The village was founded by John Shockey, a cattle trader from
Pennsylvania, who purchased land here and had part of it surveyed
and plotted as the new town of Elkhart City in 1855. Other prominent
residents of Elkhart include former Gov. Richard J. Ogelsby
(three-term governor: 1865, 1873, 1885), whose burial place is
within Elkhart Cemetery; John Dean Gillett, one of the cattle kings
of the prairies, who owned more than 16,000 acres; and Capt. Adam H.
Bogardus, a conservationist and wing shot champion of the world, who
toured with the William "Buffalo Bill" Cody Wild West Show in 1884.
Today Elkhart is a thriving village of around 500 residents, with
prospering old and new businesses and two new subdivisions offering
excellent opportunities to build and raise a family.
Sesquincentennial events will start with a ceremony and opening
of the traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at 5
p.m. on Thursday, July 21, and the youth pageant "Peek into the
Past" at 7 p.m.
Events lined up for Friday, July 22, include a pork chop dinner
and magic show at 5 p.m., Kiddie Tractor Pull at 5:30 p.m.,
historical pageant "Of Olden Days" at 7 p.m., and free country
western band Still Kickin at 9 p.m.
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Saturday's events start with breakfast served by a local youth
group at 7 a.m. and townwide yard sales. Antique book appraisals
will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the library. A classic car show
will roll into town along Old Route 66 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The
"Moments in Time" parade will begin at 5 p.m., followed by a chicken
dinner at 5:30. The band Hot Property will perform at 9 p.m.
Activities will culminate on Sunday, July 24, with the burial of
a time capsule at 1 p.m. and the closing of the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Wall at 2 p.m., followed by an ecumenical church service
and free ice cream social with brass band at the Elkhart Grade
Additional daily activities:
- Free trolley rides at designated stops
- Historical museum open daily, noon-6 p.m.
- Art exhibit, noon-7 p.m.
- Children's games and activities, 5-7 p.m. Friday and 3-7
- Pioneer village on Elkhart Hill
- Elkhart Historic Hill tours by reservation
- Old Gillett Mansion tours by reservation
[Donna Cunningham, librarian, Elkhart Public Library District]