Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Culver Military Academy 1945-1969  



Officers of the Legion, Summer School Alumni Association and Culver Fathers' Association are serving as a chapel fund committee, with their respective presidents serving as co-chairmen. -- The News-Sentinel, Friday, July 13, 1945

1947 - Culver Citizen News articles:

  • February 19 - $65,000 fire destroys building at Academy.
  • April 23 – The barn on the Academy farm near the airport was destroyed by fire.
  • July 16 – Academy radio towers are being dismantled.
  • August 6 – Academy has started another apartment building on the East Side.
  • October 8 – Construction work on new C. M. A. buildings to start this week.
  • December 3 – Work has started on moving houses at C. M. A. for expansion program.

1947 - The Culver family personally funded the Naval Building in time for the 1948 Summer Naval School session and being the last building of the Academy to be funded only by the Culver's along with this project they also funded the renovation of the Infirmary. 22 campus building, had been funded by the Culver family over the years from the time this first building - the Main Barracks had been erected. This year also saw plans for a club building for the 1st class donated by Ross and Elvira Beason in memory of their son Cadet Ross Beason

1947 - feb 19 - A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed the Hanger, housing some of Culver Military Academy's motorized and boating equipment early Tuesday. Total loss is estimated at $65,000 or more by Fire Chief Dave Burns.

1948 - summer the Naval Building opened for service to the Culver fleet; and in July 1948 this ad or article appeared in the Buick Magazine.

1949 - May 30 Beason Hall was formally dedicated.

here is a couple 1950's dress coats of the Culver Military Academy


The mess hall silver pieces that I have.

Construction of the Memorial Chapel began on April 17, 1950, on a new site, Players’ Hill, once used for summer band concerts and in line with the Health Center and the Recreation Building And the cornerstone laying was held during the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees in October of 1950. The Culver Memorial Chapel was dedicated on October 20-1, 1951. On this page too are photos of the chapel .

1951 - Major General Delmar T. Spivey becomes Superintendent; started the eighth-grade program in 1951 under the direction of veteran faculty member Colonel Wallace Leland. Larson, after designing the Naval Building , the Memorial Chapel, and Beason Hall, ended his association with the Academy. Architectural responsibilities passed to William B. Ittner in St. Louis.

1952 - Culver , Ind., Oct. 30. (INS) -- Word was received in Culver today of the death of Brig. Gen. Leigh R. GIGNILLIAT, former Commander of the Indiana American Legion department and former Culver Military Academy superintendent, in a hsopital in Maywood, Ill., last night. Gen Gignilliat, who was 77 years old, was born in Savannah, Ga., and held degrees from Emerson Institute, Trinity College and Kenyon College. He was Legion Commander in 1920-21. - - Thursday, October 30, 1952 Rochester Sentinel
    Final rites for Brigadier General Leigh R. GIGNILLIAT, 77, former head of the Culver Military Academy, were held in Academy's Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m. today. Gen Gignilliat passed away Thursday in the Hines Veterans Hospital, Hines, Ill. Burial was made in the Culver Masonic cemetery.- Saturday, November 1, 1952 Rochester Sentinel

1953 - Eight new classrooms were installed in the newly remodeled basement of the Legion Memorial Building

1954 - Fifty-three years later, Eugene C. Eppley ’01, by then a hotel magnate, responded to the 1954 announcement by the Board of Directors of a campaign to raise funds for a new classroom complex. Impressed with its centerpiece, a proposed Gignilliat Hall, Mr. Eppley pledged $500,000 for the construction of a new science building. With the sale of his hotel empire of twenty four properties and 5,420 rooms in May of 1956 to the Sheraton Corporation for $30 million, Eppley turned to philanthropy and Culver was one of the first recipients. During the next four years, this former C Company commander contributed an additional $700,000 toward the completion of the Gignilliat Quadrangle, $1,400,000 for the construction of a theater-auditorium and, shortly before his death in 1959, $1,000,000 for the endowment of six academic chairs

1955 - An Naval Seaman's requirement card


1956 - Colonel Charles McKinney retired as commandant in 1956 and his successor, Col. Edward Stephenson. The passenger train service of the "Academy special" came to and end following the spring vacation. Delmar T. Spivey becomes superintendent replacing W. E. Gregory in September 1956.

1956 - Gignilliat Quadangle was built. It is composed of three buildings, the Hall of Humanities, the Hall of Science, and the centerpiece Gignilliat Hall, a gift of alumni. The Humanitiies and Science Building were gifts of Eugene C. Eppley, class of 1901. Construction was completed in 1957.

1956_ - sixth superintendent, retired Air Force Major General Delmar T. Spivey, 56, a West Pointer ('28), World War II bomber pilot, and onetime head of the Air University's War College


1957 - January 12, 1957, when fire trucks were heard approaching the campus. Someone looked out and shouted, “The History Department is on fire!” The building was a total loss from fire, water and smoke. It was built in 1916 and was assigned to the English Department now it is the fine Arts building. It is immediately south of the Power house Also this month the Black Horse Troop attended their first presidential inaugural parade since 1917.

1957 - Culver trustees authorized the daughters of faculty and staff members to attend classes during the Winter school. The program and offerings were limited, but the precedent was set. The fall opening of school brought the first girls into the student body - being Caroline Curry and Greta Hughes daughters of faculty members; who subsequently received their diplomas in 1959.

1957-58 also brought the end of the "Waiter System" that had been used and insituted "Cafeteria-style" dining into effect.

1957 - Construction began on the auditorion this was a gift of one million dollars from Eugene C. Eppley '01, the donor's name. The site required the moving a several Academy-owned houses to the new West Terrace development; which had been a part of the Dillon farm.


1958 - The Gignilliat Quadrangle and Hall of Science& Humanities were built and Eugene C. Eppley gave two of the buildings and well as pledged funds for the Eppley Auditorium.

1958 - July 4th The Yarnell was christened and Life Magazine covered it and done several articles on the academy.
1959 - General Delmar T. Spivey, U.S.A.F. (Ret.), O.B.E., Superintendent of Culver Military Academy wrote Culver Military Academy: A Dedicated Institution and was published Indianapolis, Indiana: Newcomen Society, April 1959, 2nd printing (but first printing was also printed in Apr., 1959), pp 24 + original printed paper covers.


and also in 1959 Charles Mather wrote a comprehensive History of the academy.

1959 - the North Lodge was razed and the area incorporated with in the Eppley auditorium grounds. It was originally independently owned and located on the lakeshore where the motel now stands, it was purchased by the Culver's in 1932 and moved to a site next to the Inn, and became a part of the Maxinkuckee-Culver Inn complex.

Here is a 1960's Naval catalog.

The Gift shop at the Culver Inn as well as probably the QM sold novelty items, and jewelry with the academy's name and emblem on them over the years.

1959/60 - North Lodge and East Lodge were deemed expendable and were razed by 1960.

c. 1960 - Ross and Elvira Beason purchased over 20 acres in Northeast P ulaski county Indiana from the Morrison family farm. It was designated Beason Park and dedicated for use by the Woodcraft Camp and "get-aways" for units of CMA. A large dining hall, kitchen and recreation area was part of the facility. The Tippecanoe River bearby provided swimming and canoeing. A guest house was available for weekend faculty get-togethers and seminars

1960 - Tuesday, April 12, 1960 bore the new that ol. Robert Rossow had died:
    Col. Robert Rossow
    Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Culver Military Academy for Col. Robert ROSSOW, 79, former Academy superintendent and former head of Indiana state police.

    Col. Rossow died at 9 a.m. Monday in Culver , where he was living in retirement. Friends may call at the Easterday funeral home in Culver . Burial will be in the Culver Masonic cemetery.

    Founder of the Academy's famed Black Horse Troop, Col. Rossow also had directed the summer woodcraft camp, summer cavalry camp as well as being commander of cadets. He retired in 1945 from Academy service, returned in 1952 as mess hall superintedent and then retired again in 1957.

    From 1947 until 1949, he was superintendent of the Indiana state police.

    A native of Delray, Mich., he served the Philippines with the 14th U.S. Cavalry. During World War I, he was commander of a machine gun battalion in France and later served in Germany with the army of occupation. He became a colonel in the cavalry reserve corps 1924.

    Among survivors are the wife, one son and one daughter. - Rochester Sentinel

Sometime during the late 1950's a lake was built within the bird sanctuary, here are some pictures of it. The general location of this is was just north of the turn off onto St. Rd. 117

1959 - Dedication of the 1,550 seat Eppley Auditorium provided Culver's first fully functioning facility for movies, concerts, theater performances, and other fine arts.

1960's - the Rec Building the portico was removed.

1960 - Catherine Martin, whose husband William was hired as Director of Theater for the new Eppley Auditorium, established a Summer Theatre School for girls.

1960 - A tour of the campus and Academy grounds was made to find a proper location for a new Woodcraft site - the site to the east of St. Rd. 117 was chosen - and a tunnel was built under St. Rd. 117 to access the main campus. There was no shortage of land for expansion in the future.

Sometime before 1962 - the Academy purchased the Dillon property on the northeast corner of St. Rd. 10 & 17 where 2 barns, a windmill and a hog lot was. It became the pasture for the Black Horse Troop.

1961 - last corps-wide train trip took place from Hibbard to Ft. Wayne.

1962 - Approval of the Woodcraft camp [pdf file] for 60 cabins, a dining hall, a headquarters building, a library, and a museum The Culver brothers - rejected the use of the canvas tents for the new camp and wanted more permanent structures that wo uld stand the test of time. Lester Heckle designed a prototype cabin and it was completely furnished to give visitors, alumni and all glimpse of what was to be. It was placed at the main entrance to the Woodcraft site for duration of the camp season in 1962; and Ground was broken during the summer of 1962. Then in February 1963 all six-tons of the cabin was towed east to the new Woodcraft site east on Indiana 10. All odds - seemed against the camp the worst winter - and a muddy spring. The new facilities was dedicated July 26-27 during the Summer School reunion weekend. The Woodcraft was only a single driveway into the camp and no egress road. Some Woodcraft postcards etc.

1962 - Molding Men appeared in the issue of Friday, Jan. 5, 1962 of Time Magazine.

Mid 1960's brought an end to the railroad service by the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Academy; the feasibility of trucking the much needed coal from southern Indiana for fuel was not economical. Along with the aging equipment, dating back into the 1920s, the lack of preventative maintenance over the years, and not finding the skilled personnel to operate the power plant becoming difficult to find made it difficult to operate the power plant efficiently and economically. Thus academy contracted with NIPSCO to bring in natural gas to supply the power plant the Erie coal-fired steam boiler was converted to gas and required the re-vamping the generator capabilities of the power plant; thus abandoning the energy independent school-operated power system which generated both heat and electric for the campus. By the late 1960's the never ending supply of cinders from the power house no longer existed for the Academy's walks, tracks and roadway's ceased to exist. Robert B D Hartmans' wirting on Fueling the Beast and WINTER WINDS AND COAL PILED HIGH tells more of the history

Mid 1960's - Here is a summer catalog for all of the summer schools

1960-61 - The Legion Dormitory housed on the third floor of the Memorial Building was abandoned to library expansion. It was converted into the Periodical Room and study carrels

1965 - established the Culver Summer School for Girls, Mary Frances England as head of the Summer School for Girls. Culver Superintendent Delmar T. Spivey wrote of the success of the newly established Summer School for Girls (with its initial enrollment of 120 girls):
    "The [summer] girls program has exceeded our fondest hopes. The young ladies, over half of whom are daughters or sisters of alumni, are engaged in virtually every activity in the Upper Schools. Be it in the Chapel choir, where we have twenty feminine voices blending with the deep male tones, the classroom, riding trails, athletic fields, or wherever, the girls have added quality, vitality, and charm. Our experience over the last five years in conducting a [summer] program in theatre for about thirty girls has prepared us to handle a complete program for girls. I proudly report on its progress, and I recommend the program to those of you who have teen-aged daughters." (Culver Alumnus, Fall, 1965).

1966 - May 19 - is a contact between David B. Burns, brick mason and the Culver Educational Foundation

1967 - Maj. Gen. Delmar Spivey’s retirement in 1967 and the accession of Brig. Gen. John Dobson to the position; a West Point graduate (and former West Point instructor) Brig. Gen, John.W. Dobson is now Superintendent, with Ernest B. Benson the Deputy Superintendent.

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