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"Lost to history... almost"

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Author of:
The Goodriches: An American Family,
Empowering a Legacy: The Shafer Biography,
John W. Fisher: What a Life!
and more!


The story of Muncie Power Products and the people who built it is an affirmation of American opportunity, smark work, and civic generosity. From its founding in 1935 to the present, the company and its leaders have been consistently dedicated to achieving excellence and exemplifying ethical values… This book, carefully researched and documented, tells the story in an engaging manner which will both motivate and inspire.

Stefan Anderson

Retired Chairman and CEO,

First Merchants Corp.

What follows is a very frank and well-researched account of the challenges and opportunities facing a young Hamer... The author's transparency in discussing personal and family relationships, and in providing financial disclosure and insight into market challenges, all add to developing a reader's spirit of rooting for Muncie Power Products.

Van Smith

Former President, Ontario Corporation

Former Chairman, US Chamber of Commerce

James Goodrich's accomplishments in Indiana and on the national stage were remarkable, yet no monument bears his name. He is lost to history - almost. Thanks to a solidly researched and well-written biography by local author Dane Starbuck, you can follow Goodrich from his boyhood in Winchester in the late 1800s, to the death of his son Pierre in 1973.

Michael S. Mauer

Former chairman, The National Bank of Indianapolis

and the Indianapolis Business Journal,

and former Indiana Secretary of Commerce

The remarkable Goodrich brothers of Winchester, Indiana, surround their mother in a picture taken in 1905. They would become highly successful entrepreneurs and, by the 1940s, one of the richest families in the Midwest. One of the brothers also became a powerful Indiana governor, advisor to three U.S. Presidents, and played a significant role in stemming one of the worst famines in the 20th Century in the Soviet Union. The family’s combined philanthropy amounted to giving away hundreds of millions of dollars, benefitting several Indiana institutions and establishing one of the largest private education foundations in the United States. Dane Starbuck told their stories in The Goodriches: An American Family (2001)


Janice Ball Fisher (far left) and John Fisher (far right), at the Greenbriar, West Virginia, May 21, 1961. John Fisher became one of the most accomplished corporate officers in the Midwest as President, CEO, and later Chairman of the Board of Ball Corporation. During the 1980s, he also served as Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers (the second largest business association in the United States), a director of the New York Stock Exchange, and President of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The story of his lengthy career as a corporate and non-profit leader and philanthropist is captured in Dane Starbuck biography, John W. Fisher, What a Life!

Phyllis and Hamer Shafer, as a couple they grew a small used and rebuilt automobile supply company with less than 10 employees into the largest manufacturing company in the United States in the areas of hydraulics and power take-offs for the automobile, trucking, airline, and utility industries. From their wealth, they became two of the most generous donors in the history of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and to dozens of other non-profit organizations in East Central Indiana and northern Michigan.  Dane Starbuck tells their remarkable story of fortitude and vision in Empowering a Legacy, the Shafer Biography (2016).


Florence Life Hesser and Leon Hesser, childhood sweethearts. In 1955, at the age of 30 they left their lives as farmers in Randolph County, Indiana, to attend college. They eventually obtained their doctorate degrees and spent nearly 50 years of living in Washington, D.C. or traveling the world providing literacy instruction and helping to feed millions in Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Soviet Union. Dane Starbuck wrote two lengthy articles about Florence Hesser’s life that were published in the Winchester News-Gazette. Both Florence’s and Leon’s remarkable story is planned for a forthcoming book on accomplished residents of Randolph County, Indiana.  

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