3Rivers Blog

Celebrating 80 Years: A Look Back at the Headlines from August 1935

Posted on Friday, August 28, 2015

by Jen Poiry, Marketing Specialist

1935 was a busy year - around the world and in our own community. It's the year our credit union made headlines as we opened our doors and began helping people with their money matters! Here's a look back at a few more of the top stories that were creating a buzz in August of 1935.

Ringling Brothers Circus Fort Wayne, Indiana 1935 | Photo courtesy of The Allen County Public Library

“Greatest Show on Earth” Comes to Fort Wayne

On Wednesday, August 28, 1935, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Circus arrived in Fort Wayne on “four trains of 100 double-length cars,” according to the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. Featured in the circus were seven herds of elephants, 1,009 menagerie animals, 700 horses, Col. Tim McCoy’s Wild West show, and 800 assorted other performers, including a 60-girl aerial act, a 60-horse free running display, and the world-famous Flying Wallendas.

The circus took place at Centlivre Park (the current location of Centlivre Apartments near Spy Run Creek), taking up 31 tents, and the seven-ring show included “the largest big top ever built, seating 16,000 persons.”

Fort Wayne Roads Flooded

Fort Wayne Indiana Flood, August 1935 | Photo courtesy of The Allen County Public Library

An August 18 rainfall only brought down half an inch, but it had fallen so fast that it couldn’t drain quickly enough, resulting in flooding. The News-Sentinel quipped that “boy-power replaced horsepower.”

Teenager Honored for Rescuing Puppy

Fifteen-year-old Carl Pickett received a medal for heroism by the American Humane Association for his help in rescuing a neighbor’s puppy. Mickey, a three-month-old “half-pint” sized black and tan terrier, had fallen down a cistern the evening of a lunar eclipse. The family were outside for the event when they heard the puppy’s yelps. Carl volunteered to be lowered headfirst into the cistern by his heels, with two other men as “links of the human chain,” according to a News-Sentinel news brief on August 20. As of the publication of the brief, Carl had not yet been informed of the medal he was about to receive, as he was visiting relatives in Michigan. According to the story, Pickett was only the second such award to be given to a Fort Wayne boy.

International Model C Truck Adapted as School Bus

From the August 21, 1935, News-Sentinel:

Model C Truck School Bus | Photo courtesy of The Allen County Public Library

"Pictured is a new one and one-half ton six-cylinder International Model C chassis with 147-inch wheelbase, especially adapted for school bus purposes with an all-steel Wayne crashproof and fireproof body. The body is 16 feet long and provides seats for 45 children."

1935 Johnny Appleseed Family Reunion in Fort Wayne, Indiana | Photo courtesy of The Allen County Public LibraryJohnny Appleseed Family Reunion

Forty blood relatives of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) gathered at Chapman’s grave at the Archer Burying Ground on Sunday, August 22, 1935, to listen to a talk by Robert C. Harris, secretary of the Johnny Appleseed Commission.

Relatives also brought stories and artifacts, including a Bible owned by Chapman’s sister, Percis Bloom. Inscribed in 1849, the Bible bore water marks and wear on the leather binding that seemed consistent with being worn in a belt, which was said to be Chapman’s means of carrying his Bible, according to the News Sentinel.

Local Baseball News

Fort Wayne Chiefs first baseman Bernie Cobb’s contract was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The terms of the deal had not been disclosed as of an August 3, 1935, News-Sentinel article, but it was said that the deal would “pay off many of the debts incurred by the club thus far this season and finish the campaign in the Three I League.”

The Chiefs had paid $300 for Cobb on July 23, which, the News-Sentinel stated, “was a smart move, later events have proved.” 

Old Fort Baseball Players 1935 | Photo courtesy of The Allen County Public Library

In amateur baseball news, the Tod-Centlivre baseball team was favoured to represent Fort Wayne in the National Amateur Baseball Federation League to be held in Cleveland later in 1935. However, they were defeated by the Smith Coalers, who went on to represent the city.

National Sports News

On August 12, 1935, Babe Ruth played his final game. The game was held at Fenway Park with 41,766 in attendance.

On August 13, the first Transcontinental Roller Derby was held at the Chicago Coliseum. The brainchild of struggling film publicist Leo Seltzer, the derby included two-person teams skating on an oval track for a total of 3,000 miles. The winners of the first derby were Clarice Martin and Bernie McKay, who skated 11.5 hours per day for 11 days.

Berghoff Brewing Company Introduces Canned Beer to Fort Wayne

In August 1935, the Berghoff Brewing Company of Fort Wayne began canning beer for the first time. The world’s first canned beer had been sold by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company of Newark in January 1935.

City Directory Breaks Record

In 1935, the Fort Wayne city directory was the largest in the city’s history, at 1,079 pages, according to the News-Sentinel. Published by R.L. Polk & Company of Detroit, the directory was 223 pages larger than the previous year’s and contained 67,144 (3,416 more than 1934’s). This represented one of the city’s largest population jumps in one year’s time to date.

Will Rogers and Wiley Post Tragedy

On August 15, 1935, beloved humorist and actor Will Rogers and acclaimed one-eyed aviator Wiley Post were killed after their plane developed engine problems during takeoff in Barrow, Alaska.

1935 Rogers + Post Tragedy | Photo courtesy of The Allen County Public Library

Post had once recalled that the first airplane he had ever seen was piloted by Fort Wayne pilot Art Smith, during an exhibition in Texas, according to an August 16 article in the New-Sentinel.

The bodies of Rogers and Post were flown to Juneau by famed Pan-American pilot Joe Crosson, a native of Warsaw, Indiana. Crosson was known as “Alaska’s Mercy Pilot” after he had brought medicine and supplies to a remote Alaskan village during an epidemic. Rogers’ family traveled through Fort Wayne en route to California for the funeral, the News-Sentinel reported on August 19.

Due to the enormous worldwide popularity of both Rogers and Post, their deaths hit the nation hard and made headlines for weeks to follow.

1935 Births

  • August 15: Jim Dale, actor, singer and songwriter
  • August 22: E. Annie Proulx, author
  • August 26: Geraldine Ferraro, U.S. Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate (d. 2011)
  • August 31: Eldridge Cleaver, activist (d. 1998)