WILLIAM A BIXLER 1876-1961This is not my direct line; I pass this on FYI.
I believe William A Bixler should be s/o Anthony Culp Bixler (1824-1909) and Catherine Tinsman (c 1837 - after 1920)
William Allen Bixler b 25 April 1876 Gardner, Grundy Co IL d 12 Oct 1961 Rolla, Phelps Co MO; married on 15 Aug 1900 in Monte Visto, Rio Grande Co CO to Lillian Wilma Garmire (b 20 Jan 1878 LaGrange, LaGrange Co IN d 26 Aug 1961 Rolla, Phelps Co MO, d/o Luther Henry Garmire and Martha Elizabeth Sparling).
1900 IN soundex Bixler, William Av40 ed38 s23 L87 w Apr 187624 IL Lake CoNorth Twp638 Plummer Ave, Hammond IN boarder with John W Birch
1910INindexMADISON COWilliam A Bixler33 m w ILAnderson Twp364 3 17B
1920 CA soundex Bixler, William H (prob A)v64 ed593 s14 L55 w 43 IL Los Angeles Co1025 Seventh St-East, Pomona Bixler, Lillian Wwife 41 IN Leon son 18 CO Lola dau 16 CO Inez dau 14W VA Virginia dau 12 IN Lucile dau 10 IN Thelma dau 8 IN
CA Death Index online:BIXLERLEONR09/07/1901 GIERMEIERM COLORADO LOS ANGELES(19)04/06/198684 yrs CA Death Index online:CALHOUNLOLABIXLER04/06/1903GARMIRE BIXLERF COLORADO LOS ANGELES(19) 02/08/1992 88 yrs Inez Bixler b 1905-1906 W VA (also seen as Mable Inez Bixler) Madison Co IN Birth for Virginia R Bixler b 12 Feb 1907 is H6/17 Lucille Bixler was b 1909-1910 Madison Co IN Madison Co IN Birth for Thelma G Bixler b 14 Mar 1911 is H 9/5
---Paul bought a painting in the mid 1990's and sent me an article about the painter, William A. Bixler.The article is from a Sunday, December 9, 1990 newspaper, and includes a photo (poor quality) of the painting.A note below the photo reads "Star Photo," so it is probably from the Indianapolis Star. "This painting, which is in the collection of the James Whitcomb Riley Museum at Greenfield, is one of 5,000 done of the same scene with variations.All 5,000 paintings represented 'The Old Swimmin' Hole,' memorialized by Riley in a poem in 1882.The paintings were done around 1917 by William A. Bixler of Anderson, a speed painter.When Greenfield proposed the statue of Riley that today stands on the courthouse lawn, Bixler offered to help raise some money.He said he would provide a painting to any school at which the children contributed to the statue fund.Enough schools all over the nation responded that Bixler did about 5,000 paintings, covering an estimated 3 million square inches of canvas.As might be expected, before he finished the project he said he had become sick of the scene.The Greenfield museum also houses another version of the famed swimming site, which was on the Brandywine River on the east edge of Greenfield."
---At about the same time, I received the article from Paul, R E sent me acouple of columns from an Anderson paper.The columns are by Jim Bannon, executive editor of The Herald Bulletin.The following are excerpts from two different columns: 1)...Many people are acquainted with James Whitcomb Riley's famous poem, "Ol' Swimmin' Hole."Few know that an Anderson man, William A. Bixler, painted the picture showing the famous swimming hole.Bixler, who was the grandfather of Bette Plummer of Anderson, copied the picture by hand 5,000 times between 1912 and 1918.It was 20-by-30 inches in size.He painted so many copies, he lost track of the final number.... 2)...In this spot not long ago, I told of a long-ago Andersonian named Bixler, who painted the original "Ol' Swimmin' Hole" picture that accompanies the famous James Whitcomb Riley poem.Well, Lorelei Lacy called to say one of those painting hung in the old Central Junior High School building from 1918 to 1968.With the demise of Central, it now hangs in the Indiana Room at the library.... (dbs - Greenfield is in Hancock Co IN; Anderson is in Madison Co IN)
---In September of 2001, I corresponded briefly with a high school art teacher in Highmore, South Dakota.They recently tore down the 80-year-old high school building and a painting by Bixler had been hanging in the art room for "as long as I could remember."The teacher was trying to learn more about the painter.They have no records about the acquisition, but their painting was part of the decor in an original high school building in Highmore, South Dakota.That building burned shortly after a new building was completed in 1921, and the painting must have been moved.I followed up with some additional notes and research.
---A History of Hancock Co IN In the Twentieth Century by Dorothy June Williams and Thomas E Q Williams copyright 1995 (LaGrange Co IN Library), includes some info on the Riley Statue, "The 1918 Courthouse Statue of Riley and How It Got There,"and "The Bixler Paintings of the 10's to 30's."See pp 504-506.
William Allen Bixler (1876-1961) also published some poetry - Autumn leaves in 1948; Homespun reveries in 1950; and several other items, which can be found in libraries and/or online.