3Rivers Blog

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

Posted on Friday, July 17, 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 July of 1935.

Soapbox Derby

“The happiest boy in Fort Wayne today is 14-year-old Johnny Hannon,” wrote the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel on July 31, 1935. Hannon had just won the second annual Soap Box Derby, co-sponsored by the News-Sentinel and three local Chevrolet dealers. The race was held on a 700-foot stretch of road on Bueter Road (which later became South Coliseum Boulevard).

1935 Fort Wayne Soapbox Derby | Photo courtesy of Allen County Public Library

The paper reported that upon hearing he could take his parents to Akron with him for the national finals, Hannon replied, “Gee, that’s swell!” He was particularly thrilled to win because, “the trip to Akron will give Mom her first vacation in ten years.”

Hannon’s father Orrel, a mechanic, built the racer that his son drove to victory. It weighed 228 pounds and was constructed from tricycle parts, barrel hoops, 2x4s, and old model automobile parts. It cost $35 to build, not including labor.

1935 Fort Wayne Soapbox Derby | Photo courtesy of Allen County Public Library

Fifteen-year-old Jimmy Millendore came in second, and 8-year-old Bobby Lambert came in third.

Over 20,000 spectators witness the race, which included 306 boys, aged 7 to 16. Roads were blocked for a mile due to traffic to attend the race, which began at 6:30 p.m. when Mayor Harry Baals fired the starting pistol. The winners of each heat received $3.00.

Carole Lombard Profiled

On Saturday, July 6, the News-Sentinel published Hollywood report Clark Rodenbach’s profile on Fort Wayne native Carole Lombard. The headline was “Quit Calling Me the Glamour Girl: I’m not a clothes-horse and I’m not aloof.” The article detailed Lombard’s frustration with the public’s misperception of her personality based on her movie roles. Nevertheless, the article goes into great detail about the fashions she wore in publicity shoots.
Carole Lombard | Photo courtesy of Allen County Public Library

However, it also touches on her childhood in Fort Wayne.

Carole came to Hollywood at the age of 7. Until then she had lived in Fort Wayne, Ind. Her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth K. Peters, is of an old Fort Wayne family. Her great-grandfather, a Cheney was on the directorate of the syndicate that financed the laying of the first transatlantic cable and was an important figure in the financing of many of the country’s early electric-light plants, among them the first one ever constructed in California.

Carole is of Scotch and Irish descent.

When she was barely of school age she came to Los Angeles with her mother and her brothers, Stuart and Frederick. Only a six month’s stay, for Carole’s mother’s health, was planned. They never returned to Fort Wayne.

Chet Laabs Eyed by Major League Teams

In July 1935, the Fort Wayne Chiefs’ third baseman, 23-year-old Chet Laabs, was being eyed by four major league teams – the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and New York Yankees. A native of Milwaukee, and on loan from the Brewers, Laabs was sent to Fort Wayne to get “more seasoning,” according to the News-Sentinel. Coach Bruno Betzel had helped him overcome his tendency to swing for low, outside curveballs, and he moved him from second base to third, where his arm and his ability to stop balls made him a bigger standout. He was also batting “well over the .400 mark and leading the Three I League in six offensive departments including most homers.”

Laabs would sign to the Detroit Tigers in 1937 and would play for eleven seasons with a career batting average of .262, 117 home runs, and 509 RBIs.

Botanist Charlie Deam Gains ProminenceCharlie and Stella Dean | Photo courtesy of Allen County Public Library

Sixty-nine-year-old botanist Charles “Charlie” Deam came into prominence following the July 6 News-Sentinel article about his work and that of his wife Stella. Called “the most interesting man in Bluffton,” Deam was a former druggist whose interests later turned to plant life. He was named Indiana’s first state forester in 1909.

The Deams created their own herbarium on six acres of land and a two-and-a-half-acres arboretum with 500 different kinds of trees. “Universities in all parts of America and other continents have at various times tried to obtain [Deam’s] specimens,” the article stated.

Deam himself had discovered 25 different species and 48 additional species were named after him.

Auburn White Caravan Begins “Coast to Coast” Tour

A 1935 publicity campaign for the Auburn Super Charger (“The Speedster”) began. According to the News-Sentinel, four salesmen in “single and double breasted sports back Patterson-Fletcher white Angora-Spun suits” drove white Auburn vehicles in a caravan.

Auburn Caravan

“The cars in the display include a six-cylinder sedan completely equipped for broadcasting; a 150-horsepower Auburn Super Charger, ‘The Speedster,’ the most talked of car in America; a convertible two-passenger coupe; and a five passenger convertible Phaeton sedan.”

Wimbledon Championships

Americans were well-represented at the 55th staging of the Wimbledon Championships, held June 24 to July 5, at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, U.K.  In men's doubles, Americans Wilmer Allison and John Van Ryn lost to Australians Jack Crawford and Adrian Quist. The women’s singles match pitted two Americans against each other. Helen Wills Moody defeated Helen Hull Jacobs.

FBI Agent Melvin Purvis Retires

Melvin Purvis, FBI agent who led the manhunt for gangster John Dillinger, resigned from the FBI in July 1935. In 1960 he would die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The pistol used in what may have been an accidental shooting, was a gift given to him by his fellow agents at his retirement.

John Dillinger had reportedly lived briefly in Fort Wayne with his criminal cohort Homer van Meter, who was later shot by St. Paul police in 1934 and is buried at Lindenwood Cemetery.

Philo T. Farnsworth Files for Patents

Three years prior to moving to Fort Wayne, pioneer of television technology Philo Taylor Farnsworth filed for three patents on July 6, 1935: charge storage dissector, cathode ray amplifier, and charge storage amplifier. These patents would be issued between 1938 and 1941.