Thursday, June 28, 2012

Genealogy Club Meeting

Come share your family artifact! 

Join the Genealogy Club of Montgomery County for their monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 7:00 pm. Club members and guests will participate in a discussion entitled Round Table: Sharing A Family Artifact. Please limit individual talks to 5 minutes.

The meeting will be held at the Crawfordsville District Public Library in the Donnelley Room. Public Invited. Call: (765) 362-2242, Ext 118 for more information.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shades State Park celebrates 65 years

Earlier this week, an article in the Journal Review explored Shades State Park history in honor of its 65th year anniversary. The Crawfordsville District Public Library has many Shades photographs and postcards in our Image Database.

The images below are from a family scrapbook loaned by Walter Terry; the pages were scanned by the library in August 2011. The scrapbook contains more than 600 photographs; 141 images were added to this database (series: 20110815). Most photographs are from Montgomery County, near Whitesville. A photocopy of the scrapbook is available in CDPL's Local History collection.
"1919. Taking a boat ride at Shades State Park, Vora, Cora, & Clayton, Frank & Clella VanCleave." Another small girl, unidentified, is also in the boat. 
"The Shades, Aug, 1914." A couple pose on a footbridge over Sugar Creek.
"1919 Shades State Park." The covered, drive-thru wooden structure that served as an entry point is pictured from the front. Over the top of the entry reads: "The Shades." 
"1919 Shades State Park." Three men and a woman stand on a bridge (which is probably over Sugar Creek).

Monday, June 18, 2012

200 Years Ago Today: War of 1812

William Miller
On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain.  The War of 1812 was also known as Mr. Madison's War (after President James Madison) and the Second American Revolution. Many early settlers of Montgomery County, including Isaac Compton Elston, Ambrose Whitlock, and William Miller, were veterans of the War of 1812.

Ambrose Whitlock
CDPL's Veterans Database includes the names and burial locations of Montgomery County war veterans. You can search or browse the database at If you have information about a veteran not included in our records, please fill out our information request form.

The Saturday Evening Journal dated March 15, 1979 lists Montgomery Residents who had been granted 1812 pensions. The list of pensioners follows:

John Walkup, New Ross
Elizabeth Farlow, widow of William Farlow, Orth
Isaac Naylor, Crawfordsville
Elizabeth Clifton, widow of William Clifton, Pleasant Hill
Joel Hixson, Pleasant Hill
Henry Clement, Pleasant Hill
John Oliver, Pleasant Hill
Zeneth Hallett, Waveland
Alexander McClelland, Crawfordsville
Preston Beck, Darlington
Murwine Wilkinson, Wallace
Margaret Booher, widow of John Booher, Darlington
Mary Endicott, widow of William Endicott, Darlington
Jane A. Warbinton, widow of James Warbinton, Ladoga
Nancy Hall, widow of Elijah Hall, Waynetown
Mary Harter, widow of Philip Harter, Linden
Mary Cunningham, widow of John Cunningham, Crawfordsville
Martha Woodruff, widow of Daniel Woodruff, Crawfordsville
Jemima Williams, widow of Andrew Williams, Crawfordsville
Mary Miller, widow of Jacob Miller, Whitesville
Catharine Fletcher, widow of Robinson  Fletcher, Waynetown
Catharine Fruits, widow of George Fruits
Clarissa Hicks, widow of James Hicks, Alamo
Sophia Newhard, widow of Abraham Newhard, Crawfordsville
Sophia Brasfield, widow of George Brasfield, Crawfordsville
Lucinda Irons, widow of Thomas Irons, St. Joseph, IL

Friday, June 8, 2012

Go east, Wabash grads!

In 1850, two Wabash seniors wrote a letter to the Reverend Samuel Riddel from the Andover Theological Seminary in Boston, hoping to pursue their studies at this institution after graduation. Students F. A. Wilbur and William McCorkle reported that Wabash was "prospering" but that they were more than ready to make "an acquaintance with eastern habits." Of course, like any most students of today, Wilbur and McCorkle were going to graduate "in debt."

Read the original letter (.pdf)

Postmarked: Crawfordsville May 6

Written on envelope:
Letters from April 10 to July 11 1850
F. A. Wilbur &
Wm. A. McCorkle
Students in Wabash College
In. inquiring the cost
Education in Andover
Theological Seminary

May 3

Rev. Samuel H. Riddel
(Education Rooms 15 Cornhill)

Rec’d May 13-
Ans’d- 17-with particulars obtained from Prof. Edwards for which see his letter on file.

Crawfordsville May 3 1850

Rev. SH. Riddel:

Dear Sir,

Remembering the interest you manifested while here, in the beneficiaries of the Education Society. We feel free to apply to you for some information. You will recognize us both as beneficiaries of your Society. And also as members of the Senior Class of Wabash College. We wish to commence a course of theological study immediately after graduating; and the information we wish is relating to the expense incurred in attending upon Andover; and the assistance which indigent young men can obtain.

Our minds have been led to Andover from the following considerations.

The advantages at Lane -- always inferior to those at Andover -- we think are decidedly impaired by the loss of Prof. Stowe. True one or two new profs. Are to be obtained; but there is a strong probability that they will not be secured in time to enter upon their duties at the commencement of next term. Should they be, however, they will be new professors, although they may be talented men.

Another strong reason for going East is that our connection and education have been wholly western, and we think an acquaintance with eastern habits, eastern men, and eastern minds will be a decided advantage.

True we expect to labor in the West; but we think the western element will be sufficiently predominant in our combinations, even after it has been modified by a portion of New-Englandism, to qualify us for laboring in the Mississippi Valley. These are the most important reasons for going East. There are two obstacles in our way, the climate, and want of funds. We will graduate in debt; our age forbids our delaying to earn funds, consequently we are shut up to the necessity of studying theology where we can, not where we would. Will you be kind enough to reply to the following questions? What is board at Andover? How much will fuel, light, washing, and room rent, each cost? How much furniture is provided for each room? How much assistance can be obtained from the Education Society? If it does not furnish sufficient, can any, in addition, be obtained? What facilities will a young man meet with, by which to assist himself, by his pen or otherwise? This last question refers principally to vacations. Any information respecting Union or New-Haven will be thankfully received. We think the probability is that we will be obliged to remain in the West, yet we feel like knowing whether or not it is possible for us to go east.

Our college is prospering. The health is good, and all things move quietly forward.

By replying to this, as soon as convenient, you will confer a favor on your friends.

F A Wilbur

William A. McCorkle

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Athens of Indiana

Why was the name "Athens of Indiana" given to the city of Crawfordsville? A visitor's guide published circa 1930 describes how Crawfordsville earned the famous nickname:

The name, "Athens of Indiana," which has long been applied to Crawfordsville, was originally bestowed not merely because Crawfordsville is a college town, but more especially because it was the home of Lew Wallace and four other writers of national prominence—Maurice and Will H. Thompson, and Misses Mary Hannah and Caroline Krout. And this was at a time when the writing of books had long been almost a monopoly in the hands of New Englanders. Under these circumstances, "Athens of Indiana" was really a very modest title—it might almost as well have been "Athens of the West."

Their example was encouraging to younger citizens of the town with talent for writing, and a number of these have won great success. Meredith Nicholson went out from Crawfordsville to become one of the principal American novelists of his time, and in the last few years three of Crawfordsville's young people have been writing plays for Broadway—Kenyon Nicholson, Maurine Watkins, and Catherine Clugston.

It's pride in its writers and its schools has by no means made Crawfordsville a chilly and exclusive community. Instead it has greatly enriched the church, school, club, and general social life of the town. It has done much to make Crawfordsville a very pleasant place in which to live.