North Bend Opposition to Merger
A Large and will-informed delegation from the Bass Lake and west areas of Starke county
dominated the Marshall county hearing of the State commission on Reorganization of the
School Corporations at Plymouth Tuesday afternoon.
A review of the testimony shows Bass Lake area wants no part of the Culver Community
J. B. Kohlmeyer, director of the commission turned the meeting over to Mrs. Jean Pilot, a
member of the commission and she did a superb job of eliminating any animosity that has
been engendered by this quick, “shotgun” marriage of North Bend and Culver.
Here is a chronological transcript that took place and anyone can use his or her judgment
as to what the sentiment was:
Mr. Kohlmeyer opened with a explanation of the purpose of the meeting. H said this was
a hearing on the Marshall County plan, which involved four school corporations only –
Argos Cummunity Schools;
Culver Community, the complicated NorthBend-Culver controversy, and
He asked for expression from the “for” and “against” Culver situation. Then he turned
the meeting over to Mrs. Pilot of Hammond, who resided in a wholly exemplary manner
She recognized Don Davis, who stated he represented the Culver-Union township
Chamber of Commerce (the only active organization in the township he said). He said
that he was happy and almost everyone was happy that the merger of the
Aubbeenaubbee (Leiters Ford, Fulton County)-North Bend Starke county) merger had
been effected to gain Culver enough population to come under the Act that a unit
would have 1,000 pupols.
Vernie Bowen, former Aubbeenaubbee trustee said that 65 percent of his township
approved the merger.
Those were the only speakers who approved o the merger.
Mrs Mathew Swanson was the first speaker, who comes from the west part of North
Bend, that opposed the merger with Culver. Said she, “Culver does not provide equal
opportunity for our children. Knox will graduate 180 high school pupils this year and
Culver 44., The minimum schooling under the state law is not handled. Too much
She then quoted Dr. A. T. Lindley’s report on the survey he made with Purdue University
cooperation. The facilities were inadequate. “There was a loss of 50 minutes coming from
North Bend on the road in some instances. Culver has not the facilities for proper education
for our children. She asked that the Culver plane be held in abeyance. West North Bend
would be happy for the township being split, the east fringe going to Culver and the west
Mrs Swanson said that six or eight land sections are going to Knox this year. Sixty parents
foot the tuition bills themselves.”
Giichi Ikeda, who lines on Ind. 10, and ia a muck farmer stated that 65 present of the
voters in North Bend township favor going to Knos. He claimed that the figures compiled
by the ones who favored Culver were not accurate. He filed his report with the commission.
John Talman, a resident of North Bend, said that the merge with Culver was not favorable
to the Culver taxpayers. That there were 110 land owners who do not reside in North Bend
but are taxpayers. (Large scale muck farmers)
A Mr. Piper was next heard and the commission questioned a map he presented showing that
Knox was in the center of Starke county. Mr. Kohlmeyer and Mrs Pilot pointed out that he
had failed to include six Starke county townships. He agreed.
John Demotto said that the sports program at Culver was limited because of lack of facilities.
It was revealed that more pupils could not go to Knox because the Culver Community Schools
refused to issue transfers. At one lace it was 11 ½ miles to Culver and 4 ½ to Knox.
Mrs Charles H Moore of Bass Lake, said that the merger of North Ben with Culver was
economically unsound. The community had nothing in common with Culver, with employment,
with a Knox-Starke county hospital which Culver does not have; with a school with the proper
facilities for teaching language in the grades.
The Rev. V. E. Wade, emphasized that Culver had none of the facilities of Knox Schools.
George Hodges, a bus driver to the Culver Schools said his bus generally left at 7:15 a.m. and
arrived at Culver at 7:50, refuting some of the figures that west North Bend presented. In the
evening the run was 30 to 35 minutes. He drives a 42-passenger bus.
Frank McLane, superintendent of the Culver School ,presented the commission with figures
concerning operations of the schools. He projected some figures as to what would be the
school population next year and in four years.
Mrs Louise M. Horn refuted a statement previously made that Culver had no baseball tea. She
said that sports were secondary anyway.
Cecil Bauman of North Bend said if Culver put in a new high school it would put a heavy
burden on Culver and Union township taxpayers.
At present it was pointed out that more North Bend pupils were going to Culver than to
Knox because of the refusal of Culver to issue transfers.
Mr. Thomas L. Webber deputy attorney general of Indiana, attached to the commission,
made a simple explanation of the laws governing consolidations. He stated emphatically
that the law had to be followed and there was no law that would let North Ben out of
the Culver merger. Not until Culver releases North Bend.
Mr. Webber said, however that there was a remedy because the transfer statues were
still in effect. There can be claimed that better facilities exist elsewhere, that
transportation is a problem, and there is a right of appeal if denied. If the pupil is not given
the proper curricula the child can get a transfer. “We are aware of public opinions but we
know there are limitations.”
Feb. 26, 1964 … It must be Lake Water by Bob Kyle