The following are the churches in the city of Lafayette at the present time - 1909, The general history of the
most of these church organizations will he found in the general chapters under the heading of "Religious Societies,"
hence need only be named in list form in this connection:
Adventist (Seventh Day), at No, 311 North Ninth street,
First Baptist, Seventh and North streets.
Second Baptist (colored), Sixteenth and Hartford streets.
Moore's Memorial Chapel, Schuyler and Twenty first streets,
First Christian church, corner Ferry and Fifth streets,
Holland Christian Reformed, Fifteenth and Hartford streets,
Reformed Church of America. East Fourteenth, between Hartford and Howell,
German Evangelical (St. John's) northwest corner of Elizabeth and Eleventh streets,
Salem Reformed. Tenth and Ferry streets,
Jewish Synagogues - Ahyas Achim congregation, And Sons of Abraham, corner Ninth and Main streets,
English Lutheran (Holy Trinity), Ninth street. between Cincinnati and Elizabeth,
St, James German Lutheran (Missouri synod),
Swedish Lutheran, Sixteenth and Grove streets,
Free Methodist, South and Jackson streets,
Bethel Methodist Episcopal (African). Ferry, between Eighth and Ninth,
Congress Street Methodist Episcopal, Twenty first and Congress streets.
German Methodist Episcopal, Ninth and Brown streets.
St, Paul's Methodist Episcopal. Eleventh and Tippecanoe streets,
Trinity Methodist Episcopal, Sixth and North streets,
First Presbyterian. Sixth and Columbia streets,
Second Presbyterian. Seventh and Columbia streets,
Hope Chapel (Presbyterian), Third and Fountain.
St. John's Protestant Episcopal, Sixth and Ferry.
Roman Catholic, St. Ann's, Wabash and Green streets.
St. Boniface, Ninth and North streets.
St. Lawrence, Ninth and Meharry streets.
St. Mary's, Columbia, between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets.
Christian Catholic church (in Zion), No. 618 Main street.
First Church of Christ - Scientist, in Milford block, Ferry street.
United Brethren in Christ (Grace church), Grove and Tippecanoe streets.
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION.
The Young Men's Christian Association of Lafayette, Indiana, was organized in 1866. The first meeting for this
purpose was held in the Baptist church on Sixth street, on Monday evening, November 12, 1866. The meeting was attended
by the resident ministers and leading laymen of all the Protestant churches. On November 19th a second meeting
was held in the Fifth Street Methodist church, when a committee reported a constitution and by-laws, which were
adopted. This meeting appointed a committee to nominate officers for the association. On November 26th, a third
meeting was held and the committee reported the following names for officers: President, J. Q. A. Perrin; vice
president, Robert Breckenridge; recording secretary, Brown Brockenbrough; corresponding secretary, David McBride;
treasurer, William Peckham. A room was fitted up on Fourth street, in the Mace building, in comfortable style.
A large assortment of newspapers and magazines were secured and the young men of the city were invited to spend
their leisure time there in the enjoyment of all the privileges.
For a number of years the Young Men's Christian Association continued its work in Lafayette, with what proved to
be inadequate support and lack of vital religious influence though not without some results and the convictions
of the great value of such an institution, if properly handled and supported.
In 1889. a new organization was effected. which was the beginning of a second era in the history of this institution.
Samuel Moore was chosen president and a secretary was employed and paid a salary for his services. W. A. Bodell
was the secretary. and by his ability, training and experience a work with much life and influence was begun. The
house standing at the corner of Fifth and South streets, now the public library, was secured. Improvements were
made by the building of a gymnasium, fitting up of bath rooms, with both tub and shower baths, and furnishing of
parlors and reading rooms, until a modern and up to date Young Men's Christian Association was in existence.
The last secretary in the active work, in this era of Young Men's Christian Association history, was Phil Bevis,
now of Duluth, Minnesota, who, for several years, was most successful in carrying forward the work in the spirit
of the modern association ideals, In 1901, the owners of the property, from whom it had been annually rented, gave
it to the city of Lafayette for a public library, and with it also went the improvements that had cost the association
several thousand dollars.
This ended the second era of the history of this work for young men. But the calamity had a blessing as well as
a disappointment, Miss Anna Max, wishing to dispose of her estate and looking for some worthy cause, saw the need
of the young men and boys of the city and, in 190r, generously gave a block of three houses on North Fourth street,
valued at twelve thousand dollars, to the Young Men's Christian Association, reserving for her life a sum of seventy
five dollars per month, which was about the rental value. This was an inspiration in the dark hours of discouragement
and led to a new organization, looking to the erection of a building to be well located and suitable in every particular
for the need of the modern association work.
The election of a board of trustees and a new board of directors, and the securing of a financial expert to lead
in a canvass for money for the new building, had immediate attention, The result of the campaign was subscriptions
amounting to almost thirty thousand dollars. including the value of the Max property, and the purchase of the lot
at the corner of Seventh and Columbia streets.
Not much progress was made until in 1905 when the directors secured as a special secretary, Charles B. Jamison,
who began his work December 1st of that year. A plan was made for a second canvass for money for the building and
the working out of a suitable building plan, by the help of Alexander & Sons, architects. The campaign was
made from January 22 to February 22, 1906, and resulted in bringing the resources of the association to almost
fifty thousand dollars, This made possible the building, and ground was broken August 9, 1906. From this time a
new life was inspired into this long delayed undertaking, A third money raising campaign was made, from June 11,
1907, to June 22d. Pledges amounting to more than twenty two thousand dollars, additional to the fifty thousand
dollars previously secured, was the result of the ten days' work and the building assured completion without financial
The dedicatory week, from Monday night, September 9, 1907, to Saturday night, September 14th, was full of interest.
The dedication of the building was in formal ceremony, performed Wednesday evening, September 11th. The address
was delivered by Rev. Dr. Taylor, of Indianapolis. The building was presented by the building committee, consisting
of Adam Wallace, Everett B. Vawter, Cecil G. Fowler, C. C. Pyke, Prof. A. P. Jamison and the secretary, C. B. Jamison,
and the president, G. W. Switzer, The building was accepted by the president, who, with suitable reading from the
Scripture, an address and a prayer, announced the building dedicated to the Young Men's Christian Association of
To name the donors would take more space than could be given. Chief above all who contributed to the success of
the work was Miss Anna Max, who gave her property on Fourth street and then, by will, bequeathed the proceeds from
the sale of her residence, after her death, to the same purpose, The regret of all was that Miss Max could not
have lived to have seen the noble building that stands for the good of young men and boys that her generous help,
in the time of great need, so greatly assisted.
The Young Men's Christian Association, now in its splendid building, with a corps of secretaries employed to direct
its work, with a membership of more than five hundred, with a budget of expenses of nearly eight thousand dollars,
almost self sustaining from the income of rentals of rooms and membership dues, deserves the good will and support
of all the citizens of the city and county.
In addition to the city Young Men's Christian Association, there has been built by the city association and the
Monon Railway Company, a splendid Young Men's Christian Association building near the Monon shops, It was dedicated
May 12, 1903, and has been in constant use since, It receives liberal support from the Monon railway company, and
is a mecca for the men of the road as well as for the men of the shops, It is doing the same work that has made
popular the Railroad Young Men's Christian Association throughout the country.
The Fourth of July, 1859, was the occasion for one of the greatest of National Independence day celebrations
ever held in Lafayette. It was on that occasion that several men of eminence then, as well as men who later became
famous, were present as guests of the city.
The following is an extract from the description written of it in the Cincinnati Enquirer, by Mr. Fosdick:
"We arrived at Lafayette, a very prettily laid out town situated on the east bank of the Wabash river upon
a handsome declivity; the houses are excellently built and it has a thriving, active appearance. Fine facilities
are afforded by the hills in the rear of the town, and ever - living springs there - upon, for furnishing the city
with an abundant supply of water, and we doubt not that this will shortly be done. The artesian wells form one
of the features of attraction at Lafayette, and as the hundreds and thousands of people thronged the streets in
anticipation of the Fourth, the artesian well was par excellence the fashionable watering place. The water is very
much like the Ohio White Sulphur Springs.
"On Sunday, July 3d, a very large crowd visited the battle ground of Tippecanoe, principally by train from
Lafayette. The distance is but a few miles, and a military parade, an oration by Henry S. Lane and the presence
of the old soldiers gathered a great congregation upon the spot. The written descriptions of the battle ground
give no geographical idea of the location; even General Harrison's account of the scene of action is defective.
The battle ground has been fenced in at the expense of the state. The field of fight was upon a narrow strip of
woodland upon the steep banks of Burnett's creek, running nearly north and south, with a width of some two or three
hundred yards at the northern end, running to a sharp point at the southern extremity. The open marshy prairie
lies off to the eastward, most of which is now under cultivation.
"Across the creek, west of the battle ground. the hills rise high above the country around, and are heavily
clad with timber. The forest trees upon the ground itself are chiefly oak and hickory. and some of these bear marks
of the ax, where the curious have been cutting for the bullets fired in the long ago. About the middle of the ground,
on the west side, near the steep banks of Burnett's creek, are two depressions in the sod where are collected the
bones of those who fell upon this field. They are unmarked, even by a stake or a stone; a monument is talked of.
Near by this stand two noble oaks, between which lie the remains of the gifted and gallant Kentuckian, Col, Joe
Daviess, whose initials were deeply graven in the bark of the trees at the head and the feet at the time of the
action, Years have passed, but there stands the 'J. D.' and that is all.
'They carved not a line, they raised not a stone,
But left him alone in his glory.'
"It was a stirring and touching scene to witness the veteran survivors as they sat upon the stand under the
green oaks. with their white locks floating in the wind, listening to the truly eloquent remarks of Colonel Lane.
"Judge Naylor, one of the participants in the eventful night at Tippecanoe, gave many an interesting incident
of the fight, which told most thrillingly upon the large assembly of men, women and children while the 'spirit
stirring drum' and martial music of the brass bands made the scene of the 3d of July upon the battle ground a very
animated and brilliant one.
"Sunday was a chilly, raw day for July, but a great body of persons assembled at the military encampment,
a magnificent grove (Stocktons) about a mile and a half from Lafayette, where various companies from Laporte, Louisville
and elsewhere had pitched their white tents under the shadows of the forest, upon a beautiful hillside, The Rev.
Mr. McMullen delivered a powerful sermon, of the church militant school of preaching, which was listened to with
"Monday, the Fourth, broke in beautifully clear, bells ringing, cannon firing, locomotives screaming as they
came in with crowds from the country. Colonel Ellsworth (later of Civil war fame), with his splendid uniform and
a martial bearing, acting as marshal of the day, brought the military up in order, while all manner of vehicles
came rattling in from the country, with old and young, great and small, to hold them, sidewalks were thronged,
streets were blockaded, balconies were filled and heads were sticking out of all windows, At the grove Hon, Albert
S, White had charge of the gathering, estimated that there were fully twenty five thousand people, After reading
the Declaration of Independence, the oration of the day was made by Hon, Tom Corwin, of Ohio, who held that great
audience for over two hours and a half with rapt attention. When the speech was over long and loud were the cheers
and a resolution to adjourn for dinner.
"In the afternoon Governor Willard, of Indiana, a whole souled gentleman, reviewed the military forces a mile
away, A grand ball at night concluded the exercises of the Fourth. John L. Reynolds entertained some of the more
noted guests, including Tom Corwin."
At the ball given, Miss Flora Linn (daughter of the banker, now the wife of Assistant Postmaster Albert E. Shearman,
an uncle of the present Vice President) had the honor of dancing with Governor Willard the first set. The facts
concerning this celebration have been taken from a newspaper which was among her mother's effects and which she
has recently found.
Among the other Fourth of July occasions in Lafayette, that of 1871, was probably the most interesting, and
at that date the Americans and Germans met together, celebrating the peace agreement between France and Germany
over the settlement of the Franco-Prussian war. The procession on that occasion was the longest ever seen in Lafayette
and took ninety minutes to pass a given point, Many of the trades had floats in the procession, even to the newspapers
that had printers and they were setting type and running the presses as they passed through the streets.
The most notable Independence day for Lafayette, so far as serious accidents was concerned, was in 1876 - Centennial
year - when, early in the morning, Charles Felix had his 'arm blown from his body while firing a morning salute,
A bartender was killed by being stabbed with a pick, A balloonist lost a leg by the falling of the balloon, which
caught on the cornice of the old court house, On another Fourth of July, the old powder house on South Sixth street
was blown up.
NOTABLE GUESTS OF LAFAYETTE,
From time to time Lafayette has had the pleasure and honor of having in her midst many notable persons. In the
thirties and forties many of the old time political orators were frequently in Tippecanoe county and made telling
addresses, both at Lafayette and at the Tippecanoe Battle Ground, In later years came Hon, James G. Blaine, Roscoe
Conklin, Grant, Colfax. and many distinguished Republicans and Democrats, Then there may be mentioned Tom Corwin,
Colonel Ellsworth and he who later became known as General Buckner, of the Confederate army. The last named was
here at the great military encampment, elsewhere mentioned, in 1859, as one who was connected with the military
command from Louisville. Kentucky, representing, as an officer, the famous "Silver Grays."
It will be recalled that this Colonel Ellsworth mentioned was the first man killed for taking down a rebel flag,
the circumstance happening in the hotel at Alexandria, Virginia, in 1861, while Ellsworth was colonel of the famous
New York Zonaves, made up largely of firemen of New York. The man who shot him was instantly killed by a Union
man with a shot gun.
GEN. WILLIAM HENRY HARRASON HERE IN 1835.
As a guest of the city of Lafayette. by special invitation, was Gen, William Henry Harrison, in the month of
June, 183. He came under the following circumstances, as shown by published letters in the Courier of 1840, when
he was running for President:
"June 7. 1835, Lafayette, Indiana,
"Gen, William H, Harrison.
"Dear Sir - The citizens of Tippecanoe county duly appreciate your eminent services in the years that are
past, We beg leave to tender to you through the undersigned names this public manifestation of their gratitude
and esteem and respectfully request your acceptance of a public dinner, on Tuesday, the 9th instant, that they
may have an opportunity of meeting you personally and of exchanging those kindly sentiments and feelings which
that occasion may inspire.
"It is promised, also, to accompany you as an escort, to the Tippecanoe Battle Ground, one of the trying scenes
of your hard earned fame.
"We have the honor, dear sir,
"J, S, HANNA,
General Harrison was on a trip to attend to private business at Vincennes, and hastened to reply as follows:
"Gentlemen - I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of today, inviting me in behalf of
the city of Lafayette and Tippecanoe county, to a public dinner, I cannot deny myself the pleasure of meeting yourselves
and those whom you represent in the way you propose, and I beg you to believe that I shall ever cherish with the
most grateful feelings the kind sentiments which you have been pleased to express for me and the flattering terms
in which you have referred to my public services, Nothing could be more agreeable to me than the proposition you
make to accompany me to the scene of the battle of Tippecanoe.
"I am, gentlemen, with the most respectful consideration, your fellow citizen,
"W. H. HARRISON."
The General and more than one hundred invited guests partook of dinner at the Indiana Hotel, and after dinner toasts
were numerous and rich, in both wit and eloquence.
President U. S. Grant. who decided upon entering the army as colonel while visiting Gen, Joseph Reynolds of this
city, was again a. guest of the place, under entirely different circumstances. It was during his first term as
President, and on April 26. 1871, just ten years later, when he, in company with his Vice President, Hon. Schuyler
Colfax, attended the annual anniversary of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and on which occasion Mr. Colfax
addressed the order in which he had come to be a very active member. The city made great preparations to receive
and entertain the celebrated guests, The weather was rainy and thwarted some of the plans that had been made, but
finally it cleared up sufficient to allow the speaking in a nearby grove. President Grant took no special part
in the program, and when called upon at the banquet to respond to a toast at the Lahr House, simply rose and said
that he did not desire to make any speech and did not think it would be proper on such an occasion to do so.
After the banquet President Grant walked out of the main office, through the wide hallway to Main street, at the
Lahr House, when he was met and quickly kissed on both cheeks by a young lady of about sixteen years of age, who
had come to the city with others from a county adjoining Tippecanoe. She had been "dared" to do this
act and ever afterward made her proud brags of having kissed a real President. It is related that Mr. Grant was
some little chagrined and not a little amused at the action of the "sweet sixteen" year-old girl.
Indeed, great was the contrast - in 1861, Grant had to be urged by a civilian, Mr. Reynolds, of Lafayette, to even
accept the modest office of a colonel in the Union army, in the state of Illinois, under "Dick" Yates,
the governor, and, after ten years, he visited Lafayette as President of the great republic.
President Chester A. Arthur and three members of his cabinet were invited guests of the city and introduced by
Mayor F. E. D. McGinley at a public gathering.
At another time Gen, Phil Sheridan was here and viewed the Tippecanoe Battle Ground and heard the story of the
famous battle with much interest, and declared that no better site could have been selected by Gen. W. H. Harrison
for this great Indian battle.
A GREAT RAILROAD WRECK,
The most disastrous railway wreck thus far in the history of Lafayette was that of the fast mail train, with
passenger coaches attached, which was terribly wrecked Sunday morning, May 8, 1893. Ten persons were killed outright
and eleven more seriously injured, Thousands of dollars worth of property was also destroyed, The train came in
on regular time from the west, It was heard coming across the river with an awful rush and peculiar roar and rattle.
This sound was first observed as the train was nearing the fill west of the city. It seemed to increase its speed
at every revolution of the big drive wheels under the monster locomotive. The roar augmented until it sounded like
a continuous peal of thunder, Instead of slacking its speed on the approach of the bridge over the Wabash. as was
customary, it seemed to speed on faster and faster, As it emerged from the bridge and fairly flew over the last
"frog" in the switch, several cars left the curved track, but kept rolling on around the sharp curve
until the engine dashed into the train sheds, striking the strong pillars or shed supports, tearing every one away
as if they had been made of pipe sterns, The engine was buried in the wreckage and still puffing and hissing in
its hot anger as if mad because it could go no farther, The numerous mail cars were violently hurled against the
Lake Erie freight cars standing nearby on a siding.
The cause of this fearful accident was supposed to be the lack of control of the air brakes, while others believed
that a tramp had tampered with the hose connecting up the brakes.
Among the killed were Charles Meyers, Otto Gesselson, Charles Scahill, Sterling McInnis, John Lennon, Thomas McMahon,
A. B. Chadwick and John Long.
LAFAYETTE'S GREAT TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT,
A great "Blue Ribbon" temperance movement - following the work of Francis Murphy - was in operation
for more than a year at Lafayette and in the county, The date of its commencement was April 1, 1879. It was conducted
under the successful leadership of Messrs, Hughes and Ward, When the temperance evangelists arrived in Lafayette
they rented the Christian church for a week and advertised their intentions. They engaged their board at the Bramble
House, whose proprietor was one of Indiana's strong advocates of the cause of temperance. The meetings began with
a few in attendance, but soon grew to immense proportions. so that the opera house had to be used as a meeting
place, Local speakers and workers, many of whom were new recruits in such work, were enlisted and they buckled
on the whole armor, Two ministers of the city - Rev. Robert Mackenzie. of the First Presbyterian church, and Rev.
Gobin. of Trinity Methodist Episcopal church - were ready, willing workers and later all the clergy of the place
took a hand, Lafayette had come to be a had city for high toned tipplers, as well as for the lower types of saloons.
The bar, the medical profession, and even the churches had been caused to blush for shame at the acts of some of
its members who tarried long at the wine.
These meetings soon swept everything before them - the ranks of the bar, including the brainiest attorneys in the
city, was invaded and many from their number were reclaimed, as a brand from the burning. The First Presbyterian
church and the old armory were used as common audience rooms, while on Sundays the large opera hall was filled
to overflowing and it was found necessary to hold meetings in each one of the wards of the city, the leaders driving
in buggies from one point to another and directing the great tidal wave for temperance and sobriety, F. W. Combs,
an attorney of high repute, was the first to make a start in the legal fraternity and to sign the pledge and throw
his influence and zeal on the right side, Then followed the doctors, the wave swept forward and on into the rural
districts, until meetings were held in nearly every township, Among the more enthusiastic co-workers were such
men as these: Col. W. T. Conine, superintendent of the Lafayette, Muncie & Bloomington railroad, who drew with
him hundreds of railroad men; A. P. Pierce, Moses Fowler, John S, Miller, bankers; every newspaper in the city
worked shoulder to shoulder Dr. Reymer Sale, an eminent physician: Mrs. John D. Cougar, Mrs. Dr. Barnes - both
orators - with Miss Belle Freeman, Miss Jennie Vernon, Miss Ella Kendle Mrs. Kipp, Mrs. Steele and Mrs. Weaver,
Purdue University, headed by that stalwart worker in the cause, Pres, E. E. White, swelled the number from night
to night, until a majority of the students of the university had signed the pledge, Each night, from the same platform.
spoke clergymen, lawyers, merchants, bankers, newspaper men, railway officers and their reformed employes.
By June the work had become wide and deep, and men from high and low ranks had signed the pledge to the number
of ten thousand. The pledge was of the Francis Murphy stripe containing the words "So Help Me God." etc,
A Blue Ribbon Club was organized in Lafayette and the work continued many months after the leaders, Ward and Hughes,
had gone to other fields, The following is a list of the officers of the Blue Ribbon Club: President, A. E. Pierce:
vice presidents, Col, J. W. Conine, Albert Henderson, Joseph Landry. Mrs. John Weaver, Mrs. Dr, Barnes: corresponding
secretary, Matthew Ball: recording secretary. John Griffin: treasurer. E. Andress; executive committee, Samuel
Moore, Fred S, Williams, John F. McHughes, J. H. Wood, I. S. Wade, C. W. Kendle, F. W. Combs, Mark Jones, T. B.
Abernathy, John Gormly, Col, C. G. Thompson, Samuel Allen, Lewis Falley, and others.
While within a few years, many of the pledge signers had broken their vows and gone back to their drink habits,
yet a great number remained steadfast and never afterwards drank from the intoxicating bowl, Not a few of the ten
thousand men who signed the pledge in this great meeting are still living in the city, honored and respected for
the manly course they were induced to take away back there in the seventies. Many, by reason of age, have, with
the great temperance apostle, Francis Murphy (founder of the movement and followed by others), gone to the other
world, leaving this as sober, thoughtful men and leaving earth's shining circle broken as it stood in the eventful
months and years of the great temperance revival just described.
The town incorporation of West Lafayette, while it is still a separate incorporation from the city proper, is
so interwoven as to generally be known as all one city - "East and West Side," The West Side was organized
as a town January 2, 1866, and known as Chauncey. For many years it has been known as West Lafayette, The postoffice
is a sub-station of the main office in Lafayette and the population have the same mail facilities as in the city
proper, with a station postoffice where money order and general postal matters are attended to, The present population
of West Lafayette is about three thousand five hundred permanent population, with about one thousand eight hundred
average attendance of Purdue University students, additional, It is supported largely by the residents who have
either retired from the rural districts of the county, or are engaged in some business enterprise in the city proper,
It is a delightful residence portion of Lafayette, stands on an elevated tract of dry land overlooking the Wabash
valley, with charming scenes of both city and rural life on either hand.
Of its schools it may be stated that in an early day, before the town was incorporated, there was a country township
school house on the present plat and that served the school interests for a few years, when a better building was
provided, The old building was moved off about 1875 and a two story, two room building took its place; the second
structure was made of brick. About 1880 to this was made an extension of considerable size and a new front was
put in. This had ten rooms, It was burned in 1890, after which the present ten room, two story building was erected
on the same lots, at a cost of about twenty thousand dollars, In 1895 Oakland school was erected for a high school
and served as such 'until the present high school building was erected, Since then the old building has been used
for graded school purposes. Its cost was about ten thousand dollars, Hence it will be understood that at this date
(1909) West Lafayette is provided with three modern school buildings: The high school building erected in 1905-06,
at a cost of thirty thousand dollars - a two story and basement structure; the Oakland school and the North Side
school, "Morton," already named. The high school is located on the corner of Vine and Fowler streets;
the Morton on North and Salisbury streets, The 1909 school board is composed of the following gentlemen: George
A. Jamison, president; Allen Boulds, treasurer; E. B. Vawter, secretary, The superintendent of these schools for
the last ten years has been Elmer W. Lawrence, These schools are of a high order and many pupils through choice
have, from time to time, been transferred from the city schools to the West Side. on account of the influence and
advantages derived from the schools' connection with Purdue University, some of whose instructors also conduct
departments in the West Side public schools, The churches of West Lafayette are treated in the religious chapter
of this work.
The business of West Lafayette is simply a few manufacturing plants on the valley portion of the plat, and such
retail stores as supply the domestic needs of the populace. There is no bank or express office on the West Side.
WEST LAFAYETTE WATER WORKS SYSTEM,
Fortunate, indeed, are the residents of this portion of the city, in that they have long been provided with
a most thoroughly up to date system of water works, that not only supplies the common citizen, but also the entire
Purdue University settlement with the best and purest water to be obtained in this section of Indiana, coming,
as it does, from a neverfailing system of drive wells, numbering in all, eleven, This plant was installed by the
West Lafayette Water Works Company, whose incorporation dates from October 3, 1892, The first directors were George
A. Jamison, Cornelius Callahan, Myron A. Sears, W. H. Caulkins and Samuel A. Snoddy. The first officers, which
were elected in January, 1893, were: Cornelius Callahan, president: George A. Jamison, vice president; S. A. Snoddv,
secretary; Myron A. Sears, treasurer.
The pumping station was completed February 7. 1894, and the entire plant finished for operation January 1, 1895,
The tank or "standpipe" on the hill overlooking the surrounding country. and at which the Purdue University
class fight comes off annually, is fifty feet high and is thirty five feet in diameter, The wells (eleven) are
driven to a depth of from sixty - five to eighty feet, located on the western bank of the Wabash river, two hundred
feet lower than the tank on the summit, The system now has about eleven miles of water mains, with almost eight
hundred taps and thirty four hydrants for city purposes. The plant supplies the entire Purdue University with water,
and also there is found seven fire hydrants. The original cost of this plant was sixty thousand dollars. In the
last few years there has been added new pumping machinery and boilers. A few extensions have been made to the system,
as the town has increased in population - no wells are used, but nearly everyone uses the water from this plant,
The pressure at the university, when the tank is half full, is sixty pounds per square inch, while at the company's
office it reaches seventy pounds. On Main street level it is ninety five pounds.
The 1909 board of directors are as follows: Everett B. Vawter (who has always been the manager and prime mover,
both in establishing and attending to the plant), president of the board: William F, Stillwell, vice president:
Charles Terry, secretary: Jacob Kirkpatrick, treasurer, and H. S. P. Jennings.