“Knecht” the Dots: Life through Art

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

Some individuals are gifted with the ability of drawing and art. We see this from these drawing by Karl Kae Knecht. Produced in 1909, Knecht draw a picture of what he and his wife, Jannie, did throughout 1908. He is synonymous for bringing Mesker Park Zoo, Evansville and Indiana’s first zoo, in 1928. After a successful fundraiser in 1929, Kay the Elephant was purchased (Evansville Museum, 2017).

Club Treasurer: February 14, 1910 to February 14, 1912. Karl Kae Knecht, Courier Cartoonist, 1912.

Karl Kae Knecht, 1912.

Knecht was born in 1883 in Iroquois, South Dakota Territory. He came to Evansville in 1906 to work at the Evansville Courier after completing his degree at the Art Institute of Chicago. Knecht served as a cartoonist and the first photographer at the Evansville Courier. Knecht remained with the Evansville Courier until 1960, after working there for fifty-four years. Knecht passed away July 28, 1972 (Evansville Museum, 2017).

These beautiful, one-of-a-kind sketches can be viewed at the University Archives and Special Collections; however, if you are interested in viewing some of Knecht’s cartoon, the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library digitalized many of his original cartoons.


Evansville Museum (2017, April). The far-reaching impact of Karl Kae Knecht. Retrieved from https://evansvillemuseum.org/events/pen-paper-remembering-karl-kae-knecht/


“Haynie” In There: The Man, The Myth, The Memory

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

Many Evansville natives know about Haynie’s Corner. According to Visit Evansville, Indiana (n.d.) states, “Where the artists live and play. They are open for business to display and sell their art during several evening events throughout the year. Along with locally owned restaurants in historic homes and structures, night spots, and outside areas for public enjoyment, Haynie’s Corner Arts District is alive with events that encourage people to walk the tree-lined streets to enjoy the architecture of this neighborhood district.”

George Haynie, n.d.

George Haynie, n.d. (Credit: University Archives and Special Collection, MSS 287)

Haynie owned a drugstore on the corner of Adams and Southeast 2nd Streets, after its construction in 1895. The drugstore was there until a fire destroyed on March 27, 1944. The damages were estimated at $20,000 or $227,000 today. Today, there are fountains in place where Haynie’s Corner was located in cool visitors off. Today at 5:00 PM at Haynie’s Corner, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is hosting a plaque dedication ceremony honoring George Haynie, the namesake (USI Web Services, n.d.). This is a free event for the public.


USI Web Services. (n.d.). Main Navigation. Retrieved May 05, 2017, from https://www.usi.edu/usitoday/announcements

Visit Evansville, Indiana. (n.d.). Haynie’s Corner arts district. Retrieved May 05, 2017, from http://www.visitevansville.com/cultural-districts/haynie%E2%80%99s-corner-arts-district

Just Wrassle It Out in Evansville: USWA Style

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

Starting in 1989, United States Wrestling Association (USWA) was created to compete against the World Wrestling Foundation (now WWE) and Jim Crocket Promotions/World Championship Wrestling (WCW). USWA signed a deal in 1992 with the WWE allowing their wrestlers to come to the USWA to wrestle; moreover, WCW and USWA worked together in 1995. Some famous wrestlers to appear were The Undertaker, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Jerry Lawler, and so many more. Evansville was one of the major cities for having USWA events. By 1997, USWA would go out of business (“United States Wrestling Association,” 2017).

These programs belong to Evansville-native, Rick Winters.


United States Wrestling Association. (2017, February 21). Retrieved March 6, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Wrestling_Association

Celebrating Black History Month: Dr. Charles Rochelle

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


Dr. Charles Rochelle, n.d.

In honor of Black History Month, we are going to show case prominent African-American who have done amazing work here in Evansville. Over the next few weeks, we are going to learn about these amazing individuals and honor them for their hard work and dedication.

Charles Rochelle was born on April 30, 1895 in Terre Haute, Indiana (“Dr. Charles E. Rochelle” n.d.; “Hoosier State Chronicles”, n.d.). Rochelle served during the First World War with the 375th Engineer Service Battalion of the United States Army in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (“Charles Rochelle Oral History”, n.d.). After the war, Rochelle attended and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Arts in education from Indiana State Teachers College, presently known as Indiana State University (“Hoosier State Chronicles”, n.d.). Rochelle would later became the first African American man to receive a doctorate in education from the University of California at Berkeley (“Charles Rochelle Oral History”, n.d.).


He became a social studies teacher at Lincoln High School in Evansville, Indiana (“Rochelle, Charles E.”, n.d.). In 1951, Rochelle began the principal of Lincoln High School (“Hoosier State Chronicles”, n.d.). Rochelle served in numerous organizations in Evansville such as a member of Liberty Baptist Church, Cawthar Shrine Temple, served as a 33rd Degree Mason, board member of the Deaconess Hospital Foundation (“Rochelle, Charles E.”, n.d.), and commander of the Otis Stone post of the American Legion numerous times (Evansville Argus Newspaper Collection, n.d.). Rochelle was married to his wife, Thelma, until her death in 1985; however, Rochelle passed away on April 30, 1993 (“Rochelle, Charles E.”, n.d.).


Left to Right: Dr. Charles Rochelle and Thelma, 1975

Here at the University Archives and Special Collections, Charles Rochelle donated his personal collection of speeches, awards, notes, and photographs. His collection is available at any time you are interested in learning more about Dr. Charles Rochelle.


Charles Rochelle Oral History. University of Southern Indiana, University Archives and Special Collections, David L. Rice Library, Evansville, Indiana.

Dr. Charles E. Rochelle (1895 – 1993). (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=66665412

Hoosier State Chronicles – Indianapolis Recorder. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://newspapers.library.in.gov/

Rochelle, Charles E. (n.d.). Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://browning.evpl.org/

Evansville Argus Newspaper Collection. University of Southern Indiana, University Archives and Special Collections, David L. Rice Library, Evansville, Indiana. Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://library2.usi.edu:8080/cdm/landingpage/collection/Argus

Elvis: The One and Only King


Original Telegram, 1957



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





Larry Aiken was a well-known radio and television personality in Evansville. He also was a businessman and created his own entertainment and promotion business. In 1957, he received a personal telegram from “the King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley. Due to time constraints, Elvis was unable to attend Aiken’s program and apologizes; however, Elvis sent his best wishes to Aiken and with his career. At this time, Elvis “… dominated the best-seller charts and ushered in the age of rock and roll” (Marsh, 2012). This was the beginning of Elvis’ reign as the King of Rock N’ Roll and his legacy continues on, even after his unfortunate death on August 16, 1977, at the age of forty-two (Marsh, 2012).


Marsh, D. (2012, August 23). Elvis Presley. Retrieved February 3, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Elvis-Presley


Behind the Music: The Vinyl Frontier – We Are the United Nations

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

As technology continued to improve, so did the music industry. As the wax cylinders were going out of style, vinyl records were becoming the next big thing! Also known as “gramophone records”, they remained popular from the 1950’s to the 1990’s (The Record Collectors Guild, n.d.).

The first company to promote the vinyl industry was RCA in the 1930’s; however, their vinyl were a “… commercial failure” because of “lack of affordable, reliable consumer playback equipment and consumer wariness during the Great Depression” (The Record Collectors Guild, n.d.). By the end of the 1930’s, Columbia Records improved the quality of the vinyl records and led to a creation of various sizes of vinyl records. The most commonly used vinyl records were the 12” and 7”; however, the compact discs, or the CD, took over as the new “ruler” in the 1990’s (The Record Collectors Guild, n.d.).

“We Are the United Nations” was wrote by Richard Rosencranz. Rosencranz, an Evansville native, wrote the song for the University of Evansville, dedicated to the United Nations (Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Newsbank Database, 1971). He was the secretary of the original Board of Trustees for the University of Evansville in 1919, when the school moved from Moores Hill, and was a member of numerous associations (EVPL Newsbank Database, 1971). Rosencranz passed away on January 25, 1971, at the age of ninety-one (Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Browning Genealogy Database, n.d.).

If you are curious to know what the song sounds like, click on  “We Are the United Nations” and listen to it. Enjoy!


Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. (n.d.). Browning genealogy database. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://browning.evpl.org/

Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (1971). Newsbank database. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/?p=WORLDNEWS&t=product%3AEANX-NB

The Record Collectors Guild. (n.d.). About vinyl records. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://www.recordcollectorsguild.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=44&page=1

Behind the Music: Evansville (in Old Indiana)

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

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There are numerous song lyrics with references to well-known cities: Barcelona by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys, and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley, just to name a few. Some people would not think Evansville would have a song because it is not New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or another other big city. Just like every good song, there is a back-story to them.

In December 1945, a meeting composing of barbershop quartets began and Colonel R.H. “Dick” Sturges was attending the meeting. He went back to Hotel McCurdy to reserve a room; however, there was not any room available. Sturges stated he was a part of the barbershop quartet group and the management housed him inside their barbershop with a cod to sleep on. Six years later, Sturges wrote the song based on his hospitable experience in Evansville. Later, Mayor Edwin Diekmann proclaimed it the official song of Evansville (Evansville City View Staff, n.d.).


Evansville City View Staff. (n.d.). Artifacts of the City. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from http://www.evansvilleliving.com/city-view/articles/artifacts-of-the-city