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History of Old Vincennes and Knox County, Indiana (Volume 1) online

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discussed by the speaker. A committee was appointed to draft a constitu-
tion and by-laws and present the same at a meeting to be held on March i ,
1907, called for the purpose of electing officers. The constitution was
adopted and the following officers elected: Mrs. Chas. Bierhaus, president;
C. B. Kessinger, first vice president; Mrs. Sam Lyons, second vice presi-
dent ; John St. John, recording secretary ; Miss Ida L. Lusk, corresponding
secretary; Frank Curtis, treasurer. The following named persons were
chosen as directors : Messrs. W. C. Mason, Mrs. Mary F. Ewing, Prof. A.
R. Bailey, Mrs. H. W. Alexander, Miss Margaret Holland, Prof. J. G. Or-
gan, Perry D. Green, Miss Eleanor Beach, W. H. Vollmer, Mrs. Wm. Reed,
Rev. W. E. Morgan, Miss Estelle Dalbey (Mrs. Julius Hack). The asso-
ciation was incorporated in June, 1910, and the ladies and gentlemen named
above attached their signatures to the articles of incorporation.

The first exhibition, as were those subsequently held, was given in June,
1907, in the high school building, all the rooms of the third floor being util-
ized for the purpose. On this occasion the association purchased a beauti-
ful picture, which attracted among the many hundreds of others, universal
attention, the title of which was "The Cloud," done by S. C. Steele.

Mr. Herman Wessell, a Vincennes artist, had a number of fine paintings
displayed, conspicuous among which was "The Dutch Admiral," a produc-
tion much admired by the instructors and pupils of the Cincinnati Art
School, from which institution Mr. W. graduated with high honors. The
artist very generously donated this specimen of his skill to the association,
and it is to-day as highly prized as any work comprising the valuable collec-
tion embraced in the annual exhibit of this infant art society. Mrs. Sheri-
dan H. Isaacs (formerly Miss Lizzie Clarke), was another generous donor,
and presented a beautiful painting in oil, entitled "Roses." The second ex-
hibition, the third and fourth, which were attended by thousands of visitors,
were also held in the high school building, in June, 1908-9-10, respectively.
• On each occasion, in the years as set forth in the order above, many pur-
chases were made of the most desirable prints, etchings, masterful and
praiseworthy executions in oil and water.

The Vincennes Art As.sociation, which is a member of the Indiana Art
Circuit, has the largest and best selection of paintings, prints, worthy bronze
and plaster casts of any city in Southern Indiana, which are housed for the


present in the commodious and well-lighted assembly rooms of the Vincennes
high school building, where they afford not only pleasure and delight to the
students, but are objects of great interest to teachers, visitors and educators
from abroad. The prints ami casts are part and parcel of a collection pre-
sented by the Alumni Association of the Vincennes high school. The paint-
ings have been purchased, year by year, out of the collections sent here for
display, and include those referred to above as donations.

From time to time the Vincennes Art Association has some of the most
celebrated art advocates and lecturers in the country visit the city to
regale its members and their friends with up-to-date discussions of art,
glimpses of the places where it is encouraged, its devotees, and the benefi-
cence of its culture. All told, the patrons of the association at the close of
the year 1910 numbered more than eight hundred, its active membership be-
ing about seventy-five. The present ofificers of the association are Mrs.
Chas. Bierhaus, president ; C. B. Kessinger, first vice president ; Mrs. Wm.
Glover, second vice president ; Albert Heinekamp, recording secretary ;
Miss Ida Lusk, corresponding secretary ; Frank Curtis, treasurer. Directors,
Mrs. H. W. Alexander, i\Irs. Edward Pielemeire, Mrs. Mary F. Ewing, Miss
Margaret Holland, Miss Eleanor Beach, Aliss Lena M. Robinson, W. H.
Vollmer, R. I. Hamilton, \V. C. Mason, Jake Gimbel, James Wade Emison,
Horace Ellis.


Back in the late fall of 1889 Mesdames Jos. L. Bayard and Wm. Berry
began to enquire concerning the kind of books some of their intimate friends
were reading. The discussion resulted in a pre-arranged meeting at the
home of Mrs. Bayard, in January, 1890, which terminated in the organiza-
tion of the St. Francis Xavier branch of the Columbia Reading Circle. "Is
it not a glorious thing to live for the best?" was the motto selected by the
club, which thereupon proceeded to the election of the following officers :
Mrs. Wm. Berry, president ; Mrs. J. L. Bayard, secretary ; Miss Katharine
Greene, Miss Anna C. O'Flynn, Mrs. John B. LaPlante, directors. The
other members present, who signed the charter, were Joseph L. Bayard,
Mr. and Mrs. John Burke, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Breivogel, Mr. and Mrs.
Thos. Crosson, Airs. Schuyler Beard, Miss Anna Beckes, Mr. and Mrs.
Henry S. Cauthorn, Mrs. Orlando H. Cobb, Mrs. W. M. Hindman, Miss
Margaret Holland, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. LaCroix, Mrs. Edward Smith, Miss
Clementine W'eiscrt. John B. LaPlante, Rev. Father Dennis McCabe. It
was decided to limit the membership to twenty-five and hold semi-monthly
meetings of the club at the homes of members. The organization was
formed for the purpose of cultivating and fostering a taste for literature,
especially that of Catholic authors, as shown by the order of business, which
obtains at all meetings, and, briefly summarized, consists of selections from
the Catholic World ; selections from the Catholic Reading Circle Review ; a
chapter from book under discussion ; original paper on review ; discussion of


current events. At the conclusion of the evening's program a social round-
table hour is employed, "where words that have had mighty portent have
been spoken," said a member in referring to one of these round-table ses-
sions held "on a February evening, in the year 1901 ; when the sleet and cold
were intensely disagreeable, we recalled the hardships endured and sacrifices
made by our Vincennes heroes — George Rogers Clark and Father Pierre
Gibault. Sympathy for these great characters heightened a desire on our
part to honor their memory. A monument was suggested as a testimonial of
our appreciation of their worth and services, and for two or three meetings
the subject was freely agitated, the conclusion being reached that a monu-
ment should not only serve to perpetuate the memory of these men, but it
should be made beneficial to humanity. The hope grew that the sum of
money sought to be expended in the erection of a marble shaft could be bet-
ter utilized in securing rooms for the shelter of homeless toilers and a refuge
for the sick. The membership of the circle was small, but the energy and
enthusiasm of the workers were great; and in October, 1901, a movement
was inaugurated for the purpose of raising funds to carry the plans into
execution. The projectors met with such hearty encouragement, that they
enlarged on their original ideas, and organized as the Clark-Gibault Hospital
Association. A committee was appointed, which secured from the Knox
County Commissioners a promise to build a hospital, provided that the Col-
umbia Reading Circle would guarantee the furnishings and the City of Vin-
cennes would purchase the site. The City Council subsequently bought a
whole block of the Poullet heirs, and an amount almost sufficient to furnish
the rooms was raised. The Clarke-Gibault Memorial Hospital Association,
after originating the plans and paving the way for the erection of the build-
ing, was partially forced to step aside. At any rate their identity was lost
by the substitution of another name — Good Samaritan Hospital Association,
which later took the title of the Hospital Aid Society. Into the latter came
the good workers in the cause of charity from all over the city, regardless of
creed, thus exemplifying the true spirit of brotherly love and humanity.
Soon were opened the School for Graduate Nurses and the District Nurse
Department, all working to bring health and happiness to the afflicted." In
the midst of this humane work, through removals, terrestrial and celestial,
the membership of the Columbia Reading Circle had been reduced to fifteen.
It was this number which selected yirs. Edward Smith, Mrs. J. L. Bayard
and Mrs. J. B. LaPlante, to go before the County Commissioners, with a
number of prominent citizens and urge the commissioners to establish a hos-
pital, reluctantly consenting that the name of the institution be changed from
"Clark-Gibault" to "Good Samaritan." "For seven years," said the member,
"did the Columbia Reading Circle labor to achieve success ; then, not alone
Leah, but also the Rachel, of our dreams were our reward. Leah was the
building, lot and money for furnishing the institution and paying its running
expenses. Our Ruth is the alleviation of suffering, the sympathetic co-
operation of the Hospital Aid Society, the gratitude of the graduate nurses —

TIIK llo.MK OK Till-: j-AsriMK ( 1, 11!
iFniiHcT n'~i(li'iiri' of AliniT T. Kllisi


all laboring in unison to bring comfort to the afflicted. We are justly proud
of the result of our efiforts, and feel that no monument could reflect greater
honor on our heroes, although costing more money than the one originally
contemplated. In the life of the club there have been no dissensions, such
as sometimes occur in the election of officers. As the band of membership
has grown small, the bond of unity has grown strong, and to this harmony
much of the club's success is due — each member striving to be true to the
motto, 'Is it not a glorious thing to live for the best?' "

The St. Francis Xavier's club is a branch of the National Columbia
Reading Union, and is therefore subject to regulations from the latter.
The present officers of the local circle are Miss Clementine Weisert, presi-
dent ; Miss Katharine Greene, secretary and treasurer.


The Pastime Club, the membership of which is composed largely of
business and professional men, is one of the most exclusive social clubs in
the city, and has its home in a colonial building on Second, between Broad-
way and Busseron streets. This old mansion was formerly the residence
of Judge Abner T. Ellis, one of the most distinguished citizens of his day,
and was built nearly a hundred years ago. The materials entering chiefly
into its construction are brick and sandstone. There has long been a dis-
pute as to whether the stone was quarried from Wind Mill (La Plante's)
hill, or taken from the Wabash river, in the vicinity of Fort Knox. The
stone, however, has withstood many storms and is still in a very good state
of preservation, the massive pillars, which support the roof of the vestibule,
and the floor and steps, all being of like material, giving no more evidence
of the ravages of time than if they had been built of oolitic, instead of
sandstone. Directly across the street from this property is the building
which served the purpose for many years of a branch of the first State
Bank of Indiana. This old landmark had also a brown sandstone front,
was constructed on the same plan as the Ellis mansion, and set back on the
lot about the same distance from the sidewalk as the latter. The original
house was completely transformed, however, nearly thirty years ago, when
an addition w'as put on the front of the building to bring it flush with the
inside line of the sidewalk. The stone columns, removed from the bank
edifice during the process of remodeling, were worked into stepping stones,
and are to be seen to-day in different parts of the city.

The Pastime's rooms are handsomely furnished, and have been the
scenes of many brilliant social functions of a private and semi-public
character. The organization of the club took place on December 4, 1885,
and its incorporation on December 23, 1889, the charter list containing the
names of fifty of the most prominent citizens. The first officers were:
Robert B. Je*sup, president; Alason J. Niblack, vice president; H. J.
Foulks, secretary ; E. J. Julian, treasurer ; board of directors — C. B. Kes-


singer, P. M. O'Donnell. E. P. Biisse, R. B. Jessup, Jr., H. J. Foulks. The
Pastime is a prosperous organization and has established an enviable repu-
tation by its hospitable treatment of strangers and by the enforcement of
rules calling for decorous conduct on the part of visitors and members.
The card, billiard and music rooms, and the reading room, which is pro-
vided with all important metropolitan newspapers, leading weekly publica-
tions, and monthly magazines, are comfortably and tastefully arranged and
liberally patronized. The New Year's reception, which is a regular annual
event, is always looked forward to vi'ith the fondest anticipation. For
many years the recurrence of the anniversary of the capture of Vincennes
from the British by Cjeorge Rogers Clark has been celebrated with much
ceremony and patriotic fervor by the members of the Pastime. The last
celebration, commemorative of this event, was held at the club on the
evening of February 25, 191 1, on which occasion Elbridge G. Gardner,
aged 91 years, and William Green, aged 99 years, gave some interesting
reminiscences of early days, Mr. Green relating an experience he had as a
stage driver while transporting Col. Francis Vigo, Clark's true and trusted
friend, to Terre Haiite from Vincennes. The orators on this occasion were
Hon. Robt. G. Cauthorn and Hon. Samuel W. Williams.

The present officers of the Pastime Club are : C. C. Winkler, persident ;
F. M. Bond, vice president; Harry V. Somes, Jr., secretary; Robt. G.
Cauthorn, treasurer ; C. B. Kessinger, P. M. O'Donnell, Guy A. Mcjimsey,
Chas. L. Haughton, F. W. Quantz, directors.


The Francis Vigo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolu-
tion, in pursuing a mission along lines that is purely patriotic, has at the
same time increased the fund of social gaieties. The series of colonial
balls and operas given under their auspices recently for the purpose of
procuring funds for the Francis Vigo monument and with which to pur-
chase the Harrison mansion have been notably delightful events. The
chapter, however, was not organized to fill a sphere in the social world,
but for the purpose of perpetuating the memory of the spirit of the men
and women who achieved American Independence, by the acquisition and
protection of historical spots, and the erection of monuments ; by the en-
couragement of historical research in relation to the Revolution and publi-
cation of its results; by the preservation of documents and relics, and of
the records of the individual services of Revolutionary soldiers and patriots ;
and by the promotion of celebrations of all patriotic anniversaries.

Francis Vigo Chapter was organized on April 20, 1908, at the home of
Mrs. William Allen Cullop, who was the real instigator of the movement
leading up to that result. The roster of officers selected at that time was
as follows : Regent, Mrs. William Allen Cullop ; Vice Regent, Mrs. H. W.
Alexander ; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Wm. A, Spain ; Corresponding


Secretary, Mrs. Joseph Jones; Treasurer, Miss Katharine Mcllvaine;
Registrar, Mrs. Chas. L. Haughton ; Historian, Mrs. H. L. Gregory. The
charter hst was signed by fifteen ladies, including Mrs. R. E. tJrooks, an
original Daughter of the Revolution, who has since died, and ihe following
names appear thereon, together with those of the officers above : Mrs. H.
E. Hennis, Mrs. Chas. McClure, Mrs. VV. C. Reed, Mrs. J. C. Watts, Miss
Mary Haughton, Mrs. Lloyd Allen Johnson, Miss Mary Love. The other
members ot the chapter are: Miss Mabel Alexander, Mrs. D. L. Bonner,
Miss Mary Brittain, Mrs. Florida Davy, Miss Margaret Haughton, Mrs.
Geo. W. Parrill, Aliss Antoinette Andrus, Mrs. T. H. ^laxedon, Mrs.
Chas. B. Judah, Miss Bonnie Bierhaus, Miss Bernice Bonner, Mrs. W. F.
Calverley, Mrs. R. L Hamilton, Mrs. David Padgett, Miss Blanche Turrell,
Mrs. Frank W. Curtis, Mrs. Ed. Townsley, Mrs. A. Hayhurst, Mrs.
Wilfred Reep.

Monthly meetings of the chapter are held at the homes of members, at
which programs of a historical character are usually rendered, and an
hour of pleasant social intercourse enjoyed. Besides contributing its full
quota toward Colonial Hall, the chapter has set a handsome shaft at the
grave of Col. Francis Vigo, built a monument on the site of Fort Sack-
ville, and recently closed negotiations, and partially raised funds for the
purchase of the Harrison House. The patriotic zeal with which the mem-
bers are imbued is displayed in their enthusiastic observance of Flag Day,
Memorial Day, Washington's birthday, the anniversary of the capture of
Vincennes, and other seasons the recurring anniversaries of which suggest
demonstrations of patriotism. The present officers of Francis Vigo Chap-
ter, Daughters of the American Revolution, are: Airs. W. A. Cullop,
regent; Mrs. H. W. Alexander, vice regent; Mrs. Clarke E. Stewart, re-
cording secretary ; Mrs. Jos. Jones, corresponding secretary ; Mrs. Chas.
Haughton, registrar; Mrs. T. H. Maxedon, historian; Miss Katharine Mc-
llvaine, treasurer. Mrs. Cullop is a member of the committee, recently
appointed by the National Congress, D. A. R., to have the portrait in oil
of Mrs. Caroline Scott Harrison removed from the basement of the White
House, Washington, to the Indiana room of Continental Hall.


This organization was founded July 8, 1888, largely through the efforts
of E. W. Determann and Louis A. Meyer, who issued invitations to about
twenty prominent German citizens to meet them at the law office of Mr.
Meyer, where the advisability of forming a club whose primary object was
sociability, and where the German tongue would be spoken and the songs
of Fatherland sung, was discussed, resulting, as stated, in the formation
of the society. The first officers were: Louis A. Meyer, president ; Edward
Lindner, vice president ; E. W. Determann, secretary ; Frank Liebermann,
treasurer ; Edward Bierhaus, Sr., Eugene Hack, Henry J. Hellert and Fred


Samonial. directors. The following gentlemen, in the order named, have
filled the office of president: L. A. Meyer, H. J. Hellert, Albert Zepf,
George Reinbold, Edward Lindner, Anton Bey. E. W. Determann, Joseph
Schmidt, Benoit Fritsch, E. W. Determann, John Friesz, August G. Meise,
Malliias Zaepfel, Henry Schwartz and Frank A. Thuis, (incumbent). The
secretaries since the organization of the society have been : E. W. Deter-
mann, Edward Lindner, Fred Eageler, Jos. Scheefer.s, Jos. Clausman, (in-

On September lo. 1890, the Harmonie Verein was incorporated under
the laws of the state. The articles of incorporation were signed by twenty-
nine members of which number nine have since died. In the incorporated
articles it was set forth that the object of the association was to encourage
and propagate musical and social culture, indicating that in conversation and
song the German language was to be employed.

The first place the society held regular meetings was in the Greater
building, corner Third and Main streets. In 1890 the verein leased the
upper floors of the LaPlante building, which it still retains, corner Third
and Busseron streets, and fitted them up in splendid shape, by providing
the club rooms with all modern conveniences and comforts, and placing a
roomy stage in the large assembly room, which has been the scene of in-
numerable dances which only Germans know how to enjoy. Within its
ranks the society has some fine dramatic talent w'ho have given worthy ren-
ditions of difficult German plays.

Several years ago, in order to stimulate an interest and encourage pupils
in taking up the study of German, the verein offered handsome gold prizes
as awards in all the schools for the best German scholars.

Harmonie Park, which fronts on Fairground avenue and adjoins the
beautiful country home of Noble B. Judah, is a very attractive place and is
utilized by the club for picnics, dances, etc. It was purchased by the verein
in 1896 of James I. Kelso for $12500. At the time the price was considered
hiiL;;h for five acres of ground, two miles from town, but it is doubtful if it
could be bought to-day for ten times that amount. The park is equipped
with three large handsome and substantial pavillions, one of which is used
for dancing purposes, and a number of smaller ones for refreshments, etc. It
is the intention of the verein to have erected in the park before celebrating
its twenty-fifth anniversary, in 1912, a commodious club house.

Harmonie Verein is affiliated with the German American Alliance of
America and sends two representatives each year to the annual convention
of that organization. Since the law providing that applicants for member-
ship must be thoroughly Gerinan has been repealed, the already large mem-
bership of the society will no doubt rapidly increase. All that is required
now to insure the elegibility of an applicant providing he is a desirable fel-
low in other respects, is to be the son of a German father, or German mother,
or the fortunate possessor of a German wife, and like "the way the Ger-
mans do." The present officers of the verein are: Frank A. Thuis, presi-


dent ; W'm. Bey, vice president ; Jos. Claussman, secretary ; John Weiler,
treasurer; Matt. Zaepfcl, Anton Bey, Jos. Duesterberg, John Xestlehut ;
Wm. Baker, Jr., directors.


The Teiitonia is one of the many private societies which provides ente. -
tainments of a pubhc character. The organization has been in existence for
more than a quarter of a century. As the name imphes, the Teutonia is
composed of Germans, its members being all young men of that na-
tionality. It is a thespian as well as social organization, and its enter-
tainments, usually given in St. John's Hall, over which it has super-
vision, evince that the Teutonians are well versed in the art dramatic and
possess a high order of histrionic ability. Its present officials are: Rev.
Carl Kabey, president ; F. P. Hans, vice president ; M. J. Boeckman, secre-
tary ; Leo Schulties. treasurer.


While the members of this organization, which was formed in 1904,
are of the male persuasion, their ladies are not denied the comforts and
pleasures afforded by its hunting and fishing preserves, and the excellent
accommodations of its commodious club house, located on Robeson's Lake,
from which stream large quantities of game fish are taken annually. Not
only are the families of members (numbering 100) privileged to go at will
and take possession of the premises, but they are permitted to invite lady
friends who are without representation in the membership to join them on
these expeditions in quest of pleasure, fresh air and delightful rural scen-
er}'. The officials at present in charge of this famous club and its splendid
property are: Robert Robeson, president; Steve Eastham, vice president;
John T. Boyd, treasurer; William Simpson, secretary; William Propes,
Guy Mcjimsey, ^lyron Rindskopf , directors ; John Brown, warden.


This institution which was organized in 1909, is composed of a coterie
of unselfish young men who believe in the health fulness and delights of
beach bathing. The two brief seasons in which they disported in the
waters of Hack and Simon's Lake has convinced them that there is much
to be gained physically and mentally in taking a swim ; that for one not to
acquire knowledge of how to swim is to disregard one law of self-preserva-
tion ; that women as well as men should learn to swim, not alone for the
pleasure it affords, but for the advantages it gives in protecting themselves
and others who may be so unfortunate as to encounter mishaps while
traveling on the waters. For the purpose of giving the ladies an opportu-
nity of learning how to swim and enjoying at the same time the delights of


bathing, the swimming club has arranged to admit the fair ones to member-
ship at the opening of the coming season, when it is expected to fit up
bath houses on the banks of the Wabash. The swimming club's officers
are: James Garrard, president; Harley P. Presnell, vice president; Chester
Weems, secretary and treasurer. Besides these officials the executive com-
mittee consists of Joseph Meuntzer, Edward Kixmiller and Robert G.

Online LibraryGeorge E GreenHistory of Old Vincennes and Knox County, Indiana (Volume 1) → online text (page 56 of 67)