Banner

Hovey Scrapbook

Hello,

What a busy summer this has been! I hope that you had some time to get away and think quietly, even if just for a couple of days. Here in the Archives we have been busy with a few summer projects and today I would like to share one of my favorites with you.

The Hovey Scrapbook was created by Edmund O. Hovey to record the history of Wabash as it began. Hovey was one of our founders, an early faculty member and went to the East to raise the money to fund the new enterprise in the Wabash Country. The Scrapbook combines officially printed materials – which are important – with Hovey’s handwritten notes which tell a fuller story. Each page consists of materials glued to tissue paper thin sheets. To each sheet Hovey added personal notes and dates. The paper was breaking down and the Scrapbook had become unstable and no longer accessible to those interested in researching the history of Wabash. For this reason, I decided that the best thing to do was to take it apart and wrap each page in Mylar. This is very slow work, but so rewarding.

Let’s look at a portion of a sample page.

Pictured above is Hovey’s handwritten copy of the announcement that ran in the local papers in November of 1833, just prior to the opening of the school. Note that it is referred to as the Crawfordsville High School. It was the plan that as the students advanced it would grow into a college. But first the students had to get to a collegiate level in their studies. Here is the text. I might note that the teacher described is Caleb Mills, the first member of the faculty at Wabash.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Crawfordsville High School

The Board of Trustees of the Crawfordsville Classical & English High School take this method to inform the citizens of this place and the Public generally, that they have obtained a teacher from the East to take charge of the School –

He is now on his way and is expected here in a few days. He comes well recommended & has with him a considerable number of books and other donations for the use of the School. The first session will commence on the first Monday of December & continue four months. Price of tuition $4.00 for the English department and $6.00 for the Classical, per session.

Board for a considerable number can be had at one dollar per week. Young men wishing to attend would do well to apply early as we may not be able, this session, to accommodate with Board, in the institution all who may apply. By order of the Board – John Thomson Secy of the Board

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Across these pages Hovey spread the history of Wabash. Here is a scan of another page so that you can see the shape and condition of the Scrapbook.

I have enjoyed spending the summer with Hovey. His lifelong devotion to this college was remarkable. His passion for collecting and sharing the history is a gift that continues to enrich our understanding of this place we call Old Wabash. He was the first to collect and share the history of Wabash. It really is a delight to share these stories with you. I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy sharing them!

All best,

Beth Swift

Archivist

Wabash College