We’re celebrating the centennial of our agency by “Looking Back” at the weekly newsletters of the Indiana Historical Commission. Learn about the book in the first blog post for this series.
The installment of “Indiana Centennial Plans” issued for the week of November 1, 1915 reported on the planning activities of a few localities, many of which were involving educators and school children in their centennial activities. Gary Public Schools’ Prof. R.D. Chadwick was organizing a combined State Centennial/City Decennial pageant at the behest of Superintendent William A. Wirt.
The Knox County committee planned to include Vincennes High School in their celebration, asking the students to dramatize Alice of Old Vincennes. This book by Maurice Thompson was wildly popular at the time. Read the book for free and learn more about how it permeated art, music, and even commercial products in the early twentieth century, and how it continues to be a visible part of Vincennes’ identity.
Also featured in this issue: an excellent cautionary tale for historians and lovers of statistics. A report from Johnson County declares that “illiteracy in the business transactions of women [in Johnson County] was completely obliterated in a period of seventy-five years.” This conclusion was based on a comparison of the “first twenty-four real estate transactions” entered into by women in each of three sample years of the county’s record books. The pattern identified by Johnson County’s J.C. Webb is definitely worthy of further inquiry–Why the first 24 transactions? And what of subsequent ladies’ ability to sign their names?