Highland took another major step in the process of bringing “White City,” the name given to the neighborhood on the west end of town, into the corporate limits. Highland was putting water lines into White City for fire protection and purified drinking water.
Highland Builders Supply had built at the northwest corner of Broadway and Chestnut in White City, but now they were in Highland and had the water that they needed to manufacture their concrete blocks. They were also building a new kind of block, called “Haydite” for internal construction. Haydite was a lighter weight block that could easily be plastered.
Also in 1948, Charles Haldi Sr., built an experimental, round, all-concrete house for his daughter, Gretchen Haldi, (Mrs. Jim Tibbetts). Haldi, owner of Haldi Lumber Co., had previsouly completed many round, concrete storage bins for elevators. The house is now Adrian Rogier’s home at 1975 Bluebird Lane. Adrian has completely remodeled the home, but some of the interior walls are still round. Adrian said the poured concrete walls are 14 inches thick, and the roof and ceilings are 12 inches of reinforced concrete — a real tornado shelter.
Throughout Madison County, 26 one-room country school houses were expected to close or lose state aid because they didn’t have a minimum of 15 students.
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The Vims bowling team, in existence for 35 years, finally disbanded. The original five members were Charles Hoefle, Theodore Ittner, W.A. Collins, William Hebrank and Dentist Felix Tschudy. The latter two were still around for the final games.
On a personal note, Will and Felix bowled again, that next fall, with three other seniors in our league and did very well for themselves, as they were very consistent. We had just returned to Highland, as I had finished college, and then served my apprenticeship at Schneider Funeral Home in Edwardsville. I had started working for Tibbetts & Co. on Sept. 1, 1948. I had just started to bowl in league in Highland and joined the young team of Dale Rutz, Jim Rutz, Charles Schmetter and Calvin Blattner. Will Hebrank gave me some great bowling tips, and we enjoyed the team very much. One of Will’s tips was: “Don’t shorten your stride if you are going over the line. Instead, move back your starting position, and resume your regular stride.” It was great information from a senior to a beginner.
Also in ’48, the Grantfork Volunteer Fire Department bought its first fire engine. Al Mettler was president of the firemen.
Orville Rutz at the Madison County Fair Horseshoe Tournament, in Highland, pitched an amazing 10 straight double-ringers to win the 1948 tournament.
The Highland Optimist Club began in November 1948, with Superintendent Joe White as president.
Nationally, President Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey in the presidential election. I’m sure Harry had votes from most of the veterans and their families, as he had issued the orders to drop the atomic bombs on Japan and that ended the war.
A United States draft call went into effect in December of 1948, the first since the end of World War II. The North Koreans were attacking South Korea. That could be happening again and even worse. Keep you prayers for peace coming night and day.
(Information from the from the Highland Sesquicentennial book and my files.)
Correction: Last week’s column said the VFW bowling alley that was built in the mid-1960s had eight lanes, but it only had six.