David Heighway Tag

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian I’ve been watching the discussion on how to have fun and stay safe on Halloween this year, and seeing the disappointment about not being able to get candy. It’s not the first time that we’ve had this kind of debate....

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian A topic that many people are discussing these days is the issue of African Americans and a number of apparently unjustified incarcerations. This blog does not comment on modern issues, but it’s interesting to find historic cases that bear some...

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933, his administration immediately created an overlapping “alphabet soup” of federal relief programs. It was recognized that artists needed to be supported as much as those in any other occupation, and so...

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was known for many years, has always held a deep meaning for the people of Hamilton County. The county provided the first soldiers from Indiana to enlist in the Union army during the...

By David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian With all of the discussion about the “new normal” because of Covid-19, it set me to thinking about common memory and natural disasters. For many years, discussion of the 1918 flu epidemic was actually regarded as obscure and esoteric. It...

The Community Players: Noblesville’s African American Theater Troupe By: David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian A new piece has been added to the history of theater in Noblesville, thanks to research done by Lezli R. Davis. Twentieth century theater groups in the city started with the Noblesville “Little Theatre”...

John R. Byrd: Indiana’s First African American Lawyer By: David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian A one-time Noblesville resident had a very unique distinction.  However, very little is known about him and his activities. John R. Byrd was the first African American to be admitted to the Indiana Bar...

A Portrait as a Present: the Art of Francis H. Finch By: David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian In a continuation of my last post on Frank H. Finch, crayon artist, I want to look at his decade-long career in Noblesville. I’m mentioning the subjects of his known portraits...

A Portrait as a Present: the Art of Francis H. Finch By: David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian During the holidays, it’s common to give professionally made family photos as gifts. Things were much the same in the 1870’s and 1880’s, but the technology was a little different. People...

“Bedrock Jim”: The Peculiar Life of James Burchem By: David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian While the holidays are usually thought of as a time of family togetherness, this is the story of a man who left his family and disappeared for 37 years. Much of his life is...