On Saturday, May 23rd, 1936, 80 years ago New Carlisle celebrated its annual Memorial Day celebration. The day started out with the parade following the traditional route by starting in the north of town and proceeding slowly down Main Street and out to the New Carlisle Cemetery.
During the year, Mayor Williams headed up a planning group (Memorial Day Committee of the Commercial Club) that was responsible for planning the Memorial exercise at the New Carlisle Cemetery. The Memorial Day committee consist of the Mayor E.W. Williams, Howard N. Scraff, and J.D. Blackford and H.H. Helman the pastor of the Church of the Brethren.
The committee wanted to take a new approach to the event by focusing on the historical spirit, rather than the patriotic. The committee selected pioneer John Paul as the person they wanted to honor. According to the history books, John Paul was the first white settler in Clark County sometime around 1787. John Paul was credited with fighting with General George Rogers at the Battle of Piqua. It is reported that he built a small wooden cabin along the Honey Creek with his wife, son, and daughter. Legend has it that he also built a blockade around his cabin to protect themselves from Indian attacks. However, one summer day while planting their crops an attack came on the family that mortally wounded John Paul and his wife. The children were able to escape back into the cabin before being noticed. It was not until days later that they were able to attended to the bodies of their parents. As late of the 1970’s people have reported seeing grave markers marking the spot where John Paul and is wife are buried. The Paul estate was located a mile east of town off of New Carlisle Pike in the very rear present day Twin Creeks, along the Honey Creek.
Upon the arriving at the cemetery, people were entertained with a band concert by Crowell Band out of Springfield. Then Mr. Backford gave a brief history based on Dr. B.F. Prince (Professor at Wittenberg College) book “History of Clark County” about John Paul and his settlement along the Honey Creek. Next in the program, Mr. Backford unveiled a tablet in honor of John Paul that was being erected on a special monument constructed out of native stone, which still stands at the North East entrance of the New Carlisle Cemetery.
To end the program, Joe Barnhart, a recent graduate of the New Carlisle High School, read the Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Rev. H.H. Helman delivered the annual Memorial Address.