Shelby County, Indiana
Maurice Trotter should be like a cat and have nine lives—so he could
devote one each to his varied talents.
Thomas W. Jackson
The Shelbyville News
Saturday June 12, 1948
Page 3 column 2
By Ave Lewis
Most of us struggle along our merry ways happy if we’re working at an
occupation that we like and a little extra thankful if we’re blessed with any
special ability. But here’s a guy with any number of practical talents, and he
enjoys them all. If he tires of his chosen vocation—teaching—he could build
a log cabin; if that grew boring he might draw down fancy prices for his oil
paintings; if he wearied of that he might go into the furniture making and
carving business, or he might go into the boat building business.
However, teaching is his favorite profession and his other gifts he uses
merely as creative hobbies. He is instructor in vocational agriculture,
chemistry, physics and shop at the Waldron high school and he sums up his 23
years as a pedagogue with "I like it better every year." However, he
adds, "But when my 35 years are up I’m going to make a career of
That’s where the boat building comes in.
Since March of 1947 he’s been
constructing an all steel 26-foot cabin cruiser and when it’s completed and
properly launched he and Mrs. Trotter will take it to St. Joseph Island—about
55 miles out if Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where it will be put to use in bear
hunting trips et cetera. The Trotters and three other families have a cabin
there and that’s their favorite retreat each summer. The hull of the boat is
completed and at present is securely cabled and standing on its starboard side
at the rear of the Waldron school building. And sometimes Mrs. Trotter wishes
she either had a hog-calling voice or a walkie-talkie from their home to that
spot. "He’s always there when I need him."
But Florence, who merely changed her name from Tranter to
Trotter at their marriage 17 years ago, is as enthusiastic as her husband about
his various activities.
She is justly proud of their unique home which sets on a quiet Waldron street
amid trees and flowering bushes. The home was constructed from an old, but well
preserved log cabin which Maurice found in Union township, and a barn. The log
cabin was used to form a large living room complete with stone fireplace and an
open stairway which leads to a "loft." This loft provides a spacious
sitting-bedroom. The barn torn down, rebuilt and paneled was added as a cozy
kitchen and dining room.
His furniture building, carving and painting gifts are in evidence throughout
the home. Colorful paintings blend with the stained walls and in the dining room
is a gleaming curly maple drop leaf table which he built in his "spare
time." Because Mrs. Trotter likes a "big table." It will seat 12
people. In the living room are a large round coffee table and foot stool which
he made and carved to match a valuable chair. The upstairs bedroom hold a solid
cherry four poster bed which he made to harmonize with old fashioned chests.
Both the Trotters are antique minded and many articles in their home are
collector’s gems. Nobly among these is a German sea chest bearing the date of
Maurice is a gun collector too and the day of our visit he had taken time off
from boat building to go groundhog hunting with a crony—with a Flintlock rifle
of pre-Revolutionary vintage. A den adjoining the living room holds his
collection—and also a varied collection of Indian flints and numerous other
articles. "None worth a whoop to anyone but me," he says. The gun
group contains the first weapon he ever owned. It was a hand-made affair and
shot sand, rocks or most any object at hand in hunting rabbits.
Mr. Trotter began his teaching career in West Virginia after attending
Purdue. He also taught in Michigan and at New Salem and Terre Haute before going
to Waldron. He’s a popular teacher and it’s easy to see why. He’s full of
energy, likes people, particularly young people, and has more fun than any six
Contributed by Barb Huff
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