Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 6, 2014

Neighborhood guide: Sharpsville maintains tight-knit population

Small town proud of its past, hopeful for the future

(Continued)

Rayl’s father, Philip Rayl, Moulder and fellow drivers Herman Cook and René DeAngelis are all contract drivers and they own their own buses. It’s something rarely seen outside of rural areas with rooted families.

Explaining Rood’s importance to the town, it’s all light-hearted jokes at Lester’s expense.

“His wife Marcia does hair. She does Lester’s hair too, but it doesn’t work.”

“Lester’s been here so long, he’s got the covered wagon he came to town in parked in front of his house.”

Looking forward

Rood is unfazed by his popularity, preferring instead the nuts and bolts issues concerning the town.

Within the last 15 years, they’ve replaced their aging water and sewage systems. The park looks new, but it has been around more than a decade. They’re working on finding funding to refurbish the historic gym to its original glory, replacing the stands which used to line the western wall.

The population is unchanged over the past 15 years, but there’s hope of growth now that Chrysler is starting up the new Tipton Transmission Plant 10 minutes’ drive from Sharpsville.

The town’s clerk treasurer, Berniece Farris, is another pillar of the town, and she remembers the days when Sharpsville was, in her words, “kind of like downtown Kokomo is now.”

She works out of the town hall, which occupies an old brick storefront on Main Street, one of the oldest buildings in town. It was a sad passing when the Order of the Eastern Star chapter, which had long leased the top floor of the building, was forced to merge with another chapter and moved out.

The population of the town hasn’t fluctuated much for half a century, but big box retail has had its effect.

“We had everything you needed: a post office, a bank, an American Legion, two gas stations, two groceries…

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