Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crawfordsville Courthouse Accident - 1869

I found this article on microfilm at the Crawfordsville District Public Library this past week. The article was written in the summer of 1869 (I forget the date), and it was printed in the Crawfordsville Weekly Journal. It was pretty funny to read, although it was not very funny to the man who was the victim--just see for yourself.

"Sad Casualty - A workman, named Dickinson, came near losing his life last Monday evening, while engaged in cleaning out the Courthouse privy. Overcome by the gases arising from the sink [the pit], he fell, completely exhausted. It was with difficulty that he was rescued. Life was nearly extinct when he was taken out. By the timely aid of a physician, his life was saved."

You have to wonder what state the man came out in. At any rate, he must have smelled pretty foul for the next few days. Below is a photograph of the Montgomery County Courthouse in those days (image courtesy of CDPL Image File).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Old Dover/Jefferson Township School

The following history of the Dover School was taken from the 1951 program for the banquet commemorating the construction of the school gymnasium: "Out school has come a long way since the first little wooden building which had to be reinforced by wire to remain standing. In 1893, this wooden building was replaced by a two-story, two-room, brick building. Henry Moore was the trustee at this time. Val Riggins, who was principal, also taught grades 6 to 8. Miss Kirkpatrick taught grades 1 to 5. Her father was the school janitor. In 1926, the present school building was erected. Leo Grimes and Walter Davis were trustees. Members of the advisory board were Charles W. Spickelmeir, Otis U. Young, and Ed. S. Graham. At the present time the township trustee is Ora W. Burgess; the advisory board members are Ruel Graham, Murray Gott, and Ray Poynter. The county superintendent is Dr. G. T. Malan. For a long time it was felt that Dover badly needed a new gymnasium and additional classrooms. The contract for the construction of a new gymnasium, commercial room, fifth-grade room, school cafeteria and dining room was let July 7, 1950, to the Wolf Construction Company of Logansport. The work was completed in the fall of 1951. Our new gym has a playing floor 78 ft. by 50 ft. and seats 1200. A stage is located at the north end of the gym. There are rest rooms, dressing rooms, showers, kitchen, and storage rooms under the gym cleachers. Our dining room with is new tables purchased by the Mothers’ club seats approximately 150. Everyone is proud of the new fifth grade and commercial rooms, with their florescent lighting and new green boards. The boys’ old dressing room is being converted into a chemistry room. The old kitchen has been made into an art room. Later we plan to change to vocational home economics, adding unit kitchens. The first graduating class, 1931, consisted of Dorcas Baker, Geneva Shaw, Wayne Bownlee, Clair Livingston, Laura Threlkeld, George Swisher, Robert Gatwood, Dorothy Wells, Wanda Shapley, Erskine Shepherd, Henry Miller, Bessie Potts, Gladys Lancaster, Jessie Edrington, Dorothy Garner, and Arthur Evans. There have been 316 graduates of Dover High School. The largest class was the class of 1951, which had 23 members. If all the present senior class graduates, this class of 1952 will be the largest graduating class since it has 24 members. During the last twenty-five years there have been only two principals: Ronald Leonard and Paul J. Swank. Mr. Leonard was principal from 1927 to 1932, and 1934 to 1941. Mr. Swank was principal from 1932 to 1934, and from 1941 to the present time." The following is a picture relating to the earlier days of the school.

This picture shows the 6th grade class for the Dover School in 1927. This picture was taken on the east side of the building. The people pictured are (from left to right, top row): Jim Holmes, Donald Randle, Henry Sumpter, Tray Stevens, ? Scott, Walter Green, and Robert Elliott; (front row, left to right): Bessie Viola (Taylor) Rice, ---, Dorothy Campbell, Mary Hardesty, Maurice Jones, and ? Harola.

The last graduating class of the school was in 1974. The elementary school remained for a few more years, but the high school classes were relocated to Thorntown High School until, in 1975, the new Western Boone High School building was completed. After this the building was used for administrative offices for the superintendent, and the gym was used, up until recently, for some sporting events. The building has fallen into disrepair, after the roof blew off during a severe storm several years ago. It seems inevitable that the building will be eventually be torn down, and even when this happens, the alumni will still have the memories of that old school which was so loved by those who attended it.

Dover Christian Church - Humble Beginnings

Dover Christian Church was founded by a group of "Campbellite Reformers" who came to Jefferson Township (Boone County) from the Haw Creek Christian Church (in Clark Township, Montgomery County). The congregation was formed in 1873. One of the early church leaders was Thomas McDaniel. He and his second wife Susan Brite (Kirkpatrick) led the first meeting of the new congregation at Dover. The original site of worship was in another church building located in Dover. The denomination was first classified as a Church of Christ (it was later changed to a non-denominational Christian church). The numbers of the congregation grew so quickly, that the church in which their services were hosted did not allow them to meet in their building any longer (they were seeing some of their members joining this new congregation). All of the original members were invited by letter, and some were dismissed from the congregation for actions that displeased the elders of the church. The following is a picture of Thomas and Susan McDaniel.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lebanon First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church of Lebanon, Indiana, was ravaged by fire on February 4, 1912. The following picture captures the damage that the church building received during the Sunday morning fire. The following is an excerpt from Boone County History (1984)about the fire and rebuild: "A fire was discovered during the Sunday morning service February 4, 1912. The congregation filed out into a temperature of ten degrees below zero and watched firefighters' efforts as the church home, its roof piled high with snow, was gutted with flames. Built fifty-five years before, it had been a landmark in Lebanon. Meetings started the same afternoon to plan continued ministry and to rebuild. The congregation returned to the courthouse Convention Hall as a temporary meeting place. Two more lots were bought next to the earlier location and the present building was erected facing Washington Street. Ground was broken July 5, 1912, the cornerstone was laid July 21st and the completed building was dedicated May 11, 1913. Total cost of construction and furnishings was $34,000. It was nearly ten years later that the church paid its indebtedness for the building and had a mortgage-burning ceremony." The following are several more pictures that show the rebuilding process of the church. All of the pictures were taken by David Stanton Whitaker of Lebanon (see previous blog story).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Montgomery County Time Machine

The following google map shows different sites in Montgomery County (Indiana) that have influenced its history in the last 120 years. The pictures used in this map were found on the Crawfordsville District Public Library's Local History Image Database.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Boone County, Indiana Churches

This is yet another Google map dedicated to a group of historic buildings in Boone County. This map is for all of the congregations that have gathered in worship within our county lines at any period of our history. I hope that this map will greatly aid your genealogy research in our county.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Precinct Cemetery

There is a little known story about Precinct Cemetery, that one of my older relatives recently brought to light. In Precinct Cemetery (also called Bethel Hill, near Old Indiana), there was a tombstone that was hollow. Some boys came along and hid their large fishing net in the stone. Some of the boys involved: Schuyler and Orville Rice. Has anyone ever found a hollow stone in Precinct? Well, if they have, they have stepped into a memoir of the past...

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Thorntown" Cyrus

When I was indexing the other day, I found the obituary for the local performer, "Thorntown" Cyrus. He spent his days traveling in his wagon and doing shows for the kids of the area. The following was his obituary in the Crawfordsville Saturday Evening Journal for 19-Mar-1881: "Thorntown Cyrus is dead. He was found last Wednesday morning in his wagon, near Frankfort, life having been extinct for several hours. There is a deep sadness in the thought of a life like that of Cyrus. He died with the greatest wealth he ever wished: his small wagon, his accordion, and his little dog--'the greatest trained dog on earth' as Cyrus would say--and this was the lonely watcher when the sad life went out." Cyrus was also the subject of a story in a Boone County Magazine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boone County, Indiana Schools

This is another Google map that I am currently working on. It shows some of the schools that have and still do exist in Boone County. I would also like to add information about the schools (how long they were open, pictures, teachers names, students, etc.) and add that information into the data for the placemark. If you know of any schools or have other information about these (or other schools) please let me know. I will also need help putting placemarks for schools that have been torn down.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Noble Whitaker

The decade was: 1910; the man was: David Stanton Whitaker. David was born on November 12, 1854 in Indiana (the son of Benjamin F. and Sarah A. [Pearson] Whitaker). During the 1870's, his family moved to Lebanon, Indiana. While there, David's father, Benjamin, owned a jewelry store and a grocery store. David started back up what his father had ended when he opened his Watch/Jewelry Store. He was also employed as an optician (he made glasses). Whitaker was not just a businessman, however, he also had a very historic hobby. He enjoyed taking photos of everyday life in Lebanon (and anywhere else he traveled). These photos capture some of the unique moments which are invaluable to our town and county's history. The following are several of the scenes that he depicted through his photography: the building of the F. N. Bank (It also shows the demolition of the old building on the corner. The bank was located on the bank block where Key Bank now stands), the parade celebrating the opening of the Boone County Courthouse, and pictures of the historic 1913 flood in Lebanon, and the record snowfall in November and December of 1914. The image above is one of hundreds of pictures that he took. I scanned this picture off of the negative.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Boone County, Indiana Cemetery Map

The following map shows all of the cemeteries (that have known and understandable directions) that are located in Boone County, Indiana. With this interactive Google map, you can get accurate, step-by-step, directions to and from the cemetery.

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This map shows all of the cemeteries that I have currently mapped (I am about half done with this project.) To get a list of all of the cemeteries, and a larger map, click on the "View Larger Map" button on the bottom of the map. Here you can click on the cemetery that you want from the bar on the lower, left-hand side of your screen. I hope that this resource helps your future cemetery searches!