Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - August 20, 1794 - Battle of Fallen Timbers

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

August 20, 1794 - Battle of Fallen Timbers
The native tribes had signed a treaty with the British in 1768 called the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. In this treaty, the British designated certain lands north of the Ohio as belonging to the native tribes. At the conclusion of the Revolution, the Americans no longer honored the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. They cited a clause in the Treaty of Paris in which the British ceded lands owned by the tribes. The tribes asserted that the British could not give away lands that did not belong to them and that they did not sign that treaty. Encroachment by whites into their territories continued and the natives responded by attacking them. General Anthony Wayne formed an army of 2000 soldiers that he called the Legion of the United States, He marched out of Fort Washington, near Cincinnati, and traveled north. He built a string of forts along the way. The natives watched and waited. They formed a defensive line in an area where a storm had blown all the trees down (fallen timbers) and waited for Wayne. The battle began on August 20 1794 and did not last long. Wayne dealt the native force a decisive defeat.

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

An Indiana History Story a Day – September

Hoosier Dusty Files - August 19, 1888 - Mary F. Thomas Dies - Richmond Physician

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

August 19, 1888 - Mary F. Thomas Dies - Richmond Physician
Mary F. Thomas (October 28, 1816 - August 19, 1888)
The daughter of Quakers Samuel and Mary Myers, Mary was native to Montgomery County, Maryland. While a young girl, the family lived in Washington DC. Her father took her to Congressional debates, igniting a lifelong interest in politics in the young girl. While in Washington, her father became active in the abolitionist movement. To escape the blemish of slavery, Samuel moved the family to a farm in New Lisbon, Ohio. She and her two sisters learned farm work and gained their education while their father tutored them in the evenings. In Lisbon She met, and married, Quaker Dr. Owen Thomas in 1839. The two would have three daughters. Dr. Thomas took her to Wabash College in Indiana to study medicine. She would later attend medical lectures at the Penn's Medical College for Women in Philadelphia. She graduated from Penn in 1854 and moved to Fort Wayne Indiana to practice medicine. The family moved to Richmond, Indiana in 1856 and resided there the remainder of their lives. While living in Lisbon, she attended a lecture given by women's suffrage advocate Lucretia Mott. She would later become active in the women's suffrage movement, serving as the president of the Indiana Woman’s Rights Association in 1859. She became the first woman to address the Indiana State Legislature when she presented a petition for a woman’s suffrage amendment to the Indiana Constitution.
Indiana Women’s Rights Association and would become the first female member of the State Medical Association.
Women's rights activists formed the Indiana Woman’s Rights Association in Richmond, Indiana in October 1851. Hannah Hiatt of Winchester served as president and Amanda Way as vice-president. The organization was active for a number of years, and then became inactive for about ten years. It reorganized as the Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association in 1869.
Civil War Years
During the Civil War, she Indiana Governor Morton sent her to transport medical supplies to the war front as part of the Sanitary Commission by steamboat. On her return to Indiana, she helped care for wounded Union troops. After the war, she became active with the Home for Friendless Women, a cause she would continue until her death on August 19, 1888.

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, August 18, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - August 18, 1838 - Beech Church for Negroes Opens - Carthage

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

August 18, 1838 - Beech Church for Negroes Opens - Carthage
Free blacks began filtering into Rush County, Indiana in the late 1820's from areas in North Carolina. Quakers from the same area had begun migrating into Indiana after 1817, drawn by the Free State status of the newly formed Indiana.
Quakers
Quakers, in an effort to escape the scourge of slavery, began migrating into the new state of Indiana in the 1820's, occupying mainly the central and eastern regions of the state. Their strong abolitionist stance led them to encourage free blacks to immigrate into the area. Most of these started arriving in the late 1820's. The community of Beech grew up because of this influx of free blacks.
Beech Settlement
The free black settlers purchased government lands and by 1830, the settlement consisted of ninety-one people, comprising fourteen families. The settlement drew its name from the large grove of beech trees that occupied the area. On July 18, 1832, members of the community held a meeting during which they formed the African Methodist Episcopal Church, believed by many historians to be the first AME in Indiana. During the meeting, the members pledged funds to acquire land and build a church. This church opened on August 18, 1838. The current church on the site was completed about 1865. Descendents of these early settlers still hold a reunion at the church in August each year. Indiana Landmarks has placed the church on its 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in 2016 and is seeking funds to preserve the structure.
Indiana Landmarks
1201 Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
800-450-4534
317-639-4534

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, August 17, 2017

A Visit to Indiana Dunes State Park

A Visit to Indiana Dunes State Park
A Visit to Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park, located on the shore of Lake Michigan, offers the sightseer unique opportunities for hiking, picnicking, camping and swimming. Prospective visitors can glean all the information they need to enjoy this beautiful, inimitable area to the fullest from this tourism guide.

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© Mossy Feet Books 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - August 17, 1940 - Wendell Willkie Accepted The Republican Presidential Nomination At Elwood

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

August 17, 1940 - Wendell Willkie Accepted The Republican Presidential Nomination At Elwood
Successful lawyer and businessman Wendell Wilkie received the Republican nomination for President in 1940. He went on to a sound electoral defeat, even though his 22,000,000 votes were more than previous Republican candidates received were.
Wendell Wilkie (February 18, 1892 – October 8, 1944)
Wilkie was the son of Herman and Henrietta (Trisch) Wilkie of Elwood, Indiana. Henrietta and Herman were both lawyers, with Henrietta being one of the first women lawyers in Indiana. Wilkie's first name was Lewis; however, he always went by his middle name, Wendell.
Education
Wilkie attended Culver Military Academy after his parents enrolled him there. Wilkie had shown a rebellious streak and walked with a stoop. His parents hoped Culver would eliminate both. He excelled at the Military School and went on to Indiana University where he continued to excel. He almost did not receive his diploma after giving a speech critical of IU during his commencement speech in front of the Indiana State Supreme Court in attendance in 1916. The University did grant the diploma.
Military
After graduation, he joined his parent’s law firm. When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the United States Army. The Army installed him in artillery school and he did not reach the front until late in 1918. He saw no action and was discharged in 1919.
Business
Before enlisting in the military, he had married Rushville librarian Edith Wilk. After his discharge, he considered a run for Congress but was dissuaded because at that time he was a Democrat and would be running in a Republican district. His mother convinced him to enter business, so he applied to Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio in the legal office. He got the job, but soon grew bored and joined an Akron law firm. He gained a reputation as a great trial lawyer and representative in cases involving public utilities. New York-based Commonwealth & Southern Corporation offered him a job in 1929, which he took and moved to New York. He rose quickly in that position and became president of that company in 1934. As president of Commonwealth & Southern, he began tangling with newly elected Franklin Roosevelt over the Tennessee Valley Authority's role in building dams and generating electricity. Their ensuing legal battle consumed several years and one meeting between Wilkie and Roosevelt. Commonwealth & Southern eventually lost the lawsuit and was forced to sell some of its assets to the Federal Government, but Wilkie drove a hard bargain for the purchase. The resulting publicity for him was favorable.
Politics
Wilkie had been an active Democrat for most of his life. His activism even led to his introduction of Democratic presidential nominee, Ohio Governor James M. Cox to an Akron campaign event in 1920. He had been active in the 1932 Democratic convention, becoming a delegate for Roosevelt's biggest rival for the nomination, Newton D. Baker. During 1938 and 1939, talk circulated of a Wilkie run for the Presidency. Most felt that Roosevelt would still run, but his popularity was lagging. On the eve of the 1940, election unemployment was still over 15% and the economy still not improved after eight years of Roosevelt's New Deal programs. War loomed on the horizon, as Adolph Hitler was on the move in Europe and the Japanese active in the Pacific. Wilkie had entertained visions of the Presidency. But he knew if Roosevelt decided to run for an unprecedented third term, he would win the nomination. Convinced that Roosevelt was anti-business and knowing his road to the Presidency was through the Republican Party, he quietly switched party affiliation in late 1939.
Dark Horse Candidate
Wilkie did not enter any primaries. The primaries at this time did not elect delegates; they merely served as what were called "beauty contests" to establish a candidate’s level of support. The real work of nominating was done at the convention. The Republican convention was in Philadelphia. Wilkie arrived with great fanfare in June and took rooms at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel. It was from there that he ran his campaign. After a good deal of political backroom deals, Wilkie emerged the nominee on the sixth ballot. Wilkie had gone from successful lawyer, businessman and Democratic activist to becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States in 1940.
The Campaign
Wilkie had wanted the campaign to be about the economy, which was still faltering despite eight years of Roosevelt’s policies. Roosevelt wanted the campaign to be about the emerging conflict in Europe. Roosevelt had supported policies that lent aid to Great Britain in its battle against the Nazis. Wilkie had initially supported those efforts, which had contributed to his gaining the Republican nomination. The majority of Republicans during this time were isolationists, in direct contravention to his stance. When his campaign began faltering late in 1940, he switched to a more isolationist stance, to appeal to the majority of Republicans. He promised to keep the nation out of war, stating that Roosevelt would enter the war. Roosevelt countered when Wilkie's campaign started gaining more support. On election eve, national polls showed Wilkie with a four-point deficit, but gaining. However, Roosevelt went on to win 449 electoral votes to Wilkie's 82. The popular vote had been closer, 27,000,000 to 22,000,000.
Post Election
Wilkie contacted with a gracious concession speech that led Roosevelt to say, "I'm happy I've won, but I'm sorry Wendell lost." Wilkie soon threw his war support behind Roosevelt and became instrumental in much of the war effort. He planned a visit to Britain and visited with Roosevelt just prior to his inauguration speech. During the meeting, Roosevelt asked him to be his unofficial representative to the British. His work to aid Roosevelt in the war effort led to trips to Ireland as well. On his return, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in favor of Roosevelt's Lend-Lease policy. He also led an effort to repeal the Neutrality Act passed in the 1930's. His support was so much needed by Roosevelt that he sought to include him in his administration. However, Wilkie wanted to maintain his independence and declined. He did consider a run again in 1944, but pulled out after a bad showing in early primaries. He died in 1944 of heart problems.
This article excerpted from the author’s book:
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - East Central Edition

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - August 16, 1838 - Swiss Mennonites Arrive - Adams County

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

August 16, 1838 - Swiss Mennonites Arrive - Adams County
Persecuted in their native lands, many members of the Mennonite Church left Europe to settle in the New World where they could find a new life. Mennonites from Germany and the Netherlands began immigrating into Pennslyvannia in 1683 at the encouragement of Quaker William Penn. By the late 1830's Mennonite communities began migrating into northeast Indiana from Ohio.
Mennonites
The Mennonites are followers of Menno Simons, a religious reformer that lived from 1496 – 1561 the Friesland region of the Low Countries. After training as a Catholic priest, Simons gradually became disenchanted with the Church, in 1536 renounced his priestly vows. He joined the Anabaptist movement.  He became an influential leader among that group, forming a distinct theology that eventually became the Mennonite religion. Their religious beliefs frequently put them at odds with the Catholics and Lutherans that dominated Germany and the Netherlands. Persecution of Mennonites in Switzerland, as well as all of Europe, was severe as authorities often imprisoned and even killed many of them. Refusal to recant their belief often meant forced impressment into the military or even drowning.
American History A Day at A Time - October
Amish in Indiana
Brothers Christian and Peter Baumgartner migrated from Wayne County, Ohio to Adams County, Indiana, arriving on August 16, 1838. The Amish community prospered and grew, thriving today across many counties in northern Indiana.
Swiss Heritage Village and Museum
The twenty-six acre village is the largest outdoor museum in northern Indiana. The museum seeks to preserve and interpret Mennonite culture in northern Indiana.
Swiss Heritage Village and Museum
1200 Swiss Way Box 88
Berne, IN
(260) 589-8007

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - October 15, 1849 - Charity Dye - Indiana Author, Teacher - Born

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

October 15, 1849 - Charity Dye - Indiana Author, Teacher - Born
Charity Dye (Octobe 15, 1849 - July 19, 1921)
A native of Mason County, Kentucky, her family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1873. She attended Indianapolis Normal College and began teaching at School 10 in the Indianapolis school system. A short time later, she received a transfer to Shortridge High School. Her teaching career would span thirty-seven years. She became renowned as an English teacher and was instrumental in forging poet James Whitcomb Riley's relationship with Shortridge High School. She became active in the women's suffrage movement and wrote several historical non-fiction books about Indiana.
Indiana Historical Commission
In 1915, the Indiana Historical Commission asked her to serve as a commissioner during the preparations for the Indiana Centennial celebration. She conceived the idea of having children write letters about the culture and history of their neighborhoods to exchange with other students. In addition, she wrote an entertaining weekly column for the Indianapolis Star that related tidbits about Indiana History. During her tenure on the Centennial Commission, she would give 152 addresses at schools, civic organizations, and clubs across the state.

Charity Dye Elementary School 27 is named in her honor. 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

Monday, August 14, 2017

August 14, 1816 - Doddridge Chappel Near Fort Milton, Forms


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

August 14, 1816 - Doddridge Chappel Near Fort Milton, Forms
Emmigrants from Pennslyvannia led by Philip Doddridge migrated to the Wayne County area, arriving on April 8, 1814. The nineteen pioneers that arrived held a prayer meeting to give thanks for their safe arrival. The arrivals included nine adults and ten children, one of whom was born during the long, grueling wagon trip through the frontier. Philip Doddridge (1737 - May 6, 1822)
The son of Joseph Doddridge and Mary Biggs, Phillip was native to Maryland. he married Mary Merricle Bickerstaff in 1767. The couple would have ten children. After arriving in Wayne County, Indiana the family established a farm. Phillip and his wife donated four acres of land to be used for the church and cemetary. Phillip was the first interred in the cemetery. The pioneers built a log church in 1816, which stood until they replaced it with a brick church in 1832. The congregation completed construction of the current church in 1876. The National Register of Historic Places listed Doddridge Chapel on National Register of Historic Places September 28, 2003.

 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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

An Indiana History Story a Day – August

An Indiana History Story a Day - August
An Indiana History Story a Day - August

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. An Indiana History Story a Day, 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 August edition include:
August 05, 1816 - First State Elections
August 07, 1791 - Battle of Kenapacomaqua
August 16, 1862 - 72nd Indiana Infantry Regiment Mustered
August 26, 1938 - Cornfield Conference Began
August 31, 1949 - Final Meeting of Grand Army of the Republic Soldiers - Civil War

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An Indiana History Story a Day – July


An Indiana History Story a Day – July
An Indiana History Story a Day – July

Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. An Indiana History Story a Day –July 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 July edition include:
July 04, 1778 - Clark Takes Kaskaskia Without Firing a Shot
July 8, 1863 - Morgan's Raiders Cross the Ohio River
July 16, 1907 - Orville Redenbacher Born
July 21, 1862 - New Albany Race Riots
July 29, 1861 - Formation of the 19th Indiana - Black Hat Brigade

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Indiana Historical Marker - Eleutherian College

Eleutherian College
Eleutherian College

Title of Marker:
Eleutherian College
Location:
6927 West SR 250, Lancaster. (Jefferson County, Indiana)
Installed by:
2004 Indiana Historical Bureau, Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology, IDNR, African American Landmarks Committee of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Inc., Historic Eleutherian College, Historic Madison, Jefferson County Preservation Council, Cornerstone Society, Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable, and City of Madison
Marker ID #: 
39.2004.3
Indiana Historical Marker - Eleutherian College
Indiana Historical Marker - Eleutherian College

Marker Text: 
Side one:
College developed 1854 from Eleutherian Institute, founded 1848. Thomas Craven and anti-slavery advocates in the area created and supported the institution for education of students of all races and genders. This structure, built in the 1850s for classes and a chapel, was purchased for restoration 1990. Designated National Historic Landmark 1997.
Side two:
Eleutherian provided one of earliest educational opportunities for women and African-Americans before Civil War. The Underground Railroad refers to a widespread network of diverse people in the nineteenth century who aided slaves escaping to freedom from the southern U.S.

Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - South East Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers &
Museums - South East Edition
Brief History By the Author
Eleutherian College
Founded by Thomas Craven in 1848, Eleutherian College became the first school in Indiana that accepted any student regardless of race or gender.
Thomas Craven (March 19, 1792 - August 21, 1860) 
A native of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Thomas' parents were blacksmith Thomas Craven and Emmetje Isbrants. The elder Craven served in the Revolutionary War. As a young man, the younger Thomas migrated to Indiana in 1812, after floating down the Ohio River in a flatboat and arriving in Cincinnati. He went to Franklin County to live. He served as a captain during the War of 1812, serving in a blockhouse in Indiana. He moved into Ohio in 1826 and, at age forty-five, entered Miami University. He achieved his lifelong dream of a college education in 1842. In 1848, he donated land in Lancaster, Indiana, Jefferson County to the Eleutherian College. He engaged in several fundraising trips later on to raise money for the institution. Thomas passed away in 1860 and is interred in College Hill Cemetery in Lancaster.
Founding of Eleutherian College
Founded by members of the Neil's Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church with substantial help from Thomas Craven and Lyman Hoyt, the college opened in 1848. The word “elutherian” derives from the Greek word, “Eleutheros.” That word means freedom and equality. By 1857, the college enrolled eighteen black students, ten of which were former slaves. By 1850 enrollment increased to 200, fifty of which were blacks. When public schools for free blacks opened, the school closed. Purchased by Lancaster Township in 1888, the Township operated it as a public school until 1938. The building still stands in Lancaster. It is a part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.  National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
It is open to the public by appointment only.
Call 812-866-7291 for more information.
6927 W. State Rd. 250
Lancaster, IN

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mecca Covered Bridge - Parke County, Indiana

Mecca Covered Bridge
Mecca Covered Bridge
Mecca Covered Bridge 
Built in 1872 by bridge builder Joseph J. Daniels, the 150 foot long bridge spans Big Raccoon Creek on County Road 136 east of US 41. Between 1877 and 1877, Parke County constructed a new gravel road between Rockville and Mecca. US 41 follows most of the route of this road from the Bradfield Corner church to Rockville. The bridge survived four floods, in 1875, 1913, 1957, and 1990. In two of these, the floodwaters rose above the bridge floorboards. A stranded family waited the surge out inside the bridge. The road bypassed the bridge in 1965. Workers refurbished the bridge in 1993. It is open to foot traffic.
Mecca Covered Bridge - Interior Construction
Mecca Covered Bridge - Interior Construction

Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails
Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.72913, -87.32499   (decimal degrees)
39°43'45" N, 87°19'30" W   (degrees°, minutes', seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/472149/4397744
Bridgehunter.com ID 16814

Joseph J. Daniels (1826–1916)
The son of bridge builder Stephen Daniels, Joseph was native to Marietta, Ohio. Joseph learned the craft of carpentry and bridge building from his father, who had sub-contracted for renowned army engineer and bridge builder Colonel Stephan Long. Long had developed the Long Truss design, for which he received patents in 1830, 1836 and 1839. Stephen employed the design, as did Joseph in his early bridges. Joseph assisted his father constructing many bridges in his native Ohio. Joseph would complete his first solo bridge contract at age nineteen.
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - West Central Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums - West Central Edition
Indiana Bridge Builder
Joseph migrated to Indiana to begin his solo bridge building career. He constructed his first bridge on the Rising Sun/Versailles Pike in 1850. The next year he traveled to Parke County, Indiana to build a bridge. He moved permanently to Parke County in 1853 to build railroad bridges. In 1861, Daniels moved to Rockville and began building covered bridges. He would build twelve covered bridges in Parke County. Nine of his Parke County bridges still survive. He built twenty-eight bridges in Indiana of which eighteen survive. Local lore suggests he build as many as sixty bridges during his lifetime, however historians can substantiate only fifty-three. He built his last bridge, the Neet Bridge, in 1904. The National Register of Historic Places lists many of his bridges.
Big Raccoon Creek in Parke County
Big Raccoon Creek
Big Raccoon Creek
Big Raccoon Creek enters Parke County at the upper end of the Cecil M. Hardin Lake. After exiting the lake, the creek flows southwest to Mansfield Roller Mill and crosses Indian State Road 59 just west of Mansfield. It continues southwest to Bridgeton, then gently curves northwest, crossing US 41. After passing through Mecca, Big Raccoon Creek turns west before meeting the Wabash River just south of Montezuma.
For Parke County shopping, lodging, dining and other attractions, visit:Tourist Information Center
Located in the 1883 Train Depot
401 E. Ohio Street
Rockville, IN 47872

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Canal Front Dry Good Store - Metamora, Indiana



Canal Front Dry Good Store - Metamora, Indiana
Canal Front Dry Good Store - Metamora, Indiana
Visitors to Metamora, Indiana will find this Franklin County Historical Marker
Canal Front Dry Good Store
Canal Front
Erected by:    
Indiana Division of Tourism and the Metamora Shop Keepers 1976
Located:   
Main Street near Banes Street, Metamora, Indiana (#72 on Metamora Map)
Text:
Two story frame of Federal Style built by Jonathan Banes in 1848. First known as the firm of Jenks, Banes and Calvin Jones. Harry and Alvin Blacklidge 1852-57. Mahlon and Milton Gordon 1857-62. Wm. N. Gordon started banking business in west half 1910. Later relocated across the canal, east half was Caroline Gordon’s Candle Shop. Back addition was an old icehouse, upstairs was community hall for dancing, roller skating and yearly traveling medicine show.
Franklin County Historical Marker
Franklin County Historical Marker

Brief History by the Author
Ice House
Cutting the Ice
The icehouse was a common structure in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century in the days before artificial refrigeration became common. During the winter months, farmers and icemen would cut ice from local ponds and lakes after the ice had gotten about a foot thick. Because snow cover will slow the freezing process, many times the workers would remove any snow cover from the pond so the ice would freeze faster. First, they would use a handsaw to cut the ice into long strips. Then they would cut the strips into blocks; lift the blocks from the water using a special tool called an ice tongs. After cutting, they would load the ice blocks on horse drawn wagons and transport the ice blocks to the icehouse. A team of men could cut and transport several tons of ice a day.
Storage and Use
Upon arrival at the icehouse, the men would load the ice into the icehouse. The icehouse was insulated with sawdust or straw to help maintain the freezing temperatures needed by the stored ice. They loaded it in layers, packing either sawdust or straw between the blocks and layers, until the icehouse was full. Properly packed ice would stay frozen until the following winter. During the summer, the iceman would load blocks of ice onto a horse drawn wagon and deliver ice to homes that had iceboxes. Children often followed the ice wagons, picking up fallen chips of ice for a cold, summer treat. Most homes had iceboxes for storing milk, butter, cream and other food items that needed refrigeration. The icebox was usually constructed from wood. The walls, back and doors were hollow, lined with zinc or some other non-corrosive material and insulated with sawdust, cork or seaweed. The ice compartment was in the top, which allowed the cooled air to circulate down into the food storage compartments below. Many of the iceboxes had drainage taps to drain the melted water from the ice compartment, a daily chore.
Driving the Canals and Rivers  Auto Trail
Driving the Canals and Rivers  Auto Trail
Homemade Ice Cream
During the summer months, the frozen ice provided an additional treat. On holidays like Decoration Day (Memorial Day), Fourth of July and Labor Day strong armed men would take chips of ice to make ice cream in an ice cream maker. The ice cream maker consisted of a wooden bucket that had a metal tub inside. They filled the metal tub with their ice cream mix and inserted a metal paddle into the mix. After placing a lid on the tub, they placed it inside the wooden bucket. The ice cream maker had a specially made gear mechanism that allowed someone to turn a crank that spun the tub inside the bucket. The paddle inside the tub would also turn; mixing the ice cream as it froze, keeping it from becoming a frozen, solid mass. They placed ice chips in the area between the tub and bucket and sprinkled salt over the ice chips. Men would then spend an afternoon taking turns turning the crank, spinning the tub inside the ice/salt mix. A hole in the side of the bucket allowed cold water to escape as the ice melted. Occasionally the ice would have to be replenished and more salt added. The spinning tub in the ice/salt mix slowly froze the sweet concoction inside the tub, which turned harder and harder as the ice cream froze. At length, the ice cream was ready for the waiting crowd to sate their appetite for the rare summer treat.
By the 1930's modern refrigeration began displacing the icehouse as a fixture in American towns.
Traveling Medicine Show
In an age of uncertain medical practices that included bleeding, sometimes using leeches, cold baths and skin blistering agents, people often turned to other means of affecting cures for their various ailments. The traveling medicine show answered this need, in spite of the dubious concoctions offered by the people running the show. The medicine show also provided an entertainment venue not available to many small towns across Indiana in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
Began the Age of Advertising
The patent medicines offered by the operators of these shows became the first products using modern, mass advertising techniques. Before the show came to town, promoters would place posters along the proposed route of the show, advertising the shows, medicines and other information about the event. The advertising stressed that the medicines used rare, exotic ingredients that promised miracle cures to the buyers of the medicine.
The Medicines
Commonly called "patent medicine" in spite of the fact that very few were patented, the medicines consisted of cheap materials sold at a high price. The ingredients commonly consisted of cocaine, opium, and/or high concentrations of alcohol. The addictive nature of these medicines encouraged continued purchases of the "medicines" after the event. Buyers could order the medicines by mail order, or sometimes at local stores, after the show left town. Many of the liniments and ointments advertised the main ingredient as "snake oil," which many people at the time considered a cure all. Many times the operator of the show mixed the medicines in his "medicine wagon" before the show.
The "Doctors"
Often called "doctor" or "professor" the operators of the traveling medicine shows were nothing of the sort. Talented entertainers, they would use the power of entertainment, persuasion, jingles, fear and testimonials from "cured" patients.
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - South East Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums - South East Edition
The Medicine Show
The medicine show consisted of the "Professor" hawking his product, interspersed with entertainment acts that usually included juggling, a flea circus, musical performances, a magician and other forms of entertainment. The Professor would talk about the benefits of his offering, and then break to allow the entertainers to soften resistance to his pitch. This pattern would repeat several times during the show, which was free to all comers. The operator also used planted shills in the to provide "unsolicited" testimonials and "plants" that would come forward with an obvious affliction, such as a limp, who would be miraculously "cured" after taking a swig of the "medicine."
Regulations and Better Medicines
These patent medicines did not really cure any of the illnesses they purported to cure. Many of them caused more problems than they solved because of their addictive nature. Their use also discouraged people from going to a real medical doctor for treatment. By the early Twentieth Century state and federal lawmakers began passing laws regulating medicines. Medical science began producing reliable, consistent drugs. The two developments caused a decline in the traveling medical show. The tradition lives on in the names of many popular musical groups. Many of the terms used today, like snake oil, quack and several others live on in the language.
From the Author's Book:
Driving the Canals and Rivers  Auto Trail


Franklin County Convention, Recreation and Visitors Commission
18 West 10th Street
P.O. Box 97
Brookville, IN 47012







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
Facebook
@indianatreker
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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
@MossyFeetBooks
Twitter
@MossyFeetBooks
© 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
@indianatreker
@MossyFeetBooks
Twitter
@MossyFeetBooks
© Paul Wonning