The first of many Cornuelle Veterans Tree Lighting Ceremonies and Celebration will take place on Saturday, November 30 at the downtown courthouse square. The celebration will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. with the tree ceremony starting at 5:30 p.m.
After the ceremony there will be crafts, a cake walk, photo booth, Christmas carols, horse drawn carriage rides, children will be able to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and much more!
Residents are encouraged to bring nonperishable items to donate to the local food pantry and/or donate a new unwrapped toy for the Fire Departments Toy Drive.
The Tree Lighting planning committee includes Anne Baker Owen, Joelle Freiburger, Sam Swenson, Chris Holtzleiter and Dustin George.
A long forgotten and overlooked memorial stone was discovered by Hartford City community member and Hartford City Urban Forest Greenscape committee member Anne Baker Owen on the northwest side of the Blackford County courthouse lawn. On the top of the stone was the symbol of the American Legion. Owen, who is much into genealogy, took it upon herself to research the stone in which she discovered the history of it.
In 1936, a Perpetual Christmas Tree had been planted on the lawn in honor of Mr. Rev. Herbert C. Cornuelle. Mr. Cornuelle was a veteran of World War 1 that passed away due to injuries he sustained during the war.
During that time, Perpetual Christmas Trees were commonly placed in town squares to honor fallen service men and women who would never have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with their families again.
The HC Urban Forest Greenscape Commission made the decision to restore the memorial stone with a new foundation and to place a new Perpetual Christmas Tree to honor Rev. Herbert C. Cornuelle and all of our fallen veterans. The American Legion Post 159 Auxiliary purchased and donated the tree.
The HC Urban Forest Greenscape Committee have taken their first steps towards honoring Rev. Herbert C. Cornuelle, all of our fallen veterans and restoring our history by placing the refurbished stone during the last weekend of September and planted a Norway Spruce tree the first weekend of October.
Rev Herbert C Cornuelle was born in 1892, in the Cincinnati Ohio area. He and his twin brother Ralph, graduated together from the University of Cincinnati. He then went on to graduate from McCormick Seminary in Chicago with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. The brothers were Ordained as ministers together in March of 1918. That same year, he married, and joined the Army. Rev. Cornuelle was in World War I. Commissioned as a Chaplain, in 1918, he was serving in France.
During his service, he became gassed, in a decisive battle of the war. His lungs were permanently damaged. He returned home, in 1919. In 1920, Rev Cornuelle, his wife and infant son moved to Elwood, IN, where he pastored at the First Presbyterian Church. His second son was born in Elwood.
In 1928, he moved to Hartford City, becoming Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church here. His third son was born here in Hartford City. In April of 1936, Rev Cornuelle died from the damage to his lungs. He was 43 years old at the time of his death.
Not only had Rev. Cornuelle pastored here in Hartford City, but he was also Commander of the local American Legion, and Chaplain of the Indian State Legion Department. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club, and served as their president in 1933. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and was Head of the Blackford County Red Cross.