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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Reps discuss renaming highway

Monday, October 8, 2012

State Reps. Bob Heaton (left) and Jim Baird (center) are interviewed by representatives from ConAgra during the Popcorn Festival of Clay County. [Order this photo]
For the second year in a row, two state representatives will attempt to have a portion of State Road 59 renamed.

District 46 State Rep. Bob Heaton (Republican) and District 44 State Rep. Jim Baird (Republican) both appeared at the Popcorn Festival of Clay County Sunday to announce plans they have to reintroduce a resolution to rename a portion of SR 59 in honor of Orville Redenbacher.

During the 2012 legislative session, Heaton attempted to have a seven-mile stretch of SR 59 -- from the 23-milemarker of Interstate-70 to the intersection of SR 59 and United States 40 -- Orville Redenbacher Memorial Highway in honor of the Clay County native.

However, the bill -- House Resolution 0013 -- was not referred to the Indiana House of Representatives Transportation Committee due to other pressing issues.

However, Heaton and co-sponsor Baird both told the festival audience Sunday they believed it would be passed early next year.

"We're going to do all we can," Heaton said.

Heaton said he had been contacted by Popcorn Festival of Clay County President Evelyn Brown some time ago in reference to the issue.

"She talked to me about it," Heaton said. "We were not able to get to it last year."


Editor's Note: Below is the original copy of a Indiana House Resolution to rename a portion of State Road 59 to Orville Redenbacher Memorial Highway:

Introduced by Bob Heaton, State Representative District 46

A House Resolution urging the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename that section of State Road 59 from United States Highway 40 to State Road 42 the "Orville Redenbacher Memorial Highway."

Whereas, Orville Redenbacher was born in 1907 in Brazil, Indiana, and grew up on his family's farm;

Whereas, Orville Redenbacher began growing popcorn at 12-years-old, saving enough money from this first business to attend college;

Whereas, Orville Redenbacher graduated from Brazil High School in 1924, in the top 5 percent of his class;

Whereas, Orville attended Purdue University, graduating with a degree in agronomy in 1928;

Whereas, Orville worked as a school teacher and county agricultural agent, managed a 12,000 acre farm, and worked as a low level executive in the fertilizer industry, but his real passion was popcorn;

Whereas, In 1951, business partner Charles Bowman and Orville Redenbacher purchased a local corn seed business near Valparaiso called George F. Chester and Son;

Whereas, Orville experimented with thousands of hybrid strains of popcorn before creating the perfect strain and launching the Orville Redenbacher brand in 1970;

Whereas, Orville Redenbacher Gourmet Popping Corn was introduced at Marshall Field's department store in Chicago, Illinois, and, within five years, was the leading national popcorn;

Whereas, Orville Redenbacher died on September 19, 1995; and

Whereas, The name Orville Redenbacher is synonymous with gourmet popcorn, and his product has become a national household snack. Therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana;

Section 1. That the Indiana House of Representatives wishes to honor the memory of Orville Redenbacher for his many contributions to Indiana by renaming the section of State Road 59 from United States Highway 40 to State Road 42 in both directions the "Orville Redenbacher Memorial Highway."

Section 2. That the Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit copies of this resolution to the family of Orville Redenbacher and the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation.

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If Orville would have give a Rats crap about Clay County he would have stayed here. Why we we want to rename a road after him? This is all about politics.

-- Posted by Eaglesnest 1 on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 8:33 AM

Please - he made popcorn and apparently was a good business man. Does that really warrant naming a highway after him?

-- Posted by indianamama on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 11:45 AM

I'm curious: What were "his many contributions to Indiana"? Was going on television and proclaiming in his commercials, "Hi, I'm Orville Redenbacher from Valparaiso, Indiana" one of them?

-- Posted by My Dime on Wed, Oct 10, 2012, at 12:24 PM

I think Ken McClellan Memorial Highway or someone that lived there whole life here and did for our community would fit having a Memorial Highway named after them. I agree with Eaglesnest1 that this is all about politics......... What a joke!

-- Posted by MS440 on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 8:44 PM

Why not call it The Larry Bird Memorial Highway? He was born and raised in Brazil too. Oh wait I almost forgot he moved away as well but nobody named a road after him in the town or county!

-- Posted by MS440 on Thu, Oct 11, 2012, at 8:47 PM

Larry Bird born in Brazil? Are you being facetious? Larry Bird was born in West Baden, IN which is not even in Clay county.

-- Posted by indianamama on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 11:08 AM

Just my point indianamama! haha Maybe we need a Jimmy Hoffa drive or Norval Pickett Jr. Parkway!

-- Posted by MS440 on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 8:08 PM

Oh, so we want to reap the rewards of the Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival, but not allow one small stretch of road renamed in his honor?

What has Larry Bird done for Clay County?

I thought Kenny McClellan had a road near Forest Park named after him, because of his influence at the ball diamonds?

Not everyone who "gives a crap" about Brazil feels the need to live (and die) there - make meager wage or work in a factory their entire lives. Had Orville NOT stepped outside of Brazil, he wouldn't have become as successful as he was.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Oct 17, 2012, at 11:31 AM

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