Friday, August 29, 2014

Y.M.C.A. statistics from December 1890 in Crawfordsville

This Y.M.C.A. building held a tremendous amount of Crawfordsville and Indiana basketball history.  Recently, an article was found in the Crawfordsville Weekly Journal telling the statistics of visitors to the local Y.M.C.A. for the week ending December 27, 1890. There were 644 visitors with a daily average of 107. Almost 200 people visited the reading room (we would love to have a picture of that). The parlors and amusements room was slightly less with 139 attendees.  Only 45 people utilized the gymnasium, but there were three gymnasium classes offered. Eight-seven baths were taken, with a daily average of 14.  It is surprising to hear of all the amenities found in this building.

This building was erected in 1888 and was located where the current PNC building is located. There is a plaque at this site commemorating the location of the first indoor basketball game played in the state of Indiana. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

H.R. Tinsley, business man

121-123 South Washington Street, Crawfordsville
Eagle Pencil Company Advertisement, sold at Tinsley's store
H.R. Tinsley was born in Ireland in 1842, came to America in 1851, and served in the Civil War in the 75th division at Xenia, Ohio. In 1866 he called Crawfordsville his home and embarked on a new journey -- becoming a clerk in the general store of Campbell, Galey and Harter. After two years, H.R. and Paxton Campbell (Henry Campbell's* son) purchased the hardware department of the store and located it on Main Street. After five years in business, Paxton Campbell was accidentally killed by a train while on a business trip in Buffalo, N.Y. In a 1905 survey, Tinsley was listed as one of the wealthiest persons residing in Montgomery County. Those listed were valued at having at least $50,000. Because of his declining health, Tinsley turned his business over to his sons (Campbell, John, and Robert) in 1925; he passed away in September 1926.

* Henry Campbell is a local Civil War soldier; the library has a copy of his Civil War Diary.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Buddy" Fire dog (? -- August 25, 1904)

In our collection is found an unusual photograph of a dog posed on a stool. On back of the photo is written:

"Buddy" Fire dog -- Always got on the truck in Crawfordsville. Taken in the late 1800's." 

Some research by CDPL staff member Rebecca McDole uncovered the reason why this little dog was so honored.

Of the dog, page 1 of the Sunday Star on August 27, 1904 said: "The little black dog, called 'Buddy' and owned by Harry Swan, and which was always on hand when the fire bell rang, is dead. It made no difference where the dog was, he would go when the bell rang. If he was shut up in the house, he would race around, barking and awaking the people, so he could go to the fire. On Thursday evening, when the bell sounded the dog was up near the school house, and started towards the engine house. He met the team at Pike street, and in trying to turn around got under one of the horses and received a kick which caused his death. He would jump upon every dog which happened to be on the street as he was going to a fire, and he was almost the same as an attachment to the fire wagon. The fire boys are very sad over the death, and gave him a burial worthy of his place in life."

You can read more about Buddy in Hidden History of Montgomery County (History Press) by Jodie Steelman Wilson, Emily Griffin Winfrey, and Rebecca McDole. Check this book our from the library...or buy a copy at the Circulation Desk!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grimes men serve on police force

James P. Grimes
As the 1900s approached, James P. Grimes served as Marshall and Police Chief for the city of Crawfordsville. Later he also became a successful entrepreneur with his sons in the laundry business.
Fred P. Grimes
Fred P. Grimes (son of James) also served as Chief of Police and retired in 1954 after 32 years on the force. Fred P. was a founder of the Crawfordsville Community Sportsmen's Club and assisted in the operation of the club for 25 years.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Henry Crawford, early merchant

Stone Front -  where Crawford's business was located

Henry Crawford
Henry Crawford came to Crawfordsville as an early pioneer and owned dry goods stores in Waveland and Crawfordsville. At one time his business was next to the Courthouse and was called the "Stone Front." By 1850 Crawford had amassed $29,630 in real estate at the age of 48. After his passing (with a half a million dollar fortune) his family donated his home to Wabash College (Lambda Chi House). It was also rumored Henry Crawford was involved with the Underground Railroad. 

Vaughan & Casey

Vaughan & Casey building (1898 time frame)

Montgomery County Fairgrounds

In 1894 Crawfordsville housed a bottling works plant at 214 North Green Street. P.J. Vaughan and P.F. Casey operated the establishment as Vaughan & Casey. V & C manufactured and bottled soda water, ginger ale, and carbonated drinks. Casey was born in 1856 in Crawfordsville and was in the brick manufacturing business with his brother prior to partnering with Vaughan. P.J. Vaughan was also engaged in the coal business and was born in Lafayette (1858). Vaughan lived in Tippecanoe County until coming to Crawfordsville before the turn of the century. Vaughan was a three-term president of the Indiana State Bottler's Association.

This photo was taken at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in the early 1900s. The advertisement in front of the horses is for Vaughan & Casey Coal.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crawfordsville Police Department: August 16, 1945

Today's Crawfordsville Police Department is made up of at least 30 officers. Back in the 1940s, however, that number was much less. Here are the men in the Crawfordsville Police Department in a photo taken on August 16, 1945.

Top row (left to right): Leslie Shelton, Lester Johnson, Wilbur Decker, Edgar Zachary, Ralph Haffa (or Hoffa), Howard Conner, Ralph Linn, Robert Durber.

Middle row: Edwin Sommer, Theron Beeson, Thomas L. Cooksey [Mayor of Crawfordsville], Raymond Kostanzer, Clark D. Jones [Clerk and Treasurer].

Bottom row: Paul Branagin, Charles Johnson, Fred Grimes, Fred Cunningham, William Hugh Zachary.

Compare the August 1945 force with that of August 2014 Crawfordsville Police Department