Milton residents have organized several events — ranging from fireworks to music and magic — to celebrate the town’s bicentennial.

The commemoration kicks off with fireworks at dusk Friday, July 5. John Bell founded and platted the town on July 5, 1824. 

Then, a full day of events is planned for Saturday morning and afternoon. 

The festivities start at 8:30 a.m. with a prayer service by Pastor Scott Moistner at the town’s gazebo on Indiana 1.

A parade will leave at 9 a.m. from Walnut to Cherry to North streets and the former school lot on Indiana 1. 

From 9 a.m.-3 p.m., a slide show of vintage images will be displayed at Milton Christian Church, 307 S. Central Ave. 

At 10 a.m., Nick Elder will raise a flag at the gazebo. Guest speakers will begin at 10:15, including Allen Paul, Mary Ferris, Cathy Vandivier and Judy Morris. 

Pictures of Milton graduates will be displayed from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at town hall, 101 N. Central Ave.  

Country musician Scott Ross will perform at the gazebo from noon-2 p.m., followed by magician Rusty Ammerman from 2-3 p.m. at the fire station, 200 E. Walnut St.

Gil Puckett’s band will perform country music from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on the former school lot on Indiana 1. A bounce house and food truck will be at the school site as well. 

Who’s who from Milton

Bicentennial organizers have compiled a list of notable Milton graduates and/or current/former residents. They include:

  • Harry Manlove, actor
  • Mary Lou (Market) Griffey, wrote local history books 
  • Wayne “Peachy” M. Manlove, Army Air Force in WWII, earned Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal
  • Woodrow “Woody” Duffin, Pearl Harbor survivor, USS California
  • Harry Michaels, attorney for Federal Board of Trade in Washington, D.C.
  • Emerson Gause, editor in chief of the International Rotarian for 15 years
  • Kelsey Ramey, author
  • Ivan Worth Parkins, author of political books and columnist for the Detroit News and other publications
  • Pauline Beeson Kniese Druley, first female secretary of Indiana State Senate in 1952
  • Genevieve Kniese Chaudhuri, cellist


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A version of this article appeared in the July 3 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.