Monday, August 26, 2013

Robert T. Hopkins, Civil War Veteran and slave

June 1916, Indiana Centennial Celebration Pageant

Actors in the Centennial Celebration
Left to Right:
Fred Vance, W.A. Collings, H.E. Biddle, S.P. Templeton, Robert T. Hopkins, Harry Michael, George F. Leonard. 

Montgomery County has an amazing history and Robert T. Hopkins was an important part of this history.  An African American, he was a member of the G.A.R. (Grand Republic of Army), was a Sergeant in the C 118th U.S.C.T. and was discharged in 1866.  Hopkins paid his dues to the G.A.R. from March 1896 (.50 a year) to December 31, 1904.  In 1905 the fee raised to $2.00 per year and he continued to pay this until 1921.  The 1900 Census records show Hopkins as a day laborer.  His wife, Josephine, petitioned The War Department to ensure he had a gravestone upon his death.  Mr. Hopkins was laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery in April of 1924.

Other images of the Centennial Celebration can be viewed at the Image Database.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Waveland Indenture Deed (1842)

The Crawfordsville District Public Library's local history department recently acquired a deed for the land of the Waveland Methodist Episcopal Church dated 31 January 1842.  John Milligan, and his wife Lucinda, donated the land on East Green Street that still houses the "second" church.  John Milligan (farmer in Waveland area worth $20,180 in 1860), Lucinda Milligan and Joseph Milligan (wealthy merchant in Waveland, his land was worth $68,240 in 1860) all signed this document.
The original structure that was erected in 1842, was replaced in 1869 by the building that still sits on this land - unfortunately, this building is no longer being utilized as a church.
This cemetery has over 130 stones (or at least 130 when indexed) with some inscriptions as old as 1844.

The church was changed to a Baptist church in later years.  Additions for a Sunday School and for a kitchen also became part of the building.  The cemetery can be seen in the background.

A portion of the 1842 deed

Monday, August 12, 2013

100 years ago, Wingate = 1 exciting School Year!

State Championships in any sport are difficult to achieve. Hard work and perseverance earned this "title" for the boys of Wingate.  Shown here is the barn where the team practiced on the way to the BIG win of the 1913-1914 season.

This photograph shows what the Wingate school looked like when the basketball team won the State title.  Hacks are parked outside the building prepared to take children home.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Worse than locusts: A roving gang of thieves.

In April 1901, "A swarm of human beings more to be dreaded than a swarm of locusts have made life a misery for the farmers along the road from Indianapolis to Crawfordsville during the week.  Some were Russians but the largest part were gypsies.  All the men were big brawny fellows, and the women, barefooted and dressed in soiled finery that was picturesque, were about as dangerous looking as the men."

  • Charles Warren, farmer, received curses when he refused his grain to be stolen.
  • Hen roosts pillaged, businesses were ransacked including Philip Fink's butcher shop.
  • Dinner was out at Charles Smith's home, the vagabond bunch walked in and began eating.  A fight broke out and soup bones were thrown across the room and the cloth yanked from the table.  The horse thief detectives arrested the ring leaders and some of the mischievous women.
  • The women who were arrested then pretended to NOT know English.  So, Mr. Cohn, a Russian of this city was called as interpreter.  Fifteen days of jail were given to the women, who "howled in despair."  

This is a butcher shop in Crawfordsville.  The men are not identified. Notice the meat hanging at the side of the picture.