Old St Mary’s Hospital

Officially it’s now called St Vincent, but locals will always refer to it as St Mary’s Hospital.  Today we look at the old hospital building before they relocated to their present spot.

Postcard of St Mary Hospital c1900

St Mary’s moved from its first location at the Old Marine Hospital to a new building in February 1894. The new building was built on First Avenue across from St Anthony’s Catholic Church.  Several people recall babies being born in the hospital and then being whisked across the street for a prompt baptism.

1920s addition, now used by a staffing company

An addition on the Columbia St side was built in 1922.  It was a four-story brick building.  If you happen to be walking by, check out the stone work over the door which dons a cross from the old Catholic hospital.

Nurses Home shortly after it was built

Circa 1947, a nurses’ home was built on the southeast corner of First and Delaware. The old Polsdorfer home was razed to make way for the U-shaped building. It still sands as part of the St Vincent’s Day Care campus, though the old entrance has been bricked up.

On March 10, 1956, St Mary’s achieved the remarkable feat of moving to the new building on outer Washington Ave all in one day. They had outgrown the old facility on First Ave. It’s wild to think the two big hospitals in town were so close in proximity. Deaconess Hospital was just a few blocks away centered at Mary and Iowa.

The vacant building was demolished in May 1959, although the addition is still there serving as medical offices. Hacienda restaurant now stands on the former site.

View of the hospital from First and Columbia c1930
Aerial c1940. St Anthony is in the foreground
St Mary demolition May 25, 1959

Celebrate Evansville’s Centennial – 70 Years Later

 

Evansville’s 100th Birthday float passes the Victory Theater showing Duel in the Sun

The Vanderburgh County Historical Society in partnership with Willard Library is sponsoring a presentation by Vanderburgh County Historian Stan Schmitt on Evansville’s Centennial Parade in May of 1947. Stan’s presentation begins at 6:30 PM on May 11, 2017 in the Browning Gallery of Willard Library. The event is free and open to the public. Advance reservations are appreciated. Call (812) 425-4309, ext. 117 to reserve a space.

Stan’s presentation revolves around never before seen color footage of the parade. The color footage is a part of the estate of Janet Noelting Robinson. Janet’s father, Elmer Noelting shot 16 MM film footage of various events in Evansville during the 1930s and 1940s. The footage was donated to the Vanderburgh County Historical Society (VCHS) by Janet’s estate. VCHS has converted several of the films into digital format. Evansville’s Centennial Parade footage is shot on Main Street Evansville. In addition to footage of floats commemorating special events in Evansville’s history, the film also includes numerous shots from various angles of downtown Evansville.

The Evansville Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Parade and paid for the floats depicting Evansville’s history. Business and organizations created their own floats. Represented are Servel, International Harvester, International Steel, and Evansville College among others. Marching bands from the area joined in the parade. Reitz, Central, Lincoln, and Mater Dei are a few of the bands that marched.

Miss Evansville Finalists, not in order: Patsy Small, Marquerite Weedman, Amolea Bosecker, Mary Jane Gray, Julia Mayton, Norman Jean Winterheimer and Phyllis Schriber.

We will provide time for audience participation and discussion. If you can help us identify people in the parade or have stories about the people involved or the parade itself, we welcome your input.

100 Years Old: Cadick Apartments

In some ways, a century ago was not that different than today. With downtown flourishing and residents looking for affordable housing, the Cadick Apartments were part of a building boom that generated several rental units.

Architect sketch of the Cadick Apartments , a new “Florentine” style building

The New Cadick was the brainchild of A. C. Hassensall with the help of famed local architect W. E. Russ.  Built in the Beaux Arts style, it was a 3-story brick structure with a tiled roof.  Stone on the first floor has “Cadick Apartments” carved in it, and the building also has some intricate brickwork.

Cadick Apartments under construction January 1917

The new apartments were built from 1916-1917, and contained 14 units.  Some of the more notable features included Murphy beds and mahogany wood trim in each apartment.  The first floor featured leasing offices and space for a doctors offices.  The Cadick also had a full basement that included a dining hall and laundry room.

1st St from Locust during the 1937 Flood. McCurdy at right and Cadick beyond the old Elks Home at left.
Apartments today 100 years young (photo from Vanderburgh County Assessor)

Dr James MacLeod’s New Book on Cartoonist Karl Kae Knecht to be Launched at UE

Dr. James MacLeod
The Cartoons of Evansville’s Karl Kae Knecht

University of Evansville professor of history James MacLeod will deliver an illustrated lecture and read from his newly released book, The Cartoons of Evansville’s Karl Kae Knecht, at a book launch on Thursday, March 2. Sponsored by the Vanderburgh County Historical Society, MacLeod’s lecture will start at 7:00 p.m. in Room 170 (Smythe Lecture Hall) in the Schroeder School of Business Building on the University campus. The book will be for sale at the event and the author will be signing copies. This event is free and open to the public.

Karl Kae Knecht, editorial cartoonist for the Evansville Courier from 1906 to 1960, was synonymous with the city of Evansville, moving and amusing his readers with his creations. He mocked the Axis powers and kept local morale high during World War II, and commented daily on issues from the Great Depression to the Space Race. But he was much more than an artist, working tirelessly as a civic booster and campaigner for worthy causes of all kinds.

He helped establish Evansville College and he was almost single handedly responsible for the establishment of Mesker Park Zoo. The book, which is illustrated with over 70 cartoons, tells the fascinating story of Knecht’s life, places him in the context of the history of editorial cartooning, and analyzes his cartooning genius.

Dr MacLeod was educated at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He taught history and British studies at Harlaxton College from 1994-1999. Since 1999 he has been a member of the history department at the University of Evansville. He teaches courses in European history and the two World Wars, and lectures frequently on these topics. He is the author of two other books: The Second Disruption, and Evansville in World War II as well as many other scholarly publications. In 2016 he wrote and co-produced a two-part documentary for WNIN, Evansville at War. MacLeod is an editorial cartoonist whose drawings appear in the Evansville Courier and Press and other newspapers.

For more information on the book reading, please call 812-488-2963

Karl Kae Knecht October 8, 1943

 

Karl Kae Knecht 1940

The Personal Side of Glenn Black: Indiana’s Archaeologist Revealed

Glenn Black

Thursday, February 9, 6:00 p.m.
Willard Library Browning Gallery
21 First Avenue◊Evansville, Indiana 47710

Using newly-acquired images and artifacts, Mike Linderman, Western Regional Manager for Indiana State Historic Sites, will discuss the work of  Glenn Black , a pioneering archaeologist who conducted several decades of scientific excavations at Angel Mounds before his death in 1964.

This event will be only the second time the items have been shown publicly, with many new ones added since the first program. Several of their personal items will be on display, many from their home at Angel Mounds.

This program is sponsored by Willard Library, the Vanderburgh County Historical Society, and Angel Mounds; it is free and open to the public, but reservations are appreciated; to register, visit www.willard.lib.in.us or call (812) 425-4309, ext. 117.

The Personal Side of Glenn Black:  Indiana’s Archaeologist Revealed

In 2015 a large collection of Glenn and Ida Black’s personal items were offered to the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites from a Great-Niece living in Indianapolis.  Earlier attempts to find their personal belongings came up with a story of all of it being destroyed and thrown away.  What was found were over 1,700 images on photos and slides of their lives, the first time that any of them had ever been seen outside of the family.  The photos and slides document their time at Angel Mounds, time with their families before moving to the site and trips with Eli and Ruth Lilly across the country.

 

Barwe Butcher Shop

Barwe construction 1904

Frank X. Barwe ran a successful butcher shop in the new town of Howell around the turn of the century. In December 1904 he built a large brick building for his business. The store was located at 211 Broadway Ave on the alley between Delmar Ave and Ewing Ave. A smokehouse and a sausage factory used to stand next door but those are long gone. There were also stables in the rear of the property, but they were destroyed in a fire. An article in the April 17, 1913 newspaper says that there was $500 in damage and Hose House No. 7 (before it relocated to Howell) responded.

Barwe Butcher Shop 1910 Sanborn

 

1926 Ad Barwe

Barwe continued to sell “home killed beef” into the 1930s .  As with many other buildings, the store was renumbered 3118 Broadway Ave when Evansville adopted a new numbering system. He also built a new bungalow in 1930 next door at 3122 Broadway Ave for his personal residence.

Barwe Butcher Shop, with Barwe’s 1930 bungalow next door at right

Barwe retired, passing away in 1937, but his store was used over the years. Frank DeShield’s ran a grocery there in the late 1930s and the Broadway Market operated in the building in the 1940s and 1950s.  Beginning in the mid-1950s, several business tried their luck in the old building including Embry’s Furniture Store, Mary’s Coffee Shop, ABC Motorcycle Sales (later West Side Cycle), and an auto parts supply store, but like many old building the structure has outlasted all its owners.  For some time it has been the home of United Schenk Accounting

 

Celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial with the Vanderburgh County Historical Society

ice-gorge-1936-2
Ice Gorge in Evansville, IN February 1936
willkie-1940-1
Wendell Willkie’s Speech at Bosse Field in October 1940

The Vanderburgh County Historical Society (VCHS) and the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science, team to show never before seen film of Evansville in the 1930s and 1940s. The source 16 MM films were donated to the VCHS by the estate of Janet Noelting Robinson. The Noelting family owned and operated Faultless Caster in Evansville, and Janet’s father, Elmer, began filming in the late 1920s. Most films were of family holidays and vacation, but some were of special events in the Evansville area.

The November 17th presentation in the Evansville Museum’s Koch Immersive Theater begins at 6:00 PM and includes four films. Since seating is limited please call the museum at 812-425-2406 for a complimentary reservation.

The Strike at Faultless Caster in September of 1933 is presented by Jon Carl of FJ Reitz High School. This black and white footage shows strikers in front of Faultless Caster on Stringtown Road. Strikers, many of them women, hold signs and protest their employer. Jon’s presentation will give background and details about the strike, strikers, and owners. `

The Ice Gorge of 1936 is presented by Tom Lonnberg, Curator of History at the Evansville Museum. The Ohio River at Evansville froze over in February of 1936. This motion picture footage shows multiple views of the river and the boats frozen in the water.

The Opening of Washington Elementary School September 1937 presented by Joe Engler of HistoricEvansville.com. This color footage shows students entering the grounds and building of Washington Elementary for the first time. The Noelting family has titled this film Janet’s New School. A young Janet Noelting is seen walking into the new school shown in a near rural setting.

Wendell Willkie Campaigns in Evansville in October 1940 is presented by Dr. Denise Lynn, Professor of History at the University of Southern Indiana. Willkie, an Indiana native, was Franklin Roosevelt’s Republican opponent in the election on 1940. Willkie’ s campaign stopped here for a political rally at Bosse Field. Elmer Noelting filmed the rally in color.

For additional information, check the VCHS web site at www.vchshistory.org or the VCHS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/vchshistory/.

Century Club – Fendrich house

Fendrich house at 827 SE 1st St
Fendrich house at 827 SE 1st St

When John H. Fendrich, the proprietor of the Fendrich Cigar, planned to build a new downtown home, he commissioned famed Chicago architect, W. L. Klewer to design the new residence. It was designed in the Prairie Style among the mansions on First St.

Frendrich home under construction
Frendrich home under construction

The home was completed in 1917.  It was built with red brick and limestone and covered in a green tile roof.  The round-arch door draws focus from across College St. Two lions guard the front porch and a covered porch with an exterior fireplace is at the left.  A large 3-car garage is set back from the house, in a matching style.  It also includes a 1/2 story for the chauffeur.

Even after Mr. Fendrich died in 1953, the home has remained a single-family residence.  The historic home was opened up for the 2013 Riverside Neighborhood Tour. The following pictures were taken during that tour.

Kitchen from 2013 Riverside Tour
Kitchen from 2013 Riverside Tour
Fireplace from 2013 Riverside Tour
Fireplace from 2013 Riverside Tour
Front door from 2013 Riverside Tour
Front door from 2013 Riverside Tour
Outdoor porch from 2013 Riverside Tour
Outdoor porch from 2013 Riverside Tour

A History of Local High School Football by Dan Engler

VCHS HS FOOTBALL

Dan Engler’s passion for covering Reitz high school football and sports in general began over 20 years ago. In high school, he played for the Panthers and served on the staff of the Reitz Mirror. Shortly after his graduation in 1996, he created what has become Indiana’s oldest high school football website, ReitzFootball.com.

After creating a sister site now known as AlmanacSports.com, Engler, along with his brother Joe, have chronicled the history of Southwestern Indiana high school football and soccer.

In addition to his online work, Engler’s writing has been published in several local newspapers, including the Evansville Courier & Press. He also worked for the now-defunct NEWS25 Sports Channel providing live statistics for their weekly live games and has refereed football for 20 years.

Dan’s talk will cover all teams with a heavy focus on traditional powerhouses over time.

September 22 @ 6:30 pm8:00 pm  

Willard Library

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