Throwback Thursday: April 11

News from around Johnson County as reported on April 11 in the pages of the Daily Journal and the Franklin Evening Star from the last 112 years.

On this day in 1994, the main story on the front page of the Daily Journal was about a Greenwood man developing seeds for local corn growers.

Gary Arthur was a plant breeder, experimenting with genetics and different varieties of feed corn to invent new lines of plants to sell to the nation’s retail seed companies. The business was uncommon: the Franklin company for which Arthur worked, Holden’s Foundation Seed, based of out of Iowa, was one of about five major ones in the nation.

“It’s very uncommon that we have a branch company like this in Johnson County — there are just a few in the whole nation and they are the very foundation of the whole seed corn industry,” said Rick Chase, county agricultural extension agent. “It’s a fascinating part of the business and part of what’s made American farmers as efficient as they are today.”

The laboratories used by Arthur and his colleagues for research included field plots in Johnson County and states including Iowa, Kentucky and more. At a remolded farmhouse on west County Road 500 North (Whiteland Road), they complied and studied data, marketed their research and oversaw packaging and shipment of hundreds of thousands of seed samples annually for distribution across the country.

The company sold licenses for its products to retail seed corn outlets, who in turn used the genetics in hybrid seeds to sell to farmers.

“The genetic plant breeding — that’s what helped keep our (the United States’) food prices down to the lowest levels among the world’s countries, said Arthur, who was also president of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association.

Other memorable Johnson County stories from this day


A manhunt was underway for a man charged with abducting two Waffle & Steak restaurant employees from the chain’s Franklin location.


Four more teens were jailed in a crackdown on underage drinking.


Franklin was battling floodwaters after the city received five inches of rain over a four-day period.