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Preservers of the Past: Indiana's County Historical Societies, 1995-1997

A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews at Indiana University Bloomington

Finding aid prepared by the staff of the Center for the Study of History and Memory with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access, 2000-2002

Overview of the Collection

Repository
Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory
Indiana University
400 North Sunrise Drive
Weatherly Hall North, Room 122
Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812/855-2856
Fax: 812/855-0002
E-mail: ohrc@indiana.edu
http://www.indiana.edu/~cshm

Creator
Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory

Title
Preservers of the Past: Indiana's County Historical Societies, 1995-1997

Project No.
ohrc089

Interviews
11 interviews. Audiotapes, transcripts, and collateral materials.

Physical Location
Interviews are housed in Weatherly Hall North, Room 122. Copies are also housed at the Indiana University Archives in Herman B Wells Library E460. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for the Study of History and Memory office.

Language
Materials are in English

Abstract
This project contains interviews of members of Indiana county historical societies. The counties included are La Porte, Monroe, Noble, Jefferson, Wells, Randolph, Tippecanoe, Vigo, and Johnson. The interviewees discuss local history and the development of the historical society in their area. They describe society events, funding, exhibits, and publications. The members also describe their connections to their local history. They explain why they believe local history should be preserved and the role of the historical society.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains eleven interviews conducted over three years. The interviews range from 44 to 110 minutes. All interviews consist of audio tapes and typed transcripts.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Oral history interviews conducted by the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory from 1968 to the present, with particular focus on the history of twentieth-century America and the Midwest.
Usage Restrictions
The archive of the Center for the Study of History and Memory at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift signed by the interviewee. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Tapes may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the taped interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s).
Preferred Citation
[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for the Study of History and Memory, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript].
Interview List

Interviewee
Bender, Paul; Foster, James April 11, 1997 

Call Number
95-026

Physical Description

52 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 81 minutes; index; Wells County Historical Society Quarterly Newsletter

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Paul Bender and James Foster share information about their educations and careers. They discuss their involvement with the Wells County Historical Society and the community it serves. They discuss the growth and changes of the society. This includes the museum's transformations and growth and decline in membership. Foster and Bender continue with discussion of funding for the Historical Society.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Allen County Public Library
    • Indiana Historical Society
    • Ku Klux Klan
    • McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    • Old Settlers Association
    • W.B. Brown Company
    • Wells County Historical Society
    • Occupation Names
    • educator
    • electrical engineer
    • hospital administrator
    • Personal Names
    • Colson, Hermine Wiecking
    • Deam, Charles C.
    • Fulhart, Anna
    • Goodin, Peggy
    • Park, David
    • Park, Fred
    • Scott, Everett
    • Weinhart, Sandra
    • Place Names
    • Berne, Indiana
    • Bluffton, Indiana
    • Geneva, Indiana
    • Los Angeles, California
    • Wells County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • ambulance service
    • An Architectural Atlas of Wells County, Indiana
    • barrel factories
    • cemetery tours
    • Christmas open house
    • Depression era teachers
    • fundraisers
    • fundraising
    • historical museums
    • historical society mission
    • historical society programming
    • History of Wells County, Indiana, 1776-1976
    • industry
    • local history
    • membership dues
    • museum displays
    • piano factories
    • racial prejudice
    • school tours
    • tax disbursement
    • volunteerism
    • Wells County, Indiana Family History, 1837-1992

Interviewee
Buffenbarger, Wilber October 2, 1995 

Call Number
95-024

Physical Description

25 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 60 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Wilber Buffenbarger discusses the Noble County Historical Society in Albion, Indiana. He explains the historical society facility's history and how it was acquired. He discusses the quarterly newsletter, The Pioneer Echoes. Buffenbarger also talks about the historic landmarks in the area and the displays in the museum. Mary Leitch is also present during the interview. She validates most dates and names given by Buffenbarger.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Cole Foundation
    • Luckey Hospital
    • Noble County Historical Society
    • Family Names
    • Luckey
    • Occupation Names
    • farmer
    • historical society president
    • Personal Names
    • Bender, Lloyd
    • Briston, Joe
    • Bushong, Harold
    • Bushong, Martha
    • LeCount, Joy
    • LeCount, Nelson
    • Rendell, Harold
    • Seymour, Harold J.
    • Zink, John
    • Place Names
    • Albion, Indiana
    • Noble County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • facility repairs
    • fundraising
    • grants
    • historic sites
    • historical society origins
    • museum displays
    • newsletters
    • volunteerism

Interviewee
Garton, Daisy Hinkle September 26, 1995 

Call Number
95-023

Physical Description

22 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 50 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Daisy Hinkle Garton describes the origins of the Old Library, Incorporated in Monroe County, Indiana. She discusses her membership in this organization and in the Monroe County Historical Society including the Genealogy Society. Garton describes acquiring the old library and the growth of the Historical Society.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Indiana University
    • Indiana University School of Music
    • Monroe County Historical Society
    • The Old Library, Incorporated
    • Personal Names
    • Baker, Myra
    • Brandis, Elizabeth
    • Farmer, Mary Ellen
    • Harrel, Kay Beth
    • Miller, Rosemary
    • Place Names
    • Bloomington, Indiana
    • Monroe County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • family history
    • fundraising
    • genealogy
    • historical museums
    • historical society facility
    • historical society mission
    • historical society publishing
    • junior historical society
    • volunteerism

Interviewee
Henry, Rachel March 31, 1997 

Call Number
95-030

Physical Description

21 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Rachel Henry shares her experiences with the Johnson County Historical Society. She discusses funding, the museum, new facilities, and publications. She also describes the Fall Festival and Christmas displays the museum coordinates. Henry discusses the establishment of the county and county history. Some of the topics she covers are the origins of Camp Atterbury during World War II and the settler experience.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Alexander Hamilton Chapter, DAR
    • Camp Atterbury
    • Daughters of the American Revolution
    • Johnson County Historical Society
    • Johnson County Museum of History
    • Johnson County Public Library
    • Occupation Names
    • curator
    • museum director
    • Personal Names
    • Bergen, John V.
    • Branigan, Roger D.
    • Devore, Olive N.
    • Johnson, Grace
    • McNutt, Paul V.
    • Mitchell, Fred
    • Plummer, Mary Ann
    • Wetzel, Jacob
    • Place Names
    • Franklin, Indiana
    • Johnson County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • farming
    • fundraisers
    • genealogy
    • genealogy library
    • historical society board
    • historical society history
    • historical society publications
    • Indiana settlers
    • Johnson County Fall Festival
    • local history
    • log cabins
    • museum displays
    • museum history
    • new facility
    • newsletters
    • volunteerism

Interviewee
Munier, Mary Ellen June 14, 1996 

Call Number
95-025

Physical Description

38 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 90 minutes, index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Mary Ellen Munier, born in 1921, describes her work with the Jefferson County Historical Society. Her discussion includes the textile collection, museum displays, and remodeling. Munier explains broad goals and acquisition policies of the Historical Society.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Cornerstone Society
    • Historic Madison, Incorporated
    • Indiana Historical Society
    • Jefferson County Historical Society
    • Jefferson Proving Ground
    • North Madison School
    • Pearl Button Company
    • Robus Leather Corporation
    • Family Names
    • Windell
    • Personal Names
    • Dow, Margaret
    • Hines, Elbert
    • Imes, Mary Ann
    • Luddington, Link
    • Snyder, William
    • Woodburn, Peter
    • Wurtz, John
    • Place Names
    • Jefferson County, Indiana
    • Madison, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • archival cataloging
    • family history
    • garden tours
    • historic home restoration
    • historical society acquisition policy
    • historical society funding
    • historical society growth
    • historical society mission
    • historical society programming
    • Indiana roadside exhibit
    • local history
    • local industry
    • Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art
    • museum displays
    • museum remodeling
    • new facility
    • textile preservation
    • volunteerism

Interviewee
Nordyke, Evelyn September 7, 1995 

Call Number
95-020

Physical Description

44 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index; newspaper article copy about interviewee

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Evelyn Nordyke describes the growth of the La Porte County Historical Society. She explains the origins of the society and the community. Nordyke also shares her family background and her more than twenty year involvement with the historical society. She also discusses the society's newsletter The Old Letter.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • La Porte County Historical Society
    • Family Names
    • Andrews
    • Bement
    • Ingersoll
    • McLane
    • Personal Names
    • Burns, Virgil
    • Coffeen, Ruth A.
    • Gunness, Belle
    • Langlois, Janet L.
    • Schultz, Fern E.
    • Place Names
    • La Porte County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • donations
    • genealogy
    • historical society funding
    • historical society library
    • historical society origins
    • historical society programming
    • local history
    • museum collections
    • museum displays
    • membership dues
    • museum tours
    • newsletters
    • volunteerism

Interviewee
Paarlberg, Horace; Paarlberg, Mildred April 4, 1997 

Call Number
95-028

Physical Description

29 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 50 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Horace and Mildred Paarlberg recount their involvement with the Tippecanoe County Historical Association. They also discuss the activities of the Association including the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, publishing, purchase of the Moses Fowler House, library, battleground museum, and genealogy workshops. Mr. Paarlberg also describes the financial hardships of the historical society.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Agricultural Hall of Fame
    • Great Lakes Chemical Company
    • Heinz Pickle Company
    • LaFayette Journal and Courier
    • Monon Railroad
    • Moses Fowler House Museum
    • Prophetstown State Park
    • Purdue University
    • Tippecanoe Battlefield Grounds and Museum
    • Tippecanoe County Historical Association
    • Occupation Names
    • curator
    • Personal Names
    • Clark, Nicolas L.
    • Kwiatkowski, Phillip C.
    • Lilly, Eli
    • Martin, Fern
    • McCollough, Alameda
    • McMillan, Katie
    • Weirich, Nancy
    • Williamson, Maurice
    • Winter, George
    • Place Names
    • Clinton County, Indiana
    • Crown Point, Indiana
    • Fort Ouiatenon, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • agriculture history
    • archival cataloging
    • Feast of the Hunters' Moon
    • genealogy
    • historic site markers
    • historical association board
    • historical society funding
    • historical association library
    • historical society publishing
    • indexing vital records
    • Indiana State Fairgrounds
    • Indians and a Changing Frontier: The Art of George Winter
    • volunteerism
    • Wheatnotes

Interviewee
Sacopulos, Joy July 7, 1997 

Call Number
95-029

Physical Description

54 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 105 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Joy Sacopulos shares her experiences and involvement with the Vigo County Historical Society. She describes the society's beginnings and their financial struggles. Sacopulos also discusses the planning of many unique events and fundraisers. The society organized street fairs, historic theme events, cocktail parties, and an annual meeting to recognize their members.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • American Association for State and Local History
    • Association of Indiana Museums
    • Clay County Historical Society
    • Eugene V. Debs Museum
    • Indiana Historical Society
    • Indiana State Museum
    • Indiana State University
    • Indiana State University Tilson Music Hall
    • Indiana University
    • Italian-American Club
    • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods-College
    • Tribune Star
    • Vigo County Historical Society
    • Family Names
    • Hulman
    • Jackson
    • Occupation Names
    • educator
    • Personal Names
    • Dewey, Susan
    • Dresser, Paul
    • Hulbert, Sam
    • Nation, Fred
    • Pickett, William B.
    • Vigo, Francis
    • Voorhees, Daniel W.
    • Place Names
    • Clay County, Indiana
    • Sullivan County, Indiana
    • Terre Haute, Indiana
    • Vigo County, Indiana
    • Wabash River, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • Christmas display
    • family history
    • federal funding
    • fundraising
    • grants
    • historical museums
    • historical society origins
    • historical society programming
    • local history
    • membership
    • National Road
    • public library
    • publicity
    • toasting party
    • Vigo County Historical Society annual meeting

Interviewee
Schultz, Fern Eddy September 7, 1995 

Call Number
95-021

Physical Description

50 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 110 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Fern Eddy Schultz discusses her involvement with the La Porte County Historical Society. She explains the work she did in the archives, on the board, and on the quarterly newsletter. Schultz also discusses her hopes for the future of the Historical Society and its influence.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Allis-Chalmers Company
    • Indiana Historical Society
    • La Porte County Genealogical Society
    • La Porte County Historical Society
    • Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society
    • Pullman Company
    • Occupation Names
    • board president
    • board vice president
    • county historian
    • Personal Names
    • Floering, Elizabeth Kenny
    • Gunness, Belle
    • Harrison, Hazel
    • Mennen, Fred
    • Tallant, Ruth
    • Place Names
    • La Porte County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • agriculture
    • archives
    • archives preservation
    • family relations
    • fundraising
    • History of La Porte County Indiana
    • historical society board meetings
    • historical society budgeting
    • historical society development
    • historical society mission
    • historical society newsletters
    • historical society publishing
    • indexing vital records
    • junior historical society
    • La Porte County descendents
    • local history
    • museum tours
    • newspaper articles
    • A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of La Porte County, Indiana
    • volunteerism

Interviewee
Wahl, Henry E. September 14, 1995 

Call Number
95-022

Physical Description

21 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 44 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Henry E. Wahl shares his thoughts on the goals, role, and history of the Monroe County Historical Society. He discusses the Wall of Fame Project displayed at Bloomington High School that is sponsored by the Monroe County Historical Society. He discusses his ancestry and the history of Monroe County, Indiana.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Bloomington High School, Indiana
    • Indiana University
    • Mathers Museum of World Cultures
    • Monroe County Historical Society
    • Pfizer, Incorporated
    • Showers Brothers Furniture Company
    • The Old Library, Incorporated
    • Occupation Names
    • board president
    • Personal Names
    • Bryan, William Lowe
    • Butcher, Joseph
    • Carmichael, Hoagy
    • Greevey, Henry
    • Kisters, Jerry
    • Lockridge, Ross, Jr.
    • Teter, Nellie Showers
    • Woodburn, James A.
    • Place Names
    • Bloomington, Indiana
    • Monroe County, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • Bloomington High School Wall of Fame
    • community involvement
    • family history
    • fundraising
    • German ancestry
    • historical society programming
    • historical society role
    • letter writing
    • Letters From Honeyhill: A View of Homesteading, 1914-1931
    • local celebrities
    • local history

Interviewee
Wisener, Monisa November 24, 1996 

Call Number
95-027

Physical Description

33 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 90 minutes; index

Interviewer
Truesdell, Barbara

Access Status

Open

Scope and Content Note

Monisa Wisener, born in 1932, describes her involvement with the Randolph County Historical Society and the Genealogy Society. She discusses the history of Randolph County. Wisener discusses the two publications of the historical society, and the growth of the society. The historical society has held many activities including fairs, restoration, a monopoly game and tours of their museum.

  • Keywords
    • Corporation Names
    • Randolph County Genealogy Society
    • Randolph County Health Department
    • Randolph County Historical Society
    • Randolph County Pioneer Society
    • Union Literary Institute
    • Occupation Names
    • county historian
    • health department registrar
    • Stanley dealer
    • Personal Names
    • Tucker, Ebenezer
    • Wachter, Jim
    • Place Names
    • Randolph County, Indiana
    • Richmond, Indiana
    • Winchester, Indiana
    • Subjects
    • 1882 History of Randolph County
    • African-American population
    • cemeteries
    • genealogy
    • genealogy library
    • historical society funding
    • historical society museum
    • history fairs
    • History of Randolph County, 1990
    • industry
    • membership dues
    • monument restoration
    • newsletters
    • Quaker population
    • volunteerism