By Ray Tincher | For The Times-Post
In the late 1800s, people began to build homes in the area that was becoming known as Lapel.
This attracted others to start businesses. Hardware stores offered tools and building materials. Blacksmiths were in demand. There were problems that needed solving. It was time for the community to get organized.
The first get-together took place at Huffman & Bird’s hardware. They had been meeting upstairs in the Klepfer building. On May 28, 1900, a group had been chosen to represent the community. They began conducting town board meetings.
One of the things on their agenda was a curfew. That night they passed an ordinance on community curfews. The ordinance required children under 15 years of age to be off the streets, unless accompanied by a guardian, after 9 p.m. under penalty of a $10 fine.
Can you imagine how much $10 was in 1900? (According to Google, and based on inflation, $10 is equal to $325.45 today.)
However, in 1902, the Lapel Town Board approved a claim of $5 for Aaron Manship to use his “rig” to haul a prisoner to jail in Anderson.
On April 5, 1904, the board passed an Automobile Ordinance.
“It was declared unlawful to drive an automobile or “motor car” (as they were called in that time) through the streets and alleys at a faster speed than 5 mph, under penalty of $5 to $25 fine. However, two weeks later, the board increased the speed limit to 8 mph.
There was one other stipulation in the automobile ordinance: All motor cars should have the owner’s initials printed plainly on the rear end of the vehicle. In addition, automobile owners were required to pay a license fee of $1 per year to the Town of Lapel.
At this time, if you got into trouble in Lapel, they had a town marshal, named John Parks, who was very physically imposing who could take care of any problems.
In 1896, Lapel decided it needed a better jail. They had a one room jail. There was no stove in the old jail, so it was only used during the warm months.
Ray Tincher attended Ball State University and retired from Indiana Department of Correction in 1997. He worked at IDOC for 30 years, serving in a variety of roles, from correctional officer to warden. At retirement, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Gov. Frank O’Bannon. He wrote several training manuals as part of his employment and is a published author: “Inmate #13225 John Herbert Dillinger (2007).” He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Lapel.