Throwback Thursday: May 18

News from around Johnson County as reported on May 18 in the pages of the Daily Journal and the Franklin Evening Star from the last 111 years.

On this day in 1998, the main story in the Daily Journal focused on the closure of Hopewell Elementary School.

About 350 students, teachers and parents came out to Hopewell Elementary’s gymnasium on May 17, 1998, to say goodbye to the 62-year-old brick building. Because of growing enrollment and the school’s aging condition, Hopewell students started going to the new Creekside Elementary in the fall of 1998.

“I’m really sad to see this school go, but I know the move is best for the children,” said Josephine Bridwell, 82, who was the first cook when Hopewell opened in 1936.

Bridwell was in 12th grade when the original school, called the Hopewell Home Church and School, burned down in 1932. She and her classmates finished the year in classrooms borrowed from the Franklin schools.

Loyd Hensley remembered that time well. The 90-year-old Franklin man was a Hopewell teacher at the time, a career he began in 1929. He taught at the school for 22 years until 1951, when he began a 22-year stint as principal.

“This has certainly been a great school,” he said.

Due to tremendous public support, Hopewell was not torn down. It remained under the direction of the Franklin Community School Corp.

Other memorable Johnson County stories from this day


Indian Creek Schools were considering a $20 million expansion and renovation of the district’s middle/high school building.


After nearly a year of modifications, the Greenwood FantaSuite Hotel was transformed into a fantasy wonderland.


The 52-year-old “polo” barn, a landmark at the Johnson County Fairgrounds, was reduced to rubble as officials replaced it with a new 8,000 square foot pole barn.