Labor Day is approaching

School has started and the month of August is winding down. This means that Labor Day is just around the corner. And what’s Labor Day without a parade? B-O-R-I-N-G!

Take a gander at this fun Labor Day parade photo from the archives of the Princeton Public Library. This float was created by the Paperhangers Local 444 in 1926. All the men of this local are wearing white painter’s uniforms. The description of the photo continues:

“People are lining both sides of the street. Flags are mounted on each side of the street. McCullough’s Cafe, Purdy's Confectioner, and Walsh Decorating Co. are seen on the north side of the street.”

View more images from the Princeton Public Library collection


Union Christian College: progressive for its day

In tiny Merom, Ind., a progressive college opened its doors in 1859. Union Christian College was a co-educational school where women were encouraged to enroll in any class that men took.

Pictured at right is the Linconian Hall, so named in honor of President Lincoln in 1863. The Linconian Society met in this room.

Union Christian College closed its doors in 1924. For the next 12 years, the facility was opened only in the summer for various camps. In 1936, the campus was reopened as the Merom Institute. Owned by the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ, the facility is now known as the Merom Conference Center.

This image is part of the Sullivan County Public Library collection. Check out a larger image of the Linconian Hall.


Leading child psychologist a Terre Haute native

One of the country’s leading child psychologists in the early to mid-twentieth century was born and raised in Terre Haute, Ind. Paul A. Witty entered this world July 23, 1898, at 1423 Poplar St. During his years in Terre Haute he matriculated at Wiley High School and then Indiana State Normal, the forerunner of Indiana State University.

Paul continued his education, earning a master’s degree in education from Columbia University. In 1931, he received his PhD from Columbia. Dr. Witty spent his career as a professor of education at Northwestern University. Additionally, Paul helped to establish “The Quiz Kids” radio program. After returning home from World War II, he worked with the television show by the same name.

Dr. Witty’s papers have been preserved in the Northwestern University Archives.

The article about Dr. Witty by Vigo County Historian Mike McCormick appeared in the June 9, 2005, issue of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. The ad, Wabash Valley Profiles: A series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history, was sponsored by Terre Haute First Financial Bank.


It’s back to school time!

Soon, students of all ages will be returning to school — hitting the books and getting back into a routine. The sweet days of summer are quickly coming to an end.

This fantastic photograph at right shows three young women with their luggage returning to school at what is now known as Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind. This photograph is from the Martin’s Photo Shop collection. Martin’s Photo Shop was once located in downtown Terre Haute on Wabash Avenue from 1906 to 1976.

The photograph shows Eiko Nishimura, Carolyn Huntington and Beverly Lebo. Learn more about this image.

The photo is part of the collection of the Indiana State University Archives.


Nicholas Filbeck of Company E

Many people in both the North and the South believed that the Civil War would be over in a matter of months. Little did they realize that the war would last four terribly long years. Some of those caught up in the romanticizing were young boys who weren’t even shaving yet. Take, for example, Nicholas Filbeck of Terre Haute, Ind.

In 1861, Nicholas fudged about his age in order to serve in the 32nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. During the war Nicholas was wounded and captured. He was finally returned to Terre Haute. At some point, Nicholas was presented with the medal shown at right.

This medal and a portrait of Nicholas are part of the collection of the Vigo County Historical Society.

These artifacts are part of the Indiana Civil War Sesquicentennial Project. See more artifacts and images from this project.