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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Women's History Trail > Indiana Sites Along the Women's History Trail Indiana Sites Along the Women's History Trail

Clark County

Indiana State Prison

Side 1:
First state prison authorized January 9, 1821, opened October 1822 on lower Market Street in Jeffersonville; prisoners were confined to hard labor. Prisoners were moved to new state prison, opened here in Clarksville October 1847. Warden was elected by Indiana General Assembly. Inmates worked in shops set up by manufacturing companies on the grounds.

Side 2:
In 1873, female inmates were transferred to Indiana Reformatory for Women and Girls in Indianapolis. In 1897, prison became Indiana Reformatory for men 16-30 years old; males over 30 sent to Michigan City prison. In 1918, fire swept through Reformatory. State sold land and buildings to Colgate Company 1921. Some original buildings still remain.

Floyd County

Culbertson Widows' Home

Side one:
William S. Culbertson, wealthy merchant, opened home November 18, 1873 to provide food, clothing, and shelter for town’s destitute widows. Home had gas lighting, upstairs water closet, and up-to-date kitchen. Residents’ lives were structured according to strict rules. Culbertson’s will provided support for the home after his death in 1892.

Side two:
Board of Trustees for home was formed 1922; it turned the home into a boardinghouse with a monthly fee in 1947. Because of changing city regulations, the Board closed the home 1971. James Banes was builder of the brick Italianate structure, which is included in Mansion Row Historic District, listed in National Register of Historic Places 1983.

Fountain County

Esther Test Wallace 1807-1834

The first wife of Governor David Wallace and mother of General Lew Wallace, soldier, author of Ben Hur statesman and diplomat, is here buried. She influenced the lives of two important Hoosiers.

Huntington County

Kiilhsoohkwa (Kilsoquah)

Side 1:
Born 1810 in what is now Huntington County. She was a granddaughter of Miami Chief Little Turtle. Her second husband was Antoine Revarre; her son Anthony Revarre, lived with her near Roanoke and acted as interpreter since she spoke only Miami. Most Miami were removed from Indiana 1846; 1850 act of Congress exempted her only son and other Miami people.

Side 2:
Honored with a grand celebration on her 100th birthday. Died September 4, 1915. For many years, Kiilhsoohkwa cared for the flag reportedly presented to her other grandfather, shimaakanehsia, at the Treaty of Greenville between the U.S. and several Indian tribes 1795. Flag is rare artifact significant in American history and Miami Indian tradition.

Pioneer Medical Doctors/Chase S. Osborn

Side one:
George A. Osborn, 1823-1902 Margaret Osborn, 1827-1914 Parents of Chase S. Osborn. The mother launched upon active practice here 1860. The father practiced in Ohio before 1850.

Side two:
Naturalist, "Iron Hunter," Author, World Citizen, Friend of the Indian, Governor of Michigan 1911 and 1912, born here in a log cabin January 22, 1866.

Jefferson County

Eleutherian College

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.

Jennings County

Hannah Milhous Nixon

Mother of President Richard M. Nixon was born on a farm four and a half miles southeast to which her grandparents came in 1854. Hannah's parents moved to California in 1897 when she was twelve years old.

Marion County

Zerelda G. Wallace

Side one:
Born August 6, 1817 in Kentucky and came to Indianapolis with her family in the early 1830s. Was a charter member of the Church of Christ (later Central Christian Church) 1833. Married David Wallace (later governor) 1836. Was first president of Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in Indiana 1874 and member of the Equal Suffrage Society of Indianapolis.

Side two:
She spoke nationally on temperance and suffrage. On January 21, 1875, she testified before Indiana General Assembly, presenting 21,050 signatures on temperance petitions from 47 counties. On January 23, 1880, she testified before U.S. Senate, Judiciary Committee on woman’s right to vote. Died March 19, 1901; buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Marion County Girl Scouts

Side one:
In 1917, Anna Marie Ridge founded in Irvington the first troop in Marion County; it was registered in July as Indianapolis Troop 1 by Girl Scouts, Incorporated. In 1937, Troop 1 was meeting here at Irvington Presbyterian Church. India J. Wilson began a second troop in Irvington in fall of 1917; registered as Troop 2 in 1918.

Side two:
Indianapolis Marion County Girl Scout Council chartered 1921 by Girl Scouts, Incorporated. Marion County now part of Girl Scouts of Hoosier Capital Council. Basic goals--including community service, ideals of conduct, patriotism, diversity in membership--have remained; badges and programs have changed with society.

Milestones in Nursing

1859 Completion of the first building of the Indianapolis City Hospital, forerunner of Marion County General Hospital. Founder of this oldest general hospital in Indiana was Livingston Dunlap, M.D. 1861-1865 The first patients were admitted when the facility was opened as a Military Hospital by Governor Oliver P. Morton. Sister Athanasius Fogarty and other Sisters of Providence supplied the nursing care. John M. Kitchen, M.D., was chief medical officer. Henry M. Wishard, M.D., was resident surgeon. 1883 Professional nursing in Indiana was born with founding at City Hospital of the Flower Mission Training School for Nurses, Indiana's oldest school of nursing. Superintendent of the hospital was William N. Wishard, M.D. Margaret Iddings was the first graduate. Other early graduates organized training schools in the midwest and west and in Honolulu. 1891 Upon graduation from the training school Mae D. Currie '91 joined the staff of the Flower Mission Society to initiate professional home care for the sick poor in Indianapolis. 1913 Founding of the Public Health Nursing Association of Indianapolis by Abbie Hunt Bryce. Two fruitful years as superintendent of the Flower Mission Training School, 1885-1887, were followed by a lifetime of concern for every phase of nursing.

Mary Bryan, Pioneer Woman

Mary Bryan, one of the first American women to cross the Cumberland Mountains (c. 1776), is buried here with Samuel, her husband, a Revolutionary War veteran, who settled in Perry Township in 1830.

Indiana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs

Organized 1904 by Lillian Thomas Fox with 14 clubs. Affiliated with National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, founded 1896. Objectives include improvement of education, health, living standards, inter-racial understanding. Clubhouse at 2034 N. Capitol since 1927. Listed in National Register of Historic Places, 1987.

Sarah T. Bolton 1814-1893

A pioneer poet of Indiana, author of "Paddle Your Own Canoe" and "Indiana," crusader for women's rights, lived here at "Beech Bank" from 1871 to 1893.

Widows and Orphans Friends’ Society

Side one:
Society created by Indianapolis Benevolent Society 1849 to provide relief for indigent widows and orphans; incorporated 1851 by Indiana General Assembly. Opened its first orphanage on this site 1855. White House Conference in 1909 focused attention on, and led to federal legislation and grants for, dependent children.

Side two:
As public policy and funding evolved in the twentieth century, the Society changed its name, location, and specific functions as it strove to address the needs of children and families. Since 1961, organization has offered services as the Children’s Bureau of Indianapolis, Inc.

St. Joseph County

Sisters of the Holy Cross, Civil War Nurses, 1861-1865

In response to Governor Morton's call of October 1861, eighty Sisters of the Holy Cross under the leadership of Mother Angela served as military nurses. The Sisters became the forerunners of the Navy Nurse Corps in 1862 when they boarded the Red Rover, the navy's first hospital ship.

Sullivan County

Grave of Jane Todd Crawford: Pioneer Heroine of Abdominal Surgery

Jane Todd was born in Virginia in 1763. In 1805 she and her husband, Thomas Crawford, moved to Green County, Ky. Suffering from a huge abdominal tumor, she rode 60 miles to Danville, Ky., to submit to an operation never before performed. On December 25, 1809, Dr. Ephraim McDowell performed this, the first ovariotomy, in his home. The ordeal lasted 25 minutes. There was no anesthesia. Mrs. Crawford recovered completely. Years later she came to Graysville to live with her son, Thomas, a Presbyterian minister. She died in 1842 at age 78. She is buried here. The restored McDowell home in Danville is a surgical shrine.

Vanderburgh County

Evansville Cotton Mill

Several buildings (1874) remain of Evansville Cotton Manufacturing Co., 1867-circa 1900. It was a major employer on lower Ohio River. Most workers were women. Accessibility of raw cotton via river, coal from local mines, and railroad transportation attracted mill. Infant food products manufactured here since 1916

Vigo County

Union Hospital

In 1892, near this site, Union Hospital was founded by Leo J. Weinstein, M.D., and Benjamin F. Swafford, M.D., with the support of local citizens. This hospital established Terre Haute's first School of Nursing in 1900.

Wabash County

Frances Slocum

Captured as a child by the Delaware Indians in 1778 from her Pennsylvania home, she grew up with the Indians, married a Miami chief, and lived in Indiana till her death, 1847.

Wayne County

Indiana’s First Woman’s Rights Convention

Side one:
A convention was called for by reform-minded Congregational Friends meeting at Greensboro, Henry County, January 1851. Convention held October 14-15, 1851 at Dublin adopted resolutions for political, social, and financial rights for women. Women and men who favored abolition, temperance, and suffrage attended.

Side Two:
The 1852 convention formed Indiana Woman’s Rights Association to promote united action for woman’s rights. Association’s 1853 convention demanded equality in all political rights and functions. It voted to be auxiliary to American Woman Suffrage Association 1870. It became Indiana Woman’s Suffrage Association.

Overbeck House and Studio

Indiana's first art pottery, a nationally-recognized product of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, was produced 1911-1955 by the Overbeck sisters. Their 1830s Federal Style house, one block south, was listed in national Register of Historic Places, 1976.