About Us

The Brookville Foundation

The Brookville Foundation, a charitable not-for-profit agency, was formed in 1956 when Resolutions accepting Trusteeship for The Brookville Foundation were signed by the Franklin County National Bank of Brookville, Indiana on November 30, 1956 and People’s Trust Company of Brookville, Indiana on December 3, 1956. At later dates The Bath State Bank of Bath, Indiana signed on October 1, 1957 and The Farmer’s and Merchant Bank of Oldenburg, Indiana signed on October 21, 1957 and accepted Trusteeships for The Brookville Foundation. The Franklin County National Bank is now known as FCN Bank and the People’s Trust Company is now known as Main Source. The Farmer’s and Merchant Bank are no longer of service.

The Board of Trustees of the Foundation is composed of six members who are appointed for six year terms. The six appointed consider of two each by the President of the Town Council of Brookville; by the Judge of the Franklin County Circuit Court; and by the Superintendent of Franklin County Schools.

In order for the Board of Trustees of the Foundation to have staggered terms, the first appointments by the President of the Town Council, George Armbruster, were Don Russell for a one year term and Virgil E. Davis for a four year term; Circuit Court Judge, Kenneth Copes, appointed James P. Mullin for a two year term and Leslie Clevenger for a five year term; and Superintendent Charles L. Zuck of The Brookville Schools appointed Robert Ariens for a three year term and Fred Hobbs for a six year term. Appointments thereafter for members of the Board of Trustees of The Foundation were for a full six year term. The appointees are volunteers who receive no compensation for their community service. Also, there is little expense (CPA, Trust Banks, insurance, office supplies, excise tax, fiscal year publications) in the operation of The Foundation.

Although the first two resolutions of acceptance of Trusteeship by the Franklin County National Bank dated November 30, 1956 and the People’s Trust Company dated December 3, 1956, the first appointments of The Foundation Board of Trustees were not made until February 11, 1957. This was due to the period of time for the initial steps of forming The Foundation structure to take place. The first Foundation office was located at 309 Main Street, Brookville, Indiana at the office of Don Russell Insurance.

The Foundation was modeled after the original Community Foundation organized in 1914 at Cleveland, Ohio and a later Foundation-The Indianapolis Foundation. The Portland Foundation of Portland, Indiana also provided early direction for the forming of The Brookville Foundation. It was James P. Mullin, local attorney, who initiated the founding of The Brookville Foundation. Mr. Mullin was a member of The Foundation for 36 years, serving as President for 16 years until his retirement from the Board on November 5, 1993.

Each Trustee Bank’s capacity is solely that of Trustee, to receive directly from donors and decedent’s estates funds or other property to be used for charitable purposes in accordance with determination made by The Board of Trustees, all set forth in the Resolution of Trusts that were adopted by the bank serving as Trustee for The Foundation. Thus income from investments is distributed by the banks on written order of The Board of Trustees for such charitable uses as will in the board’s judgment to promote the welfare of persons residing in Franklin County. The board of Trustees might, more properly be described, as it is in some foundations, as a “Distribution Committee”. It should be pointed out that Bank Trusteeships are governed by federal and state laws setting standards to fiduciaries, and particularly, the duty of managing trust properties in such a manner as will earn reasonable rate of return over a reasonable period of time.

The first gift received by The Franklin County National Bank, as Trustee, was $1,000.00 from Jay Garment Company (Brookville Manager, Robert F. DeHoff) specifying that it was to be used for the purpose of stimulating interest in the community for construction of a hospital in Franklin County. After a period of time passed and there was a lack of community interest of raising additional funding for a hospital, the designation of this gift was changed, and the fund become unrestricted.

Other early contributors were Catherine and William Baudendistel (Operators of a Dry Good/Shoe Store), James P. Mullin (Local Attorney), Tri Kappa Sorority, James E. Logan (Farmer, East Fork Whitewater River), Alfred and Grace Wise(Insurance Agent), William Keough(Plumber), Bertha Watterson, Lillie G. Scherer, Rick and Robert Arians (Farmers), Hannah M. Popper(Popper Store), Eleanor Burkhart, and Estella O’Byrne(wife of Judge O’Byrne), Jay Garment Company and its employees made several contributions over the years. These early contributors and others at a later date, such as Robert Wissel( Merchant/Farmer), Alfred Deffner(Banker), Richard and Helen Maley(Farmers), Martha Weidenbach(Farmer), George A. Schultz, and Marie E. Schultz(Farmers), have made The Foundation stronger. These contributors, through their endowments, are still actively making contributions toward the improvement of the quality of life in Franklin County.

As indicated, The Brookville Foundation strives to make Franklin County a better place to live. This is evident by serving as a catalyst through grants for such projects as the Heap Memorial Swimming Pool 1958-59, 1960-61(first grants given by The Foundation), Franklin County Housing Advisory(Fairbrook Manor), Franklin County Health Center(bring Medical Doctors to the community, Franklin County Emergency Medical Services, Franklin County Rural Fire Department, Franklin County Historical Society, Franklin County Citizens for Historic Preservation, Whitewater Environmental Council, The Popper, and Baudendistel Shelters in the Town Park, and grants for Youth Programs-girl’s softball field lights, dugouts, etc.; boy’s football-partial funding for lights, new grandstand, bleachers, concession, and press box; Treaty Line Council Girl Scouts; shelter and fencing for Randolph Children’s Playground; Public Library; and Dollars for Scholars.

Other grants have been made to Franklin County 4-H (building and grounds improvement), Franklin County Arts Council (community programs), People against Child Abuse, and Whitewater Valley Council for Handicapped. It should be noted that the 2006 grants issued by The Foundation were Whitewater Valley Community Library, Franklin County Boys Junior Baseball, Town of Brookville, American Red Cross, Whitewater Trail Canal, Franklin County Citizens for Historic Preservations, and Franklin County Youth Football.

The Foundation is also involved in the funding of scholarships for graduating seniors in Franklin County. The first scholarship fund that was established was that of the Donald H. Wolber Scholarship. Don was a Brookville High School graduate of 1961 and a 1965 graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Aspiring to become an astronaut, the First Lieutenant was killed in jet plane maneuvers over Kingston Pike, California on April 20, 1967. His parents, Harry and Elizabeth Wolber, set up the scholarship in his memory to be awarded to a Brookville High School graduate entering college to pursue a course of study leading to a degree in Aeronautical Engineering or allied field. The first recipient of this scholarship was Michael Shrank. Since then several additional scholarships have been established with The Foundation such as: The Popper Family Memorial, John E. Lane, Richards and Helen Maley, James R. Kaffenberger, Humig/Wiebe, Jennifer Suzanne Brown, and James Runyon. The foundation makes available also The Popper Discretionary Fund, which provides grants to students in need at the Brookville Elementary and Brookville Middle Schools for such services as clothing, shoes, and medical. This past year the Ralph L. Froman Discretionary Fund was established for similar purposes at the Brookville Elementary. Grantees are selected in October each year, while scholarships are awarded during May each year. The discretionary funds are made available twice a year.

The biggest project impact that The Foundation has taken part in, and as a result the community has benefitted, is that of the Receda Schilling Trust held at the FCN Bank. According to the directive of Receda Schilling, it was the responsibility of The Brookville Foundation to develop an application process for public agencies in the Town of Brookville-Brookville Township to request funds for projects. Through this process, projects of The Schilling Center/Firehouse, the renovation and addition to the Brookville Town Library, and renovation of the old Brookville Firehouse for The Red Cross and Emergency Medical Services were selected and completed. A total of 2.6 million dollars of projects resulted from the Receda Schilling Trust. The Board of Directors of the foundation, working with the trust department of the FCN Bank, provided an avenue for those projects to be achieved.

The Brookville Foundation is pleased that through the past sixty years, it has served as an instrument to give assistance to the many county agencies that provide projects and programs for the youth and adult communities of Franklin County. The Foundation does not solicit funds, but with the assistance of current and future patrons with their donations and decedent’s estate funds, property, living gifts and memorials, The Foundation can continue to be a positive force and have significant impact in the Franklin County Community.

Present members of the Board of Trustees of the Brookville Foundation are Art Hildebrand, President; Kim Simonson, Vice-President; Brad Tebbe-Treasurer*;
Martha Shea-Secretary; Lowell Teen McMillin-Member; Don Jobe-Member.

*Article provided by: Mr. Don Jobe