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Rundown Town - Bicknell, Indiana, U.S.A.

Updated on April 26, 2009

Bicknell, Indiana, is another small town dying from the center out.

All photos taken in and around Bicknell, Indiana.

Once a thriving farming and mining town, but now...

Welcome to Bicknell. Except for a couple of bars and a grocery, the downtown is pretty much decayed. There are a few other businesses hanging on by their fingernails, but they won't last long, probably.
Welcome to Bicknell. Except for a couple of bars and a grocery, the downtown is pretty much decayed. There are a few other businesses hanging on by their fingernails, but they won't last long, probably.
One of the banks fled some time ago.
One of the banks fled some time ago.
So did the other. Want to buy it?
So did the other. Want to buy it?
The majesty of Great Green God Money shines through.
The majesty of Great Green God Money shines through.
Needs a little work, though. Don't worry. You now own a bank. Money is no longer a problem, right? Right? Um, never mind.
Needs a little work, though. Don't worry. You now own a bank. Money is no longer a problem, right? Right? Um, never mind.
Most of the town is shuttered, boarded up, and for sale.
Most of the town is shuttered, boarded up, and for sale.
There appears to have been a fire. The town is so lethargic no one's bothered to clean it up.
There appears to have been a fire. The town is so lethargic no one's bothered to clean it up.
Generations of ghost signs sigh wearily.
Generations of ghost signs sigh wearily.
Ever since our earthquake almost a year ago, this building's face has been peeling. Every few weeks another layer of brick falls away and the town closes the street to clean it up. Someday the whole thing's going to come crashing down. I hope I'm now
Ever since our earthquake almost a year ago, this building's face has been peeling. Every few weeks another layer of brick falls away and the town closes the street to clean it up. Someday the whole thing's going to come crashing down. I hope I'm now
Welcome to my parlor. Would you like a brandy?
Welcome to my parlor. Would you like a brandy?
This barn has seen better days.
This barn has seen better days.
And so has this one.
And so has this one.

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    • profile image

      RAY DOWDEN -BRYANT 14 months ago

      I lived Bicknell in 58 to 1965 went to south side school 57-59 and BHS 59-62 join the Army in 65 from Bicknell live at 601 Penn ST were pre school is now.IT was a very good town to grow up in and I had a lot of fun and good members in that town

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      Don 17 months ago

      if food stamps and hud housing and welfare checks where not allowed in Bicknell it would still be a great little town

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      Bob Tresslar 17 months ago

      Bob Tresslar:

      I lived in Bicknell from age 1 until I was 14. (1945-1959) We moved to Vincennes when I entered high school.

      I don't think it would have been been possible to have had a a happier childhood anywhere in the world. My family had the dime store on main street and we lived on 7th street, a block from my grandparents.

      I went to West Side grade school and have nothing but great memories. Our teachers must have been pretty good, since I had no problem with under grad or law school. Marian College and IU Law.

      Over the years I have driven my family through Bicknell to show them where I grew up and my kids would stick up their noses and comment about how beat up the town was. These are not my memories at all; what I remember is the freedom we had to ride our bikes everywhere, play baseball from dawn till dark. We could walk out the door with a BB GUN and no one would say a word, here in Denver someone would call the SWAT Team.

      I was a career prosecutor/police instructor and now a lawyer/oilman. I wouldn't trade my Bicknell childhood for anything; I have never met better, kinder people in my life.

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      Brenda Fisher Blackmon 2 years ago

      My family was from Bicknell, dad side: Fisher and mom's side: Dowden. I am 48 years old now. I was born in Sandborn but lived in Bicknell myself from 1971-1979. We lived on 7th Street. My parents moved us to Texas because they could foresee there was really no future for us kids there. I remember playing softball at the park, going to the disco, riding our bikes downtown and going into the dime store to get candy. A lot of good memories. Sad to see these pictures, but knew it was getting bad because my mom still visits family there. I have not been back for 27 years. We use to also love to go to swim and skate on the highway and go to the Tasty Freeze (I believe that is what it was called).

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      John 2 years ago

      Bicknell golf course is still there but now the public is welcome.

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      Bill 2 years ago

      What happened to the Bicknell golf course? Played a couple of tournaments back in the early 80's there. Tried googling it and can't even find a mention of it. Wasn't it called the Bicknell Country Club? Any information would be appreciated.

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      John 2 years ago

      The parade will be on Washington as far as I know. The buildings on Main Street cannot be rebuilt according to county code, the street will be narrower; although the side walk will be wider so wheel chairs can pass each other. In the future Bicknell Main street will be either residential or a small strip mall with parking in front of the buildings.

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      Anon 2 years ago

      New sidewalks and a lot of the crumbling buildings are gone from downtown Main Street. Looks like Bicknell is finally cleaning up. Might look a little desolate, but at least it will be safe to sit on the sidewalk and watch the Labor Day parade this year!

    • David Nicholas profile image

      David Nicholas 2 years ago

      Part of our family history refers to Bicknell, Indiana. My great great grandparents, great grandparents and grandfather and his siblings lived there starting about 1914. The family worked in the coal mines there until a mining accident injured my great grandfather's back and he moved to Detroit in the 1920s.

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      E SAGE Mitchell 2 years ago

      LIVED ON ILLINOIS STREET AND CHERRY STREET . WENT TO SOUTHSIDE SCHOOL. THINK ABOUT THE GOOD OLD DAYS GROWNING UP . GRANDPA BILL SAGE WORKS IN SUNSHINE MINE. YOU WALK ANY PLACE THERE DAYS. EVERY ONE KNEW YOU . I WAS BORN IN 1947. THINGS CHANGE THERE AND EVERY PLACE. I DONT GO DOWN HOME LIKE I WANT TO BUT I LAST TIME I DID I CRY ITS SO SAD .

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      The Devil 3 years ago

      Bicknell is mine!....Take you all straight to hell;;!!... evil laugh

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      Charlie Riggle 3 years ago

      I not in Mt Carmel nursing home! I out tealing papers preacher man! Got any luminum?

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      Brendq 3 years ago

      I, also grew up in Bicknell and still enjoy returning and walking down the same streets I did as a little girl. My grandparents and parents lived in Bicknell. I am grateful they had the courage to leave and start in another area but Bicknell will always be home to me.

      Many memories but I so enjoyed the skating rink in the summer when the "walls" were opened up and the summer breeze blew across the rink as we skated in the warm dark evenings. The outhouse I don't miss as much!

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      Grace 3 years ago

      Grew up in Bicknell - one comment I totally agree with its not the town but the people who make the town. I LOVE Bicknell♡♡♡

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      Rita Hooten Laslie 3 years ago

      Terry Vaughn, I grew up in Bicknell from 1950 to 1968 when I married and moved away. You said the Love family (who owned the Colonial theater lived on 4th St. You was right about that, but they did not live in a trailer. A trailer was on that lot before they lived there and at least for a while, a state police officer lived there. This was my old neighborhood. Paul love and his wife had a new pre-fab home put up on this lot and my sister bought it from them in 1972. A few years later , my sister had the house bricked and she still lives there today. It is a very nice looking home. By the way, the Loves also had a teenage son. His name was Mike.

      This house is just a couple blocks from the elementary school where the big brick school used to be, which in the early years housed grades 1-12.

      It was called Central School and there was also Southside School in the south end of town andWestside School on the west side of town.

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      D. Stremming 3 years ago

      They tore down the tresslars building this past week. I was just there. Heard that there were a couple more that we're going to be torn down as well. I have a lot of fond memories. Dad and I were talking about the Labor Day festivities. He used to put out 500 grab boxes for $1.00 each. One had a diamond in it. That was some fun. It is sad to drive down main now, knowing how it used to be.

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      Joann 3 years ago

      Hi,it's me again just a few more questions in the fifties I had a teacher named Mrs Dunlap she was the nicest teacher I ever had,did anyone know her?also my best friend was Betty Dunn and Earnesteen Quarter,does anyone know what happen to them?alsoMary,Toni,Rhonda and Antia Quarter also David and Dollar Smith,Please let me know if you know or have any information.Thank you

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      Joann,miller"lane 3 years ago

      Hi, this is my second post,just was wondering if anyone knew my family on Lawton st.521 Lee Taylor,Rose Taylor,the Graham's Inez,Dorothy,Jimmy,Raymond and Rosealee and my uncle Bill Taylor.

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      Dave Fox 3 years ago

      I remember Tressler's Five and Dime.......my dad introduced me as a kid to Mr. Tressler who lived I think at the corner of 7th and Main, just up the street from my grandmother Wheat. He was a millionaire and I was so excited to meet him. My mom worked for him in the 50's. Others I remember----Goldie Trabant from the "bottle gas" company just across the highway.....Scottie (my dad's friend" who owned the Red and White grocery downtown.......the TriKappa sorority house (vividly recall my grandmother getting her 50-year pin).....Jarmin's Drug Store where we'd go sit at the soda fountain for a cold Coke after the Labor Day parade......Joe Maberto's Sinclair station where my brother and I had fun jumping on the "dinger" near the gas pumps til we got in trouble for it......the original Atkinson Ice plant there in town.....

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      bobgriese 3 years ago

      I have an old postcard with a picture of the A.E. Forster family on it and embossed on it are the words 'Griffith' and 'Bicknell, Ind.'

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      bobgriese 3 years ago

      Does anyone know of a photography studio or a paper processing plant that produced photographic paper that used to be in Bicknell named 'Griffith'?

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      carlos d bicknell 3 years ago

      My name is carlos david bicknell my family lives in elkhart Indiana and that's where I thought my family originated but I recently was bored and looked up my family genology and im related to john Bicknell the man who founded that town when he built his farm there it seems so sad that johns town would become such a scene of abandonment

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      John DeCoursey 3 years ago

      I grew up hearing the stories of what Bicknell was like in its hay day from my Grandfather Spider. It is hard to place those stories with the town that I live in today. I read all the above posts about why and whom was to blame for the present state of our town. I don't see it being a problem of the current or past administrations. It is not up to a Republican or Democrat to fix. The problem has been decades in the making and won't be fixed in a term or two of one party or another. The problem that is affecting Bicknell is the same that is happening in Detroit and every other large, medium, and small town in this country. We have decided that we would rather buy products that we don't need from countries that can undercut what we would have to pay someone here to make the same product. We have taken away prospects of making enough money with one income to support a family. The jobs are in a race to pay the least amount possible to the workers to make the most for share holders.

      Duke built its 3.5 billion power plant and passed the bill for its millions in overages to us. Along with the bill we will also be giving them a nice tax break for years on the value of their new plant that isn't working as designed. Sure it was nice to have the influx of jobs during the build, but the vast majority of the paychecks didn't stay in the County. Most of the workers lived here during the construction, only to return home when the job was done. They came from all over the country for this project because the pay was good and steady.

      When my Grandpa was out of school we were in the great depression. He joined the CCC or civilian conservation corp. During his time he helped build and improve state parks, infrastructure, and other work projects. He was paid a good wage and used that money to help support his family and support the local venders. Maybe we need a new revival of the CCC to give the multitude of willing workers into a job that pays a living wage.

      When I moved back to Knox County I chose Bicknell as a place to raise my family. The town has plenty of homes at prices that don't break the bank. It has a local grocery store. It has a school system that I believe turns out great kids ready for college. My hope for Bicknell is that more sons, daughters, and grandkids of former residents come back and help to bring this small town back from the ashes, and make it a great place where people want to move to raise their kids. After seeing the community turn out last week searching for one child that went missing in the cold, I would say we are on our way.

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      John 3 years ago

      Political Science/Business Major and former NK Grad

      I am always astonished when I read that the problem in Bicknell is lawlessness, yet Bicknell has an enormous police department compared to any other town of its size. The problem is not the police or the drug people the problem is in fact the long line of mayors, councilmembers and voters who don’t vote and even the ones who vote never really educate themselves concerning the people who are running for offices ideas and plans.

      First; the city people decided to only elect Democrats regardless of their qualifications but even later when they decided to elect some republicans they chose once again the worse available but in fact very few people actually run for anything.

      Choices made by elected people:

      Increase the Bicknell sewer rates by 136 percent; this increased a $50.00 water sewer bill to $118.00; they decided to have a neighborhood watch and fought it in council until it died; they tried to pass a tax to force more money from rental property in Bicknell where it is already nearly impossible to sale any property which only failed because the mayor forgot to post it publicly; they decided that they didn’t have enough money to pay their water expenses so they felt that nearly doubling the water rates was a good idea; they were offered a building to develop a youth center but once again fell into the normal fight mode until the building was withdrawn; they felt that horses on Bicknell property was worse than death so they passed a no horses allowed in Bicknell law causing horse owners to leave town; being short on cash they decided to force people in Bicknell to buy trash stickers then doubled the cost of the stickers, simple things are made difficult for example: to have a sign of highway 67 that pointed to the Bicknell downtown was talked about to the State people who agreed but the mayor simply got pissed because he felt that some citizen went over his head so he refused to sign the order, it took several years to finely get the sign after he blocked it; citizens along with one council member went to Indianapolis to work out the cost of the new sewer plant due to the extreme increase of the sewer rates, the mayor plus a councilwoman even though they were invited to go along contacted Mr. Easterly (head of IDEM) in an attempt to stop any agreement that the citizen committee may achieve, yet the committee did reach an agreement with the State but when they returned the mayor and the balance of the Bicknell City Council stopped the agreement without even a discussion and forced through the high rates.

      Even today the parks which is being run by a private group who charged the city nothing and raised their own operation money for the most part including grants, paying the utilities as well as all scheduling and upkeep but the Bicknell police wanted to play softball at night but unlike everybody else they didn’t want to pay for the lights so the police officer who is on the council brought it to the city council and attempted to remove the group who had been taking care of everything at no cost to the city and turn it over to the police so they could set up a park board, this is still a running argument check the city council minutes at www.johnstanczak.com. Read the minutes to understand the problem in Bicknell, all problems that a proper mayor and council could solve in one term.

    • Dave Snyder profile image

      Dave Snyder 3 years ago from Alfred Station, New York

      A young man by the name of Alex Yunevich, the son of a coal miner who won 16 letters at Bicknell High went on to be an All-Western Conference fullback at Purdue in 1929. After having a less than happy experience coaching football at Central Michigan, he became the head coach at little Alfred University in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in Western New York State. He took over a football program at Alfred where the Saxons only notoriety was as the "Scoreless Wonders." His first team in 1937 went undefeated. He loved Alfred. Alfred loved Alex. He stayed for a total of 36 seasons, retiring after the 1976 season with an overall record of 177-85-12. When he served his country during WWII, Alfred did not field a team. A two-page spread in Sports Illustrated told his story back in October 1974...and soon thereafter Heywood Hale Broun came to Alfred to interview the old bulldog-faced coach with the unconventional but successful coaching methods. That interview appeared on the Saturday Night CBS Evening News with Dan Rather...in 1975. I say all of this because I'd like to write a book about Alex and Alfred...and am seriously considering making a visit to Bicknell, IN. to see where it all started. If anyone has any recollection of Alex Yunevich or his family who lived in Bicknell in the 1920s and 1930s, please e-mail me at: snyderd@alfred.edu. Thank you!

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      CJ 4 years ago

      I'm thankful to be living in this small community. Your life is what you make of it.

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      Political Science/Business Major and former NK Grad 4 years ago

      Blaming the administrations is an odd take on it, because I consider the mayor of Bicknell to be about as much of a politician as the principle of a home school. You work with what your given and after the 80's or so every mayor has been given a dead community. I mean putting a shameless plug for a campaign in a few years on a comment thread saying what you would do for the community if elected is one thing but something aspiring politicians don't know is the job is a lot harder than it seems on the outside. If one of the biggest power plants in Indiana can't do anything to the community but give us a new Dollar General then I don't think anything will do this place good. I do agree with one of the anonymous commenters North Knox school corporation building a new gym was a bit ridiculous especially with the Jr High kids lumped in with the high school kids, but once again politics are a lot harder from the inside there was probably some dumbass stipulation with the money they used that said it had to be for building a gym, that's just how the government works I know a few years back the school board paid $500 dollars a piece for trash cans but that's what they had to spend the money on according to the grants. There's no one person to blame for what happened in Bicknell. I know everyone's favorite pastime is to blame the guy in office but Bicknell, Indiana was a boom town that grew and prospered because of mining then when it was all mined out this boom town went bust. Slowly but surely people and businesses left and anyone with a high school diploma that at least passed an Econ class knows it takes money to have businesses, it takes businesses to have jobs, it takes job to have money, if a community has money it will prosper. Bicknell lacks money plain and simple. Drugs and crime are just a side effect of a decaying community, an example would be harlem in the 1950s. Bicknell doesn't need some cure all mayor with big plans on a little budget, Bicknell needs few big businesses to come in. We need to do what we can to give businesses an incentive to come here. That's something that may work, as I said earlier Duke didn't do much other than raise my bills, theres never anything guaranteed in economics but here's hoping for a better Bicknell for future generations.

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      anom. 4 years ago

      I could name probably 50 small towns in Indiana with the very same problem. Show me a small town that still has the mom and pop grocerys,there are none. New roads that by pass towns and large chain stores are killing all towns. Also the so called free trade laws are destroying millions of jobs. Bicknell has the SAME troubles that every small citys face. People cant spend money if they have none.

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      Camille LeRoy IV 4 years ago

      Well I have read many comments on here and all I can say is all the ones that left Bicknell GOOD!!!Love it or leave it!! Now most all the ones that left did so for all kinds of reason and I'm betting they aren't the type of people that make their area so nice to live in so we didn't lose much

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      Wayne Rout 4 years ago

      I'm sure that big stores in Vincennes has some impact, but the overall departure of industry and mining from southern Indiana is the biggest cause along with school consolidation. Bicknell was once a great small town. I'm sorry that it is gone but so are the business parts of almost every other small town around, Bruceville, Wheatland, Monroe City, they are all gone. It is pleasant to remember but hard to see them now. Our nation is slipping badly due to policies followed in the last 50 years. There is little hope unless we make basic changes quickly to bring back the things we have lost.

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      Beverly 4 years ago

      My husband and I were born/raised in Bicknell (as well as my mother's family before me) and lived there until we married and moved away in 64, so he could get a better job. At the time, Bicknell was a wonderful place to live. A beautiful little, safe town to grow up in! So...we have many, many fond memories. As family passed away, it got so we only went down for class reunions. Going down Main St. would leave us so depressed and sad. It got seedier every time we went. And....so many once well kept homes that are now rundown. Most once thriving little towns are a thing of the past. Once things sart moving "out on the highway" and new stores start building "out there", the town area is gone forever. So sad! Bicknell used to have almost everything a person could need. We've not been back for 5 years now, and may never go again at our ages. Our son took his son down there not long ago and was shocked, as he'd not been there for many years. Our children grew up loving to go to Bicknell and stay with their grandparents. My mother's house on Freelandville Ave still looks nice, but Harold's parent's house is gone. We are glad we left when we did!

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      I also didn't make the athletics obsessed comments. I don't know much about their schools. I dropped out. Never fear though, I'm college educated now. The teachers weren't great when I was a kid, but it could have been worse.

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      @doug s: I'm not about to dog a crooked cop and insert my name in this post. But if you really want to know I have done drugs with two Bicknell police officers and I'm sorry but your wrong.

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      Doug S 4 years ago

      Anonymous and anonymous R.... one grow some balls and put your name and not be a coward......and two how about you get your facts straight....... The police are drug tested and if they were in fact on them they would have been fired before making it ten plus years. I worked as a police officer there for two and a half years and its not the police that aren't doing their jobs its the elected officials in the prosecutors office and the judges that are the ones that slap them on the wrist or say that they're not pressing the charges..... I know I've been in the courts and seen it first hand. Its all suspended sentences and no jail time just the initial 48hour hold then they are back on the streets the time they get out doing it again because they know its just a slap on the wrist. And Bicknell is my hometown and I moved to better another community that is willing to work harder than just their paychecks for the community. I have faith that one day it'll get straightened out. Its still a promissing town but change needs to happen and I think that's the main objective with this article.

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      Old Lady 4 years ago

      A town is made of people and becomes what it's people allow.

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      Yeah you're right...I mean it's not like North Knox recently decided to build a brand new athletics complex...oh wait, they did.

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      Matt 4 years ago

      The schools are athletic based? You are so off based...sounds to me like you don't live in the area!

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      Larry 4 years ago

      Bicknell was a small mining and farming community hub. If you did not have a job in those two areas,you than had to commute to good paying jobs in most instances. In the 50s,60s, 70s and eighties Bicknell was a nice small town enviroment to raise your childern. Iam sure stores like Walmart and the four lane highways played a major shift in the economy change in the area.Bicknell is not the only small community going through these tough economic throes. Its happening across the nation in most small towns. The town needs good stewardship along with the good citizens that live their. I wonder what Mayor Jerry Russell would have done in these dire times!.

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      Sue Hawkins 4 years ago

      I lived in oaktown growing up and until recently, but as a child, we went to the skating rink weekly, to the fair and other places we didn't have in oaktown. It's run down too and if a good business goes in and you aren't in "the click" (people who like to run things and can't) you might as well forget it. Glad to be out of there for sure. I have a great idea for a place like that and it could really thrive.

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      Perhaps if the entire Knox County area chose to invest in its schools academics, arts, and college prep the communities would have fared better. Unfortunately, all of the schools are athletics obsessed, and for no reason since none of the teams make it past sectionals with any frequency. Well, except for the Rivet girls bball team.

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      I agree anonymous R the cop that lives in housing is a good cop. He helped me out a few times, and if I needed help while in Bicknell I would go to him with my problem. He's a nice guy, but he did marry a 17 or 18 year old when he was what 40-ish? But I don't judge - I have to admit it was a bit creepy though.

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      anonymous R 4 years ago

      wow some or most of the above post from anonymous said is so true and i agree its hard to fix the drug problem when it goes on within our police dept and the ones who dont do drugs are on the take and get favors from area business and the mayor is a total joke Bicknell can get back to being a great town with the right people in the mayors office and the people of bicknell put a stop to all the drugs turn in these losers to knox co or the state police including the bad cops I know of one good cop in bicknell and yes he lives on houseing do to such low pay take back our town

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      Dennis 4 years ago

      Lived in Bicknell all my childhood days. Have many fond memories. My mom and dad still live there on 5th. street. He owned the jewelry store downtown. I remember all the great things about Bicknell, the movie house, the bowling alley, the skating rink, the swimming pool ( where I almost lost my life) (another story), the boy scout building, the baseball games, church league, the Halloween parades downtown, Labor day parade, VBS at First Baptist with bicycle riding to the park on the last day, playing football in the old Bicknell school building lot, playing football out on the highway, wiffle ball in the back yard, and I could go on and on. I go home regularly to see mom and dad now. And it does hurt to see the town in the shape it is in. Mom and dads house is in great shape, but every other house on the block is about to fall down. Great memories though of what I think was a great childhood. Still love Bicknell, regardless.

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      My parents live in Bicknell and are trying to sell their home. What bothers me about Bicknell is not the state of downtown - that can be fixed. One problem is the drugs that are so prevalent. Drugs are in every town, so maybe it's just easier to see the problem so easily in a small town like Bicknell. But at least a few of the police there exacerbate the problem. I know of at least on cop who smokes pot and one that does meth. Granted this was years ago, but the cops are still working for the city. I know this because I was a young and dumb kid who hung out in the same circles as these two police officers. I do know many awesome and wonderfully kind people who live I'm Bicknell, and not everyone is a drug addict. But I am forced to wonder if the cops attribute to the drug problem. The city judge and his wife were arrested in 2009 for stealing money from traffic tickets, and I believe the problem runs much deeper than that one judge. The stray dog problem is also like an epidemic in Bicknell. My mother was bit by a dog walking through town in the middle of the day and police did nothing. The dog was owned by members of known drug family in the town. And I almost wouldn't blame the cops for turning to drugs and other illegal activites to make money because they only make like 18-19 thousand a year starting out. One cop actually lives in the income based apartments in town. It's so sad! I just hope my parents can sell their house one day and get out. I don't have much hope though because it's been for sell for over three years.

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      alda (wright) buhrke 4 years ago

      I am from Bicknell live there till I got married and moved I no live in Roswell nm. if it was not for my grandkids I would move back, so I could be near Jeff . He and I are all is left of the family. I guess my heart will always be there. The last time I was there was in 2006 when my mom passed away. Even when I was kid there were places like that, but no one likes to see your home town fall apart, thy are to out live us. There are a lot of ghost in that town and if they could only talk. Hang in there in there Bicknell

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      T.R.B. 4 years ago

      I have lived in Bicknell just about all my life and still do, I just don't understand when I was a kid we had an old green 1954 Pontiac police car with a 6 cyl. and a total of 4 cops now we have 5 or 6 police cars and I have no idea how many cops( too many I;m sure) and the drugs and crime has gotten worse and continues to do so. These old houses could be cleaned up by city workers who most of the time have nothing to do. They say it cost so much money to tear down a house if you use the equipment and the man power that we already have, how could that be? I can remember when smitty was the street department Boss he was the only one that had a pickup. now I think they all do, to many cars& trucks to buy gas for.

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      Reese 4 years ago

      I was born in Bicknell in a hse on Alton St in 1942 and left in 1969 for work. Even back that far I could see how Bicknell was changing to the bad or worse. I don't ever go back unless someone in my family dies and they all have so I haven't been back sense 2007 and will never go back until my death and I don't have to see it again. I was at one time back long time ago wanting to retire to Bicknell but just couldn't stand to look at it in 2002. So let me tell all you hard headed Bicknell people IT WILL NEVER BE BACK, so put up with the way it looks or leave. Oh yea the last to leave turn the lights out.

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      Jeff 4 years ago

      Charlie Riggle moved to Mt. Carmel, Ill. a while back and is now in a nursing home there.

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      Jack 4 years ago

      Some of these clowns posting garbage on this site should go back to their meth cookers. There is some sad idiots who have way too much time on their hands.

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      DON 4 years ago

      DOWN TOWN BICKNELL IS DEAD AND CAN NEVER BE LIKE IT USED TO BE. I THINK THE BILLDINGS THAT ARE STILL IN GOOD SHAPE CAN STAY BUT THE REST SHOULD GET TOOK DOWN.IF I WANTED TO OPEN A STORE OUR BISNESS I WOULD WANT TO HAVE IT ON HIGHWAY 67 INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SAVE THE OLD BICKNELL MAKE A NEW BICKNELL NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY THE GOOD MEMERYS OF THE PAST

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      www.johnstanczak.com 4 years ago

      Drugs do not destroy towns, administrations do. Over the years every administration has added to the debt thereby forcing the cost of living in Bicknell to increase. Every increase forces people to leave town and/or stops people from moving in.

      Even now this administration is only looking toward increasing the cost of living here to solve their cash flow problems and never is the budget looked at. No administration has every looked at cutting cost as an option to improving the situation of the City of Bicknell they only know tax and fee increases. The administrations have passed ordinances that hurt the city like outlawing horses thereby horse people moved out of town, tried multiple times to pass a fee per rental house thereby slowing the investment in rental property, they increased the cost of water via the sewer by building a totally unneeded sewer plant which increased this utility by 136% per household bring the water bills from around 29 dollars to 100 dollars per month. Bicknell also has the highest property taxes in Knox County. I'm not sure about now but in the near past the police where less than stellar and for the most part tax collectors. How does this happen? The people of Bicknell who have had a lot of chances to elect good people either never vote, vote only party line or vote uninformed thinking that only Presidential elections are important and I'm not sure that most voters ever study the candidates. See www.johnstanczaak.com for more information and pictures about Bicknell Indiana.

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      VINCENNES 4 years ago

      THAT IS A REALY BIG PROBLEM THE COPS NO THE DRUG HOUSES AND THE D RUG DEALERS AND THE BYERES WITH AL THE COPS THAT ARE IN BICKNELL THERE SHOULD BE A LOT LESS DRUGS

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      jackalope 4 years ago

      The problem with Bicknell is meth as well as other drugs.

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      jeff 4 years ago

      Charlie is alive. Saw him last week.

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      DON 4 years ago

      HAY JACKASS THAT IS MAKING FUN OF CHARLIE RIGGLE HE MOVED OUT OF BICKNELL YEARS AGO GOT SICK OF JERKS LIKE YOU MAKING FUN OF HIM HIS BROTHER DANNY DIED ABOUT TO YEARS AGO CHARLIE DIED ABOUT A YEAR AGO

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      Steve 4 years ago

      I was there the other day and the downtown is decaying rapidly.

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      crystal carroll 4 years ago

      I have lived here for 33 years and there isn't much to do here but its what I call home. And hopefully things will get lined out and our town will be as good as back then :)

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      noname 4 years ago

      if you can't be respectable then don't comment!

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      The Ghost of X-mas past 5 years ago

      Ba!... Humbug!

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      President Obama 5 years ago

      I am taxing all you rich Bicknell Residents much much more!... you need to give till it hurts!.. You rich people!!!!!.....

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      Charlie Riggle 5 years ago

      I leved in Bikcnelll Fer Years and Years. Bicknell got a lot a luminum! I no steel that paper! That not quarter... that yo spit! Dirty ole lady....

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      Anne 5 years ago

      As a kid growing up in the 60s and 70s, I used to look forward to my summer visits to see my grandmother in Bicknell. Her name was Icy O'Hara and she lived on Oak Street. Had an aunt and uncle (Swope) who lived nearby, along with my Swope cousins. Haven't been to Bicknell since my grandmother passed away in the late 80s, but if these photos are accurate, it's sad to see the town in such bad shape. Many happy memories of this town.

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      wwwjohnstanczak 5 years ago

      Some of these pictures are actually in the county and not in Bicknell, the one showing a building with Ewrin Hardware co. on the side is a building that is in good shape and is actually in service as storage for Pipers carpets and flooring store and most of the other pictures are mostly of the same building over and over.

      The county apparently has approved the building of turkey raising barns near Bicknell on the north side out of town but I'm sure that the stink will not pay attention to the city limit signs. There is already a chicken raising barn on the south side where the stink is unbearable at times; this type of approval is common when it comes to Knox County and its approval process. I guess they feel that the city needs a little balance of stink so that the south end is not the only part of town that is so blessed. Well so much for property worth in Bicknell.

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      Mr.Reidncolumbus 5 years ago

      my mother lives in crystal in dubois county and has just recently told me about a home in bicknell that really sounds good. My wife and I have been married for 3 years and have 3 beautiful children. We attend church regularly and are praying about possibly moving to bicknell in the near future. if anyone has any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact me at stanreid1981@yahoo.com. Thank you and keep the faith, help is on the way.

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      Brian Siscel 5 years ago

      My family moved to Bicknell when I was 6 months old in 1963. I grew up on the Southside on New Jersey St. My mother, Shirley was a social worker and my father, Jim worked for AT&T. I left Bicknell at the age of 21 in 1985 and have lived in many places since. Of all the places I have lived, Birmingham, Atlanta, Charleston, etc, there is nowhere I have found a better place with better people than Bicknell, Ind!

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      engineer 5 years ago

      You seem to find the old parts of town, there's plenty of new places and thriving businesses in town. Bicknell is full of beauty. I hope to make it even more beautiful when i get the chance.

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      a.c.in indy 5 years ago

      you know my aunt lives in sandborn(ANOTHER SAD TOWN)i visited not long ago went to graveyard and took my aunt to the store on the highway.Prices were outrageous!Wanted to take her to a nice dinner,mcdonalds?I grew up there in late 60's to early 70's mom had us 4 girls alone. we did good on moms income and child support back then.It saddens me to see such a booming town turn into a ghost town .whose the mayor?he surely didn't grow up there he would never let it go.

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      wwwjohnstanczak 5 years ago

      To see more about Bicknell Indiana go to www.johnstanczak.com where there are articles, pictures and comments that show both sides of Bicknell and many suggestions to stop the down slide of Bicknell.

      The pictures shown are a part of Bicknell but there are many other parts, unfortunetly the city fathers seem to be deaf to any suggestions and this is the problem and so the city suffers. This does not seem to be a party thing as democrats, republicans, independents, male and female all seem to loose their common sense as soon as elected.

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      Eric Moore 5 years ago

      Ha ha talk to the mayor, better dodge his gavel! You can't blame our current mayor for everything but he sure has done his part in ruining this town. I'll give him a pat on the back for trying but come on mr. mayor, you are in way over your head and you are making this town worse, your little man syndrome, refusal to take advise, and uneducated thoughts and actions are to blame for a lot of Bicknells current problems, i wish run down buildings and abandon homes where are only problems! Please mr. Mayor if you do care about this town, RESIGN.... After all i really don't know how you can show your face in town, you do realize that your wife and three other people are the only ones in town that think you are doing a good job!!!

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      scott moore 5 years ago

      like i said before, Bicknell was a fun place to grow up in, i really don't think Bicknell could ever be the way it was,,because i believe the reason it was so fun and safe ,kinda like leave it to beaver show,,,we were givin that from our parents and grandparents,,they were the special people of bicknell,,,,,,just dont think it will ever be again,,so sad,,,

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      Bicknell_needs_jobs 5 years ago

      I used visit Bicknell often back in the late 80's/early 90's and work here now. The town is going downhill but most small towns are. What drives small towns to succeed is jobs and what they offer. Bicknell has very few good jobs to entice people to live here. Grant money topic: So the town did get grant money. 1. The $ used for the new housing must have been mishandled as the contractors were not getting paid so work stopped on several houses. 2. No new street signs although ths was brought up a few years ago. 3. The roads are still not the best unless you include filling in potholes with gravel. 4. We absolutely need grant money or something to tear down all the abondoned houses, it is a disgrace. 5. Why does a town this small need separate departments? Put the water/street into one department so employees can work anywhere and you will need less employees and save taxpayer $. Residents need to keep their properties clean!! Even one of the city police officers has trash everywhere in the front. Also these ignorant property owners are charging $700 or more to rent a house here. That's insane. $300-500 is more appropriate. There are so many abondoned/empty properties here that a person should be able to snatch up a foreclosue very cheap. I hardly ever see the Mayor around town anywhere. Maybe he needs to spend more time outside talking to residents/businesses and put forth a plan to address some of these issues.

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      Tom 5 years ago

      Tearing down houses costs money. They have torn down many, but there are a lot. I don't see how you can blame the current leadership for something that has clearly been happening for a long time.

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      angie(agan) cecil 5 years ago

      good morning everyone.My mothers family is buried there including her (odell-sander family)my grandma lived on durbin st.the house is still standing!!!its an awful mess why don't they tear it down!!!!we lived there in the 60's lived on main the horriable looking house in front of a side street that leads to durbin st.i don't understand why they keep these old houses standing.hoping a new mayor will get these trashy looking buildings down!!!i have a lot of memories of Bicknell..those were the greatest times of our lives

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      Dick Miller 5 years ago

      I lived in Bicknell from 1946 to 1962, then moved to Terre Haute. I experienced a lot in Bicknell. Came back about once a month from 1962 to 1980, than traveled the world (actually before than) I plan on going to Bicknell in Mid July 2012 to see some old friends I have stayed in connect with over the years. I still think Bicknell is the place to be. I want to continue to come back every so often to see how things are. I have accompulated much money over the years and want to contriubted to the t0wn. I will be there in July 2012 to see old fiends. Lets help get the town back in order, respond to this entry and I will monitor it. Lets talk.

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      Joann miller 5 years ago

      Sad but true my home town is fading away iwas there last may and made me cry everything i remember as a child is just about gone the roller rink is still there the park the fair grounds and my grandpa,s house .ilived in my grandpa,s house with my aunt inez and allher children and my uncle bill my grandpa uncle bill were coal miners at the sunshine coal mine bicknell was such a boombing town i hope it will be some day again ican all my friends we lived at 521 lawton st

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      Frustrated in Bickell 5 years ago

      I loved how one comment said to talk to the mayor... I would love to talk with him but unfortunately a person has to talk to his lawyer cause he is too chicken to talk to the citizens of this city... That or he is always out of town, state or heck even the country.... Really makes ya wonder where the money went huh?????

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      MYNAME? 5 years ago

      Binell is not a really bad its a great pleace to be in

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      mystique71 5 years ago from St. Francisville, Illinios

      My late fiancé was born and raised in Bicknell, and we lived there from 2000 til his tragic death in 2003. I unwillingly (had no where else to go) lived there until 2005. I have to admit, Bicknell has some worn out and boarded places, but what I knew of it, it was fun!!! Not a lot of places to go, but the police were nice and fair and some stores we frequented often. It was all about habit visiting with us as im sure its that way with a lot of others. May not have a lot, but it has charm, and my late fiancé loved it so. Was a huge part of his life-so I respect it for that reason.

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      Kathy Riddle 5 years ago

      My husbands great grandmother Letha McBride ran a boarding house in Bicknell according to family tales. Does anyone know anything about this. It was probably in the 1925 era. She made tin box lunches for the men who worked in the coal mines.

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      Angie Agan Cecil 5 years ago

      Ok just was their last sunday.It made me cry,there was noone outside enjoying the nice weather!I told my cousin that she lives in Sandborn and she said Bicknell is full of drugs and theres no way she would live there!That's a shame.And my grandmothers house on Durbin is still standing omg what an eyesore and dangerous its ready to cave in why don't they destroy it!!!!It used to be a busy beautiful city.My mom is buried in the cemetary so me and my sisters often travel there so we see all the terriable conditions that's been going on forever no changes!!!yes theres new stores there but there on the highway not in the town itself.the highway area looks great but get deeper inside and its ugly!!!!

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      Bev Watson 5 years ago

      For Kristina Hagemeier, Do you remember coming to Hoover's house 1 mile outside Bicknell for British tea parties? You and your sister Susan and Mother Gwen would come sometimes with Dorisand Moira. We played on the big swingset and ate creampuffs. Your dad Rocky taught me and my sisters how to skate on family night. You guys were great skaters! Where are Karen and Kathy Jarmin now? I just loved their mom,always so bouncy and happy .... email me at beverwat@yahoo.com I am Bev Hoover. There were 7 of us ,Marjorie, Laura, Alice Becky,David and George. Did you know that Nancy Bicknell was my 5th grt Grandmother and we are related to Bicknells Founder John Bicknell . My great uncle was Judge and my great Aunt's son was Supreme court Justice of Indiana. My aunts and uncles were doctors,attorneys, and teachers in Bicknell as were my grandparents teachers there. Bev Hoover Snowdon Watson.

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      Bill Ingerman 5 years ago

      My Grandfather (Carl Harbinson) worked in the coal mine visited him when I was young the last time I was in Bicknell was for his funeral in the 70s does any one remember him?

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      Ray San Diego 5 years ago

      For Mr. Jimmy Bee and Ron Ackman: Jimmy Bee, what you showed does look bad. However, as some of the people from there have said, "you may have a chip on your shoulder or hated the place for some reason. Instead of being one sided with the photos why did you not show some photos also of the good, or renovated or what you want to call it, finer side of Bicknell in addition to your "bummer only" photos. If you go to the right internet address on your computer you can come up with satellite photos looking down at Bicknell. One can also zoom in for a closeup with them. I see some good stuff with it and also from photos that friends and family there have sent me. So to conclude, reading other people's comments on your photos, you need to re-photo your whole article and make some real constructive comments about Bicknell. You really must hate that town. I plan to visit relatives there in May.

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      that girl! 5 years ago

      I LOVE BICKNELL! born && raised..& would love to raise my children here someday!

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      Bill Shepherd 5 years ago

      I was born in Bicknell in 1936. In the early 1940s, my Dad, Mickey ran the Standard Oil gas station and store at the end of South Main Street. My Uncle Bill Phillips ran the Standard Oil station on North Main (across from Keasling's Market) for many years. I have many happy memories of Bicknell... the skating rink, the Cozy Drive-in (later called the Riganeet (teenager spelled backwards), Tresslers Dime store, the Indiana and the Colonial Theatres (the popcorn stand for both theatres was on a corner downtown), the fair, the coca-cola bottling plant (catty-cornered from the Indiana theatre). Wow! so many good memories!

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      Janet Beck-Nguyen 5 years ago

      I remember visiting Bicknell Indiana every summer. My grandparents lived there. Their names were Charlotte and Raymond Beck. My dad, John Warren Beck and his sister Norma Beck-Hinkle grew up there. It was fun visiting going to the pool and the small stores like Tresslers and walking to the grocery store called Red and White. That was great fun living in California you can't walk any place you have to drive. my email is janetlouisenguyen@hotmail.com

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      So sad to see the town like this. My dad grew up in Bicknell so I visited every summer of my childhood. My grandmother lived there until she died at age 96. I fondly remember the vibrant Main street and going to Tresslers and the Mayfair and eating at the diner (don't remember the name but I do remember all the gum under the tables and counters!) All of my family there has died or moved away so I don't know if I'll ever return but I hope the town regenerates and will keep you all in my prayers, as suggested above so beautifully.

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      me 5 years ago

      hahah like i was raised and always told if your not a crook or liar when you go into politics you wioll dam sure be one when you come out....

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      mark k 5 years ago

      I grew up in Bicknell on Main Sreet in the 60's and get back every now and then. It still has that downhome feel to it and still has super nice people. Downtown does need some fixing but it seems possible.

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      Jaflo 5 years ago

      I am currently living in Bicknell and own my home. I plan on selling and moving in a couple of years, but worry, even though my house is nice, I won't be able to get any money out of it.

      I would be willing and able to form some type of community clean-up. Is there any type of community meetings? I understand the town lost a lot of population, but there is no reason to leave decaying buildings there to rot and make the town look ugly. Something needs to be done!

      I will agree that the town is not totally dead. 67 is usually busy and the businesses there stay busy. But old downtown is sad..

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      A.B. 5 years ago

      My last name is Bicknell. :-)

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      JW 5 years ago

      Let me start out about saying, Bicknell was a nice little town at one time.I lived there back in the early 70's. The locall gov't let the infrastructure fall in the last few years. The street dept has i don't know how many working, but nothing gets done, they just sit around waiting to eat.The police dept doesn't do amything about the drug problem they have, they just mess around with little girls.The Mayors office, well that's something typical in any town. What happened to the money that was granted to build the new houses, some was built, but the contractors didn't get their money, and some was started and never finished. What happened there, you say you have a good Mayor that cares for the community, well where is he or she?

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      Harold 5 years ago

      Grew in Edwardsport, date a girl from Bicknell in the late 50's left in 1962, Bicknell was a desent town then, maybe with the new Power Plant it may improve some.

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      karen pummel 5 years ago

      i love bicknell growing up there i have fond memories i would like to start a PRAYER chain for BICKNELL we pray the LIGHT of GOD surrounds Bicknell,Indiana, the LOVE of GOD enfolds this town,the POWER of GOD protects this town. prosperity and rejuvination will come to Bicknell.Amen Thanks to God!

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      JeanAnn Flickinger 6 years ago

      I understand why people think the way they do about Bicknell. I understand the questions as to why Bicknell is in such disrepair. To the person asking about where the grant money goes......Grant money is given by the government for specific things, housing, sidewalks, streets signs, roads, etc. It cannot be used for anything other than the purpose it was given. It is actually not given to the city until the first quarter of the work has been done. I think the mayor of Bicknell, Jon Flickinger has done a terrific job at trying to bring Bicknell back to some sort of Glory. Jon was raised in Bicknell and knows what it once was and now has a vested interest in living here. He has chosen to retire here. Things are happening in Bicknell to restore downtown, it takes time, and lots of man hours gathering information as to contracters, schedules, etc.etc.etc. All ducks have to be in a row before a project can start.....time is what it takes. I would suggest you take the time to visit with the Mayor and if you have questions he is gracious enough to answer and his door is always open and he welcomes your questions. So instead of sitting back talking about what needs to be done, what isn't being done and making accusations without knowing the true facts, visit the mayor Jon Flickinger. Stop acting like children on the play ground, saying this or that about someone. We are all adults, we should have a maturity about our thinking at this stage in life. I have known Jon all of my life, I have always known him to be honest, trustworthy and a wonderful person. I would trust him over any other person in Bicknell that I know. A year ago I moved back to Bicknell, this is where I grew up and will always think of as home. I have found that some of it's residents have become very political, to the point of outright lying about things and people just to stir trouble among the ranks.....and some people believe they should be handed something they have not earned. Bicknell will grow again once it's residents take an interest in learning to grow with it. Open your minds to the possibility that someone other than yourself knows what's best for the city and is doing their best to make it happen, so instead of working against someone who is trying to do something to fix things, do the adult thing and work with them. Some Bicknell residents lack the maturity level and wisdom to do what is right but still speak as if they have all the answers. Eveyone thinks they know what is best when in all reality they know nothing about which they speak. If you have questions, I beg you, ask the mayor.......he will give an honest forthright answer. You may not always like it but it will be the truth. And if you are a grown adult you will look at all facets of the problems and can then make an informed decision about the life of Bicknell.

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      Linda 6 years ago

      @ Rick.. Seriously???? Misleading ???? That is how Bicknell looks these days, what pics do you think they should have posted???? Come on now... Clean the place up, and I am sure they will be glad to post pics of the improvement... Just saying !!!!

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      anita godwin 6 years ago

      My mom Phyllis Starrett, all of her sisters and 1 brother were raised in Bicknell. My grandparents, John and Nellie Starrett lived there until sometime in the 1980's I loved going there for reunions and holidays. I remember Tresslars. I have a beautiful picture of my baby brother and me when we were little, that was taken there. My fondest memory of town was going to town to walk through all of the stores, stop in at Tresslars and go downstairs to see the goldfish tank, then we would go across the street to the corner drug store and get pop topped with whipped marshmallow. As I got older my mom would tell me stories about paying with potato chip bags to get in to the movie theater. My grand parents lived on Alton street for many many years then moved to Indiana street. I loved sitting in the swing with them on the porch or in the back yard waving at all the people who passed by. I lived in Edwardsport from 1963 until 1968. We then moved to Bloomington so my mom wouldn't have to ride he bus back and forth to work at RCA. I make it back to Indiana every 3 or 4 years and always make a point of driving through Edwardsport and Bicknell. I have the best childhood memories. I wish I could raise my daughter in a peaceful quiet little home town like that. But all I can do is show her pictures and tell her the stories like my mom did with me. I have a few years before retirement but always thought it would be nice to move back home. For all of you who still live there or close by those sleepy little towns we all grew up in and love so dearly, they are still special and so are the people who live there. I do hope some how some way things will be improved there but for now its the people who make Bicknell, Edwardsport and all of those sweet little towns special places.

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      jerry wheeler 6 years ago

      I lived in Bicknell for a couple years when I was 12 to 14 years old. I am 35 now, so do the math. My grandfather's name was Ray Scott. He owned the Great Scott cab company. I would love to see the town come back to life. So many fond memories. I love you Bicknell.

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      Francis 6 years ago

      I could say the same thing

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      Jimmy Bee 6 years ago

      Jeez, Francis. Take a deep breath. May I humbly suggest if YOU don't like it, then don't read what I wrote.