Local Attorney Receives Prestigious Sagamor of the Wabash Award

Jasper (NNDC):

(Story from local sources and pictures by Chad Blessinger)


In his usual reserved way, Art Nordhoff Jr. graciously accepted the Sagamore of the Wabash award at the Dubois County Museum’s annual membership dinner. The award is given by the governor and is one of Indiana’s highest distinctions.

For decades, he has provided legal expertise to school and government boards with helping people always at the foremost of his mind.

Nordhoff is an avid historian and known for his love and commitment to preserving Dubois County history. He was a strategic member of the group that started the successful, local museum, something he holds near and dear to his heart. Though he received the actual award, in his humble way, praised all the people who have helped him in his projects

The Sagamore of the Wabash is awarded to distinguished citizens for exemplary public service to their community and to the state of Indiana. The award was created by former Indiana Gov. Ralph Gates nearly 75 years ago, and each governor since has presented the award to worthy recipients.

Dubois County Commissioner Elmer Brames explained during the surprise presentation that the term “Sagamore” is borrowed from the Algonquin-speaking Native American tribes of the northeastern United States. It was used to describe “a lesser chief or great man in the tribe to whom the chief could look for wisdom, advice and guidance.”

Brames remarked that he nominated Nordhoff for the honor because he has been serving the public and public officials for years. Rep. Shane Lindauer, R-Jasper, ultimately presented the nomination to Gov. Eric Holcomb for consideration, and Lindauer passed the award off to Nordhoff on Thursday.

Nordhoff earned his degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from Indiana University-Bloomington. He and Patty married after he earned his accounting degree.

He worked as a tax attorney at Arthur Andersen in Indianapolis for two and a half years before coming back to Jasper in 1967 to practice law with his father and uncle, who ran Nordhoff Law Office. He still works at the office today.

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