You Know My Name: Jerry Sloan

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Our next entry in our series, “You Know My Name”, we focus on a basketball coaching legend, Jerry Sloan. Considered one of the best coaches in NBA history, Sloan has humbling beginnings starting in Evansville.

In an unidentified setting, Jerry Sloan and Wayne Boultinghouse converse. The man on the left is thought to be Arad McCutchan. basketball coach of the University of Evansville Aces 1946-1977. Before his professional playing and coaching career, Jerry Sloan played basketball for the University of Evansville and led them to NCAA College Division national championships in 1964 and 1965. Wayne Boultinghouse was his teammate on the 1964 team and went on to be an assistant coach at UE, then head coach at Indiana State University Evansville (now University of Southern Indiana) and finally, head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, KY. This photograph is likely in connection with a February 3, 1977 press conference in which Sloan was named to succeed McCutchan as UE basketball coach, and Boultinghouse declined to join him at UE. Six days later Sloan had resigned, 1977. Source: Gregory Smith collection, MSS 034-1467.

Left to right: Arad McCutchan (University of Evansville basketball coach), Jerry Sloan, and Wayne Boultinghouse (ISUE Basketball Coach), 1977. Source: Gregory Smith collection, MSS 034-1467.

Born on March 28, 1942 in McLeansboro, Illinois (Logan, 2016). Sloan grew up playing basketball for McLeansboro High School and gained the moniker, “The Fabulous Fox”: during his senior year, he scored 710 points out of over 1,800 points he scored during his career (Cole, 1961). Originally, he selected the University of Illinois-Champaign; however, he dropped out and shortly attended Southern Illinois University and decided to play at Evansville College (“It’s pays to play”, 1961).

During his tenure with Evansville College, he won numerous collegiate awards and one tournament record such as (University of Evansville, 2017; National Basketball Association, 2017):

  • Awards
    • Division II Men’s Basketball Champion (1964, 1965)
    • College Division All-America Teams (1963-1965)
    • 1965 Chuck Taylor Converse 1st Team All-America; Sporting News 2nd Team
    • NCAA Division II Elite Eight All-Tournament Team (1964-1965)
    • Division II Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1964-1965)
  • Records:
    • Rebounds in a Division II Championship Game (25)
    • One of six players to have his jersey number retired (#52)

After graduating from Evansville College in 1965, drafted the Baltimore Bullets as the nineteen overall pick, Sloan was only in Washington for one season. In 1966, an expansion draft was held for the newly created Chicago Bulls: he was drafted to the Bulls and stayed with the team until his retirement in 1976. During his playing career, he received several awards such as (National Basketball Association, 2017):


  • All-Defense First Team Selection (1968-1969, 1971-1972)
  • Nicknamed “The Original Bull
  • Team Record:
    • First Chicago Bulls player to have his number retired (#4), 1978

After retiring from competition in 1976 due to a knee injury, he chose another path in the NBA: he served as a scout (1976-1977), assistant head coach (1977-1979), and head coach (1979-1982) for the Chicago Bulls (National Basketball Association, 2017). He finally received a second head coach position with the Utah Jazz from 1988 until his resignation in 2011. As head coach, the Jazz won six division titles, made the playoffs seventeen times (1989-2003, 2007), and made it to the NBA Finals twice (1997-1998) but lost both times to the Chicago Bulls (Logan, 2016; National Basketball Association, 2017). During his tenure with the Utah Jazz, he received set numerous NBA records (National Basketball Association, 2017):

  • Records:
    • Fifth head coach with 1,000 wins
    • Winningest coach in Utah Jazz history (941-568)
      • Most wins with one NBA franchise
    • Second NBA coach to have 10 straight winning seasons with one team
    • One of three coaches to win 50 games over 10 different seasons

On the University Archives and Special Collections’ online digital gallery, there are over six hundred photographs over basketball in the Tri-State and in various communal societies. Located in the Gregory Smith, Sonny Brown, John Doane, Thomas Mueller, and others photographs collections relating to basketball.


Cole, E. (1961, February 5). Fabulous Sloan to Evansville. Evansville Courier and Press, pp. 1C. Retrieved from

University of Evansville (2017). Hall of Fame. Retrieved from

It’s pays to play (1961, January 22). Evansville Courier and Press, pp. 5C. Retrieved from

Logan, R. G. (2016, May 24). Jerry Sloan. Retrieved from

National Basketball Association. (2017). Jerry Sloan. Retrieved from

Posted in Basketball, Evansville, Indiana, sports | Leave a comment

Taking Care of Business: Fendrich Cigar Company

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

When you think of a celebration, some individuals think of cigars and popping a bottle of champagne. Our next entry in “Taking Care of Business”, we are focusing on the Fendrich Cigar Company.

Workers at Fendrich Cigar Company in Evansville, Indiana, 1905. Source: MSS 205-005.

Workers at Fendrich Cigar Company in Evansville, Indiana, 1905. Source: MSS 205-005.

The Fendrich Cigar Company began their operations in 1855 in Evansville, Indiana. During their tenure, their cigars and employment opportunities gained recognition. They were in competition against the American Cigar Company from 1902 and 1911; however, Fendrich made bold business moves and strategies such as hiring female workers by offering “… ‘pure drinking water’, ‘perfect sanitary conditions’, and ‘no machinery, hence, no danger” (Cooper, 1987, p. 181).  As they continued to grow, Fendrich provided modern work conditions and benefits for their workers. Their work environment was equipped with “… light, ventilation, and sanitary conditions” (Patton, 1987, p. 178), mimicking modern-day factory conditions.

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Business continued until 1969, when Fendrich started to experience issues. By this time, they was the largest cigars manufacturers in the United States (Baskett, 1969). Sadly, Fendrich closed their doors permanently in early March for unmentioned circumstances (‘Fendrich set for closing’, 1969). Shortly after the closure, Imperial Plastics, known today as Berry Plastics, bought the former Fendrich Cigar plant (‘Operations shift set’, 1969).

At the University Archives and Special Collections, this Fendrich Cigar box is located in the Anna Orr collection (MSS 205). Her collections focuses on the history of the company and has eleven photographs on our online digital gallery. Stay tuned for an exciting next entry on “Taking Care of Business”!


Baskett, D. (1969, February 11). Fendrich lay-offs due soon: Many workers just at wrong age. The Evansville Press. Retrieved

Cooper, P. A. (1987). Once a cigar maker: Men, women, and work culture in American cigar companies, 1900-1919. Retrieved from

Fendrich set for closing. (1969, March 2). Sunday Courier and Press. Retrieved from

Operations shift set: Imperial Plastics buys Fendrich plant. (1969, March 21). Evansville Courier. Retrieved from

Posted in Business, Evansville, Indiana | Leave a comment

You Know My Name: John Hollinden

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

ISUE Eagles, Men's basketball player, John Hollinden (Jersey 52), n.d. Source: UP 08966.

ISUE Eagles, Men’s basketball player, John Hollinden (Jersey 52), n.d. Source: UP 08966.

Evansville has a unique place in history because of having numerous professional athletes play here for numerous sports such as baseball and basketball. Over the next several weeks in our blog series, “You Know My Name”, we are focusing on basketball, baseball, and football athletes who came through or grew up in Evansville. Our first athlete is ISUE basketball legend, John Hollinden.

Hollinden was born on March 6, 1958 in Evansville, Indiana. He attended and graduated from Central High School in 1976: by the time he graduated, he was 7 foot, 4 inches (Zeligman, 1976). He attended Oral Roberts University and played for the Golden Eagles for two seasons, 1976-1977 and 1977-1978. He received various offers from numerous from big name universities such as Clemson University, Notre Dame, Indiana University, and College of William and Mary (Zeligman, 1976).

After two years at Oral Roberts, he transferred to Indiana State University-Evansville (presently the University of Southern Indiana) playing for two years, 1979-1980 and 1980-1981. During his tenure, Hollinden set numerous school records and awards such as (University of Southern Indiana, 2017):

  • School Records
    • Most career blocks: 365
    • Most blocked shots in a game: 17 (versus Kentucky Wesleyan, January 24, 1981)
    • Most blocked shots in a season: 200 (1980-1981)
  • Awards
    • National Association of Basketball Coaches: All-American (Third Team), 1981
    • NCAA Great Lakes Regional All-Tournament Selection, 1980
    • All-Great Lakes Valley Conference Team (First Team), 1980-1981
    • Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year, 1981
      • First player in ISUE/USI history to win.

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As his collegiate basketball career ended, the Dallas Mavericks selected him in the 1981 NBA Draft in the eleventh round; however, he never played in the NBA. On September 25, 1981, Hollinden was involved a car accident which “… left him paralyzed from the waist down” (Ford, p. C1, 1992). Hollinden graduated from ISUE in 1984 (Harrison, p.1). After the event, he continued to serve the Evansville community through organizations such as “… Leadership Evansville, United Way, [and] the Tri-State Food Bank” (Ford, p. C2, 1992) and “… ran as an unsuccessful candidate for the city council in 1987 [and] helped found and co-captain Evansville Rolling Thunder Basketball wheelchair team” (Harrison, p. 1, 3). In 1986, USI honored Hollinden by retiring his jersey (Harrison, p. 1). He continued to struggle with his health: in 1984, he received a broken neck after another car accident; in 1991, he legs were amputated above the knee (Stockman, p. C2). He passed away in October 5, 1992 (Ford, p. C1)

Available online through the University Archives and Special Collections, there are media guides relating to the USI athletics program and the USI student newspaper, The Shield. Inside of the ISUE/USI Memorabilia collection (UA 108), we have John Hollinden jersey and warm-ups, available for viewing during our normal business hours.


Ford, S. (1992, October 6). John Hollinden dead at age 34. Evansville Courier and Press, p. C1, C2. Retrieved from

Harrison, T. (1992, October 7). Former USI star dies at 34. The Shield, p. 1, 3. Retrieved from

Stockman, J. (1992, October 6). ‘Big John’ lost final battle, but never gave up the fight. Evansville Courier, p. C2. Retrieved from

University of Southern Indiana (2017). University of Southern Indiana: Men’s basketball all-time records. Retrieved from

Zeligman, M. (1976, May 11). Personal pitch works: Oral Roberts land Central’s 7-4 John Hollinden. Evansville Press, p. 12. Retrieved from

Posted in "You Know My Name", Basketball, Evansville, Indiana, sports, USI Sports | Leave a comment

Taking Care of Business: Mead Johnson

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to focus on various Evansville businesses. Businesses come and go throughout the years and Evansville has had their fair share of businesses. One prominent business is Mead Johnson: a world-renowned pediatric nutrition and health products.

In 1905, Edward Mead Johnson, founder of Mead Johnson, first created the company in Jersey City, New Jersey after he left his previous company, Johnson and Johnson. Their first successful product was Caroid, a digestive aid (Mead Johnson Corporation, 2017). Mead Johnson continued having successful products such as Dextrilactic-Powder and Dextri-Maltose. Dextri-Maltose became a staple product for Mead Johnson because it was a “… carbohydrate powder designed to be mixed with milk”; moreover, by 1915, Mead Johnson moved their headquarters to Evansville, Indiana, where they still exist today (Mead Johnson Corporation, 2017).

Mead Johnson plant, 1931. Source: Evansville Museum collection, MSS 228-2013.

Mead Johnson plant, 1931. Source: Evansville Museum collection, MSS 228-2013.

Though Mead Johnson moved to Evansville, Indiana, they continued to creating groundbreaking products such as Casec, Sobee, Olac, Metrecal, Nutramigen, Lofenalac, and many more; however, Enfamil was the staple product for Mead Johnson. Enfamil was created in 1959 and it was “… designed to be patterned after the nutritional composition of breast milk [; however,] in 1964, Nursette bottles revolutionized infant feeding in the U.S. by providing Enfamil in new ready-to-go bottles, sterilized nipples” (Patton, n.d.; Mead Johnson Corporation, 2017).

Aerial view of Mead Johnson, 1961. Source: John Doane Collection (MSS 022-1598).

Aerial view of Mead Johnson, 1961. Source: John Doane Collection, MSS 022-1598.

Mead Johnson continued to grow over the following years and expanded facilities in Mexico, the Philippines, and in Europe; however, in 1967, Bristol-Myers acquired Mead Johnson until they separated in 2009 (Patton, n.d.). Today, Mead Johnson is still on the forefront of pediatric nutrition breakthroughs and stands for “…developing and providing innovative high-quality products in support of our mission to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life” (Patton, n.d.).

The University Archives and Special Collections have numerous photographs of Mead Johnson available online. We have several collections focusing on medicine such as Helen Milner, John Kime, Visiting Nurse Association of Southwestern Indiana, and many more. Stay tuned!


Mead Johnson Corporation (2017). Our history. Retrieved from

Patton, E. (n.d.). First steps. Retrieved from

Posted in Business, Evansville, Indiana, medicine | Leave a comment

#ThrowbackThursday: New Harmony Toll Bridge

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Harmony Way Bridge construction, 1930. Source: Don Blair Collection, MSS 247-4653.

Harmony Way Bridge construction, 1930. Source: Don Blair Collection, MSS 247-4653.

If you travel throughout Evansville and the Tri-State, there were numerous bridges to use to cross various creeks and rivers such as Pigeon Creek and the Ohio River. None is more iconic in the Tri-State and well known than the New Harmony Bridge.

In 1928, the New Harmony Commercial Club wanted “… the Indiana highway commission to take over the Harmony Way and secure a bridge over the Wabash river here [and was] assured by Congressman [Harry] Rowbottom that a bill would be introduced and passed providing for construction of a bridge at New Harmony” (“Boost span”, 1928). By the end of 1928, the bridge construction was approved. According to the Evansville Press (“Action Taken”, 1928), “The new bridge when constructed, will shorten the route from Evansville to St. Louis by approximately 100 miles, the bridge at Vincennes, at the present time, being the only one available when ferries are not in operation on account of floods and ice”.

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After two years of construction, the New Harmony Bridge opened on December 30, 1930. It costed $800,000 to build and spanning over 2,500 feet. The bridge connected New Harmony, Indiana with Crossville, Illinois. Both state governors Louis Emmerson of Illinois and Harry Leslie of Indiana participated in the grand opening (“New Harmony”, 1930). Sadly, the bridge lasted until its closure on May 29, 2012 because of “… the structure were deficient” (Hartsock, 2012).

Dr. David Black, Assistant Professor of Radio and Television at USI produced a documentary on the history of the bridge titled, In Harmony’s Way: The battle to save a bridge. It can be viewed on online at,

At the University Archives and Special Collections, local photographer and New Harmony resident, Don Blair, have close to two hundred photographs of the Harmony Way Bridge. The University Archives and Special Collections has other local photographers’ collections such as the Thomas Mueller, Sonny Brown, Gregory Smith, and many more available on our online digital gallery.


Action taken on bridge at New Harmony (1928, December 28). Evansville Press, p. 1. Retrieved from

Boost span at New Harmony (1928, January 14). Evansville Press, p. 14. Retrieved from

New Harmony bridge puts states closer together for trade (1930, December 21). Sunday Courier and Journal, p. 16. Retrieved from

Hartsock, S. (2012, May 31). No more bridge to New Harmony. Retrieved on November 10, 2017, from

Posted in 1930s, New Harmony, Throwback Thursday, Transportation | Leave a comment