone. It’s been the home of stock men, the Cobbs, Armstrongs, and Shorts. The school turned out some leaders, according to reports.
From here there’s gone out doctors and lawyers, teachers, too. It’s been well-blessed with churches, old fashioned and the new. The mail came out from Bedford, by train or Star Route man; Delivered by two carriers assigned by Uncle Sam.
As the years slipped by and changes developed gradually, the high school left our village, and stores have gone away; But we still have the restaurant, two filling stations, yet, A feeder auction sale barn where price is best they get.
It’s where the bicentennial went over with a bang. By smooth operation each person done his thing. Such crowds, where did they come from: the young to one-hundred-two; A compliment deserving the ones who’ve seen it through. –A. M. J.
**Note: This article was taken from Jay Wilson’s Sesquicentennial book, Titled “Springville, Indiana..Village on Spring Creek”
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