What’s New in Whiting, 1929

January, 2019

Frank Vargo

The following stories were printed on the front page of The Ben Franklin News ninety years ago, in 1929. The Ben Franklin News was published by the Ben Franklin Press which was headquartered in the newly constructed Central State Bank building located at the corner of 119th Street and Indiana Boulevard, as Indianapolis Boulevard was called at that time.

  Bears to Open Season at the Whiting Athletic Field

 September 25, 1929

 The Bears, that is the Whiting Bears, will play their season opener starting at 2:30 pm at the Whiting Athletic Field.  Their opponent will be the Windsor Park Blues.  The Blues were the Midwest League Champions in 1928.

 The Bears are coached by Thomas Dwan and are managed by William McGroarty.  Not only is Joe Kopcha an active team member but he is also in charge of strength training and conditioning for the Bears.

 Hammond to Build New School in the Fourth Ward

 September 25, 1929

 The Hammond School Board has finally allocated funds to build a new school in the Fourth Ward (as Robertsdale was then called).  The current two schools in the ward, Benjamin Franklin and West Park, are so very overcrowded that something needed to be done soon for the children of the ward.

 Construction will begin next year as soon as a site has been secured from the city of Hammond.  A name for the new school  has not yet been chosen.

  J. J. Newberry to Open Store in Whiting

 October 2, 1929

 The J. J. Newberry Company will open their 268th nationwide store in Whiting on Saturday, October 5.  Located at 540 East 119th Street, the store promises special sales and surprises for their grand opening.  The three Newberry brothers that run the business opened their first store in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1911 and plan on opening nearly a hundred new stores in 1930.

Their company motto is “The Store Where Values Outweigh Dollars.”