Shaping the Circle

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Clemens Vonnegut, Sr., photograph, ca. 1885

Clemens Vonnegut, Sr., (1824-1906) was born in Germany but moved to Indianapolis after the 1848 revolutions. He founded the Vonnegut Hardware Company in 1851 and helped create the first Turnverein in Indianapolis (the Indianapolis Turngemeinde) that same year. As well as being an active Turner, he was at various times the president of the Maennerchor, the vice president of the Normal College, and the president of the German-English School. He pressed for the teaching of German in public schools and, a s a member of the Indianapolis school board, for the introduction of physical education. An active Freethinker, his book A Proposed Guide for Instruction in Morals from the Standpoint of a Freethinker for Adult Persons, Offered by a Dilettante outlined the important tenets of the organization.

Access Aids:

Athenaeum Turners Records, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Clemens Vonnegut sr.
Clemens Vonnegut, Sr., photograph, ca. 1885

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Updated: 27 April 2004, RKB
Comments: speccoll@iupui.edu
URL: http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/special/digproj/circle/vonnegut.html

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