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33 Artifacts

first Batch


Wabash Cocoa Tin

The Wabash Baking Powder Company (Est. 1896) was first located on East Sinclair Street but
later relocated to the northwest corner of S Wabash St and Water St. It is believed it was
originally a warehouse for the import/export of canal goods and merchandise.
Operated by 10 women, the Wabash Baking Powder Company was the only factory in the U.S.
where this type of production was controlled and operated by women. A major industry, and
once the largest private brand baking powder factory in the world, they produced baking
powder as well as a variety of flavoring extracts, gelatin extracts, powdered skim milk and
cocoa. By 1913 they were producing three million pounds of product and shipping three railcars
a week. Around 1919 they added the grinding and roasting of coffee, spices of all sorts and
teas. One of their specialties was manufacturing designer goods for any desired patron,
including designing the desired custom label.
In November of 1970 the building was torn down and today is the site of Denney Motor Sales
dealership parking lot.



Glass Ko-We-Ba Coffee Jar

This jar of coffee was produced by the the Ko-We-Ba Company on the southeast corner of Canal & Miami Streets in Wabash. The KOthe, WElls and BAuer Company were wholesale grocers in Indianapolis and Wabash and had a booming business distributing their own private labeled spices, tea, coffee and other non-perishable grocery items. Built during the 1910s, throughout the years the building has housed a popular cafeteria-style restaurant, a pizzeria, a night club, county government offices, and a law firm. In October of 1953, Kothe, Wells and Bauer closed after consolidating with the Kokomo branch.



Wabash Souvenir Salt-n-Pepper Shaker w/Indian Head

It is thought that John Mason, originator of the Mason Jar, invented the idea of salt and pepper shakers in the mid-1800s. It wasn't until the 1920s, however, that they became popular. As people began to travel more, the souvenir industry was developed. Salt and pepper shakers
became popular because they were cheap, easy to carry, colorful, and made ideal gifts.

FUN FACT: The most expensive set of salt and pepper shakers in the world are a pair of George
Jensen Sterling Silver Salt And Pepper Shakers manufactured in Denmark. Produced in the
1930's, these are currently selling for over $1,500 for the pair.



Jeannette Junior Dinner Set

This set of child's depression glass dishes (1930-1939) includes 4 plates, 4 saucers, 4 teacups, a creamer and a sugar bowl and were produced by Jeanette Glass. Originally only making bottles, by the 1920s they had turned to tableware and kitchenware. This set is made in their popular pink Cherry Blossom pattern. Many of their other patterns are very well-known among depression ware collectors. The company closed in 1983.
FUN FACT: Movie theaters, gas stations, and even cereal boxes offered single items as incentive
to maintain a loyal customer base throughout the Depression years.



Wabash Memorial Hall Paper Weight

A picture of Wabash’s Memorial Hall is embossed in a paper weight. Built in 1899 as a tribute to
Union Civil War veterans, this building is said to be the "the second structure of the kind in the United States." Over the years the building has served as the meeting hall for the Grand Army of the Republic (the organization of Civil War Union Veterans), a community room for dinners, and the meeting place for the Women's Temperance Union convention of 1904. In addition, it served as a temporary hospital for the influenza epidemic of 1920, headquarters for the county historical society, and now serves as county offices. Most importantly, it was here that the first Wabash County Historical Museum was housed. The two-story structure was constructed with 18-inch-thick walls consisting of brick with rock-faced Bedford limestone.
FUN FACT: The first glass paperweights appeared in Europe in the mid-1840s.



1950's Pair of Leather Ice Skates

This leather pair of ice skates dates to the 1950's and would have been popular during that era. Known as the "Golden Age of ice skating,” the 50s saw legends like Dick Buttons, Tenley
Albright, and Carol Heiss. Always popular on the local scene, ice skaters in the early days of Wabash would skate on the Wabash and Erie Canal. During some winters the river would freeze thick enough to skate on places like Collin's Pond or the Carroll Street. Later generations ice skated at Gipe's Pond. Not too long ago, the Honeywell Pool parking lot was where the city would setup a makeshift rink. A few years ago, the Wabash Rotary Club set up a rink on Miami Street downtown to celebrate their 100th anniversary, bringing back the excitement of days gone by.
FUN FACT: During the 1952 Olympic Games, Dick Button landed the first triple jump ever in an
ice skating competition.



Wooden Nickels - Wabash County Museum Grand Opening

Originally given as a token by a merchant or bank as a type of promotion or redeemable for a specific item such as a drink, it wasn't until the 1933 World's Fair that wooden nickels were issued solely as souvenirs. The tradition took off and continues to the present day. These wooden nickels commemorated the Grand Opening of the Wabash County Museum at its current location in 2005.
FUN FACT: The 2005 grand opening only included the first floor because the 2 nd floor was not yet done. There was pressure to open because the original motto had been, “New in 2002.” The second grand opening in 2006 that celebrated the opening of the second floor.



Brass Keys and Tags from the Tremont Hotel

This brass key and tag are from the once prominent Tremont Hotel which was located where
the Tremont Parking Lot (Veterans Plaza) is today. From the 1870s until the Hotel Indiana
(today the Charley Creek Inn) was built, the Tremont Hotel was the premier hotel in Wabash.
FUN FACT: In the 1890s, the manager of the Tremont Hotel kept a pet alligator in his office.



33rd Annual Roann Booster Days (Sept. 19-22, 1956)

This catalog let Roann town festival goers know about premiums offered for a variety of items as well as serving as a program of events for the week. Platted by Joseph Beckner and Elijah Hackleman in 1853, Roann (a small town approximately 10 miles Northwest of Wabash) was a thriving community in 1956 when Booster Days was the community’s pinnacle event of the year.



Small Dish from Gipe’s Ice Cream

Located on Stitt Street across from Gipe’s Pond, Amos Gipe began making ice cream in 1911. By
1921, the A. Gipe Ice Cream Factory was the only ice cream factory in northern Indiana making
Eskimo Pies, a popular treat of the day. In 1922, they began packaging their ice cream in paper
containers that were sealed and air tight, similar to the pull-tab design ice cream cups of today. Amos Gipe died in 1928 at the age of 82 but his ice cream factory would continue on under the leadership of his son, Waldo Gipe. The small dish on display is from the later years of the factory and was a give-away marketing product.



Wabash Bus Company Tokens

Donated to the museum by Mrs. Jessie Hall, these Wabash Bus Line tokens are representative
of those used throughout the United States. The use of transit tokens date to 1831, when brass coins were minted for John Gibbs’s U.S.M. stage in New Jersey. Horsecar tokens were issued more widely in the 1830s, as were tokens for horse-drawn omnibuses. By 1897, the U.S. had its first subway in Boston, and in 1904 the New York subway system was inaugurated. Tokens were also produced for ferries, buses, and streetcars, often out of cheap white metal, aluminum, or more costly bronze.



Framed Panoramic View of Downtown Wabash, IN Streets and Buildings

An early panoramic photograph take of downtown Wabash from the corner of Wabash and Market Streets looking North, West, and South from the center of the intersection. Note the large building where the museum's parking and caboose now sits, the courthouse dome in the skyline, and the building where City Hall stands today.



Framed Campaign Ribbons - Late 19th Century

This frame consists of a number of political campaign ribbons from the 1880s and 90s up to
1912. Ribbons were first used in American politics in the 1820s. The rise of textile mills and the
printing industry made it practical for candidates to print their faces and their taglines on
everything from kerchiefs to aprons. Ribbons, however, were cheap to make and easy to carry to campaign events. They quickly became the most popular way for citizens to proclaim their political allegiance. All the rage during the 1870s-1880s, ribbons soon fell out of favor in the late 1890s with the invention of the celluloid button. Buttons immediately took off in popularity. They allowed for sharper images, crisper printing, the use of photographs, and they were more durable than ribbons. For a while, ribbon-button combinations were used, but soon the ribbon was relegated to ceremonial occasions.
FUN FACT: The first mass-produced and collectible buttons for presidential campaigns didn’t
come around until 1896, when William McKinley ran against William Jennings Bryan.



Oval Photo of Ulysses S. Grant

This rare oval portrait of Ulysses S. Grant was created by E.C. Middleton of Cincinnati, OH. From 1863 to 1873 Middleton produced a series of thirteen portraits of American Statesmen and Heroes. Inventing a unique technique of lithography that allowed printing on canvas-backed paper, the outcome was a vibrant colored portrait that resembled a watercolor. These portraits were highly sought after and sold in frames directly through agents by subscription throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States.



8-Day Oak Gingerbread Kitchen Mantle Clock - "Onyx"

This clock was produced by the E. Ingraham Company which was one of the premier American
clock and watch manufacturers during the 19th and 20th centuries. Headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut, they were founded in 1831 by Elias Ingraham and controlled by members of the Ingraham family until its demise in 1967. Known as the "Onyx", this 8 Day Oak Gingerbread Kitchen Mantel Clock was made using steam pressed wood which was quite advanced for the time. This process allowed for designs to be made in seconds saving on time and labor costs. Our clock on display was donated to the museum by Mrs. Lora Carey Clack, whose mantle it spent many years keeping time on.
FUN FACT: When new, this clock cost $4.35. If you wanted chimes and gongs in the clockworks
you had to pay an extra $0.50 for them.



Six Tube Tin Candle Mold

Candle making as we know it began in The 13th Century with the first candle molds appearing
in the 15th Century in Paris. Molds were not widely used in the United States until the mid-19th
century. It was in 1825 that a machine-braided wick was developed and by 1830 candle
factories were thriving. Originally made of tallow (beef fat), beeswax, bayberries or candle
stubs, today most candles are made using paraffin, a petroleum byproduct.
FUN FACT: Candles were hung from the ceiling by pioneers to prevent mice from eating them.



Mike “Doc” Emrick’s Emmy Award

Southwood High School graduate Mike “Doc” Emrick won this Emmy Award, one of nine, for his
work as a network television play-by-play commentator. Emrick is the only hockey broadcaster to be honored with an Emmy. Born and raised in LaFontaine, IN, Emrick spent 47 years in the broadcasting world. His many awards include the 1997 National CableACE Award, 2004 Lester Patrick Trophy, 2008 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, 9 Sports Emmy Awards, 5 time winner of the New York Regional Emmy Award, 4 time NSMA Sportscaster of the Year, NSMA Hall of Fame member and the 2014 Sports Illustrated Sports Media "Person of the Year".
FUN FACT: Emrick is a founding member, and still president, of the NHL Pronunciation Guide,
which is used as a guide for all NHL broadcasters for some of hockey's most difficult names.



Cheer Megaphone

This cheer megaphone belonged to Eileen Weck while she was a cheerleader for the Urbana
High School Speedkings. The megaphone can be traced to 17th century England where the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher, and others, began exploring ways to amplify the human voice. In the 1880s, the male cheerleaders for the Princeton University football team started using megaphones so their voices could be heard over the cheering fans at the football games. Years later, both male and female cheerleaders regularly used megaphones at sporting events, and today they have become a fixture of the sport.



Paymaster Ribbon Writer (Sea Foam Green)

The Paymaster Ribbon Writer is a mechanical checkwriter. Designed to protect a check from
unauthorized alteration, using several methods to do so. These may include any combination of: perforation (punching), embossing, debossing, and/or the imprint of hard to alter colored-ink filled fields being utilized on the financial instrument. Although the company was closed in 2000, Paymasters are still in use today to prepare money orders and cashier's checks by the United States Postal Service, convenience stores, and financial institutions.



Early Infant’s Car Seat

This is an example of an early child's car seat from the 1940s. Designed to fit over the back of the seat this seat was advertised as "Baby Stays Put..." and "Folds to Store." People designed
early car seats simply to lift the child to allow him to look out the window and to keep the child more or less in one spot in the car. Occupant safety wasn’t in top form in the early days of automobiles. It wasn’t until 1959 that a 3-point seat belt (lap-shoulder belt) was even available in cars. In 1959 the motor-vehicle death rate by miles driven was four to five times higher than recent years. The rate started a steady plunge in the early 1970s after safety-equipment regulations, laws and increased enforcement took effect.



Framed Photograph of GAR Gathering – 130

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, Union Navy, and Marines who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866 in Decatur, Illinois, it grew to include hundreds of local "posts" across the North and West. Built to house the GAR, Memorial Hall on Hill Street in Wabash was home to the James H Emmett, Post 6. Each year veterans of the GAR would gather for local, regional, and national gatherings. These photos show some of the remaining members of the GAR gathering here in Wabash. The Wabash post of the GAR was dissolved in 1942.
FUN FACT: The Wabash GAR Post 6 is named for the first soldier from Wabash County killed in the Civil War. James H. Emmett was a private in Company H of the 8th Indiana Regiment. He was killed at Rich Mountain, Virginia, on 11 July 1861.



Handmade Civil War Uniform Pants - Roann, IN

This pair of pants belonged to John B. Lockridge who lived three miles west of Roann. At the
time of their donation in 1941, they were believed to be 79 years old. Lockridge was just one of a company of boys who were preparing for enlistment into the Union Arm during the Civil War. Their drill and training took place in the town of Stockdale by the flour mill on the Eel River. About the time they were to enlist, word came that the war was over. John Lockridge died March 5, 1935, at the age of 86. These pants were donated to the museum by his son, Roy Lockridge. Interestingly, there is staining about the knee level. This would be
typical of uniform pants where the soldier was taught to kneel and fire.
FUN FACT: The town of Stockdale is known for the Stockdale Mill, also referred to as the "Roann Roller Mill,” which was built between 1855-1857. This Mill continued in operation until 1964 and after being restored in 2002, can be visited and toured today.



19th Century Hair Curler

Used during the Victorian Era, this type of hair curler was extremely popular but dangerous.
Known as "Hot Tongs", the curler was heated in a fire or over an open flame, making temperature control difficult. Designed to be used with slightly dampened hair wrapped around the curler that had been wrapped in a thin paper, it still did not always protect the user's hair from being scorched when the curler had been applied too long or to hair that was fine and brittle. It was common for women who did not pay attention to burn off locks of hair.
FUN FACT: In Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" there is a scene where Jo burns off her sister
Meg’s hair with a pair of hot tongs.


Corgi Toys

Corgi Toys were introduced to the UK in 1956. One of their most popular lines was the range of Chipperfield's Circus vehicles. Produced thought the 1960s, this line is highly prized by collectors. In 2008, Corgi was acquired by Hornby which is a British Model Railroad manufacturer. They are still available today.




Brass Lock from CCC&I Railroad

The CCC&I Railroad came into existence in 1868 as a merger of the Bellefontaine Railroad and the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad. In 1889, the CCC&I merged with lines in Indiana and Illinois to form the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, known as the Big Four Route. The Big Four had a large railyard where the Paradise Spring Historical Park now exists.



1955 Plowing Contest Plaque and 75th Jubilee Light Celebration Ten Cent Certificates

Held during September of 1955 just outside of Urbana, the National Plowing Contest was attended by thousands as well as Congressman John Beamer (from Roann), and Vice President Richard Nixon. The winner was determined by who left the least amount of residue on the surface. Several plaques and awards from the event are held in the Museum’s collection to preserve the memory of this truly Midwestern historical event.
FUN FACT: 1955 was a big year for Wabash as it was also the 75th Anniversary of being the
"First Electrically Lighted City in the World."



Styrofoam Christmas Music Box

Developed in the 1940s by Dow Chemical, Styrofoam was seen as the building material of the
future. Lightweight, buoyant, and consisting of 98% air, Styrofoam has a number of different
uses. One example is this Christmas Music Box. Used by the A.F. Billings to help get their
customers in the holiday spirit, the A.F. Billings Company started as a Christmas decorations
manufacturer. Originally housed in the old Wabash Baking Powder Co. building (located where Denny Motor Sales is today), A.F. Billings is more commonly known for their gift, collectible and flower store which was located on Market Street next to the Sweet Shop (Bellazo today).



Child’s Shoes and Hosiery in Wooden Box

These child’s shoes and hose (socks) were worn by Mrs. Freda Reardon's father, Charles Buford Eltzroth, who was born on January 28, 1884. While not much additional information is
available, this artifact is quite interesting.



Multiple Wabash Matchbooks

Invented and patented in the 1880's, the heyday of matchbooks was the 1940s into the 1970s. Adorned with artwork and produced in varying sizes, matchbooks were the ultimate marketing tool. Shown here are a number of matchbooks from varying community businesses, some no longer in existence while others are still in operation.
FUN FACT: Collecting of matchboxes, matchbooks, match labels and other match-related items is called phillumeny.



Tile from the United States Capital Building

Donated to the Wabash Historical Museum in 1926 by Dr. James T. Biggerstaff, this Minton and
Co. tile was produced in Stoke Upon Trent England for the United States Capital Building.
Known as an encaustic tile, it is made of colored clays inlaid or imbedded in the clay ground.
Because the color is part of the very fabric of the tile, it will retain its beauty after years of wear. This particular tile was installed in the floor outside of the President's Capitol office during the Capital Building expansion of 1856. Replaced after 80 years, and displayed here after 97 years, its colors are as vivid as when produced.
FUN FACT: Encaustic tiles are the same tiles made by the Romans and used in many of the
famous Pompeii mosaics and murals.



Wabash Belt and Buckle in Original Package - 75th Anniversary, First Electrically Lighted City

This item is a commemorative belt and buckle for the 75th anniversary (1880-1955) of Wabash Indiana becoming the first electrically lighted city in the world. Wabash gained this fame on Wednesday March 31, 1880, when Charles F. Brush of Cleveland, OH, installed four 3,000- candle carbon arc lamps on the flagstaff of the Wabash County Courthouse dome. It is estimated that over 10,000 people attending the lighting. One news article of the day stated, "For a mile around, houses and yards were distinctly visible, while far away the Wabash River glowed like a band of molten silver." You can learn more about Charles Brush and the Arc Lights on the second floor of the Wabash County Museum and see one of the original lights on display at the Wabash County Courthouse.
FUN FACT: In 2030, Wabash will celebrate the 150th anniversary of being the First Electrically
Lighted City in the World.



US Calvary Horse Bits (2)

These United States Military Regulation bridle bits were found in the Grand Army of the
Republic Collection from James H. Emmett, Post No. 6, Wabash, Ind. These M1859 bits are
typical of what you would find used throughout the American Civil War. Note the U.S. metal
plate on the sides.
FUN FACT: It is estimated that between 1-3 million horses, mules, and donkeys were killed in
the Civil War. At the Battle of Gettysburg alone, it is believed over 3,000 horses were killed.
(The battle took place July 1-3, 1863.)

Homer Hoover and Pliny Crumrine started their business relationship operating a furniture and undertaking business, along with Bryon Jones, at 90 W. Market St. In 1910, they exchanged buildings with the J.P. Jones Furniture Store at 36-40 E. Market Street, the present site of the Wabash County Museum. Their business specialized in furniture, carpets, rugs, drapery, fine crystal, stoves, trunks, Edison phonographs as well as undertaking. It was not uncommon during the 1800s and early 1900s for furniture stores to also make coffins and offer funeral services. The relationship between Hoover and Crumrine lasted until 1926 when Hoover established the first funeral home in Wabash that did not also operate as a furniture store, eventually known as the Hoover-Miner Chapels. Hoover went on to found, with nine other men including Mark Honeywell, the First National Bank in Wabash during the 1930s serving as one of its first directors. Hoover also served as Wabash Presbyterian Church elder and treasurer, a charter member of the Wabash Kiwanis Club, a member of the Wabash Elks Club, Patron of the Eastern Star, and on the Wabash City Schools Board of Directors during the time the present school was built.
FUN FACT: Hoover's daughter, Mary Rebecca Hoover Miner, was the first woman elected to the Wabash City Council. This occurred under the administration of Mayor Robert Mitten.

Hoover & Crumrine Yard Stick



Second Batch

34 Artifacts



Grand Army of the Republic ribbons from area encampments

The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), founded in 1866, was made up of Civil War Veterans from the Northern States. Their very first encampment was held in Indianapolis the same year. 


The James H. Emmet Post #6 of the G.A.R was formed in Wabash, Indiana, on June 18, 1883, and was named for the first Wabash County soldier killed in the Civil War. Emmet, a private in Company H of the 8th Indiana Regiment, died at Rich Mountain, Virginia on July 11, 1861. There were fifty-five charter members of the post. The last survivor of the G.A.R. in the State of Indiana was John Christian Adams, who died on February 17, 1949, at his home in Jonesboro, Indiana at the age 101. 

Fun Fact:   That year the final encampment was held in Indianapolis where it all had begun 83 years earlier.



Pvt. John Magner Medals

John K. Magner, 23, private in Company G 383rd Infantry 96th Division, was killed in the vicinity of Maeda, Okinawa Island, April 30, 1945, while helping to evacuate wounded men under heavy enemy fire as his company was assaulting a hill. Posthumously awarded the Bronze Star medal for his heroic service in connection with this operation, Pvt. Magner was mortally wounded as he made his third trip under fire. 


Magner was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip G. Magner of Wabash, IN. He was born here on March 6, 1922. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church. A graduate of Wabash High School and a student at Purdue University, he entered the army in l943 serving first in the Air Forces and later transferring to the infantry. Pvt. Magner served in the invasion of Leyte before going into the Okinawa campaign. Ribbons in case: Bronze Stars / Purple Hearts / American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal / World War II Victory Medal.


On April 23, 1879, these clock hands started moving on the new Wabash Court House Clock. The present Wabash County Courthouse, erected in 1878, was the second and last courthouse building built for use as a courthouse in the county. Official construction began on May 9, 1878, with construction progressing rapidly over the following months. When the central tower was completed, work men installed the large Seth Thomas clock, guaranteed to keep correct time within 10 seconds each month. Overall, the clock weighed 2,000 pounds and its weights weighed 1,500 pounds each. 


Fun Fact: The clock was electrified in 1938 after one of the heavy weights fell and nearly smashed through to the floor and into the offices below.

Clock Hands from First Courthouse clock




Klu-Klux-Klan - "Klan-Lite"

In the decade following the First World War, the statue known as The Spirit of the American Doughboy, designed and created by E.M. Viquesney of Spencer, IN., was mass produced and placed in communities throughout the United States. As patriotic as the 1920’s were, it was also a decade of overt racism, xenophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment. Thus, one of the rarest and controversial E.M. Viquesney pieces you'll ever see is his "Klan-Lite". Billed as "The Wonder Lamp", it reportedly sold “like wildfire" when introduced in late 1923. For homes in rural areas with no electricity (which was common at the time), there was a slightly less expensive "votive" candlestick version available. Released at a time when the government of Indiana was virtually under the control of the Ku Klux Klan, with the governor and more than half the state legislature being Klan members, the “Klan-Lite” was sure to be seen in many homes of the time.


In 1946, the Crosley 63TJ “Victory Model” was introduced. Powered by AC, this radio contained a six-tube AM broadcast (American) and a Shortwave (Foreign) band receiver. Using a built-in loop antenna with provisions for connecting an external antenna, the “Victory Model” was one of the first radios off Crosley's assembly line after they switched back to making civilian products following World War II. Crosley Radio, founded in Cincinnati by automotive entrepreneur Powel Crosley Jr., specialized in low cost, mass manufactured receivers and grew to be one of the largest radio manufacturers in the world. The Crosley name was discontinued in 1956 when the company finally ceased to exist. 


Fun Fact: Crosley Radio also included broadcasting, and in the early 1930s, the company pioneered one of the first car radios and several decades later, introduced the first portable TV.

Crosley Victory Model Radio


This device is a boot top pattern that was used by Jonathan Copeland in his shop which was located in New Holland, IN., in 1847. New Holland was an unincorporated town that was demolished and flooded during the construction of the Salamonie Reservoir in the 1960’s as a result of the Flood Control Act of 1958. This particular pattern was used to make the front of the boot. 


For most of history, shoemaking was a skilled trade, limited to time-consuming manufacturing by hand. Traditional shoemakers use one of more than 15 different techniques for making shoes. 


Fun Fact: A Cobbler is a person who mends and repairs shoes/boots, a Cordwainer/Shoemaker is one who makes shoes/boots out of new leather. Fun Fact: The difference between the two trades was once considered so vast that it was considered an insult to call a Cordwainer/Shoemaker a Cobbler.

Boot Top Pattern





1986 Wabash High school state championship signed ball

This is an example of an early child's car seat from the 1940s. Designed to fit over the back of the seat this seat was advertised as "Baby Stays Put..." and "Folds to Store." People designed
early car seats simply to lift the child to allow him to look out the window and to keep the child more or less in one spot in the car. Occupant safety wasn’t in top form in the early days of automobiles. It wasn’t until 1959 that a 3-point seat belt (lap-shoulder belt) was even available in cars. In 1959 the motor-vehicle death rate by miles driven was four to five times higher than recent years. The rate started a steady plunge in the early 1970s after safety-equipment regulations, laws and increased enforcement took effect.

Found on the Chas Haupert Farm across from Half Acre Church near Urbana, this mastodon bone was donated to the museum in 1924 by Alfred Purdy. Mastodons have been found in nearly every county in Indiana and roamed this area starting about two and a half million years ago. They became extinct about 10,500 years ago. The most common Ice Age fossil found in Indiana, they have been found in at least 150 locations throughout the State, the mastodon is the most common Ice Age fossil in Indiana.  There is another Mastodon bone located in “The Gift of the Glacier” exhibit on the 1st floor of the Museum. 


Fun Fact: On July 1, 2022 the Indiana Senate voted to name the mastodon Indiana's state fossil. 

Mastodon Bone



HandWoven Coverlet Blanket (Blue & White)



This blanket on display has an incredible history. Woven by Elizabeth “Betsey” Williams Snell in Miami County, OH in 1838, it was moved with other household goods over the Erie Canal from Troy, OH. Elizabeth “Betsey” Williams, spent countless hours making the coverlet.” On May 2, 1820, Elizabeth married Joseph Haven Shell in Miami County, Ohio. Joseph served in the War of 1812 in Capt. Ewing’s Company. Known children of Joseph and Elizabeth were John, James, Margaret, Rachel, George W. Mary B., and Virginia near Story, Ohio on the Miami River. It was here that the coverlet was made. Joseph and Elizabeth moved to Wabash County settling in Pleasant Township in 1854. Younger members of the family drove wagons pulled by oxen on the three-week journey to Wabash County. Household possessions, including the coverlet, went by canal via the Miami and Ohio Canal north to its junction with the Wabash and Erie Canal and then down to Wabash. 


In 1856, their daughter Mary B., became the 3rd wife of Elihu Garrison. Garrison had built one of the first houses in the town of America in Liberty Twp but moved to Pleasant Twp in 1857. He was a soldier in the Black Hawk War, a Methodist Episcopal minister, township trustee and in politics a Whig (later a Republican). Both are buried in Falls Cemetery. They had four children; one child was Rosa May Garrison (1869-1942) who in 1884 married Melvin Lyons Ray. It was Rosa who wrote the note on making the coverlet. 


Melvin and Rosa had a daughter named Nellie (1887-1954) who in 1911 married Dr. Frank Kling in Peru, In. Their daughter Mary B. Schultz retained possession of the coverlet until July of 2001, when she gave it to one of her sons, Peter E. Schultz. From there the coverlet, along with a pile of other blankets, was donated by someone to the New Life Thrift Shop located in Lewes, Delaware. While the blankets were being prepped to be shipped overseas, Mrs. Marvel Jenkins, manager of the Thrift Shop saw the blanket in question with two notes pinned to it. Those notes read “Property of Mrs. M(elvin) L(yons) Ray, 316 Loveland Ave., Peru, Ind. This blanket was woven by my grandmother” while the other was the family history presented above. Using the internet to reach out to the Wabash County Historian, Ron Woodward, conversations were held that ended in the coverlet being in the hands of the Wabash County Museum. If there is anything to learn from this amazing journey, it’s to be a good steward of history and always label pictures and things carefully. In just a generation, names and items can easily become lost to time.


Founded on Tuesday May 23, 1848, Hannah Lodge #61 began construction of an official lodge building in 1892 by Wm. P. Crouch and Wm Stewart. Erected at a cost of $20,608.40, the cornerstone was laid in July of 1893 by the members of the Masonic order. At one time this was the tallest building in downtown Wabash standing at four stories. Many different businesses had been located in this building on the lower level while the lodge rooms were upstairs. Grocery stores, lawyers, insurance men, doctors and even a Chinese Laundry were in the building at one time or another. Destroyed by fire on Dec. 17, 1950, the lodge persevered and the Masons rebuilt the building which stands today on the site of the old building, just behind the museum on Wabash Street.

Mason's License Plate



Museum provenance for this porcelain inkwell states that it was once used by the Governor of Indiana.  Although we may never officially know if it was or not, we do know that this is a beautiful piece of hand painted German Fürstenberg porcelain made in Brunswick Germany. The use of inkwells dates back to Ancient Egypt when scribes used stone with carved hollows to hold their ink. These then developed into containers with a stopper to preserve the ink. Over time inkwells became more ornate as the upper class undertook writing for themselves rather than using scribes. Early materials included stone, clay, or even animal horn. Gold and silver ornamental inkwells were popular with the wealthy and during the Baroque period excessive ornamentation characterized inkwells. By the Victorian Era inkwells were considered a fashionable souvenir. Eventually inkwells fell out of favor with the advent of new technology such as ballpoint pens, the typewriter, and today the personal computer.

Porcelain Inkwell




Unknown Meso-American Jug

In any museum a hundred years old, there are always a few artifacts whose provenance and history might be lost to multiple collection moves, inefficient tracking, or maybe just a lack of information recorded at the time of its donation. This small Meso-American Water Jug on display is one such item. Donated to the museum in September of 1944 by Dr. Emma Holloway of North Manchester, the only recorded information upon donation was; Pottery: top extended into a ring; 6-3/4" high to top of ring, 2" across base. We would like any information anyone might have regarding this artifact.


On display is a vintage 1972 Uncle Sam VOTE Patriotic watch. Uncle Sam (which has the same initials as the United States) is a common national personification of the federal government of the United States or the country in general. Since the early 19th century, Uncle Sam has been a popular symbol of the U.S. Government in American culture and a manifestation of patriotic emotion. Uncle Sam has also developed notoriety for his appearance in military propaganda, popularized by a famous 1917 World War I recruiting poster by J.M. Flagg. According to legend, the character came into use during the War of 1812 and may have been named for Samuel Wilson. An American meat packer who lived in Troy, New York. 


Fun Fact: The actual origin is obscure. The first reference to Uncle Sam in formal literature (as distinct from newspapers) was in the 1816 allegorical book “The Adventures of Uncle Sam, in Search After His Lost Honor” by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq.

Uncle Sam Vote Watch




Small Wind-Up metal clock

This hard-to-find Parker & Whipple Desk Clock with A.E. Hotchkiss Patent movement was made around 1890 and is considered one of the world’s smallest pendulum clocks, even today. In 1880 Parker & Whipple obtained the right to manufacture novelty clocks under the patents of Arthur E. Hotchkiss. Hotchkiss held many patents for a wide variety of things, one of which was placing the clock spring outside the clock plates, making it unnecessary to take the clock apart to change the spring, which is true with this clock. The winder on the back unscrews and one end is like a small lug wrench, which is inserted into the winding hold. This lug wrench is used to set the time and also fits in the hole on the bottom of the clock and fits a nut on the bottom of the pendulum to adjust the speed of the clock. The clock movement was known to be so good that the Yale Clock Co. basically stole the patent by making some small changes and it had to be settled in court. In 1893, Parker & Whipple changed its name to the Parker Clock Co. Very few examples of this clock can be found today and one with its original works, base and parts is extremely rare.

This artifact is a Western Electric Model 202. F-1 Handset, No 5 Dial, circa 1930-1937. The Western Electric and Northern Electric 102/202 series telephones were the first widely distributed phones which adopted the use of a single handset rather than a separate transmitter and receiver. The first telephone call was made on March 10, 1876, by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant, Thomas Watson: “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Since then, the telephone quickly gained importance and became part of everyday life. On Friday, June 24, 1983, was the last day for telephone operators at GTE Wabash. 


Fun Fact: From this date until today, all phone calls made on a landline in Wabash go through the Fort Wayne switchboard.

1930's dial phone




Written by Trumball White and published in 1898, this book was the first glimpse for ordinary Americans to see and learn about the new islands the United States acquired during the Spanish-American War (April 21-August 13, 1898). Identified as four books in one, explored are the Philippine Islands (Book 1), Puerto Rico (Book 2), Cuba (Book 3) and the Hawaiian Islands (Book 4). Born in 1868, Trumball White was the first editor of Redbook Magazine (1903). He later went on to become a well-known journalist and war correspondent during the Spanish-American War and later a popular author and historian. While a journalist, he was the first person to advise the young Earnest Hemingway that the best writing comes from personal experiences. 


Fun Fact: Hemingway would later take this advice and become an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, using his time these experiences to write the best seller “A Farewell to Arms.”

Our New Possesions Book




Boston Baked Beans Pot

The first newspaper advertisement was published in 1704 in the United States. Then in the early 1800s, billboards came into existence and brands began to leverage them to express their value propositions. Direct advertising, which involves directly reaching out to potential customers, was considered an expensive option before the internet. Many organizations preferred indirect advertising because it was more affordable. Indirect advertising dealt with promoting a product or service in a subtle way, without sounding too sales-y. 


This brown glazed stoneware “Boston Baked Beans” pot is one such example. Produced around 1910 to promote “Boston Baked Beans” this specific dish is a direct descendent from an English bean-and-bacon pottage dish originally from the Middle Ages. 17th century Puritans favored a dish that they could set to cook on Saturday and consume on Sunday, saving them from labor on the Sabbath. The ingredient that separates Boston Baked Beans from all others – molasses – probably entered the mix in the mid-18th century, as Boston’s centrality to the triangular trade grew. Molasses, produced by the exploitation of enslaved persons on plantations in the Caribbean, was shipped to Boston to make rum. By the late 19th century, when Fannie Farmer included Boston Baked Beans in her watershed cookbook, molasses was considered a canonical ingredient, along with ground mustard and salt pork (another very shelf-stable item). The New England city most associated with the story of beans is Boston, Massachusetts, or ‘Beantown’. Boston baked beans are made with molasses for an especially rich, caramel-sweet dish, along with salt pork, black pepper and, sometimes, onion. 


Fun Fact: They were often slow-cooked to form a crust which many argue is the best part.

In March of 1913, the weather in Indiana went wild. From Illinois to Pennsylvania rainfalls of 6-9 inches fell over the course of three days. It is said that the Wabash River rose as much as 11 inches per hour. This coupled with ground still frozen from the winter, melting ice and runoff in watershed areas caused what many call the greatest flood ever to hit Wabash County. 720 people in Wabash were left homeless and the local Interurban tracks were covered with 10 feet of water. Local churches in town opened their doors to the flood refugees. The city and surrounding areas were without lights and commercial power. In fact, the situation was so bad that the Red Cross of Chicago sent a relief train, at the request of local businessman Ed Beitman, consisting of 200 double blankets, 200 mattresses and 200 heavy comforters. The 1913 Flood was so monumental that it was commemorated with pictures and postcards such as these on display. Fun Fact: A month later the City Health Officer, Dr. N.H. Thompson, ordered that Memorial Hall be fumigated after caring for the flood victims.

1913 Wabash Flood PostCards





"Puss-n-boots" Movie Theater Stand-up promotion

This stand-up movie theater matinee promotion was used at the Eagles Theatre for the 1961 Eastman color live-action Mexican fantasy film, “Puss-n-Boots”. Based on Charles Perrault's Puss in Boots, it was scripted, produced and directed by Roberto Rodriguez, and starred Santanon in the title role. The film was made by Peliculas Rodriguez at the Churubusco-Azteca film studios. In 1964, entrepreneur K. Gordon Murray acquired American rights to the film, edited it to 70 minutes, dubbed it, and released it nationwide as one in a series of fantasy films intended to be exhibited strictly as matinee films for children. In the film a king is forced to give his daughter to an ogre. However, a fairy gives a peasant boy a pair of boots that turns him into a  human-sized cat so he can fight the ogre. 


Fun Fact: Advertising for these films came with strict instructions as to showtimes, additional programming, advertising displays. All other matters were left to the discretion of theater managers. 



Pencil used at 2nd Voting Precinct in Wabash, IN, made Wabash Alcohol Free for 2 more years

In 1915, four years before the passing of the Volstead Act (1919) and the start of Prohibition, and two years (1917) before then Indiana governor James Goodrich initiated Statewide Prohibition, Wabash had already been dry (alcohol free) since 1913. On election day, May 5, 1915, this pencil was used in the 2nd Precinct 3rd Ward of the city where residents voted to keep Wabash dry for at least another two years. In the vote, the city voted to stay dry by 18 votes, the precinct voted to stay dry by 15. Fun Fact: It can be noted that these early liquor laws in Indiana, oddly enough, turned out to be a major milepost that helped lead to the resurrection of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915.



Promotion/Support Buttons for Crystal Gayle, Kari Hipsher

These photograph buttons of Crystal Gayle (nationally recognized music singer) and Kari Hipsher (Miss Indiana and Miss USA candidate), were worn by many Wabash fans, showing their support for these amazing ladies as they became well known. The photo button craze began in America around 1900 as the demand for the decorative display of family pictures increased. They presented a novel decorative means of displaying photographs in private residences, but also entered the public sector as they were adapted for wearing. Although most photo buttons were commercially manufactured, the individuality of the people depicted in the photographs they contain makes them unique for many collectors.



Rectangular Transferware plater

Presented here is a W. Adams & Sons Ironstone "Athens" transferware platter. Produced in deep blue and black, it was made by W. Adams & Son's in England around the early 1840’s. The Adams family has been associated with William Adams & Sons being created in 1769. This company was eventually absorbed into the Wedgwood Group in 1966. 


Fun Fact: Transferware is the term given to pottery that has had a patter applied by transferring the print from a copper plate toa. Specially sized paper and finally to the pottery body. 


Untitled design (1).png

Hagenbeck & Wallace Circus Ticket (Saturday, July 24, 1937 - Afternoon)

Based in Peru, IN, the Hagenbeck–Wallace Circus traveled across America in the early part of the 20th century. At its peak, it was the second-largest circus in America next to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The 1937 season, Hagenbeck & Wallace was a big one that would last 32 weeks. With all new canvas and newly painted wagons, the owner of this ticket would have seen the famous Terrell Jacobs and his Fighting Lions, Emmet Kelly the famous sad clown, and another young clown who was known as Richard (Red) Skelton who would later become famous in vaudeville, movies and early television. One particular performer in the 1937 show was Maria Rasputin, the Russian daughter of Grigori Rasputin, the infamous Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the imperial Russian family. 


Fun Fact: The 1937 season of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus would be their last with them closing down in 1938.

Used during the 19th and early 20th centuries, these collection boxes were donated to the Museum by the Wabash Presbyterian Church at the corner of Miami and Hill Streets. The Bible states that the offering is an act of gratitude to God. During the early biblical eras, offerings would be collected in an offering dish, a basket, or an alms box. Today, in the 21st century, new methods such as payment terminals, digital Internet payments, or mobile payment processing are being used. The Presbyterian church in Wabash began in 1836 in the building that used to sit on the northeast corner of Canal and Wabash Streets, the old barracks on Wabash Street and the courthouse. In 1853, the ladies of the church had a supper and sale to raise money to furnish the first church. This was the first such event sponsored by a church in Wabash. The building that is standing today was dedicated in 1884, and has been a fixture of Wabash ever since. 

Collection Boxes from the wabash presbyterian Church





Tin Cup from the life raft and lifeboat made by the Globe American Stove Co.

The cup on display came from a life raft produced by the Globe American Stove Co. in Kokomo, IN during World War II. Nicknamed the “Kokomo Kid,” it was recognized to be America’s first all-metal lifeboat. The Globe American Stove Co. was awarded a contract to build more than a thousand of the life rafts for Liberty ships and the US Navy. It was claimed that they were the largest lifeboat manufacturer in the world for a few years. The company plants were located on East Broadway and East North Street, where vacant lots now exist. Founded in Kokomo in 1872, the Globe American Stove Co. closed its doors in 1957. Fun Fact: Testing of the rafts and their launchers was performed in the old quarry on West Markland Ave., Kokomo, IN.



First piece of cake cut from the Centennial Cake by Centennial Queen

The Wabash Centennial was held July 24-28, 1935, with the theme of this celebration being Wabash's claim as "The First Electrically Lighted City in the World." Events that occurred in connection to the Centennial were the coronation of the centennial Queen (Kathyrn Gamble who became Mrs. John Summerland); a children's parade; a ball; an illuminated parade; a cross country run; a swimming exhibition; an all-day religious observation; and the dedication of the Light Memorial. Like all celebrations, a cake was made and cut to commemorate the event. 



Wabash Railroad Blue Work Cloth

Displayed is a Wabash Railroad Work Safely “Wipeout” cloth shop towel. Named after the Wabash River, the Wabash Railroad was a Class I railroad that operated in a large area that included the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and the province of Ontario. With its roots dating as far back as 1865, it was not until 1879 when Wabash was used in its name and 1889 until it was officially named the Wabash Railroad. For the next 102 years the Wabash Railroad existed in one form or another until it was finally merged into the Norfolk & Western in 1991.

New Caledonia Poison Arrow Tips



Poison arrow heads or darts are used for the purposes of hunting and warfare. They have been used by indigenous peoples worldwide throughout history and are still in use in areas of South America, Africa and Asia today. New Caledonia was an overseas colony of France in the southwest Pacific Ocean, south of Vanuatu, and 750 miles east of Australia. Discovered by explorer James Cook in 1774, he named the land New Caledonia because it reminded him of Scotland. New Caledonia was annexed to France in 1853, and became an overseas territory of France in 1956. 


Fun Fact: The Poison Arrow Frog from the rainforest of Central and South America can produce a type of toxin so powerful that only 1/100,000 of an ounce can potentially kill a human.



Arrow Head and Figure Head from the Pyramids in Mexico

This artifact came to the museum during the early days of the 20th century and is from the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest building in Teotihuacan (Mexico City). It is around 216 feet above ground level and has a base perimeter of 8,555 square feet. It is considered to be one of the largest structures of its type in the Western Hemisphere. The name comes from the Aztecs, who founded the city around 1400 AD, after it was abandoned by a previous culture. Historians believe it was constructed about 200 CE. The pyramid is located along the Avenue of the Dead, in between the Pyramid of the Moon and the Ciudadela. The Pyramid of the Moon is located at the northern end of the Avenue of the Dead. This pyramid was used for ritual sacrifices of humans and animals. It was also a burial ground for sacrificial victims. Other types of ceremonies were believed to have been held there as well. A tomb dedicated to the Great Goddess was discovered in 1998. The goddess is also known as the Teotihuacan Spider Woman. Her discovered tomb contained a human sacrificial victim as well as animals that represented warriors. It is about 141 feet tall with a base of 147 meters west to east and 130 meters north to south. 


Fun fact: Historians have theorized it was named the Pyramid of the Moon because it could have been associated with water, rain, fertility and femininity.

George Washington Spice Cabinet



The use of spices has a rich history and can be dated back to the 3rd millennium B.C. In fact, the demand for spices had been so intense that it led to great things like power, wealth, and colonization. We owe a lot more of our presence in the United States than we realize to the significance of spices. In medieval Europe, a pound of saffron cost the same as a horse. Spices were an economic force that carved ancient trade routes over land and 16th-century circumnavigation by sea. From the West Indies and beyond, spices came into Colonial Philadelphia for sale to the wealthy. In 17th-century England, and then in the colonies, valuable spices were often locked up in spice boxes. 


When located in basement storage, this spice cabinet contained a typed index card (on display) that claimed it came from “Sulgarde Manor House, England” via a donation “in the memory of Mr. & Mrs. Rex Sims.” In researching the question, we learned a few things: Sulgarde Manor in England was the home of George Washington’s great-great-great-great-grandfather. In 1911, Theodore Roosevelt, the former president, suggested a memorial to commemorate 100 years of peace between the United Kingdom and the United States, and the manor was bought for this purpose in 1914. Between 1920 and 1930 the manor was restored, and a garden was created by Reginald Blomfield. 


In researching the Sims family to determine who Betty & Barbara were, we learned that the Sims’ had three children, a son, Rex, and two daughters, Barbara Naugle Russell ( and Alice Elizabeth (Betty). Barbara Naugle Russell (1920 - 2012) was a former Wabash County Clerk-Treasurer and City Planner. Alice Sims Crichton (1914-2000) married Lt-Col Michael Crichton in 1942, a member of the British peerage.  Alice’s marriage ties the cabinet to England, however, the current curator at Sulgarde Manor (now a museum) cannot find records to verify. 


Not too long ago, milk was delivered to your front door, or to your home’s milk box, in bottles by the milkman driving a white van. In Wabash there were several dairies that delivered; Brewer's on Miami St.; James Brooks Dairy on Wabash St.; Producer Creamery on Fisher; Sunrise Dairy on Walnut and Wert & Son Dairy on Erie St. In the county there several others with the bottles on display coming from Shively’s Dairy whose motto was “If it’s Shively’s Dairy, it’s got to be good.

Shively milk bottles



Born in Petersburg, IN, on September 7, 1929, Clyde Lovellette played in the National Basketball Association and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988. He was the first basketball player in history to play on an NCAA championship team (Kansas 1952), an olympics gold medal basketball team (1952 Helsinki), and be a 3 time NBA Champion (1954 Minneapolis Lakers/1963 & 1964 Boston Celtics). He is one of only eight players to ever complete this achievement. In addition he was also a 4 time NBA All-Star (1956, 1957, 1960, 1961), All-NBA Second Team (1956), NCAA Final Four MVP (1952),a Helms Foundation Player of the Year (1952), a 2 time Consensus first-team All-American (1951, 1952), Third-team All-American – AP (1950), the NCAA season scoring leader (1952), had is number 16 jersey retired by the Kansas Jayhawks, was inducted into the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame (1982). 


Many in Wabash know him from his time teaching and coaching at Whites Residential Services (now Josiah White’s)  where he served for 20 years, successfully providing a positive influence on the students’ lives. Clyde Lovellette passed away in North Manchester, IN, on March 9, 2016. The basketball on display was given to him at his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

 Clyde Lovellette Hall of Fame Basketball



The policeman’s Billy Club, handcuffs, and other items on display were carried by George B. Tucker, deputy for Dan McKahan, Sanford Martin and Ed Stewart. Brought into use during the Victorian Era in England, the term “billy club" is first recorded in 1848 as slang for a burlers’ crowbar. The term meaning a “policeman’s club” was first recorded in 1856. These became the first less-lethal weapons used by police officers to subdue criminals and maintain public order. Known by many names, the police officer’s club, mace, truncheon, nightstick, or baton is as old as the profession itself. Though the names and techniques have changed, the tool itself has not, and is now a symbol of police officers worldwide. In today’s society, the availability of TASERs, pepper spray, and collapsible batons, along with a greater concern for officer safety, have contributed to the reduced use of the Billy club and traditional straight clubs.

Policeman’s Billy Club



This Indian Doll was given to the museum by James Clarence Godfroy (born October 4, 1880 in Wabash County), a fifth generation Native American descended from the Miami Indian Nation. Given the native name Ka-pah-pwah, which he claimed meant “Big Mountain" or "Looking Over a Mountain”, he was a storyteller of traditional Miami tales that had been passed from generation to generation orally. His stories were recorded by Una McClurg in 1961 in the publication "Miami Indian Tales". His great grandfather, Chief Francis Godfroy was the last War Chief of the Miami tribe. He was also a great-great grandson to Frances Slocum. In 1938, he was given the title Miami Indian Chief. Chief Godfroy died on October 6, 1962 and is buried in Friends Cemetery, south of Wabash. 

Indian Doll given by Clarence Godfroy


33 Artifacts

Last Batch




This sweet figurine was made in Japan in the 1940s. It has a tiny Gardenia perfume bottle on the ribbon. It was found in the collection with no details about its origin.



These are minutes from the records of the Wabash Clio Club (1898 - 1979) and the Wabash Tourist Club (1894 - 1974), two long standing women’s organizations. The full records were donated to the Museum by Connie Randall. (8758)





Handkerchief given to patrons of Bradley Bros. Drug Store, which was located at the intersection of Wabash and Canal Streets. Bradley Brothers initially came to town after buying a building that stood on the Northwest corner of Wabash and Canal Streets in the late 1800s, but by the turn of the century the building was no longer sufficient for their business, which had virtually come to dominate the local advertising scene; there was a large billboard just past the Wabash Street Bridge informing travelers that they were approaching the firm, and virtually every commercial document has Bradley advertising on it. After the construction of their new building, they transformed their prior location into a warehouse, which was eventually torn down after a fire. The new building benefited from the birth of the interurban system, as the pharmacy’s fountain drinks and ice cream became a popular stop for those waiting to ride. Over time, the business became dependent on the inter-urban traffic, and after adding a second location on Miami Street in the current home of Modoc’s Market, the family became overwhelmed. The Museum’s archives house most of the internal letters and documents regarding the business near its end.




Wooden Indian, often known as a Cigar Store Indian. The use of outside signs or descriptive emblems like a Cigar Store Indian began in England to accommodate those who could not read or spoke another language so they could universally understand the type of establishment. This concept followed settlers moving to the US in the late 18th century.  The Cigar Store Indian is one of the very few of these signs with a purely American origin. The first wooden Indians in the United States held snuff boxes instead of cigars. They were carved from solid logs. In 1871 the average cost of one was $25. 

This Indian once stood on Wabash St. between Main and Market Streets. It was found in the basement of the building on the corner of Wabash and Market Streets and donated to the Museum by Dr. T.J. Biggerstaff in 1926. 

Research suggests this statue was carved by Samuel Robb, one of the most famous carvers of cigar store indians and a former shipbuilder.




This brass wheel was found by the Miami Valley Coin & Relic Hunters Club on April 17, 1993 on the former site of Boyd Park Amusement Park. It is a brass trolley wheel from the end of a trolley pole that was part of one of the electric cars stationed at Boyd Park. The wheel was manufactured by STAR Brass works of Kalamazoo, Michigan, the world’s largest manufacturer of trolley wheels. 

 Silver Plated napkin rings with a cherub holding a brush and palette, engraved “John” and “Lizzy,” were  donated to the Museum on February 11, 1914. Manufactured by Middletown Plate Co., a business that was started in 1864 by Edward Payne and Henry Bullard, to make Britannia and plated ware.. Middletown had a secondary trademark, Superior Silver Co., which was used on a less expensive line by Wilcox Silver Plate Co., until 1941. The Middletown Plate Co. trademark was also continued by International Silver until 1921."







WyandotteToys Ride-on Fire Truck. From 1921 to 1957, the All Metal Products Co., better known as Wyandotte Toys, turned out millions of toys that sold around the world. Anyone over 50 might remember playing with one in their childhood. It began in 1921, in a factory on Sycamore near 12th street. The fledgling company manufactured popguns, water guns and spring-loaded pistols. By the end of that decade, they claimed to be the largest maker of toy guns in the world. 

Despite the onset of the Great Depression, a new 425-foot-long factory opened in 1930. The line of toys was expanded to include metal airplanes, cars, trucks, doll carriages, tops and “Susie, the happy hen” with six white eggs in-cluded. One of the more popular of these new items was a 12-inch-long dump truck of heavy gauge steel. It had a bright steel radiator grille on the front of a red cab and a green cargo bed behind. Some of the toys were quite fanciful. A circus truck with colorful, lithographed metal designs was deemed eye-catching enough to be the subject of a still-life painting by artist Brad Clever. The Wyandotte name was prominently displayed on this and many other toys.

All Metal Products Co. went out of business in 1957 Although the company has long since passed into history, its legacy lives on. Wyandotte Toys can be found in antiques shops, toy shows and on eBay



Postage Stamp Quilt

This quilt was designed on a slate by the artist Isaiah Miley for his daughter Henrietha Miley in 1938. Made up of 8,000 pieces, it is known as a Postage Stamp Quilt. It was donated to the Museum by his daughter Ida in 1929. It is part of the Indiana Quilt Registry Project, Inc. 


Twelve dog tags that were worn by Coon Hounds and a pet Rat Terrier that belonged to Everett O. “Newt” Tibbs. The tags range from 1939 to 1948. Many cities and states have laws that require pet owners to provide their animals with an ID tag. Failure to comply with these laws can result in fines or other penalties depending on the location and the lack of these is probably one of the reasons the term “dog catcher” sparked fear in children once upon a time.

Dog Tags




Wabash County Trophy 

The Wabash County Traveling Basketball Bucket had to be defended each time a county school played another. It was in play during the 1960-61 and 1961-62 seasons. Donated by former Southwood High School administrator, Robert Dawes in 2005, the bucket was last possessed by LaFontaine High School. The bucket ceased to be used once the county high schools were consolidated into Northfield and Southwood High Schools in 1962-63.


This paper matchbox, donated by Peg Thomas in 2011, commemorates the 100th anniversary of Wabash being the 1st electrically lighted city in the world with the slogan:  "Wabash A Century of Light.”






Brownie Holiday Flash Camera & Bulbs, manufactured by the Kodak company between 1954-62.This very popular Brownie camera series has a molded brown and tan plastic body with an optical direct vision finder that was designed by Arthur H. Crapsey, the designer of many other popular Kodak cameras. Manufactured in 1956,  this Brownie Holiday Flash 127 roll film camera set is still in its original box and still fully functional. The set comes with flashbulbs, the detachable flash unit, strap, and the Midget Flashguard (vinyl shield) for the flash.



Medicine Bottles

Medicine Bottles and “Adhesive Plaster” from the office of Dr. P.G. Moore, one of the founders of the Wabash County Museum. The PG Moore bottle contains “Potassa Iod.” (Potassium Iodide, a treatment for lung disorders) written in Moore’s handwriting. The other bottle contains Antonin, an anti-inflammatory medicine. Two containers of Zinc Oxide Adhesive Plaster, which was used for healing cuts, are also included in the grouping. 




This Hammond Multiplex typewriter was manufactured by the Hammond Typewriter Company of New York. The typewriter uses Hammond’s patented type-shuttle and hammer typing mechanism. The typewriter is called a Multiplex because the typewriter contains two type shuttles in its central “turret” that can easily be rotated into use, allowing the typing of two complete alphabets in different typesets on each machine. The type shuttle is a curved piece of rubber/metal that rotates when the key is pressed to bring up the correct character. The printing is done by a hammer in the back of the machine striking the type-shuttle in the front of the machine, with the paper and ink ribbon in between to receive the impression. The keyboard is in a three row QWERTY array.  James Bartlett Hammond filed patents for his type-shuttle and hammer typing mechanism present in Hammond typewriters in 1879, receiving patent number 224088 on February 3rd, 1880 and patent number 232402 September 21st, 1880. 

The Hammond Typewriter Company was founded in 1880, and produced its first machine by 1884, winning a gold medal at the New Orleans Centennial Exposition that same year. The Hammond Typewriter touted its superior strength and durability due to its unique type-shuttle and hammer typing mechanism. The replaceable type-shuttle also contributed to the Hammond’s popularity with the ability to print in a variety of typesets in various sizes, including math formulae, special symbols, and foreign characters with an easy replacement of the type shuttle, or an even simpler rotation of a wheel in the Hammond Multiplex.



Gyp Brochure

Beginning in 1929, Ed Little, sales manager at the Wabash Cabinet Co. invited up to 300 area youth, ages 3 - 15, to his home on Manchester Avenue for an annual ice cream party. Many Rotarians and community members participated in the event which includes the Pledge of Allegiance, a talk about the significance of being an American, and a message about traffic safety by a member of the Wabash PD. In 1941, Ed converted a space in his house into a make-shift theater where he could perform magic and Gyp 2 could entertain.  The parties were officially hosted by Mr. Little and his dog, Gyp, who also entertained the children. After Gyp passed away, Mr. Little and his dog Gyp 2, continued to host the parties. 

Telegraph Transmitter



Signal Electric Telegraph Transmitting Key Type R-50 made by Electrio Manufacturing Co., Menominee, MI, sometime between 1904-1937.  American Morse was the original telegraphic code developed in the 1840s. Initially, it was a code that was to be printed on a Morse Register. Since it was not aurally received, the code is more difficult than expected and is made up of dots, dashes, longer dashers, even longer dashers and different length spaces used between some of the dots or dashes to create certain letters. Once operators learned they were aurally receiving sent messages in "real time" by listening to the Morse Register operate, the mechanical printing interface was replaced with a simple "sounder." However, the Morse code remained the same, since that was what the operators were "reading." No doubt, the original Morse code was a difficult code to learn and it was difficult to send and receive without errors. By the 1850s, sending Morse over long runs of underwater telegraph cables was proving difficult due to corruption of the dots due to a factor called dispersion. It was further worsened the faster the sender attempted to send the message. 

In 1912, the Wireless Conference in London ruled that all ship wireless messages were to be sent by International Morse. Most other wireless users also followed this rule. There was an attempt to make International Morse the standard for landline users but resistance from companies like Western Union and other wire companies who knew that sending messages via American Morse was 20% faster than International Morse prevented international from being adapted for US landlines. Very late in the US railroad's use of telegraphic communications, some railroads did use International Morse but the majority stayed with "railroad code" until the end. Eventually, as communications moved away from landline wire messages, American Morse wasn’t used after the mid-20th century.


The Graphophone, Patented 5.4.1886, by Columbia Phonograph Co, NY. The Graphophone was the name and trademark of an improved version of the phonograph. It was invented at the Volta Laboratory established by Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C., United States. In 1888, North American Phonograph Company consolidated the national sales rights of both the Graphophone and the Edison Speaking Phonograph.    This was the 478th item accessioned in the Museum’s collection. It is also the smallest version in our collection. 



Chimney Rock



Rock from Me-shin-go-me- sia's chimney.  According to the Museum’s records, the House stood “on North, South road, little southeast of Me-shin-go-me sia's Cemetery.”   Chief Me-Shin-go-me-sia was born near the mouth of Josina Creek, in Wabash County, not very far from where the Battle of the Mississinewa was fought. The year of his birth is given as about 1782. He was chief of the Miami tribe after the removal of the 1840s when the Miami of Indiana were allowed to stay on their traditional homeland. When the tribe ceded their last Indiana reservation in 1838 to the Government, they gave Me-Shin-Go-Me-Sia ten sections of land in Grant County, Indiana.  In 1860, the Chief built the Miami Indian Village School along with a Baptist Church on his reservation which was about 8.5 miles long and about 1 mile wide along the north bank of the Mississinewa River a few miles to the Northwest from the town of Marion, Indiana. 

He died December 16, 1879, and was buried along with 30 others who lost their lives to a tuberculosis outbreak at the cemetery located on his former reservation where the school house is still located. At the time of his death, he owned 160 acres of land. Upon his death, the reservation was divided up amongst his heirs who, over the next 20 years, would either sell reservation land or had it taken from them by the State’s property tax laws.



Gas Mask

M.S.A. Permissible All Service Gas Mask, Dept of Interior, Bureau of Mines; Mine Safety Appliances. It was a horrific workplace tragedy that led to the creation of MSA, a worldwide leader in worker protection and safety product innovation. On the morning of March 26, 1912, the Jed Mine in West Virginia exploded. In a flash, methane gas ignited and more than 80 miners lost their lives. From this tragedy, mine engineer John T. Ryan Sr. had an epiphany: “If I could spend my life doing what I can to lessen the likelihood of the occurrence of such terrible disasters, I shall feel in the end that my life had been well spent.” He recruited colleague George H. Deike to help realize his vision for a new company. Recognizing the critical importance of dependable, safe mining equipment, they went straight to one of the country’s great thinkers: Thomas Edison. The brilliant inventor helped Ryan and Deike create the electric cap lamp which, over the next 25 years, reduced mine explosions by an astounding 75 percent. Of all his inventions, this was the one that did the most for humanity, Edison would later say in life.

Swift's Box


Wooden box with “Swift’s Boneless Pig Souse” and the name “A.V. Shondel, 28 Wabash, Ind.” There are no additional records telling us how the wooden box came into the Museum’s possession or why A.V. Shondel’s name is written on the side. Pig Souse, for the record, features meat from various parts of the pig, including the feet, the head, the ears, and the tail; in this case, these parts were cooked and spiced. 


DollHouse Furnishings

Metal Dollhouse Furniture from the 1930s that was previously owned by Betha Gach. The many items, found together in this box, were clearly prized possessions of the owner that were played with often. Most of the pieces were manufactured by Tynietoy of Providence, Rhode Island, which specialized in reproductions from various periods, the most interesting being Early American, because in the 1930s, there was a growing appreciation in the USA for antiques.





Radio set with headphones

Crystal Radio Set: 8-1/4 x 7-1/4 inches with headphones. A crystal radio receiver, also called a crystal set, is a simple radio receiver, popular in the early days of radio. It uses only the power of the received radio signal to produce sound, needing no external power. It is named for its most important component, a crystal detector, originally made from a piece of crystalline mineral such as galena. This component is now called a diode.




Framed picture of the 1927-28 Somerset Shamrocks Basketball Team. Located in south-central Wabash County in Waltz Township, Somerset is  located near several state recreation areas and boat ramps of the Mississinewa Reservoir. Today, Somerset is located on the bluff of the reservoir but it hasn’t always been there. In the mid-1960s, the US Army Corps of Engineers helped to relocate the town to its current location to allow the building of the Mississinewa Dam which would ease flooding downstream where the Mississinewa and Wabash Rivers met. 


During the 1962-63 school year, students from the Somerset area began attending the new consolidated school district, MSD of Wabash County. Prior to that, they attended Somerset High School and their mascot was the Shamrock. 


Members of the 1927-28 senior class included: Nellie Anderson (Vanosdol), Eva Bowman (Haynes), Harry Bundy, Estella Cook (Witz), Mrs. John (Gerda), Helen M. Huddleston, Glen Kizer, Ben Lawson , Gordon Manning, Gwen Rebholz (Smith), Thelma Roy (Mattern), Franklin Smuck, Rea Stouffer, Mrs. Adam (Stout), and Kenneth Stout, and Mrs. Cyrus Thompson




Triangular point arrowheads and scrapers found in Wabash County. Arrowheads, or projectile points, can be found in Indiana, where the state has a history of Native American populations. From the Potawatomi and Miami nations of Indians to the prehistoric Paleoindians, Indiana offers hunting grounds rich in arrowhead artifacts. Many of the Museum’s collections were found by farmers in their fields.

This item is made of clay for use in a fireplace It was donated by A.C. Gardner in 1926  The fire kindler was dipped in grease and then placed under kindlings in the fireplace and lit to ignite the fire.

Fire Kindler





Betsey White Wolf

Framed picture of Betsey White Wolf, a Miami Indian and wife of Chief White Wolf. Betsey White Wolf was a full sister of Sac-a-quah-tah, the third wife of Francis Godfroy.  She was known as one of the strongest medicine women in the Miami Tribe. She was a close friend of Frances Slocum; and, like Frances, sat in council in important tribal meetings. Betsey White Wolf had brown hair and blue eyes while her sister, Sac-a-quah-tah, had black hair and blue eyes. This might be because her father was a white boy captured by the Shawnees when he was about seven years old in Virginia. He was brought into the Miami Tribe and raised by one of the chiefs and later married a daughter of the chief. 

While Chief Francis Godfroy lived in Ft. Wayne, he sent his son Gabriel to be raised by Betsey White Wolf. It was a Mongosa family understanding that he be raised by her in order that “the Upper Miamis”, generally located east of LaFontaine, and “the Lower Miamis”, generally living west of LaFontaine, would be drawn into closer relationship with each other.

Descendent Mary Mongosa said that Betsey White Wolf had only one child, called “Old John Mongosowah (Mongosah).” Because of the difficult labor she experienced at his birth, it is said she knelt in the Mississinewa river before her home and prayed she would never have to go through that again but that from the one child would grow a great nation of people. She even prophesied, foretelling the coming of the areo-plane. In her words, “I won’t see it and you may not see it, but your children will see it and your grandchildren’s children, men flying in the air like birds.”



Pageant dress

Kari (Hipsher) Halderman pageant gown. Kari Hipsher Halderman competed as Miss Huntington in 1990 and won the title and the right to compete for Miss Indiana.  She won the title Miss Indiana in June 1991.  Her talent was ballet en pointe.  Kari was wearing this dress when she was crowned. She went on to compete in the 65th annual Miss America pageant that September. 

Kari is a graduate of Purdue University and was an elementary teacher until she had children.  Kari still resides in Wabash County and is married to Howard Halderman from Wabash.  They have three children, Jenna, Jake, and Joe.



Scottish Vest

 This vest was brought from Scotland to Wabash County in 1872 when it’s owner immigrated to the US. It is an excellent example of a textile of the time. 


Slocum Drawing

Framed drawing named  “Frances Slocum’s Home as described by Arthur Shelhamer who was there sometimes as a child.”




Coin Sword

Chinese Coin Sword from the collection of Dan Myer. Coin-swords (alternatively spelled as coin swords), or cash-swords, are a type of Chinese numismatic charms that are a form of feng shui talisman that were primarily used in southern China to ward off evil spirits and malicious influences, especially those inducing fever. These coin-swords are also often used in Taoist rituals. Coin-swords are considered an "evil-warding sword" in China. Coin-swords usually consist of Qing dynasty era cash coins, specifically from the Kangxi and Qianlong eras, but may also be made from older cash coins. Chinese coin-swords generally consist of either one or two iron rods as a foundation with real or replica Chinese cash coins fastened together with a string, a cord, or a wire which are usually colored red. While the thread is usually red, it may sometimes also be yellow or gold as these are considered to be the colors of royalty. Coin-swords generally consist of: 18 Chinese cash coins located on the surface of the coin-blade that is 3 cash coins thick. 5 Chinese cash coins on each side of the hilt that is usually 3 coins thick. 6 Chinese cash coins from the hilt to the butt of the handle that is usually 3 cash coins thick. 1 Chinese cash coin on each side of the handle butt that is usually 3 cash coins thick. A typical Chinese coin-sword is about 0.6 meter, or about 2 feet in the imperial system of units, long and consists of around one hundred copper-alloy Chinese cash coins. In superstition it is usually considered better for all the Chinese cash coins strung together in the coin-sword to have been produced during the reign of only a single Chinese emperor,[5] and may not be mixed with cash coins from other dynasties. Ancient Chinese cash coins are also generally preferred over more modern ones.

Context: The sword was donated by Elizabeth Macinata who was the daughter of Dan Myer, who it belonged to before his death. Towards the end of the Service Motor Truck Company's existence, the firm began a business relationship with China. Chiang Kai-shek had recently taken power in China, and the Kuomintang government wanted to have a rugged, hardy truck to move goods and people from place to place, but their roads were in such a state that they could not accommodate contemporary road vehicles. Dan Myers, who was an engineer from Wabash and was working at the SMT plant here, was sent to China to help establish a truck factory in Manchuria. The plant successfully produced several working prototypes which looked more or less like the Service Truck we have in the Museum, the facility was lost when the Japanese invaded Manchuria. During his time in China, Dan wrote letters to a wide variety of people, all of which were saved and copies of which have been provided to our Archives by Elizabeth.



Silk Pillbox Hat

 A pink and burgundy silk hat, a pinned pink tie with pearls on the ends adorns the right side of the hat. There are no maker's marks. The modern woman's pillbox hat was created by milliners in the 1930s, and gained popularity due to its elegant simplicity. Pillbox hats were made out of wool, velvet, organdy, mink, lynx or fox fur, and leopard skin, among many other materials. They were generally designed in solid colors and were not accessorized, but could include a veil.

Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady of the United States from 1961 to 1963, was well known for her "signature pillbox hats", designed for her by Halston, and was wearing a pink one to match her outfit on the day of her husband United States President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas.

Ice Cream Containers



Louie’s Candy Kitchen ice cream containers. Donated by Tom Driscoll.  For many people who grew up in North Manchester recalling Louie's Candy Kitchen, 131 E Main Street,  brings a special nostalgia. This candy kitchen and soda fountain was a gathering place for teens and students from Manchester College (now University). Families gathered there after local ball games.  There was music in the jukebox as long as the nickels lasted and the cheese toasties or the current favorite treat to savor. The building, which dates to the 1800s, was owned and operated by Louie and Alexis “Lex” Longo from 1934 to 2003. 

In 1911, 131 E. Main St. was the home of the Belsito Candy kitchen and Soda Fountain run by Peter and Joe Belsito. Peter’s brother-in-law, Louis Longo, worked for them. In 1928, Belsito sold the store to Jerome Soliday who opened the Soliday Candy kitchen. But it reverted back to Belsito. In 1943, Louie (1914-2004) and Alexis (1913-2003) Longo purchased the store. At first they lived above the store. At the close of the store at 90,, Louie was still making his own ice cream and syrups. Alexis was particularly known for her hand-dipped milk chocolate candy.  They also had a short order service such as sandwiches as well as fountain drinks. 

These ice cream containers were used during the 1940s and beyond. Guests could stop in for a treat and then bring some ice cream home with them in these wax /containers that were made in Cincinnati, Ohio, just for Louie’s.  

In later years the Longos went to the Lake in the summer so Louie’s was seldom open. Slowly the building faded into disrepair until the fall of 2003 when Kyle Penrod and his wife, Kelly, bought the building and began a restoration in 2003. Today, it is known as Grand’s Ice Cream Shoppe.

Architect’s rendering and Interpretive Master Plan for the “new” Wabash County Museum.  In 1923, Wabash physicians Dr. Perry Moore and James T. Biggerstaff, began collecting artifacts, preserving historical items from Wabash County, and presenting them to the public. The Wabash County Historical Museum grew from exhibits housed in an empty coal bin to the museum in four rooms in the basement of the Courthouse. The Museum eventually moved to Memorial Hall, where it remained until 1999. In 1998, the City of Wabash acquired what was then known as the “Old Sears Building” at the corner of Wabash and Market Streets; shortly after, a nonprofit corporation was formed. The City gave the building to the WCHM along with two adjacent parking lots to create a new museum. This facility is three times larger than the former location, which was turned into the Judicial Annex by the County, allowing the Museum to become a recognized historical institution in the region and beyond.

Museum Master Plan

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