Before Indiana's highways made it the "Crossroads of America," it was a major Railroad hub as well. But navigating the network of companies and lines was a challenge and that's the subject of this month's IN History.
Abe Martin Book Cover
On Sept. 1, 1868, Brown County (Indiana) cartoonist Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Hubbard’s father was a Democratic newspaper editor and often discussed the events and characters he encountered in the workplace with his family. These stories – along with Hubbard’s experience working for the Indianapolis News and traveling with the 1904 campaign of Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan -- provided the inspiration for Hubbard’s character Abe Martin. Hubbard’s roughly-sketched character was a Brown County native who spoke with a local twang and made wisecracking witticisms. (Example: “Now an’ then an innocent man is sent t’ th’ legislature.”) Hoosier literary fans of Abe Martin included George Ade, Meredith Nicholson, and James Whitcomb Riley. Hubbard died Dec. 26, 1930, at his house on North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Learn more about Hubbard via the Indiana Historical Society. This photo shows a book cover featuring the character. (Photo courtesy of the “Vintage Irvington” website, maintained by William Gulde)
Beatles at fairgrounds
On Sept. 3, 1964, British music sensation the Beatles played two shows at the Indiana State Fair. The group performed at 6 p.m. in the Coliseum and at 9:30 p.m. in the Grandstand, playing songs such as “Twist and Shout,” “All My Loving,” and “A Hard Day’s Night.” The group was supposed to stay at Indianapolis’s Essex hotel, but because of a proliferation of fans, ended up staying at a hotel near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where they were taken on a ride around the track. According to David Humphrey, author of All Those Years Ago: Fifty Years Later, Beatles Fans Still Remember, George and Ringo Starr “really loved Indianapolis.” Left to right in this photo are band members Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon. (Photo courtesy of Indiana State Fair)
Arsenal Technical HS Treadwell Hall
Arsenal Technical HS Treadwell Hall
On Sept. 12, 1912, Arsenal Technical High School opened on the grounds of a former Civil War Army Arsenal in Indianapolis. An Act of Congress established the arsenal in 1862 on a 76-acre tract of land. Buildings were constructed of limestone from southern Indiana in order to house artillery, arms and munitions until just after the end of the Spanish-American War. As a 7ik3ftresult of student overcrowding, the former arsenal was converted into a school in 1912 as part of the Indianapolis Public Schools system. The school has produced notable alumni such as artist Robert Indiana and Congressman Andre Carson. Learn more about the school’s history and view yearbooks via the Indianapolis Public Library’s Digital Indy website. This photo shows Arsenal Technical High School’s Treadway Hall. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
On Sept. 16, 1843, as part of the "One Hundred Conventions" movement, Frederick Douglass and other black advocates spoke about abolition in Pendleton, Indiana. During the speeches, more than 30 men armed with stones and brickbats demanded that the speakers leave. In the assault that followed, Douglass and others, including a Westfield man, were injured and carried to safety by local supporters. Despite injuries, Douglass spoke the next day at a nearby Friends meetinghouse. The rioters went unpunished. Learn more about the abolitionist mobbing via the Indiana Historical Bureau. (Photo courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)
Crown Hill Cemetery
Armed forces memorial at Crown Hill Cemetery
On Sept. 25, 1863, Crown Hill Cemetery was incorporated as a “non-profit, non-denominational, and non-sectarian” institution. Lucy Ann Seaton was the cemetery’s first burial in September 1864 and in 1865 Josephine Jones was the first African American interned at the cemetery. Property located behind the Gothic Chapel was purchased in 1866 by the federal government for reburying 707 Union soldiers from City Cemetery and is currently the resting place of 2,135 soldiers. Several political, commercial and literary leaders have been buried at Crown Hill, including 10 Indiana governors, poet James Whitcomb Riley, President Benjamin Harrison, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway co-founder Carl Fisher. Crown Hill Cemetery is designated as a National Historic Place. This photo depicts an armed forces memorial at the cemetery. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Army ammo plant
Army ammo plant
By September of 1940, construction was underway for a WWII Army Ammunition Plant in Charlestown, Indiana. The federal government, in collaboration with E.I. deNemours DuPont Co., first recruited labor locally in southern Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky, before expanding the search nationwide after a labor shortage. More than 27,000 workers, including women, African Americans, and German POWs, poured into Charlestown in a period of five years, transforming it from a quiet farming town to a thriving worksite. The facility, comprised of three separate plants, won several Army-Navy “E” Awards for production of smokeless powder. Learn how the plant transformed the sleepy Indiana town via Blogging Hoosier History. The plant eventually was closed down, after which this photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of Sherman Cahal)
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