Monday, February 27, 2017

Robert Kennedy Krout--A Man Who Helped Make Our Community

      From very humble beginnings, to becoming a successful businessman and school board president, Robert Kennedy Krout made quite a mark on our city.  Born in Covington, Kentucky, to Jacob and Hannah Kennedy Krout in 1826, he made his way to Montgomery County in 1838 with his widowed father to settle on a farm east of Alamo, in Ripley Township.  This was near the “Bunker Schoolhouse.”  When he was 17, he began his career at Wabash College, walking the nine miles to and fro each day for classes. He finally lived in town, on the corner of West(Grant) and College Streets.  After graduation, he became head of the English department at Northwestern University in Indianapolis—this later became part of Butler University when it was still in Irvington.  Making a career change, he studied the law, but this was not something he wanted to continue. He then returned to Crawfordsville to buy and live in his home from his college days.

    He ran a drug store at 23 E. Main Street, for thirty-five years.  From this spot, he was able to stand in front of his drugstore and  watch as the current courthouse was being built.  He also served as president of the local school board, and was instrumental in getting the Central High School built in 1878.

from the 1878 graduation program of Crawfordsville Central High School

      Mr. Krout was a staunch Republican, and was in attendance at Buffalo, New York, when the Republican party was established.
 Mr. Krout married Caroline VanCleave Brown in 1849,  and had several children. Two of his daughters, Mary Hannah Krout and Caroline (wrote as Caroline Brown) became well-known writers. Robert died in April,1910, and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, after a service in his home.

Monday, February 13, 2017

New World War I Display at CDPL

     The new wall display upstairs in Local History is all about Montgomery County’s involvement in World War I. 

     Several letters from local soldiers are displayed, giving us a close-up view of what it was like in the trenches. Soldiers’ pictures from the Crawfordsville High School yearbook of 1918 display names that many of us may know from local families that are still in our community.  In the glass case are articles of clothing, awards, and pictures of local soldiers in uniform.  The display on the north wall shows community involvement in the war effort.  Many local residents were involved in YMCA, Red Cross, and other volunteer efforts during the World War I.  There is also a book display of available World War I books on a table by the desk.