Hedge, Kinney, Keslings honored for preserving La Porte County history

Submitted by La Porte County Historian Fern Eddy Schultz  

Mary Hedge

The 2018 Historian of the Year Awards were presented at the May 15, 2018, dinner/meeting of the La Porte County Historical Society Inc.  Chairperson of the committee is Fern Eddy Schultz, who bowed out this year because of health issues. The committee members reviewed nominations and selected the recipients.

The rules allow one current individual, one past individual and one organization currently involved in the preservation of La Porte County history to be honored. Nominations were received for the current and past individual.

Mary Hedge received the award for an individual who currently is preserving the history of La Porte County. She was nominated by Bruce R. Johnson. Mary is a Reference Librarian at the La Porte County Public Library and a longtime resident of La Porte. She presents programs regarding houses and other historically oriented programs perpetuating the history of La Porte. She responds to requests received at the library regarding local history and genealogy. She furnishes items to the La Porte Herald-Argus for its daily column entitled Today in History and also for www.whatsnewporte.com entitled Moments in Time. She helps manage and locate materials for the Indiana Room in the library.

Bob Cutler Jr., accepting for his grandmother Madeline Kinney.

The individual honored for in the past preserving La Porte County history was Madeline Kinney. She served as Curator of the museum when it was located in the basement of the courthouse and at the time it was moved to the La Porte County Complex. Her award was accepted by Robert Cutler Jr., her grandson. He noted her avid interest in history and accomplishments during her tenure as curator and as a member of the historical society board of directors.

A special awarding was made to Dr. Peter C. and Charlene Kesling. A tribute to them was read by Bruce R. Johnson in which he elaborated on the numerous activities in which the Keslings have been involved to preserve the history of La Porte County. Among these, and certainly not limited to these, are the bay windows from the Lonn building, the Grafton murals, the continual maintenance of the 9-sided Door

Charlene and Dr. Peter Kesling

Prairie Barn that is one of La Porte County’s most beloved landmarks, the display of antique automobiles, the making possible a home for the La Porte County Historical Society Inc. and its Museum, and most recently a major grant from the Kesling Foundation so the historical society could make a number of major repairs that would have otherwise been impossible. The Society is sincerely grateful for all that the Keslings have done and continue to do to help make “our” Museum the pride of La Porte County and its visitors from throughout the world. As a small token of appreciation, a Life Membership was presented to the Keslings.

3 Responses to “Hedge, Kinney, Keslings honored for preserving La Porte County history”

  1. Lynn Lisarelli

    May 20. 2018

    What a LOVELY article! I’m so glad these people received awards. I used to know Madeline Kinney quite well when I was a teenager very interested in the Belle Gunness story. She gave me a lot of information and even made copies of three pictures on file for me to have.

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  2. ILUVLP

    May 23. 2018

    Congrats to all on the well deserved awards. I also remember Ms. Kinney when the museum was in the courthouse basement. Great memories.

    Get well Fern.

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  3. Maurice G Levine

    May 23. 2018

    So many people have contributed to the compilation and maintenance of La Porte’s past and it is proper they be thanked for their individual contributions. Staff, board members, volunteers and donors alike have kept La Porte’s history alive and available to future generations. No one, but no one, has contributed more to the preservation of that history than Fern Eddy Schultz and Dr. Peter and Charlene Kesling. It is appropriate that I add my thanks, on behalf of the Levine family of La Porte, to acknowledge their contributions and to say thanks for all they have done.

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