State’s oldest national wildlife refuge celebrates 50 years


Three men played key roles in Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge being established in 1966.

Harold McReynolds, a fisheries biologist for the Indiana Department of Conservation, discovered the property east of Seymour in 1956 while visiting the area with a coworker.

Shortly afterwards, he and Charles Scheffe, a land acquisition specialist with the Indiana Department of Conservation, returned to the area for a second look.

Several years later, when Indiana was trying to find a location for its first national wildlife refuge, the two men joined forces to persuade state officials to choose Seymour.

Jim Endicott, president of the Seymour Chamber of Commerce and Dudleytown Conservation Club at the time, gained local support for federal funding and networked with friends and service organizations in surrounding counties.

Their work led to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approving the refuge proposal and allowing land to be purchased with Federal Duck Stamp money.

Family members of the three men said they would be proud to know that 50 years later, nearly 172,000 people flock to the 7,724-acre refuge on an annual basis.

Read Monday’s Tribune for the full story. The story also will be posted online at

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