News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

April 15, 2013

City of Terre Haute to honor April 22 as Paul Dresser Day

TERRE HAUTE — On Monday, April 22, from 3 to 5 p.m., the public is invited to the south side of Fairbanks Park, near the Paul Dresser Home, to celebrate Paul Dresser’s 155th birthday. Mayor Duke Bennett will issue a proclamation to declare the date as “Paul Dresser Day”; and birthday cake will be served.

Paul Dresser was born in Terre Haute on April 22, 1858, and is remembered as one of the best songwriters of his time. After Dresser passed away in 1906, the New York Daily News called Paul Dresser “the greatest of American popular song writers” and he was eulogized as the “ballad maker of a nation.”

Art Spaces Inc.-Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection, a local non-profit organization is raising funds to commemorate both Dresser and Indiana’s State song, "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away," through a work of public art. Mary Kramer, executive director of Art Spaces, and Marylee Hagan, director of Vigo County Historical Society, will speak about the project. Other organizations involved in planning the Paul Dresser Project as part of Terre Haute's Cultural Trail include Vigo County Historical Society, Vigo County Public Library, City of Terre Haute, Terre Haute Tribune-Star and Arts Illiana.

The Vigo County Historical Society will welcome people to visit the Dresser home, also from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 22. No RSVP is required for attendance at this event.

The house is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been recognized as a landmark by the American Music Association.

The Indiana House of Representatives and Senate recently recognized Dresser’s contributions earlier this year through a resolution on March 14, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away," as Indiana's state song.   

In fact, the song was Indiana’s first official emblem, adopted four years before the state flag.

For more information call Art Spaces  at 812-235-2801 or write

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