No Baals in Fort Wayne: City Officials Refuse To Name Center After Former Mayor Harry Baals

When city officials called upon the public to name their new government center in Fort Wayne, the public responded overwhelmingly in selecting a former mayor. That would normally seem an ideal choice for officials . . . unless the former mayor’s name is Harry Baals (pronounced “Balls”). Officials said that they have decided not to let the voters pick after all to avoid a sign reading “the Harry Baals Government Center.”

Harry Baals received 882 votes on the city’s website, According to the article below, that is more than triple that of its nearest competitor: Eugene Johnson Memorial Center. Johnson was the properties manager for the Allen County Public Library — not quite as inspiring as Harry Baals.

Baals was mayor in 1934 and elected for three successive terms and then returned later for a fourth. He was one of the most successful mayors in the history of the city, including bringing an airfield to the town.

In my view, the city fathers should have the . . . guts . . . to yield to the public. Just consider the traffic of people who come just to take a picture of the sign.

The Schweddy Balls family has long faced this very problem:

Source: Journal Gazette

24 thoughts on “No Baals in Fort Wayne: City Officials Refuse To Name Center After Former Mayor Harry Baals

  1. Professor, this story is like a brand new golf ball perfectly set up for our local punsters to tee off on. This’ll be fun to watch.

  2. I guess its not as bad as Brigham Young….or Ball U….or Ball State….the University for David Letterman….

    Why not name it for Harry….

  3. Indiana, right? They know how to read their bible and Baal is verboten.

    ‘Please understand, that the steeple upon the roof of your church is an open declaration that the ROMAN BEAST has infiltrated your church, and your church leaders proclaim their acceptance of this filtration by placing the vulgar phallic symbol upon YOUR church roof! The steeple/obelisk is ONLY a symbol of Baal worship! And to allow this symbol to stand erected upon your church roof shouts loudly to all those listening that you are tolerating a Satanic symbol of the sex act to be glorified by your church family. Fact is, Satanists, Roman Catholicism, and Invisible Masons openly depict the obelisk as the erect male organ.”

  4. This is a hilarious story. I think the fine citizens of Ft. Wayne should demand that Mr. Balls be honored by name the building after him. The building’s name would make for a great tourist attraction and Ft. Wayne needs all the help it can get!
    The truth is stranger than fiction!

  5. Rather amusing, considering one of the most prominent athletic figures in the city is named Ball (Arnie Ball, volleyball coach at IPFW, who has led the Mastodons to the Final Four six times) and no one makes a peep about it.

    Myself, I would have voted the same.

    Disclosure: I am a Fort Wayne native and resident.

  6. Since it is no where near April 1 I have to believe the professor is not making this up.

    There is nothing I could possibly offer to this story.

  7. I had a hockey coach as a kid named Richard, but went by Dick. His last name was Schmoaker. I was 10 when he was my coach. I didn’t hit me how freaking awesome his name was until a couple of years ago (I’m in my 40’s) I googled him to prove to my law partner I wasn’t making this up. He still lives in Minnasota.

  8. seamus,

    For once, I have to agree with Chan about something.

    If you used that name in writing fiction, it would be unbelievable.

    I once knew a Dick Walker, but Dick Schmoaker is in a league of his own.

  9. 1978 R.E.Lee high school yearbook has an accounting teacher who married that year and added her husband last name to her own. this is how it’s listed in my yearbook.

    Martha Elizabeth
    Head Given

  10. Speaking of nominative determinism, there’s an entire chapter in the book, “America’s Dumbest Doctors” devoted to physician names.

    Surgeons named “Cutter.”

    An Asian Urologist named “Wiwi.”

    A former chief medical examiner named Doris Body.

    Doctor Daryl B. Pain, Doctor Maroon Dick, A heart specialist named Doctor Love.

    Doctor Biggerstaff was pretty funny.

    But my personal favorite is Dr. Donald Duckles. A pediatrician, of course.

  11. I once went to an eye specialist who was named Argus. I don’t think most of his patients (and maybe not even he) could get the joke. (You have to know Greek mythology for that one.)

  12. HD,

    Maybe the very name “Argus” inspired the opthalmologic career choice?

    Hopefully it wasn’t having a hundred eyes.

    If things had unfolded differently, he could have ended up a shipbuilder.

  13. No one is talking about our former Mayor Harry Baals middle name….

    it is his mother’s maiden name “Wett”……is this why our city officials are refusing to use the former mayors name???

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