O'Brown County By Frank M. Hohenberger
Indianapolis Star, November 4, 1945
Deserted cabins and barns hold a fascination for me. The weather has frayed the edges and oodles of color has been added--especially where the rust from metal roofs and mold on clapboards can be seen. Over in Hamblen Township I came across a nice specimen owned by Riley Lawson. It is a one story affair with various leantos--one of those homes where, when the owner accumulated a few dollars, he built an addition. At the west end of the house is an immense elm tree and its branches provide shelter over quite an acreage. This must have been a happy playground for happy children in days gone by. Crossing the creek afterwards I saw several cars parked on the concrete slab where men folks were passing the time in conversation. One of these men was Amos Burton who has lived in Brown County 50 years. His farm joins the Salt Creek line and he told me he put in the last six years taking rock from the bottom of the stream to build a fence. More than 150 loads of rock have been "lifted" from this immediate site and hauled in two country places north of Indianapolis. Driving up the hill I was soon in the village of Sprunica. Here on the right is the Red Men's hall, now converted into a storage place for feed. Once it was a thriving general store.
Mrs. Jesse Coyle lived in one side of the place and she said she moved there because fire had destroyed her home not far away. She wants to tear it down, and I don't blame her, but that's how we eradicate the old landmarks around which history was made and the gossip pot kept boiling. Inside the place was a sign, "J. R. Brickey Store." The next stopping store was in Goshen neighborhood was the site of the Bill Lee tanyard. Part of a wall which held back the water from the institution is all that is to be seen of the landmark. I met John Fox, 84, who said he recalls folks hauling bark in the place, known at one time as the Parmalee farm. John had just came in from the tobacco field where he had put in five days cutting Burley tobacco. One of his boys won't work in tobacco on account of his dislike for the weed--not because he doesn't like to work. for that Fox family is always up and at it when there is something that needs looking after.