Seymour - The Crossroads of Southern Indiana

This mural is located on the side of the Edward D. Jones building on the corner of Chestnut Street and Hwy 50. The project was completed in 2 weeks during downtown development week by Murals and More and is the first, in what we hope will be a series of murals downtown. It showcases local landmarks and history for the city and we are thrilled about the new art work in downtown Seymour.

 John Mellencamp Mural

The Mellencamp mural was painted by Indianapolis artist Pamela Bliss in 2019. The mural is located on the west-facing side of This Old Guitar Music Store, which was owned by the late Larry McDonald who played in garage bands with Mellencamp when they were young. John was born Oct. 7, 1951, right here in Seymour and graduated from Seymour High School in 1970. Many of John’s family members still live in Seymour and remain active in the community.

We are proud of John’s work in the arts and the contributions he has made to other causes he supports.

*This mural is owned by the city, and if you would like to view the Mellencamp Guestbook please click on the link below.

Mellencamp Mural GuestBook


Try Seymour First - 127 W 2nd Street

‘Try Seymour First’ depicts an illustrative timeline of inspired nostalgic imagery you're not likely to source on Wikipedia or in a typical Google search, but ask anyone in town about the Ulrey brothers or the Stardust drive-in and you're in for some great stories.

Created by: Michael Ferrarell

The Majestic Theater

            The Majestic Theater was built in 1890 as the Seymour Opera House. The theater sat at the west end of the 200 block of West Second Street at the current location of New Legacy Financial. It was renovated in the early 1930s when it was officially given the Majestic Theater name in 1933. The venue held many traveling shows along with many cinematic showings. A distinguishing feature of the theater was its massive and immaculate clock tower. The clock tower was not originally in the plans until the city convinced the builders to add it in with the stipulation that the city would pay for and maintain the structure. The building was demolished in 1966 to make way for a larger financial firm which still stands today.

Baldwin Drug

Located at 106 W. Second St., Baldwin Drug, was the premier name for all medicine during its time of operation. Baldwin Drug was a part of the Rexall Pharmacy Group. The drugstore was known for its family-friendly service as well as their assortment of goodies. Bill Bevers, a worker at Baldwin Drug, would go on to purchase the store once the founders retired, turning the company into the more remembered Bevers Family Pharmacy, which was opened and moved across the street in 1987. Bevers Family Pharmacy closed in March of 2016.

Timms Manufacturing Company

The Timms Manufacturing Company was a bicycle manufacturing company on the corner of Ninth Street and Shields Avenue.  It was only open in Seymour for a short period of time from the mid-1880s to the early 1900s during the “Bike Boom” of the 1890s. In 1896, Timms released a first-of -its kind bicycle that could be controlled from the rear, as he believed it was a more sustainable way to operate a bike. The bike was known as the racer model.

Rok-Sey Roller Rink

Located at 7448 East County Road 725N, Rok-Sey Roller Rink was a hit in Seymour in the 20th century as a place to hang out, relax, and most of all have fun. It was burnt to nothingness by local arsonists and rebuilt to what it is seen as today. It was owned and operated by John Mellencamp's aunt and uncle for nearly its entirety. Rok-Sey was open until the mid-2010s.

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is located three miles east of Seymour on U.S.  50. Established in 1966, it comprises 7,802 acres in its main area of eastern Jackson and western Jennings counties, and an additional 78 acres. It was established thanks to the selling of federal migratory waterfowl stamps by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Muscatatuck was Indiana's first national wildlife refuge. The name comes from the Muscatatuck River, which means "land of winding waters." Converted farmlands comprise 60% of the total land area of the refuge. Several archaeological sites in the refuge are on the National Register of Historic Places. Much of the tree cover is deciduous forest. A visitor center, eight hiking trails (ranging from 1⁄5 to 4 miles of easy to moderate hiking), a 4-mile driving tour, two pioneer cemeteries, and a log cabin of historical significance are available for the 125,000 annual visitors to the refuge to enjoy. The refuge is open for visitation from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset. The refuge should not be confused with the former Muscatatuck State Park of Indiana, which became Muscatatuck County Park when control of the land was given back to Jennings County, Indiana.

Katie Stam Irk

Katie Stam was born to Keith and Tracy Stam, both long serving teachers in the Seymour community, on July 9, 1986, in southern Indiana. Stam grew up on her family’s farm with her three siblings. Stam graduated from Seymour High School and later received her bachelor's degree in communication studies from the University of Indianapolis. Stam also interned at the Indianapolis news station, WTHR, in 2007. Stam began competing in pageants at the age of 15, winning a local title before being named Kentuckiana Teen and advancing and winning her first national pageant. She later won Indiana's Junior Miss in 2005 and was named second runner-up at the 2005 America's Junior Miss competition. In November 2007, Stam won the local Miss Duneland title in northern Indiana. She competed in the Miss Indiana pageant in June 2008, and was crowned Miss Indiana. The Miss America 2009 pageant was broadcast live on TLC from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 24, 2009. At the conclusion of the telecast, Stam beat out first runner-up Miss Georgia for the title of Miss America 2009. With this win she became the first Miss Indiana to claim the Miss America title. Along with the title of Miss America, she won a $50,000 scholarship.

Vondee Theater

The Vondee was a theater at 109 E. Second St. The Vondee Theater opened in 1937, seated 544, and was open into the 1970s. Prior to becoming a theater, the building was a furniture store as well as a funeral home.

Jackson County United Way

Jacsy the knight represents the Jackson County United Way, formerly the Jackson County United Fund. The Jackson County United Way was founded in 1962 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to find an easier, and more efficient, way to help the social agencies in Jackson County. The term “JACSY,” depicted on the knight, is an acronym for the phrase “Jackson County Serving You.”

Ulrey Race Car Driver

Famous for their marvelous drag-racing careers, the Ulrey family was known nationally in their own respects as some of the greatest racers of their time. In the height of their racing careers in the 1960s and 70s, John, Mike, and Jim set many records and won many national competitions in the NHRA, most notably the Sports Nationals in Bowling Green. Known for their connection to the Ford Motor Company, the Ulrey’s most famous car is the 1966 Ford 427 Fairlane. A majority of the Ulrey’s still reside in and around Seymour and their deep history of racing continues through their grandchildren.

Union Hardware

Located at 116 S. Chestnut St. in the heart of Seymour’s downtown, Union Hardware was open from 1864 to 2018. During its lifetime, the hardware store has been burned to the ground twice and rebuilt following both incidents.

Try Seymour First

            The “Try Seymour First” advertisement was published in the local newspaper in the 50s and 60s to encourage people to shop local rather than traveling to bigger cities. The advertisement is like the shop local ads we still see today.

Covered Bridges

      Covered bridges were one of the most popular bridge types in the mid to late 1800s; there were once four of these structures in Jackson County including the Medora, Shieldstown, Bell Ford, and Ewing Covered Bridge. The Medora Covered Bridge, located near Medora on the East Fork of the White River off State Road 235, was built in 1875 by master builder J.J. Daniels, is the longest three-span covered bridge in the United States.

The Shieldstown Covered Bridge, also created by master bridge maker J.J. Daniels and built in 1876 and was named for the family-owned mill in the immediately adjacent village of Shields, is an example of early 19th century wooden truss architecture and is a rare variant of the Burr Arch Truss. The Shieldstown Covered Bridge opened the area for transportation across the East Fork White River and for crops to be milled and transported.

The 330-foot-long Bell Ford Bridge, built in 1869, spanned the East Fork of the White River near Seymour until two separate storms damaged the structure, one in 1999 and another in 2006. The Bell Ford Bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in the United States with a combination timber and wrought iron frame, or truss, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although severely damaged, the Bell Ford Bridge was restored and was bought by Hamilton County, Indiana with plans to place it over Fall Creek to connect Geist Park and a nature trail.

The Ewing Covered Bridge, built in 1870 by J.J. Daniels, crossed the East Fork of the White River. The Howe Truss structure was 350-374 feet long, and the timbers used for the creation of the structure were yellow poplar and had been cut from land formerly owned by Samuel Gross. The Ewing Covered Bridge served as the earliest route of what now is known as U.S. 50. Unfortunately, the structure was demolished in 1970 and is the only covered bridge from Jackson County that was fully removed.

The BeeHive

       The BeeHive, located on the 100 block of West Second Street, was a department store in downtown Seymour. It was originally owned by the Schwing Family until the Walters brothers took over.

Seymour City Hall (Flower)

     Seymour City Hall located at 301 N. Chestnut St. was the former home of the Southern Indiana Telephone and Telegraph Company. The building was built in 1929 for $50,000, or about $900,000 at today’s rate. The architecture catches the attention of travelers today.

Paris Style

Paris Style, formerly located at 107-111 N. Chestnut St., was a department store owned by Abe and Sylvia Osipe. Paris Style was known for their popular designs and varying sizes of clothing. The owners were known to travel to New York five times a year to stay on trend with the latest fashions. Paris Style’s sign can still be seen on St. Louis Avenue, just west of Chestnut Street.

Seymour Tribune (Torch)

The Seymour Daily Tribune has been the sole newspaper for Seymour since 1879. It was originally named the Seymour Republican until 1920 when the Daily Tribune purchased the company. The torch was a symbol passed down from the widely popular Freedom Newspaper Company.

Seymour High School (Owls)

In 1870, Shields High School was the first high school to be built in Seymour and was named after the founder of Seymour, Meedy Shields. In 1911, a new school building arose on the foundations of the old. By 1922, students and citizens alike complained of the smallness of the Shields gymnasium, so a south wing was added to the school. In the 1930s, sports fans again began to clamor for a gymnasium big enough to house all the Seymour Owls supporters. In 1937, a fire-proof structure with a capacity of 3,308 was constructed as a WPA project. The seating capacity was later expanded to 3,800. This building was known as the Shields Memorial Gymnasium.

In the 1950s, the town reached a population of nearly 12,000 and more space was needed. In 1959, Shields High School was moved to new facilities on 61 acres at the west edge of Seymour. In addition to classroom and laboratory facilities, the new two-story building contained the school's administrative and guidance offices, a 110-seat library, a 1,100-seat auditorium, and a 300-seat cafeteria. In 1960, the football stadium and an all-purpose track were added to the campus. In 1968, work began on a new gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, and a separate academic facility consisting of ten classrooms, two science labs, and two industrial arts labs.         The gymnasium, dedicated in 1970, seats 8,228 and ranks as the second largest high school gym in the United States. It was renamed in honor of Lloyd E. Scott who coached the boys’ basketball team from 1961-1974. In 1997, a two-year, $18 million renovation and building expansion project that included the construction of a new auxiliary gym, a new science wing, a hallway linkage between the original building and the 1968 building, and extensive remodeling of all classrooms, the cafeteria, and the Earl D. Prout Auditorium was completed. In 2016, a new turf soccer field and stadium were built on the west side of the school grounds. In 2022, a $50+ million renovation project was started in which 25 additional classrooms, a larger cafeteria, new choir and band classrooms, and updated sports facilities were created. The owl has been the sole mascot of the former Shields and current Seymour High School.

Gold Mine

The Gold Mine was a small department store in downtown Seymour. It was located between St. Louis Ave. and Second Street. The store was owned by the Strauss family and then the Kaufman family following a purchase of the company. The Gold Mine burnt down and was then rebuilt in 1951.

Freeman Field

Freeman Army Airfield was named in honor of Captain Richard S. Freeman. Freeman was a native of Indiana and a 1930 graduate of West Point; he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Mackay Trophy, and was a pioneer of the Army Air Mail Service. Captain Freeman was killed in a plane crash on Feb. 6, 1941, near Lovelock, Nevada, while en route to Wright Field, Ohio. Freeman Army Airfield was constructed in 1942 for pilot training. The base included more than 100 buildings consisting primarily of wood, tar paper, and non-masonry siding, as the use of concrete and steel was limited due to critical need elsewhere. The airfield consisted of runways positioned in a "star" layout consisting of four (4) runways laid out in a north/south, northeast/southwest, east/west and a northwest/southeast direction. The base was eventually closed in 1946. After the closure of the airfield, the government donated the ground to the city with the stipulation that the ground be used for industrial and educational development.

Tuskegee Airmen and The Freeman Field Mutiny

The Freeman Field mutiny was a series of incidents at Freeman Army Airfield, in which African American members of the 477th Bombardment Group attempted to integrate an all-white officers' club. Led by Second Lieutenant Coleman A. Young, the future mayor of Detroit and an experienced labor organizer, a group of African American officers decided on a plan of action to challenge the de facto segregation at Freeman. When 19 of the officers, including Coleman Young, entered the club against the instructions of Lieutenant Rogers, the officers were placed under arrest "in quarters." In response to the arrest order, the 19 officers left the club and returned to their quarters, and 17 more were placed under arrest later that night. The next night, 25 more officers acting in three groups entered the club and were also placed under arrest.  The mutiny resulted in 162 separate arrests of African American officers; three were court-martialed on relatively minor charges and one was convicted. In 1995, the Air Force officially vindicated the actions of the African American officers, set aside the single court-martial conviction, and removed letters of reprimand from the permanent files of 15 of the officers. The mutiny is generally regarded by historians of the Civil Rights Movement as an important step toward full integration of the armed forces and as a model for later efforts to integrate public facilities through civil disobedience.

Thompson Dairy

Thompson Dairy was a dairy operation in Seymour, near what is now Crossroads Park and CVS. It was opened from 1924 as Seymour Ice Cream company. Later called Thompson Dairy Co., the factory produced and distributed milk, butter, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products. Thompson Dairy was bought out by Prairie Farms and ended production on June 28th, 1990.

Big Red

Until the 1970s, Big Red couldn't be found outside of Texas, Kentucky, and southern Indiana; today, it's distributed by Dr. Pepper. The flavor comes from that of citrus oils blended with the vanilla of a traditional cream soda. The soda is a local favorite as well as a favorite of local rock and roll star, John Mellencamp.

Beer Steins - Oktoberfest

The beer stein painting is a representation of Seymour’s German heritage as well as its annual Oktoberfest. The celebration of our German heritage has been going on since 1973 and is held every year on the first weekend of October. This three-day event offers free entertainment including carnival, craft booths, parade, 5k, talent contest, baby contest, flea market and baking contest. Visitors can choose from a huge food selection such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, pulled pork, Puerto Rican Flavor Food, shrimp jambalaya, currywurst, burgers, hot dogs and more.


Stardust was a drive-in theater on the east end of town near what is now the Shoppes of Seymour. The theater showed a plethora of popular movies such as “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and the 1989, Michael Keaton rendition of' “Batman”. The theater was open from 1949 to 1989 and was demolished in 1995.

 Downtown Mural History Contributors

Cory Robinson - Organizer
Bri Roll - Seymour Main Street Director
Jane Hays - Historical Information
Kevin Greene - Historical Information
Additional Internet Sources - Historical Information