Story of Isaac Knight

1844 Isaac Knight Marriage Affidavit

Today’s work on the Inventory Project turned up a marriage affidavit involving the consent of Isaac and Anna Knight for the marriage of their daughter, Mary Ann Knight, in April of 1844.

Isaac Knight (1780-1856) is an interesting historical figure in Vanderburgh County.  He gained his fame as a child when he was taken captive in an attack by Pottawattamie and Kickapoo Native Americans tribes along with three of his friends.  Two other boys were killed in the attack.  As an adult, Knight moved to Vanderburgh County and established his home in the area that would be named after him- Knight Township.  Knight’s name can also be seen on the ballots for various offices in early local elections.

You can see a historical monument memorializing him at the corner of Lincoln  Ave and Green River Rd.


Isaac Knight Memorial

For more details, see this article, Captive Journey, by Kelley Coures as published in Evansville Living Magazine.

Check out a full account of Isaac Knight’s account of his captivity as published in 1839 below.

*Users are warned that historic content in this account may contain language or views which, reflecting the authors’ attitudes or that of the period in which the item was written, may be considered to be inappropriate or offensive today.

A narrative of the captivity and sufferings of Isaac Knight from Indian barbarity : giving an account of the cruel treatment he received from the savages while afflicted with the smallpox ; his escape and joyful return after enduring the hardships of an Indian prisoner, during two years and six months as told by Isaac Knight and written at his request by Hiram A Hunter.





1866 Civil Case of John B. Mesker

1865 John Mesker v Casper Marshall

One of the best parts of working in the Archives is uncovering little pieces of history relating to the county’s most well known people and places.  This civil case from 1866 involves John B. Mesker as the plaintiff.  Learn more about the life and family of local entrepreneur John Mesker from the historian at the Mesker Brothers Blog! 

Internship Opportunities

If you are a student looking for an opportunity to made a significant impact on the preservation of local history, applications for the Fall, Spring, and Summer 2017 Archives internships are available.  We would love to have you!

1818 Marriage License

Job Description


Position: Archives Intern, unpaid
Organization: Vanderburgh County Clerk’s Office
Department: Administration; Records and Archives Section
Majors Desired: Flexible; History, Archeology, Political Science, English
Sessions: Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Requirements: Flexible

The Vanderburgh County Clerk’s Archive seeks innovative thinkers to help us preserve local and judicial history dating from 1818 forward.  While primary responsibilities will include cataloging previously inaccessible collections, we seek students who are interested in thinking outside of the box on how these records can be used to educate the public on community history.

Subjects of particular interest include how national events such as the Civil War, World War I, Prohibition, and the Great Depression are reflected in our judicial records.

Students will gain experience in the fields of archives, local history, information management, the judicial system, and local government operations.  Additionally, students will learn about government accountability and compliance with public open access laws.


  • Cataloging, index, and data collection processes
  • Assisting in archival description and identification of at-risk records
  • Assisting with Inventory-related tasks
  • Learning proper record handling techniques
  • Learning the various types of Courts and the judicial records they generate
  • Assist in developing public outreach and awareness programs


  • Self-Motivated
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Team Player

Application Procedure:

Application Form, References, and Resume to Amber Gowen, Archivist

Welcome, Maes!

The Clerk’s Archives would like to extend a welcome to Maes, who is also volunteering for us this summer!  Maes is a student at St. Louis University.  She is working on container lists for boxes of Probate boxes and Civil Cases. This will make it much easier to find divorces and other cases from the time periods where Probate was a separate court. Thanks, Maes!

2016Summer Internship Maes Mourad


Welcome our New Summer Intern

The Clerk’s Archives would like to extend a welcome to Morgan, our new summer intern!  Morgan is a student at Indiana University.  He is working on container lists for boxes of 1930s divorces and 1920s criminal cases from Circuit Court. His efforts have already proved valuable, as two family history researchers in the past week were able to easily locate their desired documents from a box he worked on.  Thanks, Morgan! Morgan Oborne Shively 2016 (2)