|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
The area around Jeffersonville, Indiana became an important military area during the Civil War. The Jefferson General Hospital served as one of the main hospitals for wounded Union soldiers and Camp Joe Holt became an important staging area for Union Troops heading into the Southern theatre. The city had three railroads running to it. Its location across from Louisville, Kentucky made it an important Ohio River port.
Origins of the Quartermaster Depot
The Quartermaster Depot had its origins in a garment factory established in one wing of the Jeffersonville General Hospital. In that, factory workers cut out the garments and issued them out to women living in Jeffersonville to take home to assemble. Once assembled, the women took them back for inspection and distribution to soldiers in the field. The rigors of war produced a tremendous demand for many other items. This led to the Depot becoming a major supplier of clothing, harnesses, saddlery, vehicles and other paraphernalia needed for the war effort. The operations became spread out over Jeffersonville as the need grew.
Construction of the US Quartermaster Depot - Jeffersonville
At the conclusion of the war, the Army decided to consolidate the facilities scattered around Jeffersonville. It central location, access to both railroads and the Ohio River made it an ideal spot to stockpile supplies needed for the United States Army. The Army allotted $150,000 to bui76d a new facility in 1867 and on January 31, 1871 finished purchasing the land needed for the structure. Quartermaster General Major General J. C. Meigs designed the building that would consist of huge quadrangle with an opening on each side. The center of the building had a power plant and water tower. The brick and stone building covered 150,000 square feet.
The "Quadrant," as it came to be known, served the Army as a Quartermaster Depot through the Spanish American War, the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. By 1945, it covered 255.6 acres and had over 150 buildings. By the end of that conflict, its days as a Quartermaster Depot ended. The U. S. Census Bureau opened in it as a temporary facility in 1958 and in 1962 received the designation as a permanent facility. The center now is a 75-acre ultramodern data processing facility with over 100 buildings a work force that includes 1500 to 6000 employees, depending upon need. Today the Quadrant it is home to numerous other offices, storefronts, and the Jeffersonville City Hall.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning