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May in Indiana History

1 May –

1813 – Corydon, IN. Capital officially moves here from Vincennes. (See 6 December 1813; 3 March 1813; 25 May 1813; 6 January 1814.) [Griffin 2, p. 27]

1861 – Indianapolis, IN. Lt. J.C. Davis arrives with news of surrender of Fort Sumter. He has taken ship from the fort to New York. Davis himself is pro-slavery. [Kramer, p. 161]

Deaths –

1903 – Creighton, PA. John Baptiste Ford dies. (See 17 November 1811.) [EL, p. 309]

2 May –

3 May –

4 May –

1867 – New Haven, CT. Brevet colonel Henry Ware Lawton leaves Harvard University School of Law to accept a commission as a second lieutenant in the Forty-First Infantry Regiment of the US Army. (See 17 March 1843; 21 August 1861; 17 May 1862; 3 August 1864; 10 February 1865; 13 March 1865; 31 July 1867; 18 February 1889; 18 December 1899; 19 December 1899.) [Funk, p. 136-7]

1929 – Corydon, IN. Dedication of Harrison County courthouse. [Griffin, p. 73]

5 May –

Deaths –

1887 – New Albany, IN. Washington C. De Pauw dies. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery. (See also 4 January 1822.) [EL, p. 246]

6 May –

1992 – Corydon, IN. Two local men plead guilty to illegally digging Indian artifacts and disturbing buried remains on private property. Each is fined $1,000, plus court costs; one received a one-year sentence, the other one-year suspended except for two days. Looting is illegal and punished; but the damage to human knowledge is irreparable. [Griffin 2, p. 7]

7 May –

1800 – Washington City. Act of Congress creates Indiana Territory, effective 4 July 1800. [Funk, p. 189]

1827 – Corydon, IN. Original plat for town of Mauckport is filed in recorder’s office. (See 17 April 1827.) [Griffin 2, p. 34]

1914 – Corydon, IN. The Corydon Republican reports that the previous Friday was town clean-up day. Wagons went about all day gathering the rubbish hauled out by townsfolk. The article further states that the previous week was national clean-up week. Communities all across the country annually set aside one day during this week for town clean-up. [Griffin 2, p. 22]

8 May –

9 May –

10 May –

1917 – Corydon, IN. Old State Capitol building sold to the state of Indiana; $50,000; Deed Record V-4, page 315, Harrison County Recorder’s Office. [Griffin 2, p. 36]

11 May –

12 May –

1825 – Louisville, KY. General Lafayette and his party cross the Ohio River on the General Pike to Jeffersonville, IN, guests of the Indiana governor. [EL, p. 496-7]

1883 – Mott, IN. Town founded (as Central City) by George A. Crosby. It is located on the Southern Railroad, just a half mile from Corydon Junction. [Griffin 2, p. 31]

13 May –

1800 – Vincennes, IN. William Henry Harrison appointed first governor, Indiana Territory. [Funk, p. 167]

1816 – Indiana Territory. Election is held to select members of a constitutional convention. [Griffin 2, p. 13]

14 May –

1921 – Boone township, Harrison County, IN. Near Laconia. Lafe Crosier notes: The grandest display of the Aurora Borealis was seen… (See 1 January 1838; 25 January 1887; 10 January 1928; 19 January 1856; 20 January 1856; 4 February 1856; 1 January 1864; 9 January 1887; 12 January 1918; 13 February 1918.) [Griffin 2, p. 157]

15 May –

16 May –

1863 – Gaylesville, AL. Brigadier General Abel Streight, of Indianapolis, is forced to surrender his entire command of Hoosier soldiers, short of his goal of destroying Confederate railroads at Rome, GA. He is sent to Libby Prison, Richmond, VA, which houses Union officer prisoners of war. Almost immediately, he begins searching for a suitable place to begin an escape tunnel. (See 21 January 1864; 8 February 1864; 9 February 1864; 1 March 1864.) [Funk, p. 80-85]

Deaths –

1850 – Madison, IN. William Hendricks, third governor of Indiana, and United States Senator from Indiana, dies.

17 May –

1820 – Corydon, IN. John Tipton’s journal: On Wednesday the 17 of May 1820 I set out from Corydon in Company with Gov’r Jennings. I had been appointed by the last legislature one of the commissioners to select & locate a site for the permanent seat of government of the state of Ind’a - [Griffin 2, p. 44]

1862 – Corinth, Miss. Henry Ware Lawton is promoted to Captain. (See 17 March 1843; 21 August 1861; 3 August 1864; 10 February 1865; 13 March 1865; 4 May 1867; 31 July 1867; 18 February 1889; 18 December 1899; 19 December 1899.) [Funk, p. 136-7]

1931 – Corydon, IN. James B. Brewster, attorney of Corydon, presents “A brief on the route of Thomas Lincoln through Indiana to Lincoln City,” to The Corydon Indiana Lincoln Highway Association. [Griffin 2, p. 156]

18 May –

1764 – Vincennes, IN. Louis Groston de Bellerive de St. Ange, commander of the post, departs on British orders to take up his command of Fort Chartres on the Mississippi. He transfers authority to Monsiuer Drouet de Richerivlle, and Sieur de Caindre, admonishing them “to maintain good order among the citizens of this post, as also of the voyageurs and the maintain good feelings among the Indians to prevent disorder so long as they are in charge…[make sure] that the citizens keep up their fences…check…the disorders which occur too frequently, occasioned by drinking.” [Cayton, p. 47]

Births –

1776 – Mechlenberg County, VA. Dennis Pennington born. He will dominate Indiana territorial and early state legislature. [Griffin 2, p. 336]

19 May –

1777 – Vincennes, IN. Edward Abbott arrives, to take over the lieutenant governorship authorized by the Quebec Act of 1774. Customary fanfare greets Abbott, his wife and their two sons. He is there, however, to represent a government whose only interest in the region is to encourage Indian attacks on Anglo-American settlements. The Miami and the Piankashaw see no advantage to a British alliance. The Abbotts leave in February 1778, and Abbott resigns his position as soon as he reaches Detroit. He is afraid of the Indians, and upset that the British refuse to supply him with gifts to buy Indian loyalty. [Cayton, p. 65-7]

20 May –

1817 – Corydon, IN. Pisgah Lodge, F & AM, meets for the first time and is constituted a Masonic lodge under a dispensation granted by the Kentucky Grand Lodge. Davis Floyd is the first Worshipful Master; members include Jonathan Jennings, John Tipton and Colonel Thomas Posey. [Griffin 2, p. 262]

1820 – Corydon, IN. First medical society in state of Indiana organized; Dr. Asahel Clapp, of New Albany, president. [Griffin 2, p. 37]

1936 – Palmyra, IN. The Citizens’ State Bank proudly announces: Service has made us the Oldest Bank in Harrison County; organized 1906. [Griffin 2, p. 166]

1936 – Harrison County, IN. This county has the most Jersey cattle registered in the state. The industry began about 1884, when Dr. D.W. Voyles paid $5000 for Tormentor Stoke Pogis, one of the great bulls of the breed. Dr. Voyles exhibited the bull and established a distinguished lineage of Harrison County Jersey cattle stock. Commercial creameries are replacing the housewife’s “butter and egg” money, but consistency of product boosts demand and farmers begin to rely on the monthly cream check more than the sale of annual crops. The dairy industry is underway. [Griffin 2, p. 354]

21 May –

1891 – Corydon, IN. A lightening strike of a large tree leads to considerable damage to iron fence surrounding old capitol building. [Griffin 2, p. 58]

1902 – Corydon, IN. George Straub has driven Mr. Lemmon’s stagecoach on the Corydon & New Albany run for 14 years. At 40 miles a day, 313 days a year, he has logged 175,000 miles. [Griffin 2, p. 162]

22 May –

1820 – environs of future Indianapolis, IN. John Tipton and the others deputed to find a location for the permanent seat of state government arrive at the home of William Conner: he lives on a Prairie of about 250 acres of the White R Bottom – a number of Indian Huts near his home.
The party had left Corydon on the 17th and are now at the place where they will establish the new capital city. [Griffin 2, p. 44]

1863 – Vicksburg, Miss. One hundred and fifty volunteers attempt to break through the defenses around the city. The 83 survivors of the “volunteer storming party” are awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ten of these survivors are from the 83rd Indiana Infantry. They constitute the greatest number of Hoosiers to receive the medal in a single engagement. [Funk, p. 130-3]

1868 – Marshfield, IN. Having outwitted – and outgunned – the agents of the Pinkerton Detective Agency for two years, the Reno brothers pull off their biggest robbery. When the JM&I (Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis) train stops to take on wood and water, a dozen men rush aboard, overpower the engineer, uncouple the cars and take locomotive and express car speeding toward Seymour. Four of the men break into the Adams Company Express car, pistol-whip the expressman, Thomas Harkins, and throw him from the train. He will be found next morning fatally injured. The robbers take $96,000 in bonds, cash and currency notes from the safe. The Reno gang will now be nationally famous, and hotly pursued by the Pinkertons. (See 6 October 1866; 9 July 1868; 20 July 1868; 25 July 1868; 30 July 1868; 11 December 1868; 12 December 1868.) [Funk, p. 102-7]

23 May –

24 May –

1824 – New Harmony, IN. The Harmonists depart New Harmony, IN.

25 May –

1813 – Corydon, IN. Thomas Posey takes office as governor. (See 1 May 1813; 6 December 1813; 3 March 1813; 6 January 1814.) [Griffin 2, p. 27]

26 May –

1824 – Washington City. With the backing of New York and Pennsylvania, Congress grants to Indiana a strip of land 320 feet wide on any route a commission would see fit to build a canal within 12 years. This canal was part of a great plan to link the Great Lakes with the Ohio River.

27 May –

28 May –

Deaths –

1895 – Walter Q. Gresham dies. Originally buried in Chicago, he is later moved to Arlington National Cemetery where he rests very near the Custis-Lee mansion. [Funk; p. 148-50]

29 May –

1985 – Corydon, IN. Ed and Linda Phillips, owners of Old Capital Popcorn, announce that actor Ken Kercheval, star of television program “Dallas,” has bought one-third interest in their business. It will end tragically. (See 20 July 1989.) [Griffin 2, p. 370]

30 May –

1753 – Vincennes, IN. St. Francis Xavier Parish records baptism of Agatha, daughter of Alexandre and Dorothee, “negro slaves belonging to the Jesuit fathers and lawfully married.” They are apparently the first African-American, or rather African-Franco, enslaved people on the Wabash. The American Indians living there enslaved people captured or bought from other tribes. [Cayton, p. 52]

1818 – Corydon, IN. This is the last time that the Western Sun quotes from the Indiana Herald, no copy of which has been located. [Griffin 2, p. 180]

1885 – Corydon, IN. After dark, some 150 “white caps” ride into town to deposit letters in the post office. The letters are addressed to the newspapers and to various county officials. They complain of high taxes, indebtedness and misuse of funds. Pointedly, the county commissioners were expressly forbidden to purchase a county poor farm, which they are currently considering. [Griffin 2, p. 79]

1917 – Ferdinand, IN. Joseph Elmer Ritter ordained to the priesthood, St. Meinrad Seminary. He will be a liberal voice in the church and the world. He is assigned to Indianapolis. (See 20 July 1892; 28 March 1933; 10 December 1960; 10 June 1967.) EL, p. 763-4]

31 May –

1890 – Central, IN. Town founded by William Smith. [Griffin 2, p. 31]

1914 – New Albany, IN. This month ends the term at New Albany High School. Edwin Hubble has taught for the past year. His subjects were Spanish, physics, and mathematics. Additionally, he coached the basketball team to third place in the state championship tournament. The yearbook records his popularity. (See Kentucky 20 November 1899; 28 September 1953; 25 April 1990.) [EL, p. 408]


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