Emily Kimbrough was born in Muncie, Indiana on October 23, 1899 and died February 10, 1989 at her home in Manhattan. In 1921 she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and went on a trip to Europe with her friend Cornelia Otis Skinner. The two friends co-authored the memoir “Our Hearts Were Young and Gay” based on their European adventures. The success of the book as a New York Times best seller led to Kimbrough and Skinner going to Hollywood to work on a script for the movie version. Kimbrough wrote about the experience in “We Followed Our Hearts to Hollywood”.
Kimbrough’s journalistic career included an editor post at Fashions of the Hour, managing editorship at the Ladies Home Journal and a host of articles in Country Life, House & Garden, Travel, Reader’s Digest, Saturday Review of Literature, and Parents magazines. Kimbrough’s “Through Charley’s Door” (published 1952) is an autobiographical narrative of her experiences in Marshall Field’s Advertising Bureau. Hired in November 1923 as the researcher and writer for the department store’s quarterly catalog, Fashions of the Hour, Kimbrough was later promoted to editor of the publication. In 1926, she was recruited by Barton Curry with Ladies’ Home Journal, and left Marshall Field’s to become Ladies’ Home Journal’s fashion editor, a position she held until 1929. Between 1929 and 1952, Kimbrough was a freelance writer, with articles published in The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly among others. In 1952, she joined WCBS Radio.
The Emily Kimbrough Historic District is a historical neighborhood in downtown Muncie, Indiana. Established as a Muncie local historical district in 1976, it was eventually added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1980. The District was named after the author and journalist, who spent much of her childhood in the District. Her former home, located at 715 East Washington, is still standing today. Muncie and her old “East End” neighborhood are reflected in much of her writing. Most houses in the District were built after the discovery of natural gas in 1886; citizens who profited from the natural gas enterprise built many of the houses. The District soon became the neighborhood of Muncie’s socially elite and prosperous citizens. In the late 20th Century, the city of Muncie began redeveloping the downtown area and also began restoring the historic neighborhood. Many homes in the District have now been renovated and restored to their original state. The District remains a significant part of Muncie history and culture. Since 1976 the East Central Neighborhood Association in Muncie, Indiana, has sponsored the Old Washington Street Festival. The Festival is held annually in the neighborhood, promoting the historical gas boom days and the unique architecture of the homes. The festival offers house tours of the many homes in the District.
Another famous alumni of Ball State University is late-night talk show legend, David Letterman. Letterman was born in Indianapolis and graduated from Ball State in 1969. Letterman launched his career in radio on the Ball State radio station WBST and later WAGO AM 570.
After graduation, he took a position as a weatherman on a local Indianapolis television station WLWI. In 1975, Letterman moved to Los Angeles with hopes of becoming a comedy writer. His accomplishments caught the attention of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He soon was a regular guest and became a favorite of Johnny Carson.
Letterman credits Carson as the person who influenced his career the most.
David Letterman joined the late night talk show circuit with his own show in 1982. Be sure to checkout “Dave’s Alley” on Walnut Street, next to the famous Vera Maes Bistro. In the alley is a mailbox that collected “Letter’s to Dave” for his late-night show.
Over the years he has earned multiple Emmy Awards, as well as a Peabody Award for his production company, Worldwide Pants. Letterman hosted late night television talk shows for 33 years, and is the longest-serving late night talk show host in American television history. He retired in 2015.
His continued support of the university and its students prompted Ball State to name its newest communication building after him. In September 2007, the David Letterman Communications and Media Building was dedicated. Letterman’s support has also created Ball State telecommunication scholarships. David Letterman donated funding that resulted in a lecture and workshop series attracting business and media leaders as well-known as Ted Koppel, Rachel Maddow, and Oprah Winfrey. At times Letterman has joined the series along with the dignitaries.
The question is often asked why Garfield is used on the Muncie Visitors Bureau logo. The answer is quite simple…Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield.
Jim Davis was born and raised in neighboring Grant County. He attended Ball State University where he studied art and business. Jim Davis started publishing his character Garfield in 1978. Garfield is one of the world’s most widely syndicated comic strips. Davis’s other comics works include: Tumbleweeds, Gnorm Gnat and Mr. Potato Head. Jim lives and has had his creation studio, Paws Inc., located in Delaware County for decades.
It is an honor to be the home of the famous Emmy winning feline. The Muncie Visitors Bureau is extremely grateful to Jim Davis and Paws, Inc. for allowing the use of Garfield as a marketing tool for the community.
On your next visit to Muncie, be sure to travel the Garfield Statue Trail. Twenty-five statues created during Garfield’s 25th birthday celebration are located throughout the community. Maps with statue locations are available at the Muncie Visitors Bureau office or by contacting the office at 765-284-2700
Are you a Garfield Fan? During your next visit to Muncie stop by the Visitors Bureau and see the large selection of Garfield and Muncie items for sale. Also be sure to visit www.garfield.com and www.professorgarfield.org.
– In 1887, the Ball family moved its glass manufacturing business from Buffalo, NY to Muncie. Ball Brothers Glass Company became one of America’s best known manufacturers of canning jars. The Ball family purchased most of the land along the north bank of the White River between Wheeling and Granville pikes in 1893. The name chosen by the family for the property was taken from a Sioux word, “mna” (pronounced mini) which means “water” and combined with the English word “tryst” to form “Minnetrista”, or “a gathering place by the water”. The origin of the Minnetrista Cultural Center dates back to 1978, when Margaret Ball Petty wrote to her cousin Edmund F Ball, suggesting that the Ball Brothers Foundation provide a museum in which to exhibit fine art along with some Ball Jar artifacts. Every year Ball Jar collectors from all over the US will travel to Muncie for a convention to show off their antique collection of Ball Jars.
– Over the years Muncie has been defined by 2 things, the history of the community and Ball State University. These have helped shape the community, physically and culturally. The area has a rich heritage of Native American culture which slowly developed into what the early pioneers referred to as “Munsee Town”. The Gas Boom of the late 1800’s drastically changed Muncie from an agricultural community to a leading manufacturing center in just a short time. As new businesses came to take advantage of the natural gas for energy, the workforce and population grew. In 1880, 5200 individuals lived in Muncie and by 1910, this number had risen to 24,000. This new economic development brought the Ball Family, internationally famous for manufacturing of the canning Ball Jars, to the community. The 5 Ball Brothers made Muncie their home where they stayed for several years manufacturing their products. Ball State University opened as a small teachers college over 100 years ago. Now Ball State has transformed into a world-class university preparing students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Two famous alumni of Ball State University left their mark in the community. The David Letterman Communication and Media Building is named after TV late night talk show legend. And Ball State Alumni, Jim Davis (creator of Garfield the Cat) has called Delaware County home for many years. Muncie is now a place that nurtures artists, science, agriculture, philosophers, athletes, and musicians. It has become a community of excitement, ideas and inspirations. With every year filled with exciting events, attractions, local commerce, and festivals….You don’t want to miss a moment of what is going on in Muncie and Delaware County!