“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

A Nation Divided: Confederate States of America War Bonds

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

The Confederate States of America was a group of eleven Southern states who seceded the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 because of his anti-slavery platform (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.).

Secession started in 1860 until mid-1861 as the following (University of Georgia, 2016):

  • South Carolina: December 20, 1860
  • Mississippi: January 9, 1861
  • Florida: January 10, 1861
  • Alabama: January 11, 1861
  • Georgia: January 19, 1861
  • Louisiana: January 26, 1861
  • Texas: February 1, 1861
  • Virginia: April 17, 1861
  • Arkansas: May 6, 1861
  • North Carolina: May 20, 1861
  • Tennessee: June 8, 1861

The creation of government of the Confederacy began in February 1861 until the Confederate Army’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865 (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.). Rick Winters, an Evansville-native who served in the Vietnam War, donated this piece, donated this rare piece of American history.

One thousand dollars. No. 28123 Eight per cent, July 1, 1868. The Confederate States of America Loan. Authorized act of Congress. C.S.A. February 20, 1863 On the 1st day of July 1868, the Confederate States of America will pay to the Bearer of the Bond, at the seat of government or at such place of deposit as may be appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, the sum of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS with interest there on from date, at the rate of eight per cent per annum payable sum annually on the surrender of the annexed Coupons. This contract is authorized by an act of Congress approved February 20, 1863 entitled [and set to] authorize the issue of BONDS for funding Treasury notes and is upon the [express] conditions that said Confederate States may from time to time extend the time of payment for any period not exceeding thirty years from this date at the rate of interest, upon the surrender of the Bond. In Witness whereat the Register of the Treasury in pursuance of said act of Congress hath here unto ser his hand and affixed the seal of the Treasury at Richmond, this 2nd day of March 1863.

Confederate States of America bond, March 

Numerous novels such as North and South trilogy by John Jakes, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, Gone with the Wind by Margeret Mitchell, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, and so many more have used the American Civil War as a background for their stories. If you are interested in viewing this artifact, you may schedule an appointment or come in during normal operating hours.



Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Confederate States of America. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Confederate-States-of-America

University of Georgia. (2016, April 6). Dates of secession. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/selections/confed/dates.html

#ThrowbackThursday: USI’s First Graduating Class

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

For some, graduation is a symbol of the end of the semester and a much-needed break; however, for others, it is the beginning of the rest of their lives. All of their hard work accumulates to this moment: walking across a stage facing in front of your fellow graduates and receiving recognition of your monumental achievement.

UP 01424: Grand Marshall Frank Stanonis and students at graduation ceremony, 1972. (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections)

Grand Marshall Frank Stanonis and students at graduation ceremony, 1972. (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections)

At the University of Southern Indiana, our first graduating class occurred in 1971. Beginning as a satellite campus for Indiana State University in 1965, USI started at the Centennial School House, near the Mead Johnson company. After five years at the Centennial School, ISUE relocated to the university’s current location on the far-west side of Evansville; however, the first graduating class at ISUE walked in 1971 with a one hundred fifty-one candidates (University of Southern Indiana, 2017). The graduates created the Alumni Association and “… has gone to over 38,000 members” (USI Web Services, 2017).

To all of the 2017 graduates, Rice Library congratulates you and wishes you well on your future endeavors.

The video of the 1971 Commencement at Indiana State University-Evansville is available through the University of Southern Indiana’s YouTube channel.


University of Southern Indiana. (2017). USI 1965 Timeline. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.usi.edu/1965/timeline.asp

USI Web Services. (2017). Graduate Student Information. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.usi.edu/commencement/2017-fall-commencement/graduate-student-information/

The New England Connection: Isaac Lyon & John Quincy Adams

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

Isaac S. Lyon, Esqr. Parsippany, Morris County, New Jersey Washington 21, March 1831 Sir, In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the 15th inst. I take pleasure in enclosing herewith a pamphlet copy of the Address, delivered by me in this City on the 4th of July 1821, and of which I request your acceptance. I am respectfully your fellow Citizen and Servant, J.Q. AdamsLocated in the Isaac Lyon collection (MSS 068) holds a correspondence written by a prominent American politician in 1831. Who? It was John Quincy Adams, son of former President John Adams. He served as a U.S. Senator (1803-1808), Secretary of State (1817-1825), President of the United States (1825-1829), and House Representative (1831-1848) (Bemis, 2012).

There is little information over the receiver of Adams’ letter, Isaac Lyon. According to the New Jersey Historical Society (2005), Isaac Lyon was a blacksmith in Morris County, New Jersey. Lyon requested a copy of Adams’ address during his tenure as Secretary of State in July 4, 1821 in Parsippany, located in northern New Jersey. Letter correspondence has improved immensely along with the ability to “speak” with others through social media.

J.Q. Adams: from the original painting by Chappel in the possession of the publishers. Johnson, Fry, and Company. Publishers, New York.


Bemis, S. F. (2012, October 22). John Quincy Adams. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Quincy-Adams

New Jersey Historical Society. (2005). Guide to the Phineas Horton (fl. 1809-1835), Merchant Record Books 1802-1852. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from http://www.jerseyhistory.org/findingaiddirnb.php?dir=EAD%2Ffaid0500&aid=mg0112

Oh, Baby! Evansville Connection to a Children’s Nursing Bottle

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

Right hand side view of a purple Bristol nursing bottle.

Left hand side view of Bristol nursing bottle, circa 1790’s. (Credit: James Wethington)

This is a rare Bristol bird-shaped nursing bottle donated by the Mead Johnson Company. It is purple glass with gold decorations on the outside. The glass is Venetian-styled glass, circa 1790. According to the information from Mead Johnson, Levin August Gottlieb (Theophil) von Benningsen, or Count Benningsen, purchased this piece in England. There is no information on how Mead Johnson acquired the nursing bottle.


Portrait of Lord Benningsen by George Dawe. The portrait is located in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The date is unknown.

Portrait of Lord Benningsen. This is located in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Credit: George Dawe, n.d.)

Benningsen was born in the Duchy of Brunswick, modern-day Germany, on February 10, 1745. Benningsen served in the Hanoverian Army, until 1764, and aligned himself with the Russian Army from 1773 to 1818. In the Russian Army, he started as a field officer from 1773 to 1787 until his promotion to colonel in 1787 and general in 1802. His crowning achievement was fighting in numerous wars against Napoleonic France in the War of the Third Coalition (1805-1806) and Sixth Coalition (1812-1814). He fought two battles against Napoleon: Battle of Eylau (1807) and Battle of Friedland (1807); however, Benningsen was not able to defeat Napoleon. He garnered a few victories in the War of the Sixth Coalition at the Battle of Borodino (1812) and Battle of Leizpig (1813). Benningsen retired in 1818 until his death on December 3rd, 1826 (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 1998a).

Venetian glass has endured the test of time. Beginning in Venice, Italy in the 13th Century, it was an extremely popular glassware style. How? It was because of the technique used and addition to color and enamel. By the 19th Century, production declined and they reproduced past glassware designs (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 1998b).


The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Leonty Leontyevich, count von Bennigsen. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Leonty-Leontyevich-Graf-von-Bennigsen

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Venetian glass. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/art/Venetian-glass

Chat with Jonestown Survivor, Laura Johnston Kohl

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

On April 10, over three hundred individuals came to Carter Hall and listened to the experiences of a strong and incredible woman: Laura Johnston Kohl. She is a survivor from the Jonestown massacre in 1978. Here is a synopsis of my interview with Laura.

Photograph of Jonestown Survivor, Laura Johnston Kohl from 2016.

Laura Johnston Kohl, 2016.

JW: Laura, when were you involved with Peoples Temple?

LJK: From March 1970 to November 1978.

JW: When did you move down to Guyana?

LJK: March 1977.

JW: How old were you when you joined Peoples Temple and when you left Jonestown?

LJK: I joined the Peoples Temple when I was 22 and 31, when I left Jonestown.

JW: In your talk last night, you spoke about your positions at Georgetown and Jonestown. Can you explain what those positions were?

LJK: My main job was a procurement agent in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. I would buy food and other materials needed at Jonestown. When I was at Jonestown, I served as an agricultural retrieval team leader.

High school photograph of Laura Johnston Kohl, n.d.

High School photograph of Laura Johnston Kohl, n.d.

JW: How many Jonestown survivors are there currently from Guyana?

LJK: There were 87 survivors when we left Guyana; however, I believe there are only 45 today.

JW: Do you and the other survivors share similar experiences from Jonestown?

LJK: No, we do not. Our experiences are completely different because we had different interactions and positions at Jonestown.

JW: One final question, you mentioned last night you love receiving emails from people. You gave your email. Can you repeat your email for our readers?

LJK: Yes. It is ljohnstonkohl@gmail.

JW: Thank you Laura for your time and your talk last night. It was very informative and eye opening.

LJK: You are welcome and thank you for asking. I hope I can return to USI for another talk soon.

Remaining survivors from Jonestown for the 38th anniversary in 2016. The tombstone reads, "In memory of the victims of the Jonestown Massacre. November 18, 1978. Jonestown, Guyana. Guyana Emergency Relief Committee".

Remaining Jonestown survivors at the 38th anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre (2016).

If you are interested in learning more about Laura and her experience, feel free to email Laura. She has published a book, Jonestown Survivor: An Insider’s Look, and a copy is available at Rice Library.

Follow the Leader: Jonestown

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

The University of Southern Indiana proudly presents: Jonestown Survivor, speaker, and author: Laura Johnston Kohl. Hear Kohl reflect on her experience and how she survived while 913 others perished. "Jonestown survivor - evolution of People's Temple in the 1960's and 1970's". Monday, April 10, 2017, at 6:30 PM, on USI Campus in Carter Hall in the University Center West. This is free and open to the public. More information at USI.edu.In part two of our series, “Follow the Leader: Jim Jones and Jonestown”, we are going to examine what occurred at Jonestown and the repercussion from the event in American history.

As reminder, Laura Johnston Kohl is going to speak this evening at 6:30 PM in Carter Hall. This is a free event!

Upon various allegations and controversies surrounding Jim Jones, he and his followers’ left San Francisco in the 1970’s. They moved to Guyana in South America to create their agricultural utopia, Jonestown. The reason they moved to Guyana was that it was a former British colony and was the only South American country who spoke English. (History.com Staff, 2010).

Map of Jonestown in Guyana

Source: San Diego State University: Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple

Jonestown was situated on the Orinoco River Basin in Western Guyana. They had close to four thousand acres of land to lease under the rule to “cultivate and beneficially occupy” the land. Due to their location, they were self-sustaining because of the abundance of fruit, vegetables, and livestock (San Diego State University, 2014). By 1977, there were over one thousand members living in Jonestown. The members were under strict rules and regulations by Jones. According to History.com (2010), the members were subjected to the following:

  • Long workdays.
  • They could not question or undermine Jones’ authority (or face punishment).
  • Seizure of personal belongings (i.e. – passport, medication, etc.).
  • Censorship of personal correspondences and phone calls.
  • Mandatory late-evening meetings.

Jones started having mental health issues and formed an addiction to drugs. Jones’ mannerisms started to change: he built himself a throne and considered himself on an equal level to Vladimir Lenin, former leader of the Soviet Union, and Jesus Christ, and had members train for mock suicide drills (History.com Staff, 2010).

Representative Leo Ryan (Democrat - California)

Rep. Leo Ryan (Photograph taken from the Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives)

Back in the United States, there was an interest in what was occurring in Jonestown. United States Representative, Leo Ryan, of California, received word some of his constituents that their family members were “… being held against their will at Jonestown and decided to go there to investigate” (History.com Staff, 2010). Ryan travelled to Jonestown, Guyana in November 1978 and visited the facility on the 17th. On November 18, as Ryan was leaving, other Jonestown members wanted to escape; however, some of Jones’ members followed Ryan and the other members to an airstrip in Port Kaituma and attacked them, leaving Ryan and eighteen others dead (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016).

Once Jones received word about the attack on Representative Ryan, he ordered the members to commit suicide. How? They handed out cyanide-laced drinks; however, that was only for the adults. Babies and children were the first victims: adult members gave them the deadly drink. The numbers varies based on the sources but there were over nine hundred members perished. Jim Jones did not die from cyanide poisoning: he committed suicide (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016).

Bodies of members of the Peoples Temple who died after their leader Jim Jones ordered them to drink a cyanide-laced beverage. The vat that contained the poison is in the foreground. This photograph was located on britannica.com in "Jonestown Massacre".

Jonestown Massacre (1978). Photographer: Frank Johnston (AP)

There were less than one hundred survivors from Jonestown, including Laura Johnston Kohl. After the massacre, the Peoples Temple disbanded and went broke; meanwhile, Jonestown was abandoned (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016). Larry Layton was the only individual charged from the Jonestown Massacre. In Guyana, he was acquitted of murder; however, in the United States, he was tried and convicted of conspiracy of murder on Rep. Leo Ryan and served eighteen years in prison (San Diego State University, 2013)

In the end, “Jonestown was the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster” until the September 11 Attacks in 2001 (Rapaport, 2003).



The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2016, April 14). Jonestown massacre. Retrieved April 6, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/event/Jonestown-massacre

History.com Staff. (2010). Jonestown. Retrieved April 7, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/jonestown

Rapaport, R. (2003, November 16). Jonestown and City Hall slayings eerily linked in time and memory / Both events continue to haunt city a quarter century later. Retrieved April 6, 2017, from http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Jonestown-and-City-Hall-slayings-eerily-linked-in-2548703.php

San Diego State University. (2014, December 23). FAQ: Where exactly was Jonestown? Retrieved April 7, 2017, from http://jonestown.sdsu.edu

San Diego State University. (2013, October 6). FAQ: Were any people prosecuted for their roles in what happened on November 18, 1978? Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://jonestown.sdsu.edu