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Indiana Heritage Research Grants abstracts 1989

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 65, 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.



Decatur County during The Depression Years (89-3002); Greensburg Public Library, 114 North Michigan Avenue, Greensburg, IN 47240.

Oral histories were collected to find out what everyday life was like in Decatur County during the Great Depression. A representative cross-section of the population was asked about the effect of the depression on the course of daily existence: did people actually go hungry, were any jobs available, were plans for education or careers affected? Group interviews were also arranged among friends, for example, basketball players, farmers, and card-playing cronies, who simply enjoyed reminiscing.

Each interview was transcribed, and a brief summary was written and submitted to the principals for approval or correction; the summaries were later published as a booklet. A volunteer with video experience helped select the better segments and condensed them into one tape.


Index to School Enumeration Records for Lake County, Indiana, 1880-1931 (89-3004); Lake County Public Library, 1919 West 81st Avenue, Merrillville, IN 46410. Ana Grandfield, Project Director.


These school enumeration records identify the family name, the parent/guardian, and the sex of the student. In later years, the children's names and birthdates were included.

The index compiled is alphabetical by family name, identifying the township/city, year, and page number of the record cited. With this information, a researcher will be able to request a specific microfilm or have a page copied. The index will be housed at the Lake County Public Library.

Forks of the Wabash Historical Guide (89-3008); Historic Forks of the Wabash, Inc.,
P.O. Box 983, Huntington, IN 46750.


The guide will provide an accurate and comprehensive historical survey on which Historic Forks of the Wabash could base its plans for interpreting the site and as a resource which could be made available to those who might have more than a casual interest in the site.
The guide contains ten essays written by Dwight Ericsson, Elizabeth Glenn, Sue Strass, Craig Leonard, Charlene Wirtner, Mary Welches, Thomas Castaldi, and Jean Gernand.

Copies of the Guide may be obtained from Historic Forks of the Wabash, Inc.


Upper Patoka Valley Research (89-3011); Division of Reservoir Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Room W282, 402 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.


The Upper Patoka Research project represents a unique attempt to document the local history of a public property. A key goal, and the primary product, is the establishment of a local resource base and repository for the material collected. This collection is accessible to DNR staff (interpreters), the public, and researchers.

Key elements include a subject index to all printed materials, maps, and artifacts; an oral history collection of fifty-three audio tapes and six video tapes; and a photograph collection of over 200 historic photographs, cataloged and displayed in archival notebooks. The materials are housed at Patoka Lake Visitor Center, 812-685-2447.


F.L.A.S.H: Film, Locate and Share History (89-3013); Cedar Lake Historical Association, P.O. Box 421, Cedar Lake, IN 46303.


Flashbacks of Lives and Times in Cedar Lake records life in the area during the growing years, 1862-1940. Tintypes, photographs, and 1,490 daguerreotypes have been transferred to video tape with narration. Running time is three hours, thirty-nine minutes. The tape is shown each weekend, May through October, at the Lake of Red Cedars Museum. The tape and script are being placed in Cedar Lake grade and high schools, Purdue University-Calumet, I.U. Northwest, Cedar Lake Branch and Lake County libraries, Indiana Humanities Council Resource Center, and Lake of Red Cedars Museum.


Our Heritage Lights the Future: History of Ferdinand, Indiana, 1840-1990 (89-3014); Ferdinand Historical Society, Box 194, Ferdinand, IN 47532.


The Ferdinand Historical Society was asked to produce an updated history in celebration of the town's sesquicentennial. A comprehensive list of German-speaking towns, from which Ferdinand families had come, a complete census of the Ferdinand cemetery, indexes, maps, and other features were included in the book.

The church and convent, schools, businesses, industries, families, and other sources submitted historical sketches covering the last twenty-five years. The Ferdinand News was researched to gather information not otherwise submitted. The funds provided by IHRG made the preparation of the 337-page manuscript possible.


Technology's Effect on Medicine: A Cataloging Project of the Indiana Medical History Museum (89-3015); Indiana Medical History Museum, 3000 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222.


This project focused on diagnostic equipment contained in the collections of the Indiana Medical History Museum. A cataloger was hired, and the collection now meets museum standards. The catalog is available to the public in a card-file format. The research completed in this project provided the basis for a museum exhibit.


The Moore-Youse Home-118 Years of Its History (89-3016); Delaware County Historical Alliance, P.O. Box 1266, Muncie, IN 47308.


This grant project allowed personnel to bring all the archival material of Mary Youse Maxon's ancestors together in a proper archival storage system. The collection has been indexed with some of the following subject headings: Advertising Company Files, Cookbooks and Recipes, Correspondence, Financial Records, Kibele Records, Legal Records, Local History, Newspaper Clippings, Scrapbooks, Subject Files, Travel Files, Photographs, Photographic Albums, and Oversized Material.

The collection spans circa 1840s to 1980s and chronicles, in part, the lives of early Delaware County residents (1820s and 1850s).
The Moore-Youse Home is located at 122 East Washington, Muncie.


Indianapolis Zoological Society Archives (89-3017); Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222.


An archives policy was written and passed by the Board of Trustees of the Indianapolis Zoological Society. Plans were made for creating retention schedules for records created by the Indianapolis Zoological Society. A preliminary survey of all administrative records was conducted including records in storage and records in automated form.

Forms were created to document the receipt and accession of archival materials. Preliminary inventories of archival materials were created, and work was begun to create finding aids (descriptive guides to the collection) and catalog cards for processed collections. Rules were developed for use of the archival collections, and forms were prepared to qualify and register researchers. The Indianapolis Zoological Society Archives are open to the public.


Bethlehem Lutheran Church: A Meeting of the Arts, Community, and Church (89-3020); Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 526 East 52nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205.


The project resulted in the compilation and organization of church records, the accumulation of information from church members (some through oral interviews), and a detailed study of the religious symbolism evident within the artwork located within the Bethlehem sanctuary. The project also increased the awareness of church members and residents of the community about the significance of local history.

The project generated several reports on the history of the congregation and separate descriptions of the artwork at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, including the altar, the shields on the sanctuary ceiling, and the balcony area. In addition, the project allowed us to record this artwork on color slides for the sake of future research and preservation of our heritage. Copies of these reports are available at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.


Collection and Transcription of Oral History Tapes (89-3021); The Children's Museum, 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208.


The Collection and Transcription of Oral History Tapes contains twelve written and audiotaped interviews with African-Americans in Central Indiana and Indianapolis. The tentative use of these interviews will be the basis for an exhibition, which will provide a public forum for African-Americans in this community to pass on their experiences and insights to younger generations. Three sets of audiotapes and transcriptions were produced as a result of this project.


Swiss Colonization Records in German-A Translation Project (89-3023); Tell City Historical Society, Inc., Tell City, IN 47586.


Early minute books of the Swiss Colonization Society were written in old German script in Cincinnati, Ohio and Tell City, Indiana beginning in 1858. They were translated by Dr. Marga Meier, translator, interpreter, and retired professor. These record books give detailed accounts of the planning of a new town, preceding and including the incorporation of the town of Tell City.

The translated, unedited records have been typed and arranged in print-ready form. They have not been indexed. The Tell City Historical Society plans to make copies available at cost to any interested libraries or individuals.


Cementing the Past: The Influence of the Cement Industry on Speed, Indiana (89-3024); Charlestown-Clark County Public Library, 51 Clark Road, Charlestown, IN 47111.


"Cementing the Past" is an oral history project which explores the influence of the cement industry on Speed, Indiana. Working conditions at the Louisville Cement Company are discussed in detail, as is the social, community, and religious life of Speed residents. "Cementing the Past" offers primary resources in the form of recorded interviews, transcripts, and slide photographs.

In addition to the taped interviews and transcripts, the library owns over 500 slides of the Louisville Cement Company and the Speed community. These slides are available to researchers for viewing in the library. Arrangements can be made to have reproductions made for research purposes.

A slide/tape program entitled "Cementing the Past" is also available to groups and classes. Program arrangements can be made by contacting the library.


Indexing of Historical Records on Microfilm (89-3025); Mooresville Public Library and Friends of the Mooresville Public Library, 220 West Harrison Street, Mooresville, IN 46158.


Many of the historical documents in the Mooresville Public Library, placed on microfilm by the Genealogical Society of Utah, had not been arranged in any order and needed to be indexed. Records that were indexed include family histories, obituary files, genealogy of early settlers, scrapbooks and diaries from the 1870s and 1880s, and mortuary records.

Much of the family history on microfilm deals with the same subject matter that is available in binders in the Indiana History Room.


Mexican-American Harbor Lights (89-3028); Señoras of Yesteryear, 1601 East Columbus Drive, East Chicago, IN 46312.


The primary goal was to tell the story of the first and second generations of Mexican-Americans in East Chicago. The hardships, trials and tribulations, as well as the triumphs and success were documented.

Information was obtained through personal interviews and the collection of family photographs and documents.
Mexican American Harbor Lights: A Pictorial History has been published as a result of the grant.


Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse and Sheriff's Residence: Collecting the Past to Enhance the Future (89-3029); Vanderburgh County Historical Society, 22 Southeast Fifth Street, Evansville, IN 47708.


This project has assembled a collection of significant documents and photographs detailing the planning and construction of the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse and Sheriff's Residence of Evansville, Indiana, concentrating on the period 1887-1969.

Materials collected include a booklet chronology of construction and significant events and people associated with the building, photocopies of newspaper articles from the two major Evansville newspapers from 1887-1891, as well as articles from library "clippings files" and private collections. The Vanderburgh County Board of County Commissioners minute book, 1887-1891 and the index of references to the buildings in the Commissioner's minutes, 1891-1969 contained additional information. These minutes include information on names, dates, contracts, and other details related to the buildings.

Also available are approximately seventy photographs documenting the construction, use, and changes in the building over the last one hundred years.


Standing on the Promises of God: The Folk History of Second Baptist Church (89-3030); Private Eyes, Inc., Historical Research and Development, P.O. Box 2825, Louisville, KY 40201.


This research project was the third of a five-part undertaking that will result in the comprehensive folk and social history of the African-American Baptists who worshipped at the Second Baptist Church, New Albany, Indiana before 1900.

This segment focused on the collection of five tape-recorded interviews with some of the church's oldest members. Copies of the tapes and transcriptions are available at the Indiana Historical Society and the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library.

The recollections, reminiscences, artifacts, and other folk elements and traditions observed by this congregation were as important to the telling of this church's history, as the famous tower clock and Underground Railroad that have been documented as part of the church's formal history.


Miami Indian Life, 1873 (89-3032); Minnetrista Cultural Center, P.O. Box 1527, Muncie, IN 47308.


Dr. Stewart Rafert edited 442 pages of testimony taken from the Miami Indians in 1873 when their last reservation in Indiana was allotted, or divided.

The document, which covers the period from the 1830s to the 1870s, contains both genealogical material and details concerning tribal removal in 1846, hunting camps, the payment of annuities, the building of two Miami Baptist churches, a visit to President John Tyler, and many other items of Miami community life. It also contains an introduction by Dr. Rafert.

Copies of the document were placed on file at the Indiana Historical Society and the Minnetrista Cultural Center.


Where We Live: A Glimpse of Pioneer Life in Jennings County (89-3035); Jennings County Preservation Association, P.O. Box 412, Vernon, IN 47282.


The purpose of this project was to edit and publish a manuscript entitled A Glimpse of Pioneer Life In Jennings County, by Alice Ann Bundy.

The publication covered pioneer settlement, home life, social life, the development of the school system, the development of transportation, the Civil War era, and the growth of villages and towns.


Saving Our Image(s): Preserving Data in Cellulose Nitrate Negatives (89-3037); Indiana University, Bryan Hall 215, Bloomington, IN 47402.


The "Saving Our Image(s)" project sought to preserve the information contained in over 800 cellulose nitrate negatives stored in the Calumet Regional Archives. The project photographer produced prints from the nitrate negatives and generated new, safety negatives for each print.

The images deal with several subjects in the history of Gary, Indiana, including significant Gary buildings, the schools, the lakefront community of Miller, and United States Steel Corporation-Gary Works steel mills.

Workshops describing the problems of nitrate negatives and how to deal with them were presented at three area public libraries which house local history materials.

Copies of the Archives' collection inventories, as well as copies of the workshop handouts, may be requested at no charge from the Calumet Regional Archives, I.U. Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, Indiana 46408.


Howard Steamboat Museum Verbatim (89-3043); Howard Steamboat Museum, 1101 East Market Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47130.


Nineteen oral history tapes and transcriptions were produced and are available at the Howard Steamboat Museum; the Jeffersonville Township Public Library; the Indiana State Library; the Indiana Historical Society; and the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington.

The oral history interviews include Ed Howard (son of James E. Howard), and Frances Howard Kohlhepp (granddaughter of Edmonds J. Howard), who lived in the house that is now the Howard Steamboat Museum until she was ten years old (1910).

Personal papers and slides taken by James E. Howard, the last owner of the Howard Shipyard, were discovered and are included with the transcriptions. These papers contain Howard's recollections and observations of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century steamboating.


A Bibliographic Guide to Special Collections on the Ohio River (89-3044); Oral History Research Center, Indiana University, 404 Memorial Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405.


This grant resulted in An Inventory of Special Collections in Libraries, Museums, and Historical Societies Relating to the Ohio River.
The subject matter is extremely broad. Collections include archaeology, Indian cultures, immigrant populations, literature and the arts, politics, religion, economics, industry and technology, steamboats, canals, bridges, pollution, and water quality.

Likewise, collection material types also cover a wide range. Included are collections of books, magazines, manuscripts, photographs, tapes, and artifacts relevant to wide-ranging studies pertaining to the Ohio River.


Simmons School Documentation (89-3046); Flatrock-Hawcreek School Foundation, State Road 9, Hope, IN 47246.


The Simmons School is a one-room schoolhouse located in Hawcreek Township, Bartholomew County. Through our research and interviews, we learned how children got to school, what subjects were taught, how teachers were educated, discipline at school, recess activities, and many other one-room schoolhouse experiences.

Tape transcriptions, the written report, photographs, and drawings are on file at the Indiana Humanities Council. Photocopies of the written report, photographs, and drawings have been submitted to the Bartholomew County Library, Bartholomew County Historical Society, Yellow Trail Museum, Flatrock-Hawcreek School Corporation, Indiana Historical Society, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, State Historic Preservation Office, Indiana State Library, Town of Hope, and Heritage of Hope.


Civic Cathedrals: The Indiana High School Gymnasium as Vernacular Architecture (89-3047); Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, One Hall of Fame Court, New Castle, IN 47362.


Civic Cathedrals is a thirty-five minute video of a slide-tape presentation surveying the dominant styles of gymnasium architecture and the key events that spurred gym-building "races" in Indiana high school communities. It recounts the catalysts and funding processes responsible for each of the successively larger facilities built between 1923 and1960.

The videotape is available from the Indiana Humanities Council Resource Center and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. All 800 slides, including many historical as well as contemporary images, can be viewed by appointment at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

[Editorial Note: See the related article on page 4 of the Indiana History Bulletin, Volume 65, Number 1.]