There are no fewer than seven abandoned cemeteries in the city of Evansville. In three cases, we all have driven over the internments countless times. The earliest of these date to the establishment of our community. The stories of two are intertwined with the founding of Evansville and Vanderburgh County. The newest of them was still an active burial ground during the Second World War. These forgotten plots are a mix of pioneer, religious, municipal, and institutional. The universal comment is – of course they moved the burials? All of these cemeteries have fascinating and unique stories. Each is uniquely documented in the historical record. There are still many mysteries at each location calling for more research. All of the burial grounds lack markers and are crying out for some permanent monument to rescue them from oblivion.
Dennis is a professional historian, folklorist, and preservationist. Before his retirement in 2016 he had been Evansville’s Historic Preservation Officer for nineteen years. His publications include pieces on the War of 1812, foodways, and historic architecture. Most recently, Dennis is proud of his role in discovering the national significance of the Peters-Margedant House. In his retirement Au continues to research and write and is pursuing his life-long interest in archaeology.
This presentation is January 23, 2018 at 6:30 PM in the Browning Gallery at Willard Library, 21 N First Ave, Evansville, IN 47710. The event is free and open to the public. Advance reservations are appreciated. Call (812) 425-4309, ext. 117 to reserve a space.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Vanderburgh County Historical Society and the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science will sponsor a new, never before seen video of the Evansville Day Parade of June 23, 1945. The Evansville Day Parade celebrated Evansville’s contribution to the war effort during World War II.. Video footage will show military hardware and personnel, the Central High School and Lincoln High School marching bands, floats from major manufacturers in the Evansville area — Republic Aviation, Servel, Bootz Manufacturing and others — and the Evansville built USS Vanderburgh at Dress Plaza. Representatives from the VCHS and Evansville Museum will provide historical insight into this parade as part of the presentation.
This five minute color video is the first of several videos the Vanderburgh County Historical Society will be unveiling in 2016. These videos are sourced from 16 MM film donated to VCHS by the family of Janet Noelting Robinson.
The Evansville Day Parade presentation will be at 6:30 PM on Thursday, June 16, 2016 in the Koch Immersive Theater of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science at 411 S.E. Riverside Drive Evansville, Indiana 47713-1098.
Seating in the Koch Immersive Theater is limited. Please make reservations at the Evansville Museum at 812-425-2406.
Angel Mounds’ Mike Linderman will make the following presentation in Willard Library’s Browning Gallery on January 28th at 6:30 PM. Enter at the South entrance.
Francis Martin was a pioneering woman in the field of archaeology, having worked with some of the greats like Dr. Glenn Black at Angel Mounds and doing much independent work in the field in our area. Along with her husband George, Francis traveled around the tri-state region documenting and preserving information on numerous archaeological sites.
This presentation will highlight her career through her own slides, which cover a period of over 50 years. The slides were donated to Angel Mounds State Historic Site after her death in 1999 by her niece. Now digitized, they can be shown again to the public for the first time in over 25 years. Along with showing the slides, the goal is to meet people who knew Francis and help us complete the story of her life, which is somewhat lacking on the personal level.