Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Miss Olive Fluegel, of Winona Lake recently loaned us a copy of the October 21, 1921, issue of the Cincinnati Post." At that particular time Billy Sunday was in the seventh week of a revival at Cincinnati. This newspaper devoted considerable space to an account of the meetings. There are long articles giving digests of the evangelist's sermons. There is a cartoon showing Homer Rodeheaver, Sunday's choir leader, in action. Across the top of the front page is Billy Sunday's "thought for the day."

Because of the interest of Cincinnati people in Billy Sunday, the Post sent one of its staff writers to Winona to write a feature story on the evangelist's home town. This feature article appears in the same issue.

One reason why Miss Fluegel and her sister, Mrs. John C. Hammond, prize this paper so highly is that there is a picture of, and several references to, their father, W. G. Fluegel, who was president of the Winona town board at the time.

Excerpts from this feature article follow:

No Devil Here
"There is no devil in this town, which is Billy Sunday's home. Many folk leave their doors unlocked at nights, well knowing that none of the devil's sons are prowling about the community. In Winona lake there is no jail. If there were one, its locks and bolts would be rotted from rust. Once there was a constable elected, but the mayor, W. G. Fluegel, says, 'We have forgotten we have one. We never have required his services.'"

"During the summer months Winona Lake is the scene of a continuous Chautauqua. Admission is charge to get into town, and even the regular inhabitants buy season tickets. Otherwise they couldn't get back into the town if they went out to go to Warsaw, two miles away, to shop. Only on Sunday admission to the town is free, it being against the rules of Sabbath observance to handle money on that day.

"Every house has a name. Sunday's home is called 'Mount Hood,' after the Oregon mountain of that name, near which Sunday owns a farm. Mayor Fluegel's home is called 'Felsenheim' and nearby is a dwelling christened 'Hoosier Rest.'

"On what might be called the public square of Winona one observes two un-Christian objects that seem strange in this community. One is a bronze idol of Buddha, the oriental prophet, and the other is a granite copy of the well-known nude Venus of Praxiteles. They may be serving as horrible examples of the idolatry of the heathen."

Warsaw Times-Union Tues. Jan. 26, 1954