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Phillips among the Last of Monroe County’s Two-room Schools

Blog post by Randi Richardson The Phillips Schoolhouse at the southeast intersection of Indiana 446 and Lampkins Ridge Road (Section 12, Perry Township) was among the last of the two-room schoolhouses in Monroe County.  In 1967 outdoor toilets were still in use—one for the girls and another for the boys.  Clarence Stewart, the School Superintendent,

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Bloomington Mail Carrier Once Guarded the White House

Blog post by Randi Richardson Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), a progressive democrat, was the 28th president of the United States serving two terms from 1913 to 1921.  During the course of his administration, the perimeter of the White House was guarded by sixty-six men each night working in three shifts of twenty-two each.  One of those

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When Mary (Kleindorfer) Skirvin Died

Blog post by Randi Richardson Elizabeth Pauline “Betty” (Skirvin) Richardson, my mother-in-law, was born April 12, 1922, in Monroe County, Indiana, to Ross Monroe and Mary Elizabeth (Kleindorfer) Skirvin.  She was the fourth child of six.  Bob, the oldest, was born in 1916; John, the youngest, was in May 1926. Six months after John’s birth,

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SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF A KLAN FUNERAL

Blog post by Randi Richardson In the spring of 2019 a Bloomington resident who wished to remain anonymous donated five, small photos showing a large number of Ku Klux Klan members attending a burial ceremony.  The photos had no identifying information and the donor didn’t even know how s/he came to have the photos in

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If Death Records in Indiana Were Mandated in 1882, Why Can’t I Find Them

Blog post by Randi Richardson According to the Seymour (IN) Weekly Democrat of September 22, 1881, as of 1882 undertakers and physicians were required by law to make weekly reports to the city clerk of deaths or burials within city limits or places under the control of the city.  The report was to include the

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When Flooding Wreaked Havoc on Monroe County–1913

Blog post by Randi Richardson The flood of March 1913 is without parallel in the history of Indiana.  It occurred between March 23 and March 26 in the central and eastern part of the United State following several days of record-breaking rain onto already heavily saturated ground. On Tuesday, March 25, the Bloomington Daily Telephone provided a lengthy description

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TWO WHISTLES SIGNALED GRAVE DANGER

Blog post by Randi Richardson Johanna Bourke heard it without really listening.  The whistle of a train on the Monon tracks near her home in Benton Township.   Her husband, Mathias, worked on the railroad and frequently traveled on that particular train.  Each time she heard the whistle it was a comfort to her as though

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Senior Cords: Unfolding the Lives of Young Hoosiers

Blog post by Wayne Hastings Just a few weeks ago, I was responsible for accessioning a small group of donations given to us by Shirley Bowman. Bowman, a 1961 Elletsville graduate, offered the Center a wonderful assortment of high school memorabilia which included two pairs of beautifully hand-designed ‘senior cords’ owned by both Shirley and

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When Co. H Volunteered to Fight for Cuba’s Freedom

Blog post by Randi Richardson In 1898, Cuba was under the rule of the Spanish empire but had struggled a number of years for independence.  When the U. S. learned that Spain was abusing and killing Cubans, they sent warships to Cuba’s aid.  One of those warships, the USS Maine, mysteriously exploded on the evening

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Was the Heart of President Lincoln’s Killer Once Destined for IU’s Museum: An Interesting Story, but Is It True

Blog post by Randi Richardson In 1881 an unnamed reporter for the Bloomington Hawkeye shared with the newspaper’s readers his recent experience in downtown Bloomington. He said he met a fashionably dressed young woman, perhaps 24 or 25 years of age, on the north side of the downtown square.  She said she had just come from Indianapolis

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