Three added to Hayden Hall of Fame


Staff Reports

Soon after the Hayden Historical Museum was established in 1990, the board of directors decided to create a list of people they considered to be worthy candidates to be featured in an area of the museum called the Hayden Hall of Fame.

These would be people with a Hayden and Spencer Township connection the board felt needed to be recognized for their outstanding community service, leadership and/or individual achievements.

All nominees will eventually be added to the Hall of Fame, but the board let the museum’s grade school history club get involved in the process.

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Every year, the Hayden Little Hoosier Historian members read the biographies of each candidate. Then they vote as a group to choose one living and one deceased person to be inducted into the Hayden Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony is normally held each year as part of the Hayden High School alumni homecoming.

Because of COVID-19, the Little Hoosiers could not hold their meetings this year, so the museum board members made the Hall of Fame selections, and there was no induction ceremony.

The 2020 Hayden Hall of Fame inductees were recently announced. They are William “Bill” Tempest and Otis and Bertha Ruddick.

William “Bill” Tempest

After graduating from Vernon High School in 1963, Tempest married Dixie Cox on April 25, 1964. They purchased property from Homer Dell in Spencer Township and had Oscar Elsner build their house, where they raised their two sons, Brian and Brad.

Bill worked for Cummins Engine Co. for 13 years, starting out as an apprentice toolmaker, and when he left the company in 1977, he was a manufacturing engineer.

He worked for Sandvik Coromant for two years and purchased the former Tuttle Truck Stop building in Hayden in 1979, where he established Tempest Tool and Machine Inc.

Tempest Tool was awarded the Jennings County Industry of the Year in 1991 and Small Business of the Year in 2007. Bill also served on the Jennings County school board and was president during the time that the current Hayden Elementary School was constructed.

He acquired a passion for trapshooting, and after nearly 40 years of successful competition, he was inducted into the Indiana Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 2007. He then helped organize and coach the Scholastic Shooting Sports team at Jennings County High School for five years.

Bill and his wife, Dixie, are lifelong members of Zion Baptist Church and are members of the Hayden Historical Museum.

The Ruddicks

Otis Ruddick was born April 9, 1899, in Jackson County, the son of Harry and Catherine Ruddick, while Bertha Prather was born April 17, 1904, in Jackson County to Richard and Minnie Prather.

Otis and Bertha married March 7, 1922, and had five children, Richard, Helen, Carol, William and Otis Edward. Helen died at age of 3, and Otis Edward was stillborn.

Otis was employed with the Railroad Express office in Seymour from 1920 to 1941. The Ruddicks moved to Jennings County in 1935 after buying a farm on the Jackson-Jennings county line. They became prominent dairy farmers and had a milk route with customers in Seymour for nine years before selling their milk to Thompson’s Dairy.

They were active members of Hayden Methodist Church and Bertha donated three acres to the church in 1966 when the church was in need of a new building site.

Otis was an active member of the Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation District and Artificial Breeders Association, a founder of the Spencer Township Volunteer Fire Department and both were members of Jennings County Farm Bureau.

Bertha was an active member of the Hayden Home Extension Club and served as the leader for the girls 4-H clubs in Jennings County in the 1950s. Otis passed away March 28, 1964, and Bertha on June 4, 1984. Both were laid to rest in Riverview Cemetery.

The first two persons inducted into the Hall in 1991 were Conrad Sullivan and Glen Morrison.

Other Hall of Fame members since 1991 include Roger and Mary Ann Maschino, Hulda Hans Reichenbach, Louis Wilson, Raymond Coryell, Eddie Maschino, Clara Eakins, Charlie and Helen Graham, Rolland Schleibaum, Kenneth and Nellie Maple, Dr. Warren Bannister, Shepherd Whitcomb, Max Tuttle, Henry Bruner, Naomi Roberts, James Maple, Ray Vaughn, Frances St. John, Jackson Kendrick, Charles Hurley, Dr. Arlie Barnes, Gov. Edgar Whitcomb, Paul Van Riper, Alice Wohrer, Pauline Jackson, Father Ed Eisenmann, Bill Luedeman, Steve Elsner, Kathleen Myron, Tom Judd, Carl Megel, Charles Whitcomb, Carl Elsner, Laurence Burgmeier, John Wohrer, Margaret Kahrs, Mary Maple, Ed Kehrt, Ed Clarkson, Judy Love, Willard Sheedy, Aubrey Bessenger, Dr. Alfred Hauersperger, Eugene Ebbing, Lee Bridges, Lawrence Nichter, Ted Brunner, Ben and Mary Richman, Tony Farrell, Randall Marshall and the eight pro baseball players.

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