Local History

Discover Heritage Collection Artist: Oscar Conley Pickett

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

Mostly forgotten except by a small group of devoted fans, this artist was once well known in Muncie. He worked as a janitor, a sign painter, a piano player, and composer. He was even known to handcraft violins. Local citizens knew him best, however, as a wandering painter of landscapes.

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What Color Is It?

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

Everyone is familiar with Ball blue jars and with the company’s clear jars. Many have seen green, amber, sun-colored amethyst, and swirled Ball jars. Very few people know, however, that there was once a white Ball jar and even fewer people have seen or own one.

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A Farm Boy from Fairview Succeeds

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 3:00:00 pm

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W. Edwin Fager was born in 1897 near Fairview, a very small town in Randolph County, Indiana, but spent most of his life working in Chicago or spending time at his farm near Michigan City.

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The Muncie-made forerunner of the “Vegematic”

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

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Many of you will remember the Vegematic, made by Ronco and heavily advertised on TV.  The promise was that “It slices, dices, chops and peels, makes thousands of julienne fries in seconds!” Well, to show that there is nothing new under the sun, Muncie had its own version of a similar kitchen specialty back in the early 1920s.

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Santa Claus Photo

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 4:00:00 pm

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How could such a great, happy photograph come from a morgue? It can when it’s part of a collection of eighty boxes of archival material donated to Minnetrista in 2004 from Ball Memorial Hospital—now IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

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Meeks Furniture “Comes Home” Part Two

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 4:00:00 pm

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Last month I shared the story of my trip to Columbia, Missouri, to meet Louesa Danks and see her collection of Meeks furniture. Several years after this visit, Louesa’s friend, Jeanne, called to tell me that it was time to pick up the furniture.

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Meeks Furniture “Comes Home”

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 2:00:00 pm

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In 1998, I got a telephone call from Louesa Danks, granddaughter of James Meeks of The Meeks Mortuary family. When I heard that she was interested in donating a large collection of Meeks furniture, then registrar Heather Davis and I immediately booked our flight to Columbia, Missouri.

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Photo History: Glass Workers, Hartford City, ca. 1900

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 3:00:00 pm

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Look at the children in the front row of this group of glass workers. How old do you think they are? Eight or nine years old, maybe? While we would be horrified now to think of young children working in a glass factory—or any place, for that matter—it was common fewer than one hundred years ago.

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What is this thing?

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 12:00:00 am

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Every now and then an object of mysterious function comes into the Minnetrista Heritage Collection. Often, the donor doesn’t know what it is, but just that they “found it when I cleaned out grandma’s basement.” We look through our reference books and search on-line. It is hard, however, to Google something when you have no idea at all what it is. 

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Muncie’s ‘Meaty’ Past

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 5:00:00 pm

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It was located on Broadway Avenue in Muncie—now Martin Luther King Boulevard—and it smelled bad. At times, it smelled really bad. It was the meat packing company that started as Kuhner and closed many years later as Marhoefer.

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