The interurban line between Greenfield and Indianapolis was promoted and constructed by Greenfield parties. Among the promoters were F. G. Banker, William C. Dudding, C. M. Kirkpatrick, Nathan C. Binford, Lorenzo E. McDonald, R. A. Black and Elmer J. Binford. The latter was the attorney for the company. When the papers were presented to the attorneys at Cleveland, Ohio, who represented the concern that was being asked to finance the road, they received mention as being among the most perfect documents ever presented for consideration. As a result of this legal work, Mr. Binford became known as one of the ablest corporation lawyers in the state
The contract for the construction of the line was taken by the Kirkpatrick Construction Company, of which C. M. Kirkpatrick, of Greenfield, was body and soul. Work began on the line in the fall of 1899, and the road began carrying passengers regularly on June 17, 1900.
The major portion of the stock was held by the persons above named, who later sold it at a very handsome profit. The line has been one of the best paying roads in the state, and is now owned by the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Company.
The Greenfield Banking Company was established as a private bank, September 4, 1871. It was at first located at the corner of Main and State streets, where the Masonic Temple now stands. The original stockholders were Nelson Bradley, Morgan Chandler, J. Ward Walker, Alex Swope, Stephen Dickerson and Joseph O. Binford. Nelson Bradley was the first president, and J. Ward Walker, the first cashier. Later the bank was moved to its present location, and became a state bank in December, 1898. The first stockholders of the state bank were Nelson Bradley, Ephraim Marsh, Henry L. Moore, D. B. Cooper, Charles Barr and W. O. Bragg. The officers were Nelson Bradley, president; Ephraim Marsh, vice-president; D. B. Cooper, cashier, and Walter O. Bragg, assistant cashier. Mr. Bradley, who was the first president of this bank, remained in that capacity until 1909, when he presented to the board of directors the following letter of resignation:
Monday, August 2, 1909
To the Board of Directors:
I hereby tender my resignation as president and director of The Greenfield Banking Company, said resignation to take effect on the 6th day of September, 1909, at which time I will complete my thirty-eighth year as president and director of The Greenfield Banking Company.
I resign for the reason that my advanced years make it impossible for me to give the attention to the duties which the positions require. I am now eighty-seven years old and I am glad to say that from the time this bank was established, September 3, 1871, to the present, during all of which time I have been president, no man has lost a dollar.
The officers were changed from time to time: Charles Barr succeeded Mr. Bradley as president and he, in turn, was succeeded by S. S. Boots, the present president. W. O. Bragg, John A. Rhue and W. T. Leamon have been cashiers, and W. A. Hough, John A. Rhue, J. W. Fletcher and W. T. Leamon have served as assistant cashiers. The present stockholders are Charles Barr, S. S. Boots, Harry G. Strickland, E. L. Tyner, W. T. Leamon, J. W. Fletcher, Adddie B. Ginley, H. B. Beale, Myra J. Moore, Clarence Barr, W. A. Hough, Ella M. Hough and the estate of John R. Moore. The officers at present are, S. S. Boots, president; E. L. Tyner, vice-president; W. T. Leamon, cashier; J. W. Fletcher, assistant cashier; directors, S. S. Boots, Charles Barr, E. L. Tyner, Harry Strickland, W. T. Leamon and J. Ward Fletcher.
The Citizens Bank was organized as a partnership of private bank in the spring of 1873, by Philander H. Boyd, John B. Simmons, William S. Wood and Israel P. Poulson, of Hancock county, and Abiram Boyd, Wayne county, Indiana. The building where the bank is yet conducted was erected and the first banking business was transacted on January 4, 1874. Philander H. Boyd being president, and John B. Simmons, cashier. Mr. Wood sold his interest to the other partners and retired March 12, 1874, and the partnership as thus constituted continued until the death of Mr. Simmons, May 20, 1888.
Within a year or two after opening, the business had grown to such proportions that additional help was required, and Wallace A. Simmons and Frank Simmons, sons of the cashier, were successively called in as bookkeepers. On account of ill health both soon had to retire. George H. Cooper came to the bank as regular bookkeeper in 1883, but for several years previous he had assisted at odd times. In 1887 he was advanced to assistant cashier and at the death of Mr. Simmons, he was chosen cashier.
On July 16, 1888, James A. Boyd, of Cambridge City, having acquired the interest of his father, Abiram Boyd, and Mr. Cooper having the interest of Mr. Poulson, the bank was reorganized, the partners being Philander H. Boyd and George H. Cooper, of Greenfield, and James A. Boyd, of Cambridge City. This partnership continued until the death of Philander H. Boyd on August 30, 1897. The surviving partners continued to conduct the affairs until April 1, 1898, when the business was purchased by the present owners: James R. Boyd, son of the first president; George H. Cooper and William B. Bottsford. Mr. Bottsford, who had long been a teacher in the public schools, came to the bank as bookkeeper in 1892, and is regarded as one of the ablest accountants in the state. He was made assistant cashier in 1897.
The Citizens' Bank from its beginning has helped advance the material interests of the county. An examination of its books, which was necessary to gather the above data, reveals facts and events closely allied with the lives of many of its patrons, and with nearly every material advancement of the county. On the opening day there were twelve depositors, who deposited a total of $1,365. Thomas H. Mitchell, second son of William Mitchell, of the Hancock Democrat, made the first deposit. He was at that time a newsboy selling the Indianapolis Sentinel and Cincinnati Enquirer. Mrs. Malissa Cooper, mother of the present cashier, was the first woman to make a deposit. Mr. Mitchell is the only one of the first depositors now living, but it is noteworthy that many of the names yet daily entered on the books are of the second and third generations of most of the first depositors. The births, marriages, deaths, in fact, full family histories, as well as the building of school houses, churches, lodges, factories, and other commercial progress are traceable in the many entries in the financial books of the institution. The "bank open" and "bank closed" meta sign which hangs on the front door to announce the daily routine of the bank was painted by James Whitcomb Riley while he was a sign painter, and it bears his characteristic name as he was accustomed to paint in on all the signs he painted.
The bank has a paid-up capital and surplus of $60,000, and being a partnership bank, with the individual estates of the partners back of it, makes it one of the "financial strongholds" of the county. The preset officers are: James R. Boyd, president; George H. Cooper, cashier; Horace K. Boyd and Sheldon B. Cooper, bookkeepers.
The Capital State Bank was organized, January 8, 1898, and was chartered as a state bank on February 15, 1898. On February 19 of the same year it opened its doors for business. The capital stock of the bank was originally $25,000. On December 21, 1907, it was increased to $50,000. The moving spirit in the promotion and organization of the bank was John H. Binford, who later became president of the institution. The first directors were William Toms, Isaiah A. Curry, L. E. McDonald, Nathan C. Binford and John H. Binford. L. E. McDonald was the first cashier and served until 1908. Nathan C. Binford was the first president and served until 1908, at which time he was chosen cashier. John H. Binford was elected president in 1908 and served until the time of his death in 1912. He was followed by Joseph L. Binford, who served as president until his death in 1915, when he was followed by Robert Barclay Binford, At present Robert Barclay Binford is president, and Nathan C. Binford, cashier of the bank.
The original stockholders were Nathan C. Binford, Luzena Thornburg, Elizabeth Thornburg, Josiah C. Binford, Mary E. Binford, Levi Jessup, Martha J. Elliott, E. Clarkson Elliott, Florence C. Binford, Charity B. Toms, William Toms, William H. Scott, Isaiah A. Curry, R. H. Ramsey, Edgar A. Binford, J. E. Wiseman, Jesse Brown, Mary L. Bruner, L. E. McDonald, S. S. Boots, William Mitchell Printing Co., Martha Binford and John H. Binford.
Later stockholders have been Joseph Boots, Mary A. Jessup, D. R. Love, F. M. Sparks, K. E. Smith, Ada Smith, A. E. Smith, William H. Scott, Joseph L. Binford, H. L. Moore, Ben H. Binford, W. P. Binford, R. B. Binford, A. A. Bacon, M. E. Denny, Chesteen Smith, William G. Smith, E. W. Felt, J. P. Moore, C. M. Curry, M. C. Cole, William R. Johnston, M. A. Johnston, F. B. Huddleson, C. F. Reeves, L. H. Binford, P. T. Hill, A. M. Hill, L. A. Hill, E. V. Toms, L. A. Binford, Omer Binford, Sophia Boots, William R. McGraw, Charles H. Troy, William H. H. Rock, R. F. Cook, C. B. Henley, J. N. Cook, L. G. Rule, Elma Binford, Mary S. Boots, R. A. Rock, Amos Hill, Paul F. Binford, Mary E. Simmons, Mary E. Hanna, Milo Goodpasture, D. G. McClarnon, E. R. Briney, R. J. Binford, F. L. Binford, F. B. McCutcheon, J. C. Binford, M. C. Binford, Morris Binford, E. J. Chappell, M. B. Chappell, C. F. Binford, I. H. Binford, Walter Binford and D. M. Binford.
The Hughes Bank was a private institution, established by John A. Hughes on July 1, 1881. It first opened its doors at No.15 South Pennsylvania street. After July 1, 1884, it occupied the rooms at 101 West Main street. John A. Hughes remained in the bank until the time of his death, on August 25, 1885. George H. Cooper held a position as assistant cashier from July 1, 1881, until July 1, 1883. At that time he was succeeded by William A. Hughes, who, after the death of his father, operated the bank until January 1, 1908. When its business was liquidated, all depositors were paid in full.
Four of five years ago the Home Savings and Trust Company was organized by Charles E. Barrett, an attorney of Indianapolis. Its offices were located in the New building at Greenfield. The venture, however, proved a failure and after a few months its doors were closed. Several Greenfield parties were financially interested in it.
In the summer of 1883, the late James M. Morgan, Elam I. Judkins, F. E. Gedden, Nelson Bradley, James Demaree, J. Ward Walker, Charles M. Alexander, Sam E. Duncan, John Corcoran, Albert R. Hughes, D. B. Cooper, V. L. Early and others conceived the idea of organizing a building and loan association.
After canvassing the citizens of Greenfield to ascertain if an institution of such a character could subsist in Greenfield, it was determined to effect an organization, with the above-named citizens as incorporators. Articles of association were filed in the office of the secretary of state on July 25, 1883. The following men were selected as directors to serve for one year: James M. Morgan, Elam I. Judkins, D. B. Cooper, F. E. Glidden and John Corcoran. The directors organized with James M. Morgan as president; Nelson Bradley, treasurer, and Charles M. Alexander, secretary. The first Monday in September, 1883, was fixed as the date upon which the subscribers to the stock were to begin to pay. The association organized with a capital stock of $300,000, which was increased to $1,000,000 on October 29, 1885.
The association started out on a plan known as a serial, with shares at $300 each, payable 50 cents per week. Six series were issued, one each year, stock to mature in about seven years. About this time it became evident that the first series issued would mature in a short time, and to accumulate money to pay off this series became a problem. The directors and stockholders found it necessary to change from a serial to a permanent plan, making the shares of stock $100, instead of $300, payable 25 cents per week.
The presidents of the association have been James M. Morgan, F. E. Glidden, S. S. Boots and the present incumbent. V. L. Early, with continuous service since September 2, 1890. Nelson Bradley held the office of treasurer from the organization until January 12, 1909; John A. Rhue, treasurer from January 12, 1909, to April 3, 1911, and Charles Barr, the present incumbent. from April 3, 1911.
Charles M Alexander was elected secretary at the time of organization, and served one year. He was succeeded by W. O. Bragg, who served until September, 1880, (?) and since that time John Corcoran, the present secretary, has discharged the duties of that office.
Greenfield at present has three publishing house, the oldest of which is
William Mitchell, the founder of the printing company, came to Greenfield in 1856. He first became identified with the Greenfield Sentinel, and was one of the men who launched the Hancock Democrat in 1859. Other men of the company were Noble Warrum, David S. Gooding, William R. West and George Y. Atkinson. David S. Gooding was editor-in-chief for several years and William Mitchell, local editor. So much of Gooding's time was given to politics that before the close of the Civil War, William Mitchell bought the plant. During the war the Democrat championed the cause of the "War Democrats," and gave its undivided support to the Union cause. In fact, it became the local organ of the Union party. Its policy appears weekly in bold letters across its front page: "The Union- the Constitution- the Rights of the People."
The first home of the Democrat was in the east wing of the first court house on the public square, described in the chapter on "County Buildings." Soon after the Civil War, William Mitchell moved the establishment to the second floor of the Banks' block, No. 15 West Main street. The paper was published here until it was moved into its present home on South State street, in 1881.
In 1876, John F. Mitchell, the oldest son of William Mitchell, was taken in as a partner and assumed full control of the establishment. At this time the firm began doing business under the name of the Wm. Mitchell Printing Company. In 1890, after the death of his father, John F. Mitchell bought the interest of all other Mitchell heirs, and since that time has been the sole owner of the plant. He took his son, John F. Mitchell, Jr., into the management of the business in 1907. It was the wish of William Mitchell that the business he had founded should remain as a living monument to him. This wish has been respected, and all business is still transacted in the name of Wm. Mitchell Printing Company.
The growth of business made more floor space necessary, and in 1901 an addition was constructed on the south, much larger than the original plant. In 1906, the old Methodist church was purchased, a bindery installed, and the engine house, immediately west of the church, constructed.
The printery has lived through many phases of history. During the Civil War the United States government seized the plant under the right of eminent domain to print the names of men in Indiana subject to draft. The columns of the Democrat of that time are filled, too, with interesting speeches and tracts. Later, James Whitchomb Riley, the Hoosier poet, found things of interest in the shop, and here some of his earliest poems were printed. The old Washington hand press which was brought overland in the fifties has long been replaced by the most modern machinery. The Wm. Mitchell Printing Company operates one of the largest printing establishments and book manufacturing plants in the state. They draw their business from coast to coast, manufacturing books for some of the largest business houses in the country. They have their own gas well and generate electric power for their entire plant by two large gas engines. They have, aside from their own power plant, their own electric light, gas, and waterworks. The plant is novel from its mechanical standpoint. It contains the best of American and European machinery for printing and binding books. The book presses are quipped with automatic feeders, and feeders are also installed on their folding machines. Their battery of linotype and type-casting machines is complete in every respect. All old-type machines were thrown out and new machines installed at the first of the present year. The bindery is one of the most complete institutions in the West for binding books in large editions. Books of all kinds are made, from the full leather de luxe hand-tooled book to the smallest leaflet.
In January, 1881, Aaron Pope, superintendent of the Hancock county schools, and Capt. Lee O. Harris, a teacher in the schools and one of Indiana's best-known writers, established the Home and School Visitor, designed for use in the schools of Hancock county as supplemental reading. A few months after the appearance of this publication, Prof. Pope died and his interests were purchased by the late David H. Goble. Later, Mr. Harris retired from the partnership, and Mr. Goble assumed complete control. Mr. Harris, however, retained his editorial connection with the paper to the time of his death, December 23, 1909.
In 1903, the publishing business, which had been carried on under the name of Mr. Goble, was incorporated under the name of the The D. H. Goble Printing Company, Mr. Goble occupying the office of the president to the time of his death, September 30, 1905. This corporation is purely a family affair, the stock being owned by the children of the founder, namely, Mrs. Millie Trees, Mrs. John Irwin, James N. Goble and Isaac A. Goble, of Greenfield, Indiana, and Mrs. Luther Poland, of Indianapolis. Its present officers are Isaac A. Goble, president; Millie A. Trees, vice-president; James N. Goble, secretary-treasurer.
Back in the early eighties, the sons of Mr. Goble took an active interest in the printing business. The little paper, a small four-page affair, was lifted from the local field and carried to every quarter of the state and its dimensions have grown to that of an up-to-date magazine, which is used in the district schools of Indiana.
In the early days of this concern, the publishers began, in a small way, making legal blanks for township trustees. By persistent work, and by making of their goods a little better than the ordinary, their trade has been extended until they are now possibly the largest manufacturers in the state of records for townships and schools, and there is a standard of quality.
The Daily Reporter was established April 27, 1908, by Newton R. Spencer, ably assisted by Mrs. Spencer. The office was in the east room of the Ramsey building, on the south side of East Main street, just west of the alley leading south to Meek street. The basement of the building was used for a press room, and the ground floor for a composing room and office. The composition was hand set, the force including three compositors. An old-style oscillating Campbell press, purchased from Dale J. Crittenberger, of Anderson, subsequently auditor of state, was installed. This press was out of the office of the Anderson Democrat. It was a curio to the employees of the Reporter office, but it gave a very neat print. The entire equipment of the Reporter office, when established, did not coast to exceed one thousand dollars. The advance circulation was only three hundred. The Reporter was a six-column folio. It contained very few advertisements, for the reason that the business men of Greenfield did not feel friendly towards its establishment. They pointed out that two daily papers, the Star and Tribune, and four weeklies, the Democrat, Republican, Herald and Globe, were being published in the city, and that only one or two of them indicated any degree of success. The founder of the Reporter, however, eager to break into the game in Greenfield, was not discouraged by any of these obstacles. He endured privations and practiced the most rigid economy, living largely upon unjustified hope of success for months before he had sufficient money to pay the current expenses of the paper. During these many months he saw the small reserve bank account gradually grow smaller, and he even wondered if it would hold out until the enterprise was self-supporting. Within ten months from the time of establishing the Reporter, the management purchased the subscription list of the Evening Star from the Greenfield Printing and Publishing Company, and merged it into the Reporter. The publication of the Greenfield Herald and Greenfield Globe was suspended at the same time, and the printing plant in which they had been printed was removed to Cumberland, Indiana. On February 21, 1910, Newton R. Spencer, having previously purchased the Evening Tribune and Weekly Republican of Walter S. Montgomery, took charge of the papers and the plant, merged the Tribune with the Reporter, and has since that time published the Daily Reporter and the Weekly Republican. For one year they were published on North East street in the Dudding and Moore block. On March 24, 1911, a fire damaged the machinery and composing room of the printing plant, and its location was changed to the Acme building, at the corner of South Pennsylvania and Railroad streets, where a new Mergenthaler linotype was installed on May 1, 1911. In the fall of 1913, a lot was purchased on East Main street and the erection of the present modern newspaper building was begun. It was completed in 1914, and was occupied on July 1 of that year. The new building is substantially built and conveniently arranged for the newspaper business. It has been very favorably commented upon by newspaper men from different parts of the state. Mrs. Spencer has been connected constantly with the office since the establishment of the Reporter, as has also the son, Dale, who began as a newsboy and has worked in all of the mechanical departments, including the linotype. Marshall Winslow, the city editor, has been with the papers for many years. He was connected with the Tribune and Republican when those papers were sold by W. S. Montgomery, and he is familiar with every phase of the business. The Spencer Publishing Company was incorporated in 1913.
Following is a directory of the principal business men of Greenfield not elsewhere enumerated:
Department Stores- J. W. Cooper & Company, A. H. Rottman, Star Store (Simon Koin, proprietor), Charles Williams & Company and J. Ward Walker Company.
Groceries- Fred Havens, John Morrison, C. Bert Orr, Rock & Son, H. G. Strickland, Star Store, C. E. Vaugh and Earl Walsh.
Druggists- Early Drug Company, W. P. Johnson and H. H. Zike.
News Dealers – Walter Myers, William M. Lewis.
Hardware- Chandler & Newhouse and Pickett & Sons.
Dentists- R. I. Bell. B. S. Binford, R. M. Calloway, J. D. Hughes, E. B. Howard and J. H. Posten.
Insurance, Loans and Real Estate- Paul Binford, A. C. Van Duyn, Charles Barr, D. B. Cooper & Son, Lester T. Ellis, W. I. Garriott, E. E. Gant, William A. Hughes, V. L. Patton, A. N. Steel, Wood Brothers and Ora Myers.
Jewelry, Etc.- Carl Rock and Beggs & Kyle
Bakeries- George Furry, William S. King & Son and P. T. Lahr
Blacksmiths- Marshall McBane, James Moran and Morford & Son.
Draymen- H. G. Amick, T. H. Eaton, S. P. Green, Jeffries Brothers and W. E. Smith.
Garages- Harry Hendricks, Orr Brothers, C. E. Kinder & Son, O. H. Monger & Son, Clarence Waddell and Wood Brothers.
Hotels- Columbia Hotel and Grand Hotel
Lumber and Building Supplies- A. P. Conklin Lumber Company and Greenfield Lumber and Ice Company.
Merchant Tailors- George P. Justus and W. W. McCole
Meat Dealers- H. B. Bolt, Walter Fisk, E. S. Fort, E. L. Gorman, Star Store and Fred Rihm.
Photographers- J. I. Butler and A. E. Pierson.
Plumbers- Standard Heating & Plumbing Company, Grant E. Gorman and Floyd Spangler.
Restaurants- John Bohm, Court House Restaurant and City Restaurant.
Wood and Coal- A. P. Conklin Lumber Company, Greenfield Ice and Fuel Company, Greenfield Lumber and Ice Company, Gray Brothers, Greenfield Milling Company and New Milling Company.
Undertakers- H. Eshelman, Frank R. Lynam, A. H. Rothman and Pasco Brothers.
Elevators- Greenfield Milling Company and New Milling Company
Ice and Fuel- Greenfield Ice and Fuel Company and Gray Brothers.
Florists- Jacob Forest and L. H. Haney
Furniture- A. H. Rottman, J. W. Cooper and Company, J. Ward Walker Company.
Following is a list of the citizens of Greenfield who paid taxes in sums exceeding one hundred dollars in 1915:
Nancy Adams, $139.60; Luman Banks (estate), $291.49; Jerome Black, $870.91; Ione Black, $185.09; James R. Boyd, $671.58; John H. Binford (estate), $511.37; Nathan C. Binford, $140.37; Charles Barr, $289.35; Laura Banker Bennett, $112.64; Mary L. Bruner, $346.49; J. Bridges and wife, $107.54; Horace G. Beckner, $157.45; Edward L. Bennett, $101.31; Benton L. Barrett, $399.00; Barrett Elevator Company, $199.52; Margaret E. Brown, $121.52; Andrew J. Banks, (estate) $218.12; Isaac H. Barnes, $126.04; Harvey D. Barrett, $107.46; Mrs. J. H. Brooks, $117.74; Myrtle H. Beckner, $149.71; A. R. Brown (estate), $365.35; Jessie F. Brand, (estate), $133.25; George H. Cooper, $1,106.84; Allie E. Cook, $ 103.58; Melissa Cooper (estate), $ 177.27; Julia Carter, $242.66; Lisha Bussell Clift, $110.52; Alfred P. Conklin, $ 715.52; Citizens' Bank, $1,189.45; Capital State Bank, $1,318.78; Emma E. Chappell, $263.84; Christian F. Collyer, $183.41; Philander Collyer, $146.57; Martha Cupp, $164.05; George W. Duncan (estate), $102.44; John H. Duncan, $187.64; W. C. Dudding and wife, $135.28; Charles Downing, $130.19; George W. Daenzer and wife, $350.17; Charles S. Duncan, $108.39; Vincent Early, $248.19; Arthur K. Ellis, $ 177.44; Early Drug Company, $106.12; James Flippo. $115.47; Henry Fry, $171.35; Frank V. Felt, $202.40; Jacob Forest, $100.46; Edgar L. Fritch, $193.97; Herbert E. Fink, $168.88; Vard H. Finnell, $115.83; Milo Gibbs and wife, $170.20;Greenfield Banking Company, $1.484.62; Elvira Gooding, $114.33; Lemuel and Mary Gooding, $149.99; Chesteen W. Gant, $104.71; Elmer E. Gant, $253.93; Ozora Belle Gant, $569.19; Cerena T. Grose, $151.46; Charles M. Gibbs, $185.80; Malinda Goble (heirs),l $243.38; Pearl and Paul Gibbs, $110.37; Mrs. L. B. Griffin, $104.15; John H. Groff, $158.48; Greenfield Ice and Fuel Company, $154.48; Greenfield Building and Loan Association, $100.47; Pearl Gibbs (administratrix), $105.27; Oscar Heller, $219.16; Eli Hagans, $115.86; William A. Hughes, $110.95; Edward B. Howard, $150.27; Frank S. Hammel, $121.97; John M. Hinchman, $164.99; Emezena Hinchman, $588.43; William R. Hough, $204.89; William A. Hough, $306.71; J. W. Harrell, $153.26; John F. Holland, $110.37; Fred T. Havens, $205.56; Elijah A. Henby, $132.55; Theophilus Hargrove, $125.57; Level L. Jeffrrieis, $ 263.02; Uriah H. Jeffries (estate), $161.32; James Edwin Janney, $198.10; Emma J. Justice, $200.81; William A. Justice, $131.03; Charles E. Kinder, $297.88; Simon Koin, $419.23; George W. Lacy, $443.04; Henry C. Long (estate), $322.63; Mary J. Lynam, $264.38; John S. Loehr, $116.88; Nettie E. Larrabee, $139.40; J. M. and F. C. Larimore, $458.05; Francis Moore, $203.29; Oliver P. Moore, $141.50; John F. Mitchell, $477.42; Robert L. Mason, $279.32; George W. Moorehead, $298.67; Elwood Morris, $252.89; Marion G. Mullendore, $108.21; Robert L. Mason and wife, $149.99; Thomas McClarnon, $170.69; James E. McCullough, $136.40; William R. McGraw, $159.60; Blanche B. McNew, $451.33;Andrew J. New. $475.60; Thomas H. New, $697.60; Martin L. Newhouse, $201.98; A. L. New and wife, $621.19; Charles G. Offutt (heirs), $228.29; Clarella A. Orr, $159.30; John S. Orr, $157.19; Jermina E. Pratt, $239.30; Isaac B. Pickett, $128.76; Samuel N. Patterson, $138.67; A. C. Pilkenton, $289.39; M. C. Quigley, $286.96; George T. Randall (estate), $762.47; William H. H. Rock (estate), $118.16; George W. Reed, $118.86; John H. Rottman, $101.88; Rachel A. Rabb, $129.20; Marshall T. Smith, $227.60; William G. Scott (estate), $274.51; William Stewart and wife, $106.12; Mrs. H. L. Strickland, $271.97; Henry Snow, $308.26; Thomas H. Selman, $135.19; Josephine Selman, $676.42; Hannah E. Sparks (estate), $331.61; Roxie Thomas Sample, $185.67; George W. Souder, $232.32; Matilda I. Stoner, $135.28; Samuel Steele, $330.09; Matilda Sparks, $312.17; William E. Stewart, $101.88; William A. Service, $176.72; Lee C. Thayer, $976.16; Permelia A. Thayer, $818.15; Julia A. Thomas, $124.99; Greenfield Lumber Company, $601.94; Elbert L. Tyner, $196.39; Home Brewing Company, $124.52; New Milling Company, $207.15; Edgar A. Toms, $154.06; A. T. Gidley Company, $269.13; A. C. Van Duyn (administrator estate Winfield Enright), $152.82; J. Ward Walker (estate), $243.66; James R. Walker, $106.41; Jonas P. Walker, $106.51; Albert White, $115.18; Edwin Weaver, $101.88; Charles Williams, $248.01; J. Ward Walker Company, $646.09; Cora D. Williams, $270.74; Alva Woods and wife, $105.39.
In the spring of 1899 the business men of Greenfield considered the advisability of holding a street fair during the summer. They held a meeting on March 10 and selected the following officers: John Eagan, president; Harry Strickland, secretary; J. W. Walker, treasurer, and Col. E. P. Thayer, Superintendent. An executive committee was later appointed, composed of H. G. Strickland, William C. Dudding, C. E. Kinder and John Barr. Arrangements were made and during the summer a street fair was conducted, during which, booths were erected and displays made of the different business lines and the industries of Greenfield and vicinity. People from all parts of the county attended and, in addition to the enlightenment offered by the industrial and business displays, they were entertained by the usual number and variety of side-shows, merry-go-rounds, etc.
For several years horse shows were given at Greenfield under the auspices of the Greenfield fire department. The first was given in 1909. They were then repeated every year, including 1914. A feature of the event in 1911 was an industrial parade. The parade consisted of automobiles, wagons and carriage floats, horsemen and footmen. The floats exhibited different lines of business and the industries of Greenfield and community. The parade was led by the Greenfield band and was over one-half mile in length. The city was illuminated and the occasion was enlivened with a display of fireworks, etc. At each horse show the streets were filled with stalls, tents, merry-go-rounds, "ocean waves," Ferris wheels and side shows. Sack races, pie-eating contests, etc., were also held for the entertainment of the public.
Through the efforts of the ladies' clubs of the city, a Chautauqua was promoted in 1905, under the management of Rev. Harry Hill, of Indianapolis. The Chautauqua was held on the grounds at the West school building and was repeated in 1906. The programs included the best of music, oratory and dramatic art. Financially, however, the ventures were not very successful and the movement was abandoned after the second year.
During the winter of 1912-13, representatives of the Co-operative Chautauqua Association of Bloomington, Illinois, including J. L. Loehr, canvassed the city and vicinity for subscriptions for the purpose of promoting another Chautauqua. The effort was successful and during the past three years, 1913, 1914 and 1915, Chautauquas have been held at the old fair grounds north of the city. The best talent available has been on the platform, including the famous Innes band, of New York City, and Booker T. Washington, in 1914, and Helen Keller in 1915.
The board of directors of the Chautauqua have also considered other matters relating to the welfare of Greenfield. On several occasions, the value of a gymnasium has been discussed, and plans for raising funds for the construction of such a building have been considered.
Troop One, Boy Scouts of America, at Greenfield, was organized in the spring of 1911 by Rev. J. B. Williamson, and was the outcome of a boys' organization in the Presbyterian church. Under the instruction of Reverend Williamson, as the first scout master, the boys took several small camping trips and great enthusiasm was aroused. In 1913 Prof. F. W. Bryant became scout master and through his efforts the organization flourished. Following Professor Bryant, Rev. C. H. Smith took the work and he, in turn, was followed by Rev. S. L. Cates. The organization has not only proven beneficial to the boys themselves, but also to the community as a whole. At the Chautauquas and other large gatherings, the boys have rendered valuable assistance to the management. The present scouts and subjects they major in are as follows: Almond Duncan, wireless; Paul Goble, wireless; Herman Johnson, woodcraft; James T. Larimore, first aid to the injured; Dale Spencer, first aid to the injured; Robert Mason, first aid; Dale Morton, woodcraft; Charles Page, woodcraft; William Duncan, woodcraft; Oakes Lineback, campcraft; Corr Service, scoutcraft; Kenneth Mason, campcraft.
City mail delivery was begun on January 2, 1902.
Ten rural free delivery routes have been established from the postoffice at Greenfield. The first four routes were established on October 1, 1900. Two routes were established on August 1, 1901, and the remaining four on September 1, 1905.
The most interesting of the historical structures which now stand along the old National road is the Gooding tavern, which stands on the southwest corner of State and Main streets in this city. The quaintness of its architecture seems to breathe a spirit of pioneer days and recalls to the minds of the older men of our city many interesting traditions. In 1844, Henry Clay, nominee for the presidency for the third time, was traveling from Dayton to Indianapolis and remained at the Gooding inn for dinner. In 1843, Hon. R. M. Johnson, former vice-president of the United States, stopped for a day at the famous tavern. Another man, whose associations make the building of historical significance, was Hon. George W. Julian, candidate for the vice-presidency in 1852, and a member of Congress from this district for a number of years. Mr. Julian when not in Washington lived at the Gooding tavern.
Joseph Chapman was the builder of the tavern, the north half of the building being completed in 1832 by him. Later the building was sold to James B. Hart, who kept the tavern for a time. He was a brother of the late Andrew T. Hart and the father of John E. Hart, of this city. Mr. Hart sold the tavern, together with some adjoining lots, to Asa Gooding, the father of the late Hon. Davis S. Lemuel and Miss Elvira Gooding. The father owned property in Shelby county, but, inspired by the advantages offered by the building on the National road, was anxious to buy land along this highway. He rode horseback from Richmond to Terre Haute and decided that Greenfield was the best point between the two cities.The old building,.owned then by James B. Hart, was the finest house on the National road between Dayton and Terre Haute. Mr. Gooding constructed the southern part of the building. For a number of years he kept the tavern and a little store, but, on account of ill health, he leased the tavern at two different times during his life. The first lessee was Louis Beeks, who operated the inn for three years. Later, William P. Rush, ex-sheriff of Hancock county, took charge of it. During this time Mr. Gooding moved his family into a house on South street, where he died in December, 1842.
For several years the widow of Asa Gooding successfully operated the tavern. After a time she rented the building to Taylor & Ellsworth, but at the end of a year Mrs. Gooding returned and remained in charge of the tavern until 1855. At that time D. N. P. Howard rented the inn for three years. After that time the building was never used as a tavern. Mrs. Gooding rented out the various rooms to individuals. George L. Knox, a well-known barber in the city, occupied the corner room for fifteen years.
The old Masonic hall, as it is familiarly known to Greenfield people, was built by Hancock Lodge No. 101, Free and Accepted Masons. The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies by Deputy Grand Master Elijah Newlin on August 14, 1854. The Masons occupied this building until the completion of the new temple on the corner of Main and State streets. The third floor was devoted to the order, but the second floor was used for many purposes. The Presbyterians used this part of the building as a church until 1867, when they moved into their new home, on South Pennsylvania street. The second floor was also used as a school and many men of this city went to school in the old hall. Perhaps the most famous of the pupils who were instructed here was the well-known Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley. The earliest teacher that we were able to find was Daniel Monfort, who conducted a private school before the war. After him came a man by the name of Hall. Associated with these gentlemen was J. M. Stephenson. In 1863 the Rev. M. H. Shockley was in charge. When the war was over, Capt. Lee O. Harris, who lived in this city until his death in 1909, was elected superintendent and he successfully conducted the school for several years. Captain Harris was also associated with Mr. Shockley and Mr. Foley as teachers during the war. Later, the school was moved to the new school building in the west part of the city and the old room in the Masonic hall was turned into a theatre. The hall was used for this purpose until 1897.
The building now looks as it always did, with the exception of a few modern advertisements on its walls. The third floor at the time of the completion of the new Masonic Temple was rented to the Red Men, who remained there until March, 1899. The second floor has recently been used by the Eagles, who now own the building, and it is said to be one of the most attractive rooms of the order in the state. During the history of the building a number of men have rented the first floor for business rooms. Among the earlier were Freeman H. Crawford, druggist; J. J. Hauck, grocer; John Crush, meat market; Henry Chapman, tinner; S. W. Barrett, stoves and tinware and Hart Brothers, stoves and tinware. The first floor is now occupied by M. T. Willett, grocer, and Floyd Spangler, plumber.
Among the early music teachers in the county were Miss Lucinda Morley, Miss Emma Millikin, Fannie Martin and Narcie V. Lockwood. They were all piano teachers. The first two probably taught at Greenfield as early as 1850. Miss Morley probably brought to town a piano of her own, since there were then very few such instruments in the homes of the people at that time. Among the first families to own such an instrument in the county were John Myers, Thomas D. Walpole, Dr. N. P. Howard and Samuel Longnaker. Miss Martin and Miss Lockwood had charge of the musical department in the old Greenfield Academy during the latter fifties and early sixties.
About the same time, during the latter fifties, Prof. L. W. Eastman also came to Greenfield as an instructor of bands and orchestras. The first bands organized in the county were the Men's Saxhorn Band and the Ladies' Saxhorn Band, at Greenfield. These bands were both under the direction of Professor Eastman. The first saxhorn band was organized by Thomas Offutt and William E. Hart, about 1857. This is the band referred to by Riley as the "old band." It was composed of the following members: L. W. Eastman, E-flat cornet; William Lindsey, tuba; Nathan Snow, second tenor; S. War Bennett, first tenor; Nathaniel C. Meek, first alto; William E. Hart, B-flat cornet; Thomas Richardson, second alto; Thomas Offutt, B bass; William E. Ogg, third tenor; John A. Riley, bass drum.
(Contributor's note- see J. W. Riley poem "The Old Band." in which many of the above are mentioned.)
John Riley may have been rather young to be included as a charter member of the band, but it is known that he played with them soon after their organization. Other members were taken into the band, and at the outbreak of the Civil War it enlisted as the regimental band of the Eighteenth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers. The report of Adjutant-General Terrell shows that at the time of enlistment the band was composed of Omer Arnold, Samuel W. Barnett, F. M. Crawford, James E. Cravens, James H. Crowder, William Elliott, Albert C. Griffith, William E. Hart, John W. Lambertson, Edwin M. McCrarey, Samuel M. Martin, John H. Noble, William L. Ogg, Martin E. Pierson, Thomas E. Richardson, James T. Reed, Henry T. Snow, Nathan Snow, James F. Stewart, Alfred M. Thornburgh and David Youst. Professor Eastman was still the leader of the band. The boys were honorably discharged in the fall of 1862, and on their return home were given a hearty welcome at the Dunbar corner by the citizens of Greenfield. The Dunbar corner was the northeast corner of Main and State streets, where Johnson's drug store now stands.
In 1859 a ladies' saxhorn band was also organized, composed of the following ladies, as nearly as can be remembered at this time: Laura Guymon, Ella Mathers, Nellie Millikin, Luna Meek, Fannie Martin, Flora Howard and Alice Thomas. This band seems to have played but a few years. It took part in concerts that were given at Greenfield, of which we have at least a few programs preserved. It is interesting to observe on these programs the prominence held by small musical instruments. Few piano solos were included. Vocal classes, however, took part, and flutes, guitars and brass instruments were used chiefly. Following is an illustrative program that was given at the Mason hall in Greenfield on Friday evening, July 4, 1861:
"Hail Columbia, " Saxhorn Band; "National Anthem Song," Octille; ":German Waltz," flutes and guitars; "Thoughts of Childhood," quartette, Mrs. Sallie Gebhart, Miss Julia Mathers, Mrs. G. N. Glass and Mr. Eastman; "Alice Waltz," Ladies' Saxhorn Band; "Autumn Winds," Miss Alice Thomas and Mr. Eastman's Vocal Class; "Flotilla Schottish," flutes and guitars' "Yankee Doodle," Ladies' Saxhorn Band.
"O're Prairie," vocal class; "Lizzie Polka," flutes and guitars; "Oh, the Merry Days," quartette, Miss Alda Guymon, Miss Alice Pierson, Mr. J. V. Stevenson and Mr. Eastman; "Sober Quaker," Miss F. Martin and Mr. Eastman; ":Captain Branham's March, " flute trio; "Warbling Water," quartette, Miss Libbie Mathers, Miss Addie Edwards, Mr. J. R. Silver and Mr. Eastman.
"'Oriental Quickstep," Saxhorn Band; "The Distant Dream," quintette, Miss Ella Mathers, Miss Sallie Gebhart, Miss Alice Pierson, Mrs. J. V. Stevenson and Mr. Eastman; " Hattie's Quickstep," flutes and guitars' "Midnight Moon," Miss Luna Meek and Miss Alice Pierson; "Midnight Watches," quartette, Miss Mollie Loehr, Miss Julia Mathers, Mr. J. V. Stevenson and Mr. Eastman; "Luna Waltz," flute trio; "What Fairy-like Music," Miss Fannie Martin and Miss Flora Howard' "O, 'Tis Sweet to be Remembered," quartette, Miss Lizzie Longnecker, Miss Alda Guymon, Mr. S. W. Barnett and Mr. Eastman; "Elalia Lee," son, Miss Flora Howard' "Fisher' Hornpipe," medley, flutes and guitars. Admittance fee, fifteen cents; children, ten cents.
After the return of the Saxhorn Band from military service a number of its members re-enlisted as volunteers. A band was maintained, however, at Greenfield, and for several years its name appears in the local papers as the Greenfield Cornet Band.
In 1868, during the political campaign, a band was organized of the older players, including also a number of younger musicians, which style itself the Adelphians. This band was composed of the following members, as nearly as they can be determined at this time: James Cox, driver; William David, Ed Millikin, War Barnett, Thomas Carr, Charles Warner, Jesse Millikin, Isaac Davis, John Davis, John Guymon, Fred Hafner, Emsley Wilson, Hiram Riley and John Riley.
The band had a good equipment of uniforms, band wagon, etc. The band wagon was made by Joe Cartwright in a shop that stood at the northwest corner of Nobel and Main streets, where Doctor Larimore's residence now stands.
In addition to the players named above, James Whitcomb Riley, Clint Hamilton and Fred Beecher occasionally played. Riley and our present mayor, Quin Johnson, had the snare drum for a time. Charles Warner, an old German shoemaker, at first carried the bass drum, after which it was taken by Quin Johnson. After a season with the bass drum, the mayor took the snare drum and played it for a number of years in the bands that followed. The Adelphians maintained their organization for almost ten years, although the membership was constantly changing.
In 1871 a number of the younger boys organized a band known as the Citizens' Band. At first they styled themselves the Juniors, but later a constitution and by-laws were adopted and placed on record in the office of the county recorder of Hancock county, on October 20, 1871. The members of the new organization, as shown by the record, were J. R. P. Johnson, James H. Danner, Hiram Kern, Peter Johnson, W. E. Willett, J. B. Rains, J. Q. Johnson, E. B. Shumway, J. M. Chappius, B. F. Barr and H. G. Amick. This band was the first to purchase a set of upright instruments. The older bands had all used the "over shoulder" horns.
The boys played for awhile under the direction of Dewitt Sivey, Isaac Davis and probably others. After two or three years, the Citizens' Band and the Adlephians were merged and were known as the Adelphians. This was probably about 1874. The band then played for several years and gradually became known as
During the early eighties it was composed of the following members: Isaac R. Davis, Thomas Carr, John Davis, Charles Davis, Abijah Davis, Penn Bidgood, Geatano Ponti, Quin Johnson and Frank Barr.
Isaac R. Davis, the leader of this band, was an accomplished musician. He was not only the leader of the Greenfield Band for a number of years, but was a band teacher, and instructed a number of the best bands in central Indiana. His home band, as well as the New Palestine Band, which he taught, and others, played during sever seasons of the Indiana state fair at Indianapolis. One need but refer to the histories of the bands in the county to appreciate his influence in the development of musical talent among the young men during the seventies and eighties.
The Davis band remained in existence until 1889, when the remnants of this band and the "Citizens'" or "Sivey's" band consolidated. Among the later additions to the Davis Band were William R. White, William Carr, George Mitchell, William Offutt, Frank Hammer and probably others.
In 1884, a "Democrat Band" was organized, largely through the efforts of William M. Lewis. It was organized for campaign purposes and included the following members: William M. Lewis, Asa New, William Wright, George Mitchell, John Johnson, James W. Wilson, William Stewart, Joe Darymple, Walter Scott, Dewitt Sivey and Jeff. Cox. The band played through the campaign of 1884, though a reorganization was probably effected before the campaign closed. Either gradually, or after reorganization, the band became known as the
Dewitt Sivey was the leader and organizer of the band, and at different times it was known as "Sivey's Band," "Sivey's National Band," and as the "Citizens' Band." Among the members who played in the band at different times were" Dewitt Sivey, Ed Sivey, J. W. Wilson, Will Carr, William Wright, Emory Scott, Jeff Cox, Elsworth Goble, William Stewart, Ed Tague, William Tully, Clint Sivey, Thomas Carr, Owen Shumway, Frank Hammer, Charles Nigh, "Stover" Nigh, William Gordon, Homer Carr and probably others. On August 19, 1884, James W. Wilson presented to the band a banner, made of blue silk and bound with heavy gold fringe. Gold tassels were artistically arranged at the corners. On the front of the banner was inscribed in beautiful gold letters (the work of Will H. Carr) the words, "The Greenfield Cornet Band," On the other side was a collection of musical instruments in gold leaf. To the banner was pinned a gold maltese cross with the following inscription: "Presented to the Citizen's Band by J. W. Wilson, August 19, 1884," The banner was presented by Mr. Wilson in a very neat little address and was accepted on behalf of the band by William Wright. This banner was carried by the band for a number of years. The "Citizens" or "Sivey" band wore neat uniforms with belts, and cartridge boxes in which to carry their music.
In the meantime, about the middle of the eighties, a third band was organized, known as the Dobbins Band. Among its member were Charles Williams, Emanuel and John Dobbins, Jeff Cox, William Shumway, Ed Jackson, Ed Tague, John Hafner, William Tully, Charles Nigh, and probably others. This band played less than a year, but during its existence there were three band s in Greenfield; the Davis Band, the Sivey Band, and the Dobbins Band. After the Dobbins Band quit playing, the Davis Band and the Sivey Band remained as separate organizations until 1889, when their remaining members consolidated. During the existence of both bands there was a great deal of rivalry, not always friendly.
After consolidating, the band played until 1894, when, the Red Men's lodge having been organized, and nearly all the boys having joined the lodge, the band was reorganized as the
William R. White became the leader of the new band at this time. Among its members were William Carr, Emory Scott, William Stewart, Alvin Johnson, Charles Millicent, William Jones, William Gordon, Omer Gordon, William Offutt, John Felt, J. Ward Fletcher, and probably others. The band was known as the Red Men's Band until about 1897, when another reorganization was effected under the name of the
The band has been known by that name to the present. William R. White has been its recognized leader since about 1894, and is the leader at this time. Among the members who have played in it at various times are: William R. White, Aubrey M. Thomas, William Niles, Von Galscock, Albert Frost, Elmer Gorman, Noble Curry, Homer Carr, William Gordon, Will Lamberson, William Jones, William Carr. William White, Charles Davis, Carl Brand, Dora Jeffries, Jesse Warrum, Malcolm Hancock, John Davis, Arthur Rafferty, Fritz Bidgood, J. Ward Fletcher, Frank Craft, Merle Glascock, Fred Niles, Charles, Gilson, Marvin Fletcher, Samuel Moore, Samuel Trueblood, Noble Howard, Earle Frost, Charles Wisehart, Charles Rucker, Jesse Rucker, Henry Rucker, Virgil Wheeler, Thomas Moxley, Albert Barnard, James Barnard, Joe Reedle, George J. Richman, Emory Scott, Berry Willis Cooper, Berlin Dieter, and no doubt others.
Of the above, Carl Brand, a grandson of Isaac R. Davis, has achieved distinction as a clarinet player. For the past year or two he has been the leader of the Indiana University Band, which in the meantime has been selected as the regimental band for the Second Regiment, Indiana National Guard.
In addition to the above named bands, Professor Mack, the supervisor of music in the Greenfield schools, organized a band about 1895-6, which, however, played only a few months. He also organized a cadet band among the high school boys, which played for awhile, about 1897.
The Davis boys also had an orchestra at different times during the seventies and eighties. About 1903, William R. White organized an orchestra composed of the following members: William R. White, Samuel J. Offutt, John A. Rhue, Albert Frost, William L. Niles, Von Glascock, William Carr, Fritz Bidgood, Bynum Jackson, George and Oscar Suess, Hugh Johnson and J. Ward Fletcher. The organization was kept intact for five or six years, and from 1903-07 played for practically all the common and high school commencements in the county.
The first literary society that was organized in Greenfield, of which our oldest residents have any recollection, was a society of young men known as the "Dark Lyceum." This society was organized in the very early history of the town, when Andrew T. Hart was a young man. It is known that the society gave entertainments, including songs, readings, elocution, etc., but whether they were public or private is not remembered.
The next society, of which we do have a record, was known as the "Thespian Society." From the announcement of their first exhibition the following lines are taken: "The society announce that their first grand exhibition will take place on Friday evening, April 1, 1859, at Thespian Hall (Odd Fellows' Hall). The object of the society is to improve themselves in elocution and produce such pieces as will instruct as well as amuse the people, and they sincerely hope their humble endeavors may be crowned with success."
The first evening's entertainment consisted of the presentation of a domestic drama entitle "Toodles." Those participating in the play were S. N. Martin, Barnett and Meek, J. M. McKinnie, Mr. O'Bryon, T. H. Offutt, E. S. Duncan, W. L. Ogg, E. B. Atherton, W. E. Hart, Miss Brace and Miss Craddock. The evening's entertainment was concluded with ‘The Burlesque Tragic Opera (in one awful act), replete with operatic gems, thrilling impersonations, terrific combats, imposing marches, etc., entitled "General Bombastes Furioso," presented by O'Bryon, S. M. Martin, N. B. Meek and Miss Parkhurt." J. L. Mason was manager, J. L. McKinnie, acting manager and Mr. O'Bryon, stage manager.
A second entertainment was announced to be given on Friday evening, April 15, 1895, under the same management. The following statement of the success of the first entertainment is given on the announcement of the second exhibition: "The unbounded enthusiasm with which the first exhibition of the Thespian Society was received by the fashion, the elite and the respectability of Greenfield has induced the management to announce a second exhibition, to take place on Friday evening, April 15, 1859, at Thespian Hall."
The evening's entertainment consisted of the presentation of two dramas, "The Limerick Boy" and "The Golden Farmer." The first was presented by Bryan C. Walpole, F. M. Crawford, S. M. Martin, William E. Hart, S. W. Barnett, Miss Smith and Miss Brace; the second by J. M. McKinnie, Bryan C. Walpole, F. M. Crawford, S. M. Martin, T. H. Offutt, M. V. McConaha, W. E. Hart, E. S. Duncan, E. B. Atherton, Miss Holland, Miss Brace and Miss Rounder. Doors opened at seven o'clock; exhibition commenced at seven-thirty. Admission, fifteen cents.
During the Civil War several societies were organized and gave entertainments, as may be observed both in the Literary chapter and the chapter on Education.
About 1870 a dramatic club was organized and named "The Adelphi," The members were known as "The Adelphians." This organization was kept up for several years, and gave plays at the old Masonic hall. The members were James Whitcomb Riley, Lee O. Harris, George A. Carr, S. War Barnett, A. Ford, E. P. Millikin, Jesse Millikin, George B. Cooley, O. N. Ridgeway, John J. Skinner, H. McGruder, A. C. Hamilton, Mrs. Nellie Cooley, Misses Angie Parker, Mary Dille, Kate Geary, and probably others whose names cannot be recalled. The club was a prominent feature in the literary life of the town. The plays produced were of high dramatic rank, and the company endeavored to present them with all possible excellence. Many of the members showed marked dramatic ability. Here the poet Riley got his first experience in histrionics, in which he excelled. Not only did he show talent in that line, but all the stage scenery used in the plays was designed and painted by him. The citizens showed great interest and appreciation, and the Adelphians always played to crowded houses. Many of the members were also connected with the Adelphian Band.
In 1875 a "Reading Room Society" was organized, which gave a series of entertainments. It was this society which promoted the Knightstown-Greenfield spelling match, that has been discussed elsewhere.
In 1878 George Knox and a group of his associates also organized a colored debating society, etc.
On January 10, 1879, the Greenfield Reading Club was organized, with twenty-four charter members. Its first officers were Miss Belle Reed, president, W. Frank Hays, vice-president; W. P. Bidgood, secretary; membership was limited to twenty-four.
In the same year the social influence of the saloon was offset by the temperance workers by the establishment of reading rooms. "The Blue Ribbon Reading Room Association" was organized at Greenfield on April 2, 1879, with the following officers: Nelson Bradley, president; F. E. Glidden, first vice-president; Mrs. Inez Lyon, second vice-president; G. T. Randall, treasurer; H. B. Thayer, recording secretary; Dr. L. A. Vawter, corresponding secretary. This society opened a reading room at the Guymon house, on the northwest corner of Mount and Main streets, that should be attractive and that should offer pleasant associations for the young men of the town.
Beginning with the eighties, more definite and more systematic work was undertaken, which replaced in large measure the activity of the literary and reading room societies of the previous two decades. The first woman's club organized in the county was the
This club was organized in 1880 with the following charter members: Mesdames Dr. N. P. Howard, Charles Downing, Mary Swope, Edwin Howard, Lemuel Gooding, Samuel Martin, D. B. Cooper, Ephraim Marsh, Elbert Tyner, Malissa Cooper, Jerome Black, George Cooper and M. H. Gant, Misses Elvira Gooding, Lena Banks, Viola Banks, Etta Holstock and Ada Anderson.
It took up the Chautauqua course of reading, which extended over a period of four years and from which the members graduated upon satisfactory completion of the four-year course of reading. The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Club was maintained for ten years or more. Following this a number of clubs were organized, the first of which was
The Ionian Club, so named in honor of its founder, Mrs. Ione Brown Black, had its beginning on December 17, 1888. Who the charter members were is not of as much importance as the purpose they had in mind. The club's motto, "We taste an intellectual pleasure twice, and with double the result when we taste it with a friend," covers the sole reason for its inception and its continuance.
In the beginning there was no organization and no definite plan of work other than the reading of new books. The first book studied was "Robert Elsemere." The small group of women gave one afternoon of each week to an informal discussion of some book which all were reading, and since freedom of speech was encouraged, much collateral information was forthcoming. When the private libraries of club members became inadequate, they frequently took the long carriage drive to Indianapolis to consult the city library.
Interesting discussions of one of Dumas' stories turned the club's attention to things foreign, and for four years its members enjoyed a most profitable study of French history and literature. No other one subject received a like amount of attention.
Many of the club's charter members were young mothers and for several years its meetings were held on the outskirts of an inner circle of small children. Some of these children, mothers now in their turn, are among the present active members.
With the enlarging of its membership the club was organized under the name of the Woman's Club. The history of country after country was studied. Sometimes an entire year was devoted to an author, as Tennyson; and two were given to a study of Browning. In 1913 they took the work of the Chautauqua Reading Circle and are in the third year of their four-year course at this time (1915).
The Hesperian Club was organized, October 17, 1889, at the home of Mrs. N. P. Howard, SR. The new society gave some time to the consideration of a name that might be worthy of the company of ladies. The mane of "Hesperian" (western star) was finally proposed by Mary Vawter and adopted. The club was organized with twenty charter members, five of whom are now living: Mrs. Elbert Tyner, Mrs. W. H. Scott, of Yakima, Washington, Mrs. Permelia Thayer, Mrs. Clara Strickland, and Mrs. Angie Howard.
The Hesperian Club was the third literary club organized in the city. Its purpose was the social and intellectual advancement of its members. During the first seven years of its existence it lived a Bohemian life mentally. The members listened to Rienza as he addressed the Romans; followed by Victor Hugo, Sir Walter Scott and other eminent authors through interesting scenes and incidents in Egypt, Scotland, Ireland and other foreign countries. Finally they landed on the good American shore the year previous to the World's Fair at Chicago, that they might more fully understand and appreciate the beautiful White City. Since then they have gone abroad again and traveled with Stoddard over many foreign points of interest. Later, the Bay View Reading Course kindly guided them to places and themes of interest, profit and pleasure.
Many beautiful and impressive events have been given by the club. Among them was a Bohemian tea, observance of tenth anniversary on November 11, 1899, in the parlors of the Columbia Hotel, with all literary clubs as guests: Greenfield day, with Mrs. John Mitchell, in which all of the city's poets, composers and artists were discussed and quoted: "The Lullaby of Nations," with Mrs. Minnie Thayer.
The club now has twenty-five active members, with a list of associate, corresponding and honorary members. The subject for the current year is India.
Following are the ladies who have served as presidents of the club: Mrs. Emma Vawter, 1889-90-91-92-93; Mrs. George W. Duncan, 1893-94; Mrs. L. W. Gooding, 1894-95-96; Mrs. H. B. Thayer, 1897-98; Mrs. George W. Duncan, 1898-99-1900; Mrs. Elbert S. Tyner, 1900-01; Mrs. S. S. Boots, 1901-02; Mrs. H. L. Strickland, 1902-03; Mrs. Emma Vawter, 1903-04-05; Mrs. J. F. Mitchell, Sr., 1905-06-07-08-09-10; Mrs. Joshua Barrett, 1910-11-12-13; Mrs. Hiram Eshelman, 1913-14-15-16.
Since the organization of the club it has had to mourn the loss of a number of its members, among whom are Estella M. Dalmbert, 1892; Cinderella J. Howard, 1895; Mary Vawter, 1895; Anna Offutt, 1899; Matilda M. Hough, 1900; Clara Vawter, 1900; Zelia Cole, 1902; Anna A. Nethercut, 1907; Mattie Sisson, 1909; Emma Vawter, 1911; Martha Stockinger, 1911; Rebecca Black, 1911; Malissa Cooper, 1913; Marietta Reed, 1915; Etta Barrett, 1915, and Mary M. Gooding, 1916.
The Hesperian Club annually observes Christmas, the members enjoying a dinner and the old-fashioned Christmas tree, and exchange of gifts, thus binding closer all of its members into one great loving family.
A chapter of this society was organized at Greenfield by Miss Tarquinia Voss, state regent, on June 11, 1904. The first meeting of the ladies was held at Cuyler's studio. Mrs. Madge Cuyler was elected regent, and Mrs. Bess Hinchman, secretary and treasurer. The society continued to meet at the homes of the different members, but principally at the Cuyler studio, on account of its central location, until 1908. Since that time only occasional meetings have been held.
The purpose of the Society is "to perpetuate the patriotic spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence; to commemorate prominent events connected with the War of the Revolution; to collect, publish, and preserve the roll, records, and historic documents relating to that period; to encourage the study of the country's history; to promote sentiments of friendship and common interest among the members of the society, and to provide a home for and furnish assistance to such Daughters of the Revolution as may be impoverished, when in its power to do so."
The membership of the society is limited to lineal descendents of an ancestor, (1) who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, member of Continental Congress, member of Congress, Legislator, or General Court of any colony or state, (2) rendered civil, military or naval service under authority of any of the thirteen colonies, or of the Continental Congress, (3) by service rendered during the War of the Revolution became liable to the penalty of treason against the government of Great Britain, provided, such ancestors always remained loyal to the cause of American independence.
Following are the members that have belonged to the Greenfield Chapter: Permelia Thayer, Mae Selman, Frances P. Snow, Vessie Pierson, Mary Montgomery, Mary Reed, Madge Cuyler, India Selman, Katherine Dann, Alma Pierson, Nellie Hughes, Clara Heizer, Lizzie Early, Bess Hinchman, Margaret Smith and Ida Barrett.
Upsilon Chapter, at Greenfield, was installed on March 31, 1906, with the following charter members: Marie Pilkenton Hughes, Roxana Thayer Eldridge, Mary Montgomery McKay, Ruby McNamee, Mary Sample, Stella Thompson Brooks, Bertha Justice Bragg, Caroline Kinsley Hoard and Bess Kinsley.
Since the installation of the local chapter the number of members has been about fifty. The local chapter has confined its work to general work among the needy of Greenfield. The money to carry on this work is obtained in different ways by entertainments, etc. A Christmas tree for the unfortunate of the city is made possible by a contribution of one dollar from each member, this having been used in previous years for a similar party for the sorority themselves.
The Ladies' Home Reading Club was organized in 1894, at the home of Mrs. C. M. Curry, with the following charter members: Lillie Walker, Jennie Peters, Vanie Gates, Ora Carr, Katie Felt, Mrs. John M. Moxley, Mrs. Frank Morgan, Ella Moore, Frankie Smith, Luella Ramsey, Florence Curry, Ellen Gibbs, Nan Dudding, Rosie Rhue, Date New, Alice Hendricks, Alice Rufner, Julia Gooding, M. A. Bottsford and Gratiot McCune Curry. Only two of the above charter members now remain in the club, Mrs. Marshall T. Smith and Mrs. Charles E. Hendricks.
The first officers elected were, Mrs. Luella Ramsey, president; Mrs. Nan Dudding, vice-president; Mrs. Jennie Peters, secretary, and Mrs. Ellen Gibbs, treasurer. The club at the time of its organization decided to study the Bible and to meet on every Thursday afternoon for the purpose of discussing certain chapters thereof.
In 1895 some of the members desired to follow other lines of work and they withdrew from this club and organized the Gradatim Club. The members remaining in the Home Reading Club continued the study of the Bible and in 1903 finished the Old Testament. Since that time the entire Bible has been studied and portions of it have been reviewed.
The club also gives time to social events, features of which are annual dinners for the families of the members of the club, all of which are, of course, thoroughly enjoyed. The club has had to mourn the deaths of eight of its members: Mrs. Nan Dudding, Lillie Walker, Audrey Binford, Anna Morgan, Florence Curry, Ellen Thomas, Ellen Gibbs and Beulah Getman. It has always given support to measures of civic reform. It was this club that circulated a petition addressed to the city council asking that an ordinance be passed prohibiting spitting upon sidewalks.
The Clio Club was organized February 21, 1896, with thirteen charter members, Mary Woodard, Jennie Duncan, Mae Duncan, Vashti Binford, Minnie Grist, Mesdames A. C. Pilkenton, M. E. Nethercut, Edward Ruffner, J. W. Cooper, S. G. White, W. B. Bottsford, Charles Downing and Ada New.
In the fall of 1895 a representative from the Progress Magazine, of Chicago, came to Greenfield and secured several members. Meetings were held weekly until in February, 1896, when the ladies had plans formulated for the Clio Club. The men of the Progress Magazine did not continue their meetings and the Clio Club has held regular meetings since. At first the meetings were weekly, but at present they are held every two weeks.
The first two years the work followed the course as outlined by the Progress Magazine; since that time a program committee each year has outlined the work. At present the membership is limited to thirty, with an associated list of members who pay dues, but are not responsible for work done in the club.
After the first few years the programs became more general and the club studied individual authors, music, art, sociology, geography, philosophy and current events. In 1899 the Holmes breakfast was given, to which all members of the federation were invited. The ladies have also given numerous socials for the enjoyment of their families, such as the Colonial tea, the lecture on Oberammergau, etc. Civic matters have received the attention of the club. The poor-house reform movement, which was finally carried to the Legislature, originated with them.
In Memoriam: Mrs. Audrey Binford, Mrs. Josephine Boyd, Mrs. Martha Pratt, Mrs. Sarah Bragg, Mrs. M. E. Nethercut and Mrs. Ada New.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 638-666.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI January 1, 2002.
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