This article was taken from
The Seedling Patch
Published by The Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc.
Bedford, Indiana
Edited by Joyce Shepherd * Spring 2009 * Vol. IV * No. 22


Eva “Billie” Simpson


    I joined the volunteers for the Museum while it was next door to the old Penny’s building. My first job was filing newsletters from other historical groups. This job took longer than planned for I read so many of the articles. Needless to say, I was hooked.


    By then the new facilities were almost completed, so packing for the move was required. This proved interesting for each exhibit was packaged special and must contain the identifying paper. All of this was a completely different type of volunteering for me, and I have met so many interesting people.


    Since I’m not so busy with the things I should do at home but would rather do other things, I’m now volunteering three days a month at the Museum and three days a month at the reception desk at Dunn Hospital. I have joined Altrusa. I attend Homemakers Club in Washington County, Englewood Baptist Church most Sundays, and also visit friends at three nursing homes.


    I don’t know if I’ve been promoted or demoted at home. For many years my brother and I have maintained the home place. Since my husband, Don, passed away we have combined the two operations. Dave and Jolene Fruits (our foster daughter) have moved back to the farm. Dave has taken over my place on the tractors and other jobs. For some 40 years we maintained a 50 sow herd of Yorkshire hogs and showed at the Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky State Fairs until Don’s health deteriorated. We still have 30 Angus cows and calves. I’m the “go for” and do book work. My supervision from the window and the car leaves me with “go” time.


    I do try to keep up on my special interest–the Lawrence County Fairgrounds. After having spent 35 years as secretary and as a member of the founding group. I’m really attached! As a part of the County Homemakers for 40 years, I was very active in building the Homemakers Building. The County ladies worked the food stand at the fair and did all kinds of catering, etc. for building funds. Besides the annual baby show event at the fair, I’m pushing the reconstruction of the “sink hole” to eventually become Zukumft Park. In 1991, I was privileged to be awarded a place in the Indiana Hall of Fame.


    I have been so lucky to have been involved in so many different organizations, and each one has provided such learning experiences and great memories. To name drop–Farm Bureau Woman’s Leader, township, county and state, 1951-1992; Inspector, Perry Township Election Boards; Camp Indi-Co-So cook, 10 years; State Highway Safety Leader, 6 years; Lawrence County Community Foundation, 6 years; Purdue Extension Board, 10 years 4-H member; 25 years 4-H leader; Extension Program Advisory Board; and 2005 State Friend of Extension Award; District Officer for Purdue CARET; Extension Homemakers county, district and state representative, 60 years; Indiana Organ Procurement Committee; Advisor to Vocational School Foods; Oolitic School Outstanding Alumni; Associated Country Women of the World, 9 years; farming in the classroom (Farm Bureau), 10 years; and the Soybean Association. I was awarded the Book of Golden Deeds from the Exchange Club; and Favorite Citizen from Walk With Excellence.


    I’m forever thankful to have had parents, Bill and Helen Kern, a brother, William F. “Buster” Kern, and then my husband, Don, who not only let me grow but assisted along the way. I hope to have added a little to this old world for I have truly enjoyed these 83 years.