Museum raising money to restore Whitcomb’s home

The home of former Indiana Gov. Edgar D. Whitcomb recently became part of the Hayden Historical Museum, and efforts have begun to convert the home to the way it looked in December 1943.

That’s when Whitcomb returned home after being listed as missing in action for two years. Whitcomb served as a navigator for the B-17 bombers during World War II and was with the first squadron to be sent into service when they flew to Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

After the Philippine Islands fell to the Japanese, Whitcomb was one of many soldiers captured and held as a prisoner of war on the island of Corregidor. He was able to escape by swimming for eight hours at night to get away, but he would later be re-captured. He managed to escape for a second time and made his way to safety.

After the war, Whitcomb became active in politics and served as Indiana Secretary of State and then was elected Indiana’s 43rd governor in 1968.

Besides restoring the home, museum officials plan on landscaping around a monument to Whitcomb that was placed in the yard and dedicated in the summer of 2014 and installing a brick walkway from the front of the home to the monument area.

As a way to pay for this project, individuals and organizations may purchase personalized bricks, which will become a part of this walkway and area in front of the Whitcomb monument. The cost of a 4-by-4-inch brick is $50, and an 8-by-8-inch brick is $100.

The forms to order a brick can be obtained by contacting the Hayden Historical Museum, P.O. Box 58, Hayden, IN 47245 or emailing haydenmu@seidata.com.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.