Skip to main content

Vincennes University oral histories

Identifier: OH058

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 23 transcripts from oral history interviews with various residents of Vincennes, Indiana conducted by Thomas Krasean for Vinncennes University. Topics covered include family lineage, early Vincennes, childhood, teaching methods and policies in Indiana, the local African American community, and Prohibition.

Note: Page 21 of the Mabel Purcell Clark transcript is missing.


  • 1971-1973


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Glen H. Allen was born in Milan, Illinois in 1899, but was raised and educated in Washington, D.C. His father was employed at the U.S. Treasury Department there. He attended Central High School in Washington, and received his college education at the University of Cincinnati, graduating with a Civil Engineering degree in 1917. He worked for the city of Cincinnati, the Kentucky Highway Department, the Ohio Highway Department and the New York Railroad during college. Upon graduation, he began working for the American Bridge Company and remained there until 1933, when he became district engineer in Vincennes, Indiana. He held that position until 1941, when he became self-employed in bridge building. He built and repaired bridges from Indiana to Alabama, He was a member of the board of the Security Bank and Trust Company in Vincennes, and was one of the Indiana Directors of the American Road Builders Association, and was a member of the Association of General Contractors of America.

Charles H. Barr was born in Bruceville Indiana on April 17, 1892. He married Alice B. Fox on October 14, 1914. He was engaged in farming until 1922 when he began working at the Bruceville State Bank. He worked there until the bank closed in 1943. Bruce then worked at the Security Bank and Trust Company of Vincennes where he remained until his retirement. He was an active member of the Bruceville Christian Church. Barr died in Bruceville in 1984.

Mabel Purcell Clarke was born September 15, 1875, on a farm just outside of Vincennes. Her family, the McCords, McClures, Beckes, and the Purcells moved to Indiana from Pennsylvania in the 1830s. Her father was a successful businessman and farmer, and owned the land which would one day become Fort Knox. Clarke and her sister attended school, after their father paid the county for a school to be built. After graduation she began teaching until 1904, when she married A. Brandon Clarke. Before marrying Mr. Clarke, she was engaged to a prominent lawyer, Mr. Kessinger. Her husband lost his hearing in WWI, but after recuperating in Los Angeles for almost seven years, they moved back to Indiana where Mr. Clarke owned coal mines. Mr. Clarke died in 1964. Mrs. Clarke was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.


0.01 Cubic Feet (23 transcripts)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Vincennes University, Lewis Historical Library Oral History Project.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

This collection was processed and the finding aid completed by Claire Rutledge during March 2012. EAD finding aid completed by Bethany Fiechter on 2019/07/02. Collection reprocessing completed 2020/03/13 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2020/03/13 by Brittany Kropf.


Vincennes University oral histories
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.