Milroy industrialist and political activist Jean Ann Harcourt was named the Outstanding Citizne of the Year by the Rush County Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner Wednesday evening at Rushville Consolidated High School. Harcourt said she had noticed several employees of her family business, Harcourt Outlines, in the audience when she arrived, but had supposed that they were there to support another Milroy native, Jennifer Marlow, one of the Chamber?s Student Leadership Award winners.
Jokingly, she compared the surprise to working in her office, ?Where I?m supposed to know?what?s going on?and I?m the last to know.? She may not have been ?the last to know? Wednesday night, though, as the identity of the award?s recipient became obvious as outgoing Chamber president Ann Myers read the list of her community achievements, including her position as Rush County Chairman for the Republican Party and Indiana state representative on the GOP?s national committee.
Politics, however, are far from being Harcourt?s only activity. Much of her work revolves around contributions to her hometown, Milroy. She is credited with nurturing the Milroy Economic Development Group and spending ?endless hours? promoting Milroy. With her brother Joe, she formed the first company to locate in the new Milroy Industrial Park ? the Harcourt Pencil Factory. She also was instrumental in recruiting a new physician to locate in the southern Rush County community.
Harcourt also is one of the origingal board members of the Rush County Community Foundation, serving as Community Relations Chairman. In the nomination, RCCF Executive Director Susie Hazelett was quoted as saying that ?no one has given more to the county than Jean Ann, or brought more business to Rush County.? She is also a member of the Milroy Christian Church. Harcourt was nominated for the award by Sandy Gwinnup and Dr. Robert Jackman.