Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 4, 2013

Re-enactors offer glimpse of Richmond's past turmoil

Liquor seller and anti-whiskey crusaders to meet once again.

by RACHEL E. SHEELEY
Palladium-Item

---- — RICHMOND (AP) — Liquor seller Alfred Tullidge and the anti-whiskey crusaders of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union didn’t get along.

In 1874, Tullidge, owner of the Old Gray Goose grocery at 177 Fort Wayne Ave., placed fish and hog parts in his walkway to dissuade anti-whiskey crusaders from protesting his selling of liquor.

On Saturday, during the Tales from the Departed tour in Earlham Cemetery, Joe Fields will portray Tullidge, minus the fish and hog parts. Ginger Martin and Tina Hall will serve as WCTU members who protest his business practices.

They will be among 11 costumed re-enactors telling the stories of Wayne County citizens buried in the cemetery. Organized by the Wayne County Historical Museum, the walking tour will be available from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and admission is $10 per carload. Visitors will receive a historical information booklet to guide them in the tour, the Palladium-Item reported.

Township Trustee Susan Isaacs and some of the volunteers who worked on King Cemetery will share information about tombstone care.

Fields, pastor at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, passed up the opportunity to portray the church’s benefactor, Daniel Reid, in favor of the grittier character of Tullidge. He has embraced the role, growing his beard to be fuzzy and unkempt.

“I’m one of the people in this town who didn’t succumb to those pushy women,” Fields said in character.

Sisters Martin and Hall are eager to go toe-to-toe with Tullidge as Temperance protesters on Saturday. It is their first time to serve as re-enactors.

“While he’s telling his story, we’ll be heckling and praying and singing hymns,” Martin said.

“That was a huge step for 1874. It wasn’t OK for (women) to picket anything,” Martin added. “The only thing that made it socially OK for us to do what we were doing was because we felt like we were doing God’s work ... as long as we were in a prayer group. We felt strongly that he was wrong and we were right.”

Hall said women today have been raised to speak about how they feel and to speak up for themselves, but women back then didn’t commonly do that.

“It’s something to learn,” she said. “One of the things Ginger and I have to work on is kind of being a little more timid.

“It’s different from what you and I are going through today,” Hall added. “It was one step toward equality.

“I think it’s important that people realize what history is in Wayne County and understand what made Wayne County what it is today,” Hall said. “If you get out there and listen to these stories, some of this you would have never known happened in Wayne County.”

Morrisson-Reeves Library archivist and Wayne County Historical Museum board member Sue King has coordinated the re-enactors and helped them develop their character.

During the tour, King will portray Emma Zeller Davis, who was a cousin to the first men of flight, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Her husband was Earlham College professor David W. Dennis and her stepson, William C. Dennis, served as Earlham’s president.

Other residents on the tour include:

— Susan and Allison Miller portraying the wife and daughter of Jonathan Roberts. Roberts, a Wayne County pioneer, built a log cabin on his farm that became the first schoolhouse. When the city absorbed Roberts’ farm, in the area of South 13th and A streets, the cabin was moved to Glen Miller Park. It is now on the grounds of the Wayne County Historical Museum.

— Steve Robinson will portray Americus Pogue, who was one of the founders of the Pogue and Miller Wholesale company, later known as Miller Brothers Hardware.

— Eric Burkhardt will portray Dr. Kersey, who had a very public feud with Mr. Potts that provided entertainment and newspaper fodder for Richmond in the 1880s.

— George Schmid will portray E.G. (Edward Gurney) Hill, who founded the Hill’s Roses company in 1881 when he began hybridizing roses.

— Dennis Rigsby will portray Capt. Lewis Henchman, who served as a midshipman on the U.S.S. United States during the War of 1812. He moved to Richmond to be near his son.

— Al Glover will portray the Rev. James M. Townsend of Bethel A.M.E. Church, who is immortalized by the Townsend Community Center. In 1888, he was elected as a Republican to be Wayne County’s first black representative in the Indiana General Assembly.

— Steve Martin will portray Daniel Reid, father of the industrialist and philanthropist of the same name. The elder Reid was Richmond’s postmaster and led the first Richmond Temperance Society formed in 1832.

— Shane Edington will portray A.C. Lindemuth, a lawyer who served as Richmond’s city attorney as well as an Indiana General Assembly representative. In 1885, Lindemuth defended the last man hung in Wayne County. His client, Nathaniel S. Bates of Hagerstown, was found guilty of murdering his wife.