Thursday, December 6, 2018

History of Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

OVER A CENTURY, AND GROWING

Libraries have a rich history in Mooresville, Indiana.  We began as a workmen’s subscription library in 1855, and, in 1912, Mooresville Public Library was established to serve the residents of Mooresville and Brown Township (Morgan County).  We’ve been a staple of our community for over 100 years and are proud of our progress and continued successes thanks to our patrons, staff, business supporters, and board members.

A STORIED PAST … A BRIGHT FUTURE

Interested in learning more about our early beginnings?  Journey through the decades with us.  Click the photos below, or  click here, to learn our story. Click the slideshow (below the photos) to watch our centennial celebratory slideshow (2012).  Scroll further down to see links to our “treasure trove” local history blog, which recounted the library’s historical highlights during our centennial celebration (2012).  Read about the MPL “Carnegie” building dedication on January 27, 1916 (in the next day’s Mooresville Times).

OUR CENTENNIAL CELEBRATORY SLIDESHOW (2012)

2005 ADDITION CONSTRUCTION VIDEO

Want to see what the library looked like during construction of our 2005 addition?  Watch the video below.
  

A “TREASURE TROVE” OF LIBRARY HISTORY

Click the links below to read our “treasure trove” local history blog, which highlighted the library’s history during our 2012 centennial celebration.  (Visit our blog for more historical information about Mooresville and Morgan County, Indiana.)
  • MPL historical timeline.
  • October 1911:  Mooresville citizens discuss the need for a public library.
  • January 1912:  Mooresville citizens petition for a public library.
  • Summer 1912:  Library board seeks grant funding from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation.
  • January 1913:  Andrew Carnegie Foundation grant received.
  • Spring 1913:  Furor over proposed library site.
  • January 1916:  Mooresville Public Library’s Dedication (on West Main Street, Mooresville, Indiana).
  • 1920s-1930s:  MPL through the “Roaring Twenties” and Great Depression.
  • 1940s-1950s:  MPL innovates professional practices.
  • 1957-1960:  The Carson Alphabetical Classification System.
  • 1961-1984:  Bonita Marley at the library helm.
  • 1967:  MPL’s 50th anniversary (more or less).
  • 1970s:  More renovations, outreach, and tight quarters at MPL.
  • Mid-1970s:  Some interesting library staff salary information.
  • Mid-1970s:  Minutiae in MPL board meeting minutes lends interesting historical tidbits.
  • 1975-1983:  Library growth versus budget crunches.
  • Mid-1980s:  Funding and library services solutions.
  • 1984:  Bonita Marley retires as MPL director.
  • 1987-1988:  New library building in constructed and opened to the public at 220 West Harrison Street, Mooresville, Indiana.
  • 1988:  Goodbye, old Carnegie friend (building on West Main Street, Mooresville, Indiana).
  • Late 1980s to the present:  Exponential library growth.
  • 1997:  The Claire & Helen Cook Endowment to MPL Youth Services Department.
  • 1997-2004:  MPL goes super high-tech.
  • 2004:  MPL is awarded the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) outstanding library of the year.
  • 2005-2006:  The library addition is constructed and opened to the public.
  • 2007-2008:  MPL improves its exterior space.
  • 2008:  MPL is one of the founding libraries of Evergreen Indiana.
  • 2009:  Library courtyard & pathway to knowledge are constructed.
  • 2010:  MPL’s global footprint (social media use).
  • 2010-2011:  The library begins its digital revolution.
  • Tracking down camera-shy library directors.
  • 1966-2002:  Wanda Potts, Mooresville historian (and MPL historical conservator extraordinaire).
  • May 2012:  Library celebration photos.
  • May 2012:  More library celebration photos.
  • May 2012:  Some music performed at MPL centennial celebration.

Indiana Room/Genealogy Resources at Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library (MPL) has many genealogical and historical resources available (see below).

If the MPL Indiana Room is locked, please consult library staff at the Circulation Desk.

MPL INDIANA ROOM STAFF HOURS:



Mondays & Wednesdays:  12-8 pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays:  9 am-5 pm
2nd & 3rd Fridays:  9 am-5 pm
1st & 4th Saturdays:  9 am-4 pm (ask at the adult information desk)

DIGITAL HOOSIER NEWSPAPERS

Indiana's digital historic newspaper program, Hoosier State Chronicles, has many hard-to-find old newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries available online.

SANBORN MAPS ONLINE

The Library of Congress has digitized some of its Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, which are now available online.  These maps show the locations of businesses and houses in various American towns from the 1800s onward. This is an invaluable resource for anyone doing local historical research. Additional maps may be found online on the Indiana University Spatial Data Portal and the Indiana Genealogical Society's blog.

FAMOUS HOOSIER BOOKLIST

Click here to see a booklist of biographies about some famous Hoosiers, and books by Hoosier authors, that we have in our Evergreen Indiana catalog.  The booklist was prepared by Kerry Ware.

ARTSMART: INDIANA

Grade 4 students and teachers!  Explore Indiana art and learn its relationship to Indiana history at the ArtSmart: Indiana website.

ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION

Available at the Library (Click Image to Access Database)
NOTE:  You MUST be physically ON THE LIBRARY CAMPUS
(connected to our computer network or wireless) to access ALE

FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY RESEARCH

Extensive genealogical and family history research may be done at the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division (in downtown Indianapolis) and at Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center (in Fort Wayne, Indiana). Visit the U.S. Census Bureau web site for U.S. Census information.  Many valuable research tips and resources are available on the Indiana Genealogical Society blog and website.

INDIANA STATE LIBRARY GENEALOGY DIVISION

The Indiana State Library Genealogy Division has one of the largest genealogy and family history collections in the Midwest.  Click here to learn more about their "family search" service.
The ISL Genealogy Division and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division have transitioned to a new online catalog. The catalog allows users to search over 5,300 records containing millions of items.  Click here to read more and to access the catalog.

MORGAN COUNTY (INDIANA) GENEALOGY/FAMILY HISTORY

The MPL Indiana Room focuses upon local (i.e., Morgan County) family histories but has additional genealogical resources available through our web site (e.g., Heritage Quest Online), on the library campus (e.g., Ancestry Library Edition), and in our print collections.

BOOK A GENEALOGY LIBRARIAN @ MCPL

Morgan County Public Library's genealogy department (at the Martinsville main branch) offers a wonderful service for those researching genealogy and family history.  You may "book a genealogy librarian" to assist you or your group in your research.  Click here to learn more.

GENEALOGY RESEARCH FOR HIRE

Need to hire a genealogist to research your ancestry from Morgan County (or elsewhere)?  Check with the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division or the Morgan County History & Genealogy Association.

INDIANA HISTORY ONLINE

Visit the following websites for digitized articles, images, links, and other information and resources regarding Hoosier history:

SEARCH INDIANA ARCHIVES

Search millions of records housed within the Indiana Archives by using the Research Indiana Catalog, which simplifies the process of searching the Archives’ collection by providing listings of more than a quarter of a million holdings. Some of these commonly sought-after materials include Indiana military, immigration, institutional and vital records.
.

OUR INDIANA ROOM COLLECTIONS

Indiana-Related Materials
  • Books & magazines about Indiana subjects.
Local & State History
  • Emphasis on Mooresville & Morgan County history; Indiana history resources; Yearbooks for Mooresville schools; Microfilm (local newspapers, magazines); Vertical files (local & state history).
Genealogical Resources 
  • Ancestry Library Edition online genealogy & history database (onsite use only); Heritage Quest online genealogy & history database; Legacy Links (online local obituary database); Morgan County cemetery records; Local obituary card files & newspaper clippings; Vertical files (family histories, genealogies); Local family histories (books); Microfilm (genealogy); Other genealogical materials.
Mooresville, Indiana "Treasure Trove" blog archives share a wealth of historical tidbits, focusing primarily on the history of Mooresville and Morgan County, Indiana.
Free Online "Treasure Trove" Handouts
Visit this blog to view, print, or download free handouts.
Self-Guided Walking Tour, Historic Downtown Mooresville


OUR "TREASURE TROVE" VIDEOS

INDIANA STATE MUSEUM LIBRARY PASS

Use your Evergreen Indiana library card to check-out the Indiana State Museum Library Pass, entitling up to four persons to free general admission, parking discounts, and more!  Click the video below for further information.  2018 UPDATE:  In addition to the Indiana State Museum, the ISM Library Pass is now accepted at 11 state historic sites.  The hours for the State Museum are now Tuesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.  They are closed on Mondays. 

CLICK (ABOVE) TO WATCH ISM PROMO TRAILER

EITELJORG MUSEUM PASS

Use your Evergreen Indiana library card to check-out the Eiteljorg Museum Pass, entitling you to FREE admission for up to four adults, plus an unlimited number of children or grandchildren age 17 or younger.  Free parking is available in the White River State Park garage when you use the pass.  Click here to learn more.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Famous Mooresvillians

FAMOUS MOORESVILLIANS



Click the names below to learn more about these famous Mooresvillians.

James Whitcomb Riley's Mooresville Connections


James Whitcomb Riley, sign painter (ca. 1872)
(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Public Library Riley Collection)
Although famous Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) grew up in Greenfield, Indiana, in Spring 1874 he moved to Mooresville to live with his aunt and uncle, Jim and Ann Marine, while he worked as a sign painter in a shop located at 25 South Indiana Street downtown.  The building is known as the Perce Building (for owner Dr. B. H. Perce, who had it constructed around 1865).  Our video (below), and this blog post, elaborate.
In addition to sign painting, Riley wrote articles and humorous quips for the local newspaper, the Mooresville Enterprise, as well as for other Morgan County newspapers.  When trade was slack, Riley would slip around the block to hang out with local photographer and Civil War veteran Jarvis P. Calvert at his art and photographer studio on East Harrison Street.

James Whitcomb Riley (ca. 1874)
(Photo possibly taken by J. P. Calvert)
(Image courtesy of James Whitcomb Riley Old Home Society)

Arthur C. Newby (Famous Mooresvillian)

Arthur C. Newby (1865-1933) was born and raised near Monrovia, Indiana, but owned land in Mooresville that became an important part of local education here (see below).  Newby was an early bicycle and automobile manufacturer and co-founded the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  He moved to Indianapolis in 1881 seeking employment and was a middle manager for the firm of Nordyke & Marmon.  In the 1890s, Newby co-founded the Zig-Zag Cycling Club, and, along with Charles E. Test and Edward Fletcher, he established the Indianapolis Chain & Stamping Company, which later became the Diamond Chain Company.  By the end of the 1890s, Newby’s business was supplying roughly 60 percent of American-made bicycle chains.  From 1894 to 1899, Newby was also associated with Hay & Willits Manufacturing Company, which made Outing bicycles, a popular brand.


Arthur C. Newby (1865-1933) (see obituaries here)
In 1898 Newby teamed with James A. Allison and Carl G. Fisher to construct the Newby Oval, a bicycle racing track near 30th Street and Central Avenue in Indianapolis.  This trio later founded the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909. By the turn of the 20th century, Newby focused upon automobile manufacture, co-founding the National Motor Vehicle Company, which built electric and gasoline-powered automobiles.

Dedication Program for William & Milton Newby Memorial Elementary School
(March 30, 1937)
“In 1920, Arthur C. Newby gave a 140 acre farm (located west of Mooresville near Bingham and Greencastle Roads), together with considerable other property, to the Mooresville School Association. His wishes were that they be sold and proceeds used toward the creation of a new school with the stipulation that it be named in memory of his uncles, William and Milton Newby. Mooresville’s existing elementary school, the Academy Building which originally housed MHS [Mooresville High School], was filling more and more each year. The William and Milton Newby Memorial Elementary School was decided upon and plans were drawn in 1935. Construction began in January 1936. The cost was approximately $93,000. The architectural style was Georgian Colonial. The new building included ten classrooms, a recreation room, cafeteria and kitchen, four dressing rooms, the principal’s office, a suite for first aid, music and art supervisor’s office, teachers’ rest rooms, a workshop for the custodians and a large storage room were also included in the plan. The school grounds covered about eight acres of picturesque rolling and wooded lot.” [Quoted from Susan Haynes (2016).  William and Milton Newby Memorial Elementary School. Mooresville, Indiana: Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation.]