Hall of Legends 2018

The Howard County Hall of Legends will honor six new members at its annual recognition banquet Aug. 24. All
are outstanding representatives of our county and models of accomplishment and leadership for Hoosiers
young and not-so-young.

The inductees have made their mark in government, education, business, entertainment, the military, and
service to those in need. They include Opha May Jacob Johnson, born in Howard County in 1878, who became
America’s first female U.S. Marine, and Reba Harris, who began a second career in retirement as an addiction
counselor and the founder and director of Gilead House. She has had a positive impact on more lives during
her retirement years than most of us do in an entire lifetime. Don Smith Sr. came to Howard County as a
banking entrepreneur, founded two banks, served the community in several volunteer leadership roles, and
helped rebuild Russiaville after the Palm Sunday tornado. Steve Daily began his professional life as a teacher
but took a turn to politics when he served as a city councilman and then became the youngest mayor in
Kokomo history. He returned to education as an administrator at IU-Kokomo, then became chancellor of Ivy
Tech’s Kokomo region, and “retired” to run an organic farm. Along the way, he served the county and the state
in numerous leadership capacities, from economic development to social services. Brian Harlow grew up in
neighboring Tipton County, but his impact on Howard County and central Indiana is indisputable. His career at
Chrysler began with the Kokomo Transmission Plant and advanced to his role as the vice-president of
Manufacturing for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in North America. FCA’s growth in Indiana and its investment in
the Kokomo and Tipton plants are directly attributable to his leadership. Finally, the Kokomo Park Band is the
second organization chosen for inclusion in the Hall of Legends. As one of the county’s most enduring
organizations, it has provided music for community events for well over a century. Today, its concerts in
Highland Park are a weekly highlight of summer.

With these new additions, the Hall of Legends will grow to 55 members. At its inception in 2010, author
Norman Bridwell, inventor Elwood Haynes, television newsman Steve Kroft, and artist Misch Kohn were among
those who were the first to receive this annual recognition. In the years since, actor Strother Martin, inventor George Kingston, Lt. Gen. William Kepner, automobile pioneer J.D. Maxwell, AIDS activist Ryan White, and singer Sylvia Hutton are among the others who have been added. A full list is available at
www.howardcountymuseum.org , along with the stories of their accomplishments.

The induction banquet will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Bel Air Event Center in Kokomo. Tickets may be
purchased on-line through the historical society’s website, www.howardcountymuseum.org , or through
Eventbrite.com. You may also purchase them at the society’s office at 1218 W. Sycamore St. (behind Elliott
House) or by calling 765-452-4314.

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