Foo Mobile - Starke County Tidbit #62

posted Aug 4, 2015, 1:51 PM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Oct 31, 2015, 9:12 AM ]
Years ago, the blacksmith was the corner of the community.  Take your idea to the blacksmith and he would hammer out that idea.  It could be a new wheel or a new plow.  That is how John Deere started in 1837.  John was a blacksmith.  The blacksmith days are gone, but we still have innovators looking for better ways of doing things in shops and farms around the world.

When I talked about the Space Ship landing in Hamlet, I mentioned that we have fun in Starke County.  Pulaski County has fun, too.   I have stretched the borders of Starke County before, so I thought I would do it again.  Just west of Francesville, Indiana, is a company called Schlatters, Inc.  Pulaski County is just like Starke County in the fact that we are major agricultural production counties in the state - rural and wonderful.  And creative, too.

Bill Holman was a syndicated writer in Chicago for the Smokey Stover comic strip between 1935 and 1973.  In the comic strip, Smokey was a fireman and would drive the fire chief, Chief Cash U. Nutt, to the different fires.  To fully understand the comic strip, you need to click on the following ----

Now, to get back to Pulaski County, Pete Schlatter of Francesville was a genius in his ability to build anything.  His son, Ron, is the same way. Pete created a real live Foo Mobile - the seemingly impossible two-wheeled car like Smokey Stover's in the comic strip.  I'm not going to tell you how it stays up on the two wheels, but if you really want to know, you can look around on Google and find it.   I have included a photo of Schlatter's Foo Mobile when Melba and I drove it in a parade years ago.

Jim Shilling
Starke County Historical Society