would be easy to assume that Rush Countys rural nature excludes
it from the arts, entertainment, and cultural advantages that many seek
for themselves and their families. Nothing could be further from the
truth, for the arts flourish here in many forms.
The county supports a lovely, old-fashioned Historical
Museum, maintained by the Rush County Historical Society. The museum,
located at 7th and Perkins streets, researches, collects, preserves,
and interprets information and artifacts about the area. Open on Sunday
afternoons during the summer months, the museum provides a glimpse of
the American fabric, displaying things like an early Harcourt wheat
drill, a spinning wheel, a miniature carousel, 19th century toys, and
of the famous Kennedy covered bridges are sprinkled throughout the country.
Three generations of Kennedys built approximately 50 covered bridges
during a sixty-year period beginning in the 1880s (in central
and southern Indiana). Theses magnificent structures, butressed by the
Burr arch truss system, are lovingly protected by the Rush County Heritage
Group, and attract visitors from far and near. One fine example is the
Moscow Covered Bridge, which each year in June inspires the Moscow Covered
Bridge Festival.The Rushville Public Library, with services free to
city residents and available for a minimal charge to citizens of the
county, is an impressive structure which houses hundreds of volumes
and artifacts of the past. At the same time, the library is continually
updating its facilities and services to keep pace with the technology
of a growing literary world.
There is no shortage of arts and entertainment in
Rush County. The Rush County Players offer local civic theater productions
at least three times annually. Auditions for these productions are well-publicized
and attract young and old alike. In addition, the local high school
has fine programs in both instrumental and choral music and live theater.
Several concerts and stage productions are presented each year to near
sell-out crowds. From time to time, the local Rotary Club also sponsors
theater is ably carried by the satirical Briar Patch Players, an energetic
group of high schoolers who entertain with local musical fare on the
Fourth of July weekend. The county also boasts several long-standing
literary clubs, an active garden club, a community band, and many other
opportunities in the visual and performing arts.
Countywide celebrations include the Moscow Covered
Bridge Festival, Glenwood Old-Fashioned Days, the Pioneer Engineers
Steam and Gas Engine show, the Rush County Festival, and the ever-popular
Rush County Fair which features competitions and displays in many of
Perhaps Rush Countys greatest cultural advantage
is its location, which provides easy access to numerous and varied concerts,
exhibits, and productions in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Louisville.
Many of the local folks enjoy season memberships in the arts of these
nearby metropolitan areas.
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in Rush County is a real treat. Places like Flatrock Village Shops include
Wal-Mart, Citizens State Bank and 20/Twenty vision care for necessities.
Supermarkets like Krogers, Lo-Bills and O-Maras Market
provide a variety of grocery shopping. The absence of corporately-owned
mega-malls have allowed old-fashioned entrepreneurial shopkeeping to
remain and flourish.
Gift shops like This Old House and The Huckleberry Hutch
provide a touch of class, along with clerks who know the customers by
name. The Rushville Pharmacy is also a unique shopping experience where
gifts and collectibles are varied and people come for more than prescriptions.
The Antique Mall, which recently opened its doors in Rushville, offers
upscale, high quality antiques. It has attracted visitors from across
the state. The new Amish center, located in Milroy, is expected to draw
a great deal of interest, as well.
Celebrating 50 years in Homer, Indiana is The Sampler
where craftsmen have carved themselves a national reputation offering
traditional American furniture designs in wild black cherry, built to
the customers desires. Additionally, the showroom features M.A. Hadley
pottery, homespun table lines, hand-loomed throws, prints, and lamps.
For the avid shopper, a trip to Homer is a genuine delight.
Borrowing a line from The Samplers
brochure: In an era of assembly line production, Rush County still believes
in offering retail businesses that reflect and honor individual preferences!
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shopping, dining in Rush County is as personal as
a Sunday dinner at Grandmas house. In fact, Winkerbys Sunday
buffet is served only on Sunday. Throughout the rest of the week, Winkerbys,
as well as Millers Family Restaurant, offers catering for special events.
Millers is housed in a building appropriate
for corporate holiday parties and wedding receptions.
Drive-in (next door to the north) combines roller-skate car-hop nostalgia
with two-fisted Dutch Boy sandwiches and Chicken in a Basket designed
to spice up an ordinary day. American is the ethnic
food choice in Rush County. The Rushville Elks Club and the Country
Cooker provide good food and good places for groups
to meet. OMaras Market, famous for their country fried chicken
and homemade sandwiches, offers the convenience
of a deli, grocery and gas station all in one!
1996, Rush County residents spent more than $14 million on food away
from home. That is 50% of the total amount of money spent on food prepared
in the home.
With quality like this, who wouldnt be willing
to put their money where their mouth is?
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in Rush County approach commerce with the friendliness of a small town.
The regional Small Business Development Center offers business counseling
to start-ups as well as expanding businesses. The countys banksincluding
First Indiana, Citizens State Bank, Norwest Bank, Farmers
State Bank and Peoples Trust Companyprovide financial
experts willing to help businesses do business.
For industry seeking to relocate, the City of Rushville
has been a leader among Indianas cities in cooperative ventures
and public-private partnerships. Tax abatement and grant-related incentives
are used by the City to encourage expansions and relocations.
Intat Precision, Inc., a foundry that makes castings
for autos, recently expanded their facility and invested over one hundred
million dollars and added one hundred jobs to the community. Fujitsu
Ten America, Inc., manufacturer of stereo systems, is also a vital part
of the industrial community. The Trane Company, a manufacturer of components
for air conditioners, and Copeland Corporation, which remanufactures
compressors, together employs almost 500 people.
INCERCO, a high-tech ceramic parts supplier, recently
relocated from Indianapolis to Rush County. Already, INCERCO has taken
the advantage of the tax benefits and lower costs that Rush County offers.
Rush County is also home to Harcourt Industries, a school supply manufacturer
in Milroy, Jefferson Smurfit in Carthage, which remanufactures corrugated
paper, and Herdrich Petroleum and Dawson Oil Company, industry leaders
in the area of petroleum products.
Totaled, the demand in Rush County has meant that the
number of employees in manufacturing has jumped by 22 percent from 1984
to 1994a 33 percent increase between 1989 and 1994. Thats
one reason why the Milroy Economic Development Corporation has an industrial
park in its limits, with prime space still available for new and expanding
businesses. In addition, the Rush Count Industrial Development Corporation
markets several hundred acres of available land on Rushville's northside.
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Rush County School District is a countywide consolidation of four elementary
schools housing kindergarten through sixth grade, one middle school,
and one high school with an agricultural-technical vocational building
on-campus. Total enrollment of the district is approximately 3,000 students,
which makes possible a healthy student-teacher ratio. Rushville Consolidated
High School (RCHS) will complete a $16 million renovation in the Fall
of 1999. This will add ten new classrooms, a new high-tech Internet
and computer communication system, a new cafeteria
and new athletic facilities to accommodate the schools record
number of varsity sports offerings. Also included
in the current facelift is a new music building to house
the band and choral departments. This adjoins the reasonably
new auditorium, which was built in 1984.
The high school is of moderate size (approximately 900
students), and its course and activity offerings are great. The school
offers an Academic Honors Diploma, and was the first in the state to
establish a Varsity Scholars Program to honor students who maintain
good grades. Seniors who have a 3.0 academic average at the end of their
seventh semester are treated to a jet-a-way one-day trip to Bahamas
or a savings bond of comparable value, funded by the local community.
A few students who improve significantly from their freshmen year are
also eligible. Currently more than 25 percent of the senior class earn
the privilege. Most students reference the program as an incentive to
receive high grades.
The Rush County schools also pioneered student drug
testing as a qualification for participation in
extracurricular activities or to be given permission to drive to school.
The RCS plan, designed to protect the entire student community, may
become a model in the courts for other school
districts throughout the country.
addition, RCHS also provides great career and guidance programs
offering students many possibilities. The popular School-to-Work
program gives students a chance to jobshadow mentors
in their chosen field during school-release time, and students seeking
vocational training commute daily to nearby Connersville for immediate,
hands-on job training. The popular Agriculture Careers in Education
program (ACE) offers aid to students who seek an agriculture-related
vocation. In addition, the school offers cadet teacher opportunities
and a Peer Helper Counseling Group (PHAF) which serves
in a "big brother" capacity to middle school and elementary
Rush County graduates are fortunate in that the
local Community Foundation, aided by the Lilly Foundation and a former
second-grade teacher who gave $300,000, helps to fill in the financial
gap for those lacking funds to go on to college. The foundation recently
presented its first four-year scholarship to a
local student and hopes to present more in the future.
Colleges and universities are within a 90-minute
drive in any direction. The closest are Indiana University East, Earlham
College and Indiana Vocational and Technical College at Richmond, Franklin
College, and the University of Indianapolis, Butler University and Indiana
University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, and Ball State University
located just 40 minutes north in Muncie.
The entire community finds great cohesion and spirit
in supporting school academic and athletic successes. Many student teams
have received state recognition through the years.
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Memorial Hospital completed a major facelift and renovation in 1997,
as it endeavored to meet the growing needs and demands of maintaining
high-tech medical care in a hometown setting. The hospital received
significant community support from Rush County citizens who desperately
wanted to keep their hospital when many other small-town community hospitals
were closing, forcing their citizens to travel to other locations for
With a superior emergency room facility, and helicopter
life-line links to Indianapolis for critical emergency care, Rush Memorial
also offers a number of specialty clinics which include audiology, cardiology,
ENT, neurology, speech, sports medicine, pathology, podiatry, pulmonary
diseases, radiology, and urology. In addition, the hospital retains
16 internists, general surgery and family practice physicians on its
medical staff. Chiropractic clinics are also available.
fine extended care facility is housed on the hospitals second
floor, and in-patients, their families, and visitors are treated
with the particular brand of small-town care and cordiality that
one can only obtain close to home.
Elder care is also a priority in Rush County. Facilities
include two nursing homes, three home health care agencies and a top-notch
residential care facility willing to partner with
clients to find solutions that allow families to stay together. This
community dedication to continuing care often
makes it possible for older adults to remain in a familiar
environment and avoid moving to metropolitan areas to receive the kind
of attention they deserve.
The entire community is served by private ambulance
and emergency medical services located in Milroy,
Carthage, Rushville, and Raleigh/Mays.
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Rush County government is
overseen by a three-member Board of Commissioners and a seven-member
county councilwhile the City of Rushville,
the County Seat, has a full-time mayor and a five-member city council
- all dedicated to serving the community. (Carthage and Glenwood are
the only other incorporated towns in the county; Carthage has the distinction
of being the largest town in Indiana without a major highway running
The City of Rushville has 13 uniformed police officers
and five full-time dispatchers. The police station, recently relocated,
offers the latest technical communication equipment and a state-of-the-art
firing range. The Rush County Sheriffs Department
employs eight full time employees and two administrators whose dedicated
service has earned them high regard throughout the community.
Rushvilles fire station is manned by 16 full-time
firefighters with one-half of the department registered
as emergency medical technicians or EMTs. In order to upgrade their
services, the department purchased a new aerial
pumper in early 1998. Volunteer fire departments
located throughout the county provide adequate fire protection which
also serves to keep both insurance premiums and tax rates low.
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