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The Ottauquechee River, viewed from the Route 12 bridge in Woodstock, Vermont, where my wife and I spend a great deal of time each year.

BIOGRAPHY: Darrel E. Bigham
Professor of History, Director of Historic Southern Indiana

Office Phone: 812/465-7014
Mailing address:
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd
Evansville, IN 47712

Home: 8215 Kuebler Road, Evansville, IN 47720

Darrel Bigham has been a member of the faculty of the University of Southern Indiana since the summer of 1970, when he received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. His curriculum vitae is listed under Professional Activities.

A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he was educated in that city's public schools. He graduated from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, in 1964, and during the following year was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. He married Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Hitchcock of New York City in September 1965.  After five years in Lawrence, Kansas, where he did his doctoral work in history,  they moved to Evansville, Indiana, where he accepted a position at what was then the new Evansville campus of Indiana State University. Since then they have lived in an 1880s farmhouse in German Township with 17 acres of agricultural-zoned land, barns, and miscellaneous wild life.

Their two children were born in Lawrence--Matt in 1966 and Liz in 1968. Both were educated in the Evansville public schools and received their higher education in the Northeast--Matt at Yale, where he remained to receive his medical degree and complete his residency in cardio-pulmonary anesthesiology, and Liz at Barnard and Columbia, where she completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history. Matt is on the medical staff at Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. Liz is a vice president of Jack Morton International in New York. Both are married--Matt to Elizabeth Belle  and Liz to David Hotson. Each couple has two sons: Russell and Samuel Bigham, and Ethan and John Darrel (Jack) Hotson. Elizabeth is at home with the two young Bighams. David, an architect, has his own firm, which is located in lower Manhattan.   

Darrel and Polly have traveled extensively in Europe and North America. They spend much of the summer in Woodstock, Vermont, where she has a home that has been in her family for many years.

Darrel Bigham is an avid researcher and writer, and in his spare time likes to work in his flower and vegetable gardens and to attempt to make or repair things on the homestead.

His involvement in civic affairs has been as extensive as his professional activities and his writing. He has organized and/or been president of a variety of Evansville organizations--the Vanderburgh County Historical Society, the Evansville Arts and Education Council, the Metropolitan Evansville Progress Committee, the Evansville Museum, and Leadership Evansville, for which (1976-1979) he was the first executive director. He chaired the Evansville committee that observed the American Revolution bicentennial during 1974-1977 and the committee that organized the city's 175th anniversary celebration in 1987. He also created and for many years provided leadership for the Education Committee of the Rotary Club of Evansville. He organized and chaired the Indiana Council for History Education (1991-2002) and was president of the Indiana Association of Historians (1999-2000).

Much of his time is consumed by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, to which President Clinton appointed him in 2000. He chairs its Education Committee and coordinates the bicentennial task forces in Indiana and the "Lincoln States"--Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.