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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Decatur County Decatur County

Decatur County Courthouse
Q&A with County Coordinators Melanie Maxwell and Amy Klene

What do you consider the key accomplishment(s) of your county’s bicentennial celebration?

  • Very proud of community effort. Large crowd showed up to support Torchbearers.

    Decatur County has it's own Barn Quilt Trail. There are 49 residents having there barn quilt listed in the official brochure with many more seen throughout the county.

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • Power of the Past is a yearly project of all kinds and types of farm equipment. It has grown to a large week long celebration of farm life and the equipment being used now or in the past.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's bicentennial celebration.

  • We had people doing just about everything that could be done. We even had a swimmer take the torch through a swimming pool at the YMCA. The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay and the proclamation on the courthouse square were also memorable.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • Our local radio station WTRE-FM took a video of the entire torch run from beginning to end. Copies of this video have been given to various groups around the county. Two of the places are the Decatur County Courthouse and Historical Society of Decatur County Greensburg History Museum. The Torch is being displayed at several locations but will eventually be housed at The Historical Museum.

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 19.

Estimated total attendance.

  • 1,000+.

Estimated dollar amount spent.

  • $1,000.

​Decatur County Legacy Projects

​Decatur County Facts

Decatur County was formed in 1822. It was named for Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr., naval officer in the First and Second Barbary Wars, and in the War of 1812. Decatur was mortally wounded in a duel in 1820. Recently, Greensburg, the county seat, is home to a Honda assembly plant.

Courthouse Tree occupies a unique place among cities of the world. The presence of these trees on the Greensburg courthouse tower is just as much a mystery to the citizens of Greensburg as to those who look upon it for the first time.

Grand Hotel owner W. Stewart Woodfill (on the far left),W. Stewart Woodfill was born in Greensburg in 1896. His father and uncles were prosperous Decatur County businessmen, but W.S. had allergies and desired to work in a less congested, open air location. This led him to Mackinac Island in the summers of 1919 and 1920. He eventually purchased the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan in 1925. Through the economic trials of the 1930’s and 1940’s Woodfill made good use of his inherent excellent business skills. The hotel was prosperous and W.S. Woodfill sold it to his nephew, the current owner, in 1979.

Greensburg Pirates — Champions 2013 and 2014

Greensburg Community High School, home of the Pirates, has approximately 670 students in grades 9-12.  The Pirates basketball team went 27-1 in the 2012-2013 season as members of the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference. They won the IHSAA Class 3A State Championship.

The Pirates came back with a record of 28-1 and were highly ranked in the 2013-2014 season.  The community was proud to see the team win back to back championships.

Carl Fisher Marker Dedicated in Greensburg

A new State Historical Marker commemorating American entrepreneur, Carl Fisher, was dedicated on Friday, May 16, 2014 in Greensburg. The ceremony came a week before the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 – very fitting considering Fisher’s work as co-founder and former president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The marker honors Fisher’s legacy as a pioneer of the automobile industry and a promoter of automobile culture in Indiana and the nation.

Strauther Pleak Round Barn resembles a three-tier cake. It features an octagonal silo in the center. The eighteen-foot diameter silo, lined with brick and concrete, was constructed first, and the barn was erected around it.

The final restoration was accomplished after the farm was purchased in 1996 by the Reed family and the help of a great team of people and their foresight.

Since it opened, it has hosted visitors from Germany, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, England, France and the United States.The Round Barn is open for group activities.  Programs can be customized to your group needs. 800.373.6064

Oscar EwingOscar Ewing was born in Greensburg, Indiana on March 8, 1889 and was appointed Administrator of the Federal Security Agency in 1947 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ewing advocated for a national health insurance program, which would eventually help lead to the modern Medicare program that today provides insurance to millions of elderly Americans. 

Leroy E. BurneyLeroy E. Burney was born 12-31-1906 in the town of Burney, Indiana named after his grandfather. As the 8th Surgeon General of the United States from 1957-1961, he was the first Federal official to publicly identify cigarette smoke as a cause of lung cancer, and successfully promote the warning we see today.

The Decatur County Historical Society Museum, also known as the Lathrop-Shannon Home, was built in 1846 one block north of the courthouse. The Gallery was added in 2006, providing a smooth transition from old to new. Rotating exhibits tell the story of life in different eras. Special events are held periodically.  

County Seat: Greensburg
Year Organized: 1821
Square Miles: 372.57