“Poor Elmer died this A.M. about ten o’clock. It was a case of murder. Particulars are not yet known.”

- Thomas Neely, September 5, 1899

On their way to work around 5:00 a.m. on September 5, 1899, John Ralston and Theodore Hand discovered a badly beaten man lying on the…

DAR Marker at Old Town Hill

In late July of 1867, hundreds of Hoosiers made nightly visits to the Old Town Hill in Delaware County, hoping to see the ghostly apparitions that were appearing there. Old Town Hill was the informal name given to the bucolic setting just southeast of Muncie near where Inlow Springs Road…

Last year, Reporters Without Borders ranked the United States 45th on their annual Press Freedom Index. RWB advocates for “the defense of media freedom” as a “basic human right to be informed and to inform others.” Their annual list assesses press freedom in 180 nations.

While American reporters don’t have…

On Christmas Eve in 1917, bandits Dewey Stout and Otto “Hickory” Harris donned masks and burst into Watson’s Drug Store at the corner of 8th Street and Sampson Avenue. Brandishing revolvers, the robbers demanded money from Elsie Watson, who was writing an order behind the counter. …

Halloween in the United States evolved mostly into a children’s holiday following the Second World War. Yet, with origins extending back thousands of years, All Hallow’s Eve was originally a time to celebrate the harvest, mark the change of seasons, and honor dead ancestors. …

Halloween has evolved as a uniquely American holiday. European immigrants brought differing traditions, which reassembled into a new October observance.

In Europe, the Celts marked their new year on October 31. This festival was known as Calan Gaeaf in pre-Saxon England, Kalan Gwav in Cornwall, and Samhain in Scotland…

On October 6, 1843 the abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass arrived in Indiana to speak against the horrors of chattel slavery. In Richmond, a rancorous crowd pelted Douglass with eggs as they jeered. The Richmond Palladium newspaper reported the incident as “a most disgraceful riot.”

Douglas fared worse in Pendleton…

Chris Flook

Public historian, animator, and resident of Muncie, Indiana.

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