Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - June 14, 1936 - George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes Dedicated

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
A Year of Indiana History - 2016

June 14, 1936 - George Rogers Clark Memorial in Vincennes Dedicated
The excitement caused by the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution in 1926 created a wave of enthusiasm among Vincennes residents to commemorate George Rogers Clark's capture of Fort Sackville at Vincennes on February 25, 1779. Their efforts led to the creation of the largest National Memorial outside of Washington DC to be built along the banks of the Wabash River.
Exact Location of Fort Sackville Uncertain
After the Revolution, Vincennes continued to grow and the town spread over the site of the original fort. The Daughters of the American Revolution marked the spot where they believed the fort stood in 1905. Though no one knows the exact location, it is certain it was within the grounds of the current National Memorial.
The Dedication of the Memorial
After a major push by Vincennes residents, theCongress passed an act establising the George Rogers Clark Sesquicentennial Commission. President Calvin Coolige signed the bill on May 23, 1928. New York architect Frederic Charles Hirons designed the eighty foot tall, ninety foot diameter structure. Artist Ezra Winter painted the huge paintings inside the memorial, a task that occupied two and a half years. The memorial is a fitting monument to a man whose arduous task of ensured that the Northwest would become part of the new nation when Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
Dedication
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the Memorial on June 14, 1936. The National Park Service took over the site in 1966. For information contact:
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
401 S 2nd St
Vincennes, IN 47591
(812) 882-1776

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
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© Paul Wonning

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - June 13, 1842 - Martin Van Buren Stagecoach Upsets - Plainfield

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
A Year of Indiana History - 2016

June 13, 1842 - Martin Van Buren Stagecoach Upsets - Plainfield
Dirty politics did not originate in the modern age. An incident on June 13, 1842 is one example. On a hot June afternoon an Indiana resident played a dirty prank on former President Martin Van Buren in retaliation for his opposition to a Congressional bill that would have improved the National Road, current US 40.
Plainfield
Platted on February 27, 1840, Plainfield was located on the National Road. Established by Quakers migrating from North Carolina, Plainfield saw the first settlers filtering into the region after the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818.
National Road
The National Road was the first road built by the Federal Government using federal funds. The road closely followed Braddock's Road at its eastern part.
Braddock's Road
The National, or Cumberland, Road began with the expedition of General Edward Braddock during the French and Indian War in 1755. Braddock had his troops construct a road that led from Virginia to Fort Duquesne at the source of the Ohio River. The purpose of the expedition was to conquer Fort Duquesne, later Fort Pitt and now Pittsburgh. George Washington took part in this expedition, which taught him military methods and strategies. Washington had improved an earlier Amerindian trail, called the Nemacolin's path, which Braddock's Road followed in part. Unfortunately, for General Braddock, a French and Indian force ambushed his army, killing Braddock and defeating the English. His soldiers buried him in the middle of the road and drove the army over it to keep the natives from finding and desecrating the body.
The National Road
Congress passed legislation, signed by Thomas Jefferson, in 1806 authorizing the road's construction. Construction at Cumberland, Maryland on the Potomac River began in 1811. By August 11, 1818, the road reached Wheeling, West Virginia on the Ohio River. The road follows the older Braddock Road in many places. Congress gradually extended the road west, reaching Indiana in 1829. The planned construction to St. Louis never occurred due to the government running out of money. US 40 follows the National Road for most of its route.
Overturning the Stagecoach
In 1842, the National Road was a mess. Stumps still dotted the road and huge mud holes made travel on the road perilous. Travelers on the road had to endure a bumpy, mud splashed ride as they wended their way along it. Congress had passed a bill that would have authorized improving the road. Van Buren had vetoed the bill. Plainfield residents were plainly annoyed by the act. Van Buren had lost the 1840 election and was stumping the country in a reelection bid. He had spent a week in Indianapolis, stumping for votes. The next stop on his itinerary was St. Louis. His route to St. Louis lay along that very National Road that he had opposed improving. He boarded the stagecoach in Indianapolis and traveled southwest, towards Plainfield, just outside the capital city. The stagecoach driver was sympathetic to Plainfield's sentiments. Knowing that there was an elm tree at the base of a hill whose roots extended out into the road, the driver played his trick. He allowed the stagecoach to gain speed as it descended the hill. The stagecoach's wheels struck the roots at just the right angle and overturned the coach. Van Buren tumbled out of the coach, landing in a hog wallow at the base of the hill. Van Buren, humbled by his lesson in road maintenance, retreated to a nearby tavern to empty his boots of hog swill and try to clean his starched white shirts. Van Buren lost the next election.
The elm tree became known as the Van Buren Elm. The tree has long since died. The Daughters of the American Revolution have placed a bronze marker on the site. The marker resides on a boulder in front of the Friends Meetinghouse just west of Plainfield on US 40.

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
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© Paul Wonning

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - June 12, 1837 - Indianapolis Female Institute Established

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
A Year of Indiana History - 2016

June 12, 1837 - Indianapolis Female Institute Established
Until the Presbyterian Church established the Indianapolis Female Institute in 1837, there were few educational opportunities for girls in Indianapolis. There were numerous schools for boys, but since coeducational schools were unheard of, girls had few opportunities for higher education. James Blake, Isaac Coe and James M. Ray managed to get the Indiana General Assembly to issue them a charter for a girl's school in 1836. The school opened on June 12, 1837 with Mary J. and Harriet Axtell at its head. Harriet Axtell had been a teacher at the Geneva Female Seminary in New York. The school taught mathematics, natural history and history, and other subjects. The school was considered and excellent school and operated until 1847, when Harriet Axtell's health failed. The school closed shortly thereafter.

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
Facebook
@indianatreker
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© Paul Wonning

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - June 09 1893, Cole Porter Born

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
A Year of Indiana History - 2016

June 09 1893, Cole Porter Born
Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964)
The only son of Kate Cole and Sam Porter, Cole was a native of Peru, Indiana. His parents chose the name as a combination of his mother and father's name. From an early age, Cole's mother dominated the relationship, reducing his father, a pharmacist, to a minor role. Kate's father, one of the richest men in Indiana, also played a major role in the family. He had built the Porter's home on his farm, called Westleigh Farms.
Early Training in Music
Cole's mother encouraged his music. By six years old he was playing the violin and by eight he played the piano. He preferred the piano, composing his first songs by 1901, when he was eight. At fourteen, in an attempt to make him seem more talented than his peers, his influential mother managed to get his school records changed so it appeared he was a year younger than he really was. He attended Worcester Academy in Worchester, Massachusetts where he became the class valedictorian. He would return to Indiana rarely after his admittance to Worchester
Attendance at Yale and Harvard
He went to Yale, studying English, music and French. While at Yale he wrote over 300 songs. During his Yale years his homosexual proclivities surfaced, a trait that would influence his later life.  His grandfather disapproved of his musical studies, instead preferring that he study law. He sent him to Harvard Law School, where Cole struggled. Unknown to his grandfather, during his second year he switched to music. He would later abandon college and move to New York to pursue his musical career.
Marriage and Beginnings of Career
Porter moved to Paris at the outbreak of World War I to help with the war effort. He reportedly enlisted in the French Foreign Legion where he served in North Africa. During his time in Paris he threw lavish parties rife with drugs, bi-sexual activity and other scandalous behavior. In 1918 he met and married Linda Lee Thomas, a rich socialite from Louisville, Kentucky. The two would form a devoted union that would last until Linda's death in 1954. His first hit song appeared in 1919.
Career and Accident
Porter would spend the next seventeen years writing songs and producing hits. His music appeared on Broadway and in movies. He managed to ascend to the top tier of Broadway musicians, a rare honor. In 1937 he suffered a debilitating accident while riding a horse in New York. His horse slipped and rolled on his legs, crushing them. After recovering from the accident, though still productive, his work declined. He managed a comeback in the mid 1940's, but his mother's death in 1952 and his wife's in 1954 combined with complications from his leg injuries caused his work to come to a virtual standstill. Doctors amputated his right leg in 1958, after which he went into seclusion and never wrote again. He died in 1964 after producing over 800 musical compositions and creating a legacy in Broadway, Hollywood and beyond.

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
Facebook
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© Paul Wonning

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - June 8, 1839 - First Boat Reaches Brookville from Lawrenceburg - Whitewater Canal

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
A Year of Indiana History - 2016

June 8, 1839 - First Boat Reaches Brookville from Lawrenceburg - Whitewater Canal
Constructed as part of the Indiana Mammoth Internal Improvement Act of 1836 signed by Governor Noah Noble on January 27, 1836, the Whitewater Canal was to form an integral part of southeastern and eastern Indiana's transportation system. The ambitious act, in concert with the Panic of 1837, bankrupted the state and brought a major political party to its knees.
Indiana Mammoth Internal Improvement Act of 1836
The Internal Improvement Act was a too ambitious program of internal improvements that provided for the construction of canals and turnpikes. The ambitiousness of the program bankrupted the State of Indiana and caused the eventual demise and collapse of the Whig party, which favored the bill. The state assembly passed this bill that added ten million dollars to the state's budget at a time when its income was only about $65,000 annually.
Panic of 1837
This complex event created an economic depression that lasted from about 1837 until 1842. The multiple causes were questionable lending practices in the Western United States, restrictive lending policies enacted by Great Britain and falling agricultural prices. The period before 1837 had been a period of intense economic growth. During this time the prices of cotton and other commodities rose. Land prices also increased. The Bank of England noticed a decline in cash on hand in 1836. They raised interest rates in an attempt to attract more cash. When the Bank of England raised its interest, it forced banks in the United States and other nations to raise their rates. This, along with other events, caused land and cotton prices to fall. The chain of events this set off triggered a depression that caused profits, prices, and wages to fall and increased the unemployment rates. It was not until 1843 that the economies of the major countries rebounded.
Decline of the Whigs
The Whig party had pushed for the law and bore the brunt of the blame. During the following years, the Whig Party collapsed, leaving the Democratic Party in control for many years.
Whitewater Canal
The Whitewater Canal's construction lasted from 1836 to 1847. During this time, there were many starts, pauses as the State of Indiana ran out of money, and the various private companies charged with completing also ran into financial difficulties. After completion, it connected Hagerstown, Indiana with Cincinnati, Ohio seventy-six miles to the south. The canal provided a quick, convenient way for farmers to transport their goods to market in the cities. Before the canal a farmer would need several days travel over deeply rutted roads to take his goods to Cincinnati. The canal proved a difficult construction project. It dropped 491 feet over the distance and needed fifty-six locks and seven dams. Several aqueducts to carry the canal over waterways also needed construction. Portions of the canal operated until 1862. The Whitewater Valley Railroad runs a part of the canal as a tourist attraction between Connersville and Metamora Indiana. The train runs alongside the canal and at Metamora visitors can ride a canal boat. The town of Metamora has many small shops and museums. The State of Indiana maintains an operating gristmill in the town.
Ben Franklin Arrives
The first canal boat to arrive at Brookville from Lawrenceburg was the Ben Franklin, which arrived on June 8, 1839. General Elisha Long commanded the boat, owned by Long and Westerfeld.
For more information contact:
Whitewater Canal State Historic Site
19083 Clayborne St.
Metamora, In 47030, Usa
765-647-6512

Whitewater Valley Railroad
455 Market St,
Connersville, IN 47331
(765) 825-2054

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. This Hoosier Dusty Files is in an easy to read “this day in history format” and includes articles from the author's A Year in Indiana History series. Visitors may read the articles as they appear or purchase the book:
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
Facebook
@indianatreker
@MossyFeetBooks
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© Paul Wonning

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Visit to Chain o' Lakes State Park

A Visit to Chain o' Lakes State Park
A Visit to Chain o' Lakes State Park
A Visit to Chain o' Lakes State Park

The ten lakes, nine connected by a channel, are the best reasons to visit Chain of Lakes State Park. Then, add a fabulous campground, comfortable family cabins and intriguing trails to the mix. These amenities total up to a wonderful vacation or get-away weekend in Indiana's lake country.
A Visit to Chain o' Lakes State Park will give the prospective visitor all the information they need to enjoy this wonderful Noble County Indiana State Park in northeastern Indian

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An Indiana History Story a Day - June

An Indiana History Story a Day - June
An Indiana History Story a Day - June

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. An Indiana History Story a Day –June like the Indiana Bicentennial History Series that preceded it, presents Indiana history in an easy to read “this day in history format” The thirty-one stories in the June edition include:
June 03, 1861 - First Major Civil War Battle Involving Indiana Troops
June 07, 1820 - Site of Indianapolis Chosen
June 17, 1863 - Hines Raid June 20, 1903 - The First Mile-A-Minute Track Lap - Indiana State Fairgrounds
June 27, 1859 - Railroad Bridge Collapse - Over 60 Killed

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Available On:
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© Paul R. Wonning 2017