OF THE NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
VOLUME VIII, Number 3 (August 1991)
Gladdys Muir in North
By Allen C. Deeter
[Editor’s Note: The Peace Studies program, started at Manchester College in 1948 under the leadership of Dr. Gladdys Muir, was the first of more than 200 programs now being offered by college and universities worldwide.]
Dr. Gladdys Muir came to Manchester College because President Vernon F. Schwalm had the vision to invite her to carry out her dream of Brethren colleges training leadership for peace. Her 1947 essay, “The Place of Brethren College in Preparing Men and Women for Peace Leadership,” was addressed to all the presidents of the six Brethren colleges. It would be a joy to Dr. Muir that now, nearly 45 years later, each of the Brethren colleges and Bethany Seminary have some type of academic program in peace studies. But Dr. Muir was the pioneer at Manchester.
Dr. Muir was primarily a teacher and scholar. She was also the living embodiment of her concerns. Her impact on students, colleagues, and townspeople was the result of what she was as a person.
She was a deeply religious person. Each week for most of her years at Manchester she held a quiet hour, when students, colleagues, and neighbors were invited to join her in meditation. While I was in college from 1949-1953, this Quaker-like silent meeting was held in the Calvin Ulrey room on the second floor of the old Library (now Communications Center), which also served as her office. It was rumored outside the college that these meetings included yoga exercises and eastern mysticism. The rumors were unfounded to the best of my knowledge. But participants were free to share whatever insight or concern was on their heart.
There was also a weekly peace cell group in which Dr. Muir, the Don Royers, the Earl Garvers, and a number of students participated. Because there was a considerable range of theological opinion represented, many of the books and pamphlets we studied in the cell were religious in focus. Dr. Muir was always deeply interested in the roots of peace and social concern. She repeated often Elton Trueblood’s assertion that ours was a “cut-flower civilization” severed from its religious and cultural roots. She saw these roots primarily in people’s personal spiritual lives and the community of faith. Dr. Muir and her mother were in church each Sunday, and she often led church related classes at Walnut Street Church of the Brethren and on campus in the College Church School program. Still, her private devotional life was the richest source of her personal faith and vitality.
For those who knew her well, it was quite evident that everything she taught and shared was rooted in her own spiritual life. Her lifelong quest originated in the study of the life and teaching of Jesus. Her favorite Biblical teachings were summarized in the Sermon on the Mount. Her course on “Principles and Procedures in Peacemaking” began with a study of the Biblical sources of peace concern and spent several weeks on the life and witness of Jesus as focused in the Sermon on the Mount.
Dr. Muir was deeply influenced by Quakerism. She saw in it a combination of spiritual questing and social/political activism. John Woolman’s Journal combined the two elements in his lifelong questing toward spiritual and material simplicity and his campaigns to convince his fellow Quakers and others to renounce slavery and voluntarily free their slaves. It was this sort of appeal to individual conscience and personal spiritual growth that was over and over again stressed in readings assigned and analyses offered. George Fox and William Penn, as well as modern Quakers, such as Rufus Jones, Douglas Steere, and Elton Trueblood, were key readings in her various course syllabi. She was chided by some as being more Quaker than Christ-centered in her faith. As always when she was challenged publicly, she would grow very quiet and reflective. After a moment’s evaluation of the issue, she would respond, “The Inner Light is the spirit of the Living Christ within. To listen to the voice of God within is to be Christ-centered.”
These beliefs led her to examine the spiritual and intellectual quests of non-Christian faiths. Her sources for peacemaking always included world spiritual classics, such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, Plato’s Apology for Socrates, and the Greek tragedies. For Gladdys Muir the religious and philosophical quests of all human kind led to peace and could provide the foundations for “many mansions” in the coming city of God, which is humanity’s true home. No one could know Gladdys Muir well, or be in her company long, without discovering the profound respect she had for the treasures of spirituality and community, as well as political/social/moral insights that originated both within and outside the western democratic and religious traditions.
Gladdys Muir was a remarkably thoughtful person. Not only in terms of the ideas which sparkled behind her quiet, unobtrusive exterior, but in the many personal kindnesses she showed was Dr. Muir remarkable. Many received gifts of books and Christmas cards, handlettered and illuminated beautifully in her own calligraphy. The messages were aptly chosen for the particular recipients. Her students were invited for weekly afternoon teas in her home, where art and music were often the focus of interest. Dr. Muir was at times prevailed upon to play the piano. She did so reluctantly but beautifully in the same gentle touch evident in her sketches and paintings. From her father she had gained a love of art and music, and perhaps as well learned and polished her considerable talent. At times art books and reproductions prominently displayed in her home were conversation starters.
Ever the gracious hostess, even in her seminars, which were by invitation only, she provided a setting where there was a freedom to raise any issue or question and to express any opinion. But it was also quite evident when she did not agree, though she rarely directly contradicted or argued a point. Her sparkling eyes gave encouragement to ideas shared and convictions revealed. Only occasionally did the body language of averted eyes and reflective silence indicate dissent from an opinion or conclusion.
As a teacher in the upper level classes I took from her, Dr. Muir rarely lectured. At times she would present a situation or problem or perspective in a 10 to 20-minute summary, but then she would turn to her question cards over key points in the assigned readings. If you had not read, you needed to be prepared to be embarrassed in class. While she often allowed volunteers to respond, she persisted in questioning those who did not volunteer. Facts were important, but approaches, interpretive slants, points of view, analyses of issues, and summaries and comparison were the focus of each class. It was the ultimate demonstration of the Socratic method, of dialogue, and the truth that “teaching is not simply telling.” The excitement of Dr. Muir’s classes (nearly all the outstanding students from whatever field were attracted to them) was not based on a theatrical performance. It was based on the excitement of the ideas themselves and the vast horizons opened by them as together the class and Dr. Muir explored their implications.
Dr. Muir was a genius in helping her students to think, to articulate and evaluate ideas and proposals. Some felt her style and loading of the course readings amounted to a subtle indoctrination. Both at Manchester and at Bethany Seminary, her students ran into that assessment of Dr. Muir’s work. Certainly many of us were deeply influenced by her ideas and perspectives. However, it is a mistake to assume that there was (or is) uniformity of opinion and point of view among her former students and majors. Her students included argumentative and dissenting learners. Much of the argumentation went on long after class was dismissed.
Dr. Muir taught, to many of us for the first time, how to read reflectively and critically, not just for data but for conclusions, ideas for practical application to social, political, and moral problems. A remarkably high number of her majors and former students went on to graduate study. Many earned doctorates and other professional degrees in a wide variety of fields, attesting to the effectiveness and inspiration of her teaching, along with that of many other Manchester faculty. It was part of the excitement of Manchester’s faculty in those days that there were many clear and open disagreements among our teachers. These differences were usually respectfully but also forcefully presented.
Dr. Muir was not only a teacher in the narrower sense, she was also a mentor. Throughout her academic career, the large amount of personal advising she carried on was largely non-directive but supportive of ambitions and goals, plans and programs that seemed beyond the reach or present capacities of those who sought her counsel. Not all of her students were able or disciplined, yet she found positive elements and possibilities in their dreams. She believed ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Motivation, hard work, sustained concentration on a goal can overcome limitations. She helped turn D students into C and B students, and students with little self-confidence into effective, self-possessed mature adults. As my wife reminded me, she also gave A students C’s, if they were not working up to their ability. I was one such in my first two classes with her. She also helped students who had always made good grades see the value of their study itself and the insights to be gained by sustained reading and reflection.
Dr. Muir always stressed that you could be a peacemaker through many vocations and with quite different personal styles. While she modeled a very non-aggressive, non-belligerent approach, she recognized, and her students often represented, a very diverse set of approaches. While some made inner transformation and creation of small of like-mindedness (the Bruderhof communitarian movement claimed many whom she inspired), many others chose political and social activism, public health, relief and rehabilitation, administrative and church vocations. The largest number chose teaching and ministry as their avenues of peacemaking.
Gladdys Muir was a person of broad interests and wide range of competencies. This is obvious from what has already been said of her teaching, artistic, and musical talents. She was originally a teacher of Latin and Spanish. Greek classics and the history of the ancient world were favorite subjects in her teaching. Among the materials she taught with the most enthusiasm were the plays of the Greek tragic poets, the Odyssey and the Iliad of Homer, and Plato’s Republic and Apology for the life of Socrates. Her course on “Foundations of Democracy” featured the Athens of Pericles and its assembly of free citizens, as well as the struggle between the Roman Senate and the emerging power of the generals turned emperors and autocrats. The ancient world came to life and relevance in her classes. Each year at Manchester her reading course in intellectual history would perform one of the classical Greek tragedies. In her world civilization classes and various peace studies courses, the Peloponnesian Wars served as illustrations of the recurrent economic and political breakdowns of agreements among ancient city states and modern nations. She pointed out the parallels in the economic competition and mercantile imperialism which repeatedly led to wars, and the breakdown of world order.
For Dr. Muir explanations of historical events were never simply economic, or political, or sociological. ‘They were all of these, plus the influences of broadly cultural ideas and values. Spiritual movements were shown to have their impact on the total life and developments of the time. Nor were local or regional events treated in isolation from their broader contexts. Her approach was always holistic and global to the extent that data warranted wider vistas of interpretation.
Narrow specialists and persons jealous of her breadth and popularity among the more serious students of various disciplines were often critical of her approaches and sometimes quarreled with her conclusions, as well as what they considered her biases. But she never, to my knowledge, retaliated in kind by discussing their limitations or being defensive about her own views. She seemed supremely confident in her grasp of the big issues and of the ideas of great thinkers. Like Confucius in ancient China, she saw herself as merely passing on the wisdom of the past and helping others try to apply it to the present. Problems of war and peace deserve the best thinking and deepest spiritual/philosophical insights any can bring. We do not have to agree, Dr. Muir concluded. We do have to grapple with the issues that dominated the 1940s to the 1960s and still dominate today.
She called on our reading of Tolstoy to challenge notions of wealthy people doing little for the poor, “on whose backs we ride,” as he said. In War and Peace and in the century later Dr. Zhivago her students saw how tragic is war and how irrational and arbitrary are its course, impact, and devastation. How wasteful and cruel is war and how destructive to both human lives and the environment were repeated concerns in her classes. Critiques of imperialism, colonialism, as well as the need for Third World development and aid were topics for learning lessons from the past and seeking solutions for the present and future.
The United Nations was, to her mind, the great hope for human organization and eventually world government to curb war, settle disputes, and provide aid for refugees, victims of hunger and natural calamities. Successful negotiations by the U.N. to settle the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 were examined carefully for the various factors which allowed for an end to the fighting. She was never quite satisfied with the failure to care for Palestinian repatriation or the integration of Arab refugees into their host countries. She foresaw the bitterness and resentment on all sides without a settlement just to all would continue to cause problems.
Gandhi and the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience were central to her vision of how unjust laws and international arrangements could be made right. The writings of Thoreau and Kagawa filled out various aspects of social and political change that could be wrought by conscientious resistance to injustice, oppression, poverty, and unconcern for the powerless and dispossessed. Reading about their lives, approaches, and theories of non-violence provided concrete models for social change and resistance to war and structural violence of unjust systems.
William James’s “moral equivalents of war,” encouraging redirection of our struggles with enemies to focus on overcoming ignorance, poverty, narrowness of concern, were presented as substitutes for humankind’s combativeness and hostility. The true enemy is all that blights and plagues human life. If people or systems cause the human tragedies, we should seek to change the oppressors and oppressive systems by persuasion where possible or by the force of direct confrontation, public opinion, appeal to conscience, and civil disobedience, general strikes, and non-cooperation.
Dr. Muir was an astute analyst of the causes of war in political and economic terms. The origins of World Wars I and II and of the Korean “Police Action” were examined closely. She sought always to understand what did happen but also to suggest how alternative diplomatic or policy stances might have prevented these wars. While she believed there were always alternatives to violence, she did not believe that utopias would come or that human tragedies could always be averted.
She carefully analyzed why the League of Nations failed, and she cautiously suggested that the United Nations had overcome some of the League’s flaws but was in great difficulty whenever the great powers could not agree or cooperate in seeking solutions. The Cold War was a great tragedy in her mind, as was the McCarthy Era, which prevented a fair or accurate assessment of world communism or Russian nationalism as threats. The nuclear arms race and our use of atomic weapons had poisoned the atmosphere of trust so essential to the emergence of a peaceful world. She would have been amazed as all of us are at the end of the Cold War and the way Eastern European socialism and communism seem on the brink of self-destruction.
It would be fascinating to hear her analysis of what has happened and what is likely to follow. Her own predilections to Wilsonian idealism and faith in the possibilities of self-determination and self-government would have made the opportunities of today’s world exciting indeed for her. She was proud of America for the Marshall Plan helping to rebuild Europe. She supported massive aid for the world’s poorer nations and would likely approve of a similar investment in Eastern Europe today. She would be happy that much of the developed world now surpasses U.S. contributions but sad that most of the aid is still based on political and economic quid pro quo beliefs and goals of the givers.
Ultimately Gladdys Muir’s impact on North Manchester was made in the influence which she had on Manchester College and a generation of faculty and students who learned to know her well. One could not know her and see her earnest search for truth and solutions to humankind’s 20th century problems without being affected. She was so focused and disciplined. Her efforts to understand, to communicate her passion for alternatives to violence, and her sense of the essential role of spiritual growth made an impact and a difference in the lives of those who knew her well. Her sparkling eyes and articulate, assured voice advocating reason, compassion, and spiritual questing are unforgettable to those of us who learned from her.
One of her students and later colleagues at LaVerne College, California, Dr. Herbert Hogan, has said, “Perhaps she was as close to being a saint as any of us will ever know.” That sort of observation has been made by many who knew her. But she would never have claimed such a title for herself. She was far too modest and self-effacing. Yet, like Saint Francis, she made the world her family. The example of her love and care for her aging mother and her newsletter networking which tied her former students and friends into her circle of caring had all the tenderness and grace of a parent and true servant of God the parent and God’s children. If a saint she was, it was precisely in her lack of consciousness of her own saintliness or indeed of her own significance. She witnessed to a better way and the love that knits the universe together, providing hope that humankind, too, can bond someday in one human family whose quarrels can be resolved without violence.
Manchester’s Peace Studies program has pioneered a way now followed by over 200 institutions worldwide. We owe it to her vision and her persuasiveness that such a model of faith, learning, and service should live today and have had an influence in many settings through her students, colleagues, and friends. Her work and influence have put North Manchester and Manchester College on the world map, more widely known than many larger cities and universities. If God’s peaceful city should ever come on earth, Gladdys Muir has provided brick and mortar and has laid well a small part of the foundation.
Ku Klux Klan Activities In North Manchester
By Orpha Book
In response to a request for material on the activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, and especially in North Manchester during the 1920s, I, as reference librarian at Manchester College, sent to the Indiana State Library for material to assist a student in writing a term paper.
Several books which discussed the Klan and its activities were loaned to us. One small, well-worn volume described the gathering of a huge mob in North Manchester at the train depot awaiting the arrival of the Pope. The paragraph concluded with the statement that the single passenger who alighted from the train was a small, frightened wizard of a man who was forced to prove he was not the Pope but who turned out to be a corset salesman.
I was a local teenager at the time, living in the country, and was unaware of Klan activities in the town. Did such an event actually occur in North Manchester? I have often wondered and have asked Dr. L.Z. Bunker and Dr. Eldon Burke who was a Manchester College student in the 1920s, but neither one could recall any such happening and doubted the truth of the account.
If any such a throng did ever descend upon North Manchester, I thought that surely W.E. Billings, editor of the News-Journal, would have recorded it. Since my retirement I have spent many hours perusing the 1920 microfilms of the News-Journal when the Klan was active in Indiana. Following are excerpts from the paper and descriptions of some of the activities.
February 15, 1923: Burned Cross Tuesday. “A burning cross in the Oak Park addition west of the Vandalia track and north of Fourth Street was the occasion for a fire alarm Tuesday night at 10 o’clock. The alarm was given by Paul Stone whose attention was called to the fire by some people who were at a Sunday School class party a couple of houses south of his home, they calling to him as there was no telephone where the party was. No one seems to know who erected the cross or set it on fire. Some say it was the Ku Klux Klan, and others say it may have been imitators. Anyway, the general hope is expressed that future celebrations of this kind will not be staged on quite as windy a time as Tuesday, for sparks from the burning burlap were carried a long distance and might have started serious fires. No one seems to care how many crosses are burned, if other property is not endangered. The cross itself was probably 20 feet high with a cross arm of eight or ten feet long. It was made of 2x4 timber padded with burlap that was wired in place and that was saturated with oil of some kind. The cross was set in the ground and held upright by guy wires.”
March 15, 1923: Rev. Blair Talks for Klansmen. “A large audience gathered at the Grand Army Hall Monday evening to hear the principles of the Ku Klux Klan explained by Rev. Blair, a Christian minister from Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting opened without any introduction. Mr. Blair simply stepped to the platform and commenced to talk. He told of the early history of the Klan in the South during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War when the negroes, controlled by unscrupulous white men, were creating such terrorism. After that emergency ceased to exist the Klan was inactive until seven years ago when it was reorganized in Atlanta to combat existing evils in the U.S. today. He claimed that the Klan was composed of American-born Protestant citizens and that the Klan never took the law in its own hands, but that it obtained the evidence and then turned the information to the proper authorities. To do that the Klan today had the largest force of detectives employed of any organization in the United States. He denied that the Klan was responsible for any mob outrages or terrorism, claiming that when such acts occurred it was either enemies of the Klan or unscrupulous individuals seeking to remain unknown by using the Klan’s hooded regalia. It was the first public meeting that had been held in North Manchester, although similar meetings have been held in Wabash. Mr. Blair is a good speaker, is a minister of the Gospel, and is said to be a graduate of one of the large eastern colleges.”
In another publication, the Manchester Herald, March 14, 1923, the crowd for the meeting described above was estimated to be 1500 who came “to hear the unknown speaker who in a flow of the most brilliant speech held the vast audience spellbound for two hours and 40 minutes.”
May 21, 1923: Klansmen Parade Streets Tuesday. “One of the biggest crowds ever assembled in North Manchester came to town Tuesday night to see the first parade of the Klansmen ever held in this city. All roads leading to North Manchester were crowded with automobiles, and parking space was at a premium…The parade was headed by three masked horsemen. Following those came an automobile with a cross lighted by electricity, in which were three hooded men. A large flag was carried by eight of the Klansmen, and this was followed by a band, all members wearing the regalia of the organization. Then there were four horsemen, and following them came 126 masked members making a total of 144 beside the band. Street crossings were patrolled during and some time before the parade by hooded figures. It seems to be the belief that few if any local members of the organization took part in the parade, the plan seeming to be to leave that to the visiting organization.
“The headquarters were at the fairground, and after the parade there were initiating ceremonies in the center field, while a large crowd of spectators stood outside the racetrack. A big search light operated from the judges stand made it possible for guards to see that none but those giving the password or whatever sign was used went into the center field. The crowd dispersed quickly after the parade, and for all the jam of machines there seemed to have been no accident reported either in town or on the roads.”
September 10, 1923: Big Crowd at Klan Picnic. “There were about 2500 people gathered for the Klan picnic at the fairground Sunday. A considerable number of those were there for the picnic dinner, and a great many more came in the afternoon for the speaking. There were addresses by Rev. Blair, who has been speaking on Klan subjects in many parts of the state and who is an able and capable speaker. There were also a talk by Rev. Ira Dawes of Wabash and music by a Wabash band.
“The speakers talked from a stand erected in the racetrack in front of the amphitheater. The crowd filled the amphitheater, and it was estimated that there were fully as many more on the grounds as in the amphitheater, which will seat about 1200. No displays or parades were made, it being just a quiet meeting that seemed to be enjoyed by all present whether they were Klansmen or not…”
October 11, 1923: Klan Parade Tuesday Night. “There was a big crowd of people in town Tuesday night to witness the Klan parade. Before the parade there was an address by a speaker said to be Rev. Parr from Wabash, though no introduction was made. Following the address the parade of hooded men came from the west, while at the east end of the street a cross was burned. ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ was played by a band as the march went on. There were between 140 and 150 hooded men in the parade. Following the parade the band gave a number of good selections on the street.”
November 1, 1923. The following appeared on a one-page political advertisement “published and paid for a citizens committee responsible for the citizen ticket in the Town election. It was a protest against the Klan movement because it is fundamentally wrong and detrimental to the peace, prosperity and happiness of the Town.”
These are extracts from an article on the Ku Klux Klan, entitled “The Patriotism of Hatred” by Rev. Lloyd C. Douglas, former pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church in North Manchester.
“Almost overnight in many sections of our country, the movement has achieved huge dimensions and, evolving from a mere handful of men who for the most part were having their first experience as organizers, has become at once a power.
“The printed statement of its faith reveals a handful of principles to which practically every loyal American would agree, but the actual motivation of the thing is Hate…
“Without doubt the chief hate of the Klan is directed against the Catholics. Ever since I was a little boy, I have heard persistent rumors, in every community I have lived in, to the effect that the Catholics are getting ready to rise up and do something – nobody was quite sure what. The cellar of the Catholic Church was stocked with rifles to be used when the right time came, and the Knights of Columbus were secretly drilling in preparation for the fateful day…
“The Klan is opposed to the Jew. This is no new experience to the Jew. He has been the favorite target for the hate of every nation on earth. That hate may easily be explained on the ground of jealousy. The Jew is prosperous. The Jew starts with nothing and becomes a capitalist. No matter how badly the Jew may feel over all the new hatred hurled against him, he will not retaliate. It will simply set him to wondering what good Christianity is, in the work, if this is where it all ends up. Whatever he may have thought about Christ before, he may now doubt whether there is much salvation to be had for anybody in a cross that burns with flames of hate!
“The Klan is against the foreigner in our midst. In his printed creed, he tempers his attitude by the mere statement of his belief that America is first for Americans – and others second… But if the Klansman thinks he can teach the foreigner a larger respect for our American institutions by pulling a pillow over his head and assembling, by night, with thousands of others of his sort, to lay plans for the extra-legal pursuit of the foreigner’s goat, it seems clear that the process provides its own defeat.
“Could there be a more serious problem than the predicament into which the Klan has plunged us? It matters little whether the Catholic has any ground for his bigotry, the Jew for his prejudice, the Italian for his ignorance. The whole problem resides in the everlasting fact that no ills can be cured by hate! That is good gospel. This is the message of the cross. And when a lot of people, regardless of intent, collect around a wooden cross to stampede one another into bitterness against persons who happened to have been born of another race or in another country, it is the very last word of sacrilege…”
On August 24, 1924, there was a brief announcement of a Klan meeting at the fairground at which a national speaker was to be present. That was the last account found in the News-Journal of any significant activity of the Ku Klux Klan in North Manchester.
Nowhere did I find reference to the huge crowd at the railroad station waiting for the Pope. Perhaps the author of that story embellished the account of the big Klan parade which occurred on May 21, 1923, and drew a large crowd to the town.
Unfortunately the file folder containing all the references we had gathered on the Klan to assist students with their term papers “disappeared” from the college library so none of the stories or book titles can be verified. But some day I just may take a trip to the Indiana State Library to read again about that little old corset salesman, and not the Pope, who arrived by train in North Manchester.
By Shirley Hathaway Glade [CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS ISSUE.]
In the 1940’s wartime fear of spies caused townspeople to call Paul when they saw suspicious foreigners, like the shabbily-dressed fellow Lorin Werking found hiding in his haystack on October 6, 1941. Facing some 30 hostile farmers guarding him with rifles, rakes, and pitchforks, the outsider may have been relieved when State Trooper Cliff Snyder and Paul arrived to take him in for questioning. His lack of documents and erratic behavior prompted them to send his photograph and fingerprints to the FBI to verify his claim of Austrian citizenship. Noting that the man not only seemed recently shaved and shorn but was wearing clean underwear beneath his worn, dirty outer clothes, the News-Journal suggested he might have donned a hobo disguise to hide sabotage activities. Perhaps Mrs. Ray Keim recalled this warning when she called Paul to pick up a suspicious foreigner claiming to be from Switzerland when he asked for a handout at her door in 1942.
Like most small towns in the 1930’s and 1940’s, North Manchester was plagued by window peepers. Buckshot and buckets of water discouraged some nocturnal voyeurs, but recurring cases usually required police surveillance. One of Paul’s stakeouts in the late 1930’s had surprising consequences. On a chilly night, Paul’s sister, Mary Kreamer, bundled up to take a walk in the neighborhood he had staked out for several nights. Catching sight of a shadowy figure, each sibling suspected the other was up to no good and immediately started to run. Mary headed across a yard with Paul close on her heels. Just as she rounded a tree, Paul grabbed her, and she let out a shriek. They collapsed in laughter over this case of mistaken identity which became a favorite family anecdote.
Townspeople frequently summoned Paul to settle family problems. Some of these disputes caused more property damage than bodily harm, however. One time he responded to a call reporting murderous marital mayhem and arrived to find the couple reconciling in the middle of their kitchen which was strewn and plastered with the contents and remnants of every jar, bottle, plate, and pan with reach when the fight began. Forgetting the cause of their altercation, they berated Paul for invading their privacy.
Paul’s job also involved him in more life-threatening situations. For example, in April 1935, Paul tried to persuade Artee Witt to admit himself to the Marion Veteran’s Hospital after the shell-shocked World War I veteran began threatening his family and others. Since Paul had no warrant to arrest Artee, he agreed to let him go home to clean up for the trip. Artee disappeared, however, before Mrs. Witt returned with commitment papers from Wabash. That evening Deputy Sheriff Farr and Paul finally found him aiming his sawed off shotgun at them from the top of the stairs of a house on West Third Street. After shot through the shoulder by Farr, Artee lunged at him and Paul, breaking out the stairway light, and they all tumbled down the stairs in the dark. Finally the subdued Artee was taken off to the Wabash jail before being institutionalized.
More than once Paul’s mechanical expertise came in handy during emergencies. In 1939 he and Dr. [L.Z.] Bunker were called to a doctor’s office at 107 East Main where hemorrhaging and shock had caused eight-year-old Virginia Dickerhoff to stop breathing following a tonsillectomy. As Dr. Bunker worked on her, Paul rushed over to his garage for a tank of oxygen, which he used in acetylene welding, and dragged it down the basement recovery room. Improvising a mask from the cupped hands and a hose, he and Dr. Bunker took turns administering oxygen until she was out of danger several hours later.
Out on the roads and streets Paul had to spend more time enforcing traffic laws as the number of vehicles increased. In 1938 Virgil Opperman showed the lighter side of this job by filming Paul running after, catching, and ticketing Tom Peabody for “speeding” up Market Street in his 1903 Oldsmobile. A year later Lee Brubaker was not amused at the prospect of going to jail when he could not pay the $6.00 which Justice of the Peace John Brunjes fined him for riding his motorcycle on the sidewalk. Lee avoided the lockup however by working off his fine at $2.00 a day, cleaning mortar off cement blocks Paul would use to construct the locker plant. The same year, when a drunken driver refused to pull over and stop east of town. Paul stopped him with a bullet through his back tire. It was far easier to nab the drunk from Indianapolis who pulled into Paul’s service station one evening in 1942, boasting that he was too drunk to find his way out of town.
Since robbers rarely were so cooperative Paul had to track them down. During the 1920’s and 1930’s chicken thieves kept him particularly busy. In 1938, after arresting one culprit driving to pick up his partner, Paul concealed himself in the back seat and nabbed the other thief as he jumped into the car with a chicken in his sack. The next year he helped round up a gang of chicken and egg thieves through matching the track of a worn tire to their leader’s car.
The rise of car ownership in the thirties was matched by an increasing number of car thefts by big city and local gangs working in this area. On June 3, 1935, the News-Journal announced that Paul, Sheriff Shoemaker, and his Deputy Farr had captured one professional car thief named Frank Bruno, a.k.a. James Mareno, after cornering him in a stall of the Berry’s barn near Laketon the previous night. Fortunately Bruno-Mareno had left his gun in the car. In some cases car thieves tried to burn the evidence, as two members of a Fort Wayne gang did near Liberty Mills in 1938, but Paul got the State Police on the scene before the culprits could get away.
Auto theft started Harry Singer on the road to a life of crime which culminated in a sensational murder case which Paul helped to solve in the summer of 1936. Paul initially picked up Singer, Wesley Cauffman’s hired hand, as a suspect in the Wabash holdup killing of Joseph Bryant. The plot thickened the next morning when Cauffman’s landlord called Paul to report no one had seen the family since July 21. Paul went out to inspect the house and returned to ask Singer about the traces of blood, gunshots, and burned clothing he had found. Singer denied any responsibility for them and insisted that the family had moved away after asking him to sell their belongings and send them the money. After Paul and Huntington Detective Al Teusch took him out to walk around the farm, however, Singer confessed to shooting Cauffman and his wife and beating their nine-year-old daughter to death because they had been “mean” to him. Word of the murders spread fast, and a huge crowd gathered to watch the exhumation of the bodies from the shed floor where Singer had buried them 12 days earlier. At the height of the investigation the News-Journal observed that the town looked like the site of a reunion of state and regional police officers.
By September 17 Singer had been tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in the electric chair on December 26. A few days before his death he admitted having killed Joseph Bryant, too. Because he helped solve the case, Paul was invited to witness the execution, the second one in Wabash County history. Ironically the previous case in 1855 also involved the murder of a family and the theft of their property. Oddly enough, only two years before Singer killed the Cauffmans, his mother and uncle had been murdered by a man who later killed himself. After Singer’s execution his remaining family did not claim his body, which ended up at the Indiana University Medical School. The story of the crime and Paul’s role in solving it was widely publicized. In 1943 when Max was stationed on the Galapagos Islands, a fellow airman asked if his dad were named Paul and showed him True Detective’s illustrated account of the crime.
A still-unsolved crime resulted in Paul’s only serious injury suffered between his terms as town marshal. On December 5, 1944, he was working late in his office at the locker room when Charles Goehler ran in to report a burglary in progress across the street at the Bashore Feed Store, the present site of the fire department. While people tried in vain to contact Marshal Sheak and Night Officer Lambert, Paul called the store’s manager, picked up his repeating .22 rifle and went over to investigate, which he legally could do, having been deputized following the burglary and fire at the Peabody factory the previous spring. Crouching behind a telephone pole in the alley in back of the store, Paul fired warning shots which flushed the burglar out of the store. Retreating down the dark alley, he tossed a pipe bomb at Paul. Despite being knocked off balance, Paul managed to exchange gunfire with the culprit. By the time local officers arrived on the scene the burglar had escaped, and Jean Oppenheim had driven Paul to Dr. Bunker’s office to be treated for a gunshot wound to his right arm. Fortunately the bullet had not hit the bone, as it entered below and exited above his elbow, leaving a fairly clean wound except for some embedded shirt fragments which my mother drew out with flaxseed poultice. Although the culprit’s identity was fairly well established from clues at the scene of the crime and other evidence, for some still mysterious reason he was never brought to trial, making this one of the few crimes Paul could not resolve.
Years later people still bring up this and other incidences connected with Paul’s years in the community. So far, however, none of us children has figured out the best response to “Your father arrested me once,” a statement we frequently hear. Sometimes people have given us new stories about Paul. Several years after Paul’s death, Russell Bolinger, former dean of students at Manchester College, expressed his appreciation for Paul’s quick and effective quelling of an incipient student riot during an early-1950’s panty raid on Oakwood Hall.
Just a few years ago Dr. Bunker told me the following story. In the early 1930’s she was determined to improve working conditions for the grave diggers who suffered from frostbite and pneumonia caused by shoveling frozen earth through the harshest winter months. Reading that Notre Dame had begun using a backhoe in its cemetery, she suggest to Clay Syler, a town board member, that the town purchase one for Oaklawn. The budget was tight, but Paul managed to find a good second-hand one that held up for some 30 years. In fact it probably was used to dig Paul’s grave in 1965.
That year my college classmate, wrote to share a memory he had overheard while lunching at The Grill on March 17, the day Paul died. The lunch crowd fell silent when Paul’s death was announced. Then Virginia Dickerhoff Heisler spoke up, “If it wasn’t for Paul Hathaway,” she asserted, “I wouldn’t be here today.” After she finished telling how Paul and Dr. Bunker had saved her life some 26 years earlier, others added their stories about Paul’s impact on the community and on their lives. I think that it was especially fitting that his memories were shared that day in The Grill, a business and building Paul had constructed alongside his other property in the heart of North Manchester, the town he had known and served in so many roles since 1898.