The following is a verbatim transcript of a narrative by Ethel Nicholson, stating her
recollection of Cuzco’s past. Notes in bold italic are not a part of the original narrative.
Courtesy of Letha Sullivan

The History Of Cuzco
The Best I Can Remember
By Mrs. Ethel Nicholson -1988

I have been a long time trying to get this together. Since my husband’s death, I have received letters wanting to know where Cuzco
got it’s name, which is when I began thinking that a lot of people never knew that at one time Cuzco was a good town. It had a
post office, a good high school, a common school, and two churches which most people liked very much. I wish I had more dates
on the happenings, but I never kept records, as I never thought I would ever need them.

 The Cuzco Post Office was established in 1904. It went by the name of Union Valley until 1907 when a branch of the Southern
Railroad came through. Cuzco was plotted by William Nicholson on September 27, 1905. This was about 5 years before the
Southern Railroad came through from Jasper to West Baden.

 At this time Solomon Simmons was Postmaster, and he was asked to change the name of the post office. Mr. Simmons picked the
name Cuzco from the map of Peru, South America. The name was approved by the Post Office Department. I wish I knew how
long he was Postmaster before it was moved to Cuzco from the Simmons home and changed. (Note: An elementary school
picture of 1912 still referred to the community as Union Valley)

 Mrs. Florence Bledsoe took the post office over and had it in her home for several years. After failing health she gave it up. Mrs.

Maude Tredway took it over and had it in a building close to her home for several years, then she gave it up. Cecil Foddrell made
a trip to Curly Nicholson’s to see if he wouldn’t go to Jasper and try to pass the exam, so he went and passed the test. He had it
for 17 years. Mrs. Inez Bledsoe, June Nicholson and John Huntington were all appointed clerks in case of sickness or accidents,.

 Mr. & Mrs. Asbury Crowder had a general store for several years, and about that time Cuzco began to grow.

 Mr. & Mrs. Ellsworth Ellis had a store at Elon. He came to Cuzco and bought property, built a house and store building, and
moved his family to Cuzco where their business was very good. Mrs. Sophia Ellis put in a millinery store, which was a success for
several years. Mr. Ellis kept caskets in the upstairs of his store and was substitute undertaker for quite some years.

 Ben Sutton and Frank Browning built and sold houses for some time.  

 The Dubois Milling Company put in a feed mill close to the Ellis Store and was run by Henry Callis until his death, then his son
Rector run it for some time.

A telephone exchange was run by Mr. & Mrs. Jasper Mynatt for several years, then it was moved to the  home of Mr. & Mrs.
Branch Reynolds. Their grandson Howard Simmons helped them with it.

 At one time there were two blacksmith shops. One was owned and run by Amos Bledsoe, located just across the road from the
E. E. Ellis store. The other one was owned and run by John Conrad, just across the railroad track. It was destroyed by fire. He
then made a shop at his home.

 Mrs. Florence Beatty put in a restaurant and her two daughters Fern and Ruth helped with it. Earl Beatty, Florence’s son run a
barber shop for some time and kept busy. He had the restaurant for several years after Mrs. Beatty’s health failed.

There was a shoe store that was owned and run by Lester Wineinger that was open every day but Sunday.

A wheat mill was also a good thing and it was run by Spice Wineinger.

 A Mr. Shelton moved a sawmill into the little town that gave work for people. Their living quarters was a box car. They had a man
that did the cooking for the workers.

 After the trains could run from Jasper to West Baden there was a nice depot built. I for one can remember well how people would
gather at the depot for the train to come so they could ride to West Baden to spend the 4th of July day. It would be dark getting
home. (Note: The depot was gone by the mid-1940’s, though a siding existed for delivery of poultry feed)

 Cuzco also had a doctor, Doctor Rubin Ferris. He was on call day or night.

 (A handwritten note: Sutton / Browning built a general store in 1905…...the Crowder Store, last owned by Delphus
 Mr. Crowder sold his store to Andy Wineinger and two sons, Lee and John Isom. In a few years it was sold to Mr. &
Mrs. Delphus Bledsoe. They had it for several years until the death of Mr. Bledsoe. Mrs. Bledsoe had a sale and sold the
merchandise and property and she now lives in French Lick. (Note: Mr. Bledsoe died 1970)

Frank Wineinger and his brother Jack had a blacksmith shop for some time located across the railroad, until Jack was killed in a
truck accident.

 Mr. & Mrs. Nasby  Mills had a feed mill and an exchange business in Cuzco for several years. After his death, (Note: Mr. Mills
died 1965)
Mrs. Mills sold that property to Mr. & Mrs. (Arben) Bob Anderson. They built a building and put in a store and had a
good business for quite some time. (Note: The store was called “Bob & Marie’s Grocery”. Noble Flick ran the feed mill
after Mr. Mills’ death.)

 After Mr. Anderson’s health failed they had a sale and sold the merchandise and the building was empty for some time. Mr. &
Mrs. Cecil Robins now have a store there, which is the only business there is now in Cuzco.

The Royal Neighbor Lodge held their meetings over the E. E. Ellis store for quite some time.

After the two room school closed, it was sold to Mr. & Mrs. Dewey Owen. His parents, Mr. & Mrs. Perry Owen, lived there for
several years, then Mr. & Mrs.Chester Beyers lived there until it burnt down.

High School classes were held for some time over the E,. E. Ellis store. A 4-room brick school building was then built where there
was plenty of room for all grades. It had homemakers classes in the basement. Good things can’t last, as it burnt early one morning
The children were divided. Some were sent to the Methodist Church, and some to the Christian Church. Later another 4-room
building went up. Several years later that school was closed and now the children are bused to Dubois, but the building still stands.

 After the post office was closed and the high school and common school building was burnt, Cuzco began to go down. It was a

nice little town to live in, but after another generation began to grow, pasture was greener on the other side.

George W Wilson, in his County History of 1910, stated Cuzco had a promising future, but that didn’t prove out.

At the time the town was going strong there weren’t any cars at all. If people didn’t have horses, wagons or buggies to go in, they
had to walk to go shopping or whatever. The stores put up hitch racks and on Saturdays they would be filled with horses.

 Ice cream suppers were a very common thing. E. E. Ellis made a big stand beside his store and benches to sit on to eat ice cream.
In the winter there would be pie suppers. Girls would take baked pies and the boys would find the choice girl’s pie number. They
would then be put up to be auctioned off, and the prettiest girl and the ugliest boy would be sold. Sometimes the girl would bring
$5.00 and the boy $4.00 0r $5.00. The money would go to the school for whatever was needed, and all would have fun eating

There isn’t anything like that now. The young people don’t have that kind of fun. If they can’t get out in a car and go far away, they
aren’t in it. Times have changed…no one wants to walk.

There was a cream testing machine installed and run for several years in the storage room of the E. E. Ellis store. Mr. Ellis’
daughter, Mrs. Helen Kerns, tested the cream and wrote checks to the people that brought in cream. Before the tester was
installed, the people would have to ship their cream in 4 and 5 gallon cans to Jasper and get their checks in the mail.

 Branch Reynolds was the ice man for the summer months. He would deliver large blocks of ice in his truck every Monday
and Friday.

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