*Post written by James Wethington, senior library assistant at the University Archives and Special Collections.
As we wrap up our blog series, “Taking Care of Business”, we examine the Keller Crescent Company. For a hundred and thirty years, Keller-Crescent served as an important employer to Evansville and the Tri-State region.
Keller-Crescent started in 1885 as Keller Printing in Evansville, Indiana: its’ founder, William H. Keller served during the American Civil War, with the Eighth Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Company G. He started as a sergeant and by the end of the war, Keller ranked as a first lieutenant (Smith, 2017; National Park Service, 2018). By 1906, Keller merged with Crescent Engraving and Printing Company, becoming Keller-Crescent (Smith, 2017).
As the company grew, their headquarters moved to downtown Evansville, at “… the corner of Riverside Drive and Locust Street” (Smith, 2017). They stayed at that location near thirty years until they moved to East Louisiana Street (Evans, 2015). During their tenure, Keller-Crescent was a top advertising and printing corporation in Indiana and in the United States. Keller-Crescent were bought out twice: by American Standard, in 1968, and by Clondalkin, in 2007; furthermore, they closed their doors in October 2015 (Evans, 2015).
On the Rice Library digital collection, inside of the Flood of 1937 collection, there are over thirty photographs of the old downtown Keller-Crescent headquarters during the 1937 flood.
Evans, Z. (2015). Former Keller Crescent facility to close, eliminating 150 jobs. Retrieved from http://archive.courierpress.com/business/local/former-keller-crescent-facility-to-close-eliminating-150-jobs-ep-1081236136-324568061.html/
National Park Service. (2018) Keller, William H.: Soldiers and sailors database. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=FB329AAE-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A
Smith, D. (2017). History lesson: Keller-Crescent Company. Retrieved from https://www.courierpress.com/story/life/columnists/2017/02/27/history-lesson-keller-crescent-company/98445762/