Actress, business owner named region legends

2013-12-15T06:00:00Z 2013-12-15T23:34:10Z Actress, business owner named region legendsElvia Malagon, (219) 933-3246
December 15, 2013 6:00 am  • 

HAMMOND | An East Chicago actress best known in recent years for her role in the "Friday the 13th" movies and a LaPorte businessman are being inducted this week to the South Shore Wall of Legends.

Betsy Palmer and Edward A. Rumely will be inducted at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, according to a news release from the Wall of Legends and Legends Scholarship Project. Legends are people who lived or worked in Northwest Indiana and made impact with lasting implications. 

Rumely and Palmer will join the more than 28 legends who have been inducted since 2004. Legends are nominated by the public and reviewed by a 12-person committee. 

Palmer, whose real name is Betsy Hrunek, graduated from East Chicago's Roosevelt High School in 1944. She began her career in 1951 in the "Miss Susan" soap opera. She went on to join the game show "I've Got a Secret" and act in the "Friday the 13th" movies. 

Rumely, who was born in 1882 and died in 1964, was noted for his work in the agriculture and manufacturing industry. He started off as the treasurer and general manager of the Rumely Co. and oversaw a new manufacturing complex in LaPorte County. 

He went on to help create the Rumely OilPull Tractor, according to the news release. He also founded the Interlaken School in Rolling Prairie, which mixed education in the classroom and countryside, according to the Northwest Digital Archives website.

He later moved to New York and became the publisher and editor of the New York Evening Mail until 1918, according to the Northwest Digital Archives website. He also became friends with President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Rumely's time in New York was not without controversy. In 1920, Rumely was convicted of violating the Trading with the Enemy Act after he allegedly did not disclose that there were German investors backing the New York Evening Mail, according to a obituary published in The New York Times on Nov. 28, 1964. He was later pardoned by President Calvin Coolidge.

In 1951, he was convicted of contempt of Congress after he refused to disclose who was financially backing books that were critical of New Deal legislation and the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Truman presidential administrations, according to the obituary. Rumely helped distribute the books through a conservative political group. The conviction was overturned in 1953 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rumely was quoted as saying that the court's decision was a "new and sweeping victory for freedom of the press," according to the obituary.

The induction of the two legends also will include the announcement of the 2013 Legends Scholarship, which is given to a student who demonstrates the values of past legend inductees. 

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