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 Police Solved Local Murder in 1983


A Texas man has been arrested and charged with the March 8 murder at the now closed Sunoco Travel Mart located at SR 109 and I-70. Bobby Ray Cowan, Jr., 24, Brady, Tex., was arrested in Sandusky, Ohio late last Friday. He was being held there without bond after initially being arrested for public intoxication.

On March 8, Earl Dwayne Welch, 18, formerly of rural Greenfield, was found murdered at the gas station. Sandusky Police Department officials contacted Henry County after Cowan’s arrest there, indicating his automobile had matched the description of a vehicle a witness spotted leaving the Travel Mart on the night of the murder.

J. Alvin Hardin of Knightstown has been named as the 1983 Distinguished Farmer by the Raintree Young Farmers. The annual award is presented to an outstanding individual who has contributed his time, knowledge and resources to the advancement of agriculture in the community. Hardin is a lifelong resident of the Knightstown area and has been both directly engaged in farming as well as several agro business pursuits. Hardin is best remembers as president of the former Citizens National Bank of Knightstown. He was Secretary of Agriculture under former President Richard Nixon. (*see correction on this entry below)

Death Notices Published this Week in 1983:

Mike Hammond, Evelyn Cullison, Ralph R. Jones, Rebecca Lynn Porter, Antoinette Reedy, Marion M. Reed, David Grocox, Gladys Norris, Minnie Fairchild.


Knightstown American Legion Post 152 and the auxiliary met at the post home for the 54th anniversary party of the organization. Glen Mattix was also honored and presented a lifetime membership in the organization.

The Knightstown Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, held open installation of officers at the Masonic Temple last week with Lorene Paul, retiring Worthy Matron, presiding. Installed as the new Worth Matron was Jeanette Jackson and Worth Patron Donald Jackson.


The Knightstown Lion’s Club plans to start construction on a new roller skating rink in Sunset Park. Construction will begin in two to three weeks, weather permitting. The roller skating rink will be located at the bottom of the park, just south of the baseball diamond.

Knightstown’s fire department did not respond to a request for assistance to a house fire just east of Greenfield. The home of Howard Grubbs was completely destroyed by a fire last week. The house is located more than 10 miles from Knightstown, and according to fire Chief Glen Mattix, would not have been an authorized run for the local department due to state regulations. Wilkinson and Shirley Fire Departments responded to the blaze, but were slow in arriving, witnesses told the Banner. By the time the first fire truck arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames.


A broken journal on a west-bound 50-car freight train on the Pennsylvania Railroad caused more than a dozen cars to pile up Saturday afternoon. The depot was severely damaged, many cars were destroyed, automobiles were heavily damaged and several feet of track was destroyed. There were surprisingly no injuries reported.


CORRECTION ON THIS COLUMN (published Apr. 9, 2008): There was an error in How Time Flies published in last week’s issue of The Banner. The article incorrectly stated that J. Alvin Hardin had been Secretary of Agriculture under President Nixon. Actually, it was Hardin’s son, Clifford, who served as Nixon's agriculture secretary from 1969 until 1971, when he was succeeded by Earl Butz. J. Alvin Hardin received the Distinguished Farmer Award by the Raintree Young Farmers in 1983. The original error occurred in the 1983 Banner, and was repeated in the How Time Flies section of last week’s paper. The Banner regrets the error and any confusion it may have caused.


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