ACTON – Actress Marjorie Main was born here in 1890.
ALBANY – Baseball player Billy Herman was born here in 1909.
ANDERSON – Baseball player Carl Erskine was born here in 1926.
• The most married woman in history was Linda Lou Essex from Anderson, Indiana. She was married twenty-two times between 1957-1987.
• The first sit-down strike in the nation was held here in 1937 by UAW Local 663 at the Guide Lamp Company.
• The first automatic headlight dimmer was developed here in Anderson in 1952.
AUBURN – John Dillinger robbed the police station here on October 14, 1993. He stole the station's arsenal of weapons.
• The Auburn Automobile Company, which went out of business in the late 1930s, had its headquarters and a factory here in Auburn. Their former headquarters and showroom is now a museum located at 1600 South Wayne Street.
BEAN BLOSSOM – When Dillinger escaped from the Crown Point jail on March 3, 1933, Joseph Jenkins escaped with him. On September 3, 1933, while attempting to rob the bank here, Jenkins was shot and killed by citizens of Bean Blossom.
BEDFORD – Born here in Bedford were: singer/composer Hoagy Carmichael in 1899, rocker David Lee Roth in 1955, and singer/composer Bobby Helms in 1933. Helms wrote and recorded the Christmas classic Jingle Bell Rock.
• Sam Bass, legendary train robber and successor to Jesse James, was born on a farm near here in July 21, 1851. Other sources say he was born in Mitchell near Woodville. When he was 13-years-old, he moved in with his uncle David Sheeks and worked on his farm. Sam was killed on his 27th birthday in 1878, in Round Rock, Texas in a gunfight with Texas Rangers. He is buried in the Round Rock Cemetery in Texas.
• Actor Claude Akins grew up here in Bedford.
• The Bluesprings Caverns are located five miles west of downtown on US-50. One can descend into a cave and take an hour-long boat tour along the largest underground river in the U.S.
BEECH GROVE – Actor Steve McQueen was born here in 1930. His family moved to Missouri a year later.
BIPPUS – Sportscaster Chris Schenkel was born on a farm here in 1923.
BLOOMINGTON – Buried here in the Rose Hill Cemetery at 4th & Elm are:
– Singer/composer Hoagy Carmichael.
– Sex researcher Alfred Charles Kinsey.
BRAZIL – Born here in Brazil were popcorn king Orville Redenbacher in 1907, and labor leader Jimmy Hoffa in 1913.
• Dillinger gang member Harry Pierpont grew up here.
• Circus fat man Robert Earle Hughes died here in 1958.
BROOKVILLE – Lew Wallace, author of "Ben Hur" was born here in 1827.
BROWNSBURG – John Dillinger stopped and got a haircut, food, and gas here after escaping from the Crown Point Jail on April 13, 1934.
BROWNSTOWN – On July 9, 1868, six members of the Reno outlaw gang– Frank Sparks, Volney Elliott, John Moore, Charles Roseberry, Henry Jerrell, and Theodore Clifton attempted to rob an O & M train at the Shields watering station near Brownstown and west of Seymour. However, the engineer knew of the plan and 10 Pinkerton detectives were hidden in the express car. When the outlaws attempted to enter the express car they were met with a fusillade of gunfire. Jerrell, Elliott and Moore were wounded, but the rest of the outlaws were able to escape except Elliot. On the night of July 20, the three criminals were placed on an O & M train to be taken back to Brownstown. About three miles west of Seymour, the train was stopped by a mob of hooded men who forced police to turn over the three prisoners, who then were lynched from a nearby beech tree.
– Clifton, Jerrell and Roseberry were arrested later near Rockford and taken to the Seymour jail. On the night of July 25, the three were put on a wagon to be returned to Brownstown. On the way, the wagon was stopped at the same beech tree by the same hooded vigilantes who lynched the three from the same limb as the others. The site of the hanging of the six victims is still known as Hangman's Crossing.
• A Watermelon Festival is held here every year in August.
CARLISLE – Buried here in the Old Town Cemetery is Handy Handley. He crossed the Delaware with George Washington. He died in 1837.
CARTHAGE – The Alfred Brady gang robbed the State Bank of Carthage of $2,000 on December 16, 1936.
CHARLESTON – Workers building a boat ramp at Charlestown State Park recently uncovered the apparent remains of a 4,000-year-old "kitchen" ancient American Indians tribes may have used to prepare their winter food supply. Protected over the centuries by layers of silt deposited by floodwaters, artifacts found at the site included stone slabs used for grinding and cracking nuts, the remains of fire pits and some charred bits of plant material. .
CHESTERTON – The Wizard of Oz Festival is held here every year.
CICERO – Ryan White, the first known American child to die of AIDS (1990) is buried here in the Cicero Cemetery.
CLINTON – John Dillinger robbed a bank here of $15,000 on December 16, 1930.
COLUMBUS – The first diesel powered tractor was produced here in 1930.
• Zaharako's Ice Cream Parlor here has been serving up sundaes for almost 100 years. Their antique onyx soda fountain was purchased in 1905 from the St. Louis Exposition & World's Fair. 329 Washington Street.
CONNERSVILLE – Director Robert Wise grew up here.
CRAWFORDSVILLE – Author Lew Wallace wrote "Ben Hur" while living here at East Pike and Wallace Ave.
CROTHERSVILLE – The Alfred Brady gang robbed a movie theater here in October, 1935 of $18.
CROWN POINT – John Dillinger escaped from the Lake County jail here on March 3, 1934, using a pistol made of wood. The former jail is reported to be haunted. Its located behind the former home of the sheriff at226 South Main Street.
• Actor Rudolph Valentino, 28, and Winifred DeWolfe, 26, were married here in the Lake County Courthouse on March 16, 1923. Known as the “Marriage Mill,” Red Grange, two of the Mills Brothers, Muhammed Ali, Tom Mix, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, and the parents of Michael Jackson were also marriied in the courthouse.
DALE – Actress Florence Henderson was born here in 1934.
DALEVILLE – John Dillinger robbed a bank here of $3,500 in July 1933.
DANA – Ernie Pyle, war correspondent, was born here in 1900. 120 W. Briarwood.
DARLINGTON – Murderess Winnie Ruth Judd grew up here.
DEACONS MILL – Actor Richard Bennett was born here in 1873. He was the father of Joan and Constance Bennett.
DEWEY – A train wreck here on September 14, 1944, killed 29.
EAST CHICAGO – John Dillinger robbed a bank here of $20,000, on January 15, 1933.
ELKHART – Singer Connie Smith was born here in 1941.
• The Miles Lab Alka Seltzer plant was located here in 1950.
• Elkhart is the RV manufacturing capital of the world. The RV Hall of Fame is located at 21565 Executive Parkway.
ELLWOOD – Politician Wendell Wilkie was born here in 1882.
EVANSVILLE – Born here were: actress Louise Dresser in 1882, actress Marilyn Miller in 1898, football player Bob Griese in 1945 and baseball player Don Mattingly in 1961.
• Arad McCutchan, former basketball coach of Evansville University is buried here in the Blue Grass United Methodist Church Cemetery
• Ruth Siems, creator of Stove Top Dressing grew up here.
• The ghost of the "Lady in Grey," is reported to haunt the aisles of the Willard Library here. After many people reported seeing her, the library installed 24-hour online web cams in an attempt to film her. Many believe the ghost is Louise Carpenter, the daughter of the library's founder. The Library opened in 1885 at 21 First Avenue.
FAIRMOUNT – Actor James Dean is buried here in the Fairmount Park Cemetery at 150 East Main.
• Also buried in the Fairmount Park Cemetery is Claude Deeter. Deeter was murdered in Marion, Indiana in 1930 by two young blacks who were lynched by a mob the next day. (for more details of the murder and lynching, see Marion).
FISHERS – Buried here in the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery are:
– Frances Farmer, actress.
– Kenny Irwin Jr., race car driver. He is in the Garden of the Gleaner.
FORT WAYNE – Born here In Fort Wayne were: outlaw Homer Van Meter in 1905, actress Carole Lombard in 1909, actress Shelley Long in 1949, and fashion designer Bill Blass in 1922.
• Civil rights leader Vernon Jordan was shot and wounded here on May 29, 1980.
• The first baseball game played under lights was played here on June 2, 1883.
• Homer Van Meter, a member of the John Dillinger gang is buried here in the Lindenwood Cemetery. He was killed by police in 1934. He was born here and grew up here. He is in Section 4, Block 4, Row 2, Space 10.
• Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) is buried here in Archer's Park, two miles north of Fort Wayne.
FOUNTAINTOWN – A nursing home fire killed 20 here on December 18, 1964.
FOWLER – Actor Robert Keith was born here in 1898. He was once married to actress Peg Entwistle who jumped to her death off of the Hollywood sign. He was the father of actor Brian Keith.
• A train wreck here killed 20 on January 19, 1907.
FRANKFORT – Actor Will Geer was born here in 1902.
FRANKLIN – Actor/comedian Max Terhune was born here in 1891.
FRENCH LICK – Basketball player Larry Bird was born here in 1956.
FULTON COUNTY – Fulton County is the round barn capital of the world because it has more round barns than any other county in Indiana. Indiana has more round barns than any other state.
GARRETT – Actor John Bowers (Bowersox) was born here in 1885 (1895?). It has long been accepted that the drowning suicide of the Norman Maine character in the 1937 film "A Star is Born" was based on part of his life. Bowers committed suicide in 1936 by jumping into the Pacific Ocean
GARY – Born here were: Actor Karl Malden in 1914, singers Jermaine Jackson in 1954, Michael Jackson in 1958, and Janet Jackson in 1966.
• John Dillinger lived here in the Beverly Apartments in 1933.
• Gary was the 9th most dangerous city in the U.S. 2005.
• Gary was built on fill brought from the bottom of Lake Michigan through suction pipes.
GENEVA – Gene Stratton Porter lived in her "Lumber Lost Cabin" here at 6th & Williams from 1886-1913.
GENTRYVILLE – Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks died here in 1818 when Abe was seven years old, and was buried on the site of the Lincoln cabin. Abe learned how to split rails here. The former Lincoln farm is located two miles from Gentryville on what is now called Lincoln City. The grave of Abe's sister Saratt is near the Pigeon Creek Baptist Church. Abe's father, Thomas, sold the farm in 1830 and moved to Illinois. Lincoln was a clerk here in the store of James Gentry. Go There
GOODLAND – The Alfred Brady gang held up the Goodland Stateland Bank of $2,500 on May 25, 1937. While making their getaway they were chased by the police. 15 miles outside town they ambushed a squad car and killed one policeman and wounded another.
GOSHEN – Born here were: actor James Carew in 1876, and director Howard Hawks in 1896.
GREEN CASTLE – John Dillinger robbed the bank here on October 23, 1933.
GREENFIELD – Poet James Whitcomb Riley was born here in 1880.
GREENS FORK – Gunslinger Johnny Ringo was born here in Greens Fork (formerly Washington) on May 3, 1850. Ringo was reportedly killed by Wyatt Earp in Arizona in 1882.
GRIFFITH – Singer Gerald Davis Gregory is buried here in the Fern Oak Cemetery. He was the bass singer on the hit song "Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight."
HAMMOND – The John Dillinger museum moved here from Nashville in 2005. On display is the wooden gun that Dillinger used to break out of the Crown point jail, his lucky rabbit's foot, and the wicker basket his body was brought back to Mooresville in. It is located on I-80/94 and Kennedy Avenue south only 3 miles from the Illinois/Indiana border. The museum was closed in 2006.
HENRYVILLE – Colonel Harlan Sanders was born here in 1890. He founded Kentucky Fried Chicken.
• A tornado on March 2, 2012, destroyed part of Henryville, a small town of about 1,900.
HUNTINGTON – Actor John Bowers is buried here in the Crown Hill Cemetery. He committed suicide in 1936 by drowning himself in the Pacific Ocean. The character of "Norman Maine" in the movie A Star is Born is based on part of his life.
INDIANAPOLIS – Born here were: Author Booth Tarkington in 1869, actor Clifton Webb in 1896, actor Monte Blue in 1890, race driver Wilbur Shaw in 1902, gangster John Dillinger in 1903, gangster Clarence Lee Shaffer, Jr., in 1916 (he was a member of the Alfred Brady gang), writer Kurt Vonnegan in 1922, Vice President Dan Quayle in 1947, TV host David Letterman in 1947, and newswoman Jane Pauley in 1950.
• John Dillinger was born at 2053 Cooper Street and went to public school #38. His father owned a grocery store at 220 Boyd Ave.
• The Ink Spots singing group was formed here in their home town in 1931. They sang for coins on street corners here.
• Billy the Kid moved here with his mother Katherine McCarty in 1868.
• Frank Sinatra made his debut with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra here at the Lyric Theater on February 2, 1940.
• President Benjamin Harrison's former home is located here at 1230 N. Delaware St. He died here in 1901.
• An explosion in the State Fair Coliseum here killed 73 on Oct. 31, 1963.
• James Whitcomb Riley lived here at 528 Lockerbie.
• Buried here at Crown Hill Cemetery at 700 W. 38th. are:
– John Dillinger. In 1934, 5,000 people crowded the Cemetery to see him buried. He was laid to rest without his brain – it was removed by the coroner for research. As his coffin was lowered into the grave, two claps of thunder hit the area and torrents of rain fell. Several weeks later, Dillinger's father turned down a $10,000 offer for his son's body. Then he had several tons of concrete mixed with iron scraps, three feet deep, poured on top of the coffin. Dillingers' father and step-mother lie next to him in Section 44.
– James Allison, co-founder of the Indianapolis Speedway is in Section 23, Lot 2.
– James Baskett, actor. He played "Uncle Remus" in the movie Song of the South.
– Augie Dusenberg, auto manufacturer. In the Mausoleum, D-2-NN
– Frederick Duesenberg, auto manufacturer. In Section 104, Lot 294.
– Charles Fairbanks, a former U.S. Vice President.
– Richard Gatling, inventor of the Gatling gun. He is in Lot 3.
– Benjamin Harrison, former U.S. President. He is in Section 13.
– Thomas Hendricks, a former U.S. Vice President. He is in Lot 29.
– Joseph Letterman, father of David Letterman. In Section 46, Lot 117.
– Ely Lily, drug scientist.
– Thomas Marshall, a former U.S. Vice President.
– James Whitcomb Riley, poet. Top of Crown Hill near Section 61 Lot 88.
– Booth Tarkington, writer, He is in Section 13.
– Eli Whitney, drug scientist.
• Take a Crown Hill Cemetery Photo Here
• Buried here in the Holy Cross and Saint Joseph Cemetery are:
– Gaston and Louis Chevrolet, founders of the Chevrolet Motor Co.
– Chuck Klein, baseball player. He is in Section D, Lot 69 S1/2, Grave 3.
– Harry Pierpont, bank robber and a member of John Dillinger's gang. He was executed in the electric chair in Ohio. He is in Section 36, Lot 252
• William Richard “Dick the Bruiser” Afflis, professional wrestler is buried here in the Washington Park North Cemetery.
IVANHOE – A train wreck here on June 22, 1918 killed 86 performers of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. 56 of them are buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Forest Park just outside Chicago.
JEFFERSONVILLE CITY – The original plans of Jeffersonville City were drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
KEMPTON – Circus fat girl, "Baby Ruth" Smith (815 lbs.) was born here in 1904.
KENTLAND – 1930s gangster and Public Enemy #1 Alfred James Brady was born near Kentland in 1910. From 1935 to 1937, Brady, and his gang which included James Dalhover of Madison, and Clarence Lee Shaffer, Jr. of Indianapolis, committed about 150 holdups and robberies in Indiana and surrounding states. They also committed several murders during that time. Some said the gang made Dillinger look like a piker. Brady and Shaffer were killed in Bangor, Maine during a hold-up on October 12, 1937 by the FBI. Dalhover was captured and later electrocuted in prison. Brady was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor in an unmarked grave in Public Grounds Lot 2119 when his body went unclaimed.
KOKOMO – Actor King Kennedy was born here in 1904.
• Elwood Haynes built the world's first gas automobile here in his garage on Main Street in 1893-94. His home was at 1915 S. Webster.
• George Kingston developed the first carburetor here in 1902.
• John Powell developed the first mechanical corn picker here in the early 1920s
• The Kemp Brothers Canning Company developed the first canned tomato juice here in 1928.
• The Delco Radio Division of G.M. developed the first push-button car radio here in 1938.
LAFAYETTE – Born here were: actress Louise Fazenda in 1889, (She was one the first eight people to get their star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame), actor Victor Potel in 1889 (he was one of the original Keystone Kops), baseball player Bob Friend in 1930, director Sydney Pollack in 1934, rocker Axl Rose in 1962, and circus fat man (739 lbs) Jack Eckert.
• Circus clown Emmett Kelly is buried here in the Rest Haven Cemetery at 1200 Sagamore Parkway N.
LA PORTE – In 1902, Belle Sorenson bought a large farm here several miles outside LaPorte, and moved into the large farmhouse with her three adopted children. Several weeks later, she married a local man, Peter Gunness. In 1904, while working in a shed, a meat chopper fell from a high shelf and hit him on the head, splitting his skull and killing him on the spot. Belle collected his $4,000 life insurance. In 1906, she placed an ad in papers around the country wanting to meet men who were financially well off. The first to come to the farm vanished within a week. Many came after him, and everyone of them vanished. On April 28,1908, Belle's farmhouse caught fire and the floors collapsed. When firemen searched the rubble, they found four bodies in the cellar, one of them was a woman without a head. The bodies of her three adopted children were also found. They found more bodies buried in Belle's hog pen. More than forty men and women were found in shallow graves around the farm, most of them had been dissected. It was later learned that Belle had set the house on fire and left town. She has never been found. Go There
• Charles O. Finley, former owner of the Oakland Athletics died here in 1996 on his 185-acre farm.
LAUREL – Actor/comedian Charlie Murray was born here in 1872.
LIGONIER – Nathaniel Prentice is buried here in a Cemetery on Elkhart Road. He was with George Washington at Valley Forge.
LIMA – On March 19, 1936, the Alfred Brady gang robbed the Kay Jewelry Store here of $6,800 worth of jewelry. They robbed the store again on April 27, 1936 and got $8,000 worth of jewelry.
LINCOLN CITY – Nancy Hanks Lincoln, mother of Abraham Lincoln is buried here in the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. She died here in 1818.
LINTON – Bandleader Phil Harris was born here in 1906.
LOGANSPORT – Former baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis once lived here.
LOWELL – Comedienne JoAnne Worley was born here in 1937.
Peter GunnessFour members of the John Dillinger gang robbed a bank here in 1933. That building still stands at 316 E Commercial Ave.
• The grave of Gypsy the Cow, a national record-breaking milk producer, is at the Pleasant View Farm on Belshaw Rd. Her name is on a large sign and the grave is surrounded by a white picket fence.
• Bobo Rockefeller, known as Eva Paul in her Lowell High School yearbook, married a Rockefeller at age 30. Her divorce from Rockefeller netted her a record 5.5 million dollar settlement.
LYNN – Reverend Jim Jones, the religious leader who died with his followers in a mass suicide in Guyana, grew up here in Lynn. Boyhood friends recall the times when he held mock funeral services for dead animals. When cats in the neighborhood were missing, they always thought he was using them for sacrifices. He delivered his first sermon here at age fourteen. He got married here in 1949 and moved to Indianapolis.
MADISON – Gangster Rhuel James Dalhover was born here in Madison in 1906. A member of the Alfred Brady gang in the late 1930s, he was convicted of the murder of an Indiana State Policeman in 1937. Dalhover was electrocuted on November 18, 1938 at the Indiana State Penitentiary in Michigan City, Indiana. (See Kentland, Indiana for more details).
• The movie Some Came Running, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Shirley MacLaine was filmed here in 1958.
• Buried here in the Madison Cemetery are actors Mary Bear, and Don Shelton.
• Madison is one of the best-preserved historic towns on the Ohio River.
MARION – Actor James Dean was born here in 1931 in the Seven Gables Apartments at the corner of 4th & McClure.
• Jame Dean mother, Mildred, is buried here in the Grant Memorial Park cemetery.
• On the night of August 6, 1930, James Cameron, 16, a shoeshine boy, accepted a ride from his friends, Thomas Shipp, 18, and Abe Smith, 19. All were black. While driving around town in a dilapidated 1926 Ford roadster, one of the boys suggested holding up someone and they drove to a lover's lane near the Mississinewa River.
– One of the boys handed Cameron a .38-caliber revolver and told him to take the gun and hold someone up. Cameron approached a car and pointed the gun at the white couple inside, Claude Deeter, 23, and Mary Ball, 19, both of Fairmount. But when he realized the man was one of his regular shoeshine customers, he gave the gun to Shipp, told him he wouldn't rob anyone, then ran down the road. During the attempted robbery, Shipp shot Deeter in the head. After Shipp and Smith ran off, Mary Ball ran to a nearby farmhouse to get help. When help arrived they found Deeter bleeding profusely from the head and his brain was exposed. He was taken to the Marion General Hospital where he died about 1:30 p.m the next day, August 7.
– All three boys were arrested for murdering Deter and raping Miss Ball and were placed in the Grant County jail in Marion. (Miss Ball later testified that she had not been raped). By 6:30 p.m., a crowd of white people started gathering on the Grant County Courthouse Square. The crowd included mostly men, but there were also some women and children. The crowd grew and headed to the jail where they demanded that Sheriff Jacob Campbell release the prisoners. Campbell refused, but the mob, using sledge hammers, battered down the jail doors. Tear gas bombs thrown by police were thrown back at the officers.
– After overwhelming the police, the mob surged through the jail. It found Shipp first. Men beat him senseless and hanged him from a window on the east side of the jail. Smith was next. He was taken to the courthouse square and hanged from the limb of an elm tree. Somebody rammed a crowbar through his chest several times. After souvenir hunters divided up the bloody pants of Smith, his naked lower body was clothed in a Ku Klux Klansman's robe. Then Shipp's body was taken down from the courthouse and hanged along side Smith.
– Others came back for Cameron, but as the noose was placed around his neck, a voice — some say it was Mary Ball's uncle's — cried out that Cameron had not killed anyone. He was released and taken back to his cell. The lynchers then posed for photos under the limb that held the bodies of the two dead men. The bodies of Shipp and Smith were left hanging from the tree most of the night before they were taken down. At dawn the next day, Marion police drove Cameron to the Indiana Reformatory at Pendleton to keep him safe and hidden.
UPDATE – Claude Deeter was buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana.
* Thomas Shipp and Abe Smith were buried in unmarked graves near Weaver, Indiana. (See Weaver for more details)
* Cameron was convicted of being an accessory before the fact to voluntary manslaughter. He spent four years in prison, then attended technical high school and college. He moved to Milwaukee in the 1950s where he founded The Black Holocaust museum. Cameron supported his wife and five children as a truck driver, laundry man, record store owner, waiter, junk man and maintenance engineer. In 1991, he came back to Marion and received the key to the city
* Mary Ball, who moved away from Marion shortly after the lynchings, died in 1987 at the age of 76 in San Bernardino, California.
* Eight men were charged with the lynching. Two had trials, and juries acquitted each of them. Charges were dropped against the other six.
* Lover's Lane, where Claude Deeter and Mary Ball parked on that fateful night in 1930, ran off of what is now Stone Road by the Mississinewa River.
MARION COUNTY – Buried here in the Round Hill Cemetery is John George, he was the USA Drummer boy in the Revolutionary war for George Washington.
MARTINSVILLE – John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach, was born here in 1901.
• John Dillinger hung out here in 1922-23 when he was sixteen and seventeen. He stole his first car here in 1923, and robbed a grocery store here on September 6, 1924. He married Beryl Hovis here in 1924. • Singer and composer Bobby Helms died here in 1997. He wrote and recorded the Christmas classic "Jingle Bell Rock."
MARYSVILLE – The small town was completely destroyed by a tornado on March 2, 2012.
MAYWOOD – John Dillinger's funeral services were held here in the front parlor of the home of his sister, Audrey Hancock. Lookers were allowed to file by his open coffin. A procession of twenty cars took Dillinger to the Crown Point Cemetery.
McCORDSVILLE – The Round Barn Inn here was built in 1916 as a barn to house livestock. It was later converted into a house Located at Mount Comfort Rd., 600 W, it is now a bed and breakfast hotel.
MENTONE – Mentone is well-known for the large, 3,000 pound concrete egg on Main Street. It is commonly known as the big egg! The local business owners placed the egg in the mid 1940's and had this phrase painted on the egg: "Mentone, Indiana, the egg basket of the Midwest." Mentone is one of the nation's top egg producers.
MERRILLVILLE – Buried here in the Calumet Park Cemetery are:
– Charles O. Finley, former owner of the Oakland A's baseball team He is in Section 7, Lot 420.
– George Molchan, midget. He was “Little Oscar” for Oscar Mayer hot dogs.
MICHIGAN CITY – Born here in Michigan City were actress Anne Baxter in 1923, and baseball player Don Larson in 1929.
MILLVILLE – Aviator Wilbur Wright was born here in 1867.
MISHAWAKA – Born here were: actor Rocky Lane in 1904, and baseball player "Fat" Freddie Fitzsimmons in 1901.
MITCHELL – Astronaut Virgil "Gus" Grissom was born here (1926) and grew up here
• Also born here was outlaw Sam Bass in 1851 (also see Bedford) Sam was killed on his 27th birthday in 1878, in Round Rock, Texas in a gunfight with Texas Rangers. He is buried in the Round Rock Cemetery in Texas.
MONTICELLO – John Dillinger robbed Marshall Field's thread mill here on June 24, 1933.
MONTPELIER – John Dillinger robbed the bank here of $10,000 on August 4, 1933.
MORRISTOWN – Basketball coach Marvin Wood is buried here in the Asbury Cemetery. He inspired the movie Hoosiers. He is in Section 7, Lot 27.
MOORESVILLE – John Dillinger grew up and went to high school here. After Dillinger was killed in Chicago in 1934, his parents brought his body here to the E. F. Harvey Funeral Home where 500 people were waiting. Put on display, an endless stream of lookers filed by his simple $165 coffin. He was dressed in a new grey suit that was too big for him, the sleeves almost covered his hands. His parents both died here.
MUNCIE – John Dillinger robbed the Bide-A-Wee Tavern here on July 15, 1933.
• Harry Pierpont, member of the Dillinger gang was born here in 1902.
NEW ALBANY – Rose Will Monroe is buried here in the Abundant Life Cemetery. She was the original "Rosie the Riveter." A young widow, with two daughters, she went to work building B-29 bombers at Ford's Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Michigan. Rose became the live personification of the already created fictional "Rosie the Riveter" poster girl and the Kay Kyser song "Rosie the Riveter.”
• On December 12 1868, 56 hooded vigilantes broke into the New Albany jail and lynched outlaw Frank Reno and his brothers William and Simeon from an iron pillar near the stairwell leading to the second-floor cells. It took Simeon almost half an hour to strangle to death. A fourth member of the Reno gang, Charlie Anderson, had to be hanged twice, as the first rope broke. The bodies of the three Reno brothers were turned over to their sister, Laura, and Frank Reno's widow, Sarah, and were buried in the City Cemetery in Seymour.
NEWBURGH – Ruth Siems, creator of Stove Top Dressing died here in her home in 2005. She created Stove Top while working for General Foods in 1971.
NEW HARMONY – New Harmony is the site of two of America's great utopian communities. The first, Harmonie on the Wabash (1814-1824), was founded by the Harmony Society, a group of Separatists from the German Lutheran Church. In 1814, led by their charismatic leader Johann Georg Rapp, they left their first American home, Harmonie, PA. Indiana's lower Wabash Valley on the western frontier gave them the opportunity to acquire a much larger tract of land. In 1825, the Harmonists moved back to Pennsylvania and Robert Owen, Welsh-born industrialist and social philosopher, bought their Indiana town and the surrounding lands for his communitarian experiment. Nestled in the serene southwest corner of Indiana on the banks of the Wabash, today the town is known for its historic sites, artistic and spiritual centers, architecture, and antique shopping. The small town with less than 1,000 residents and one traffic light, blend the best of the old and the new
NOBELSVILLE – Writer Rex Stout was born here in 1886.
NORTH MANCHESTER – Former Vice President Thomas Marshall was born here in 1854.
NORTH SALEM – 1930s gangster Alfred Brady went to elementary school here in North Salem.
NYESVILLE – Baseball player Mordecai "Three-fingered" Brown was born here in 1876.
OOLITICA – A giant limestone statue of Joe Palooka is located here in Oolitica. One of the most famous comic strip characters in the 1940's. The creator, Ham Fisher and 4,500 people attended the dedication of the statue in 1948 at Dickinson Park in Bedford on old IN 37. In 1984 the Bedford FOP donated the statue to Oolitica, and it was moved to its present location on Main Street between the Town Hall and the Post Office.
OXFORD – Murderess Winnie Ruth Judd was born here in 1905.
PENDLETON - John Dillinger tried unsuccessfully to escape from the Indiana Reformatory here in 1924.
PERU – Composer Cole Porter was born here in 1891, He is buried here in the Mount Hope Cemetery on W. 12th St.
PLAINFIELD – Actor Forest Tucker was born here in 1919.
• Charles Manson served time here in the Indiana School for Boys. He attempted to escape 18 times while here.
• Boxer Mike Tyson served a prison sentence here.
PLYMOUTH – Actor Raymond Walburn was born here in 1887.
PORTAGE – Middleweight Champion boxer Tony Zale is buried here in the Calvary Cemetery.
PORTER – A train wreck here on February 27, 1921, killed 37 people.
PORTLAND – Born here was actor Leon Ames in 1903, and dancer Twyla Tharp in 1941.
PRINCETON – Baseball player Gil Hodges was born here in 1924.
RICHMOND – The American Beauty Rose was developed here.
ROCHESTER – The Cole Brothers Circus made their winter headquarters here from 1934 to 1950.
ROCKFORD – Outlaw Frank Reno was born on a farm near Rockford on June 27, 1837. By 1866, Frank and three of his brothers, John, Simeon and William had organized one of the most ruthless groups of cut-throats and killers in America. Their specialty was the robbing and murdering of strangers and travelers who passed through Jackson County. They became so notorious that no law official dared arrest them and no witness dared to appear against them to press charges.
UPDATE – The site of the Reno 409-acre farm today is just north of the Seymour Riverview Cemetery along Highway 31-A.
ROME CITY – Gene Stratton Porter lived here from 1914-1924. She died here in 1924 and is buried here at the Stratton-Porter State Historic Site.
RUSHVILLE – Actress Carmelita Geraghty was born here in 1901.
• Politician Wendell Wilkie is buried here in the East Hill Cemetery.
SANTA CLAUS – The Santa Claus post office postmarks about 200,000 holiday cards and a half-million Santa letters each Christmas. It's where the US Postal Service sends letters addressed to Santa Claus. (Santa's zip is 47579)
SCHERERVILLE – Comedian Henry Haynes is buried here in the Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery. He was "Homer" of the country comedy duo "Homer And Jethro."
SELLERSBURG – The Alfred Brady gang robbed a grocery store here in October 1925 of $190.
SEYMOUR – Singer John Cougar Mellencamp was born here in 1951.
• On the evening of October 6, 1866, the first train robbery in American history was committed when three members of the Frank Reno gang boarded an Ohio & Mississippi Railway train (now the B & 0) as it slowly chugged eastward out of the Seymour depot. The outlaws, John and Simeon Reno and Frank Sparks, broke into the express car and overpowered the lone guard. They broke open a safe containing about $16,000 and threw a larger safe off the train. Waiting for the larger safe were Frank Reno and the rest of the gang who attempted to break open the safe, but were unsuccessful.
• Buried here in the City Cemetery are the outlaw Reno brothers, Frank, Simeon, and William. They were hanged by vigilantes on December 12, 1868 in the New Albany jail. A stone walkway leads from 9th Street to their fenced graves. The cemetery is located at the corner of 9th and Ewing.
SHELBURN – 55 people were killed here in a mine explosion in 1925.
• Will H. Hayes, Hollywood's first movie censor grew up here.
SOUTH BEND – Born here in South Bend were: actor Charles Butterworth in 1896, actor John Bromfield in 1922, and actor Chad Everett in 1936
• John Dillinger, "Baby Face" Nelson, "Pretty Boy" Floyd, and Homer Van Meter robbed the Merchants National Bank here of $30,000 on June 30, 1934. The bank was at the corner of Wayne and Michigan.
– Buried here in Cedar Grove Cemetery on the Notre Dame campus are:
– Edward (Moose) Krause, former Irish athletic director, head basketball coach and All-American football and basketball player.
– Leon Hart, Heisman Trophy winner.
– Joseph Armstrong. He designed Chicago's Lincoln Park.
– Moon Mullins, a fullback on Notre Dame's championship teams of 1929 and 1930.
• Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football coach, is buried here in the Highland Cemetery at 2257 Portage Ave. His former home is located at 1417 Wayne Street.
• Clement Studebaker, car manufacturer, is buried here in Riverview Cemetery at 2300 Portage Ave..
• Schuyler Colfax, a former U. S. Vice President from 1869 to 1873 is buried here in the City Cemetery On the left after entering the main gate.
• Actor/writer, Charles Butterworth is buried here in the St. Joseph Valley Cemetery.
SPENCER – Byron Johnson, founder of Major League Baseball's American League is buried here in Riverside Cemetery.
SULLIVAN – Will H. Hays is buried here in the Center Ridge Cemetery he was the former U.S. Postmaster General and in 1930 he created the Motion Picture Production Code known as the "Hays Code."
TERRE HAUTE – Born here in Terre Haute were: Dillinger gang members Russell Clark and Edward Shouse, writer Theodore Dreiser in 1871, comedian Skeets Gallagher in 1891, and baseball player Tommy John in 1943. (Drieser's home was at 115 Walnut).
• A packing plant explosion here killed 16 in 1963.
• The first cocoa bean-shaped Coca Cola bottle was designed and manufactured in Terre Haute by the Root Glass Company in 1915-16.
• The first V-8 juice was manufactured in Terre Haute.
• The U.S. Penitentiary here is where Oklahoma city bomber Timothy McVeigh was executed in 2001 and where Unabomber Ted Kaczynski is now serving his life sentence.
• Buried here in the Highland Lawn Cemetery at 4520 Wabash Ave., are:
– Eugene Debs, Social reformer. His former home is at 451 N. Eighth St.
– John Heinl, a Terre Haute businessman. When Heinl died in 1921, his loyal pet bull dog refused to leave his side, faithfully attending the funeral and standing vigil at the mausoleum. He stood guarding the door, snapping and snarling at those who chose to come within range of the mausoleum doors. Many times the family tried to take him away, but he always found his way back. One day, Mrs. Heinl came to the mausoleum only to find that the dog had died. She had the dog stuffed and entombed with his master. On occasion, it was said that a peek into the mausoleum would reveal that the dog had moved to a different side of the tomb, and one would always see the glowing green eyes peering out. At times some claimed to have seen the head tilt or the tail wag. It was said that in the early hours of the morning you might seethe figure of a man and his dog strolling the area close to the mausoleum. The dog was removed in 1985 due to vandalism to the mausoleum. It was placed in a replica of the mausoleum at the Vigo County Historical Society Museum. Mr. Heinl is in Section 1, Lot 20.
– Theodore Hudnut. He was known as the "Hominy King." Hudnut produced hominy and grits at his plant here where in 1899 he invented a machine that could extract oil from grain and began the production of Mazoil, the first corn oil used for cooking. The Hudnut families owned mansions at 627 and 621 Cherry St. Hudnut died in 1902. He is in Section 3, lot 177.
– Ellen Marshall, she was the first airline stewardess or "hostess." She worked for United Airlines from 1930 to 1932.
– Vernon McMillan. He designed the first football face mask and invented the modern basketball inflater
– Frank Wiedemann, he developed the first X-ray machine in the United States. His grave is marked by a unique stone featuring a large globe of the world. He is in Section 1, Lot 22.
• Gangster Ed Shouse is buried here in the Woodlawn Cemetery. He was a member of John Dillinger's gang and he helped break Dillinger out of a jail
• Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown, baseball player is buried here in the Roselawn Memorial Park
TIPTON – Baseball player Babe Adams was born here in 1882.
VEVEY – Cowboy actor Ken Maynard was born here in 1895.
VINCENNES – Born here in Vincennes were: cowboy actor Buck Jones in 1889, actress Alice Terry in 1899, comedian Red Skelton in 1913, and department store merchant Bernard Gimbel in 1885.
• U.S. President William H. Harrison's former home is at 3 W. Scott St.
• When the police entered a home near Vincennes on October 30, 1878, they found the bloody bodies of John Desire Vacelet, his wife Victoria, and their two sons, John 16, and Frank 14. The two boys were found in a bed in the north room. John, 16, had been hit with an ax, cleaving scalp and skull, and entering the brain, portions of which were protruding. Frank, 14, had seven wounds. There were two cuts across the right parietal eminence, three inches long, through which the brain protruded. On a bed in the south room lay their mother Victoria, 50. Her head was almost severed from her body. Next to the bed, in a pool of blood, was a man's naked footprint. Lying in the doorway, leading to the north room, was the body of the father John Desire His the head was thrown back, his mouth was open and open eyes were staring. He had been hit nine times around the head with an ax.
The house was about 150 yards from the track of the Evansville and Terre Haute railroad, three miles south of Vincennes on a farm owned by J. S. Wise. It was a dilapidated frame-structure and had only two rooms. During the inquest at the murder scene, police questioned the Vacelet's handyman, Pierre Provost. They found that he had blood on his shirt and that his foot fit in the footprint at the side of the bed. He was promptly arrested and taken to the county jail. The Vacelet family was buried in the Highland Cemetery in one grave, next to grave of the oldest Vacelet son, who died a short time before the murders. (The Cemetery is located bear the St. Vincent Orphanage, on CR600, east of CR 0, and west of Hart Street Road). On the morning of November 3, 1878, Provost was found dead, hanging by his neck in his cell. He had hanged himself with a towel and his coat. The towel was knotted loosely around his neck, and one sleeve of his coat was tied in it, while the other sleeve was fastened to the back portion of the upper berth of his cell. His head was not more than four feet from the floor, and his knees almost touched it. His body was taken to the E.G. Gardner & Sons undertaking establishment, where they were it was viewed by thousands of citizens. He was buried at the expense of the county that afternoon in the portion of the public Cemetery known as "Potters Field." The Vacelet home was not far from the railroad tracks near Sievers Road in Vincennes. The house was later torn down and the boards from it were used to build a barn not far from the site. The barn was torn down many years ago.
WABASH – Born here were: novelist Gene Stratton Porter in 1887, actor Charles Dingle in 1887, and comedian Ole Olson in 1892. He was half of the comedy team of Olson & Johnson.
WADENA – Baseball player James Crandall was born here in 1887.
WARSAW – John Dillinger robbed the police station here of guns and bullets on April 13, 1934. Al Capone was a frequent guest at the Barbee Hotel on Barbee Lake near Warsaw. He always stayed in room 301. Other celebrities including actress Rita Hayworth have stayed here. The old hotel is reported to be haunted.
WEAVER – The Weaver Settlement was founded in the mid-1840s by free blacks and emancipated slaves from North Carolina and Virginia. In 1849 the first A.M.E. Church was built and a Baptist communion was formed to the north of town in 1854, and in the 1870s, a Wesleyan Methodist church was built west of Weaver. These churches were abandoned in the 1940s when the blacks moved to Marion. The land in Weaver was low and drainage was difficult
UPDATE – Very little of the settlement remained in the 1940s.
– On Jan. 26, 1990 an article appeared in the local Chronicle Tribune about the Weaver Community that read: "At the intersection of 300 West and 600 South, hundreds of acres of flat, plowed farmland stretch out for what seems like forever. The scene is dotted by a handful of buildings, mostly farmhouses and barns, floating like bobbers on an earthen lake. Descendants of the original five founding families are still a part of the Grant County Community, while the town remains only a memory – a mark on an out-of-date map.”
– The town consisted of one square mile of land surrounding 300 West and 600 South, known locally as the Crossroads. Fewer than a dozen houses can be found in the area today (mostly near the south east corner). At the turn of the century, there were about 50 families, two schools, two general stores, a church and a harness racing track. By that time, however, Weaver was fast becoming a memory.
• Buried here in unmarked graves in the old Weaver Cemetery are Thomas Shipp and Abe Smith. Both black, they were lynched in 1930 for the murder of a white man in Marion. (See Marion for more details)
In the 1940s, the old cemetery was being used occasionally but most of the blacks prefered another place for their cemetery. The cemetery is located in Section 4 Twp. 23 N. Range 7 E. about 1/4 of mile south of State Road 22 and almost 1/4 of a mile west of 300 N., in a small woods, on a 13 acre parcel of land that was owned by Joan Wilson in 1996. The earliest date on a stone here is March 23, 1863, but there are many graves that are unmarked.
• Another cemetery for black people is located in a field about a mile and a quarter northwest of the Weaver cemetery. In 1996, there was a little abandoned Baptist Church located near the cemetery.
WHITING – During the Pierogi Festival here, a local boy dresses up each year as a giant Polish dumpling.
WINCHESTER – Director Robert Wise was born here in 1914.
• On April 28, 1937, the Alfred Brady gang held up the Farmland, Indiana, Branch of the Peoples Loan and Trust Company here of $1,400.
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