Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - January 24, 1853 - First Passenger Train From Dayton via Union to Indianapolis

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

January 24, 1853 - First Passenger Train From Dayton via Union to Indianapolis
The historic meeting of five railroads in one spot on the Indiana/Ohio border in 1852 created a sensation and two towns, one in Indiana, the other just across the State Line in Ohio.
Meeting in the Forest
Businessmen from several states met in the forests of Indiana in 1849 at a spot near the Ohio border to decide the fate of the rail system of the Great Northwestern group of states. During this meeting the historic Bee Line sprang into existence with O. H. Smith named president. Indiana, which had only one rail line at the time, would have five rail lines meeting at the same spot within three years.
Two Railroads
The men at the meeting agreed that two companies would complete construction of a line that ran from Bellefontaine, Ohio to the spot in the wilderness that they had met. Another company would build a line running from Indianapolis to the same location, thus the two rail lines would meet, connecting Indianapolis with Bellefontaine. This railroad would be called the Indianapolis & Bellefontaine.
Bee Line
The Indianapolis & Bellefontaine had double tracks. It would eventually connect Indianapolis with Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, becoming the Indianapolis, Pittsburgh & Cleveland in the process. The line again changed names, becoming the Bellefontaine, or more simply, the Bee Line. This line went through more name changes, finally becoming part of the Penn Central system.
Four Railroads
Two other companies, one in Indiana and one in Ohio, were also planning to build two railroads that would meet at this spot. One would extend from Columbus, Ohio, the other from Logansport, Indiana. Thus, four rail lines would meet at this lonely spot in the wilderness.
Five Railroads
Another company had planned a line that would run from Dayton, Ohio to Greenville, Ohio, which was just a few miles from the spot that the four rail lines would meet. They decided to extend their line to intersect the other lines, thus five rail lines would meet at this lonely spot.
Union City
One of the railroads promoters, a man named Jeremiah Smith, figured the spot at the junction of the five lines would be a good spot to locate a town. So, on December 19, 1848 he purchased 160 acres of virgin forest at the junction point and platted a town. He recorded the plat on December 17, 1849. The original plat contained 252 lots and gave the railroads a right of way in return for a perpetual promise to stop at the new town forever, to be called Union. This plat was later changed to include smaller lots and the number of lots increased to 483. New arrivals began coming into the town. Some favored a spot a short distance to the east, across the Ohio State Line. At this spot, a small settlement already existed and the Deerfield Road crossed the new line. Fearing his town would spill over into Ohio, something he did not desire, he purchased an additional forty acres along the state line and left it undeveloped until 1870. By then, Union, Indiana was established and he didn't fear his Indiana town would become an Ohio town.
The First Passenger Line Passes Through
The first train to reach Union was on Christmas Day, 1852. The first passenger train to pass through from Bellefontaine, Ohio to Indianapolis, Indiana arrived on January 24, 1853. The knitting together of the Northwestern States by rail was under way.
Union City, Ohio maintains a park called Railroad Park that occupies the spot that the original train depot stood. Union City, Indiana maintains the Union City Preservation Society Museum in a restored hotel near the site of the passenger depot.
For more information about Union City, Indiana and Union City, Ohio, visit this link.
Union City, Indiana
105 N. Columbia St.
Union City, IN
765-964-6534

Union City, Ohio
419 E. Elm St.
Union City, OH
937-968-4305

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, January 23, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - January 23, 1900 - Miriam Mason Swain Born

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

January 23, 1900 - Miriam Mason Swain Born
Miriam Mason Swain (1900-1973)
A native of Goshen, Indiana, children's book writer Miriam Mason Swain grew up on a farm near Goshen. As a child, she dreamed of becoming one of three things when she grew up, a circus performer, a doctor or an author. Her mother dampened her ambition to become a circus performer by telling her she did not think they were respectable. Miriam concocted medicines that no one would take. Therefore, that left author, a career she succeeded at beyond her expectations.
Early Life
She moved to Bloomington to teach school. During that time, she also became assistant editor of a magazine in Spencer, Indiana. During her time in Bloomington, she married Morris Swain, with whom she had one daughter. Her husband died and she lost her job as assistant editor when the magazine closed. She turned down a job offer with another magazine, sat down at the typewriter, and began writing. She had sold some short stories and other things before, so she had some idea of what she was doing.
Success as Writer
She went on to publish over fifty-five titles, mostly children's books. In the 1940, she moved to Batesville, Indiana, where she lived until her death in 1973. Her books deal with nature, animals and farming. The books are noted for their sensible, realistic approach to life and nature.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - January 22, 1928 - Grand Beach Ski Club Holds First Ski Jump Meet

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

January 22, 1928 - Grand Beach Ski Club Holds First Ski Jump Meet
Ski slides became popular in the area around Chicago during the 1920's and the rolling dunes of northwestern Indiana were ideal terrain for the construction of "ski slides."
Ski Slides
Ski slides were huge slides with a tower at the apex that allowed skiers to ski down the slide and, using the speed built up during their swift descent and the steep angle of the slide, to vault into flight.
Largest in the World
The 1930-31 National Ski Association Year Book declared, "The new steel ski slide erected by the Ogden Dunes Ski Club is the tallest . . . all steel structure in America today . . ." The Grand Beach Ski Club planned a tower of 240 feet. However, the company that contracted to build the tower did not have the structure completed in time for the January 22 meet. The meet took place on a tower that was only 150 feet tall. The eventual height of the completed tower was 192 feet. The longest jump off this structure was 195 feet.

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© Paul Wonning

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - January 21, 1785 - Treaty of Fort McIntosh Signed

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

January 21, 1785 - Treaty of Fort McIntosh Signed
The United States Government signed a treaty with various Amerindian tribes at Fort McIntosh in which the tribes signed away most of the future states of Ohio and portions of Indiana.
Fort McIntosh
Fort McIntosh is located at the junction of the Ohio and the Beaver Rivers. Lieutenant. Colonel Cambray-Digny designed and oversaw construction of the wooden stockade fortress in 1778. The Army abandoned the fort in 1791. The Residents of Beaver, Pennsylvania have restored the fort and it is open for visitation. For more information contact:
Beaver Area Heritage Foundation
Post Office Box 147
Beaver, PA 15009
info@beaverheritage.org
The Conference
George Rogers Clark, Arthur Lee, and Richard Butler represented the Confederation Congress at Fort McIntosh. The native delegation included members of the Wyandot, the Lenape (Delaware), the Ottawa, and the Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribes. Most important, the Shawnee did not attend. Another problem was that the Amerindian delegations included mostly younger chiefs who did not have the authority to sign a treaty of this magnitude. After plying the natives with alcohol for several days, the Americans convinced the natives to sign the treaty, which they did, on January 21, 1785.
The Treaty
The borders established by the treaty consisted roughly of the Cuyahoga River on the east. A southern border extended from modern-day Akron westward to the Tuscarawas River, southward to Fort Laurens, then westward to Pickawillany on the Miami River. A western border ran north from Pickawillany to the St. Mary's River, and then to current Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The treaty confined the natives to the northwest corner of Ohio. The whites promised not to settle west of the new boundary.
Aftermath
Instead of easing tensions between the whites and the natives, the treaty increased them. Whites continued encroaching on native lands. Many of the other tribes, including the powerful Shawnees, rejected it. Tensions continued to rise, resulting in the Battle of Fallen Timbers on August 20, 1794.

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

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - January 20, 1820 - Indiana Legislative Act Approved Establishing State Seminary (Indiana University)

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

January 20, 1820 - Indiana Legislative Act Approved Establishing State Seminary (Indiana University)
When the United States Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, it included in the act a passage that encouraged the states formed from the Territory to promote public education. In the Territorial Assembly's petition for Statehood in 1816, the petition included a request for one township of land to be set aside for a state seminary. Congress complied with this request. The Constitutional Convention included this in the first state constitution written in 1816.
Northwest Ordinance
Congress passed The Ordinance of 1787 on July 13, 1787, creating a vast territory in what was then the western United States. The Ordinance provided that at least three but not more than five states would be formed in this vast territory. In order to qualify for statehood, a state had to have at least 60,000 inhabitants. When the region reached that goal, Congress would admit it as a state on equal footing with the original thirteen states. The Congress encouraged education in the territory by including a clause that stated, "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
Petition for Statehood
The Petition requested that the Federal Government reserve one entire township in the state for educational purposes, stipulating, “the promotion of useful Knowledge, is the best Guarantee to our civil institutions.” When Congress passed the Enabling Act in April 1816 granting Indiana the right to form a State, the Congress complied with this request. This was necessary because unsettled land in the Territory was part of the public domain and belonged to the Federal Government. The Federal government sold this land to businesses and individuals. Surveyors divided this land into townships of thirty-six square miles. By granting a full township, the Federal Government allowed the State of Indiana to use one township for educational purposes without having to purchase the parcel from the Federal Government.
Education in the Constitution of 1816
The men that framed Indiana's first Constitution enshrined this grant in Article IX, Section 2 of the 1816 Indiana Constitution. This article states, “it shall be the duty of the General assembly [sic], as soon as circumstances will permit, to provide, by law, for a general system of education, ascending in a regular gradation from township schools to a state university, wherein tuition shall be gratis, and equally open to all.”
An Act to Establish a State Seminary and for Other Purposes
On January 20, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly passed this act approving the State Seminary, which later became Indiana University. The Act appointed a board of trustees and required them to meet on the first Monday in June in Bloomington, Indiana to select the site for the university in the township reserved for that purpose. Indiana University celebrates this date as "Founders Day."

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
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© Paul Wonning

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files -0 January 19, 1846 - Peru and Indianapolis Railroad Incorporated

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

January 19, 1846 - Peru and Indianapolis Railroad Incorporated
The Peru and Indianapolis Railroad connected Indianapolis, Indiana with Peru, Indiana and the Wabash and Erie Canal.
Peru, Indiana
William N. Hood founded Peru in 1834 on the banks of the Wabash River. The first boat on the Wabash and Erie Canal reached Peru on July 4, 1837. Peru is the county seat of Miami County, southwest of Fort Wayne in northern Indiana.
Wabash and Erie Canal
Construction on the Wabash and Erie Canal began on February 22, 1832 at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Construction completed on July 4, 1843. At 468 miles long, it was the longest canal in the United States and the second longest in the world. The canal connected the Erie Canal with Evansville, Indiana. It was one of only two canals completed by the Massive Internal Improvement Act of 1836. The other is the Whitewater Canal. The canal's excessive operating costs and the advent of the railroad made the canal impractical. It ceased operations by 1857. Portions of the canal still exist. Interested visitors can visit one section and take a canal ride:
Wabash & Erie Canal
1030 N. Washington St.
Delphi, IN 46923
Peru and Indianapolis Railroad
Construction began on the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad in 1849 at its southern terminus in Indianapolis. Construction completed to Peru in 1854, seventy miles north of its beginning. The Peru and Indianapolis Railroad did not have any of its own equipment, the line operated under a lease with the Madison and Indianapolis. The Erie Canal ceased operation by 1857, but the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad established links with other rail lines in Peru, connecting it with Chicago, New York and other cities across the Midwest. The railroad stimulated economic growth in the area it served.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - January 18, 1850 – Governor Signs Law for Constitutional Delegate Election

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

January 18, 1850 – Governor Signs Law for Constitutional Delegate Election 
As per the electoral mandate delivered by the voters of Indiana on the August 6, 1849 Referendum, The Indiana General Assembly passed an act calling for the assembly of a Constitutional Convention. Indiana Governor Paris C. Dunning continued a process begun by his predecessor Governor James Whitcomb by signing the legislation approving the election of delegates to amend or revise the old constitution or write a new one.
James Whitcomb (December 1, 1795 – October 4, 1852)
The eighth governor of Indiana, Whitcomb called for a new constitution for Indiana in 1848. His repeated calls led to the Indiana General Assembly calling for a referendum for the voters to decide the matter. He resigned the governorship in 1848 to take an Indiana Senate seat for which he won election.
Paris C. Dunning (March 15, 1806 – May 9, 1884)
The only person to hold every elected position in Indiana under the 1816 Constitution, Dunning took control as Indiana’s ninth governor during a time of Constitutional change. He had served as Whitcomb's Lieutenant Governor and stepped into the position of Governor when Whitcomb resigned to take a seat in the United States Senate. He signed the legislation authorizing the election of delegates on January 18, 1850.
Election of Delegates
The election was set for the first Monday in August, which was the date of the general elections under the old Constitution. This day fell on August 6, 1850. The number of delegates was fixed at 150. This number included one member from each of Indiana's Senatorial districts to total 50 and 100 from Indiana's representative districts. The Convention would begin meeting on the first Monday in October and was charged with revising, amending or new modeling the old constitution.
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