News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 11, 2012

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE: Summary of local highlights from 125 years ago

Mike McCormick
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — What was life like in Vigo County in 1887, 125 years ago?

Here is a summary of highlights of that year:

Jan. 5 – Fannie Janauschek appears at the Naylor Opera House in “Meg Merrilles.”

Jan. 12 – A subcommittee of the Indiana legislature arrived in Terre Haute to examine evidence in an election contest instituted by Vermillion County implement dealer Decatur Downing against Terre Haute lawyer-businessman John T. Beasley for a seat in the Indiana House. The evidence includes depositions taken before justices-of-the-peace Abraham B. Felsenthal and Joseph M. Wildy.

Jan. 15 – Cox & Fairbanks distillery burns and employee James Nugent killed.

Jan. 19 – Shannon’s Bank closed.

Jan. 26 – Dr. Benjamin Swafford is appointed administrator of the estate of Patrick Shannon.

Jan. 28 – Jim Duffy of Clinton and Mike Gainey of Terre Haute fought to a draw in six-round boxing match at the skating rink.

Feb. 6 – Two earthquake shocks felt in the city at about 4:10 a.m.

Feb. 7 – Realtor Ben Blanchard weds Avis Insley, daughter of Dr. W.Q. Insley.

Feb. 11 – Cross, a black sprinter from DuQuoin, Ill., edged Haughn, a white man from Casey, Ill., in 7.5 seconds before about 2,000 spectators at the Vandalia yards in Terre Haute to set an uncertified world record at 75 yards. The winner got $1,000.

Feb. 22-23 – Frank Mayo appeared with Terre Haute actress Alice Fischer at the Naylor Opera House in “Nordeck.”

Feb. 24 – Charles P. Staub, proprietor of G.W. Staub & Co., omnibus and transfer company, sold the business to William T. Beauchamp and Edwin R. Bryant.

March 17 – Herman Hulman, Jr. and Gertrude Preston elope in Cincinnati.

March 15 – Spiritualist Anna Eva Fay, “The Indescribable Phenomenon,” appeared at the Naylor Opera House.

March 24 – Ground is broken to construct McKeen Block, a massive commercial  building at the northwest corner of Seventh and Wabash.

March 28 – The Coopers Union, with headquarters at the southeast corner of Fifth and Wabash, votes to strike on April 1.

March 30 –  James G. Blaine, 1884 Republican candidate for President of the U.S., stopped in Terre Haute while on a trip west. Blaine was a congressman and U.S. Senator from Maine before earning the nomination. He was defeated in the election by Grover Cleveland and later served as Secretary of State to President Benjamin Harrison.

March 31 – The “Honorable” Bill Hicks, notorious burglar, returns from the Jeffersonville penitentiary declaring that he has reformed.

April 1 – Lotta Crabtree appears at the Naylor Opera House in “Mazette.”

April 6 – Blind Tom appears in concert at the Naylor Opera House.

April 15 – Cornelius Callahan shoots Jesse Harmon for stealing a water bucket.

April 19 – Lawrence Barrett appears at the Naylor Opera House in “Rienzi.”

April 28 – Legendary heavyweight John L. Sullivan gives boxing show at Naylor Opera House.

May 2 – Victors in the 1882 city election include Jacob C. Kolsem, mayor; James Fitzpatrick, treasurer; Alonzo C. Duddleston, clerk; Andrew J. Thompson, marshal; and Frederick F. Cornell, assessor. Casper Link’s body found in Wabash River.

 May 7 – Jesse Harmon dies from gunshot wounds.

May 10 – First meeting of the new city council. Henry C. Nevitt was elected city attorney and Joseph A. Wimer was named street commissioner.

May 11 – The Patrick S. Gilmore Band appears at the Naylor Opera House;  Terre Haute Street Railway Co. decides to extend its line to Collett Park.

May 12 – Perry Manis, convicted of murder, dies at Jeffersonville penitentiary.

June 1 – Henry S. Ives visits city to buy Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad.

July 4 – Independence Day celebration disrupted by the presence of Anarchist Robert Schilling.

July 8 – Superintendent of Police Michael Lawlor shot in leg by Bob Winburn.

July 19 – Ben G. Cox buys Lake Finvanna on S. Fruitridge from Joseph Gilbert.

July 20 --Jacob and Charles Baur buy one-half interest in Ellsworth Flour Mill.

July 29 – Rail extension to Collett Park completed.

  Aug. 1 – Bill Hicks arrested for burglarizing the Fred Ross residence.

Aug. 2 – Earthquake shock felt at 12:30 a.m.

Aug. 7 – Invitation extended to President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland to visit city.

Aug. 9 – President and Mrs. Cleveland accept invitation to visit Terre Haute.

Sept. 20 – Thomas W. Harper, attorney for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and spouse of Ida Husted Harper, engages in a fist fight with John H. Rankin.

Oct. 1 – President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland visit Terre Haute.

Oct. 4 – Hung jury in homicide case against Callahan for death of Jesse Harmon.

Oct. 27 – Anton Hulman, Sr. and Mary C. Bannister wed.

Oct. 31 – Police commissioners order enforcement of 11 p.m. closing of gambling houses.

Nov. 8 – Sol Smith Russell appears at the Naylor Opera House in “Bewitched.”

Nov. 25 – Legendary billiard players Jake “The Wizard” Schaefer, George F. Slosson and Jacques Cartier, gave an exhibition at Daniel Fasig’s saloon, 503 Wabash.

Nov. 27 – Helena Modjeska appears at Naylor Opera House in Donna Diana.

Dec. 6 – Henry C. Nevitt resigns as city attorney; Horace B. Jones succeeds him.

Dec. 15 – New chemical engine arrives at the fire department.

Dec. 17 – Fanny Davenport appears at the Naylor Opera House in “Fedora.”

Dec. 29 – Plans announced to lift seven commercial buildings in Warren Block, extending west from Fourth and Wabash to the alley, four feet and to remodel each.