History of the Stoney Lonesome Motorcycle Club

History of the Stoney Lonesome M/C
Kenney Stoughton


At the start of World War II early in 1942 the United States Government was afraid that this country would be attacked by enemy aircraft and asked every major city m the U. S. to practice mock air raids, including having “blackouts” (turning off all lights) throughout the cities. Columbus, Indiana being a highly industrial city was asked to participate.

At that time the Columbus Police force was too small to adequately patrol all of the city, so they put out an ad asking anyone who had a motorcycle to contact them about forming a motor patrol group to help patrol the city during blackouts.

Some joined because they thought it was their civic duty, while others joined because gasoline was being rationed and they would receive extra ration coupons to buy gasoline tor their motorcycles.

Tlhe patrol was formed and called the Columbus Motor Patrol. It did not have arrest powers but would instead patrol the city and write down the address of homes with their lights on and then turn these addresses over to tile police, who would then take appropriate action.

The following is a partial list of the first members:

Raymond and Ruth Stoughton
Lowell and Pauline Walls
John and Vera Griffin
Malcolm Wells
Maurice Ruppert
Stanley and Hellen Herring
Harry and Quanita Smith
Earney Leonard
Frank and Mary Wright
Jake Maley
Hol Gillmore
Elmo Letterman
Oscar and Noa Mingler
Jake Winley (died in 1997 at 100 years of age)

After the war the group continued to get together, meeting once a month at Harry Smith’s Harley-Davidson shop on Seventh St. in Columbus. During the war or shortly thereafter several more members joined the patrol, including:

Kenny Stoughton
Harry Grinstead
Bob Wells
Virgil Woodson
Fred Swartzcough
Shorty Prather
Larry Crockett
Bob Huffman
Herb Suddeth
Jim Askren

Shortly after WW II Jim Askren opened up a BSA and Triumph shop in Garden City south of Columbus and started a club named the American English Motorcycle Club. At that time the Columbus Motor Patrol was disbanded. Some of the members drifted away, some joined the new American English Motorcycle Club and some others continued to meet at Harry Smith ‘s Harley-Davidson shop and formed a new club known as the Columbus Motorcycle Club. A few members joined both clubs.

Both clubs sponsored motorcycle events around Columbus. One of the clubs ran TT races on a farm 3 miles south-west of Columbus and the other ran flat track races on the 1/2 mile track at the old 25th Street Fair Grounds. I cannot remember for sure, but I think the Columbus M/C ran the flat track races.

At one time the American English M/C started to build a TT track just east of East Columbus but it never materialized due to Fire Marshal codes and insurance problems. Shortly after the club disbanded.

In 1948 or ’49 the Columbus M/C bought ground and built a new club house at the present site of the Lowell Addition north of Columbus. At this time several new members were added:

George Walls
Larry Walls
Loren Loveless and several others

The club held meetings at least once a month, sometimes holding special events including field meets and other motorcycle events.

In the early ’50’s the club sold the club house and grounds which is now part of the Lowell housing addition. The club then purchased some ground at Stoney Lonesome and built a club house at the foot of the hill where the present club house now stands. Shortly after purchasing the ground they renamed their club to it’s present name–the Stoney Lonesome Motorcycle Club.

The club sponsored several Hare and Hound races. Some were held in Brown County State Park and others on ground which is now Lake Monroe. They built a scrambles track in Gnaw Bone and held several scrambles there.

Later the club purchased more ground and built a scrambles track on their own property south west of the club house. The club ran several Hare and Hound races starting from the club house, then following the power lines south to Youth Camp Road to Bethany and back through Gnaw Bone to the club house. As more land was closed for riding the Hare and Hounds were changed to Hare Scrambles and held entirely on the club grounds.

This history was written from memory by Kenney Stoughton. Help with some of the names was given by Ruth Stoughton. Some of them are probably spelled wrong and some names were probably overlooked or forgotten. Kenney says this account may not be totally accurate but is as he remembers it.

Transcribed from Kenney Stoughton ‘s written account by Tim Weaver, 2003.