Throwback Thursday: May 30

News from around Johnson County as reported on May 30 in the pages of the Daily Journal and the Franklin Evening Star from the last 112 years.

On this day in 2000, the main story on the front page of the Daily Journal was about a Prince’s Lakes woman recalling her career taking care of soldiers.

Serving her county as U.S. Navy nurse during World War II was an honor, Eddie Smajo said. It led her to a career of caring for soldiers.

“I was a nurse for 42 years,” she said. “I’ve washed my hands so many times, I don’t even have fingerprints. I have taken care of six generations of veterans.”

At 77, Smajo and her husband, Dan, shared a quiet life together in their Prince’s Lakes home in 2000.

“I never had any perks in my life,” she said. “I always did it the hard way.”

But there were no regrets. Nursing soldiers was Smajo’s life passion, she said.

“I loved my patients, and I’ve had a great life,” Smajo said softly.

Four months earlier, Smajo was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The doctor told her she wouldn’t be here after the end of the year, she said.

Accepting life’s end wasn’t a struggle, she said. She was concerned about who would look after her husband, who had Alzheimer’s.

Smajo said she was disappointed, too, that she wouldn’t be the oldest living female veteran and get “that big pension.”

She grew up in Berclar, Texas, and went to nursing school when she was 17 during “war years,” Smajo said. It was her first experience away from home.

When she turned 21, she received a telegram telling her she was accepted as a Navy nurse. And so began her career of taking care of soldiers.

Other memorable Johnson County stories from this day


A former husband and wife were arrested separately on charges relating to the production of methamphetamine.


Johnson County Sheriff J.D. Richards was asking for a new shooting range.


Two Indiana Conservation Officers went to the hospital after being overcome by fumes from a liquid fertilizer spill in Franklin.