Friday, December 28, 2012

"Pete" Vaughan, sports hero

This photograph of "Pete" Vaughan was found in the Louis Spilman Scrapbook, recently loaned to CDPL by the Spilman family.  Spilman served on the Mexican border circa 1915 with Robert Edward “Pete” Vaughan, who later became a sports legend in Montgomery County. Although born in Tippecanoe County, Vaughan spent the majority of his life in Crawfordsville. He was considered a pioneer of Indiana basketball, playing three seasons at Crawfordsville High School with Ward “Piggy” Lambert, later famous as a coach of Purdue basketball.  In fact, it is said that Vaughan helped Lambert land his job at Purdue. Vaughan was a football and basketball star at Notre Dame, where he was chosen to be a member of Walter Camp’s All-American team.  After two years at Notre Dame, he transferred to Princeton University, where he met Woodrow Wilson, at that time serving as president of Princeton.  After coaching at Purdue University, he served with Montgomery County’s Indiana National Guard unit on the Mexican border, although Vaughan's father tried to convince him to come home to help him run the Vaughan & Casey firm in Crawfordsville.  “Pete” served as captain in the Army overseas during World War I, and coached the football team of the Pennsylvania National Guard.  King Albert of Belgium attended one of Vaughan’s football games in Brussels, taking such interest that he walked to the field to be able to better see and understand the action. Vaughan served as Wabash College Athletic Director from 1919 to 1947 and again from 1961 to 1963. After his retirement from Wabash in 1947, he served as manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling plant in Crawfordsville.  Vaughan died in Crawfordsville in 1969. 

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