Post by David Sechrest on Nov 22, 2005 11:27:31 GMT -5
Jerry, welcome aboard! Great info regarding WCSI! Columbus High School basketball in the 1950's (and 1960's) was truly a community affair, and whether or not it will ever reach the popularity it did back in those days is questionable. One thing: WCSI. I recall seeing listings in the Evening Republican of the 1940's for shows on WCSI. White River Broadcasting's ads on the radio are kind of misleading. I think they say that the station was founded in 1950(?). But, I know I've seen listings in the 1940's Evening Republican for shows and programs on WCSI. I want to dig into this to find out when WCSI actually began broadcasting. I would also be interested in finding out who announced the games in the 1940's. I'll give Julian Piercefield a call. He worked at the station in the late 1940's. Maybe he can shed some info here.
David Sechrest Historic Columbus Indiana Progress should not ignore its roots and pillage our heritage in the process. Cultural, social, and historical should be part of the process, for it is the path and not the destination that is important - S. Givens
Hello All. I received e-mail from Mr. Bill Hawes. Bill was graduated from Columbus High School and now lives in Illinois. Bill was an early member of The Junior City Slickers. If you’ve read the City Slicker postings you know Bill has been interested in sound and radios for many years. He became a Ham Radio operator while attending Purdue and is still active in the hobby. Below you’ll find his information about WCSI radio.
A little update on Jerry Castor's info about WCSI. I date back to the beginning of WCSI. When WCSI first went on the air around 1948 the station was FM only until a Bloomington Station on 1010 went off the air as Mr. Trueman Rembusch previously was unable to get an AM license. Our good neighbor Bill Dobbins was one of Trueman's lawyers. Trueman had a beautiful 1 KW Collins AM Transmitter ready to go on the air, but when he couldn't get an AM license and was having financial problems had to sell it, but was able to keep the Federal Electric 10 KW FM transmitter on the air. The studios in the beginning were all located at Carr Hill. Later on when Trueman obtained an AM license he purchased an old Western Electric low level modulated AM transmitter running 250 watts output.
The station's tower blew down once, luckily not hitting the old Quonset Hut. Mr. Kelley WCSI's Chief Engineer at that time hurriedly put up a dipole antenna like we Hams use and at least got WCSI-AM back on the air pronto! I don't remember how long it took to get WCSI-FM back on the air.
Bob Lay W9DMK was Engineering at WCSI when he had time back in those days. I earned my Commercial 1st phone license in 1951, but didn't ever work for Mr. Rembusch W9KYB who owned the station and Columbus theaters. I kept in contact with the good man until he passed away.
Trueman had one of his big KW Ham transmitters stored in the main studio of WCSI no less! Just thought I'd update the Jerry post a little. I have completely lost touch with commercial radio in Columbus since the 50's. My friend Harold Crater worked for the then WJCD in Seymour, IN a "budget" 500 watt AM station. The transmitter was in the same room asthe announcer.
Last Edit: Nov 23, 2005 17:47:54 GMT -5 by richard
What a great post of basketball history and all the advertising from local stores and restaurants Richard. Bud Prewitt was in management at Cummins many years later. Also, Bill Shepherd of Hope was Columbus' Basketball player "Max" Perry's uncle. Bill taught a lot of basketball and maybe helped him develope the jump shot and many other skills. Max was a great long jump shot shooter. Max was a terrific point guard in his days. Bill Shepherd is also in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. A brief on Bill Shepherd of Hope is worth the read at following Web Site:
In later years Bud Prewitt, Bill Stearman and George Zaharako normally had morning coffee at the Olympia Dairy on 25th Street. The 1940s basketball is still missing and Bob "Bird" Welmer a graduate of Columbus High in 1947 lives in Columbus today and maybe could fill in something for the board memories. His son is Steve Welmer the NCAA referee seen periodically on television games. Both are in the Indiana Basketball hall of fame. UPDATE: Bob "Bird" Welmer is below links
Research for the 1940s Columbus High School Basketball starts with Bill Stearman from 1939-1943. The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame reveals this brief on Bill: He was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) 3 of 4 varsity years at Columbus during the dates shown above. He was also all conference during his playing years. Graduated later in 1949 from Indiana University. While at Indiana University he concentrated on baseball and the team won the Big Ten in baseball in 1948. Received the Balfour Award as a junior in 1948. Also, played for Cummins Engine's state AAU championship team in 1948. Started coaching basketball at Waldron High School during 1949-1952 with a 48-18 record. Took over as coach of Columbus Bulldogs in 1952 at the old Columbus Central High School using the Pearl Street Gymnasium and later in 1954 moved to the new Columbus North High School into the present Gymnasium. His Columbus record for basketball was 714 wins and 318 loses, 22 sectional titles, 11 regional championships and 2 semi-state titles. His Bulldog teams earned the Final Four berths in 1964 and 1975. He also coached Columbus to back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons in 1963 and 1964. In the year 2002 he was rated the third all time winnings coach for high school basketball in Indiana history. However, the second winnings coach had 11 games that could not be confirmed, so Bill really may be the second in the line-up in history. He won approximatley 70 percent of his games during his career. To see the dual sources of this brief and a picture drawing of Bill Stearman go to these Web Sites:
Inputting Columbus High School 1940s basketball teams we have to highlight Bob "Bird" Welmer from 1943 to 1947. The information gathered here is a overview from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame recap. Bob Welmer was a 3 year starter at Columbus. His tenure was played in the old Pearl Street Gym. "Bird" was a forward as a sophomore scoring 286 points as a junior center. His Senior year he moved to position of guard and scored 370 points. He led the conference in scoring and set a Columbus (pearl street) single game scoring record and set a sectional single game record his junior season. Bob Welmer was a 2 time all conference and All-State winner. He attended Tulane University and then transferred to Cincinnati University and had to sit out his sophomore year. But, as a junior he started for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 1950. He graduated from Cincinnati in 1951. His teammates included Hall of Famers Barney Scott, Marvin Wood and Bill Shepherd. To see a picture drawing of Bob "Bird" Welmer and the source brief for this article go this Web Site:
Let us go back to the 1930s Columbus High School Basketball and include Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame W. Paul "Dutch" Fehring. He graduated from Columbus (Central) High School near Pearl Street in 1930 and later graduated from Purdue University in 1934. He played at Columbus High in the old Pearl Street Gym for 4 years. He was All-State in 1930 as a senior. He played at Purdue for coach "Piggy Lambert" and they were the Big 10 champions twice and he was all Big 10 team in 1934. He further played football for 3 years, won a Big 10 Medal and honorable mention all American in football. He was a coach at Purdue for 10 years in baseball and football. He was the head coach in baseball and assistant in football and basketball. He also coached at Oklahoma and UCLA. The brief summary source of this information and a picture drawing of him is at this Web Site:
Columbus High School basketball can't go without notice of the 1920s. Ray Eddy's name is also in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Ray played at Columbus (Central) High School from 1925 to 1929. At Columbus High he won 9 letters in basketball, baseball and track. He graduated in Columbus in 1929 and went on to Purdue University and graduated in 1934. He coached at Purdue (Boilermakers) University for 15 years. He was recognized in the all-Big 10 at Purdue, captain of the 1934 team and part of the twice Big 10 championships under coach "Piggy Lambert." Later he coached Tell City for 5 years, then Madison 11 years and won the State Championship in 1950 and the state runner-up the year before. In his 15 year coaching tenure at Purdue he coached such all-time greats such as Terry Dischinger, Joe Sexson and Mel Garland. Ray Eddy retired from coaching in 1966, moving into Purdue's athletic administration. The brief source of this information and a picture drawing is at this Web Site:
The "Powerhouses of the 1960's" highlights the best of Columbus High School basketball during that decade. Leading the pack of great players is Jerry Newsom. Jerry played on two of Bill Stearman's teams that went undefeated during the regular season. Jerry played from 1961 to 1964 and later graduated from Indiana State University in 1968. During his senior year at Columbus he averaged 28 points per game. He was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) on the team and that team went to the state final four and finished the year with 27 wins and only 1 lose. His last year he was a team member on the Indiana High School All-Stars. He played college ball under Hall of Famer Duane Kleuh at Indiana State University. Jerry was named to the Silver Anniversary Team in 1989. During that time period he was the Vice-President of Newsom Industries in Columbus Indiana. The source of this information and a picture drawing of this great player is at this Web Site:
Steve Welmer another Columbus great player, college star and presently a well respected NCAA Basketball Official nationwide: At Columbus High School he lettered in basketball, football and baseball. As a junior his team record was 14-8 but as a senior the team was 23-3. He averaged 17.9 points per game and 13.7 rebounds per game. He was All-Conference and the team ranked #1 for 12 of 18 weeks and the team averaged 92.3 points per game under coach Bill Stearman. At the University of Evansville as a freshman he averaged 29.7 points per game (which was 5th in the nation). He also started his sophomore, junior and senior years. His team won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1971. He was their leading scorer and leading rebounder with 19.7 points per game and 12.6 rebounds per game. He held the University of Evansville career field goal record for 19 years. He was a small College All-American in both basketball and baseball. Steve is a member of the University of Evansville Hall of Fame. Began basketball officiating in 1974 and refereed 3 State Finals by the age of 34. The first was the double overtime game of Gary Roosevelt-Plymouth. Presently, he is a well known NCAA, Division I basketball referee all over the nation. He has officiated 13 straight Division I NCAA tourneys. Steve Welmer is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inducted in the year 2005. Source of this information and his pictures are at these two Web Site:
The Republic paper indicated two great players of the Columbus High School 1964 basketball team were inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame March 22, 2006. The 1964 team members Steve Hollenbeck and Tom McKinney are among many other great Columbus and Indiana players/coaches of the past to receive the honor. That Columbus number one ranked team reached the final four in the state tourney in 1964. See the Republic's newspaper article for an over all summary of these two great players and coaches: www.therepublic.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=90751&TM=42362.51 ALSO GO HERE: www.hoopshall.com/inductees/2006/hollenbeck.html
This was in the Columbus Republic Paper today 7/18/2006 by Harry McCawley. ________________________________________________
J.C. Gosnell leaves legacy beyond basketball stardom By Harry McCawley Associate Editor
A generation separated J.C. Gosnell and Dutch Fehring.
Both achieved athletic fame while at Columbus High School but in different times.
Dutch lettered in football, baseball and basketball in the late 1920s. J.C. starred in basketball and baseball in the early ’50s.
They came together on a couple of occasions in 1979, both because of one event — the induction ceremonies for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Dutch was permanently enshrined into the Hall that year, not just for what he did at CHS but for an entire career centered on sports. He went on to become an athletic legend at Purdue (also lettering in three sports) and evolved from a player into a coach, most notably at Stanford University where he guided the baseball team and made a lasting impact on the amateur sport. He led the successful fight to have it declared an Olympics event.
J.C. was enshrined as a member of the Silver Anniversary team — a collection of some of the state’s most outstanding players in the season 25 years prior. He was one of the mainstays on Bill Stearman’s 1954 team, the first to win sectional and regional titles in 16 years.
There was another occasion in 1979 when they shared center stage. That was when Mayor Max Andress — a former CHS football coach who was also an assistant basketball coach in 1954 — hosted a community reception for the two men.
It would be another 27 years before Dutch and J.C. came together again.
Both passed away within months of each other earlier this year.
They died in their transplanted homes, Dutch in California and J.C. — just this past week — in Texas.
It had been decades since either man called Columbus home. Dutch left, for all intents and purposes, when he graduated in 1931. J.C. stayed a hometown boy long after graduation but headed south in 1969.
As far as a lot of people who knew them are concerned, both men left a lot behind.
Much has been written on the pages of this newspaper about Dutch Fehring throughout his life.
J.C. did not get the same kind of attention, in part because his post-playing life was not so much about sports as it was with kids. A lot of that time was spent in working with the kids of Columbus.
During and after college he worked in different posts at the Columbus and North Vernon Boys clubs.
He also served as the first director of what was then called the Opportunity Center, a precursor of today’s Developmental Services, which then and now assisted the handicapped in employment training.
Young council member
He maintained the popularity he enjoyed on the basketball floor, becoming one of the youngest members of the Columbus City Council in its history.
But of all the things he achieved in his life, J.C. was really a part of something that quite literally transformed this community.
He was in on the ground floor when Columbus became a basketball powerhouse.
That might not seem like a big deal in these days of class basketball but in the middle years of the 20th century, Columbus was pretty much a spectator when it came to the IHSAA tournament.
The last time a Columbus team had gotten to the Sweet 16 was in 1938 and the closest anyone ever came thereafter was the 1948 team which lost in the sectional to eventual state champ Shelbyville.
But 1954 marked an important turning point for the basketball team and the community. Bill Stearman was in his second year as head coach and the whole town had their eyes on the building rising from the ground just off 25th Street — Memorial Gym, the basketball palace built entirely on the contributions of people throughout Bartholomew County.
The 1954 team was the last to play in the old Pearl Street Gym, where fans could buy season tickets but only for a half season.
But unlike so many times in the previous 16 years, this particular team lived out the dreams of their followers.
They lost a number of times that year, but two were noteworthy.
One was to the Miracle team of 1954, Milan and its top player, Bobby Plump.
The second was the last time they played that year. Oscar Robertson and his Crispus Attucks teammates beat them by one point in the Indianapolis Semistate.
J.C. was the star of the team, but he averaged only 16 points a game.
Other Columbus teams have won more games and had star players with point averages that dwarfed J.C.’s output but something happened in 1954 that turned the town around.
Post by Margo CHS Class of 55 on Jul 18, 2006 9:13:30 GMT -5
Thanks Bob for posting this wonderful article written by Harry. I was fortunate to see the game with Milan and then at Hinkle Fieldhouse to see the game with Crispus Attucks !! What a heartbreaker !! I surely went home with a sore throat that lasted for two days !
Wonderful memories that kids today may not have a chance to see.
Enjoyed the run that Hauser made this past year !! Quite a few touching stories about the players on that team also.
Did you ever find him in the Indiana Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team ?
my link www.fbccolumbus.org CHS Class of 1955 meets the third Saturday of each month for lunch. Any Class member is invited to attend.
Margo, many folks I have talked with over the past few days have confirmed that he was on the Silver Anniversary Team around 1976. The internet hasn't been around long enough to get all the past history and at times it becomes cumbersome as we all know to find things. The Columbus and Indianapolis Newspapers are a good source also.
But, if you visit the Indiana Hall of Fame in New Castle Indiana, you can see the items displayed and reading materials, and J. C. Gosnell's name will pop up on that list of Indiana Basketball Great Players on that Silver Team.
I too watched J.C. playing in all those games and he was a super star as far as I am concerned. He lead the Bulldogs to a higher level of greatness, as Harry expressed in so many words. Columbus never had such "Basketball Fever" except in those great ole days of the fifties.