Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

October 9, 2008

She was Miss Indiana in 1958

Fifty years ago, more than 8,000 Goshen residents gathered on the courthouse lawn to give one of their own a warm send-off to the Miss America contest in Atlantic City.

The support of the town is what really stands out in Anita (Hursh) Cast’s memory from her days as the reigning Miss Indiana.

The 1957 Goshen High School graduate was crowned Miss Indiana in Michigan City in July 1958.

Cast, now of Fort Wayne, moved to Goshen with her family when she was 3 years old. Her father, Charles Hursh, was an eye doctor who came to Goshen to cover the practice of Dr. Wellington while he was in the service.

“My parents liked Goshen, so we stayed,” Cast said. After living in Westmoor on Sunset Boulevard, the family moved to South Eighth Street.

Cast competed in the Miss Goshen pageant, sponsored by the Goshen Lions Club, after her senior year of high school. She was named second runner-up at the Miss Indiana pageant in Michigan City.

The next year, her first summer home from DePauw University, Lions Club members approached her father, asking if they could sponsor Anita at Miss Indiana again as Miss Goshen.

“I could not say no to my dad,” Cast said with a laugh.

There was no local Miss Goshen pageant that year, Cast remembers, but the Lions Club wanted her to represent Goshen at state.

And she represented Goshen well — she won the crown and title. And the town showed its appreciation.

“It was incredible, the support from Goshen,” Cast said.

The then Miss Hursh had a reception thrown in her honor on the courthouse lawn that drew more than 8,000 people, and the town organized a parade in her honor.

The Goshen News sponsored her float in the Miss America Parade in Atlantic City.

“The Goshen News was wonderful,” Cast said, adding that publisher Bud Hascall was very supportive of her reign as Miss Indiana. A favorite 1958 photo features Cast and a young Jane (Hascall) Gemmer, Bud’s daughter.

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

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