Lebanon Reporter

May 15, 2013

Co-creator of Thorntown gorilla prank recalls ruse

By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor

Boone County — Dentists in Thorntown arrive and retire, but Asher Cones’ dental discipline remains unswayed.

Cones, who celebrated his 100th birthday April 1, is one of Boone County’s oldest citizens and co-creator of an epic prank — the great Thorntown Gorilla Scare, which turned into a national story before the perpetrators decided the joke had gone too far when “gorilla drives” and aerial searches were organized.

Cones is a beloved patient at Northwind Family Dental in Thorntown, where he’s fond of reminding the staff that his first dental cleaning cost $1.

“So, today, we’re going to charge him $1,” said Tammy Threlkeld, an employee at Northwind.

Originally, Cones was a patient of a Dr. Ellis, before Dr. Timothy S. Dorsey opened a practice in 1978. Dorsey retired in 2012, and Dr. Joseph W. Keck joined Northwind Family Dental in December. The practice is now located in the Witham Health Services building at 151 E. Bow St., but had been in downtown Thorntown for many years prior.

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