TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Take our “virtual” walking tour of historic downtown Mooresville, Indiana. Then check-out our audio tour guide on CD and walk the self-guided route yourself.
“Virtual” Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Mooresville, Indiana from Mooresville Public Library
Did you know the famous artist Robert Indiana (born Robert Earl Clark, 1928) attended school in Mooresville? In 1935 his first grade teacher, Ruth Coffman, recognized his artistic talents, which encouraged Robert to pursue art as a career. Can you find one of Robert’s sign creations hanging in the library? (Hint: You’ll see it near the MPL Indiana Room, which has several books about the artist.) Visit the Robert Indiana website for more fascinating details about his life and times.
Click photo to visit the Robert Indiana website
Perhaps the most famous person to live in Mooresville was the bank robber John Dillinger (1903-1934). The library has several books about Dillinger in our Indiana Room collection. Read this handout to see some famous photos of Dillinger’s July 1934 funeral at Harvey Funeral Home in Mooresville.
Click the FBI Dillinger Wanted Poster to visit the FBI Dillinger web page
Besides being an accomplished artist (especially in watercolor, which he taught at John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis), Mooresville native Paul Hadley (1880-1971) designed the Indiana State Flag (submitted, 1916; adopted, 1917). The library has many of Hadley’s original paintings on display in the grand hall. The MPL Indiana Room also has many items in its collection about him (click here for a bibliography, biographical information, photos, and more). Read more about this quiet, fascinating gentleman in our “treasure trove” blog and our “flash from your past” flashcard, as well as in his biography, The Indiana State Flag: Its Designer (Biography of Paul Hadley with Anthology of his Paintings), by Becky Hardin (1976) (PART ONE and PART TWO). There are also digital versions of biographical articles published in Traces and Indiana magazines (see links under the header “TREASURE TROVE” below).
Paul Hadley (left) & Ralph Priest prepare a mock-up of Hadley’s Indiana State Flag design (ca. 1923)
Mooresville native Amos Wilson Rusie (1871-1942), “the Hoosier Thunderbolt,” pitched for the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds between 1890-early 1900’s. He held many major league pitching records and was considered the fastest pitcher in professional baseball. Take a look at our “flash from your past” flashcard, or visit the MPL Indiana Room, to learn more about this all-star pitcher.
Amos Rusie N.Y. Giants Baseball Card (1890’s)
Camby native Frank Inn (born Elias Franklin Freeman) (1916-2002) grew up on a farm near Mooresville. His parents operated Freeman’s Florist shop in Mooresville for many years. Inn was best known as an animal trainer for Hollywood movies (such as Benji, The Thin Man series, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and television programs (such as the 1960’s sitcoms The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction). Inn’s book about Benji is available to check-out from our Evergreen Indiana catalog. Visit the MPL Indiana Room, or read this brief biography, to learn more about the man and his talented animals.
Frank Inn & Benji (click photo to read our catalog description of Inn’s Benji book)
SAMMY L. DAVIS
Sammy L. Davis moved to Waverly, Indiana from California following his junior year to attend Mooresville High School. After enlisting in the U.S. Army, he distinguished himself in combat service in Vietnam and, on November 19, 1968, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson (see the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Monday, November 25, 1968, pp. 1611-12, 1614).
Sergeant Sammy L. Davis, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient (1968)
President Lyndon Baines Johnson (far right) awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to (L to R): Gary G. Wetzel, Dwight H. Johnson, Sammy L. Davis, James Allen Taylor, and Angelo J. Liteky (November 19, 1968)
A “TREASURE TROVE” OF MOORESVILLE HISTORY
The library’s Indiana Room has a variety of free handouts summarizing some of Mooresville and Morgan County’s local history. Click the links below to see each handout. (For the Gravity Hill link, it takes you to YouTube to watch a portion of Episode #209 of the WFYI-Channel 20 program, Across Indiana.)
- Bass Drugstore
- Bucker Monuments
- Downtown Mooresville Self-Guided Walking Tour
- Farmers State Bank
- Gravity Hill (video by WFYI-Channel 20)
- Gravity Hill (newspaper clippings & handouts)
- Hadley, Paul
- Hardin, Becky. The Indiana State Flag: Its Designer (Biography of Paul Hadley with Anthology of his Paintings) (1976).
- Perry, Rachel Berenson. “Paul Hadley and the Indiana Flag.” Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History 15:1 (Indiana Historical Society, Winter 2003): 20-29; “Paul Hadley, Indiana State Flag Designer.” Indiana Magazine (Indiana Dept. of Commerce, Nov. 1977): 24-25; MPL biographical handout.
- Historic Houses of Mooresville
- Huston, Rev. Dr. Frank C.
- Interurban Railway
- Lindley Block
- Methodist Episcopal Church
- Mooresville Around Downtown
- Mooresville Historical Fun Facts
- Mooresville History, by Julie Kyle-Lee
- Mooresville History, by Wanda Potts (1966)
- Mooresville Town Views
- Morgan County Interim Report (Indiana Historic Sites & Structures Inventory), published by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana
- Newby Elementary School 3rd Grade Q & A
- Old Settlers Picnic, Parade, and Festival
- “Old Settlers” (Folk Song)
- Police Car, Mooresville’s First
- Sanitarium (Mooresville/Comer/Kendrick Hospital)
- Scruggs Dry Goods Store
- Thompson’s Stores
- Waverly Road Covered Bridge
- West Main Street, North Side of
- York & Overton
MPL “TREASURE TROVE” VIDEOS
CLICK HERE to watch the library’s “treasure trove” of local history videos. An example (below) showcases Imperceptible, a local historical book written, edited, and published by the Mooresville High School Class of 2012.
FLASH FROM YOUR PAST
Here’s a “flash from your past,” if you’re a long-time Mooresville resident. We present our local history flashcard series, featuring old photographs in and around Mooresville and northern Morgan County, Indiana. Just click the links below to see each flashcard.
- Flashcard #1: Farmers State Bank
- Flashcard #2: Mooresville’s First Police Car
- Flashcard #3: Day Grocery
- Flashcard #4: Covered Bridge on the Old Waverly Road
- Flashcard #5: Mooresville Sanatarium (i.e., Sanitarium)
- Flashcard #6: Sam Wade
- Flashcard #7: Dr. William L. Thompson, M.D.
- Flashcard #8: Banner Flour Mill
- Flashcard #9: Bolton Sorghum Factory
- Flashcard #10: Comer & Scearce Lumber Company
- Flashcard #11: Indiana Brass & Iron Bed Factory
- Flashcard #12: McCracken House (Restaurant & Hotel)
- Flashcard #13: Allison Grocery
- Flashcard #14: Northside of West Main Street (1960s)
- Flashcard #15: Pure Oil Gasoline Station
- Flashcard #16: Henry Conduitt House (later Comer Sanitarium & Kendrick Hospital)
- Flashcard #17: Burch Grocery
- Flashcard #18: Scruggs Dry Goods Store
- Flashcard #19: Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church
- Flashcard #20: Mooresville Public Library
- Flashcard #21: Samuel Moore & Eliza Moore
- Flashcard #22: Old Settlers Picnic #1: Origins
- Flashcard #23: Old Settlers Picnic #2 (Rocking Chair Competition)
- Flashcard #24: Old Settlers Picnic #3: Parade
- Flashcard #25: Indiana State Flag (& Paul Hadley)
- Flashcard #26: Amos Rusie, “the Hoosier Thunderbolt” (all-star professional baseball pitcher)
- Flashcard #27: Mooresville Town Banner (Flag)
- Flashcard #28: Mooresville Academy School
- Flashcard #29: Old Mooresville High School
- Flashcard #30: I.O.O.F. Building
- Flashcard #31: First Christian Church
- Waverly Flashcard #1: Waverly School #1
- Waverly Flashcard #2: Waverly School #2
LOCAL & REGIONAL ARTISTS’ WORKS ON DISPLAY AT MPL
The library has many local and regional Hoosier artists’ paintings and other art work on display. Click here for a list.
We also have “promo trailers” showcasing artwork on display throughout the library. Click the play buttons in the boxes below to start the videos.