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Oliver Warner

Oliver was born December 26, 1921 to Bert and Lorena Oliver Warner at Ladoga, Indiana. His parents were tenant farmers in Montgomery County raising a family of five children, three brothers and on sister, Oliver being the youngest. He attended grade school at Parkersburg in a two room school house with grades 1-4 in one room and 5-8 in the other room. His parents made a move to a farm west of Ladoga and Oliver entered the fifth grade to continue his education to graduate from Ladoga High School. He was shy and blushed very easily, however, he was a good baseball player buy never played basketball. In high school he noticed a girl by the name of Berniece Robbins and decided to ask her to his senior prom. That was the beginning of a lifetime commitment for both of them.

After graduating from high school in 1939 he helped his father farm. He wanted to farm and maybe some day own his own farm but he knew that was very improbable. That fall he took a job at the Ladoga Canning Factory which convinced him to consider college. The fall of 1940 he enrolled at Purdue University in the school of Ag. Chem. Since Ladoga High School never offered Chemistry as a subject he soon realized he had to change his course of study to Ag. Ed. He earned his way through school by living in an old trailer at the back of a barn earning money cleaning out the horse and sheep barn. His best paying job was setting up pins in the bowling alley at the Union Building.

 
 

He enrolled in ROTC and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 changed many young mens' lives. The summer of 1943 his ROTC class was inducted into the Army as privates at Ft. Harrison and then given orders to take their basic training at Ft. Bragg. North Carolina. He returned to Purdue to continue his studies until 1944 when the class received their orders to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, to attend Field Artillery School graduating in June with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He returned home on a 10-day leave at which time he married his high school sweetheart, Berniece. After his leave he got orders to go to Camp Rucker, Alabama, for three months and then to back to Ft. Sill to enter Communication School at which time Berniece was able to accompany him.

In December 1944 he received his orders to be shipper overseas to the European Theatre. He was assigned to the Third Army, 80th Division under the command of General George S. Patton, 313th Field Artillery Battalion. Upon arrival in Luxembourg he was placed as a "forward observer" in the infantry during the Battle of the Bulge continuing until the end of the war May 7, 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for tactical ability under fire in February 1945 in Mettendorf, Germany. At the end of the war he spent a year in the occupation of Germany. He was shipped home and honorably discharged from the army in June 1946.

After his return he enrolled at Purdue to finish his last semester graduating the 2nd of February, 1947. February 3 he started his teaching career at the Zionsville High School.

We established our home in the little bungalow at the corner of Oak and Fifth Street. We were blest with five children, two sons and three daughters, all five graduating from Zionsville High School. The school board purchased the Fred Gresh property which included a house making it available for the principle to live there. We lived 13 years on the township property availing us a convenience rarely available for most principals. When the school was consolidated and became a corporation the property became the central office for a Superintendent and his staff.

Oliver's school career with the Eagle Township Schools is as follows:

    • Teacher of Vocational Agriculture and Sciences (1947-1957)
    • Principal - 1-12 (1957 - 1962)
    • Principal Junior and Senior High School - 9-12 (1962 - 1968)
    • Principal of Community High School - (1968 - 1980)
    • Assistant Superintendent - (1980 - 1987)

When he started to teach Agriculture, one of the responsibilities was encouraging students to participate in 4-H which entailed visiting the student and supervising the progress of their project. Also, he established the FFA Club an as extra-curricular activity for the Ag. students. After a year or two of teaching, Oliver approached the trustee to offer Chemistry as a subject, which was accepted. So Oliver added Chemistry to his teaching load. After the new gymnasium was built it was decided that Zionsville High School would host the Sectional Tournaments which presented added responsibilities. In 1967 and 1968 he served as acting superintendent plus being principal while the new high school was being built.

He has now enjoyed 14 years of retirement. His years of service to the school of Eagle Township has rendered him many gratifying moments. It is a pleasure to attend reunions to learn of the accomplishments and success of students and thinking maybe he might have had some bearing upon their accomplishments.