Linton-Stockton High School Home

Linton Miner

The Red and Blue

From 1900 until 1925, the athletic teams at Linton High School were known as the Red and Blue.  The symbolic title was derived from the school colors.  In the early 1900s, naming the school team based upon the school colors was a common practice.  As the school colors selected by Linton were identical to those found in the American flag, perhaps this was a reflection of the patriotic attitude of the school and the community, which was so prevalent at the turn of the century.

The players’ uniforms for the various sports teams at Linton during these early days were designed simply.  The uniforms were either plain or featured the letter ”L” on the front of the shirts.  The budget for sports equipment was extremely limited, as money for education and other educational activities was in short supply.

The accomplishments of the sports teams were a source of great pride during those early coal-mining days in Linton.  The Red and Blue represented a bright spot in the lives of the coal miners, who spent many hours in the dark, damp underground mines.

The last visible remnant of the “Red and Blue days” in Linton survived until August 20, 1996, when the vacant building that housed the old Red and Blue Restaurant was demolished.  The Red and Blue Restaurant was located south of the high school on the northeast corner of North Main and Northeast H Streets.  The restaurant, which catered to high school students, had been closed in 1976, shortly after the death of the owner Hazel Bedwell.  The last remnants of the RED-BLUE era was the Royal Crown (RC) advertisement sign, which stood in front of the building until the debris was hauled away the day following the demolition.

Miners

During the 1922-1923 school year, many changes took place in Linton.  The student body and faculty moved into a new brick building at the north end of Main Street.  At this time the name of the school was changed from Linton High School to Linton-Stockton Joint High School.  However, the name engraved on the limestone above the main entrance was “Linton-Stockton High School,” which later became the official school name.  Within the next few years, another change occurred: the high school sports team known as the Red and Blue became the Miners.  Perhaps one reason the name change occurred was that schools in Indiana were starting to be identified by school mascots rather than colors during this period of time.

“Miners” was more or less officially adopted during the time when Gerald W. (Two-Penny) Landis taught and coached the major sports teams so successfully. [Letter from Avery Murray to Linda Long, November 10, 1988]  Although Landis coached his first football team at Linton in 1923, the words “Miners” did not appear on the uniforms or in print until 1926. 

The word “Miners” was chosen to honor the industry that was the main contributor to the growth and the economics of early Linton.  As history reports in those early days, working conditions were rugged indeed, thus reflecting the character of those who mined the coal.  [Letter from Avery Murray to Linda Long, November 10, 1988]

The first-written record of the school being known as the Miners—instead of Red and Blue—appeared in The Revue (school yearbook) of 1926.  The students dedicated the yearbook to the miners of the Linton area, with the following inscription which honored the coal mining industry:

To those who day after day and year after year have gone down into the bowels of the earth and by the sweat of their brow have loaded the black diamonds in order that the city of Linton might prosper through the coal industry, we, the Seniors of Linton-Stockton High School, dedicate this, our yearbook of 1926.

Another example expressing the high regard held for miners in the Linton area can also be found in The Revue of 1926 in an advertisement by the Linton Daily Citizen:

This publication—the 1926 Revue—is dedicated to the coal miners.  It is a fine compliment to the men, who for a generation, have given their brawn and sinew, and in many cases their lives, to the industry that built Linton and even yet largely sustains it.

To the men who have made possible these excellent schools, who have erected homes and churches and who have in a thousand ways contributed to the material growth and prosperity of Linton and who, as a class, have lent strength, brought moral vigor and cleanliness to our citizenship—their children and the children of their neighbors, do well to dedicate this volume.

As a creature of this citizenship; as a proud representative of a city built upon such a foundation and matured in its uncertain infancy and supported to adolescence and virile maturity by such loyal men and their families we set apart this page as an humble token of gratitude and our good will.

In 1926, art was taught by Miss Gladys Terhune, who was employed that year and retired in 1968.  Students in her art classes created the drawings that appeared in The Revue.  The coal mine theme, which was carried throughout the annual, was taken from a drawing made during a class-sketching trip to a coal tipple in the Linton area.  The divider pages for the class sections in the yearbook were drawn by Harold Graves, a senior.  In the four drawings, he depicted a miner working in an underground mine.  This is the first record of drawings of the miner being used in conjunction with the school.  Also in the 1926 annual the basketball teams were pictured wearing warm-up suits featuring the word “Miner” on the front of the shirts.

Miner Mascot

Perhaps the Miner mascot got its start from the article entitled “Senior Miners of L.H.S.” that also appeared in The Revue of 1926.  The article compared a Linton student to a miner who worked in a coal mine:

In 1922 the Seniors entered the Mine of L.H.S. to bring forth the precious nuggets of knowledge.  There were merely trappers at first who were looked down upon by the upper workmen.  The studies of the deep, dark mine were a mystery to them and they stood in awe of the things around them.  And they were afraid at first of their superiors, not venturing to displease them as some of the upper workmen did.  But finally they became used to their work and were able to perform their duties skillfully.

Then as the workmen before them were promoted and given a bigger and better job; a job that brought them closer to the precious knowledge for which they were striving to gain.  For now they were diggers and all day long they unearthed the prize.  They were no longer the timid trappers, but now they took up their task courageously, all the time getting more independent and looking down upon the new trappers who had come to fill their places.

As another year passed and they had learned many things that would go with them through life, they were promoted to the job of loading.  They, as loaders, worked day after day loading the material that had been uncovered, so that it might be carried out to others.  And as they advanced in their work and knowledge they became more self-reliant and they were no longer afraid to advance in the darkness, for they had grown used to it and loved it and their work.  They were looked upon with more confidence by their superiors.

Then finally they were given the coveted job of all others.  A job that was looked upon as the highest by the others miners.  They had become motormen and now their duty was to carry the knowledge on and on though many dark passages of the mine and out where they were to receive their reward.

The first person to dress as a Miner mascot was Robert (Bob) Walters during the school year of 1926-1927.  He was a small boy at the time and dressed as a little Miner.  He came out on the playing field with the football team.  [Interview by telephone with Rennis Wolfe by Linda Long, October 19, 1990]

In The Revue of 1943 Billy Drackett was a little lad who pushed the Miners’ coal car out on the floor at the basketball games.  Drackett was dressed as a miner with a helmet, complete with a miner’s light on it.  The car, complete with movable wheels, had the word “Miners” printed on the sides of the car.  A crossed pickax and shovel decorated the back of the coal car.

Miner Logo

Although Linton-Stockton High School had been known as the Linton Miners since 1926, the school did not have an official Miner logo until James “Jim” Callane came to teach at Linton.  Callane was the head basketball coach; he taught health, biology, and physical education at Linton from 1971-1976.  He designed the Linton Miner logo to promote pride in Linton athletics.

The Athletic Department at Linton-Stockton High School ordered license plates to sell to Miner fans in 1972.  The license plate was to feature a picture of a miner with the wording “LINTON MINERS.”  When the plates arrived, the miner was a cartoon-styled character of a “Forty-Niner” Miner.  Although the “Forty-Niner” Miner character (which was based upon the gold-mining days of the Old West) was designed cleverly, it did not depict a person who worked as a coal miner in the Linton area.  One of these license plates was originally mounted on the wall of the bookstore in the 1921 building, until the room was dismantled for classroom space.  Another one of these license plates may be found on display (in 2001) at the Daisy Cigar Store, owned by Charles and Judy Cox, which is located at 40 East Vincennes Street in Linton.

James Callane used the “Forty-Niner” Miner from the license plate as the model for his coal miner character.  The “John Purdue-Boilermaker” character also inspired his art work.  Callane presented the idea of painting his Linton Miner design on the gymnasium wall to James Gabbard, the high school principal, and the idea was approved.  Callane spent four or five nights working on the project.  He used an opaque projector to place the Miner outline on the gymnasium wall in 1972.  He bought the paint himself to complete the project.  Bill Carpenter, a student teacher under James Callane, also helped with the painting.  At that time Linton had only one gymnasium, which was located in the building constructed in 1938-1941.  This building served as the high school gymnasium until the construction of the new gym in 1980.  At that time the old gymnasium became known as the junior high gymnasium.  [Interview by telephone with James Callane by Dale French, October 14, 1988]

The Linton Miner was first displayed to the public at a home basketball game in 1972—this being the official beginning of the Linton Miner logo.  The Miner that appeared on the north wall of the gymnasium was a cartoon-styled character wearing red pants, a white shirt, blue vest, red handkerchief, and black boots and belt.  The hard hat, pickax, and lantern were steel gray.

The Miner logo was well accepted by the students, school personnel, and community.  Consequently, the cartoon-styled character became the official high school logo through acceptance.  No record exists to verify that the logo was officially adopted by the school corporation but the vote of approval was high, judging by the number of people who wore clothing with the Miner logo and the new signs that appeared throughout the city of Linton.

Logo on Merchandise

The first drawing of a Miner to appear on merchandise was in 1968.  Clara Lechien worked in the high school bookstore, which was located in the southwest corner of the cafeteria in the basement of the 1921 building.  Part of her job was ordering school supplies, which were sold to students.  One day a salesman stated that if the school had a logo, his company would print it on the supplies at no extra cost.  Lechien asked Tina Slapar, a student with artistic talent, if she would draw a picture of a miner to be used on the supplies.  Tina discussed the project with her mother, Mrs. Jo Slapar, who had been a commercial artist in Michigan.  Mrs. Slapar encouraged Tina to draw the miner as an actual person dressed as a coal miner with a pickax in his hand.  This drawing was used for a few years on the notebooks, and then it was replaced with Callane’s cartoon-styled logo of the Miner.  [Interview with Mrs. Jo Slapar by Linda Long, November 11, 1999]

The Linton Miner logo that was in popular usage at the high school in 1990 was adapted by David Bohnert, owner of Linton Sporting Goods at 187 Northeast A Street, to promote clothing and products sold by his store.  Later Bohnert built a new building and moved the business to State Road 54 West.   Bohnert used Callane’s Miner to create a slightly different version.  However, one must look closely to note the changes.  Bohnert’s Miner has a “severe” expression on his face and the nose has been altered to some extent.  His adaptation of the Miner logo appeared in the catalog of Quick-Set, P.O. Box 232, Westerville, OH 43081.  [Interview with David Bohnert by Dale French, October 15, 1990]

The fact that the Miner logo was pictured in a catalog, which was distributed nationwide, probably explains how the Linton Miner logo appeared on t-shirts that were sold at the Little Italy Festival in Clinton, Indiana, [about sixty miles from Linton] in the early 1990s.  The festival shirts were designed using red, white, and green—the colors of the flag of Italy.  Seeing the Linton Miner character dressed in red, white, and green instead of his traditional red-and-blue outfit was a surprise to Linton Miner fans!  Clinton, populated with many Italian descendents, is located in the middle of a coal mining area. Therefore, the Miner logo was most likely selected to represent the coal-mining industry and then dressed in colors associated with Italy as a special promotion for the festival.

The logo has appeared on school supplies, license plates, key chains, athletic programs and schedules, sweatshirts, t-shirts, stickers, button badges, athletic uniforms, yearbook covers, calendars, and jackets.  In 1987, the school letterhead was imprinted with the Linton Miner logo.  At the beginning of the 1988-1989 school year, the school payroll checks were issued with the Linton Miner logo printed in the center.  Margo Good, secretary in the superintendent’s office, was responsible for having the Miner logo placed on the checks.  The checks were printed on white paper using red ink.  For a brief time this practice was stopped and later the Miner once again appeared on the check, which were printed on white paper using green ink

Miner Mascot Revived 

To promote school spirit further in 1972, the Miner mascot was re-instituted.   Callane asked Dale French, the high school art teacher, if she would be interested in creating a papier mache head of the Linton Miner to be worn at the basketball games.  The Art club constructed the papier mache head under the direction of French.  The Art Club repaired and repainted the papier mache Miner for the 1975-1976 season.

Leon Moody, a Linton-Stockton School Board member, helped Callane in promoting school spirit and the Miner image.  Callane recounted a story about a basketball game at Schulte High School in Terre Haute, Indiana, where the student who was to wear the papier mache head did not show up.  Moody at age 76 wore the Miner head out on the floor, demonstrating his pride for the Linton Miners.

During the 1990s, several people wanted to start the tradition of the Miner mascot appearing at sporting events once again--and it finally became a reality.  The 1995-1996 school year saw the recreation of a papier mache Miner head.  Sharon Fuller constructed it for her daughter Wynter Fuller to wear at the home basketball games. Then in 1997, Scott Morris served as the Miner mascot and was the first to wear the commercially designed Miner head during the basketball games.  Also in 1997, Morris dressed as the mascot at the semi-state football game at Knightstown, Indiana.  Rachel Sims was the mascot in 2000-2001.

Miner in the New Gym

When the new high school gymnasium was completed in 1980, the Miner logo was painted in the center of the gymnasium floor by Joe Hart, art teacher and coach at Union High School in Dugger, Indiana.  The Miner was on the gym floor for a few years and was removed when the floor was refinished.

The large red and blue stripes painted on the new gymnasium wall seemed to be a reflection from the days when Linton was known as the Red and Blue.  On the north and south walls of the new gymnasium are matching Miners, which are different from the traditional Miner logo.  These Miners were designed and painted by Terry Smith, a local artist and graduate of Linton-Stockton High School.

Miner Logo in Use

In 1978, the Art Club used the Miner logo to create a Miner doll that they raffled to raise funds.  Dale French designed the pattern, and the members constructed the doll.  The face was embroidered, while the beard was yarn that had been rug punched.  The Miner’s boots were constructed of black vinyl.

A large Linton Miner flag with the Miner logo in the center was displayed at high school basketball games in the late 1970s.  The flag was used to promote school spirit and pride.  James Gabbard and Leon Moody are pictured standing by the Miner flag in the 1978 yearbook.

Linda Long knitted a Santa Miner, based upon the Linton Miner logo, to represent Greene County on the State Christmas Tree at the Indiana State Museum.  It won this honor in a local contest held at the Margaret Cooper Library in Linton.  Then the Santa Miner went to Indianapolis and was displayed on one of the Christmas trees that decorated the museum during November and December, 1987.  The pattern was an original design, which feature the Miner dressed as Santa holding a bag filled with Christmas toys—a doll, candy cane, pickax, and shovel--over his shoulder.  In his left hand was a replica of a kerosene lantern.  Later Dale French designed a Santa Miner ornament for her students to complete and place on their Christmas trees at home.

In 1991, Kirk Freeman, the high school principal, requested a Miner logo be painted on the door of the safe in the principal’s office.  The student selected to paint the Miner was Jeremy Baney, who was enrolled in the commercial art class.  He was a member of the Class of 1993 and later majored in art at Indiana State University.  Also, Kirk Freeman had large metal trash barrels painted white with the Miner logo and the word “Miner” placed on them.

Stacey Herman Hubbell painted a Miner on the bulletin board next to the entrance to the principal’s office in the high school.  This Miner faced left, while the original logo has the Miner facing right.  Lockers were removed from this location and stenciling from the original hallway was visible.  A board was used to cover the area where the lockers had been, and a large calendar was added.  Carl Floyd was the principal when this work was done.

A Miner, painted by Corey Bedwell, appeared on the support beam of the broadcast box, located on the west side of the Roy Williams (formerly the Oliphant) Field.  It was removed when the broadcast box was torn down in the spring of 1999, as the football field was to be completely renovated.  When the new press suite was built on the east side of the football in the fall of 2000, a larger design of the Miner was placed on the front of the building.

The banner used by the Marching Miners, the high school band, features the Miner logo.  The banner requires two students to carry the banner, which has pole inserted in the header at the top.

In 1991, the school crest was designed, using the Miner logo as one of the four symbols which was incorporated in the motif.  The Linton Miner was selected as it represented the school mascot.

School Awards

The presentation of Underclassmen Honor Awards was started in May, 1989.  These awards were given to the top academic students in the undergraduate studies.  The award was a circle tie tac/pin, measuring 1 1/8 inches in diameter.  The inner circle had a white background and featured a Linton Minter.  The Miner was dressed in a blue shirt and white pants, wearing red boots and a white hat.  He was carrying a blue lantern.  The Miner was outlined in gold.  The middle circle had a red background with the wording “Linton-Stockton High School” in gold encircling the Miner.  The outer circle had a blue background with the wording “Academic Excellence Award” in gold.  Carl Floyd, high school principal, was responsible for designing these pins, as he wanted an award that reflected “Miner Pride.”

Junior Miner

When the junior high annex was completed in 1980, the seventh and eighth grades were formally recognized as Linton-Stockton Junior High School.  At this time they were the Junior Miners.  A Linton Miner mural was painted on the wall at the entrance to the new junior high area.  Doug Roush, a former student, was commissioned to design a miner that resembled a realistic person rather than the cartoon-style Miner.  The Miner is more muscular and stylized.  However, the new design did not become popular with the student body, and the logo created by Callane continued to be recognized as the “Linton Miner.”

Mini-Miner

The Mini-Miner at the elementary school replaced the Panther as a mascot.  The origin of the original figure of a little miner leaning on the pickax has been lost.  Madeline Bredeweg then created a new Miner mascot for the elementary when Kenny Gillan became the principal.  She painted the original 1992 Mini-Miner.  Later Sonna Berghaier began painting a Mini-Miner in the main hall at the elementary.  She asked for help, and the junior high art class painted a portion of the drawing, and then the figure was finished by Dale French.  Lettering was added later.

The elementary school has used the Mini-Miner for its logo for several years.  The cartoon character that has a child-like appearance is wearing bib overalls and a short-sleeved shirt.  He is leaning on a pickax in his left-hand and is wearing a miner’s hat.  During the summer of 1991 Madeline Bredeweg, an elementary teacher, created a Miner on the computer that was used on badges and several other school items.

Superintendent’s Office

The superintendent’s office had the Education Center sign installed on the right side of the entrance door.  The sign featured the Linton Miner and the words “Education Center.”  In 1988 the office staff Margo Good, Karen Danner, and Betty May, along with Dr. Craig Glenn, decided that a new sign at the curb and one on the building were needed.  The design of the plaque was the joint effort by the four people.  The office could not find anyone to make the sign at a price was affordable until 1990.  American Stamp and Marking Company constructed the sign.  The sign was attached near the front entrance to the building in the fall of 1990.  [Letter from Margo Good to Linda Long, October 20, 1990]

Miner on Outside of Gym

To identify the location of the high school gymnasium, the lettering “Home of the Linton Miners” and the Miner logo were painted on boards cut in the appropriate shapes.   During the summer of 1996 Jock Hannun, junior high/high school head custodian, attached the lettering and logo on the north and south walls of the gymnasium entrance.

Miner Influence

Building trades classes built a storage shed in the spring of 1989 at the southeast corner of the football field.  The roof had the word “Linton” on the east side and “Miners” on the west side.  This was designed using different colors of roofing shingles.  Originally the Miner that had appeared on the Teen Canteen building was to be attached to the roof.  When the Miner was removed from the Teen Canteen, it was stored until Sandy Woodruff brought it to the school to be repainted.  The junior high art classes, under the direction of art teacher Dale French, painted the Miner, attempting to create a more artistically planned design.  However, the Miner was not attached to the roof as planned, and it was put in storage once again.  Students liked the “Miner with two eyes,” but perhaps the new design did not gain favor because it may have resembled the “Snap, Crackle, or Pop” characters from the breakfast cereal Rice Krispies.

Miner in the Community

In addition to the school using the logo, various businesses in Linton have used the Linton Miner.  Linton Dairy Queen, located on Highway 54 West, had Kelly McBride paint a three-foot Linton Miner that was placed above the drinking fountain during the late 1970s.  When the Dairy Queen assumed new ownership in 1992, it was removed.

Other Schools with Miner Mascot

A Hannah High School, located in Hannah, Wyoming, has the Miner as its mascot.  This area is also a coal mining area.  Jeremy Newton  attended school there in 1997 until his family moved back to Linton.  [Interview with Patty Poe by Linda Long, November 12, 1999.]

One university in the United States is known as the Miners.  The University of Texas, originally known as The State School of Mines, has the Miner as their mascot.  [Interview with David Bohnert by Dale French, October 25, 1980]