Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An ex-president in Crawfordsville?

Ex-president William Howard Taft (1909-1913) on April 5, 1918, with John C. Snyder, president of the chamber of commerce and, later, president of the Ben Hur Life Association, in front of Snyder's home at 201 Wallace Avenue.

Why did an ex-president come to Crawfordsville? If you want to know, you can find the answer in Hidden History of Montgomery County by Jodie Steelman Wilson, Emily Griffin, and Rebecca McDole (the author of the chapter "Campaigning in Crawfordsville," which has the answer to the question). This book is available for loan or for purchase at the library!

Image loaned to CDPL by John Kummings and Mary Kummings for digitization.

By the way, this house still exists and sits proudly on the corner of Pike and Wallace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Montgomery County Library, 1827

This ledger, stored in the CDPL archives, gives us an inside view of the Montgomery County Library – in 1827! The fee for an annual membership at that time was was 75 cents, and members included Benjamin Ristine and Isaac C. Elston,  founder of Elston Bank, who bought the site of Lafayette, Indiana, for $240 in 1825 with his business partners. The detail page shows I. C. Elston was charged a fifty-cent fine in 1827 for “an injury to book.”   Another line of the ledger (not shown) for 1828 shows a subscriber by the name of John Beard, for whom the local school was named. Sanford Cox’s diary listed the local residents circa 1825, and several of these listed library subscribers had arrived in the county before 1825: the Cox, McCullough, and Catterlin families.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Celebrating Irish immigrants to Montgomery County

The Irish-American Clark family of Crawfordsville is well recorded after a large collection of family photographs was donated to the library a few years ago. This circa-1880 photograph shows Irish immigrants to Crawfordsville, John Clark (third from left), Richard Clark (next to right), and Thomas Clark (last on right). The sons of John Clark stand to the left of the photograph: Thomas Clark (far left), and Jess Clark.  John Clark married Mary Slattery, another Irish immigrant, in 1857 in Crawfordsville. Thanks to all those generous people who donate photographs and documents to preserve the history of Montgomery County!

Monday, March 9, 2015

John Remley came to Crawfordsville with this walking stick

The Crawfordsville District Public Library has received the largest collection of original artifacts relating to Montgomery County Pioneers in its history with the donation of the Remley collection, completed in early March.  The family of John and Sarah (McCain) Remley were early settlers, arriving to live permanently in Montgomery county in 1825. Among the donated items include a circa 1835 muzzle-loader, several family Bibles (ca. 1834) recording the births of Remley family children, a very early leather wallet dating to the 1830s containing Montgomery County tax receipts,  daguerreotypes of John and Sarah (McCain) Remley;  and various other ledgers and documents. The highlight of the collection was just received:  the Sassafras walking stick John Remley used in his journey to Montgomery county to buy land in 1824 inscribed "J. R. 1824." When Mr. Remley was in his old age, he had the stick “capped” with German silver fittings. It originally had a leather thong looped through the hole near the top of the stick.

 In the detail below, you can see the date "1824" carved into the stick.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This week in March 1914 and 1916

 What was happening this week in March 1914 in Crawfordsville?

Annual Triangular Debate, March 6, 1914. Crawfordsville beat Frankfort with the team of Byrl Enoch (Rebuttal), Harvey Breaks, Walter Remley and Norvin Baker (Alternate). Crawfordsville beat Lebanon with the team of Lewis (Louis) Spilman (Rebuttal), Ray Harris, Carter Henry, Raymond Merrell (Alternate).

Two years later, we can find some of the same boys!

The four members of the Crawfordsville High School winning debate team that defeated Frankfort, Indiana, in March 1916. From left to right, they are Louis Spilman, Ray Harris, Paul Manson, and Simon Walden, who was the alternate.