#ThrowbackThursday: Stelle … The Ultimate Frontier

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Stelle subdivision entrance sign, n.d. Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stelle,_Illinois

Stelle subdivision entrance sign, n.d. Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stelle,_Illinois

Upon first glance, some might assume I made a Star Trek reference … but only if the title of this piece were “The Final Frontier”, then that would be an amazing cultural reference! Back on point, we are focusing on this beautiful and bright painting. It is from Stelle, an intentional community located in in Northeastern Illinois. According to the Fellowship of Intentional Community (n.d.), “An “intentional community” is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.”

Beginning in 1973, Stelle believed education was crucial to the community’s success and still is today. Stelle started as a spiritual community until they moved to the sustainability movement. Founder, Richard Kieninger, was a writer and teacher, was a part of multiple intentional communities across the United States. He wrote The Ultimate Frontier, prophesying on various topics, such as earth changes, improving one’s karma, future population size of Stelle, and many more. By the 1980’s, tensions arose between Kieninger and Stelle members because of infidelity accusations; moreover, the members of Stelle removed Kieninger in 1986. After his departure, Stelle maintains a close-knit community relationship through various events yearly (Weiner, 2011).

In the center of the painting are three individuals: (Left to right) Pharaoh Ahknaton (or Amenhotep IV), King David, and Stelle founder, Richard Kieninger, 1963. Credit: Paul Barber

“The Ultimate Frontier” Painting, 1963. Credit: Paul Barber

This painting was used for the 1963 revised version of Kieninger’s book, The Ultimate Frontier. The individuals represented are Pharaoh Ahknaton (or Amenhotep IV), King David, and Richard Kieninger. The painter was Paul Barber. It is currently located in the University Archives and Special Collection’s Communal Room. Their collection consists of publications, cassette recordings, photographs, correspondences, and many more!

Do you want to learn more about Stelle? Learn more about the community by visiting their website, Stelle Community.


Fellowship for Intentional Community. (n.d.) Intentional communities: Lifestyles based on ideals. Retrieved from http://www.ic.org/wiki/intentional-communities-lifestyles-based-ideals/

Weiner, D. (2011, January 6). Apocalypse never happened, by a community did. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/us/07cncstelle.html

Posted in Communal Studies, Throwback Thursday | Leave a comment

Famous Hoosiers: Winfield Denton

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Throughout the two hundred year history, there have been numerous politicians serving and representing the state of Indiana. As we continue our series, “Famous Hoosiers”, we are discussing another Tri-State and Evansville native, Winfield Denton.

Headshot photograph of Winfield Denton, 1957. Credit: Pocket Congressional Directory

Headshot photograph of Winfield Denton, 1957. Credit: Pocket Congressional Directory (1957)

Winfield Denton was born on October 28, 1896 to George and Sara Denton. Denton served in World War 1 and World War 2 in the United States Army. He attended and graduated from DePauw University in 1919 and Harvard University in 1922, receiving his J.D. After graduating, he opened a law firm in Evansville and served as prosecuting attorney for Vanderburgh County in 1932 to 1936. His local position proved to be stepping-stone for future endeavors in politics (Biographical Directory, n.d.; Findagrave.com, 2006).

His political career started as a representative as a Democrat at the Indiana House of Representative in 1937 until 1942; moreover, Denton served as the minority leader in 1941 and as a member of the Indiana Budget Committee in 1937 to 1942. From there, Denton served at the House of Representatives of Indiana’s Eighth District in Washington, D.C. for eight two-year terms, 1949-1953 and 1955-1967. Denton passed away on November 2, 1971 in Evansville, Indiana (Biographical Directory, n.d.; Representative Winfield Denton, n.d.). The federal building and U.S. Courthouse in downtown Evansville is named in his honor.

For Continued Progress ... Re-Elect Congressman Winfield K. Denton. Democrat ... 8th District, n.d. Credit: http://ronwade.freeservers.com/IndianaPaper2.html

Re-Election Pamphlet for Denton, n.d. Credit: http://ronwade.freeservers.com/IndianaPaper2.html

Inside of Denton’s collection at the University Archives and Special Collections, are some legislature proposals and personal correspondences during his time in the Indiana House of Representatives. These papers are available to the public for viewing and research.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. (n.d.). Denton, Winfield Kirkpatrick (1896-1971). Retrieved http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000260

Findagrave.com (2006 February 28). Winfield Kirkpatrick Denton. Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13484449

Representative Winfield Denton (n.d.). Retrieved from http://members-of-congress.insidegov.com/l/3662/Winfield-Denton

Posted in Evansville, Indiana, Famous Hoosiers, Politics | Leave a comment

Famous Hoosiers: Marilyn Durham

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Photograph of Marilyn Durham, n.d. Credit: Evansville Courier and Press

Photograph of Marilyn Durham, n.d. Credit: Evansville Courier and Press

In our newest blog series, “Famous Hoosiers”, numerous Hoosiers have represented the great state of Indiana in various mediums such as politics, entertainment, and literature. Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to highlight their life, career, and contribution to Indiana. Our first Hoosier is author Marilyn Durham.

Two women loved him. One died for him. One killed for him. In the center of the poster is Burt Reynolds. The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. Credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070363/?ref_=nv_sr_3

Movie poster of “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing”, 1973. Credit: IMDb.com

Durham was born on September 8, 1930 in Evansville, Indiana. She received a degree from Evansville College, better known today as the University of Evansville (Evansville Courier and Press, 2015; Hoosier screenwriters, 2013). Durham wrote three fiction novels: The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1972), Dutch Uncle (1973), and Flambard’s Confession (1982). The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing was a national bestseller and a movie was produced in 1973, starring Burt Reynolds; moreover, “she won the Fiction Award of the Society of Midland Authors in 1973” (Evansville Courier and Press, 2015).

After achieving success, Durham held numerous workshops in Evansville over the years to inspire future writers at the University of Southern Indiana during the mid-1970’s to early-1990’s. Durham passed away on March 19, 2015 in Evansville, Indiana (Evansville Courier and Press, 2015). Here at the University Archives and Special Collections contains the Marilyn Durham collection (MSS 002). It contains the original manuscripts of The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing and Uncle Dutch as well as book covers. C.S. Lewis stated, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”


Evansville Courier and Press (2015 March 25). Marilyn Durham. Retrieved from http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/courierpress/obituary.aspx?pid=174475855

Hoosier screenwriters and novelists whose work has been translated to the screen (2013). Retrieved from http://www.whenmoviesweremovies.com/hoosierscreenwriters.html

Posted in Evansville, Indiana, Famous Hoosiers, literature | Leave a comment

#WednesdayWisdom: Celebrating the Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

A daguerreotype of Harriet Beecher Stowe, c. 1850. Photograph Credit: https://www.biography.com/news/uncle-toms-cabin-harriet-beecher-stowe

A daguerreotype of Harriet Beecher Stowe, c. 1850. Credit: Biography.com

On this day in 1811, American author Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016). Stowe served as a pioneer in a time where women did not have a prominent role or voice in American society. Growing up in a turbulent time where the United States was torn apart over the issue of slavery, Stowe cemented her legacy in American literature with her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and political activism against slavery (Goodreads, n.d.). Today, we celebrate the life and the legacy of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Stowe was the sixth out of eleven children between Lyman and Roxanna Stowe. At a young age, her parents expected all eleven children to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and they did in various ways (Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 2015). Stowe received a formal education, attending Hartford Female Seminary from 1824 to 1827, founded by her sister, Catherine (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016; Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 2015). While there, she found her true talent: writing.

Front cover of "Facts for the People. A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin presenting the original Facts and Documents upon which the story is founded. Together with corroborative statements verifying the truth of the work. By Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Boston: publshed by John P. Jewett and Company. Cleveland, Ohio: Jewett, Proctor, and Worthington. London: Low and Company, 1858.

Front cover of “Facts for the People: A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, 1858. Credit: University Archives and Special Collections

She traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio with her sister and father in 1832 working as a teacher at a local school. While in Cincinnati, she met her future husband, Calvin Stowe, a theology professor; however, in 1850, the Stowe’s moved to Brunswick, Maine (Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 2015).

Soon after moving to Maine, Stowe began to work on Uncle’s Tom Cabin. The story is based on “… her reading of abolitionist literature and on her personal observations in Ohio and Kentucky” (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016). The story was not published like as a novel but as a forty-five week serial in The National Era, an abolitionist newspaper in 1851 (Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 2015; Kane, 2015). It was published as a two volume set in 1852. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was extremely popular and controversial (primarily in the Southern United States where it was banned) throughout the United States and the world. To put into perspective, it was the second best-selling book in the 19th Century, behind the Bible, and translated into sixty different languages (Kane, 2015; Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, 2015). After it was published, Stowe continued to write novels but they were mildly successful in comparison to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She participated in speaking tours throughout the United States raising awareness on various social issues. Beecher passed away on July 1, 1896 in Hartford, Connecticut (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016).

At the University Archives and Special Collections, there are three copies of Uncle Tom’s Cabin located in our rare books collection. If you are interested in viewing these one-of-a-kind originals, feel free to visit the University Archives and Special Collections during our normal business hours. As Stowe quoted, “The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.” She lived that quote out in her life and Harriet left an indelible mark upon American literature and history.


Kane, K. (2015 March 2015). Harriet Beecher Stowe and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: Changing history with a best-seller. Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/news/uncle-toms-cabin-harriet-beecher-stowe

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (21 December 2016). Harriet Beecher Stowe. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriet-Beecher-Stowe

Goodreads (n.d.). Harriet Beecher Stowe. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/26242.Harriet_Beecher_Stowe?from_search=true

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (2015). Harriet Beecher Stowe’s life. Retrieved from https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/hbs/

Posted in literature, Wednesday Wisdom, women's history | Leave a comment

“Scared Red”: House Un-American Activities Committee Pamphlets

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

100 things you should know about Communism in the U.S.A. The first of a series on the Communist conspiracy and its influence in this country as a whole, on religion, on education, on labor and on our government. Center: United States of America insignia of an eagle with an olive branch and arrows. Prepared and released by the Committee on Un-American Activities, U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

Pamphlet over “Communism in the USA”, 1948. Credit: University Archives and Special Collections

Throughout most of the twentieth century, there was an invisible war between democracy and communism. The most noticeable occurrence was between the United States and the Soviet Union. There were at odds with each other because of their political system. Numerous U.S. Presidents denounced communism in speeches such as John F. Kennedy in 1963 with his “Ich bin ein Berliner” and Ronald Reagan in 1987 with his speech to Mikhail Gorbachev to “… tear down this wall” (Rafferty, 2017). Even before their famous speeches, there was one organization in the United States that “ensured” the safety of democracy in the country from communists.

The establishment of the House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC, occurred in 1938. HUAC was a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. The main purpose was to investigate individuals with “… alleged communist activities” (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.). The committee was involved in numerous high profiled cases, most notably, against Alger Hiss in 1948. Hiss, a then Department of State official, was charged with perjury after accusations surfaced that Hiss worked as a Soviet spy. The committee “… served as a blueprint for the tactics employed by U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950’s” (History.com Staff, 2009). The power of the committee slowed and it finally dissolved in 1975, as the Internal Security Committee (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.).

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The committee published numerous pamphlets over the effects of communism over various institutions in the United States. The numerous throughout this post are owned by the University Archives and Special Collections. If you are interested in seeing the pamphlet or requesting in a copy, please contact the archive at archives.rice@usi.edu or visit during normal business hours.


Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.) House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/House-Un-American-Activities-Committee

History.com Staff (2009). “HUAC”. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/huac

Rafferty, J. P. (2017 June 9). “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”: Reagan’s Berlin speech. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/spotlight/mr-gorbachev-tear-down-this-wall!-reagans-berlin-speech

Posted in American history, Government documents | Leave a comment