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Before it was the Bell game…

This is a recent gift from Greg Miller [W1983] and it is a beauty.

1919 WC vs DPU001

The Wabash DePauw game is a big event against one of our arch rivals and it is always a hard fought contest. The DePauw game has traditionallyl been a big draw for the fans of both teams and this was why in 1919 it was played in Washington Park in Indianapolis. Here is another look at the game of 1919, the same year as our opening image. This great cartoon was created by J. Allen Saunders [W1920] and printed in the Wabash Magazine in December of 1919 for the summary “Football Issue”.

WM 12 1919 p001

It is clear that Saunders has a talent for cartooning, he would go on to create some of the most notable comics of the mid-twentieth century, and that Wabash was well into its Caveman phase. Note that the Tiger of DePauw has a knot tied in his tail. The 1919 game was played to a tie, one of only nine such in the long series.

In this era Wabash sometimes played in Indianapolis to accommodate the crowds for the biggest games AND for the biggest gate receipts. Nearly all of the student body attended these notable games as at that time there was a reliable and cheap method of transportation to Indianapolis. The Interurban system enabled the fans to travel easily to attend the big games. Here is a former blog post which explains the ease with which anyone from Crawfordsville could travel to Indianapolis.

A hundred years ago…

BUT the game in Indianapolis in 1919 wasn’t yet the Bell Game, because we had no prize until 1932. It was in that year – our Centennial anniversary – that the Monon Railroad donated a bell off of one of their locomotives. The Monon was a line that served both Greencastle and Crawfordsville. It was a bit of a slow starter as the first time we ever played for the Bell the game ended in a tie. Here is summary of that game from the 1933 yearbook. It sounds like a hard fought game between two evenly matched opponents.

1933 YB072

Here is a Bachelor article which explains the gift in more detail.

BA 1932 11 18 p1 Bell for trophy

In a totally different game, here is another write-up from the Wabash Magazine about the 1912 game and although over a hundred years ago, this score seems like some of our more recent games.

1912 WC62 DPU0 WabMag

This team was pretty special and I love the opening sentence, “…using a variety of plays old and new,” which is referring to the daring new play perfected by Wabash coach Jesse Harper. The forward pass was a focus of Coach Harper at Wabash and when he left here to go to Notre Dame, it went with him. It was the key to Notre Dame’s iconic victory over Army in 1913, the game in which Knute Rockne came to national attention.

A rich tradition, the Monon Bell Game. Spirits run high, fans are divided and school spirit runs hot. The Bachelor headline from 1932 perhaps says it best!

BA 1932 11 18 p1

All best,

Beth Swift, Archivist

Wabash College

 

 

 

 

 

A little more Bell snow…

PepBand MONON BELLPD329

Another picture from that same snowy Monon Bell game of 1997. [SEE PREVIOUS POST] In this image we see the Pep Band playing away in the middle of a snowstorm. Snow everywhere! And a close look at the crowd tells us that the Band is almost certainly playing “Dear Old Wabash” which indicates a touchdown for the Little Giants. How cane we know all this from a photo? The Band is playing away and the crowd is singing their hearts out and there’s really only one tune that EVERYBODY knows by heart. Cue the intro, “From the hills of Maine to the Western Plain…” Got to admire the pluck of this band AND the fans too. What a game!

All best,

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College

 

 

 

Monon Bell – 1997 Forecast? Snow!

PD_329 SnowyWally Bell97

 

What a day, what a game! Poor old Wally has snow packed in his ears and accumulating on his brow.

Here is another picture of that same game.

PD_329 Sphinx Bell97

The game against DePauw comes late in the season. It might be anything from a snow storm to a mud bowl to a sunny, warm day. Whatever the weather, feelings run hot!

Go WABASH!!!

 

All best,

Beth Swift

Archivist, Wabash College

 

 

The Hovey Museum – a pictorial

Hovey P-248 08

This is the Hovey Museum in the late 1890’s.  It was built in the 1870’s, where the Armory stands today, as the Polytechnic Gymnasium.  Following the Civil War the government created military training courses at colleges across the land. Wabash had a course and this building was home to the program with space in the main level for drilling and exercises and on the second level for military arts like bridge building and surveying.

When that program was discontinued the space was empty for a while until a musuem was created to house the collections gathered by Edmund O. Hovey over several decades.

Museum PD-383002

 

Here is the long hall filled with all sorts of natural history items. It was truly quite a museum in its time.

 

Museum interior PD-248-03ZOOM

 

This is the space off to the left where we can see a wide variety of animals on the cases. With a little boost from technology we can even see into one of the cabinets.

 

Hovey P-248 05 ZOOM II

Shells in the left and coral and starfish in the right cabinet.

Museum PD-383001

 

Off to the right of the long gallery was a doorway into the faculty offices and a small library of the latest scientific books and journals.

PD-065_05Biology Lab

 

This is the office as it was during the tenure of Mason B. Thomas, complete with the latest in scientific equipment.

 

hovey museum 2 (2)

This is the space in the second floor where students worked on their laboratory sciences.

When the zoology department moved into South Hall, along with various collections, it became clear that all of this space was going to waste. That factor and the arrival of basketball rather doomed this old building. As you can see in the first picture, there are a string of poles on either side of what might serve as a basketball court.

So as WWI’s clouds were gathering, Wabash embarked on a new project. Build a gymnasium, the students called out to any who would listen. And the college did just that, and owing the militaristic turn in the minds of all, it was named the Armory.

I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into the history.

All best,
Beth Swift
Archivist
Wabash College

A lovely man, a lovely grant

 

PD35 Hutsinpillar 01 LO

 

One of the most delightful benefits of working as a member of the staff at Wabash is the Hutsinpillar Grant program. It is a very specific grant – for very specific purposes. Every four years the full time members of staff are offered a chance to apply for a grant to be spent only for vacation purposes. In other words, it may not be used to travel for work reasons. Funded by Neil Hutsinpillar, a longtime member of the faculty, the grant was intended to assist those he thought the college forgot.

As Byron Trippet explains in his book Wabash on My Mind, “He had independent private income from a family hardware business….his Wabash salary, even after World War II, was low. But he never lacked money. His tastes were simple and he lived prudently but he indulged himself when he chose to do so…He traveled widely and frequently in the summer times – throughout the United States, often to Europe, a little in Latin America. He was a confirmed bachelor by plan…He made careful blue chip investments and prospered modestly…He refused to take retirement pay when the time came to retire. He said he didn’t need it and didn’t believe in such things. Instead he made gifts now and then to the college. Characteristically, the most important of these was a fund he established after talking with me in the early 1960s to provide travel grants to long-time women employees of the college. ‘The college tends to forget people like Mary Schlemmer and Frances Scott,’ he said, ‘but they are important, too.” Mary and Frances were long time, loyal employees in Center Hall.

Of course the grants are not restricted to women and the amount has risen to keep up with inflation. It is a generous amount – currently at $700. Certainly enough to have an adventure. What a lovely program, and what a lovely man.

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College

Start your engines!

Indy 500 at the start

While looking through the postcards for the Our Town series of posts, I came across this little beauty. As this is the 100th running of the 500, this seemed like just the thing for a Memorial Day weekend post. What I especially love about this is the undeveloped nature of the track and the Pagoda as it was originally built.

It was one of four little cards which were a gift from Dave And Bonnie Downs, the great-grandchildren of our President Joseph F. Tuttle. The cards are 3.5″ wide and only 2.25″ tall and are part of a set. The other cards are of James Whitcomb Riley’s home, the Indiana State Capitol and the St. Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek in Indianapolis. The great blog Historic Indianapolis says that the building was opened in 1913 so the post cards are at least that old.  Here is a link to a very nice piece on the old hospital.

http://historicindianapolis.com/a-room-with-a-view-the-history-of-st-vincent-hospitals-fall-creek-building/

 

I hope that you all have a lovely Memorial weekend and enjoy the race!

All best,

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College

 

Our Town II

In the last post I featured some images of our town, all centered on one main intersection. In this post, I thought I might share a few more images of this area. Below is another image from Main and Washington Streets, but this time looking north and showing the Interurban coming up the street. We can see the electric plant in the far right background.

CrawfordsvilleCourthouse at 300 dpi

This next image is of the Big Four Depot on Washington Street at Franklin. Some may remember this spot as the A&P or Crawford’s grocery on South Washington Street. This will be the site of the new Fusion building which is a part of the Stellar grant here in town. The tracks in front will be removed and this will become a biking and hiking trail connecting to the rail trail west of town. Townspeople are really excited about this work which will spruce up the area in a big way and provide tremendous access to the western trail!

Crawfordsville Big Four Depot

Speaking of the Stellar grant recently won by the city – the Ben Hur Building, pictured below,  will be rehabilitated as a part of that grant. This is a picture of it at night when it was newly built. I love the lights on top and the big windows on the front and east sides. These windows were for a furniture store on the main floor and were later partially filled in with glass block. It will be interesting to see if they are reopened. Look just to the right, or west, of the Ben Hur.  This little nook was occupied by a cozy place called the Aero-Dome theater. Crawfordsville Ben Hur at night

Here is a closeup of that area of the image from a daytime view of the Ben Hur.

 

Crawfordsville Airdome theater

It was an outdoor movie venue. The building to the right of it the Aero-Dome is now Little Mexico. The Aero-Dome didn’t last terribly long before it was replaced by the Dobe Inn. This ad was scanned from a yearbook. It sounds like a great place to meet after a dance or a game.

Dobe INN

The Inn was across from the Post Office, but lest you land in the wrong block, it was not the same post office that we know today. Here is the previous iteration.

Crawfordsville Post Office

This was on the north West corner of Main and Water streets, where the one we know is on the north East corner. There is a drive up bank on that corner today.

Crawfordsville Crawfords House

Another landmark that is gone from our downtown is the Crawford House Hotel, pictured above. It was a massive hotel and occupied the space where the Marie Canine Plaza and the parking lot are now. Here is another view of that giant.

CrawfordsHotelCubaElmore

This picture was scanned from one of James B. Elmore’s books. It is a closer look at the hotel, looking north up Green Street. Some might know this block as the street that was later home to the Pizza King or the Green Street Tavern. The next image is a view of the Crawford House from Main Street looking west, with the hotel on the right about halfway up the street. An estimate of era would place this picture in the later 1800’s or early years of the 1900’s. This is our town as seen by Ezra Pound.

Crawfordsville005

 

WEst Main looking east

This is a picture from a little later, as we now have automobiles. Look at the cables over the street. These powered the streetcar which ran up and down Main Street. And the building with the tower on the right of the picture is the YMCA. This is the place where basketball came to Crawfordsville via an instructor fresh out of  Y training where he was taught by James Naismith, inventor of basketball. The game was Naismith’s effort to keep men active in the cold, northern winter. This postcard gives us a closer look at the front of the building. This area is now the parking lot for the PNC Bank here in town.

Crawfordsville YMCA

This is the very gym where Hoosier Hysteria started in this area. Look at the closed nets. This image is from the Wabash Magazine of June, 1906. It was in this gym that Piggy Lambert learned to play basketball. It was here that the first Wonder Five of Wabash history played. It was a rough and tumble game and I have read that players used every advantage, including running up the walls, to score.

Y Gym WM 06 1906 p310

 

This next picture is of the old St. Bernard’s church on the south east corner of Washington and Pike streets. This building was torn down and a new First National Bank [now Chase Bank] was built after St. Bernard’s moved to a new, modern church on East Main Street. On the corner is the church, behind it at left is the Catholic school and on the right of the picture is the Rectory.

Crawfordsville St Bernards

This image is an architect’s sketch of the “new” high school.  What a lovely building it is and happily still in productive use as apartments and home to several community services.

Crawfordsville high School

Below is the old Mills School on West Main Street, this building was replaced by a modern, flat looking building and the Kathy Steele playground which now serves as a park to the neighbors. Note the streetcar tracks in front of the school. These led west to a maintenance shed, now occupied by a pest control company.

Crawfordsville Mills school LO

This is the old Willson School which was built on the corner of East Wabash and Wallace Avenue. This building looks so much like a castle, one can imagine tiny elementary children in awe before it. It was an amazing building in appearance. Crawfordsville Willson school

Here is one last school, Tuttle, which was named for Wabash’s third president Joseph Tuttle. This school was torn down in the mid-20th century and replaced by a new, modern, flat roofed building. That too was recently pulled down to build the new Crawfordsville Middle School. Gone is the Tuttle name.

Crawfordsville Tuttle school

Let me close with this image, which is in the same style as many of the others. Below you see the Ben Hur Terminal Station which was on Washington Street just north of the courthouse. This block was taken down some years ago and a  parking lot created by the county.

Crawfordsville North Washington BenHur station

The interurban was a tremendous asset to our town as it afforded cheap and easy transport to Indianapolis for our students and townspeople. Not uncommonly the really big games were played in a much larger stadium in Indianapolis. At that time, athletics were funded by the gate receipts. Our students would hop on in downtown Crawfordsville and hop off in the big city. How very convenient!!

I hope that you have enjoyed these pictures of our town. Always interesting to see how it has changed over the decades!

All best, 

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College

 

Our Town – Crawfordsville

1860 PD-392_13 LO
A couple of months ago I gave a presentation to the Women on Campus about the history of Crawfordsville. It was such fun to put together. I thought that I might share some of the great images from the presentation. This is a picture of the Hanna Buildling – former home of Murphy’s Department store, now Heathcliff. This is East Main Street at Washington Street. I love the many bakeries and the wooden sidewalks to keep the ladies skirts out of the mud!

Crawfordsville S washington LO

This is a post card of the same intersection many years later and this time looking south. The church on the left is the old St. Bernard’s Catholic church while the church on the right is the Wabash Avenue Presbyterian church.

Crawfordsville east main street LO

This is from the same time frame, but this time looking east down East Main Street. Look at the policeman at the far right.

And here is one last image, look down the right side…

PD-392_14 LO

There is the Central Theatre right in the middle of the block. Until I scanned this image for the talk, I had no idea that the Central existed. It is so much fun to find something new. It is even more fun to share it!

All best,

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College

 

Kingery Hall as Infirmary

Kingery12

In 1941 Wabash College renovated old Kingery and created an up to date Infirmary.

A short article in the October, 1940 issue of the alumni magazine The Wabash Bulletin announced the gift which made it possible.

Kingery Hall has been completely renovated and restored to its original appearance. It now houses a completely modern four bed infirmary, with bath, nurse’s quarters and lobby, entirely separated from the rest of the building. The remainder of the lower floor and the second floor contain eight rooms which house fifteen students and a proctor (the proctor this year being Coach Mel Brewer) at a nominal charge per student.

The occupants do all of their own janitor work and the infirmary is in charge of two upperclassmen, one of whom is a premedic [sic] student.

Fund for rebuilding and furnishing Kingery Hall were supplied by friends of Dr. Clyde H. Chase in Detroit.

At the time Dr. Chase was the President of the Association of Wabash College Men. The hospital equipment gift was valued at $1,000 and another $7,000 was spent on building renovations.

Here are some great photographs of Kingery sporting its new look.

Kingery18 KingeryDormInfirmary 01 KingeryDormInfirmary 02 KingeryDormInfirmary 03

KingeryDormInfirmary 06

And here is a photograph of one of the dormitory rooms. It looks to be an inviting room full of natural light and plenty of space.

KingeryDormInfirmary 05

This was quite a project and long overdue. Kingery Hall was named for the professor, and his family, who lived there for a decade and a half. Hugh McMaster Kingery was a professor of Latin at Wabash from 1891 until his retirement in 1916. For most of that time the Kingery family lived in the brick building which later carried their name. By all accounts it was a gracious home, Mrs. Kingery was one of the founders of the Crawfordsville Art League. When Professor Kingery retired other members of the Wabash family lived there. The building was in desperate need of a facelift as it was disreputable in appearance. Thanks to the friends of Dr. Chase, it seems that in 1940 it got the works!

All best,

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College

Comps are here!

Comps essay

The campus is quiet as most of the students are still at home enjoying that last bit of winter break, but for the seniors it is a different story. The Lilly Library is fairly buzzing with activity as seniors gather in groups or study earnestly alone. In a long and fiercely held tradition these young men must pass one final hurdle on their way to the sheepskin diploma and the end of their undergraduate days. Comps are here!

First held in 1932, the comprehensive examination is 84 years old and came out of the new curriculum adopted in 1928. The class who entered in the fall of that year was the first to study four years under the new system and the first to take a senior comprehensive examination which they did in the spring of 1932.  Among other reforms, the “new curriculum” created our divisional system – originally four, now three, divisions. The reform also instituted Contemporary Civilization, a course to be taken by every student. CC, as it was known, morphed into Cultures and Traditions which then became our current Enduring Questions and is still taken by every student. Other changes were instituted as well and, as is common with such a big change, it was not popular with everyone. Entrance requirements were increased and the days of athletes dropping in for the season and playing games while little bothering to attend classes were over. As you might guess the faculty approved, but a very vocal group of alumni did not. President Hopkins came under fire but he was determined that Wabash was first and foremost an educational institution and  our athletes were to be students first, athletes second. It was tough on the president, but he persisted.

So from that time to this our seniors have studied like mad, crossed their fingers, held their breath and stepped up to “demonstrate a mastery of their subject of study” as comps were originally described. It is a bond that all Wabash graduates have shared for 84 years now. It is a rite of passage that all Wabash men contemplate and celebrate once it is over. Good luck guys!

All best, 
Beth Swift
Archivist
Wabash College

 


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