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Fri, Oct 31, 2014 03:41 AM
Issue of October 22, 2014

Read Ross
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Read Ross
County government gives beat writer Ross Schulz so much to write about, it can't ALL possibly fit in the newspaper, so we've made room here for that and whatever else he wants to blog about.

County's political history in a book

April 16, 2014 | 10:05 AM

For 75 years, anyone who ran for political office in Harrison County signed one book — and one book only — to officially get their campaign started.

From 1937 to 2012, the book was opened each new election year to provide space under the "Democrat" or "Republican" header (and the unaffiliated) for the signature of those bold residents who wanted to vie for public office.

The old pages are still in pretty good shape, but it will definitely have to be preserved to stay that way.

"I was kind of sad to see that old book go," Harrison County Councilwoman and former Harrison County Clerk Sherry Brown said.

Although the book is no longer in use, it hasn't really gone anywhere because it's still in the Harrison County Circuit Court Clerk's office in downtown Corydon.

The clerk's office employees will be happy to let anyone look through it.

When candidates signed up to run for office earlier this year, the old book was on display, and many people who stopped in took the time to browse through it to read a few familiar names from generations past.

When a group of Democrat candidates came in to sign the new book, Terry Miller, a lifelong resident of Harrison County, browsed through the old book to find the name of his grandfather, Lester Miller, who ran for District 3 Commissioner in 1944 (the same seat Miller signed up to run for that day). Miller also said his father's name is in the book. He successfully ran for commissioner in 1960.

One of the more interesting sections of the book is around the time of World War II, when war cards were documented in the book, and the ballot was called a "War Ballot" in 1944.

Old newspaper clippings and sample ballots are interspersed throughout the book, some of which include presidential races such as Harry Truman vs. Thomas Dewey in 1948, which was a tight race in the county with Truman winning by only a couple hundred votes.

The first name written in the book was the Harrison County Clerk in 1937, Ben Brown. The last name signed was that of Commissioner George Ethridge from the 2012 election.

The book is full of pages and pages of ink or pencil with all sorts of well-known and some not so well-known names from past Harrison County politics and beyond.

Now that a new book has started, one can only wonder what names will fill up the next 75 years of the county's — and country's — future.


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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email