Thursday, November 8, 2018

Links to Mooresville (Indiana) History


How well do you know your Mooresville history?  Find out by taking our local history quiz.  Click the graphic (below) to begin.  Then impress your family and friends with all your hometown knowledge.  Answers are at the end of the digital handout.



Between October 1880 and May 1881, William Gregory Harrison, who lived in Jefferson Township, Morgan County, Indiana, wrote a daily journal detailing farm life in the area.  A digitized version is now available online.  It is a fascinating look at Morgan  County life in the late 19th century, told in the vernacular of the day.  Teaching notes are included for Indiana studies/history teachers.


Click the links below to see vintage Mooresville High School (MHS) yearbook digital photos, courtesy of the Mooresville High School Alumni Association Facebook page.


Take our "virtual" walking tour of historic downtown Mooresville, Indiana.  Then check-out our audio tour guide on CD (along with this handout) and walk the self-guided route yourself.


"Old Settlers" was composed in 2010 as a tribute to the pioneers who settled in Mooresville and Morgan County, Indiana.  Click the following links to see the musical scorelyrics, and blog post about the song.


The library's Indiana Room has a variety of free digitized resources summarizing some of Mooresville and Morgan County's local history.  Click the links below to see each item.


  • Books available in our Indiana Room collection:  History of Mooresville & Morgan County, Indiana (brochure)
  • A Brief History of Mooresville and Vicinity, by Almira Harvey Hadley (1918)
  • A Brief History of Mooresville, Indiana, 1824-1974, by Clara S. Richardson (1974)
  • Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana: Historical and Biographical (Blanchard, C., ed., 1884).  Chicago: F.A. Battey & Co., pp. 99-111; 217-245.
  • Early Mooresville, Centennial Souvenir, 1824-1924 (published in 1924)
    • Includes Early Mooresville (1884), a paper written and read by Margaret W. Fogleman, daughter of Samuel Moore, at the Diamond Jubilee (60th anniversary) of the town of Mooresville, Indiana; and Ye Early Pioneers: Reminiscences of the Settlement of Morgan County (1875), a letter that was written by John Matthews, one of the earliest pioneers in Brown Township, Morgan County, Indiana.




CLICK HERE to watch the library's "treasure trove" of local history videos.  An example (below) showcases Imperceptible, a local historical book written, edited, and published by the Mooresville High School Class of 2012.


Here's a "flash from your past," if you're a long-time Mooresville resident.  We present our local history flashcard series, featuring old photographs in and around Mooresville and northern Morgan County, Indiana.  Just click the links below to see each flashcard.


The library has many local and regional Hoosier artists' paintings and other art work on display.  Click here for a list.

We also have "promo trailers" showcasing artwork on display throughout the library.  Click the play buttons in the boxes below to start the videos.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Calvert's Civil War Memoir

Jarvis P. Calvert

In 1886, Mooresville photographer and publisher Jarvis P. Calvert (1842-1917) published his Civil War memoir, A Private Soldier's Recollections of the War of the Rebellion (Mooresville, IN : J. P. Calvert, 1886).  Calvert served in Company I of the 63rd Regiment of the Indiana Volunteers.  (Click the images to enlarge them.)

Calvert gave Mooresville Public Library (MPL) a copy of his book for its adult collection soon after the library's Carnegie building opened in 1916.

As far as I know, this is the only copy of this book in the world, so MPL keeps it well under lock-and-key.  That's the reason the library digitized the book and made it available as an eBook (PDF format) through its Evergreen Indiana online catalog.  Calvert presents much of his recollections in a matter-of-fact manner, relating some harrowing moments stoically.  In fact, stoicism was Calvert's watchword; his entire memoir is filled with a calm, cool, collected representation of the transpired events.  Perhaps the lapse of 20 years between his war service and publication allowed him to distance himself somewhat from the horrors, as well as the monotony, of military engagement (and the endless waiting in-between battles).  Calvert provides an insider's view of what it was like to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War, and his contribution to personal accounts of the war adds to our understanding of the hardships and sacrifices endured.

Calvert photograph (circa 1885) from atop the steeple of the
M.E. Church, looking north along Indiana Street

Calvert's photograph of Mooresville High School (1914),
which stood next to the Academy Building

Calvert's advertisements from the 1911 and 1917
Mooresville High School yearbooks

After the Civil War, Calvert became a successful photographer and newspaper publisher (his Mooresville Midget was published for several years, competing with the Mooresville Guide [later, Mooresville Times]).  He had an art and photography studio next to his home of East Harrison Street, just east of the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church, for whom he served as choir director for 40 years.  He was a friend and colleague of famed Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), who used to hang-out at Calvert's studio discussing art and photography when Riley wasn't busy working as a painter in a downtown Mooresville shop.

The Perce Building (Mooresville Moments #4)
where James Whitcomb Riley worked in a paint shop

Calvert's studio and residence (circa 1910) on East Harrison Street
(a block south of downtown Mooresville)

Calvert's home on East Harrison Street (circa 1880)

Snapshots around Calvert's home on East Harrison Street (circa 1910)
taken by his son, P. H. Calvert

To learn more about J. P. Calvert and his life and times, please see the following:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Honor Your Veteran(s)

Mooresville Public Library has a display (through November 12) in which you may honor your family's veteran(s).  Just fill-out a tribute card and pin it to the display board next to the Friend of the Library's sale room (just inside the library entrance, to the right, as you're entering).  Also take a look at the veterans display in the glass cabinet.

Click Photos to Enlarge

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Robb Hill Poltergeist

Three years ago, I blogged about a poltergeist living in a house near Robb Hill Road, just west of Centerton (and a few miles south of Mooresville), in Morgan County, Indiana.  Yesterday, I made a short video highlighting the case.

Shelf Doll:  A Real-Life Poltergeist Experience
(Mooresville Moments #13)
by Mooresville Public Library

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Family History Month/Veterans Day Display

To celebrate National Family History Month (October) and Veterans Day (November 11, observed this year on Monday, November 12), Mooresville Public Library has a display by the entrance (across from the Friends of the Library sale room).  Click the photos to enlarge.  If you visit the library, you can see the display much better than in these pictures.