Hounds in history

While scanning some items from the 1965 yearbook, I came across this great photo of the Lambda Chi dog and it was too good not to share…

The caption under the photo read, “Khan, the Lambda Chi dog keeps a watchful eye out for the bread man’s leg.”

Here is another great photo of a campus dog…while many men remember that Mason B. Thomas was the “Maker of Men” he was also a dog owner. Here is a photograph of Thomas’ dog on the front porch of the professor’s home. This house would have been between the Caleb Mills House and the Lilly Library.

There have been many dogs on campus and, of course, the stories abound…if you have one you would like to share with the world, post a comment…


Beth Swift


Wabash College

Crawfordsville, IN


March Madness!!!

L-R Grater, Nurnberger, Roll, Burdette, Shelley, Thorn, Schanlaub, Crane, Goldsberry, Adam, Peare and Chadwick.

Here is a picture of our own 1922 basketball team proclaimed “Champions of the World” at the tourney in Indianapolis. I believe that this tourney was the precursor to the N.I.T. tourney and Wabash was one of the very few invited to participate. That team was pretty spectacular and with the tourney in Indianapolis, well…March Madness was in full swing at Wabash!

Among the players on this great Wonder Five were Pete Thorn (16 letter athlete and winner of the John Maurice Butler Prize for academics), Alonzo Goldsberry (who would later coach at Wabash) and the tallest of them all at the far right of this team picture – Maurice “Shang” Chadwick the namesake of our gymnasium. Shang funded the 1969 renovation.

Here is a little snippet telling about the dedication of the gym – at a home game with Butler!… From Some Little Giants by Max Servies, “The decade [1970’s] opened with the dedication of Chadwick Court on February 9, at half‑time of the Butler game…a complete remodeling job on the fieldhouse portion of the gym.  It included a new roof, new lighting, completely refinished floor, new scoreboards and newly painted exterior and interior.”

Beth Swift
Wabash College

Wally at the Bat

The last picture that I posted was a fabulous color slide of our baseball team in action decades ago. It is spring on campus and baseball season is underway. This week also sees the launch of a new program here on campus – Wally at the Bat — A Liberal Arts Symposium on Baseball.

Here is a link with more information about the program…

One of the images that will be everywhere this weekend is this one…

1909 Baseball State Champions 18-5

Back Row: Gipe, Adams, Puckett, Rowe, Irwin, and Coach Jones. Middle Row: Winnie, Warbritton, Ash, Bowers, Capt.; Lambert and Herron. Front Row: Starbuck, Gisler and Bridges. (caption credits to Max Servies – Some Little Giants)

The baseball team of 1909. I love this picture as it shows baseball in its essence. I believe this photo was taken after a game and the uniforms look as though it was a tough fought game.

This picture is of the 1909 baseball team who posted an 18-5 record and were the state champs. I love these old sports pictures and look into the faces of these “tough guys”. In this photo one of these toughs would go on to become famous as a coach, and rightly so. A neat little piece of history is the player second from the right in the second row. Still wearing his glove and with his head cocked to one side is Ward Lambert [W1911].

Ward, known to history as “Piggy” became head coach at Purdue for both baseball and basketball. He is best remembered as the masterful coach who led Purdue to 11 Big Ten championships in basketball. Among his many great players at Purdue was John Wooden, who later led UCLA basketball to greatness.

This image will adorn the souvenir cups from the event. It looks to be a great program!

Congrats to the organizers!

Beth Swift
Wabash College











Baseball season

Now that spring has finally arrived I thought it might be nice to post a baseball picture.

Game against Ball State. May 25, 1953

Isn’t this a beauty? The colors are as clear as the day they were taken in the mid-fifties. These slides were taken by W. Norwood Brigance – who taught Speech here at Wabash from 1922-1960. Thanks to his good work, we have a few color images of life on campus in the middle of the 20th Century. Nearly eveything else is black and white.

So enjoy the fresh air, the sun and the breezes and this lovely baseball image from more than 50 years ago!


Beth Swift


Wabash College

Crawfordsville, IN

Elston Homestead

While working on the Elston exhibit for the Lilly Library I came across some neat photos of the Homestead.

I saw for the first time – and clearly – the Elston Homestead as it was when built.  These photographs are from the 1880’s.


The photograph below is a zoom of the photo above. This picture was taken of the front of the house, as it was when it was built.

The doors that we can see clearly in this scan now lead from the entry hall into the kitchen, as there have been numerous additions to the north of the original house. The Homestead was built facing on to what is now Main Street. It had a long front yard and this wrought iron work at its front door.

In the early part of the 1900’s two lots on Main were sold and two lovely homes were built there. At that time the house was re-oriented to the west, as was the original iron work porch. when IC Elston III bought the house in the 1920’s, it was a bit dilapidated. Here is a picture of it at that time.

Here is a picture following the first remodel of the 1920’s by IC Elston III .

A very different home indeed. Also very different from what we know today. Ike had a wooden porch built on the Pike Street side and the original brick streets are still visible. Quite a change from the Homestead that we see today.

In this photograph we can see both wrought iron porches on the home. The one at left is, I believe, the original iron piece and the one over the front door is a replica.

The Elston Homestead has seen a lot of history since it was built in the 1830’s – a lot of changes too! Yet it still serves as a place where things happen, a hub of activity and an exceptional home.  For nearly 80 years this home  was the scene of parties and picnics which included the movers and shakers from the town and those from the College.

Following Ike’s death, he willed the Homestead to Wabash for the use of her presidents. For nearly 50 years the Homestead has been home to the President of Wabash College and continues to be a place where the town and gown meet for parties and picnics. A great homestead, a gift from a great family.


Beth Swift





President Baldwin

Today I would like to share another of Emeritus Chemistry Professor David A. Phillips’ excellent biographies – He has written a series of biographical sketches of the portraits in the Chapel. These sketches include Edmund O. Hovey and Caleb Mills, all of our past presidents and five former trustees.  Enjoy! Beth Swift, Archivist of Wabash College

Elihu Whittlesey Baldwin (1835-1840)

Born in Durham, New York, on December 27, 1789, Elihu Baldwin graduated (cum laude) from Yale University in 1812 and from Andover Seminary in 1817. In 1817 Baldwin was licensed to preach and established a Presbyterian church in Newberryport, New York. Baldwin was a brilliant success, and by the 1830’s the congregation had grown to over 600. And yet, when Edmund O. Hovey approached him with the offer of the presidency ─ “We want a college building, and more than all, a college head. Will you, my dear sir, come over and help us?” ─ Baldwin readily accepted the challenge and left his successful career behind him. Even before his election on December 31, 1834, Baldwin began working with Hovey to secure the funds necessary for the establishment of the College. Eventually, the two of them were able to raise over $28,000 from donors in New York and New England.

Although he reached Crawfordsville in October, 1835, Baldwin was not formally inaugurated until June 13, 1836. His inaugural address set forth principles that seem as appropriate now as they did at the founding of the College. “But I have chiefly in view, in my remarks on liberal education, the improvement of the mind… Our purpose is never to rest while Wabash College shall lack any advantages for the student which are offered by the highest class of American colleges.”

As President, Baldwin labored mightily on behalf of the College, teaching classes, recruiting students, and raising money in Indiana, New York, and New England. On September 23, 1838, a fire nearly destroyed the newly-erected South Hall (on the site of Baxter Hall). This was a bitter blow, but the building was rebuilt and in use by the beginning of the 1839-1840 academic year. However, the rebuilding effort had left the College’s coffers bare, forcing Baldwin to redouble his fund-raising efforts. Eventually, these exertions took their toll on the President’s health. Elihu Baldwin died on October 15, 1840. He left behind an institution with a strong faculty, a growing student body, and a course of study comparable to those of the top eastern colleges. In the five years of his presidency, Elihu Baldwin’s steadfast character and strong leadership had been vital to the success of Wabash College.

by David A. Phillips, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus

The Wabash Patient


While working on a query from a researcher, I came across this fascinating story and thought I would share it with you…

From the Wabash Record Bulletin of March of 1921 comes this lovely marriage announcement:

17 – The marriage of Miss Ruth Muehlmeier and Mr. Allen Dale Eby has been announced. The wedding occurred on New Year’s Day at Plymouth, Wisconsin.

During the war, while training as an aerial observer at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, Mr. Eby fell in an airplane from a height of 2,500 feet to the ground. The pilot was killed, and Mr. Eby, whose skull was fractured and body severely injured, was not expected to live.  That he did rally was due, as much as anything, to the devoted care of Miss Muehlmeier, an army nurse.

Note: photo as an example of  planes from this era  and the view from above, neither of these are Eby’s plane.

The acquaintance which began between Lieutenant Eby and Miss Muehlmeier when the former’s life seemed to be hanging in the balance grew into a friendship that later became the romance that was made known by the announcement of their marriage. Mr. Eby is a practicing attorney at Princeton, Indiana.

 What a great story! Digging a little further brought this story from the Indianapolis Star of the mid-sixties, “…on that day (June 26, 1918) 47 years ago, Lt. Eby was flying on an artillery observer training mission at 2,200 feet when the plane went out of control over Selfridge Field, just north of Detroit, Michigan and crashed. The pilot was killed. Lt. Eby, although suffering a fractured skull and other injuries, survived but was hospitalized 16 weeks.”

The two pieces have a discrepancy on the height of the fall either 2,200 or 2,500 – still either is a mighty long way to drop. In just a quick bit of research I found that there were many deaths among the early pilots. Lt. Eby was unbelievably lucky to survive such a drop though he clearly had excellent care to have survived such catastrophic injuries.  He lived a long and healthy life as a husband, lawyer, prosecuting attorney and then judge.

In 1919 Eby was licensed to practice law and in 1932 ran for the post of judge on the same ticket as FDR. He was elected six times to six year terms, often as the only Democrat on the ticket. In 1965 he received the Wabash Alumni Award of Merit. 

Mr. Eby died the following year, a widely respected judge who lived almost 50 years longer than he might have done.

What a story!

Beth Swift
Wabash College

Time travel II

In the previous posting I noted that Ralph Mount’s primary sport was baseball, and with the season approaching, I thought I would share a couple of his sketches on that subject.

Here is another baseball themed sketch…

Mount’s thoughts weren’t all focused on baseball and fraternity life though…here is a pair of sweet drawings…

It looks like this was a good day for Wabash AND for Mount. What a treasure full of the student life and energy of that time – really a treat, this  little bit of time traveling…


Beth Swift


Wabash College

Crawfordsville, IN



Time travel

There are some collections here in the Archives that have the ability to transport you to another time. A couple of weeks ago we had an art class in the Archives really digging around. Among the things that they brought to light was a diary kept by Ralph D. “Hoggie” Mount, Wabash class of 1922. Beginning with January 02, 1921 and continuing through the end of the school year in June – Mount with his clever sketches of student life –really takes us back in time.

This first image is the front page of his diary to which he has added two drawings – self-portraits, these figures represent Mount in the diary.

So who was Ralph DeWitt Mount? He came to Wabash as one of the Student Army Training Corps fellows during the first World War. After the SATC came to an end, Mount did what a number of other men did and stayed at Wabash. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and President of the Pan-Hellenic Council. He worked on the yearbook, he managed the football team, but his primary sport was baseball.

The next page starts his story and establishes the format for the rest of the book. Each day is one page. In the upper left corner he gives us the weather for the day. Some terribly clever little weather drawings and commentary.

In this drawing for Sunday, January 2, 1921 we see Mount boarding a train for Indianapolis, the first leg of his trip back to school.


Student life in the Kappa Sigma house in 1921 – and so finely drawn. In this sketch we see Mount sleeping in and having a late breakfast.

Pledging, intramurals, house activities, weather and sports scores – a tidy little package.

Mount was a very talented cartoonist and here are a couple of great cartoons. With all of this talent I wondered if Mount ever used these talents professionally – he did not, but clearly art was a passion his entire life.

From a letter back to the college in 1978 signed Ralph D. “Hoggie” Mount 1922, “Nothing of interest to report. 78th birthday coming up on Sept. 16th, ’78…I ‘eat-up’ with interest any and all information from and about Wabash! I’m doing quite a bit of oil painting, as a pleasant hobby, and TRY to play golf three or four times a week. Keep the news coming in any shape or form!”

What a gift he left behind and what fun to page through it nearly 90 years later…

Beth Swift
Wabash College

Who knew?

The Hovey Museum housed the Botany and Zoology Departments at Wabash in the 1890’s.

As the Archivist I receive research requests of all sorts. Everything from requests for information on great-grandfather’s history while at school to information on a former faculty member. These requests are great and it is almost always the case that I learn something new about the history of Wabash.

I received a request from a researcher about the Ph.D. program at Wabash which began in the late 1880’s and was discontinued in the early 1900’s. The central question was did Wabash award any Ph.D. degrees earned “in course”? My first thought was no – so I turned next to that good old source – Wabash College the First Hundred Years, where I read this on page 152,

“In 1887, Wabash, in addition to offering work for the A.M. degree, which had been provided for during Dr. White’s presidency, permitted work for the Ph.D. This degree was to be granted not less than three years after the attainment of a bachelor’s degree, and only on completion of two years’ resident graduate work. A printed thesis of high merit was also required. During Mr. Tuttle’s presidency (1862-1892) a number of students registered for graduate work; but none of them completed his Ph.D. requirements at Wabash. During President Burroughs’ administration (1892-1899) the faculty wisely abandoned the attempt to give work leading to the doctor’s degree.”

Joseph Nelson Rose as a senior

That confirmed my first thought…So I researched the men who were a part of that program. The first graduate student I encountered, Joseph Nelson Rose, caused me to pause. Rose, I knew, had done spectacular, even groundbreaking, work as a botanist. I also knew that he had studied under John Merle Coulter – one of the nation’s pre-eminent botanists. So I pulled his folder and there in a questionnaire answered in preparation for the 1912 Alumni Directory, Rose had noted that he had a Ph.D. from Wabash.

So now the digging started – turns out we awarded at least six Ph.D. degrees and here are quick summaries of the men who earned them…

Joseph Nelson Rose [W1885] was in the first class of post-graduate students and the first recipient of the Ph.D. Rose is described in the Wabash Magazine of 10/1886 as “the best scientific student…kept as a post-grad with a fellowship. “Rose worked with John Merle Coulter here at Wabash for two years and was listed as Botany Assistant during that time. His degree was mistakenly classified as Honorary – but was clearly an earned degree. He completed the two years of study and produced, along with Coulter, an incredible paper entitled Revision of North American Umbelliferae which was printed in December of 1888 in Crawfordsville. Later presidential correspondence confirms these statements.

Robert N. Whiteford [Wabash class of 1890] studying English and German received his Ph.D. in 1893 and we have his thesis The Myth of Beowulf

Marion W. Baker [Wabash class of 1892] studying Philosophy, English and Literature received his Ph.D. in 1895 and we have his thesis The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse.

Walter Harrison Evans [Wabash class of 1887] studying Botany received his Ph.D. in 1895. No thesis found.

James G. McMurtry [Wabash class of 1893] studying German and Greek received his Ph.D. in 1899. No thesis found.

Charles Ezra Fisk [not a Wabash man, listed as M.A.] studying Education, History, Psychology received his Ph.D. in 1901. No thesis found.

So, now we know, at least six men have received the earned Ph.D. from Wabash. Research requests sometimes pop up the greatest information – and this is certainly one of those times!


Beth Swift


Wabash College

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