Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 28, 1893 - USS Indiana Launched

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

February 28, 1893 - USS Indiana Launched
With pomp and ceremony, the United States Navy launched the first of its world-class battleships, the USS Indiana, on February 28, 1893. The ship commenced a new class of Indiana-class battleships that would insert an emerging United States Navy on a world stage.
Small Battleship
Though it was the first of its class for the US Navy, the ship was small. At only 350 feet long, the ship's design did not allow it to operate on the high seas. Designed as a coastal defensive ship, it did carry heavy armament and guns. Her four thirteen inch and eight eight-inch guns provided plenty of firepower. She also had four six-inch guns. Her armor ranged from eight to eighteen inches thick. She was slow, only able to muster fifteen knots. Improvements in ship design made her obsolete quickly.
Spanish–American War
The USS Indiana's first major service was during the Spanish American War in 1898. She took part in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, sinking two Spanish destroyers, the Pluton and Furor. Her slow speed hampered any more major action and she spent the rest of the war doing blockade duty.
Training Ship
The USS Indiana went into service mainly as a training ship. She was decommissioned on December 29, 1903. Re-commissioned again in 1906 as a training ship, she spent most of the time serving in the reserve fleet. She participated in several training exercises and in the relief expedition for the 1907 Kingston earthquake. The Navy removed the six-inch guns in 1908 and added twelve three-inch guns. By 1914, the Navy again decommissioned her. After the beginning of World War I, the Navy re-commissioned her again to serve as a training ship. After the war, the Navy decommissioned her permanently. They renamed her Coast Battleship Number 1. The Navy wanted to clear the name so they could use it for a new class of battleship they planned to build. This battleship was started, but never completed. Coast Battleship Number 1 ended its service in one of the first tests of airplanes attempting to sink a battleship. The test succeeded, as the airplanes did sink the ship in shallow waters. The navy salvaged her and sold it for scrap.

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, February 27, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 27, 1921 - Train Disaster At Porter, Indiana - 37 Killed

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

February 27, 1921 - Train Disaster At Porter, Indiana - 37 Killed
Train engineer W. S. Long and fireman George Fl. Block disregarded an interlocking signal, derailing eastbound Michigan Central train No. 20 about 6:20 PM. The Michigan Central, going a speed of sixty miles per hour, plowed into the westbound New York Central passenger train No. 151. The New York Central was going about forty miles per hour. People could hear the resulting crash miles away as the trains ground each other to wreckage, spreading carnage in their path.
Interlocking Signal
An interlocking signal is defined as, "An arrangement of signals and signal appliances so interconnected that their movements must succeed each other in proper sequence." The signal's design is to prevent two trains from proceeding through the same crossing at the same time. A signalman sets the device to warn oncoming trains to stop if their signal indicates the warning. If the train proceeds, a derailment device derails the train, stopping it.
The Accident
The Michigan Central operators, either asleep or otherwise negligent, ignored the signal and sped through the interlock at over sixty miles per hour. The train derailed and proceeded along for another 800 feet. The engine of the Michigan Central somehow jumped back on the rail. The New York Central train slammed into it just as it re-railed. Railroads constructed passenger cars during this era from wood. The impact of the trains splintered these trains, reducing them to kindling. The impact decapitated and otherwise mutilated most of the passengers in two of the cars. Steam from the boiler scalded the engineer and fireman of the New York Central to death. The New York Central locomotive dug a ten-foot deep trench in the ground. The engine and tender of the Michigan Central buried many of the passengers. 
Relief Operations
The wreck strained resources of the small town of Porter, Indiana to the breaking point. Rescue workers toiled by lantern light in the gathering darkness. Firefighers attempted to extinguish the burning wreckage with an inadequate stream of water. Workers used picks and shovels to try to extricate the screaming wounded from the wreckage. There were no doctors in the town, only four attendants. Food to give the survivors ran out by the day after the accident. Resident from surrounding towns rushed in what supplies they could find. Women tore their skirts to ribbons to improvise bandages for the stricken. It would take days to clean up the wreckage.

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, February 26, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 26, 1886 - Eaton Mining and Gas Company - Muncie - Organized

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

February 26, 1886 - Eaton Mining and Gas Company - Muncie - Organized
Inexpensive energy is the lifeblood of the modern economy and by the middle of the Nineteenth Century; people began the large-scale use of fossil fuels. The first fossil fuels used were coal, kerosene and a gas derived from bituminous coal called coal gas.
Bituminous Coal
Bituminous coal is a soft black coal that contains a tar-like substance called bitumen. Bituminous coal is a middle grade coal, higher in quality than lignite coal but not as high quality as anthracite coal. Bituminous coal usually forms from lignite coal from the high pressures exerted by geologic forces.  Lignite coal is a soft, brown coal. Its heat output is lower than bibulous coal and is the lowest quality of coal available. Anthracite is harder than bituminous coal and has a higher heat output.
Coal Gas
Processors make this flammable gas from coal and deliver it via pipelines. Commonly called town gas, coal gas became popular during the mid Eighteenth Century because it was easy to handle and better than kerosene for heating, cooking, lighting and manufacturing. By the late 1800's gas streetlights in towns and cities were a common sight. The light produced by coal gas is bright yellow.
Kerosene
Refiners processed kerosene from crude oil. Kerosene is a liquid and found use mostly in lighting and heating. A byproduct of kerosene, gasoline, many considered a nuisance not useful for anything.
Natural Gas
Drillers searching for coal usually found natural gas in the process. This gas was highly flammable, hard to handle and considered a nuisance gas. Steel maker Andrew Carnegie pioneered using natural gas in his foundries in the 1880's and proved that using natural gas was feasible. In 1885, he claimed that using natural gas saved 10,000 tons of coal a day in his huge blast furnaces. On January 20, 1886 drillers discovered a huge gas well in Findlay, Ohio that drillers could not control, so great was its gas flow. The flame plume from the well burned for four months.
Gas in Indiana
A man named G. Bates found the first major deposit of natural gas in 1867 while drilling for coal. A decade later W. W. Worthington found another huge deposit in his futile search for coal. Both men, disappointed by the lack of coal, capped their wells.  A man named George W. Carter had traveled to Findley, Ohio, witnessed the huge gas plume and was struck by the possibilities. After returning to Indiana he convinced investors in Fort Wayne and Eaton Indiana that the hole drilled by W. W. Worthington was worth drilling. His persistence led to the formation of the Eaton Mining & Gas Company on February 26, 1886.

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, February 25, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 25, 1779 - George Rogers Clark Recaptures Vincennes In From British

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

February 25, 1779 - George Rogers Clark Recaptures Vincennes In From British 
Colonel George Rogers Clark forced the British forces under British Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton to surrender Fort Sackville. This returned the town of Vincennes to American jurisdiction. Clark and his men had captured the town, along with Kaskaskia, Cahokia and other small outposts the previous year. Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton had retaken Vincennes on December 17, 1778. Then Hamilton, committing a fatal error, allowed most of his force to return home for the winter.
George Rogers Clark (November 19, 1752 – February 13, 1818)
John Clark and Ann Rogers Clark produced the second of their ten children on November 19, 1752. George Rogers Clark entered the world near Charlottesville, Virginia on the frontier. The family moved away from the frontier after the outbreak of the French and Indian War in 1754. Their new home was a 400-acre plantation that John Clark eventually increased to 2000 acres. His parents sent him to his grandfather's home so he could attend Donald Robertson's school. This famous school also educated James Madison and John Taylor, who attended at the same time as George Rogers Clark. His grandfather taught him how to survey land. At twenty, George joined a surveying team that traveled into Kentucky, which was part of Virginia at the time. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix had opened Kentucky to settlement and new settlers were flooding into the area. The Iroquois had signed the treaty had, but the various tribes that made up the rest of the area did not. British Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton encouraged the Amerindian tribes to raid American settlements in Kentucky. Clark headed up defensive attacks against these tribes. In June 1778, he started a campaign to take the western British outposts along the Wabash and Mississippi Rivers. He saw success with his summer campaign. He captured all the British forts and eased the threats of attack on the Kentucky settlements.
British Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton (c. 1734 – 29 September 1796)
His childhood obscured by the mists of time, Henry Hamilton was probably born near Dublin Ireland. He began his military career during the French and Indian War in North America, rising to brigade major. He sold his commission in 1775 and entered politics. The Crown appointed him Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs at Fort Detroit. He gained skill at working with the various Amerindian tribes. An amateur artist, Hamilton drew many pictures of the Indians that inhabited the area around Detroit. He left an extensive collection of work depicting them.
When war with the colonists began, the initial British policy was to leave the natives out of it. They did this in fear that the warriors would kill American civilians during their raids. Later he received instructions from the government to use the natives. He incited the tribes to attack the frontier settlements in Virginia and western Pennsylvania. He included a British officer in each raid to keep the warriors from killing civilians. This gambit failed and the natives killed and scalped many of the civilians. The raids were so fierce and successful that the colonist dubbed Hamilton the "hair buyer." He gained this name because of the number of scalps for which he paid a bounty to the Amerindians. After Clark's capture of Vincennes, he led a force of 600 men, a mixed force of Frenchmen, Amerindians and British. He was more confident of the loyalty of the Amerindians than he was the French component.
Vincennes
Founded in 1732 by French fur traders, Vincennes is the oldest European town in Indiana. Its location near the Buffalo Trace, which crossed the Wabash River nearby, was an excellent location. The town grew. The British gained control of the town in 1763 as part of the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763 that ended the hostilities. British Lt. John Ramsey traveled to the town in 1766. He enhanced the fort there, naming it Fort Sackville in honor of Lord George Sackville. The British held the town until July 1778, when an American force led by George Rogers Clark took it. The British reclaimed it in December 1778 when British Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton retook it. It stayed in British hands for two months. Then, on a cold night in February, an American force rose from the icy waters that surrounded it and recaptured the town.
Francis Vigo (1747 - 1836) 
A successful St. Louis fur trader, Vigo made frequent trips to the trading post at Vincennes. Unaware that the British had recaptured the town, he traveled to Vincennes in January 1779. The British captured him. Not knowing he was an ardent supporter of the Americans and had worked with Clark, the British released him. They extracted a promise that he would do nothing to aid the Americans during his return trip. Honoring his pledge, he returned directly to St. Louis. After returning, he traveled fifty miles to Kaskaskia to consult with Clark. He informed him of the British strength and deployments at Vincennes. Clark immediately began planning his campaign to capture Vincennes.
The March
By February, the Wabash and Embarrass Rivers had flooded the area around Vincennes. Vincennes was a virtual island in flooded, icy river waters. Clark decided to do the unexpected and led his 170 men through 180 miles of flooded countryside in eighteen days. During much of this trek, they traveled up to their armpits in the frigid waters. They arrived on the outskirts of the town on Feb. 23, 1779. The French inhabitants of Vincennes had no love for the British and Clark knew this. He sent a message to the French, telling them he would attack the town the next day and warned them to stay indoors. The French responded by supplying the Americans with powder and other supplies they needed. Many of them joined the Americans. Thus, the Americans recaptured the town on February 24, 1778. Now they had to recapture the fort.
The Battle
Clark's forces surrounded the fort. Using flags and other ruses they fooled the British that they had a much larger force than they had. The American soldiers, equipped with famed long rifles, kept a hot and accurate fire on the fort’s walls. Under cover of this fire, others began tunneling under the fort's walls to plant explosive charges. They built barricades and dug entrenchments to provide additional cover. A dismayed Hamilton watched these proceedings and contacted Clark to begin negotiations. These, conducted in nearby St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, ended unsuccessfully. Clark demanded nothing less than unconditional surrender, which Hamilton refused to accept. After Hamilton's return, a band of Amerindian warriors returned from a raiding party. Unaware of the American presence, they walked into the middle of it and Clark's men captured them. Clark ordered five of the warriors tomahawked in front of the fort, further rattling the British inside. Hamilton consulted with his officers, who were unanimous in their desire to continue the fight. However, Hamilton did not trust the Frenchmen who made up a third of his force. They were reluctant to fire on the French outside that had joined the Americans. At ten o'clock AM on February 25, 1779, Hamilton marched his men out of the fort, laid down their arms and surrendered the fort. An American flag once more flew over Fort Sackville.
The Aftermath
Clark sent Hamilton back to Virginia. The authorities there did not consider him a prisoner of war because of his activities with the Amerindians. They considered him a war criminal and imprisoned him. They finally released him after the war and he returned to London. The Americans held the area that became the Northwest Territory at the end of the war. Thus, the British ceded the territory to the Americans. This would eventually become the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Clark and his men with their heroics had gained a western empire for the new United States.
For more information about Vincennes, check out the author’s book
A Visit to Vincennes – By Paul R. Wonning
This article excerpted from the author’s book”
American History A Day at A Time - February – By Paul R. Wonning

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, February 24, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 24, 1887 - Black Day of the Indiana General Assembly

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

February 24, 1887 - Black Day of the Indiana General Assembly
A legislative brawl in the Indiana Statehouse leads to fistfights, gunshots, and finally, the Governor calling the police to put down the riot in the State Capitol. The melee added fuel to the call for a Constitutional Amendment to end State Legislatures electing United States Senators.
The Governor Wants to be a Senator
Democratic Governor Isaac P. Gray wanted to serve as Senator in the United States Senate. In the days before the Seventeenth Amendment, State Legislatures chose the state's senators. Thus, the Indiana General Assembly would have to elect him. Gray's problem was, he had been a Republican and some of his actions taken as a Republican made the Senate Democrats hesitate to send him to the Senate. Democrats controlled the Indiana Senate while Republicans controlled the House.
Strategy Gone Awry
Senate Democrats convinced the Lieutenant Governor, Mahlon D. Manson, to resign. Their strategy was, if there were no Lieutenant Governor to replace the Governor, they could not elect a sitting Governor to the US Senate. To counter this move, Gray and the Indiana Secretary of State decided that a mid-term election for Lieutenant Governor was constitutional, so they scheduled a special election to fill the vacant Lieutenant Governor seat. Gray's wish that a Republican would win the special election was granted when Republican Robert S. Robertson won the election. Gray hoped that Republicans would support his election to the Senate, since his replacement would be a Republican. This placed the Democrats in a quandary.
Legal Conflicts
The Democrats deemed the special election unconstitutional and elected their own Lieutenant Governor, Alonzo Green Smith. The Republicans countered by filing a lawsuit against Smith, preventing him from taking his seat. The case went before the Indiana Supreme Court, who decided that, since he had won a popular election, Robertson could not be denied his seat.
Black Day of the Indiana General Assembly
On February 24, 1887, Robertson arrived at the Senate Chamber to preside over the Senate. A group of Democratic Senators attacked him and beat him to the floor. The Senate president pro tempore ordered the doormen to expel Robertson. The doormen complied. Republicans soon raised a ruckus, demanding that Robertson be allowed to take his seat. When the Democrats resisted, fights broke out all over the Senate chamber. As the fighting progressed through the floor, one Democratic Senator pulled a gun and shot a hole in the Senate Chamber's ceiling. He then threatened the Republicans, saying he would start killing them if they did not desist in fighting. This halted the conflict in the Senate, but people outside the chamber, alerted to the happenings inside the Senate, began fighting. The fight soon spread to the House of Representatives. They overwhelmed the outnumbered Democrats and ran through the Capitol, dragging Democrats outside to beat them. Another group broke down the Senate door and began dragging Democratic Senators outside. Governor Gray was compelled to send for the police, who came and brought the conflict under control. Four hours of chaos led to a total shutdown of legislative activity for that session, as the Democrats refused to communicate with the Republicans and the Republicans refused to communicate with the Democrats. The legislative session ended the next day. Gray's hope of becoming a United States Senator ended with the session.
Proponents of ending the State Legislature's role in selecting the United States Senators used the Black Day as one of their examples of why Senators should be popularly elected. The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913, providing for direct election of US Senators by the people.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Indiana History Story a Day – March like the Indiana

An Indiana History Story a Day - March
An Indiana History Story a Day - March
Indiana possesses a rich history that is fun to read and learn. An Indiana History Story a Day – March 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 March edition include:

March 05, 1794 - President Washington Authorizes Formation of the Legion of the United States

March 07, 1917 - Act Authorizing Main Market Highways Signed

March 17, 1890 - Bowen-Merrill Company Fire - Thirteen Firemen Die

March 22, 1824 - Fall Creek Massacre - Pendleton

March 23, 1813 - Battle of Tipton's Island - White River



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© Paul R. Wonning 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 23, 1875 - Charles G. Conn - Patent for Musical Mouthpiece


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

February 23, 1875 - Charles G. Conn - Patent for Musical Mouthpiece
Its not often that a bar fight injury results in the establishment of a successful business, but that is exactly what happened to Charles G. Conn.
Charles Gerard Conn (Jan. 29, 1844 - Jan. 5, 193)
Sometime after his birth in Phelps, Ontario County, New York, Conn's family moved to Elkhart, Indiana in 1851, when he was seven. Charles learned to play the cornet while quite young.
Civil War
When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to a regimental band. His enlistment expired in 1863, so he returned to Elkhart. He reenlisted in the Niles, Michigan in Company G, 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. Wounded during the Assault on Petersburg, the confederates captured him. He attempted escape twice, but was recaptured both times. At the end of the war, the Confederates released him from the Columbia, South Carolina prison camp. The Army discharged him honorably on July 28, 1865.
Return to Elkhart
After the war, he returned to Elkhart and married. He worked several businesses including a grocery and baking business, plating and engraving silverware, and manufacturing rubber stamps. He also played his beloved cornet in a local band. He also sold a health curative cream called "Konn's Kurative Kream," and invented sewing machine parts.
Bar Fight Leads to Invention
A night of drinking in an Elkhart bar led to an altercation outside. His companion took a swing at him, striking him in the mouth. The blow led to a lacerated lip and permanent disfiguration. The split lip made it difficult for him to play the cornet, thus he started to experiment with some of the materials he used in his businesses. He devised a rubber mouthpiece that conformed to his disfigured lip. He soon realized that many other people would want his invention, so he started manufacturing them in the back of his grocery store. He patented the device on February 23, 1875. Demand soon outpaced his output, so he rented an empty factory. Soon, he expanded into other musical instruments and paired up with a man named Eugene Victor Baptiste Dupont, a brass instrument maker. The two founded Conn & Dupont, which grew into a major music instrument manufacturer.

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 22, 1862 - First Confederate Prisoner of War Camp Opens - Camp Morton

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

February 22, 1862 - First Confederate Prisoner of War Camp Opens - Camp Morton
Confederate troops first fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861. On April 14, 1861, Indiana Governor Oliver Morton offered to raise ten regiments, or ten thousand men, in response to President Abraham Lincoln's call for troops to put down the southern rebellion. Raising this many recruits created the need for a recruiting and training camp. After surveying the land around Indianapolis, the only suitable place found was the land used as the State Fairgrounds, established in 1852. Thus, the thirty-six acre State Fairgrounds became a Union Army training camp and recruitment facility. Named Camp Morton, in honor of the Governor, the camp came under his direct administration.
Conversion to Prisoner of War Camp
Union victories at Fort Donelson in February 1862 created another need. The Union Army had captured thousands of Confederate soldiers. There was a need to house these prisoners. Union General Henry W. Halleck dispatched a request by telegraph for prisoner of war facilities and Governor Morton agreed to take up to 3000 prisoners on February 17, 1863. Morton assigned assistant quartermaster Captain James A. Ekin the task of converting the camp from a training camp to a prisoner of war facility. Ekin oversaw the conversion of livestock stalls into barracks, the installation of a wooden stockade wall around the camp. Workers installed entry gates, guard towers and sentry walkways. Workers also installed latrines. Five wells provided water.
Arrival of the Prisoners
Work had not completed on the camp when the first trains arrived on February 22, 1862 with the first prisoners. The prisoner population increased to over 4000 prisoners by April. The Army took over administration of the camp with the arrival of the first prisoners. The camp remained crowded until August 1862 when the Union and Confederate armies completed a general prisoner exchange. Camp Morton again became a training camp. By early 1863, there was again a need for a prisoner of war camp and the Army converted the facility again. The last prisoners were paroled June 12, 1865. During its operation, the camp housed an average of 3214, with the maximum of 4900 in July 1864. The deaths at the camp totaled 1700, or about fifty a month. The dead soldiers were interred at Crown Hill Cemetery.
After the war, the grounds reverted to the Indiana State Fairgrounds, which used the site until 1891. The Camp Morton site has since been platted and used as a residential neighborhood known as Morton Place.

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, February 21, 2017

February 21, 1865 - 143rd Regiment, Indiana Infantry Mustered

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

February 21, 1865 - 143rd Regiment, Indiana Infantry Mustered
During the Civil War regiments often organized by county, thus most recruits in a regiment came from a certain geographical area. The 143rd was composed of men from the First Congressional District that includes the area around Gary, Indiana. On December 20, 1864, the state put out a call to organize eleven regiments. A civil war regiment consisted of ten companies of 100 men, bringing a regiment's strength to a total of 1000 soldiers. The state established recruiting stations in the Provost Marshal's headquarters in each region. The recruiting office sent new recruits to Indianapolis to organize the regiments. The enlistment terms of these recruits were to be for one year.
143rd Regiment Structure
Colonel John F. Grill, Lieutenant - Colonel John T. McQuiddy and Major John E. Phillips commanded the new Regiment, which mustered out on February 21, 1865. The Regiment went to Murfreesboro, Tennessee via Nashville. It served on guard duty until May 13, 1865 when it moved to Tullahoma, Tennessee. The rest of its time in existence, it continued to serve guard duty in various places in Tennessee. At one point, the regiment was broken into three units to serve as guards in three different places. When reunited on October 17 in Nashville, the unit was mustered out. The regiment suffered 90 dead, mostly from disease and one was killed in action. Another 78 deserted. The original regimental strength was 998.

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, February 20, 2017

February 20, 1842 - First Medical School in Indiana - Laporte University

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

February 20, 1842 - First Medical School in Indiana - Laporte University
When the Indiana Medical College at Laporte opened, the school provided the first professional medical training school within the boundaries of Indiana. Prior to the opening of this school the closest school for prospective doctors, to attend medical lectures was at the Medical Department of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.
Early Doctors in Indiana
Until 1842 most doctors in the Indiana were self-trained, or had served apprenticeships with other doctors. The rare doctor that had a medical degree had likely obtained it from a medical school east of the Allegheny Mountains. When the Legislature chartered Vincennes University in 1807 they had made provision for a medical school, but it had never materialized.
Indiana Medical College
Doctor Daniel Meeker hosted a series of lectures on the general practice of medicine at the College beginning in 1842. The College had one eight-week session, which began in March. A student needed two eight-week sessions to obtain a medical degree.

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, February 19, 2017

February 19, 1884 - Enigma Outbreak - Tornadoes Across Ten States

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

February 19, 1884 - Enigma Outbreak - Tornadoes Across Ten States
On the morning of February 19, 1884, a bitter cold front from the Arctic met a warm, humid air mass over the southeastern United States, triggering a historic tornado outbreak. The storms created by the unstable air triggered at least fifty tornadoes across ten states. The exact number of tornadoes and deaths caused by the storms has led to the name, the Enigma Outbreak.
Ten States and Hundreds of Deaths
The winter of 1884 had been rainy across most of the United States. Rivers flooded and the earth turned to soupy mud. February 19 dawned clear and warm. People reveled in the first nice weather in months. That revelry soon turned to horror as the terrible storms developed and dozens of tornadoes thundered across the land. Ten states, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia felt the ravages of the storms. The strongest outbreaks occurred in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Two struck in southwest Indiana, the most northern outbreak in the swarm. Death attributed to the storms range from 178 to over 1200. There were over fifty confirmed tornadoes, with many more suspected.

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 17, 1838 - Indiana Legislature Creates Mishawaka by Combining Four "Towns"

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

February 17, 1838 - Indiana Legislature Creates Mishawaka by Combining Four "Towns"
Four villages had grown up in the Mishawaka area by late 1839. Indiana City was on the north Bank of the river.  St. Joseph Ironworks and its two additions occupied the south bank. St. Joseph's Ironworks two additions were Barbees Addition on the east side and Taylor's Addition on the west side.
St. Joseph Ironworks
A Detroit businessman named Alanson M. Hurd sent William Earl to the area of the St. Joseph River in 1832 to study the area's possibility. Earl was a prospector and found deposits of bog iron in the river. He followed the deposits to a marshy area near the river and found large bog iron deposits there. He returned to Hurd and reported his findings. Upon his personal inspection, Hurd decided to build a blast furnace at the site to extract the iron from the ore. Hurd platted the town of St. Joseph Ironworks in 1833. The blast furnace and the jobs it promised attracted people and people created the need for businesses. This led to the two additions to St. Joseph's Ironworks, Taylors Addition and Barbees Addition. The first elections for St. Joseph's Ironworks occurred on January 1, 1835, resulting in the election of five village trustees. The blast furnace at St. Joseph's Ironworks was the first blast furnace in Indiana.
Bog Iron
Bog iron develops in boggy areas from iron rich water emerging from springs. Bacteria in the water, called iron bacteria, acts on this dissolved iron, oxidizing it, creating the bog iron ores from which a blast furnace can extract usable iron.
Taylors Addition
Taylor's Addition grew up on the west side of St. Joseph's Ironworks. This addition acquired a post office in 1834. The Post Office was given the name "Mishawaka."
Barbees Addition
William Barbee laid out an addition on the east side of St. Joseph's Ironworks in 1833. This addition also developed into a small village.
Indiana City
Three men, Joseph Bartell, James R. Lawrence and Grove Lawrence, platted Indiana City on the north bank of the St. Joseph's River, directly opposite St. Joseph's Ironworks and its two additions. This created four growing villages in the area.
The Legislature Acts
On February 17, 1838, the Indiana Legislature combined the four cities, using the name of one of St. Joseph's Ironworks as the name for the new town, "Mishawaka." This is an Amerindian word whose meaning is the source of disagreement. One favored meaning is that it means "big rapids." Another group favors the theory that the name is that of an Indian Princess.

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

Indianapolis Artsgarden/Visitor Center

Indianapolis Artsgarden/Visitor Center
Indianapolis Artsgarden
Indianapolis Artsgarden
The Artsgarden is the centerpiece of downtown Indianapolis, spanning the busy Washington/Illinois intersection. It serves as the site for numerous events, concerts and art shows throughout the year. Visitors will also find a visitor center with many brochures, maps and books about Indianapolis and Marion County. A staffer on answers questions and provides information to curious tourists.
The Artsgarden



Designed by the New York architectural firm Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, the 19,000 square foot Artsgarden spans the intersection of Washington and Illinois Streets. The Lily Endowment funded the twelve million dollar construction cost in 1995. Two 185-foot steel plate girders support the structure seventeen feet above the intersection. The top of the structure stands seven stories, or ninety-five feet above the floor of the Artsgarden. Over 32,000 square feet of glass covers the structure. 
Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects
Founded in 1959 in Berkley, California by Ezra Ehrenkrantz as the Building Systems Development, the company underwent a series of mergers as it grew. Ehrenkrantz opened an office in New York in 1972, naming it the Ehrenkrantz Group. The company specializes in urban development, school and campus design and historic preservation, among other things. The company maintains offices in New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Shanghai, China.
Walkway

The Artsgarden serves primarily as a pedestrian walkway that allows people to travel, unimpeded by weather or traffic, across the busy Washington/Illinois Street intersection. It connects the downtown Circle Center Mall with hotels and other businesses on both sides of the street.
Events and Concerts
Event Area - Artsgarden
Event Area - Artsgarden

The Arts Council hosts over 250 events per year in the Artsgarden. These events range from free art exhibits to public concerts. The Artsgarden may also be rented for private parties, weddings and corporate events.
Fabulous Views of City
View of Downtown Indianpolis - Artsgarden
View of Downtown Indianpolis - Artsgarden

The 32,000 square feet of glass that enclose the structure afford some magnificent views of downtown Indianapolis down both Illinois and Washington Streets. Benches are provided for visitors to sit and watch traffic pass under them along both streets.
Weddings
It is possible to rent the Artsgarden for weddings. It has proven a popular nuptial venue. Rental fees from weddings and events support the various public arts programs that occur in the Artsgarden.
Arts Council of Indianapolis
The Arts Council of Indianapolis owns the Artsgarden and manages it. For more information about the Arts Council, contact:
Arts Council of Indianapolis
924 N. Pennsylvania St. (Mailing Address),
1 North Illinois (Physical Address of the Artsgarden)
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 631-3301
indyarts@indyarts.org


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 16, 1852 - Henry and Clement Studebaker Open Blacksmith Shop - South Bend

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

February 16, 1852 - Henry and Clement Studebaker Open Blacksmith Shop - South Bend
Two of the five sons of John C. Studebaker migrated from their home in Ashland, Ohio to South Bend, Indiana. Clement and Henry's total assets consisted of sixty-eight dollars and two sets of blacksmith tools. They also had their father John's advice, "Always give more than you promise."
John C. Studebaker (1833-1917)
John was a blacksmith and wagon maker in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Rebecca Mohler Studebaker had ten children, five sons and five daughters. John proved an excellent blacksmith and wagon maker, but poor businessman. He found himself far in debt because he extended too much credit for too long to his customers. His sons all learned his trade before he was forced to sell his business, build a Conestoga wagon and flee to Ashland, Ohio. His debtors caught up with him and again he moved the family in the same Conestoga wagon. This time he landed in South Bend, Indiana.
H&C Studebaker
The brothers Henry and Clement set up their shop in South Bend and enjoyed limited success at the beginning. A third brother, John Mohler, or JM, migrated by wagon train to California in 1852. He had gone to the gold fields to seek his fortune there, like hundreds of other men. Upon arrival, he had fifty cents in his pocket. His intention was to manufacture wagons, however a local blacksmith persuaded him to build wheelbarrows, instead. He took the advice and his wheelbarrows were a success. Pocketing over $8,000 in profits JM returned to South Bend via Panama. The trip persuaded him that the future lay in transportation and he returned to South Bend to invest in his brother's blacksmith and wagon making business. Brother Peter decided to open a wagon distribution business in Goshen, Indiana, giving the brothers another outlet for their wagons. With JM's capital, the brothers began making wagons without waiting for orders from customers. Business began to boom.
Business Expands
When the Civil War began, the company profited from government contracts to build wagons. By 1865, the brothers expanded their range, opening major branch offices in other cities across the state and country. They competed successfully with other wagon manufacturers by using superior workmanship and materials. Their satisfied customer base continued to grow. By 1868, the business had grown to 190 loyal employees. They produced 3,955 that year and their assets had grown from $68 to over $200,000.

A Year of Indiana History - 2016
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© Paul Wonning

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 15, 1882 - Olds Wagon Works Organized - Fort Wayne

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

February 15, 1882 - Olds Wagon Works Organized - Fort Wayne
In 1882, horse-drawn vehicles still ruled the roads, but the automobile was just on the horizon. Harry G. Olds incorporated the Olds Wagon Works in 1882 with a capital investment of $100,000. He located his venture at Clinton and Murray streets in Fort Wayne. The building still exists, the site of a General Tire outlet.
Olds Wagon Works
The company held several wagon wheel patents and manufactured wheels that it claimed were three times stronger than other wheels. Its workforce grew to around 200 workers before the advent of the "horseless carriage" took its toll. The company folded in 1907, a victim of changing times and customer desires.

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, February 14, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 14, 1851 - Act Approving the Indiana State Board of Agriculture

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

February 14, 1851 - Act Approving the Indiana State Board of Agriculture
With encouragement from the tenth Indiana Governor Joseph A. Wright, the Indiana General Assembly passed an act that the state government hoped would encourage the growth of agriculture in the state. The legislation created the Indiana State Board of Agriculture. One of the first acts of the new Board of Agriculture was to follow the lead of six other states and organize a State Fair to promote farmers and their products. Because they felt they did not have enough time to hold a State Fair that same year, they slated the first State Fair for October 1852.

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, February 13, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 13, 1865 - Indiana Ratified the Thirteenth Amendment

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

February 13, 1865 - Indiana Ratified the Thirteenth Amendment
Indiana became the fourteenth state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Amendment, if ratified by twenty-seven states, would ban slavery in all states of the United States.
The Emancipation Proclamation
President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Proclamation did not outlaw slavery in the Border States, nor in the areas of the south under Union control. It only freed the slaves in states that were still in active rebellion. Lincoln felt that was as far as he could go under the Constitution. Even then, he feared his Proclamation would be found invalid or some future President could rescind it. He worked for a Constitutional Amendment to solve the problem of slavery permanently.
The Evolution of Slavery
A Dutch ship called the White Lion brought the first blacks to Jamestown in 1619. Though the status of these blacks is uncertain, their arrival began the evolution of black slaves serving as indentured servants to the institution of slavery that divided the nation in the years preceding the Civil War. By the end of the Revolutionary War slavery existed in all thirteen states. The northern states banned the institution entirely during the early years of the Republic. The southern states did not. The numbers of slaves grew until reaching an estimated four million slaves in the south when war broke out.
The Thirteenth Amendment
Lincoln's next move was to issue the "Proclamation for Amnesty and Reconstruction," in December 1863. In this proclamation, he asked the southern states to abolish slavery and collect loyalty oaths from ten percent of their population. If they did so, they would be permitted to rejoin the Union. No southern state accepted this offer and the war drug on. After several unsuccessful attempts at passage, the Congress finally mustered the two-thirds majority needed for passage on January 31, 1865. The Constitutional amendment process was still new and many felt that Lincoln's signature was still needed to legitimatize it. Lincoln signed it on February 1, 1865 and Congress sent it out to the states for approval the same day. Congress later passed a resolution that made the President's signature on a Constitutional Amendment unnecessary. Thus, the Thirteenth Amendment is the only Amendment that bears a Presidential signature.
Ratification
Illinois ratified the amendment on February 1, 1865. Twelve other states followed in quick succession, Indiana becoming the fourteenth on February 13. Georgia's ratification on December 6, 1865 completed the process, as they were the twenty-seventh state to ratify.
Text of the Thirteenth Amendment
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 12, 1861 - President- Elect Lincoln Speech at Indianapolis on Way to DC

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

February 12, 1861 - President- Elect Lincoln Speech at Indianapolis on Way to DC
President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives in Indianapolis, Indiana at 5:00 PM on February 12, 1861. An enthusiastic crowd of 20,000 supporters parade through the streets.
President- Elect Lincoln's Indianapolis Stay
Mr. Lincoln boarded a carriage and proceeded along Washington Street, accompanied by the crowd. Lincoln interacted with the crowd along the route until he arrived at the Bates House where he would stay overnight. He delivered a speech from one of the balconies of the hotel, capping Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton's welcoming address.  The governor hosted Lincoln at the governor's mansion the next morning for a large breakfast. After the breakfast, Mr. Lincoln departed on the next leg of his Whistle Stop Tour, traveling to Cincinnati. It would be his last visit to Indianapolis until the funeral train arrived in 1865 bearing his body after his assassination by John Wilkes Booth.

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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 11, 1861 - Abraham Lincoln Gave a Speech at State Line, Indiana

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

February 11, 1861 - Abraham Lincoln Gave a Speech at State Line, Indiana
President-elect Abraham Lincoln departed his home in Springfield, Illinois on February 11, 1861 to travel by train to Washington, D. C. for his inauguration as President of the United States. His first stop was at State Line, Indiana to give a speech.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)
Abraham Lincoln, a self-educated lawyer and native of Hodgenville, Kentucky, Abraham had Indiana roots also. Abraham's father, Thomas moved the Lincoln family from slave-holding Kentucky to the free territory of Indiana in 1816. Land title disputes forced the family to move several times in Kentucky and Thomas Lincoln decided to move to Indiana, which had better land title laws. They settled in the unbroken forestland in Perry County. Abraham Lincoln lived in Indiana until 1830, when the family moved to Illinois, because of a fear of "milk sickness," fear. This was a malady that had killed Thomas' first wife and Abraham's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Two years later, Abraham would begin the political career that culminated in his election as President of the United States in 1860.
Milk Sickness
Cattle eating a plant known as white snakeroot impart a toxin to the milk that can cause trembling, vomiting, and severe intestinal pain. The poison can eventually kill afflicted individuals. The plant is common in and around woodlands. Since settlers frequently allowed the cattle to roam free, the cattle could ingest the abundant plant. Anyone that drank the milk or any product made from it could be poisoned. The disease killed many of the early settlers.
State Line, Indiana
Two rail lines, the Great Western Railroad and the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railway crossed paths on the Indiana and Illinois State lines. Robert Casement platted State Line at this intersection on June 29, 1857. By the time of Lincoln's visit, the town had grown to almost 500 people. The town became known as an unsavory spot due to the riotous escapades of drinking railroad men.
For more information about the Lincoln years in Indiana, see the authors book, A Visit to the Land of Lincoln, Indiana.

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
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© Paul Wonning

Friday, February 10, 2017

Model T Ford Museum - Richmond, Indiana

Model T Ford Museum - Richmond, Indiana
Model T Ford Museum - Richmond, Indiana


Model T Ford Museum - Richmond, Indiana
Visitors to Richmond may visit the Model T Ford Museum, maintained by the Model T Ford Club of America. The museum is the largest Model T club in the world that has models on display. The museum includes a gift shop rife with unique items.
Huge Collection Model Ts
Huge Collection Model Ts

Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - Central Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums
Central Edition
The Model T Ford
Manufactured from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927, many regarded the Model T as the first affordable car for average people. The Ford Company utilized mass production techniques to build the car instead of the costly hand crafting car builders had previously used. The economical car had a trememdous impact on America and the world, spurring the demand for better roads, signage and maps. The Model T Changed American culture and along the way, the entire world.
Model T Ford Club of America
Organized in 1965, the Model T Ford Club of America has grown into the largest Model T club in the world. The club has over 100 chapters in the United States and several foreign countries. The club endeavors to preserve the history of the Model T Ford and its unique niche in American culture.
Model T Ford Museum
1931 Pietenpol Airplane Powered by a Model T Engine
1931 Pietenpol Airplane Powered by a Model T Engine

The museum is a delight to visit. The collection includes several functional Model T Ford cars, a 1925 fire truck, a 1927 coupe and a 1931 Pietenpol airplane powered by a Model T Engine.
1925 Fire Truck
Store
Visitors may browse the store, which is stocked with an extensive array of Model T apparel, books and other items. Much of the merchandise is also available for online sales on the web site.
Parts and Supplies
 Model T owners may [purchase parts and supplies for their Model T online on the web site.
For more information on this wonderful museum, contact:
Model T Ford Museum
309 N. 8th Street
Richmond, IN 47374
(765) 488-0026

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 10, 1763 - Treaty of Paris Ends French and Indian War

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

February 10, 1763 - Treaty of Paris Ends French and Indian War
The Seven Years War, or French and Indian War as it was known in North America, ended years of bloodshed between the combatants. It had not been kind to the French, who lost colonial possessions all over the world to the English and the Spanish.
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War was the North American version of a much larger conflict between France and England. This war in Europe is called the Seven Years War. This war raged from 1756 through 1763. The war set the stage for many of the events that led to the American Revolution twelve years later. The French controlled Canada and had designs on the area that is now the Midwestern United States. They had already established trading posts at Vincennes, Cahokia, St. Louis and other places.
Important Victories
The British had captured Montreal, Quebec and Fort Niagara in Canada. By the time Montreal fell in September 1760, the British held all the pieces. All combat between the two powers ended in 1760, however the struggle continued in Europe. At length, France conceded defeat and on February 10, 1763 signed the Treaty of Paris. The treaty's terms required the French to cede all of its lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River to the English. Thus, the land that would become Indiana transferred from French hands to English ones.

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 9, 1866 - George Ade Born in Kentland, Indiana

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

February 9, 1866 - George Ade Born in Kentland, Indiana
George Ade (February 9, 1866 – May 16, 1944)
One of seven children born to John and Adaline (Bush) Ade, George attended Purdue University, graduating in 1891. While at the University, he worked as a reporter for the Lafayette Call. After graduating from Purdue, he traveled to Chicago and took a position with the Chicago Morning News. His college friend, illustrator John T. McCutcheon, already worked there. The two men would form a lifelong friendship. Ade first worked as a reporter and after he proved his writing skills, the newspaper put him in charge of a column. Ade's column, Stories of the Streets and of the Town, became one of the most popular features of the newspaper. McCutcheon illustrated the column. In this column he used the fictional characters Artie, a young office boy; Doc Horne, a gentlemanly liar; and Pink Marsh, a black shoeshine boy to illustrate life on Chicago's streets. He used a story form called the fable to illustrate his points. This style of writing would become his trademark as his column reached national syndication.
Humorist, Writer Wealth and Rose-Ade Stadium
He published his first book, Fables in Slang, in 1899. He followed up with more books and screenplays. His writing made him wealthy and well known. He purchased land near Brook, Indiana and built a magnificent home. Later in life, he traveled the world and contributed to his favorite charities. He provided substantial funding for Purdue's football stadium. The stadium's name, Rose-Ade Stadium, reflects the university's gratitude.

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, February 8, 2017

Hoosier Dusty Files - February 8, 1901 - Indiana University Plays Its First Basketball Game

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

February 8, 1901 - Indiana University Plays Its First Basketball Game
The new sport of basketball was gaining in popularity from its beginnings in a Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA where Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith introduced his new game to his eighteen students. Indiana University officials decided they wanted to field a team to compete against other colleges that were playing the upstart game.
James Naismith (November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939)
A native of Mississippi Mills in Ontario, Canada, Naismith was orphaned at an early age and was raised by an aunt and uncle. He attended elementary school at Bennies Corners, and then graduated from Almonte High School, in 1883. He attended McGill University in Montreal where he played Canadian football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer and gymnastics. He earned a BA in Physical Education in 1888 and then attended Presbyterian College in Montreal, graduating in 1890. He left Canada to become the athletic director at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Duck on a Rock
Many feel that the origins of basketball come from a medieval game Naismith played as a child, duck on a rock. In this game players place a stone, called a duck, on top of a larger rock, tree stump or post. One player guards the rock while other players try to knock the stone off by throwing stones at it. When someone knocks it off, all the players must retrieve their stone before the guard tags them. The first player tagged becomes the guard. The guard must replace the duck on the rock before he can chase and tag anyone.
Cold Weather Sport
Naismith, as athletic instructor, needed an indoor game that his players could play to keep his players in condition during the winter. The original game used two peach baskets and a ball somewhat like a soccer ball. He devised thirteen rules. He divided his class of eighteen players and played the first game on January 20, 1892 in the Albany, New York YMCA gym. At first each time someone scored a basket, the players had to wait for the janitor to remove the ball from the basket with the stepladder. After a while, someone poked a small hole in the bottom of the basket so someone could knock the ball out with a pole. At some point, players removed the bottom of the basket so it would fall through. No one replaced the basket with a metal rim and net until 1906.
Growth of the Sport
The sport gained in popularity from the time Naismith invented it in 1891. More YMCA centers picked up the sport and by 1895, several women's high schools picked up the game. By 1898, there were college teams, professional teams and amateur sports club teams. The National Basketball League formed in 1898 as the first professional league. Naismith went on to found the basketball program at University of Kansas.
Indiana University Basketball
After the Christmas break in 1901 IU athletic director James H. Horne advertised around the campus for players. He chose six players from the respondents. He served as the coach of the team. The first game IU played was at the Indianapolis YMCA gymnasium. They faced off against Butler University in a game that Butler won 20 -17. The basketball season that year included four games, not including one "disputed" game at Purdue. The first meeting in the Indiana/Purdue rivalry was on March 2, 1901.
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