Tuesday, November 1, 2011

POTUS Pumpkins

If not for the Thompson family, this blog would be bereft of new material. The previous post "Franklin Pierce on 'Futurama'" sprang from the keen observation by Ryan Thompson of Franklin Pierce in a contemporary cartoon. Now his sister, Jenny Mais, has documented another appearance of Handsome Frank in popular culture. While on a visit to Pumpkin Fantasyland in Ligonier, Indiana, Jenny took these photographs of the the Presidents of the United States (POTUS) exhibit.

Presidential Pumpkins, replete with identical plastic top hats and seemingly superfluous jackets

Closeup of Young Hickory of the Granite Hills, AKA Franklin Pierce

A tip of the plastic hat to Ms. Mais for supplying these pictures!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Franklin Pierce on "Futurama"

Thanks to Futurama fan Ryan Thompson for alerting me to the appearance of Franklin Pierce in Season 6, Episode 20 of the series Futurama. The episode is "All the Presidents' Heads." Handsome Frank makes a cameo appearance in a museum where the heads of U.S. Presidents are on display. The Futurama writers missed a golden opportunity to riff on Pierce's head being pickled in alcohol.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pierceton, Indiana

Image from Kosciusko Visitors Bureau

OMG (as the youngsters are so fond of texting these days), I grew up not far from a town named after Franklin Pierce, and didn't know it till today. I still subscribe to the Mail-Journal, the weekly newspaper which covers Milford, Syracuse, and North Webster in Kosciusko County, Indiana. Last week's edition included a supplement about the county and its towns. One of the factoids included about Pierceton was that it was named after the snakebit 14th President of the U.S.

Subsequently, I found this at the website yesteryear.clunette.com:
Pierceton, the second largest town in the county, was laid out Dec. 6, 1852, by Lewis Keith and John B. Chapman on the north part of the northwest quarter of Section 27, and christened Pierceton in honor of President Franklin Pierce.

John B. Chapman, one of its founders, inaugurated business enterprise by opening a general stock of merchandise in a small log house, on a farm outside the now corporate limits of the town.

In 1853, three frame buildings were erected and in the one that occupied the site of the building formerly owned by Lawrence Spayde & Co., a post office was established in 1854, with O.P. Smith as postmaster. Dr. William Hayes, one of the first medical men in the town, succeeded Smith as postmaster in 1855.
Note that the town was laid out shortly after the election in 1852 and before Pierce embarked on his tenure as one of the worst presidents in history after being sworn in on March 4, 1853.