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

WCMA Radio Station  

1925 - WHBH (one source) Broadcast station was installed and began broadcasting in mid-March of 1925. 150 foot transmitters were affixed to the roof of the Rec building, while the second floor balcony served as a studio. The station was soon called WMCA.

The rec building pictured with the radio tower.

George Eisenhard helped establish the Academy's radio station, WCMA, during his career at Culver.

It is said that it was heard in several states - and in all notes were received form 25 states.

An article is to be in 18 March 1925 Culver Citizen.

The News-Sentinel, Saturday, March 26, 1925


Good results were accorded the first attempt of the Culver Military Academy broadcasting station. Reports have been received from twenty-five different states throughout the middle west. Major Eisenhard was well pleased with the results. Many local radio enthusiasts were listeners-in when the program was given. It is planned that regular concerts will be given from time to time. - - The News-Sentinel, Saturday, March 26, 1925

1926 - Mar 31 - WHBH, Culver's radio station, is proving popular, judging by some 400 reports received by enthusiastic fans since last Easter.

and The News-Sentinel, Monday, April 5, 1926


Culver, Ind., April 5. - The success of the only Marshall county broadcasting station is assured by the number of telegrams and communications received by the station WHBH, located at the Culver Military academy.

A brilliant future for WHBH is assured if the plans to purchase the Mooseheart station in Illinois, materialize. This plant, rated at 500 watts, would be five times more powerful than the present plant. With this new broadasting unit and Culver's wealth of talent, WHBH should soon be among the best stations of the country.

In order to provide an outlet for the "local talent" which abounds in the corps, a period from 9:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. each Wednesday night has been set aside for the local artists. This program has been named the "Tattoo Release" and will always be opened by the bugle call "tattoo," at 9:15 p.m.

The glee club will present a program in connection with the "tattoo release." Solos on a large set of chimes by Loftus H. Ward, director of the Glee club, will also make up a portion of the program.

These chimes were originally found in one of the cathedrals of the old world, and are particularly adapted to sacred music. They consist of a series of one hundred and seventy-six bell metal tubes plated with aluminum and are played by shaking the frames to which the tubes are hanging.

Major Eisenhard has rceived favorable reports from fans residing in all states east of the Rockies, except Florida, South Dakota and Montana. Leading in the number of requests is New York, followed by Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, and Illinois r espectively. The distance record is established by a report from Portland, Maine -- over 1,000 miles. - -The News-Sentinel, Monday, April 5, 1926

June 1926 WHBH was changed to WCMA, a Culver radio station was on the air with a 1018 transmitter.

Pictured is the 1926 EKKO radio reception stamp. Verified reception stamp - WCMA

U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1926:
    1350 WCMA Culver IN 100 Culver Military Academy

a better and new powerful broadcasting station coming soon was announced:


    Radio listeners in the middle west will soon hear WCMA over the air, coming in strong. With the completion of the installation of the new powerful broadcasting station that is now in progress, the programs from the Marshall county station will be picked up by stations all over the United States from the Rockies east.

    The station will broadcast regularly every Wednesday evening, at which time the dances of the Summer school students are held. The Bell Hops orchestra of Plymouth will furnish the music and will be heard over the radio. The new station will serve as an advertisement putting Culver and Marshall county on the map throughout the middle west. - -The News-Sentinel, Rochester, Indiana, Saturday, July 3, 1926

the broadcasting equipment was bought second hand as found :


    Culver Military Academy has bought the broadcasting outfit of Mooseheart, Ill., and will soon have it installed at their place of learning.

    The Mooseheart broadcasting outfit was of 500 volts strength and one which was always easy to get. It will be the strongest in Indiana and will thus be a noted addition to the academy. Mooseheart is installing a 1,000 volt machine.

    Col. Noble is in charge of the broadcasting and it will be perhaps a month before the station is all ready for work. An invitation was extended by Col. Noble to Mr. Senour, speaker at the dairy show, to come to Culver and make an address to the farmers. Mr. Senour indicated that he would probably do this.

    Culver Military Academy has a very fine military band which will give many concerts over the new station, which will be known as WCMA. Col. Noble says they have devised a plan whereby the drum of the band can be heard over the radio, a thing which has not so far been accomplished. Indiana fans may expect some fine entertainment from WCMA this winter. - - The News-Sentinel, Rochester, Indiana, Saturday, August 28, 1926

1926 - Sep. - Phillip Middleton a graduate of Dodge Radio Institite of Valparaiso came to Culver to help operate WCMA.

The announcement of going on the air as 'more powerful' was found as follows:


    A new Indiana radio broadcasting station will go on the air, Monday night, when station WCMA, at Culver Military Academy, broadcasts its initial program on a wave length of 258.5 meters.

    Thirty numbers have been scheduled for the program which begins at 8:30 p.m., Central standard time.

    Students and officers at the military academy will furnish the larger part of the program and George Ade, Meredith Nicholson and Will Rogers have been invited to speak.

    Could this of been the program in which Will Rogers - related: "to qualify for a Culver Adcademy diploma , cadets had to select the correct spelling version and spell 'Maxinkuckcee' and be able to corrictly pronounce 'Gigniliiat'." ? [Corwin 56?]

    Station WCMA has been under construction for several months, and preliminary tests have shown remarkable power and clarity of transmission.

    Congratulate Culver

    Among telegrams received by Col. H. F. Noble, director of the station, was this from Denver, Colo.:
    "Your test coming through. Volume very good. You are the only station able to clear through the powerful General Electric station, KOA, of Denver. Congratulations."

    Other messages of congratulation have been received from Alaska and from listeners on both sea coasts. - - The News-Sentinel, Saturday, November 27, 1926

The listing from the Winter 1926 issue of Stevenson'd Bulletin of Radio Braodcasting Stations comes:
Call Letters: WCMA Culver, Ind. Culver Miltary Academy
Wave Length in meters: 258.5
frequencies in kilocycles: 1160-
watt power of station: 500

and an article found in the South Bend News-Times dated 12 Dec. 1926 proclaimed: Culver, On the Air

It was found that the transmission of the radio station could be head as far away as Alaska as well as other points in Flordia and New Brunswick:


    Culver Military Academy's radio-casting station, WCMA, which went on the air November 29, has been heard in Alaska, New Brunswick, Kissamee, Fla., and Vancouver Island. A Denver fan reported that the program came through with very great volume and that it was the only station he has been able to clear through KOA in his home city.

    The set has a generator that develops 1,600 volts. The towers are of standard 150 feet type and the ground is through water pipes connecting with Lake Maxinkuckee, plus deep artesian wells in the immediate vicinity, which are impregnated with iron. The wave length is 253.8 meters, or 1,160 kilocycles. - - The News-Sentinel, Tuesday, December 14, 1926

The March 23rd, 1927 issue of the CulverCitizen announces With the resignation of Col. H. F. Noble in effect, Maj. C. F. MeKinney was assigned as General Director of programs of Station WCMA


    The Howard Melody Syncopators announced Monday that they will broadcast Tuesday night between the hours of 11 and 12:30 from the Culver Military Academy station. The call numbers for this station are WCMA. This program is known as the Arctic Circle Program and is given by the academy for the benefit of all persons living in the Arctic Circle especially those along Yukon River in Alaska. The Howard Syncopators have often been on the air from the station at Logansport. - -The News-Sentinel, Monday, February 14, 1927

The U. S. Radio Dial - June 30, 1927
From the DOC published list of 6/30/27
Calls City State Power Owner
.. 1160
WCMA Culver IN 250 Culver Military Academy

The listing from the October 1927 issue of White's Triple List of Radio Stations comes:
Call Letters: WCMA Culver Miltary Academy Culver, Indiana
Wave Length in meters: 258.5
frequencies in kilocycles: 1160-
watt power of station: 250

Culver, Ind., Sept. 29. - WCMA has adopted the wave-length of 258.5 meters and 1050 kilocycles by permission of the Federal Radio Commission. During the winter, the Monday and Wednesday evening programs from 8:00 to 10:30 p.m. will be continued. Each afternoon during public service hour 3:00 to 4:00, (Sundays excepted), lectures and various programs will be broadcasted. However, from 11:00 to 12:15 on Sundays, the regular chapel service will be on the air. During the past year, WCMA obtained a remarkable record in the radio world, many reports of successful rception having been received from all the United States. Undoubtedly equally as many favorable reports will be received this year. - - The News-Sentinel, Thursday, September 29, 1927

The Manitou quartet, composed of Otto Sherbondy, Estil Rogers, William Hoffman and Ray B. Fretz, will make their debut "over the air" next Monday evening, on Station WCMA Culver, at 8 o'clock. This quartet has been singing together for the past 10 or 12 years and the close harmony which is so essential in this class of music, is never lacking in its varied selections. - -The News-Sentinel, Friday, October 14, 1927


Many Rochester and Fulton county radio fans Wednesday night listened to an excellent program broadcasted from Station WCMA at Culver Military Academy by the Howard Melody Syncopators who appear each Sunday night at the Colonial Hotel. The reception was exceedingly good last night as there was little static. The Howards received many requests for special numbers one from a little girl in a sanitarium in Tennessee who wanted to hear "My Blue Heaven". This request was rather touching as the little girl has spinal trouble and has been securely tied on her back to a board for four years and outside of the white walls of her little room in the sanitarium the only thing she ever sees is the blue heavens through the window just above her head.

The Howards played a number of special numbers Wednesday besides some of their own orchestrations. Several piano solos by Ayrton Howard was a feature. This local orchestra will broadcast from the Culver Station a number of times during the coming winter. - -The News-Sentinel, Rochester, Indiana, Thursday, November 17, 1927

The listing from the Jan issue of White's Triple List of Radio Stations comes:
Call Letters: WCMA Culver Miltary Academy Culver, Indiana
Wave Length in meters: 260.7
frequencies in kilocycles: 1150-
watt power of station: 500

The Old Time Trio of this city composed of ALSPACH, LOUGH and ALSPACH will be on the air from the Culver Military Academy station next Wednesday night. The programs of the local trio have received many compliments from radio l isteners.- News-Sentinel, Rochester, Indiana, Saturday, March 24, 1928

The trio, composed of ALSPACH BROTHERS of Leiters Ford, and Reed LOUGH, who have delighted listeners on numerous occasions, will broadcast a group of old time melodies tonight at eight o'clock from station WCMA at Culver.- The News-Sentinel, Rochester, Indiana, Wednesday, May 16, 1928

"Radio stations as of June 30, 1928"...
1150,"WCMA","Culver","IN","Culver Military Academy"...

On November 11, 1928 it was announced by the Federal Radio commission that WCMA would be sharing the same frequency with WKBF (Noble Butler Watson) of Indianapolis and WBAA from Prudue University at Lafayette. Division of air time was WCMA of Culver two-sevenths; WKBF of Indianapolis four-sevenths and WBAA one-seventh

"All known U. S. radio stations, 1920-1930"...
"WCMA","Culver","IN","Culver Military Academy",

More articles on the radio station:


    Radio listeners in northern Indiana will be interested in knowing that radio station WCMA, the Culver Military academy station, has been sold to the General Broadcasting, Inc. This company is affiliated with the Curtis Radiocasting Corporation, an organization operating a group of stations in Indiana and Illinois.

    WCMA will very shortly go on the air with a daily schedule from two to five in the afternoon. For the present time, WCMA will continue to operate in its present location at Culver Military academy.

    The station management is under the direction of Carl B. Watson of Indianpolis. Mr. Watson is well known in musical circles as a member of the Indianapolis Military band, the Murat Shrine band and other musical organizations. He has been engaged in radio broadcasting activities almost from the beginning and has had the pleasure of seeing many of his proteges rise to fame in the broadcasting field.

    Mr. Watson is desirous of getting in touch with those interested in broadcasting work, as it is planned to use talent from the surrounding territory on the programs.

    Several changes in the transmitter of WCMA, originally built by the Western Electric Company, are being made which will insure a much wider and better reception. - - The News-Sentinel, Thursday, August 7, 1930

From the Culver Citizen of Aug. 13, 1930:

    Radio Station WCMA On Air Every Afternoon

    Radio Station WCMA, of Culver operated by the General Broadcasting Co., went on the air rather unexpectedly last Thursday afternoon.

    It was expected that it would take longer to make the preliminary preparations but when the staff found all in readiness they went on the air without any preliminary announcement.

    The station is now broadcasting every afternoon from 1:15 to 5:00 o¹clock.

    At present Carl B. Watson, manager of the station, is not making advance announcements of the programs, which are mainly musical until he can become acquainted with the talent in northern Indiana.

    The only features he has announced for this week are for Friday and Monday afternoons at 3:30 o'clock. On Friday Mrs. Edna Robinson will address the radio listeners on "Current Fashions."

    Last Monday she spoke on "Foods for Hot Weather." On Friday the Society Editor will select items for the local page of The Citizen, around the lake and country correspondence and broadcast these.


Station WCMA at Culver Academy is again on the air. A regular feature on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 to 3:30 p.m. is the Old Time Trio composed of Alspach, Lough and Alspach of Leiters Ford. Every Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock the editor of the Culver Citizen will give a feature to be entitled "The Newspaper of the Air". Interesting bits of news from towns in Fulton, Pulaski, Starke, St. Joseph, Cass, Kosciusko and Marshall counties will be broadcast. WCMA can be gotten at about 5 on the dial. -- The News-Sentinel, Friday, September 5, 1930

and the Culver Citizen of Sept. 24, 1930:

News, Local Items and Home Economics Broadcast Over WCMA

Every Friday at 3:30 p.m., the Society Editor of The Culver Citizen broadcasts the society news, local items and items from the country correspondents over WCMA, Culver station operated by the General Broadcasting Company. Listen in and hear your name read. You can get the station at about 5 on the dial. Over every Monday at 3:30 p.m. the Society Editor gives a talk on fashions, home economics or household hints over the same station. "The Newspaper of The Air" will be published over WCMA every Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o¹clock by the Editor of The Culver Citizen. Interesting bits of news from towns in Marshall, Fulton, Pulaski, Starke, St. Joseph, Cass and Kosciusko counties will be broadcast. Be sure to tune in each week and learn what is happening in your neighboring towns


The owners of radio station WCMA at Culver have received a letter from Myron Stafford at Peheri, Besborre, New Zealand that he is able to hear clearly the Culver station with his radio set as well as 60 other stations in the United States. The Culver station is on a very low wave length. - - The News-Sentinel, Wednesday, December 24, 1930

In the 1930's, WCMA - Frequency: Formerly 1400am City of License: Culver was broadcasting 500 watts and sharing time with WBAA:

    City of License: West Lafayette; Ownership: Purdue University. 920am signed on April 4, 1922. WBAA originally transmitted from the "entertainment" wavelength (360 meters/833khz). WBAA(AM) is Indiana's oldest AM Station. A fire in 1929 took WBAA-AM off the air for several months. By the 1930's, WBAA was broadcasting on 1400am, with 500 watts, and sharing time with WCMA, and WKBF. By September, 1936, WBAA was on 890am, at 1000 watts, daytime only.

and WKBF:

    U. S. Radio Dial - June 30, 1930
    According to the FRC, these stations were on the air in June, 1930...
    WCMA Culver IN General Broadcasting Corporation...

    City of License: Indianapolis. Signed on in 1926. In the 1930's, WKBF was on 1400am, broadcasting 500 watts, and sharing time with WBAA, and WCMA. In 1933, they became an NBC affiliate.

1930 - Aug. 6 radio listeners in northern Indiana will be interested to learn the WcMA, the culver military academy station has been sold to the General Broad cast Inc. the stations management is under the direction of carl B. watson of Indianapolis

Mark A. Roeder in his book says:
    A part of the second floor balcony of the Rec building was used as the studio of WCMA, with 150 foot trasmitting towers attached to the roof. The second tower was used by cadets to communicate with short wave stations all over the world. Both these functions were discontinued in the early 1930's and the towers were disassembled. WCMA was moved to the Johnson apartments on Lake Shore Drive [now where Bennett's is]. One of the Apartments was used for the studio and offices, while another was used for transmitting equipment.

Source being the Culver Citizen 19 Aug. 1931


Evansville, Ind., Aug. 6. - A suit asking that the Curtis Radiocasting corporation, which operates radio stations in Evansville, Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Culver, Ind., and Decatur, Ill., will be placed in the hands of a receiver was filed in probate court today by Frank O. Wilkins, of Indianapolis, a minority stockholder. - -The News-Sentinel, Thursday, August 6, 1931

Here is a program ad from a 1930's Culver Citizen:

From the radio Service bulletin of Sepember 20,1931 published by the U,S, Department of Commerce Radio Division:
    WCMA (Culver, Ind.)
    Loc.: 86° 28' 27' 41° 14' 06" N.;
    Post Office Address: 648 Lake Shore Drive Culver.

1931 - sep 16 WCMA will 'broadcast its first program from its new studios In the Johnson Building on Sept. 21.; this is what is now 640 Lake Shore Dr.

The November 16th1932 issue of the Culver Citizen announces that WCMA is being discontinued.


    Culver, Ind. - WCMA, Culver's radio station, was discontinued this week after operating for six years. The station has been sold, along with Station WKBF at Indianapolis, to a Chicago firm which will combine the time at the two stations.

    The Culver station was established by Culver Military Academy and maintained by it for four years. It was then sold to the Curtis company of Indianapolis, which moved the equipment from the academy to the Indiana apartment building in the north part of Culver. Louis Lohr has been manager and engineer of the station. - - The News-Sentinel, Saturday, November 19, 1932

On November 20, 1932 Radio Station WCMA presented its final broadcast.

The radio station equipment was donated to the state radio police system:

    Indianapolis, Oct. 20. - (U.P.) - Acquisition of the Culver Military Academy radio station at Culver as northwest unit of the state police radio system was announced today by Al Feeney, State safety director.

    Feeney said use of the station had been donated to the state by academy officals. Experiments to determine what power will best serve at the station will be conducted as soon as a transmitter can be obtained, Feeney said.

    He said that work on the central station of the system, to be located at the State Fair Ground here, will be started next week. - - The News-Sentinel, Saturday, October 20, 1934

1945 - OCTOBER 17, 1945 — The radio antenna masts at the the Academy will be dismantled soon. For nearly 20 years the 150 foot towers have been a local landmark.

1947 - July 16 – Academy radio towers are being dismantled.

Today is