Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day 1888

Available in CDPL's image database, this flier contains the agenda for a Memorial Day (also known as Decoration Day) service on May 30, 1888. The service was held at the Crawfordsville Music Hall, on Green Street and was later the site of the Strand Theater. The ceremony included music by the College Glee Club and Male Chorus, a prayer by Reverend R.J. Cunningham, and a recitation by Flora A. Darter.

Genealogy Club meeting

Genealogy Club meeting
The Genealogy Club of Montgomery County will meet at 7:00 pm, June 12, 2012.

"Social Media & Genealogy"
by Larry Truitt, Sugar Plains Friends Church, near Thorntown, IN.
The meeting will be held at the Crawfordsville District Public Library on the lower level in the Donnelley Room.
The public is invited. Call: (765) 362-2242 Ext 118 for more information.

Monday, May 21, 2012

100 Years Ago Today: Ben-Hur dedication

The Ben-Hur building was dedicated on May 21, 1912.
On today's date 100 years ago, the Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur building was dedicated. The dedication ceremony, held at 2:00 p.m. at the Princess theater adjacent from the building, was witnessed by over 500 delegates from various states. In his speech, Dr. Royal H. Gerard, supreme chief of the Tribe of Ben-Hur, said:

Crawfordsville is proud of the elegant structure we meet today to dedicate, and Crawfordsville is proud of the fact that she can be the host to you, the representatives of the membership of this society, who have made possible such a monument. It is not a monument erected and to be dedicated to past endeavors, but rather a living monument to the genius and progressive spirit of the fraternal beneficiary system in America.

The building during its construction phase in 1911.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dr. Kirtley and Mr. Hemingway

Dr. James Marion Kirtley
What connection did Ernest Hemingway have with Crawfordsville, Indiana? Dr. James Marion Kirtley made a house call on Mr. Hemingway in France during World War II! Hemingway was a war correspondent and Kirtley was serving in the 4th Infantry Division as a medic. They were bivouacked in a small French town in August of 1944. At the request of Colonel Charles T. Lanham, Kirtley attended Hemingway, who complained of a cold. Being without medicine, Kirtley gave the writer a few aspirin tablets.
Ernest Hemingway
The Deweys Do book club will be discussing Hemingway's book, A Moveable Feast, on Monday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m. A Moveable Feast is a set of memoirs about Hemingway's expatriate days in Paris. You can also read Dr. Kirtley's account of his meeting with Hemingway in his memoirs, Kirtley Kronicles: The Life and Times of James Marion Kirtley, M.D.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thompson the Poet

Maurice Thompson's biggest commercial success was his book, Alice of Old Vincennes, but he was noteworthy for another reason: he and his brother, Will, popularized archery in America. Thompson channeled his skill with the bow and his enthusiasm for the sport into various articles and books, including the classics, The Witchery of Archery (1878) and How to Train in Archery (1879). Thompson, who was born in Fairfield, Indiana, in 1844, spent his childhood in Georgia and moved to Crawfordsville after the Civil War (during which he fought on the Confederate side) where he practiced law and wrote. He served as Indiana state geologist and chief of the department of natural history between 1885 and 1889. Thompson died in 1901, just one year after completing his only bestseller.
In addition to writing novels and archery manuals, Maurice Thompson was a poet.

The ex-confederate soldier writes in "At Lincoln's Grave":

"May one who fought in honor for the South
Uncovered stand and sing by Lincoln's grave?
Why, if I shrank not at the cannon's mouth,
Nor swerved one inch for any battle-wave,
Should I now tremble in this quiet close,
Hearing the prairie wind go lightly by
From billowy plains of grass and miles of corn,
While out of deep repose,
The great sweet spirit lifts itself on high
And broods above our land this summer morn?" (continues)

Read more by and about Maurice Thompson at the library.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Miss Krout, the Writer

Indiana was home to many feminists in the decades before women won the right to vote; Mary Hannah Krout is among the most famous of these feminists. She was born in Crawfordsville in 1851, the oldest of nine children. Her literary career began at an early age, with the publication of a poem in a newspaper before she was twelve. She earned her first money with her poem, "Little Brown Hands" when she was fifteen; this poem made such an impression that her work was in huge demand and she was invited to speak before an audience in Lafayette when she was sixteen. After teaching in Crawfordsville for eleven years, she started writing for newspapers and magazines, eventually earning a position on the staff of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, where she remained until the paper was sold to the Chicago Tribune. She lectured on women's rights often during her life, although she withdrew from public life around 1906. Mary Hannah Krout died in 1927 in Crawfordsville.