From: "Randi Richardson" <GFTL(a)bluemarble.net>
Subject: Bloomington's Thanksgiving Turkey Toss Touted a Winner
This article, without source or date, was found in the "Bloomington
History" vertical file at the Monroe County Historical Society. It
was labeled, "Looking Back on Old Bloomington," no author noted. It
appeared to be incomplete as noted by the incomplete sentence
preceding the ellipsis.
The Thanksgiving turkey went to the "best man" several years ago.
Those who were strongest and most daring during the activities of
"turkey day' came out as winners in the celebration a number of years
ago. Of course, there were exceptions. Occasionally the hunted fowl
would land in the arms of some bystander and innocently invite itself
to be the main feature at the Thanksgiving dinner.
The celebration on "turkey day" was described in the Daily Telephone
published November 26, 1901. This was "turkey day" in Bloomington and
over 1,000 people turned out to see the sport.
"Twenty-four turkeys were released from the tops of buildings, and
the sport in watching the anxious people catch the turkeys was novel
to say the least. The fun commenced at 1 o'clock under the
management of Julian Wentworth. The turkeys were taken to the tops
of the business buildings of businessmen who had subscribed and there
turned loose to fly in any direction.
"The first turkey was let loose from Woodward and Thornton's office
and flew across the street and landed on the roof over Bowles Drug
Store where Henry Benckart captured it. The next was from Louden and
Louden's office yard into the open arms of Joseph Heitger.
"Todd's Grocery Company's turkey was captured by Frank Bender, a
farmer. The one from Kahn's Clothing Store flew toward the Hotel
Gentry and was captured by John Sutphin, but in the scuffle several
members of the crowd ran in, and Sutphin was kicked and bruised but
not seriously hurt. He held on to the turkey and carried it off as
Others sure to have a turkey feast by reasons of their catch are:
Howard Carmichael, Fay Bodenhamer, Ernest Hawkins, Ralph Woolery,
Mrs. Pearl Thrasher, S. A. Corlett, Oscar Branam, Duke Caviness and
The Daily Telephone of December 17, 1901, carried a novel article...