Noble County farmers win rural preservation award

Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau to honor the Evers family of Wolcottville

On Aug. 3 at the Indiana State Fair, the Evers family of Wolcottville in Noble County will receive the 2023 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation from Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau. The award honors the efforts of seven generations of the family to maintain and operate the historic farmstead.

Three brothers established the farm in 1854. Originally, the family harvested corn, oats, wheat, and soybeans, though today hay is the primary cash crop.

The farm owes its imposing brick house and barn to one of the founders’ son, Frank Myers. As a child, Frank gathered stones from the surrounding countryside, and 40 years later built the house and nearby barn using the stones as a foundation.

Frank, his wife Nellie, and their family became the first to occupy the three-story house, completed in 1923. It’s a showplace, with covered porches, oak, mahogany, birch, and birdseye maple hardwood. The house also features an impressive staircase, sterling silver chandeliers transported by railroad from Toledo, Ohio, and a third-floor ballroom that still includes a piano lifted in through an upper window before the house was completed.

Frank’s great-grandson, Frank Evers, and his wife Evelyn raised their nine children in the farmhouse, where the couple still lives, overseeing farm operations with their oldest son, Mark Evers, his wife Christie, and children Nathan, Emily, Andrew, and Olivia. Throughout the years, the family has preserved the original house as much as possible, maintaining the hardwood floors, plaster walls, leaded windows, and bathroom fixtures. Along with providing storage for family artifacts, the ballroom has served as a central gathering space, hosting square dances, graduations, weddings and other family celebrations.

Nearby, the equally impressive brick barn with fieldstone foundation dominates the landscape. The barn first housed milk cows as Plainview Dairy in the ‘20s and ‘30s, and Frank and Evelyn resumed dairy operations in 1975. They constructed a milking parlor and added a second concrete silo, turned hog farrowing pens into calf pens, and converted horse stalls into maternity pens. The surrounding landscape and the lettering on the 1950s Harvestore silo inspired the family to name the property Plainview Farms.

In 2002, the slim profit margins of dairy farming prompted the family to shift operations, first raising replacement dairy heifers for other farms and then expanding into a herd of Angus and Texas Longhorns.

For the past 17 years, Evelyn has worked to pass on respect for the land to her grandchildren by operating Plainview Playtime, a year-round family daycare and preschool at the farm. Along with learning traditional subjects, children receive hands-on lessons in farm chores and caring for animals, tending sheep borrowed from a neighbor during the summers.

“With a deep appreciation for their historic property and a commitment to preserving its heritage while operating it as a working farm, the Evers family exemplifies the tenets of the Arnold Award,” says Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office and Arnold Award coordinator.

The annual award is named in memory of John Arnold (1955-1991), a Rush County farmer committed to preserving Indiana’s rural heritage.

WHAT: Presentation of the John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation

WHEN: Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. during the Indiana Department of Agriculture’s Celebration of Agriculture at the Indiana State Fair

WHERE: The historic Normandy Barn on the north side of the Indiana State Fairgrounds

WHO: The Evers family will accept the award from Indiana Landmarks’ President Marsh Davis and Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron. They will be joined by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Don Lamb, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

For information about nominations for the 2024 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation, contact Tommy Kleckner at Indiana Landmarks, 812-232-4534,


Media contacts:
Tommy Kleckner, Director, Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office, office 812-232-4534, cell 812-249-3116,

Mindi Woolman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Indiana Landmarks, office 317-639-4534, cell 317-417-1204,


Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, strengthens connections to our diverse heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit

Indiana Farm Bureau
For more than 100 years, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has protected and enhanced the future of agriculture and our communities. As the state’s largest general farm organization, INFB works diligently to cultivate a thriving agricultural ecosystem to strengthen the viability of Indiana agriculture. Learn more at

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