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Official Publication of the Jasper DeutscherVerein

June 2003

May Meeting in Review

Jasper Deutscher Verein Given Tour of Ireland Historical Building

Tom Kellams of Ireland Historical Society presented very interesting information on Madison and Boone Townships to members and guests of the Jasper Deutscher Verein on Thursday, May 15. The Program was given at the Ireland Historical Society Building in Ireland followed by brats and refreshments at the Ireland K of C. Over 70 members and guests attended.

Dan Gutgsell, President, welcomed all in attendance. He stated that there are still openings for the Deutscher Verein trip to the Chicago – Moline area departing Jasper on September 3rd and returning on September 7th. Activities include two baseball games of the Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, a meal at a German Restaurant, a visit to Sears Tower to view the Chicago lights at night, guided motor coach tour of Chicago, and a visit to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Woodfield Shopping Complex. Also included on the trip will be a visit to the German American Heritage Center in Moline, IL and John Deere Headquarters. Price is per person based upon 2 per room. $695.00 per person based upon check or cash payment. Reservations are accepted with a $75.00 deposit per person and are due by June 1st. The balance is due July 3rd. Interested persons should call Jackie’s Travel.

President Gutgsell also announced that sign up sheets for work shifts at the Strassenfest are available at this meeting. All members are encouraged to work one or more shifts during the Strassenfest as this is the only fund raising project of the Deutscher Verein. Members may also call Dan and Linda Wehr at 482-4432 and let them know which work shift they can work. Dan and Linda thanked all who have already volunteered to work during the Strassenfest.

Linda Wehr displayed to the members and guests hats that have been ordered and received for sale during the Strassenfest. There are four different colors and two styles available. Pre-Strassenfest cost is $10 each and at the Strassenfest, the hats will sell for $12 each. Any interested person should contact Dan and Linda.

The Jasper Deutscher Verein has awarded three scholarships. Winners are $500 each to Amanda Nordhoff and Ryan Gutgsell and a $1,000 scholarship to

Hannah Brescher. All are 2003 graduates of Jasper High School.

Mr. Gutgsell extended an invitation to members to attend the Schwabische Heritage celebration in Louisville on Sunday, June 1st. A video voyage presentation will visit the beautiful Schwabenland. Tour guides will be native Schwabians from Stuttgart to the Boden See. The program will include a video on the Baden Wurtembuerg, with presentation on Schwabian history, art culture and humor.

Mr. Gutgsell then introduced Tom Kellams of the Ireland Historical Society. Mr. Kellams stated that the Scotch and Irish settled in the Portersville and Ireland area. In 1878, they needed a church and that church is where we are meeting. In the early 1940’s, a basement was added to the church. It was a Methodist church from 1878 thru 1995. The building became available in 1995 and several people developed a plan to purchase the building. This is the oldest building in Ireland. The Ireland Historical Society was formed in 1996 and they now own this church building.

Tom Kellams talks about Madison and Boone Township history.

They have asked the public for pictures to put on display in the church basement. The public has responded very graciously. There are maps and pictures on the walls showing the area history.

Each year, the Ireland Historical Society presents seven programs for its membership. Past programs have honored the Ireland Spuds basketball team and also past teachers from Ireland and Boone Township. Each year, the fifth grade students from Ireland Elementary School present a program on their ancestors. There are also tour groups who visit the church and basement. The Dubois County Museum membership dinner and the Dubois County Genealogy Society membership dinner have also been held in the church basement.

In the 1800’s, Ireland had clothing stores, grain mill, school, horse race track, and post office. The Post Office has been given permission to use a shamrock postmark and green ink on St. Patrick’s Day.

Ireland had one of the first commissioned high schools in the state of Indiana.

It is the intent of the Ireland Historical Society to keep the history and spirit of Ireland, Boone Township, and Portersville alive.

Mr. Kellams then answered questions from those present.

Mr. Gutgsell then presented Mr. Kellams with a donation from the Deutscher Verein for the Ireland Historical Society. Mr. Gutgsell thanked Patti Goepfrich and Bob Dilger for arranging the program for the evening and Bob Fleck and Gene Kempf for preparing the brats.

He also introduced Kerstin and Scott Ortiz as new members of the Deutscher Verein.

Mr. Gutgsell invited members to help with the preparations of the Strassenfest. More information will be in the next club newsletter.

Guests included John and Millie Goeppner. Attendance prizes were won by Andy Gutgsell and Dorothy Weidenbenner.

The remainder of the evening was spent socializing.

Opportunity to Practice the German Language

A group meets one half hour prior to the regular monthly meeting to review conversational German skills.

All are invited to attend.

German Heritage Endowment Fund

In memory of Kevin Edwards
Jim and Rita Corn

In memory of Ronald Stenftenagel
Joe and Irene Eckerle

In memory of Sally Lechner

Sally was a strong advocate of our German Heritage and represented the kind of support that will keep the heritage alive in Dubois County.

Her guidance and dedication will be missed by all.  Condolences to Linus Lechner and his family.

Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendars!

25th Strassenfest

Thursday, July 31 – Sunday, August 3

Enclosed please find the booth worker schedule for this year’s Strassenfest, including the crews for set-up and teardown. If you are unable to work your designated shift, please find a replacement.

Remember to support the Strassenfest events sponsored by the Deutscher Verein:

Sheephead Tourney – Saturday, 1:00 PM - Beer Garden

Log Sawing Contest – Thursday, 9:00 PM - Main Stage

Brat Eating Contest – Thursday, 9:30 PM - Main Stage


Outdoor German Home Decorating/Lighting Contest

A new feature of the 2003 Strassenfest will be an Outdoor German Home Decorating/Lighting Contest sponsored by the Jasper Deutscher Verein and Sister Cities of Jasper, Inc.

The contest is open to all residents of Jasper and those living within two miles of the city limits.

The categories for the contest are: Most Traditional German Theme, Best Use of Lights Displaying a German Theme, and Most Original German Theme.

Prizes will be awarded to the top two winners in each category. A category/placing sign will be placed in each winner’s yard.

This is a wonderful way to promote our German Heritage and a great way to help decorate the city of Jasper for the Strassenfest.

The entry blank for the contest will be published twice in The Herald. It will appear on Saturday, July 12th and Monday, July 14th. Additional forms are available at the Jasper Chamber of Commerce at 302 West 6th Street, by calling 482-6866, or faxing to 482-1883 or e-mailing the Chamber at chamber@jasperin.org.

Entries must be received in the Chamber office no later than Monday, July 21. Mail all entries to P. O. Box 307, Jasper, IN 47547-0307.

Judging will take place on Friday evening, July 25. Lights should be turned on by 7:30 p.m. that evening.

25th Anniversary Strassenfest

 Pre-sale of hats, T-shirts & tote bags will take place again this year.  The items are available at the Buehler Foods Corporate Office building. 

 These items will be a nice keepsake commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Strassenfest.  Please show your support for the fest and Deutscher Verein by wearing the hats and shirts during your shift in the booth and while enjoying the fest activities.

 Hats                 pre-sale - $10.00            Fest - $12.00


 M, L, XL            pre-sale - $8.00              Fest - $10.00

XXL                    pre-sale - $10.00            Fest - $12.00

 Tote Bags         pre-sale - $18.00            Fest - $20.00

September Meeting – Family Picnic

Saturday, September 20

Isaac Walton Outdoor Recreation

Please join in celebrating another successful Jasper Strassenfest, and also to recognize the efforts of everyone throughout the year. This year’s menu is still being worked on, but please be prepared to bring your own carry-in vegetable or dessert along.

The main attraction in September will be the Bavarian Echo, a husband and wife duo from Crossville, TN (see picture).

This should be a lot of fun, and hopefully you all will have some strength left after the Strassenfest to dance some Polkas and Waltz’s with the Bavarian Echo.

Watch the August newsletter for more details.


Labor Day Trip
September 3 – 7, 2003

There is still time to sign up for the Labor Day trip to the Chicago area! We only need 16 more people to fill the motor coach. Some of the many fun and exciting activities planned include a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, a tour of Chicago, shopping, a John Deere factory tour, local winery tour, and a dinner theater performance.

Price per person based on double occupancy is $695.00. Reservations and payment in full are due no later than July 31, 2003.

Please contact Jackie Braunecker at Jackie’s Travel (482-7158) for more information.

Student Exchange Program

Bob Fleck and Martina Eckert with the teachers from Possneck. The teacher behind Bob is Karola Festag and the teacher behind Martina is Andrea Friedel.

Other Events of Interest

Germania Society of Greater Cincinnati

The Germania Society of Greater Cincinnati has extended an invitation to the Deutscher Verein to attend their Oktoberfest in Cincinnati on August 22, 23, and 24th.

Vic Haul is President of the Germania Society and their website address is www.germaniasociety.com.

Their Christkindlmarkt is November 21, 22, and 23.

If you are in the Cincinnati area, you are welcome to attend any of their events. See Patti Goepfrich for their complete 2003 Entertainment Schedule.

Jasper Deutscher Verein Awards Scholarships

The Jasper Deutscher Verein has awarded a $1000 scholarship to Hannah Brescher and a $500 scholarship each to Amanda Nordhoff and Ryan Gutgsell. These students were awarded the scholarships recognizing successful completion of at least three years of German language study in High School and planning to continue the study of German in college.

Brescher was a German Club member for four years and participated in the German Exchange Program. During high school she received numerous awards and was a member of Mat Club, Student Council, National Honor Society and Gifted and Talented Art. Hannah was active as Wrestling Manager for four years, Freshman Mentor, Special Education Peer Tutor, ENL Tutor and volunteered at the Dubois County Humane Society.

Hannah is the daughter of Kurt and Margaret Brescher. She will attend Purdue University this fall to study Pre-Veterinary.

Nordhoff is the daughter of Larry and Jennifer Nordhoff of Jasper. While attending Jasper High School, Amanda was a member of the JHS Drama productions, Performing Arts Club, The Comet, Choir, National Honor Society and many other activities. She was a Girl Scout for ten years. She received many awards in German.

Amanda and her family have hosted four German exchange students and she is a four- year German Club student serving as Historian and one year as co-president.

Amanda plans to attend the University of Kentucky this fall where she will minor in German and possibly major in Journalism or Law.

Gutgsell is the son of John and Julie Gutgsell of Jasper. He was a two-year member of National Honor Society and a three-year member of Key Club. He was also a member of the German Club and participated in the German-American Exchange Program.

Ryan played football and was a member of the track team. He received the Eagle Scout Award and participated in the Jasper High School Peer Mentor Program. He graduated with the Academic Honors Diploma.

Ryan will be attending Purdue University in the fall to pursue a degree in Pre-Med.

Regine Haderer of Pfaffenweiler Participating in Student Agriculture Internship

Regine Haderer of Pfaffenweiler arrived in Jasper on June 28th. She is the daughter of Ilse and Walter Haderer and granddaughter of Erika Schwaiberger of Pfaffenweiler.

She is in the ninth grade and is participating in a student agriculture internship through her school in Freiburg.

Regine is staying with Joe and Irene Eckerle and helping on the Larry and Patricia Hopf farm. She will be spending the later part of her visit with Gene and Mary Jo Tempel at Indianapolis.

Regine will return to Germany on August 23rd.

Erinnerst Du Dich?
By Patti Goepfrich

Die Deutscher Verein Zeitung - January, 1988

In place of our regular monthly meeting, we are having a "HOG BUTCHERING PARTY" on January 9 at Leonard Wehr’s farm. This is an all day fun-filled affair, so "yaw’ll come". See the enclosed flyer.

The "Wine and Cheese Tasting Party" at Linus and Sally Lechner’s will be held on Friday, February 19.

Election of Officers and Board of Directors will take place at the February meeting.

Slate of Officers and Board of Directors for the coming year:

President Bob Verkamp
Vice President Fred Hollinden
Secretary Ruth Wibbels
Treasurer Rita Egler
Directors Nancy Burton
Lowell Glendening
Danny Wehr
Eileen Schaber
Claude Eckert
Ron Kieffner

1988 Membership Dues are due: Your continued support of the development of our German Heritage is appreciated. Send your dues to Jasper Deutscherverein, P O Box 15, Jasper, IN 47546, or you may pay at the meeting. Plan now to attend the Club’s Family Picnic in September. It’s worth the price of membership!!!!!

Beginning and Intermediate Conversational German Classes will be offered in the spring if there is sufficient interest. Only 3 people have indicated interest in Beginning German and 2 people for Intermediate German. If you are interested and did not return the enrollment slip, please do so now. Mail to Bob Verkamp, 1009 W 13th Street, Jasper, IN 47546.

10-Day 1988 European tour: Ron Kieffner tells us the committee has been meeting. Tentative plans are being formulated. Up-to-date info will be given at the February meeting.

Up-date on the sale of Souvenirs – Trivets, plates, pins, and glasses: Expenses - $3,029.61 Income - $2,145.00. More info to follow in February.

Auf Wiedersehn, Bob Verkamp, President

(Found In The Deutscherverein Records)

Greenhouse Goods Galore

Bluff Road might be the greenest drive in Indy.

When you take this little two-laner, bustling with a growing number of Southside commuters every day, it's hard to miss the long string of greenhouses, garden shops and nurseries.

If your first reaction is "plants and flowers," then you are merely observant.

But, if you think "cabbage and kale," then you have tapped into the ethnic story behind these aging structures -- built by thrifty German immigrants who settled in the area in the mid-1800s and being noticed more often during this summer of Hyperfix highway construction.

"I used to ride my bike on this road, but now I won't let my kids near it," said Jim Rucker, owner and operator of Rucker's Greenhouse, purchased by his father in 1970.

Most of the greenhouses along Bluff Road were built before the adjacent homes.

"They were called truck farms," said the 39-year-old Rucker. "The immigrants would grow vegetables all winter long, and then they'd take them up to the old farmers' market, south of Downtown."

That market closed in 1988 and is now part of Eli Lilly and Co.'s corporate campus.

But from the end of World War II to the early 1970s, Indiana's family of greenhouses (including the Westside and Terre Haute areas) ranked second in the nation for growing tomatoes and lettuce under glass.

And at its peak, the greater Southside -- primarily along Bluff Road -- had the largest concentration of greenhouses in the country, according to local historians.

"There were a lot more than what you see today," said Ed Summeier, whose father emigrated from Germany and bought land near Bluff Road and Troy Avenue in 1915.

At one point, greenhouses filled a solid 38-40 acres in the area. And there were 80-85 growers, Summeier said.

Interestingly, those growers joined together to form the German Gardeners Benefits Society, which provided insurance for gardeners to have income if they became too sick to garden. During World War II, however, they dropped the "German" name and call themselves the Gardeners Benefits Society, now with about 15 members headed by Summeier.

Today, many of the greenhouse businesses have abandoned wholesaling -- a shift that began with the advent of frozen vegetables and the decline of independent grocers -- and now concentrate on providing local residents with fresh vegetables and flowers for backyard gardens.

On a recent day at Rucker's, about a dozen afternoon commuters made a pit stop for a wide variety of flowers such as begonias, daisies and impatiens; edibles like cabbage, broccoli and strawberry plants; and more spicy fare, such as traditional onion slips and Thai hot peppers.

Rucker has about nine acres. All of his produce is grown inside, except for fall mums. He said greenhouse growers' biggest competition these days is from major grocery stores around the city -- including a big Kroger complex just a few blocks south of his roadside business.

"Times really change," he said.

In the mid-1800s, German gardeners -- with names like Wagahof, Schlenzker and Hohn -- took advantage of reasonably priced, fertile land east of White River and filled it with greenhouses.

They grew winter vegetables that helped feed a capital city whose population sprouted by 150 percent after the Civil War, including an estimated 15,000 to 16,000 soldiers who were housed here temporarily. That tradition continued into the mid-1900s, when the greenhouses helped feed a much larger Midwestern population -- from Chicago to St. Louis.

After helping his dad build their first greenhouse in the early 1920s, Summeier took over the operation in 1944.

"Back then it was a family affair," he said. "If you had to hire a lot of people, you weren't going to make it."

In the winter months, children helped their families keep greenhouse boiler rooms stocked with coal to keep the vegetables from freezing. Back then, everything was grown in the ground, while today the plants are raised on platforms and shelves and grown in pots and flats.

Although Bluff Road has the largest concentration of greenhouses, the immigrants actually settled in a much larger area bounded by Raymond Street, Banta Road, Madison Avenue and Harding Street.

At least one of the original settler families -- the Brehobs -- continues to do business on Bluff Road.

They also employ Summeier, who, after decades of work and selling his land, continues to garden.

The Cincinnati Hofbrauhaus is open:


German scholar to lead international law center

Frank Emmert, a native of Germany, is the first director of newly established Center for International and Comparative Law at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

Emmert comes from Concordia International University Estonia, where he was dean of the law school. He is considered an expert in European Union law.

Emmert will coordinate the center, which will serve as the hub for international programs, including summer schools in China and France, human rights internships around the globe and a new master of laws program for foreign attorneys.

Sister Cities of Jasper
Jasper Partnership Commission
Jasper Deutscher Verein


"Honoring those who promote our German Heritage"

The annual Jasper German Heritage Award is presented to an individual or group who has contributed generously his/her or their time, talents or resources to maintaining, improving or building upon our German roots in Dubois County. Sister Cities of Jasper and the Jasper Partnership Commission created the award in 1999. The Jasper Deutscher Verein is sponsoring the award.

This recognition is open to all people, not just residents of the City of Jasper, who give what they can in order to make a difference.

Because the efforts of these people are sometimes known only to a few, a nomination will recognize the work of those who generously support our German Heritage.

A committee, consisting of the Presidents of the Jasper Deutscher Verein, Sister Cities of Jasper and the Jasper Partnership Commission, will judge all nominations.

The Presidents at the Annual Jasper German American Day celebration will present this award.

How you can nominate:

The nominee must be an individual or group, nominated by any individual or group. Please submit the official form below (copy is accepted), along with the following:

  1. A letter of up to one page listing your reasons for the nomination.

  2. A biography, up to two pages, listing the service or efforts of the nominee.

  3. Mail or deliver your nomination to:

Jasper Deutscher Verein
German Heritage Award
P.O. Box 15
Jasper, IN 45746-0015

Nomination for the 2003 Jasper German Heritage Award

Person Nominated

Nominee’s Name:____________________________

Home Address:______________________________




Nominee’s service is: voluntary / paid (circle one)


Person Submitting Form

Nominator’s Name:_____________________________

Home Address:________________________________



Relationship to nominee:_________________________



(Remember, nominations need to be submitted to the address listed above by September 1st, 2003)

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please contact Matthias Hilger or Patti Goepfrich.

Deutscher Verein

Officers :

Directors :

Bob Dilger - President
Virgil Gress- Vice President
Rita Egler - Treasurer
Ruth Wibbels - Secretary

Die Zeitung
Editor:  Patti Goepfrich
Phone: 482-4821
e-mail:  pmgoep@fullnet.com

Fr. John Boeglin
Dave Buehler
Raymie Eckerle
Dan Gutgsell
Jim Gutgsell
Matthias Hilger
Janet Kluemper
Linus Lechner
Danny Wehr