Thursday, August 11 2022


When John and Pauline Eichler bought the Pigeon Telephone Company in 1972, they did not know that one day almost all Americans would carry their own personal phone in their pocket.

Eventually, their small community communications business would become Agri-Valley Communications Inc. and Thumb Cellular. John and Pauline were farmers and Pauline also worked as a teacher, but their decision to buy the phone company would have a deep and lasting impact on their community. These contributions would include Pigeon Telephone, Thumb Cellular, Agri-Valley Communications, Main Street Café, and Har-Jo’s Ben Franklin.

To honor these contributions, members of the Pigeon Village Council decided to rename a street after the Eichler family and held a special ceremony Tuesday at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Sanford Street – now called Eichler Street – to unveil the new street sign bearing the family. Last name.


Village Council Chairman Michael LePage was the emcee on Tuesday, and Jack and Pauline’s sons Ed and Neil were on hand to unveil the new sign. LePage said it was impossible to overestimate what the extended Eichler family meant for the city’s economy and its residents.

“They come to be a true pillar in our community and are generous and always there to help lend a helping hand,” said LePage.

He added that Jack and Pauline’s commitment to Pigeon had passed on to their children, who continued the family business and maintained their legacy of giving back to their hometown.

“They keep this tradition alive,” said LePage. “They are a good, strong family.”

From the corner of Michigan and Eichler, the dozens gathered for the ceremony moved across town to a corner near the Pigeon Band Shell. There, the sign that previously marked the corner of Park and School streets has been covered. LePage then introduced long-time Scheurer Hospital administrator Dwight Gascho, who, along with his wife, Teresa, would unveil a sign replacing the one marked “School Street” with one bearing the words “Dwight Gascho Drive.”

LePage said Scheurer Hospital was at a crossroads when Dwight Gascho took the helm in 1990, and under his leadership the hospital would grow into a vibrant health system with multiple locations serving residents from all corners of the globe.

LePage said Dwight Gascho has been instrumental in overseeing this growth, which included Scheurer’s satellite clinics, physician recruitment, and facilities such as Country Bay Village Senior Living and Country Gardens Assisted Living.

“He’s really taken it to the next level,” said LePage.

The Pigeon Village Council made the decision to rename the streets in 2020, but postponed the ceremonies until this week, which is also Pigeon Summerfest week, due to the pandemic.


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