St. Matthews is known for its abundance of culturally significant businesses and ventures. Last fall Independence Bank established a new location in the heart of St. Matthews. The main goals of the bank’s leaders are to service and keep close ties with the neighboring community. From their involvement with community projects down to the artwork that fills the building, this venue prides itself on paying respect to the locals. This is evident immediately upon entering the facility. The architecture, decorations and stained glass panels display the town’s history through the years.
On September 11 Independence Bank added a time capsule as its latest artistic piece to pay homage to St. Matthews. Bank President Louis Straub grew up in St. Matthews. His daughter Madelin, a senior at Manual High School, had a stake in the bank’s recent venture to bring citizens together.
“Madelin came up with the idea to put a time capsule together,” Straub says. “It was her idea to get the community involved in putting together a capsule that would hold items that represent the past and present state of St. Matthews. She wanted to bring everyone together by having participants from the community contribute their input and memorable items to the project.”
The idea was a hit and the bank immediately opened the project to the general public for submissions. As an incentive, Independence Bank hosted a contest among middle and high schoolers in the district that included cash prizes for the most inspirational submissions. Trinity High School and Holy Trinity Parish School won the contest by submitting noteworthy items common to the past decade. Each winner received a cash prize of $177.60 to benefit their homeroom class. Both schools also received a cash donation as a charitable contribution.
Trinity High School received cash prizes for two different class entries. Students from science fiction and English classes submitted items such as a mechanical pen, a key, menus from all around St. Matthews, and a railroad spike from the tracks that run through the heart of town. Many of the winning entries from Trinity were collaborative efforts, as teachers set the time capsule submission up as a class project for students.
Handwritten submissions were selected from a fourth-grade class at Holy Trinity Parish School. The submissions showed what younger generations determined would be fitting contributions to the capsule for future generations to learn about. These included hand-drawn pictures of different facilities around town, and how each one had impacted the students who drew them. Other articles focused on what the students wanted our future society to remember from this day and age.
Other entries included a pair of Derby tickets, commemorative coins to mark the celebration of the St. Matthews Fire Department’s 100th Anniversary, and a commemorative bottle of Maker’s 46 bourbon signed by master distiller Kevin Smith as well as Maker’s Mark President Bill Samuels, Jr. The Louisville City Football Club also submitted a soccer ball that the team signed. A copy of an article about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing was placed in the capsule to pay respect and show admiration for our society’s progress over time.
A Ford F-150 model pickup truck was selected to honor one of our oldest companies in town. When discussing the pickup truck, Straub noted that he felt this item was significant because we are currently moving toward self-driving vehicles. The model truck is a reminder of how far we have come and how far we may go.
“Who knows what the future will hold?” Straub says. “With the way our society is rapidly changing, will we even have newspapers in the future? We have copies of both St. Matthews’ first edition magazine as well as a copy of the Courier-Journal in there.”
Other articles were included from various establishments around St. Matthews, including a book of quotes by Leadership of Louisville, a book on St. Matthews, a copy of the Women’s Club Directory, and an article about the 2019 Derby.
“It’s all about people displaying heartfelt memorabilia from the past and the present in hopes of positively affecting our future,” says Sarah Gant, a member of Independence Bank who worked on the time capsule with Straub.
The time capsule will be opened in 100 years and will be put into a trust in the intervening time due to the uncertainty of the bank’s 100-year future. In 100 years, it is meant to fill the future with a rush of nostalgia that will not only educate but also inspire the world at large. The items included in the capsule show what we view to be necessary and important in this time. Each item will be auctioned off 100 years from now to gain funds for local charities. By putting a few pieces from our time in this capsule, our past and present have the potential to change the future for the better.