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Indiana Heritage Research Grants abstracts 1993

The Indiana Heritage Research Grant program was jointly sponsored by the
Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Humanities Council. from 1986 to 2001.

The Indiana History Bulletin, Volume 63, Numbers 5/6 and 9/10 contained the first and second year abstracts from the Indiana Heritage Research Grant Program; The following abstracts were published in Volume 68, number 1 of the Bulletin.

The grants are awarded annually by the Indiana Historical Society and the
Indiana Humanities Council (1500 North Delaware Street/Indianapolis, IN 46202/317-638-1500.) From 1986 through 2000, the program has awarded $937,363 to fund 337 projects. The abstracts provide interesting models for local history projects and make available resources for research.

For further information about projects, please contact the entity listed in each entry.

Bringing You, 'Live on Delaware Street' (93-3003): President Benjamin Harrison Home, 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

"Live from Delaware Street" is an original drama set in the President Benjamin Harrison Home. Hank Fincken, primary researcher, reviewed and studied books, letters, documents, microfilm, bills, guest books, and scrapbooks gathered by staff members. Through the course of his research, Fincken was able to establish relationships, loyalties, and occasional hostilities between Harrison home staff. Personality traits, indicated through his reading, were then written into the script with allowable exaggeration to make the characters' roles functional in a theatrical presentation.

In the script each character discusses his/her own role, shares anecdotes of 1898 in Indianapolis, discusses the President and his one term of office, and offers an opinion on why he did not serve two terms. This pattern allows for cohesiveness in a drama that occurs in five locations.

Fincken wrote the script and then directed and coached the enactors which was an excellent plan for several reasons. Fincken, familiar with the material through his research, explained and gave background to the enactors as they rehearsed. Fincken is a professional actor and was able to deal with voice inflection, phrasing, movement, and gesturing--a critical help for amateurs.


Hank Fincken

Hank Fincken.
Courtesy: President Benjamin Harrison Home.

The drama has been quite successful. Flyers of "Live from Delaware Street" may be obtained by calling the President Benjamin Harrison Home at 317-631-1898.

LaPorte-Winamac Land Office Entries, 1833-1855 (93-3004): Indiana Friends of the Archives, Inc., Room 117, 140 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Records of the federal land offices in Indiana comprise the most detailed history of the settlement of the state, providing information on Indiana pioneers and their origins, legal descriptions of land purchases, and economic development.

The LaPorte-Winamac land office opened at Winamac in 1833 and its district embraced all or part of the present counties of Benton, Carroll, Cass, Elkhart, Fulton, Howard, Jasper, Kosciusko, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Miami, Newton, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Wabash, and White. Accordingly, these land office records provide the names and residences of the purchaser; the date of purchase; and the legal description of the tract. This information holds great value for family historians, as well as for scholars interested in the economic and social development of pioneer Indiana.

The State Archives entered this information onto a computerized database of 48,562 records, each structured in twelve fields documenting the details of a sale of land. Archives' staff can quickly answer questions relative to any field or combination of fields, searching the entire database in the process.

This database is currently housed on the network of the Archives and Records Administration and is available for access through the Archives. It is possible that the database will be available online in the near future; the Archives is now exploring the possibility of an Internet connection through the state government Online Indiana project.

Because of the enormous amount of data involved, a complete printout of this is simply not feasible, but an alphabetized list of the names of purchasers of land is available at the Genealogy Division of the State Library; the Archives will make other copies of the name index upon request.


LaPorte-Winamac Land Record
Courtesy: Indiana State Archives

The Wabash & Erie Canal: Where Frogs Their Vigil Keep (93-3005): Canal Society of Indiana, 302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

The purpose of this video is to follow the route of the Wabash & Erie Canal as it existed in 1843, the year when it opened from Toledo, Ohio, to Lafayette. We only touch briefly on the history of Indiana's canal building era because our main focus is to show the route of the Wabash & Erie and its structural remains as they exist today, 150 years later.

The Wabash & Erie was the longest canal ever built in the U.S., eventually extended to Evansville, 468 miles. Many of today's existing remains are in remote locations and many are even on private lands. By producing this video, we enable you to travel to places and to experience views that are normally inaccessible to the casual tourist.

This video begins in Fort Wayne at the summit level. First person accounts of canal travel and life on the canal are all part of the documented remains from that bygone era.

The fifty-four minute video incorporates old photographs with existing sites. The narrator explains each view and provides historical insight as the viewer travels along this historic waterway. In the background are canal songs played on the dulcimer. During portions of the video, songs about canal life are sung as we pass along the old towpath.

Contact: 219-432-0279 for video purchase information.


Wabash & Erie Canal frog

Alexander Lawrie Awareness Project (93-3008): Indiana Veterans' Home, Colonel Robert A. Hinds, 3851 North River Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906.

This project produced significant results. First, a report is available which details the technical specifications to conserve 174 Alexander Lawrie oil portraits belonging to the Indiana Veterans' Home. The report contains a cost estimate to conserve each portrait and the information necessary to solicit bids for the future conservation of the portraits.

Also available are biographical sketches of Alexander Lawrie (1828-1917) and each of his (identifiable) subjects. As a resident of the Indiana Veterans' Home, Lawrie painted military figures and most of the Indiana Civil War generals; therefore, this documentation will provide, for the first time, a single source for brief, encyclopedic entries on most Hoosier Civil War generals and new material on the life of Alexander Lawrie.

All findings and documentation resulting from this IHRG program are available at the Indiana Humanities Council, the Indiana Historical Society, and the Indiana Veterans' Home.

Morgan County Public Library Historical Indexing Project (93-3009): Morgan County Public Library, 110 South Jefferson Street, Martinsville, IN 46151.

This project designed a computerized indexing system that is used for the storage and retrieval of local historical and genealogical information in the Morgan County Public Library. The system includes census indexes, marriages, cemetery records, obituaries, veterans' records, and other primary source material for local history research. The system will be made available to other libraries both for the data and the methodology. Disks and manuals may be obtained from the Morgan County Public Library.


Patience Northern
Patience Northern consults GEN-ASSIST.
Courtesy: Morgan County Public Library

Monroe Township and the Jefferson Proving Ground (93-3011): Jefferson County Historical Society, 615 West 1st Street, Madison, IN 47250.

This heritage project accomplished several significant goals. Approximately 500 photographs documenting the history of Monroe Township and the Jefferson Proving Grounds were donated by the U.S. Army to the Jefferson County Historical Society. Approximately twenty hours of oral history was gathered which dealt with the takeover of the land in 1940 by the U.S. Army.

Typed transcriptions of this oral history were made and turned over to local institutions such as the public library. Two public programs were held-a lecture and a tour-which heightened local interest in this phase of Jefferson County history.

A special exhibit was created by the Jefferson County Historical Society which ran five months. Photographs, artifacts, maps, and oral history were brought together to explain the JPG and its significance in regional history.

Dearborn County Historical Society Cataloging and Preservation (93-3012): Dearborn County Historical Society, Courthouse, West High Street, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025.

The Dearborn County Historical Society project cataloged a significant collection of archival materials. Six volunteers gave a total of 175 hours to catalog 833 photographs, 225 postcards, 22 magazines, 51 books, 11 maps, and other miscellaneous items.

The project will allow the Dearborn County Historical Society to serve patrons in preserving the collection and making it more accessible.

Catalogs of the holdings are deposited in the Lawrenceburg and Aurora libraries.

Getting There: Oral Histories about Transportation in Michigan City (93-3013): Michigan City Public Library, 100 East Fourth Street, Michigan City, IN 46360.

"Getting There" consists of seven oral history interviews about railroading and nine oral history interviews about aviation in Michigan City, Indiana. A total of fourteen people were interviewed. The interviews are approximately an hour long.

Each completed oral history was produced in three formats: videocassette, audiocassette, and verbatim transcript printed on acid free paper.

The completed sets are available to researchers and the general public at three locations: the Michigan City Public Library, 100 East Fourth Street, Michigan City; the LaPorte County Historical Museum, County Complex, LaPorte; and the Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest, Gary.

Schroeder Saddletree Project Historic Document Collection Management (93-3014): Historic Madison Foundation, Inc., 500 West Street, Madison, IN 47250.

The Schroeder Saddletree Project Historic Document Collection Management effort resulted in an inventory of the approximately fifty cubic feet of historic documents from the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Company, possibly America's last 19th century saddletree factory, (saddletrees are the internal wooden frames of saddles.)

The documents, many of which were found in a dark corner of the Schroeder factory under a pile of industrial artifacts, were surface cleaned, sorted, and stored in archival containers. Documents range in age from an 1849 Prussian Army discharge paper to a 1972 check register which documents the last bill paid at the factory.

Major sub-groupings in the collection include: Business Correspondence, 1899-1935; Financial Records, 1909-1962; Insurance Records, Mortgage and Construction contracts, 1879-1922; Domestic bills and Personal Letters, 1900-1922; Saddlery and Machinery Catalogs and Fliers, circa 1950; and many other assorted materials.

Now organized, documents can easily be accessed by researchers. Information gleaned from the collection has been shared with scholars at the Smithsonian Institution and numerous undergraduate and graduate history and museum studies programs, museum curators, and industrial historians around the country.

The inventory and document collection are stored at the factory site, 106 Milton Street, Madison, Indiana and are available to serious researchers. To view the collection, contact the Schroeder Saddletree Project Director, Historic Madison Foundation, Inc. Contact: 812-265-3426.

Enlarging Community Heritage: Businesses that Capture History (93-3015): Hammond Public Library, 564 State Street, Hammond, IN 46320.

This project made local historical resources more accessible and broadened the awareness of community heritage in northwest Indiana. The Hammond Public Library conducted oral interviews of owners and long-time employees of local businesses which had their starts in the late 19th or early 20th centuries and are still in existence today. Transcripts of these interviews are available in the Calumet Room of the library, as well as other area libraries and archives.

Programs about the project were presented to historical and school groups, and Calumet Room materials were displayed at two library locations. A brochure featuring long-time area businesses is being developed.

One-Room and Two-Room Country Schoolhouses of Morgan County, Indiana: An Architectural History (93-3017): Morgan County Historic Preservation Society, P.O. Box 1377, Martinsville, IN 46151.

Based on photographs, written documents, and oral histories, this project documents the architectural history of every one-and two-room country schoolhouse known to have existed in Morgan County, Indiana. It is an early phase of a projected study on how the country schoolhouses have been converted in both their physical forms to serve other functions and through memories into nostalgia and myth.

The primary product of this project is a two-volume, 467-page architectural history of 119 one-room and two-room country schoolhouses known to have existed in Morgan County, Indiana. It contains 166 photographs; 93 historic photographs of 64 schoolhouses, and 65 contemporary photographs of 36 schoolhouses still in existence. Secondary products are photographic materials such as: black and white prints, negatives, slides of duplicated historic photographs, color slides of existing schoolhouses, and a thirty-five pound box of research materials and notes.


Hazel Patch, Baker Twp. Indiana
Hazel Patch/Baker Twp. 1928-29. Architectural type: rectangular; Construction: frame; Now in use as a house.
Courtesy: Morgan County Historic Preservation Society

Tracking Tipton through Photographs (93-3018): Tipton County Public Library, 127 East Madison Street, Tipton, IN 46072 and Tipton County Historical Society, 341 West Jefferson Street, Tipton, IN 46072.

The Tipton County Public Library and the Tipton County Historical Society realized there was a need in the county to collect, preserve, research, organize, and document historical photographs of Tipton County.

The overwhelming public enthusiasm has resulted in an inventory of over 1,500 photographs. The photographs have been dated and cataloged into different categories such as schools, churches, businesses, agriculture, entertainment, and persons. Each print has been indexed by subject, surname, and by donor.

Projects that resulted from this grant were: the publication of the Pictorial History of Tipton County; a slide show depicting various scenes of the county for public programming; and a local television cable show titled "Remember Tipton."


Tipton County, Indiana photographs
Courtesy: Tipton County Library

From the Cradle to the Grave: An Indexing Project of Cemetery Records of Harrison County, Indiana (93-3022): Corydon Public Library, 117 West Beaver Street, Corydon, IN 47112.

During this initial phase of the indexing project, over 6,000 names were placed into the database from various primary sources housed at the Corydon Public Library. The data was printed out in an index containing the name of the deceased, dates of birth, marriage, and death, kinship to others in the area, and place of burial including the cemetery name, township, and grid location.

This database will be used to keep an accurate account of those individuals buried in Harrison County. In addition to the paper copy, researchers will be allowed to do computer searches at the library in the genealogy department.

Daleville's History Preserved (93-3024): Delaware County Historical Alliance, P.O. Box 1266, Muncie, IN 47308.

The grant is a continuation of the 92-3033 IHRG grant "Old Photo's of Indiana's Newest Town."

This grant was to catalog, copy, preserve, and deposit the materials found in the 1992 project at Ball State University's Bracken Library, Archives and Special Collections. The following materials are now located at Ball State University, Archives and Special Collections: Accession number 93.128, sixty-three negatives of historic Daleville scenes; Accession number 94.020, seven black and white photographs and two negatives of Daleville Residents; Accession number 94.077, eleven Daleville newspapers, 1894-1915; Accession number 94.108, twenty-six photographs and eighteen negatives of Salem Township scenes; Accession number 94.116, sixty-nine copy negatives of projection slides.

Puzzles and Paddlewheelers (93-3026): Howard Steamboat Museum, 1101 East Market Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47131.

The Howard Shipyard in Jeffersonville has been important in the history of Clark County for more that 150 years.

"Puzzles and Paddlewheelers" is a kit of materials to introduce fourth grade students to the steamboat and the Howards. It is useful to anyone interested in these topics, especially students in Clark County and Indiana and Kentucky history.

Four teachers from the Greater Clark County Schools developed the outline for the project. After research on the chosen topics, the teachers wrote the lesson plans, and, with the project director, found or produced from research the supplementary material. The kit consists of the lesson plans, the supplementary material, and three videotapes.

The kit will be sent to any teacher planning a visit to the Howard Steamboat Museum. Copies of the three videotapes may be borrowed from the museum by any responsible adult planning a group program, e.g. class, Scout meeting, senior citizen meetings, etc. The museum also has reference copies of the kit and videotapes and the "Back-Up Box" of reference material which may be perused at the museum.

Reclaiming a German-American Past: The Dubois County Oral History Project (93-3027): Indiana University Oral History Research Center, Memorial Hall West, Bloomington, IN 47405.

Heiko Muehr's oral history project focuses attention on the renewed interest in Dubois County's German-American heritage. The project documents and interprets aspects of the county's recent past. It preserves individual and collective memories of Dubois County residents that would otherwise be lost.

The presentation explores festive culture in Dubois County, an area in southwestern Indiana that has a large German ancestry population. Sources include oral history interviews, newspaper articles, anniversary booklets of Dubois County towns and churches, and the texts of community pageants.

Contact: 812-857-3187.

A Day at Simmons School (93-3029): One Room Schoolhouse Committee, P.O. Box 34, Hope, IN 47246.

The result of the research for "A Day at Simmons School" was the publication of a manual for educators who would be interested in re-enacting an authentic old-fashioned school day, circa 1870-1906. The manual, titled "Simmons School Teacher's Manual and Resource Guide," can be obtained by writing the One-room Schoolhouse Committee. A fee of $25 is charged.

The manual helps teachers plan a visit to the schoolhouse by suggesting lessons in reading, spelling, writing, history, geography, math, science, physiology, and music. Games, play-parties, and a list of supplies available for use at the school are included.

The manual, along with a workshop for teachers during which many of the lessons were role-played, increased the use of the school. This project's main goal was to organize the history of the school and collect lesson plans so it could be used as a living-history experience.


Simmons School
Courtesy: Flatrock-Hawcreek School Foundation

Who Were the Warriors? Tribes and Tribal Representatives at Prophet's Town (93-3032): Tippecanoe County Historical Association, 909 South Street, Lafayette, IN 47901.

This project involved scholarly research of relevant historical data. It identified Native American tribes that settled at Prophet's Town (1808-1812), an Indian village of national significance along the Wabash river in Tippecanoe County. It also examined the precise location of this river settlement. Finally, it documented tribes and tribal representatives who participated in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe.

Indiana Church of God in Christ: Embracing the Past, Building the Present, Looking to the Future (93-3033): Grace Memorial Church, 1417 North Delphos, Kokomo, IN 46901.

Oral history interviews explored the history of the Church of God in Christ, an African-American institution whose churches in Indiana were a result, in part, of the Great Migration. Founded in the early 1900s, the church is said to the the fastest growing Pentecostal denomination in North America.

Collecting a Legacy for Tomorrow; Temple Beth-El (93-3037): Temple Beth-El, 305 West Madison Street, South Bend, IN 46601

For the first time the Temple's archives have been put in order. The project has made it possible to organize, research, preserve, and catalog its collection of papers, documents, photographs, etc. and objects that can serve the members of its congregation and the general public with a valuable source of reference for the study of Reform Judaism in the South Bend and St. Joseph County areas. Materials are now preserved in acid-free folders and boxes and are accessible.

The collection documents the history of the Temple's congregation from its founding on January 9, 1905 and of its members' active participation in the life of the community. The archives also include the records of the Society of Brotherly Love, a group organized in 1859 for the purpose of caring for people who were ill and burying those who had died. The Temple's congregation is an offshoot of this group.

Contact: 219-234-4402.

Voices Seldom Heard: Black Women of Floyd County (93-3038): Floyd County Museum, 201 East Spring Street, New Albany, IN 47150.

Research on "Voices Seldom Heard" resulted in a brief summary of the history of African-American women in New Albany. The research relied heavily on a comparison of census information from both 1890 and 1910. In addition, newspaper articles, church information, and school information were available, and are, for the most part, located in the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library.

The research results are available at the Floyd County Museum, the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library and the New Albany-Floyd County School System Administration Building. Persons interested in receiving a copy of the report may call the Floyd County Museum at 812-944-7336.


Black women of Floyd County, Indiana
Opening reception.
Courtesy: Floyd County Museum

Reconstructing the History of Indiana's Oldest Black School (93-3039): The Leora Brown School, Inc., 400 East Summit Street, P.O. Box 441, Corydon, IN 47712.

Primary researcher, Patricia Beddoe, developed a set of interview questions and tape recorded 20-25 interviews of former students of the Leora Brown School, said to be the oldest remaining African-American school building in Indiana.

Products of the grant include the interviewer's notes and the taped interviews. Two public meetings were held at the school.

Contact: 812-738-8497.

The Story of CCC Company 517 (93-3040): DNR/Division of Forestry, 402 West Washington, Room W296, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Civilian Conservation Corps Company 517 was an African-American company stationed near Corydon, Indiana from 1934 to 1937. This project sought to collect information about the camp and to determine if there were any survivors who could share their experiences.

Over a dozen company participants were located, as well as many enrollees from other African-American CCC companies in Indiana and their relatives. Men from 517, now in their late 70s, shared their stories including: work in the limestone and sandstone quarries, construction of a shelter house and manager's quarters, tree planting, and rescue operations in the flood of 1937. They told of trips to town, boxing and softball competitions, music, food, and quality of life.

An article on the research, including historical photographs, can be found in the April-May issue of Outdoor Indiana magazine, published by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, 402 West Washington Street, Room W255B, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Contact: 317-232-4143, Liz Dunn.


CCC Company 517, 1934
CCC Company 517, E Barrack, 1934. Over a dozen men were located who had served in this Company and many others from different black camps. Pictures, along with numerous stories, were collected.
Courtesy: William Myers

Reflections of a Neighborhood: An Oral History Tape Collection (93-3042): Northern Indiana Historical Society, 808 West Washington Street, South Bend, IN 46601.

This collection consists of nine taped interviews with people who live in or have lived in the West Washington Historic District. Topics include the motivation and organization of neighbors to obtain recognition as the West Washington Historic District. Stories about schools, businesses, and the Catholic churches, each with a particular ethnic focus and located within a five block radius are highlighted.

An exhibit of "Reflections of a Neighborhood" was displayed at the Northern Indiana Center for History. A tour and slide show based on the research are an ongoing part of the public programming of the Center.


Hazinski Cigar Factory Bldg & Residence.
Michael Hazinski Cigar Factory Building and Residence.
Courtesy: Northern Indiana Historical Society

Conserving Our Past: An Indexing and Microfilming Project Covering Early Harrison County Indiana Probate Records (93-3043): The Hoosier Elm Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, c/o Jolene M. Boyer, 1449 Roberts Street, Corydon, IN 47112.

This project involved preserving and indexing the early probate records of Harrison County, Indiana from the founding of the county in 1809 to the pre-Civil War era. The original records were deteriorating and stored in pasteboard boxes. These records were duplicated onto 16mm microfilm, stored in acid-free microfiche jackets, and re-indexed by name.

Two microfiche copies were created during the project and are stored in the following locations: Genealogy section of the Corydon Public Library; and Recorder's Office of the Harrison County Courthouse. In most cases, a person's probate will list the members of the deceased's family, and the possessions that the person had at the time of death.