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Edith I. Browning "Chewing Gum Lady"
Greencastle First Christian Church Endowment

Year Founded

Edith I. Browning
Edith I. Browning

1995

Founder
Margaret “Peggy” W. Daniel

Purpose of Fund
The primary purpose of the fund shall be to provide support for the activities and programs of the Greencastle First Christian Church.

History of Fund
Edith I. Browning was born on January 17, 1906, in New Market, Indiana. She passed away on July 1, 1997, in Greencastle, Indiana. Her only sibling, a brother, died as an infant. She never married and would refer to herself as an “old maid.” Edith graduated from DePauw University in 1927 and attended the First Christian Church in Greencastle, Indiana for most of her life. She worked at Central National Bank her entire career and was working there the day it was robbed by John Dillinger in 1933. She became the first female bank officer in Putnam County. While at the bank, she became known as the “Chewing Gum Lady” for her habit of passing out sticks of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum to the children who visited the bank. On their birthdays, she gave them a whole pack.

For many years, Edith belonged to a group of women who had breakfast together five days a week at Royal Café in Downtown Greencastle. In 1995, one of these women, Judy Johnson, began planning Edith’s 90th birthday party. Because Edith would not accept gifts, Johnson decided to set up a permanent endowment with the Community Foundation to commemorate Edith by supporting something of special meaning to her: her church. With the help of three friends, Johnson got a new typewriter and sent out about 500 letters soliciting donations for the endowment. 277 people contributed.

Judy Johnson, Margaret “Peggy” W. Daniel, Francis Whitaker, and Vicki Small, the four women who initiated the endowment, told Edith of the surprise during her birthday party at Asbury Towers.

 

The Breakfast Club

1988 Breakfast Girls Club photo (left to right)

Ellen Huber, Ruth Greve, Helen Johnston, Edith I. Browning, Flo Morrison, Madonna Hammond, Judy Johnson.

Grant / Payout History
1997    $731.00
1998    $1,135.00
1999    $1,378.00
2001    $1,500.00
2002    $1,400.00
2003    $1,258.09
2004    $1,173.40
2006    $1,193.73
2007    $1,303.57
2008    $1,398.62
2011    $1,297.08
2012    $1,311.51
2013    $1,421.33

2014    $1,484.64

2015    $1,651.59

2016    $1,829.32
________________
Total    $21,466.88


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