Their actions inspired a host of other outlaw gangs who copied their work, beginning several decades of high-profile train robberies. Pursued by detectives from the Pinkerton Detective Agency , most of the gang was captured in and lynched by vigilantes. She killed more than twenty people, most of them men, between and her own murder in In response to the Reno Gang and other criminals, several white cap groups began operating in the state, primarily in the southern counties. They began carrying out lynchings against suspected criminals, leading the state to attempt to crack down on their practices.
By the turn of the 20th century, they had become so notorious that anti-lynching laws were passed and in one incident the governor called out the militia to protect a prisoner. When the white caps showed up to lynch him, the militia opened fire, killing one and wounding eleven. Vigilante activity decreased following the incident, and remained low until the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the s.
Crime stories grabbed the headlines in the s and s. After Prohibition took effect in until its demise in , it opened up a financial bonanza for criminal activity, especially underground bootlegging and the smuggling of liquor into Chicago, Gary, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Evansville and other thirsty cities.
Enforcement was haphazard; the Anti-Saloon League was more of a lobbying agency and never rallied community support for enforcement. It seldom cooperated with law enforcement or the state or federal courts. Instead gave enforcement a bad name. Arthur Gillom, a Republican elected state attorney general over Klan opposition in , did not tolerate its extra-legal operations. Instead, "He stressed the dangers of citizens relinquishing their constitutional rights and personal freedoms, and emphasized the importance of representative government at all levels , states' rights, and the concept of separation of church and state.
Indiana Vital Records - Rootsweb
Shumaker proposed that "personal liberty had to be sacrificed in order to save people," Gilliom replied that surrendering power and individual freedoms was a slippery slope to centralized government and tyranny. John Dillinger , a native of Indianapolis, began his streak of bank robberies in Indiana and the Midwest during the s.
He was in prison to After a return to crime, Dillinger was returned to prison the same year, but escaped with the help of his gang. Dillinger was killed by the FBI in a shootout in Chicago in Although industry was rapidly expanding throughout the northern part of the state, Indiana remained largely rural at the turn of the 20th century with a growing population of 2.
Like much of the rest of the American Midwest, Indiana's exports and job providers remained largely agricultural until after World War I. Indiana's developing industry, backed by inexpensive natural gas from the large Trenton Gas Field , an educated population, low taxes, easy access to transportation, and business-friendly government, led Indiana to grow into one of the leading manufacturing states by the mids.
The state's central location gave it an dense network of railroads. The line most identified with the state was the Monon Line. It provided passenger service for students en route to Purdue, Indiana U. The Monon was merged into larger lines in , closed its passenger service, and lost its identity. They began operation in , and by there were 2, miles of track in 62 counties. The automobile made the lines unprofitable unless the destinaction was Chicago.
In , Indiana became the first state to adopt eugenics legislation, that allowed the involuntary sterilization of dangerous male criminals and the mentally defectives. It was never put in effect and in Indiana became the first state to rule such legislation unconstitutional when the Supreme Court of Indiana acted. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in , inaugurating a new era in history. Most Indiana cities within miles of Detroit became part of the giant automobile industry after The Indianapolis speedway was a venue for auto companies to show off their products.
In the first two decades of the twentieth century the Indiana Anti-Saloon League IASL , formed in as a state auxiliary of the national Anti-Saloon League, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union  successfully organized pressure on Indiana politicians, especially members of the Republican party, to support the dry cause.
Constitution in Shumaker, an ordained Methodist minister, made it a model for the League's other state organizations. In , passage of the Moore amendment expanded the state's Nicholson local option law to apply to all liquor license applicants within a local township or city ward.
The IASL appealed to the general public, holding large rallies in Indianapolis and elsewhere, to support a county option law that would provide a more restrictive ban on alcohol. Frank Hanly , a Methodist, Republican, and teetotaler, called for a special legislative session to establish a county option that would allow county voters to prohibit alcohol sales throughout their county. In , a Democratic legislative majority replaced the county option with the Proctor law, a less-geographically restrictive local option, and the number of dry counties was reduced to twenty-six.
In December several temperance organizations formed the Indiana Dry Federation to fight the politically powerful liquor interests,  with the IASL joining the group a short time later. On January 14, , Indiana became the twenty-fifth state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment, which mandated nationwide prohibition. Protestant support for Prohibition remained intense in Indiana in the s. Shumaker and the IASL lead a statewide grassroots campaign that successfully passed a new prohibition law for the state.
Sponsored by Indiana representative Frank Wright and known as the Wright bone-dry law, it was enacted in The Wright law was part of a national trend toward stricter prohibition legislation and imposed severe penalties for alcohol possession. The Great Depression and the election of Democratic party candidates in ended widespread national support for Prohibition.
Franklin D. Roosevelt , who included repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment as a major issue of his presidential campaign in , made good on his promise to American voters. However, Indiana's legislature continued to regulate alcohol within the state through allocation of state liquor licenses and prohibition of sales on Sunday. White middle-class Indiana women learned organizational skills through the suffrage and temperance movements. By the s they were applying their new skills to the needs of their home communities, by organizing women's clubs, the combined literary activity with social activism focused on such needs as public health, sanitation, and good schools.
Hoosier women worked at both the state and local level to materialize Progressive Era reforms. A native of Evansville , Bacon worked to pass tenement and housing legislation in Indiana in , , and Women in Indiana would officially gain the right to vote in when the 19th Amendment is ratified for the United States constitution. Middle-class black women activists were organized through African American Baptist and Methodist churches, and under the leadership of Hallie Quinn Brown who formed a statewide umbrella group, the Indiana State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs.
Racism prevented the organization from association with its white counterpart, the Indiana State Federation of Women's Clubs. Most members were public school teachers or hairdressers, as well as women active and local business in the black community, and in government positions. Booker T. Washington , and became part of her husband's powerful network of black activists. One of the most prominent members in Indiana was Madame C.
Walker of Indianapolis , who owned a nationally successful business selling beauty and hair products for black women. Club meetings focused on home-making classes, research, and statistics regarding the status of African Americans in Indiana and nationwide, suffrage , and anti-lynching activism. The local clubs operated rescue missions, nursery schools, and educational programs.
Between March 23 and March 27, , Indiana and more than a dozen other states experienced major flooding during the Great Flood of ; it was Indiana's worst flood disaster up to that time. Indiana governor Samuel M. Ralston appealed to Indiana cities and other states for relief assistance and appointed a trustee to receive relief funds and arrange for distribution of supplies.
Independent organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Indianapolis and others, helped with local relief efforts. Hoosiers were divided about entering World War I. Before Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare and tried to enlist Mexico as a military ally in , most Hoosiers wanted the U. Support for Britain came from professions and businessmen.
Opposition came from churchmen, women, farmers and Irish Catholics and German-American elements. They called for neutrality and strongly opposed going to war to rescue the British Empire. Kern , and Vice President Thomas R. Most of the opposition dissipated when the United States officially declared war against Germany in April , but some teachers lost their jobs on suspicion of disloyalty,  and public schools could no longer teach in German.
Debs , from Terre Haute, went to federal prison for encouraging young men to evade the draft. A separate organization, the Liberty Guard, was formed in , primarily for social purposes: members marched in parades and at patriotic events. Governor Samuel Ralston had to call out the Liberty Guard in November to put down a growing workers strike in Indianapolis. By , the state decided to formalize this group, renaming it the Indiana Civil Defense Force and supplying it with equipment and training. During World War II, it was again federalized and members were called up by the federal government.
The war-time economy provided a boom to Indiana's industry and agriculture, which led to more urbanization throughout the s.
Indiana Vital Records Indexes
Indiana's greatest industries were steel production, iron, automobiles, and railroad cars. Scandal erupted across the state in when it was discovered that over half the seats in the General Assembly were controlled by the Indiana Ku Klux Klan , including members of three political parties. The Klan pushed an anti-Catholic legislative agenda, including a ban on parochial education. Stephenson boasted, "I am the law in Indiana. After Governor Edward L. Jackson , whom Stephenson helped elect, refused to pardon him, Stephenson began to name many of his co-conspirators. This led the state's making a string of arrests and indictments against political leaders, including the governor, mayor of Indianapolis, the attorney general, and many others.
The crackdown effectively rendered the Klan powerless. During the s, Indiana, like the rest of the nation, was affected by the Great Depression. The economic downturn had a wide-ranging negative impact on Indiana. Urbanization declined. Governor Paul V.
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McNutt 's administration struggled to build from scratch a state-funded welfare system to help the overwhelmed private charities. During his administration, spending and taxes were cut drastically in response to the Depression. The state government was completely reorganized. McNutt also enacted the state's first income tax. On several occasions, he declared martial law to put an end to worker strikes. By October of that year, the agency had put 74, Hoosiers to work.
In , there were still 64, people working for agency.