Emily Kimbrough: From Muncie to the World

Emily Kimbrough and her dogs. Photo providedEmily Kimbrough and her dogs. Photo provided

By Jeannine A. Harrold, Program Chair, Paul Revere Chapter DAR—

MUNCIE, IN—March is National Women’s History Month, and to celebrate it locally, the Delaware County Historical Society, the Carnegie location of the Muncie Public Library, and the Paul Revere Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution are co-sponsoring a program to present entertaining highlights from the life of one of the most famous women selected by the Notable Women of Muncie and Delaware County Project. Emily Kimbrough, born in Muncie in 1898, was part of a prominent local family that relocated to Chicago when she was a young girl. She maintained close relationships with frequent visits to her hometown throughout her life and career as a magazine copywriter and editor, book author, public speaker, and popular celebrity among Hollywood personalities. In 2016 the Indiana Commission on Women named her one of the top writers from Indiana.

Muncie resident and retired Ball State University Administrator, Dr. Harold (Hal) Caldwell, recently donated to DCHS his large collection of Emily Kimbrough papers, television and book and movie manuscripts, original publications, correspondence, illustrations, and photos. Caldwell developed a fondness for Ms. Kimbrough’s writing as a high school student in West Virginia. Professional opportunities brought his family to Muncie in the 1970’s. Living here allowed him to research her family more thoroughly, and he began a correspondence with her that lasted the rest of her life. She named him her official biographer and he has given numerous presentations about her, developed exhibits of her photos and publications, and he even wrote her obituary at the request of her daughters when she died in New York in April 1989. Most of the items in the donated Emily Kimbrough Collection were given to him by her family.

Emily Kimbrough with twins she called "A and B." Photo provided

Emily Kimbrough with twins she called “A and B.” Photo provided

Caldwell’s donation to DCHS came at an ideal time as Karen Vincent was retiring from her position as Director of Collections at Minnetrista Museum and Gardens and assuming the presidency of the Historical Society. With her expertise, she has begun to catalog the collection using professional museum standards that will allow interested patrons to locate scanned images through a developing online database.

 On Thursday, March 9, at 6:30pm at Carnegie Library, Vincent will present “Emily Kimbrough: From Muncie to the World.” She will incorporate items from the Collection and share highlights of Emily’s life and career from her early years in Muncie to the work and accomplishments that took her all over the world.  A special reading from one of Emily’s scripts will be performed by the “Paul Revere Players.”

The program is open to the public, and a reception will follow.

A special exhibit of Emily’s publications and related scripts will be on display for the public at Carnegie Library beginning March 3 and continuing throughout the month. Library hours are, Tues-Fri, 10am-5pm.  The library is located at 301 E. Jackson Street and parking is available in the lot behind with entrance from Adams Street.

Link to Carnegie Library webpage