Carr Township History

Medora Brick Plant
Medora, Indiana
Indiana 425 southwest of Medora in Jackson County

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By Bernice Martin

(written prior to 1992)  Other Medora firms have- or have had- the distinction of being in business for more than half century. The Medora Brick CO. was organized in 1906 by a small group of local men. Stock in the company was sold . The present ownership, now under the direction of James P. Heller , dates from 1923. The annual output of all kinds of building brick totals about 14,000,000. The original source of shale and clay near the plant has been exhausted, and the current supply comes from a quarry a short distance North of Medora.

  Ludwig Ernst (1854- 1915) founded the business that was carried on in later years by his sons. Otto W. ,ran the general store until his death in 1952. Harry ran the hardware store, and later ran a meat market and restaurant He was active in the late 50's . The Ernst general store building is now occupied by Shepherds Food Market, under the ownership of Harold Shepherd. MR. Shepherd started the store across the street from the post office in 1947, moving into the Ernst building in 1967. Randy Miser , owner of Randy's Market, started in the Ernst Hardware building in 1966.

   The Hague funeral Home at the corner of Perry & Riley ST's, was founded by William L . Hague in 1906. It is now conducted by MRS. Vera Hague, a daughter-in-law of W. L. Hague.

   The milling firm of Bundy Bros. & Sons INC., also in operation more than half a century, is mentioned elsewhere.

   The State Bank of Medora occupies a handsome white-pillared building ,which bears the date of 1900.

   Before a re-organization in post depression days , it was called Medora State Bank. Present officers are:  Russell Sherrill, pres., Frank Hill, vice pres.; Bonnie Singer, cashier; and Dennis Wayman, asst. cashier.

  Members of the board of directors are; Floyd H. Stark, Chairman; Ralph E. Peters; and Edwin Kasting.

   Medora has had several hotels. In 1876, Vincent Lockman Beem( called Lock) and his family moved to Medora from their Carr Township farm. In addition to a hardware business , he owned and operated the Beem Hotel which stood just East of the senior citizen center. People still speak of the attractive appearance of the building and remember the beautiful flowers. In the 1920's MRS V. Trueblood ran a hotel. In the early 1900's John  Sickles owned the hotel on the corner of Main and Perry ST. It was bought in 1922 by MRS. Ann Eshom, and operated by her for several years. It changed hands several times before the Don Kinders bought it and opened the Kountry Kitchen in 1975.

  Medora's largest industry is the Emconite Division of Amerace Corporation.

   Electric Manufacturing Company was established in Medora, May 1957 by Amerace Corporation.

   In the mid 60's the company's name was shortened to " EMC Plastics" and in April , 1973 EMCPlastics merged with a sister company ( Stimsonite) with another name change-- mconite Division.

   Emconite is a high volume custom plastic processor with uniquely comprehensive capabilities for injection molding, chrome plating , finishing and fabricating a wide variety of plastic material.

   Emconite is an established supplier of parts for automotive trim , plumbing hardware, telephone equipment. These include telephone dials, air conditioner outlets, appliance trim, bezels, knobs, key buttons and during the period from 1972 to early 1975, was the sole supplier of the chrome plated camera case for the Polaroid SX-70 camera.

   The level of the work force over the period of years has ranged from an approximate low of 8 to a high of 700 employees. The present workforce averages about 250 employees.

   Medora business firms in this Bicentennial year not previously mentioned include: Toon moters; Phillips 66 Service Station; Waymans Marathon Station; Phillips Dairy Bar; Persinger Restaurant; Barnes Package Store; The H. E. Curry Feed Mill; The Thomas W. Hall Lumber Co.; Denver Early Electric Service; Hinderliders Speed Wash; Thedford Stafford, Contractor; Debbi's Beauty Shop; Wright's Beauty Shop, Barber Shop; Wayne Howell, Barns Appliances and Jewell Plumbing.

   Medora's newest business is Keller's Corner Dress Shop at the corner of Adams and Perry Streets, which was opened on March 9 by David and Alice Keller. 

   Farming continues to be an important industry in Carr Township , though vastly different from that of a century ago, or even a quarter century ago. The small family farms tended by horse , oxen and man-power have given way to mechanized farming, which demands much greater acreage and the elimination of small fenced fields. Farmers who once produced several kinds of grain , fruit, poultry and live stock; butchered their own meat and milked their own cows, are now more specialized. Many items once produced at home now come from supermarkets. In recent years, many old eroded fields have been converted to productive grazing land . Several farmers combine hog-raising and grain -farming . Sheep raising , once an important phase of stock-raising-- a century ago it was a necessity-- now is almost non-existent. The largest farms in Carr Township are in the river bottoms , where some farmers tend several hundred acres.

   The town of Medora , incorporated in 1871, is governed by an elected Town Board, currently composed of James Fish, President; Robert Price, Joseph Campbell, and Judy Mitchell, clerk- treasurer. Bill Drees is town marshal. Randy Miser has been chief of the combined Medora & Carr Township Fire dept. for the past five years. The force numbers about 20 volunteer firemen and owns two trucks.

   After a disastrous fire in the late 1930's which destroyed a filling station , a blacksmith shop, the Beem Hotel and two residences, the town officials proposed the purchase of a town water system. A town election held, residents raised $33,000.00 , and received a WPA grant for $28,000.00. B. E. Davis of Medora, was in charge of the project which was started in Oct. 1939 and completed in April 1940. Because of the efficient and economical work of MR. Davis, the town board turned back to the WPA more than $9,000.00. The water system has been extended and a sewage system installed in recent years.

   Medora has had a post office for more than a century. The present office has a third class rating, and serves 350 families in town. George M. Smith is Post Master. Tom Byarlay carries the mail on Medora's one rural route which covers 85 miles, and serves 335 families.

   In 1973, a Senior Citizens Center was opened in the building known as " The Egg House". The center has an attractive and comfortable assembly room and a well-equipped and roomy kitchen. Facilities are ample for various crafts and activities and social occasions. Present officers are; President, MRS. Flora Beavers; Vice Pres., MRS. Aretta Motsinger; Secretary, MRS. Mabel Henderson; Treasurer, MRS Hazel Umphress; reporter, MRS. Avah Nelle Ollis.

   About one mile East of Medora on ST. Road 235 the old Medora covered bridge  still spans White river . Abanded when a new bridge was opened late in 1973 , it was saved from destruction by order of Gov. Edgar D. Whitcomb.

It was built by Joseph J. Daniels , one of the most famous of covered bridge builders, and a master craftsman in Burr Truss ( ARCH) construction, and was opened for traffic in July , 1875. It is the only remaining 3-span bridge left in Indiana, and it's length of 434 feet makes it the longest in Indiana since the demolition of the Tunnelton Bridge. It is hoped that funds will be made available for restoration and preservation of this historic structure.