Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Carry Nation in Crawfordsville

In 1901, Carry Nation attended Crawfordsville's Independence Day celebration. Arriving on the evening of July 3rd, the notorious Kansas Smasher gave a speech on her work with the temperance movement and toured our city before departing on July 5th.

Although no saloons were reported vandalized, Nation, with her hatchet in hand, walked the streets of Crawfordsville and shouted at citizens who had cigarettes or tobacco. She sold replica tin hatchets, newsletters, and photographs and according to local newspapers, made quite a profit.

Recently we discovered a wonderful souvenir from Carrie Nation's visit to Crawfordsville in our archives. This original photograph was taken at the local photography studio Nicholson's Sons. The photograph is now available online in our Image Database.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

W.C. Murphy & Company store

Our Local History collection was recently enriched by the arrival of several interesting photographs! On the left, you can see a group of employees standing ready for customers at the W.C. Murphy & Company men's clothing store, located at 101 E. Main St. The photograph is dated 1912. Stacks of men's suits, hats, shirt collars, and other merchandise fill the store. The man with the measuring tape is likely Mr. Murphy, who was trained as a tailor. This building later served as a bank, a jewelry store, and coffee shops (you may recognize the narrow interior if you have ever been in this building, most recently known as the Patch of Blue Denim or its predecessor, Campbell's).

The exterior of the original location for W. C. Murphy & Co. men's clothing store, shown  in 1922, is even more recognizable to anyone familiar with downtown Crawfordsville. (The store was relocated to 122 S. Washington after the Crawfordsville Trust Company purchased the building in 1922.) The second floor window has a sign for Williams and Murphy Law Office stenciled on the surface, and the front of the store has a sign for the removal sale. Note the streetcar wires that crisscross the intersection.