Hoosier History Highlights

Indiana (NNDC):




May 3 – May 9

The Week in Indiana History

Andy Adams

1859     Andy Adams was born in Whitley County where he grew up on a farm and worked with horses and cattle.  As a young man, he traveled  to Texas where he lived the cowboy life.  After mining for gold in Colorado and Nevada, he began writing novels.  His most successful book, The Log of a Cowboy, is widely considered one of the most authentic narratives of cowboy life ever written.

Purdue1869     The Indiana General Assembly, under the Morrill Act, accepted $150,000 and 100 acres of land from John Purdue to build a college in West Lafayette.  The school, to be named for its benefactor, would concentrate on the study of science, technology, and agriculture.  Purdue University is one of 68 “land grant” schools in the nation and the only one in Indiana.

Victory arch1919     Thousands lined the streets of Indianapolis to welcome soldiers home from World War I.  A victory arch spanned Meridian Street at the south entrance to Monument Circle.  Over 20,000 soldiers marched in the five-mile long parade. The men and women in uniform represented every county in Indiana.  The bells of Christ Church Cathedral on the Circle rang in honor of those who had died for their country.

ballot box1934     Frances Fairbank Godown, age 101, voted in the primary election in Indianapolis.  Considered the oldest voter in the county, she had been married to Civil War Captain John M. Godown, who had been secretary to the Commission which built the Statehouse.  Mrs. Godown said she considered it the duty of every woman to vote.  It was noted that she had lived during the time of the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I.  She had seen the passage of life from kerosene lamps and stagecoaches to electricity, automobiles, radio, telephones, and airplanes.

Hindenburg1937     The German airship Hindenburg exploded and fell to the ground in Lakehurst, New Jersey.  Of 97 people aboard, 62 survived.  Among them was 39-year-old Clifford Osbun, a Chicago resident who had spent much of his life in Indiana.  A graduate of Purdue, he had lived in Muncie and Marion and was an executive with the Oliver Farm Equipment Company in  South Bend.  He was returning from a three-month overseas business trip when the tragedy occurred.

Lottery1989     The Lottery Act was approved by the Indiana General Assembly.  The bill was signed a week later by Governor Evan Bayh.  The sale of scratch-off tickets began in October.  The Hoosier Lottery is the only one in the nation to use the state’s nickname.

ANSWERS:  1.  C    2. D    3. A     4. B



Indiana Department of Administration

Due to the COVID-19 threat, the Statehouse is closed to the general public and tours have been suspended.  You are invited to take a “Virtual Tour” of the Statehouse by clicking the link at the bottom of this column.  You may still contact us by phone and e-mail.

(317) 233-5293


Match the Indiana author’s name to the appropriate book title.

1.  James Alexander Thom  2.  Gene Stratton-Porter   3.  John Green     4. Kurt Vonnegut

A.  The Fault in Our Stars            B.  Breakfast of Champions           C.  Follow the River                      D.  The Girl of the Limberlost

Answers Below

Hoosier Quote of the Week


“There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be.”

– – – Andy Adams (1859 – 1935)

Did You Know?

     Alexander Ralston’s original street plan for Indianapolis called for a Governor’s Mansion to be built in the center of “Circle Street” in the middle of a mile-square.  Indeed, the Governor’s Mansion was built on the site in 1827 at a cost of about $6,500.  The house was a large, square, two-story yellow-brick structure with a space on top like a “widow’s walk” found on New England homes. Each floor was divided into four large rooms with two broad halls down the center.  There was no kitchen.  A rail fence circled the home.  At the time the mansion was built, the Governor was James Brown Ray.  As the story goes, his wife Esther flatly refused to live there, complaining that everybody in town would be able to inspect her washing on Monday morning.  No governor ever lived in the home, which served various other purposes until it was sold at auction and demolished in 1857. The middle of the Circle was a city park until construction began on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in the late 1880s.