Author Archives: rob5444gil

About rob5444gil

I volunteer at the Indiana State Archives

The 1890 Medical College of Indiana Received a Generous Donation

wp-15852115565771181568990.jpg“William Lomax, M.D., and his wife Maria Lomax, of the city of Marion, County of Grant, State of Indiana, do and have made a bequest to said college [Medical College of Indiana] of the following real estate….one hundred and sixty acres of land lying adjacent to the city of Marion, in Grant County, State of Indiana….An annuity to be paid while we are both living and to the survivor, of twelve hundred dollars ‘$1200’ per annum to be paid in monthly or quarterly installments, on account of the 160 acres of land, and a life estate to be run as long as we or either of us may live, in the real estate described in the city of Marion aforesaid, and an annuity of $100 for repairs and taxes on the same.”

“The annuity herein before referred to shall be a lien upon all the property or the proceeds of the property herein before described, for the payment of the same.”

The instructions of the Articles of Association required that the Medical College of Indiana shall be established in Indianapolis, Indiana. If possible the Medical College should be consolidated with De Pauw University, Indiana University, or Wabash College. This part of the instructions is very puzzling, because there there was already a Medical College of Indiana established in Indianapolis in 1869, and the College did not affiliate with Indiana University until 1908 to form the Indiana University School of Medicine.wp-1585214599172651084596.jpg

Maybe Dr. Lomax and his wife wanted to set up a rival Medical College of Indiana, but his obituary dated 27 April 1893 stated:wp-15852159521671196994775.jpg

So,if they had made the donation to the existing Medical College of Indiana, the other instructions of the Association must have not been honored. Maria Lomax did not die until 1910, but it is not known if the annuity continued up to that time. Nevertheless, many conspicuous Indiana doctors signed these Articles of Association:wp-15852170818231353372841.jpg

Photos of some of these doctors from the Wishard Scrapbook:

wp-15852326733001416314702.jpgDr. Elijah W. Elder

wp-1585232725325478292404.jpgDr. Edward Francis Hodges

wp-15852327013462104971813.jpg

Dr. Albert W. Brayton

wp-1585232791866613635758.jpg

Dr. William N. Wishard

wp-15852328472341019955532.jpg

Dr.James H. Taylor

wp-1585232767093149955177.jpg

Dr. Joseph W. Marsee

wp-15852328300371349881957.jpg

Dr. John H. Oliver

wp-15852328127261576486584.jpg

Dr. Lehman H. Dunning

wp-1585232744675438367832.jpg

Dr. Henry Jameson

Written by Robert F. Gilyeat, volunteer at the Indiana State Archives

Marion Motor Car Company, Indianapolis, 1904-1915

wp-15851298258981457099957.jpg1911 Marion Roadster

On Noveember 1, 1904 the Marion Motor Car Company was incorporated in Indianapolis, Indiana, by Linnaes C. Boyd, vice-president of the Indianapolis Water Company; Hugh McK. Landon, Secretary of the Indianapolis Water Company; Robert H. Hassler, mechanical engineer who invented shock absorbers for automobiles; Frederick A. Joss, an Indianapolis attorney; Charles A. Bookwalter, President of the Gem Garment Company; J. Arthur Hittle, automobile machinist; and Ida. G. Belser, stenographer.

wp-1585138937347342778097.jpgwp-1585139205701242345011.jpg

In 1906 Harry C. Stutz joined the company as its chief engineer and designer. Besides the Bobcat Roadster, he also designed the 1911 Marion Model 33 “Bobcat” Speedster.wp-15851419343841371386493.jpg

To advertise the Marion brand autos, Harry’s brother Charles Stutz and Adolph Monsen would drive the Marion in races:wp-15851495078661212161901.jpgIndianapolis Star, July 6, 1909

wp-15851493900311698389156.jpgIndianapolis Star, July 8, 1909

Harry Stutz left the Marion Motor Car Company in 1909 to form his own company, manufacturing the famous Stutz Bear Cat in 1911, which was raced in the first Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911 under the Ideal Motor Car Company brand.

The Marion Motor Car Company manufactured 7,158 automobiles in all, but it was never a very profitable company. John N. Willys, President of the Overland Automobile Company, bought Marion in October, 1908, and used its factory to produce the Overland engines and parts. wp-15851523259032103696764.jpg

In 1914 J. I. Handley bought the assets of the company and moved it to Jackson, Michigan.

wp-1585126913017477629815.jpg

Written by Robert F. Gilyeat, a volunteer at the Indiana State Archives.

 

The Indianapolis Brewery and Other Early Breweries

wp-1582114652341505607777.jpg

In 1841 a young German immigrant named Charles Mayer opened a small general store in Indianapolis, Indiana, on West Washington Street. Besides selling dry goods, toys, nails, cigars and fishing lines, he sold glasses of beer from a keg in his back room. This beer was brewed from a local brewer named John P. Meikel, whose brewery was located  on 135 West Maryland Street.

The population of Indianapolis in 1840 was 2,692, but by 1860 the population of Indiana’s capitol city had grown to 18,611, the growth partly due to the influx of German immigrants, who enjoyed their beer. The number of saloons in 1857 were 23, but by 1867 the number had mushroomed to 107. Meikel had continued his brewing business till 1875, through the 1861-1865 Civil War that brought thousands of soldiers and extra business into the city. Taking advantage of this new commerce, German immigrants Peter Lieber, Christian F. Schmidt and Casper Maus had each opened successful breweries. In 1890 these three breweries were combined to form the Indianapolis Brewing Company. This combined company was owned by an English syndicate.

wp-15821235145881430127854.jpg

wp-15821296588761181948078.jpg

wp-1582129514936180677406.jpg

John P. Frenzel, whose parents were born in Germany, was president of the Merchants National Bank, and later formed the Indiana Trust Company. Albert Lieber was the oldest son of Peter Lieber, and incidentally was the grandfather of writer Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut wrote that his grandfather lived an expensive social life, and during the Prohibition years had to sell off his high-priced real estate holdings, including his mansion overlooking the White River. Albert Baker was the founder of the prominent law firm, Baker and Daniels, and Edward Daniels was his partner. John W. Schmidt was the son of Christian F. Schmidt and was the head of of Schmidt Brewery Company. I believe Paul de Fere and George W. Fuller, Jr. were from England.wp-1582815072029667302895.jpg

 

wp-1582743169860658524978.jpg

According to “The Journal Handbook of Indianapolis”, 1902, edited by Max R. Hyman,  the three plants of the Indianapolis Brewing Company had “a combined output of 500,000 barrels yearly. In the various plants employment is given to 1,000 hands, the products being excellent qualities of beer, the specially noteworthy brands being their Progress bottled beer and their ‘Tafel’ and ‘Duesseldorfer’ beers, which are both keg and bottled beers. These beers have a wide reputation for their superior quality and were awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900.”

Between the Civil War years and 1880 among smaller brewers were brothers Frederick and Henry Harting, Frank Wright of Capital Brewery, Peter Balz and Peter Poehler. Lieber, Maus and Schmidt dominated the Indianapolis brewing business during this time, and kept their separate brewery sites after they consolidated into the Indianapolis Brewery.

wp-1582127074023828866049.jpg

After 1890 smaller breweries sprang up, the most successful being the Home Brewing Company, the American Brewing Company and the Capital City Brewing Company. The Home Brewing Company was started in 1892 by August Hook, who had been the foreman of the C.F. Schmidt brewery since 1882. (Incidentally August’s son, John Hook, opened his Hook’s Drug Store at 1101 S. East Street in 1900, and became one of the prominent drug store chains in Indiana through much of the twentieth century.)

The American Brewing Company opened in 1897 by Joseph C. Schaf. He had been the Assistant Manager for the Indianapolis Brewing Company. The Capital City Brewing Company was opened in 1905 by Charles Krauss, who also owned a “Driven Wells, Cisterns and Pumps” company.

Before Indiana’s Prohibition law went into effect on April 2, 1918, almost two years before the 18th Amendment became a national law, fifteen breweries were listed in the Indianapolis City Directory. It was like the public’s thirst for beer was the strongest before its sale was illegal. It’s no wonder “speakeasies”, or “blind tigers” as the authorities labeled them, became popular during the Prohibition years.

Indianapolis Star, April 3, 1918

wp-15827521126732019495318.jpg

wp-15827522610621012078580.jpg

wp-1582126728397926657210.jpgwp-15821265961591912245264.jpgwp-15821264594151618381042.jpgwp-1582126377198426154819.jpgwp-1582127314063606752135.jpg

Written by Bob Gilyeat, with the help of Indiana State Archives archivist Vicki Casteel.

The 1892 Indianapolis Base Ball Club: The Beginning of Change

Owners and executives of the dominant National League and the defunct American Association baseball clubs met in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Bates House hotel from December 15 to December 18, 1891. The purpose of their meeting was to finalize the agreement to amalgamate the eight National League clubs and four of the solvent American Association clubs, to form a twelve-team National League. This new organization was proposed to stay in existence for ten years, to the year 1901. The seasons were to be cut in half, spring and fall, with the winner of each half-season to play  seven, nine or eleven games for the championship (they didn’t explain how this was to be determined); if the same club wins both half-seasons, then it wins the year’s championship.

The new twelve-team National League included the Boston Beaneaters, the Chicago Colts, the Brooklyn Grooms, the Cincinnati Reds, the Cleveland Spiders, the Pittsburg Pirates, the New York Giants, and the Philadelphia Phillies of last year’s league; with the Louisville Colonels, the Washington Senators, the St. Louis Browns, and the Baltimore Orioles of the old American Association. Chicago representatives argued for the inclusion of two clubs from that city, but only Albert G. Spalding’s Colts (the future Chicago Cubs) won out. The colorful owner of the St. Louis Browns, German immigrant Chris van der Ahe, was there with his thick German accent to persuade the League to include his team.

20191125_1612311862893923.jpg

20191125_161956969701532.jpg                                                              Owners conferring

Local clothing store entrepreneur and Cincinnati Reds owner John T. Brush was asked by the Indianapolis Journal sports reporter why the meeting had been held in Indianapolis, and if Indianapolis will host a major league club. Brush answered that Indianapolis was a central meeting site for all the club owners; and that the Indianapolis population was too small to afford to pay for a major league baseball club, but he would see  to it that Indianapolis would get a minor league club. He was as good as his word:

20191116_0159061353873501.jpg

20191116_020806601710405.jpg

The stockholders and directors of the Indianapolis club included Roscoe O. Hawkins – lawyer, John C. McCutcheon –  treasurer of the National Card Company, Ford Woods –  Assistant General Freight Agent of the CCC & St. Louis Railroad, Charles F. Meyer – owner of the Meyer Cigar & Tobacco Shop, Albert Lieber – Treasurer of the Indianapolis Brewing Company, P. F. Igoe – bookkeeper, Walter F. C. Golt – Assistant Cashier at the Indianapolis National Bank, Henry Jameson – physician, James H. Rice – loan company owner, Horace Smith, the notary public, a law partner with Hawkins, and John T. Brush – owner of the When Department Store in Indianapolis.

John T. Brush led a colorful life as a businessman/promoter. He was born in Clintonville, New York, on June 15, 1845. He was orphaned at age 4, raised by his grandfather, served in the Civil War, and then went into the clothing store business in New York. He moved to Indianapolis in 1875, and to promote his newly remodeled clothing store he advertised “WHEN?” for its opening date; then stuck with the designation “When” to name his store. To promote his store he had a popular band play on its second-floor balcony, and formed a local baseball team to promote his store and the city.

20191123_1550341450879685.jpg                                                                        John T. Brush

In 1890 Brush bought a share in the New York Giants franchise, and in 1891 purchased the Cincinnati Reds, appointing John McGraw as manager of the Giants and Joe Kelly manager of the Reds. He sold the Reds in 1902 and became majority owner and president of the Giants. Brush remodeled New York’s Polo Grounds in 1911, but died in 1912 of a long-term illness and a bad fall. There is now a John T. Brush Stairway leading to the old Polo Grounds from the bluff above; and Brush was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Honor Role of Baseball” as an executive in 1946.

The Indianapolis club was designated the Hoosiers. Golt was appointed president of the club, Igoe the secretary, and Meyer the treasurer. The players’ home uniforms were white flannel with black trimming and black stockings; for the away games they wore black flannel suits with white trimming and black stockings (they must have gotten really hot in the summer heat!). Season tickets were priced at $20 for 70 games, 50 cents a game for grandstand seats and 25 cents a game for the bleachers. Tickets could be purchased at the Victor Jones’ Cigar Store in downtown Indianapolis.

A new Western League was set up in the spring of 1892 that included the Columbus Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Kansas City Blues, the Toledo Black Pirates, the Omaha Omahogs, the Minneapolis Millers, the St. Paul Saints/Fort Wayne, and the Indianapolis Hoosiers. Players were chosen from those who had not been selected by the National League teams. William “Billy” R. Harrington was chosen to manage the Indianapolis team. He began his career in 1882 when he organized the independent Chicago Blues, and his last appointment in 1891 was with the Milwaukee club of the defunct Western Association.

20191123_1542462065499848.jpg                                                         William “Billy” Harrington

The YMCA field on East Ohio St., just inside the city’s limits, was chosen as the club’s home field, and manager Harrington was put in charge of putting the grounds in shape. The grandstand was enlarged from 1000 to 3500 seats, and bleacher seats were added. The turf was scraped and new sod added, but the pitcher’s mound was left bare. There must have been a fence around the field, for during the season onlookers stationed themselves in trees and on roof tops. If women attended the games, a special section was marked off for them to sit. Fans boarded street cars to reach the field for a game, and professional baseball play was supposed to be illegal on Sundays. Peanuts and lemonade were sold for the fans’ refreshment. They played the game with only one umpire, officiating behind the catcher and much maligned by the fans and players. A flag with a  baseball pictured on it was flown from the courthouse roof when a game was to be played at home.

Among the nineteen players who played for the Hoosiers that year was 36 year old William “Old Hickory” Carpenter who had played third base as a left-hander for the Cincinnati Reds from 1882 to 1889. He was nick-named “Old Hickory” because he preferred a bat made of hickory wood. He was an outstanding player, but Indiana was the last stop of his career.  Another player, shortstop Billy Clingman, swung with a bat made from a wagon tongue. 34 year-old Moxie Hengel had been chosen the captain of the team at the start of the season, but he proved to be too alcoholic to play, so 32 year-old Billy O’Brien was chosen instead.

Brush’s Cincinnati Reds played a few pre-season games with the Hoosiers, with the Red’s famous and future White Sox owner Charles Comiskey playing first base; and ” ‘Artful’ Latham is on hand, and will turn his usual triple somersaults over the basemen’s heads for the amusement of the crowd”.

The first game was played on Saturday, April 16, against Milwaukee. The games usually started at 3:30 PM and lasted 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Unfortunately, Indianapolis lost the first eight games. They then beat the St. Paul Saints, but it was too late for manager Harrington who was replaced by Billy Sharsig. Sharsig had founded the Philadelphia Athletics in 1880, joined the American Association in 1882, successfully managed the club several years, but had to sell the club in 1891 when the American Association folded.

20191124_015404106118944.jpg

The first series of the Western League’s season ended on June 30, with Indianapolis posting 12 wins and 31 losses. Much was blamed on the poor weather and playing conditions in the springtime in Indianapolis and the poor quality of several of the ball players and low morale. In fact, by the end of the season the players had not been paid their weekly salary for two weeks. But much can be said about the weather; the Indianapolis club had to cancel more games than the other teams because of inclement weather, and the Indianapolis Journal nicknamed them “The Rainmakers”.

20191126_065954490023483.jpg                                                      Suggestions for Today’s Game

Among much horse racing news from Chicago’s Garfield Park, New York City’s Morris Park, the Latonia Race Track in Covington, Kentucky, and bicycle races sponsored by The American League of Wheelmen, the Indianapolis Journal usually devoted one to two columns about the Hoosier’s games. The reporter’s writing could sometimes be very creative. For instance: when the club could not win a game, “The Toboggan is Still Greased, and Indianapolis Plunges Forward.” Or, “the crowd went home with vocal cords hoarse and wobbly as violin strings after lying out in the rain over night;” or “that play fairly took the ginger out of their vertebrae;” and, “his saffron second-base play.” When the club was scoreless, the zeros on the scoring board “began to look like a a troop of ghosts fording a river in single file in a dream”.

The best description was: ” a diminutive kid, about two feet high, bare-footed with a ragged straw hat, ran out and met Mr. O’Brien and offered him his congratulations on that nice base hit. O’Brien took the extended paw, shook it and laughed heartily. The youngster trotted back and resumed his place on the bench, apparently satisfied with the tribute he had paid the genius.”

Sometimes the Journal would add cartoonish sketches to the articles:20191124_025548138294978.jpg

Then there was the batter who “gave the ball a swat that sounded like like a basket of eggs dropping on the pavement from a second-story window.” (a well-used soggy ball?)

20191124_0302461748865296.jpg

Or the batter who went “down like a consumptive struck with a pumpkin.”

20191124_025958155298939.jpg

On July 1st the Hoosiers began the second series of the season amid talk that the Western League was breaking up because the clubs could not pay their debts, and by July 15th they played their last League game. Rumors were swirling around the possibility of new combinations of clubs, new leagues forming, and even that Indianapolis might take Baltimore’s place in the National League, but nothing came of this talk until 1893 when the Western League was reorganized. (This was transformed into the American League in 1901.) Three exhibition games were played with Columbus to benefit the players and to pay their past-due salaries.

Players began to scatter to other solvent Leagues and clubs or civilian jobs even before the Hoosier’s played their very last game. City and college club games would continue to be played in Indianapolis in 1892, but no professional baseball games were played in Indianapolis until 1893 when the Western League was reorganized as a minor league.

Written by Bob Gilyeat, a volunteer at the Indiana State Archives

Smith Brothers’ Cough Drops, Made in Indiana

20190309_125424442711305.jpgSmith Brothers’ factory in Michigan City, LaPorte County, Indiana

On June 30, 1937, Smith Brothers incorporated to manufacture and sell cough drops and cough syrup in Indiana. Their company’s original and main factory was built in the middle 1800s in Poughkeepsie, New York; and they built a new plant there in 1914.The company added this second plant in 1921 in Michigan City, but it was not incorporated in Indiana until 1937.

20190309_175450444549033.jpg

About 1847 Scottish immigrant James Smith received a recipe for a candied cough medicine from a customer at his Poughkeepsie, New York restaurant. He cooked a batch of it in his store’s kitchen and filled a bowl of the cough drops to sell to his customers. The cough medicine became popular enough to advertise in the local newspaper in 1852. After their father died in 1866, his sons William and Andrew took over the business and began to package the cough drops in boxes with the logo “Smith Brothers Cough Drops” and with the likeness of their bearded faces.

20190327_1455161235990559.jpg20190309_125809429108633.jpg

The brothers built a factory in Poughkeepsie to produce and package the cough drops when their candied medicine’s popularity grew; the new factory had the capacity to produce three tons of of cough drops a day.

After William died in 1913, his son Arthur introduced menthol flavored drops and cherry cough syrup in 1926; wild cherry cough drops were added in 1948. After the death of Arthur in 1936, his sons William and Robert took over; they incorporated the Michigan City plant in 1937. At its peak, this plant produced 60 tons of cough drops!

20190309_174934509463880.jpg

The Smith Brothers Michigan City plant closed in 1959; William had died in 1955 and Robert died in 1962. The company was sold to Warner-Lambert in 1963 and later production was moved to Chicago in 1977. Sales have dwindled, but the Smith Brothers company has been sold to Lanes Brands in 2016 who hope to revive the iconic brand.

The Smith Brothers Michigan City building was demolished in 1966, and now the site is a park-like setting including an amphi-theater on the banks of Trail Creek.

Written by Bob Gilyeat, a volunteer at the Indiana State Archives.

 

Rev Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple in Indianapolis

20190224_0110421249627566.jpg

The story of Rev. Jim Jones is the story of a prodigiously energetic and intelligent man who slowly went insane, paranoid and hungry for power. He could be exceedingly kind, generous and responsible, yet also insecure, fearful, deceitful, demanding, controlling and increasingly messianic. Many believers revered him as a God-like prophet.

20190306_22202265108895.jpg

20190224_015715116205581.jpgRev. Jim Jones’ first Peoples Temple located at 1502 North New Jersey St, Indianapolis, IN.

James W. Jones moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1951 with his wife of two years, Marceline, to continue his college studies at the Indiana University campus in Indianapolis, and then to maybe study law. He had been a prodigal student and graduated near the top of his high school class at the age of 16. But he became discouraged with his studies and worked odd jobs instead, while his wife worked as a nurse. He mulled around ideas about communal living, racial equality, helping the poor and needy, but he did not believe in denominational religion, or in God for that matter. He only knew he wanted to be a leader.

One day his wife, who was religious, talked Jim into attending a Methodist Church. He discovered that the Church’s social agenda compared to his own social beliefs and he became interested. In a few months the Minister of the church asked him if he would like to be a student pastor at the church, which Jim accepted hoping to use his leadership skills within the church to carry out his social beliefs. He eventually discovered that the congregation was not very enthusiastic about integrating their church, so he decided to start his own non-denominational church. By 1955 he was able to get a loan from Indiana National Bank and Arsenal Building and Loan Company to buy a small church building in Indianapolis at 1502 North New Jersey Street. He incorporated this church in 1955 as The Wings of Deliverance and named it the Peoples Temple.

20190301_154104926793902.jpg

20190301_1552411070872091.jpg

During the next two years Jones continued to hone his speaking skills to captivate and mesmerize his audience, and learned how to faith heal by detecting the problems that were hurting his believers beforehand.  He attended and preached at other evangelical churches to study successful evangelicals and to attract people to his congregation. He was only moderately successful until he organized in June, 1956, an evangelical convention at the spacious Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis. To attract a big crowd he arranged for William Branham, a popular evangelist and faith healer, to speak at the rally, together with Jones’ own sermons and faith healing.

20190224_1506331368730602.jpg

20190304_0651311584220541.jpg

20190304_090106399907560.jpg

20190304_0646381226206177.jpg

20190304_070025536651278.jpg

The success of this rally attracted many more people to hear Jones preach at his little church, increasing the church’s offerings and gifts from $22, 536.37 in 1955, to 34,460.52 in 1956. With his increased success and growing integrated congregation, Jones found a larger church at 975 North Delaware Street. This impressive stone building had been the home of the Hebrew Synagogue before they moved to north Indianapolis. The Hebrew organization had not realized that Jones’ congregation was a non-denominational evangelistic group when they sold it to them.

20190302_1148361870901365.jpg

This new home of Jones’ Peoples Temple was in an old, but prestigious area of Indianapolis, within sight of the historic President Benjamin Harrison Home, and the Jordan School of Music.

Jones’ new integrated, evangelistic Peoples Temple became well-known in Indianapolis for helping the poor and needy, serving free meals in its basement and providing medical help for the elderly. In February, 1961, the mayor of Indianapolis appointed Jones as the head of the city’s Human Rights Commission to help integrate the city’s public places such as restaurants, and to help integrate neighborhoods.

In December,1961, Jones took a two-year “sabbatical” in Guyana, Hawaii, and Brazil, using the church’s funds to pay his living expenses. For a many years Jones had a fear of dying in a nuclear holocaust, and he was looking for a place to move his congregation to a safer area. While in Brazil, Jones became interested in occult religions, especially their idea of the religious leader as a prophet from God.

After Jones returned to Indianapolis in December,1963, he found his congregation had dwindled without his leadership, but his thoughts were now focused on moving to California, to an area that was more receptive to his liberal social ideas. He asked his congregation to move with him, with the stipulation that they turn over all their assets to the Peoples Temple. Dozens of his worshipers decided to move to California with him in July, 1965.

In California Jim Jones increased his social work, developed a controversial reputation  with his drug and sexual abuse and extremist religious and community views, believing himself to be a prophet of God and forming a cult around his personality. He eventually moved away to Jonestown, Guyana in the summer of 1977 with his 900+ converts. In November, 1978, California Congressman Leo Ryan led an investigative delegation to Jonestown. At first the delegation was treated cordially, but the situated soon turned deadly. Leo Ryan and four others were shot to death as they tried to leave, and others were injured. Fearful that he had lost control over his communal “paradise”, Jones  persuaded his hundreds of converts to commit mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced kool aid . Jones killed himself with a bullet to the brain when he knew his end was inevitable.

Reference: “Raven,The Inside Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People”, by Tim Reitman. This detailed, well-documented book tells the life story of James W. Jones.

Written by Bob Gilyeat, a volunteer at the Indiana State Archives.

 

 

 

 

 

Jmes W. Jones was born in 1931 and was raised in Lynn, Indiana, about sixteen miles from Richmond, Indiana. His father had been incapacitated during WWI by poison gas and spent his time in the small town’s pool hall. His mother took daytime jobs in Richmond. But James was a prodigal child; he could talk early and was independent. He felt different because his skin color was olive-like and his hair raven black. He was lonely. By the age of ten he started to attend the local churches on his own, and his favorite was the “holy-roller” Pentecostal Church. He felt more comfortable in the emotional brotherhood and feelings of equality with the poor parishioners. Even then he could keep his playmates captivated while attending his mock-pulpit lectures.

 

 

 

An Indianapolis Eulogy For Abraham Lincoln

20190127_1639432034136514.jpg

Marion County Circuit Court Book 21

20190124_1949161984578411.jpg

Monday April 17 AD 1865 and 19″ Day of the Term

Monday morning at the hour of Nine oclock on the 17″ day of April 1865, Court met pursuant to adjournment.

Present the Hon Fabius M. Finch Judge

Death of Abraham Lincoln

On motion of Hon. James Morrison. It is ordered by the committee appointed at the meeting of the Indianapolis Bar on the occasion of the death of Abraham Lincoln, be entered on the records of this Court which is done in the words following to wit:

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States on the evening of the 14″ day of April 1865 is an event so shocking and deplorable as to fill the heart of every citizen worthy of his birthright, with the keenest anguish on this dreadful tragedy acted almost in the face of the nation, in circumstance of horror seems wanting. After a long season of gloom, the fruit of a desperate intestine war, the public heart was beating high with hope, as the triumph of our arms, the fall of the rebel capital, and the surrender of the rebel’s military leader, with his army, promised the speedy return of union and peace. The nation was elate with joy. The President not only shared these universal sentiments of delight, but was devoting his thoughts to confirm the public joy by measures that should insure the rapid pacification of the country with as little bloodshed or misery or individual wretchedness as possible. A day of general thanksgiving had been fixed – a day on which the nation was invited to praise God, the universal Father: to praise him in the spirit of worshippers who look on all men as brethren: to praise him without exulting over our enemies, but with prayers for their repentance and return to a true allegiance. At this auspicious moment, when the clouds are flying, and on their retreating folds the cheering colors of the rainbow gather, the hand of the assassin is bared, the people’s leader falls dumb in death and the Republic sinks under all the bitterness of our overwhelming sorrow.

The mode of the President’s death intensifies our anguish. Never before in this country has the pistol or the dagger of the assassin been employed to put out of the way a great public magistrate.

20190124_20350660703479.jpg

Monday April 17″ AD 1865 and the 19″ Day of the term

How twice in the same night a hideous spectacle, recalling the implacable hatred of darker ages, when we can discover the figures of Revaillac [“a French Catholic zealot who assassinated King Henry IV of France in 1610″ – Wikipedia] and Balthazar, is brought before our eyes in this the 19” century, in the midst of institutions that place power in the hands chosen by the public voice, in the capital founded by Washington the assassin appears and by his pistol shot, slaughtered the Chief Magistrate, by the side of his wife, in a scene of public festivity: while elsewhere in the same city around the bed of the Minister of State, prostrated by recent injuries, a crowd of assassinations cluster and culminate  in the effort to destroy his life. It is in the midst of such a complication of horrors that the political assassin first darkens our public reputation and casts our immovable shadow upon the pages of the future Bancroft or Prescott or Motley, who shall paint the closing scene of Mr. Lincoln’s career. We must take our share of the general shame that pours its bitter current of our cup of grief, shows that from our race and blood such monsters of crime and cowardice could spring!

The public sorrow deepens as we call to mind the character and services of the President. His reputation is with not a blemish. Pure and honest. Kind, strong and generous he stood before his country and the world, an example of inardent manliness and Republican simplicity. “A soul supreme in each hard instance tried. Above all pain, all passion and all pride. The rage of power, the blasts of public breath. The lust of lucre and the dread of death.”

His genial nature, his great heart full of tenderness and sympathy, his boundless charity for the faults of enemies as well as of friends: his unfailing good sense displayed in forms of reasoning and modes of expression entirely his own perfectly adapted to touch the Judgements and control the actions of plain men. Men were conspicuous in the high place he advanced, and have made his name a word of honor and love wherever it is breathed. The men of this generation can never estimate the value of his public labors. The work is so stupendous that at a near view we cannot see its vast proportions: time and distance will present to the eyes of another generation the symmetry and splendor of his administration.

20190124_210836190323370.jpg

Monday April 17″ AD 1865 and 19″ Day of the Term

We can see him displaying wonderful abilities, readiness in resources, a steady cheerfulness under the pressure of vast responsibilities, in the darkness of disaster, amidst the clamour of his own partizans, and when treason weaved its subtle web, under the dome of the Capitol and in the offices of every department he moved serene and unshaken, his clue through the mazes of danger and difficulty – devotion to principle : his support and consolation – a trust in the Providence of Almighty God – in truth he had

“Borne his difficulties so meek hath been

So clear in his great office, that his virtues

Will plead like angels, trumpet tounged, against

The deep damnation of his taking off.”

At a great national crisis when an exhausting war seems about to close in a series of victories: when the war of opinion seems about to be renewed, and policies are to be discussed and delicate questions must be settled before peace and union are permanent and universal, the Country looked to Mr. Lincoln with unshaken confidence in his sagacity and moderation. The Moses who stood on the top of Pisgah had indeed brought us through the wilderness, and his clear eye in the near distance the inviting land stretched out, where the missions of coming generations are to live prosperous, happy and glorious with one country and one destiny. How ardently we hoped he might lead us to our rest: how bitterly we mourn him dead, none but God can know.

O friends our chief state oracle is mute.

Mourn for the man of long enduring blood,

The statesman moderate resolute –

Whole in himself a common good.

Mourn for the man of amplest influence,

Get clearest of ambitious crime:

Our greatest yet of with least pretense,

Rich in saving common sense,

And as the greatest only ave,

In his simplicity sublime.

And there upon, on motion, Court adjourned until next Monday morning at Nine oclock. Read and signed,

T. M. Finch20190127_193843425261280.jpg

While this eulogy upon the assassination of President Lincoln is not as poetic as Walt Whitman’s famous poem “O Captain! My Captain!”, it shows heartfelt shock and sorrow three days after Lincoln’s death. Also, the mastery by the eulogy’s author of the character and importance of Abraham Lincoln’s guidance of the  United States through the Civil War is impressive; as well as his prophetic lament for the loss of Lincoln’s guidance after the War. Finch and his family moved to Indianapolis in 1859 after many years working as a lawyer and judge in Franklin, Indiana. I think he was chosen by his peers to write Lincoln’s eulogy because they knew he had a deep interest in literature, he was a published poet and a strong anti-slavery Republican with two sons in the U.S. Army.

Hon. James Morrison

20190128_112522450113312.jpg

Hon. James Morrison, who motioned that the Indianapolis Bar record a eulogy of Lincoln, was a prominent Indianapolis Democrat lawyer and judge who was not pro-slavery. He immigrated from Scotland with his parents,  and was an early Indianapolis settler who enjoyed his Havana cigars and fishing on the banks of the White river and Fall Creek.

This was a bi-partisan support for remembering President Lincoln’s unique greatness during tumultuous times; and they both knew his wise counsel and leadership would be sorely missed by the Nation. “How bitterly we mourn him dead”.

by Robert F. Gilyeat, an Indiana State Archives volunteer