Indianapolis: A City of Homes

THE Hoosier is not so deeply wounded by the assumption in Eastern quarters that he is a wild man of the woods, as by the amiable condescension of acquaintances at the seaboard, who tell him, when he mildly remonstrates, that his abnormal sensitiveness is provincial. This is, indeed, the hardest lot, to be called a mudsill and then rebuked for talking back! There are, however, several special insults to which the citizen of Indianapolis is subjected, and these he resents with all the strength of his being. First among them is the proneness of many to confuse Indianapolis and Minneapolis. To the citizen of the Hoosier capital Minneapolis seems a remote place, that can be reached only by passing through Chicago. Still another source of intense annoyance is the persistent fallacy that Indianapolis is situated on the Wabash River. There seems to be something funny about the name of this pleasant stream, which a large percentage of the people of Indianapolis have never seen, unless from the car window. East of Pittsburg the wanderer from Hoosier land expects to be asked how things are on the Way-bosh, — a pronunciation which, by the way, is never heard at home. Still another grievance that has embittered the lives of Indianapolitans is the annoying mispronunciation of the name of the town by benighted outsiders. Rural Hoosiers, in fact, offend the ears of their city cousins with Indianopolis ; but it is left usually for the Yankee visitor to say Injunapolis, with a stress on Injun which points rather unnecessarily to the day of the war-whoop and scalp dance.

Indianapolis — like Jerusalem, “ a city at unity with itself, ” where the tribes assemble, and where the seat of judgment is established — is in every sense the capital of all the Hoosiers. With the exception of Boston and Providence, it is the largest state capital in the country; and no other American city without water communication is as large. It is distinguished primarily by the essentially American character of its people. The total foreign-born population of Indianapolis at the last census was only 17,000 ; whereas Hartford, which is only half the size of Indianapolis, returned 23,000, Rochester, with 7000 fewer people, returned 40,000 ; and Worcester, in a total of 118,000, reported 37,000 as foreign-born. A considerable body of Germans and German-Americans have contributed much to the making of the city; but the town has been passed over by the Swedes, Poles, and Bohemians that are to be reckoned with in many American cities. There are, however, 5000 negro voters in the city. Indianapolis is marked again by the stability of its population. A large percentage of the householders own their homes; and a substantial body of labor is thus assured to the community.

Indiana was admitted as a state in 1816, and the General Assembly, sitting at Corydon in 1821, designated Indianapolis, then a settlement of straggling cabins, as the state capital. The name of the new town was not adopted without a struggle, Tecumseh, Suwarro, and Concord being proposed and supported, while the name finally chosen was opposed for reasons not wholly academic. It is of record that the first mention of the name Indianapolis in the legislature caused great merriment. The town was laid out in broad streets, which were quickly adorned with shade trees that are an abiding testimony to the foresight of the founders. Alexander Ralston, one of the engineers employed in the first survey, had served in a similar capacity at Washington, and the diagonal avenues, the generous breadth of the streets, and the circular plaza at the monument are suggestive of the national capital. The urban landscape lacks variety: the town is perfectly flat, and in old times the mud was intolerable, but the trees are a continuing glory.

Central Indiana was not, in 1820, when the first cabin was built, a region of unalloyed delight. The land was rich, but it was covered with heavy woods, and much of it was under water. Indians still roamed the forests, and the builder of the first cabin was killed by them. There were no roads, and White River, on whose eastern shore the town was built, was navigable only by the smallest craft. Mrs. Beecher, in From Dawn to Daylight, described the region as it appeared in the forties: “ It is a level stretch of land as far as the eye can reach, looking as if one good, thorough rain would transform it into an impassable morass. How the inhabitants contrive to get about in rainy weather, I can’t imagine, unless they use stilts. The city itself has been redeemed from this slough, and presents quite a thriving appearance, being very prettily laid out, with a number of fine buildings.” Dr. Eggleston, writing in his novel Roxy of the same period, lays stress on the saffron hue of the community, the yellow mud seeming to cover all things animate and inanimate.

But the founders possessed faith, courage, and hardihood. Too great stress cannot be laid on their work. They sacrificed personal ambition for the good of the community. Their patriotism even was touched with the zeal of their religion. For many years before the civil war a parade of the Sunday-school children of the city was the chief feature of every Fourth of July celebration. The founders appreciated their opportunity, and labored from the first in the interest of morality and enlightenment. The young capital was a converging point for a slender stream of population that bore in from New England, and a broader current that swept westward from the Middle and Southeastern states. There was no sectional feeling in those days. Many of the prominent settlers from Kentucky were Whigs, but a newcomer’s church affiliation was of far more importance than his political belief. Indianapolis was charged in later years with a lack of public spirit, but with reference only to commercial matters. There has never been a time when a hearing could not be had for any undertaking of philanthropy or public education.

The effect of the civil war upon Indianapolis was immediate and far-reaching. It emphasized through the centralizing there of the state’s military energy the fact that it was the capital city, — a fact which until that time had been accepted languidly by the average Hoosier countryman. The presence within the state of an aggressive body of sympathizers with Southern ideas directed attention throughout the country to the energy and resourcefulness of Morton, the war governor, who pursued the Hoosier Copperheads relentlessly, while raising a great army to send to the seat of war. Again, the intense political bitterness engendered by the war did not end with peace, or with the restoration of good feeling in neighboring states, but continued for twenty-five years more to be a source of political, and, markedly at Indianapolis, a cause of social irritation. In the minds of many, a Democrat was a Copperhead, and a Copperhead was an evil and odious thing. Referring to the slow death of this feeling, a veteran observer of affairs who had, moreover, supported Mr. Cleveland’s candidacy twice, recently said that he had never been able wholly to free himself from this prejudice. But the end really came in 1884, with the reaction against Blaine, which was nowhere more significant of a growth of independence than at Indianapolis.

Following the formative period, which may be said to have ended with the civil war, came an era of prosperity in business, and even of splendor in social matters. Some handsome habitations had been built in the ante-bellum days, but they were at once surpassed by the homes which many citizens reared for themselves in the seventies. These remain, as a group, the handsomest residences that have ever been built at any period in the history of the city. Life had been earnest in the early days, but it now became picturesque. The terms “aristocrats ” and “first families ” were heard in the community, and something of traditional Southern ampleness and generosity crept into the way of life. No one said nouveau riche in those days ; the first families were the real thing. No one denied it, and misfortune could not shake or destroy them.

A panic is a great teacher of humility, and the financial depression that fell upon the country in 1873 drove the lesson home remorselessly at Indianapolis. There had been nothing equivocal about the boom. Western speculators had not always had a fifty-year-old town to operate in, — the capital of a state, a natural railway centre, — no arid village in a hot prairie, but a real forest city that thundered mightily in the prospectus. There was no sudden collapse ; a brave effort was made to ward off the day of reckoning ; but this only prolonged the agony. Among the victims there was little whimpering. A thoroughbred has not proved his mettle until he has held up his head in defeat, and the Hoosier aristocrat went down with his flag flying. A young man of this régime was reduced to accepting employment as a railroad brakeman, and he bought a silvermounted lantern with his first month’s wages. Those that had suffered the proud man’s contumely then came forth to sneer. An old-fashioned butternut Democrat remarked of a banker who failed, that “ no wonder Blank busted when he drove to business in a carriage behind a nigger in uniform.” The memory of the hard times lingered long at home and abroad. A town where credit could be so shaken was not, the Eastern investor declared, a safe place for further investments ; and in many quarters Indianapolis was not forgiven until an honest, substantial growth had carried the lines of the city beyond the terra incognita of the boom.

Many of the striking characteristics of the people are attributable to those days, when the city’s bounds were moved far countryward, to the end that the greatest possible number of investors might enjoy the ownership of town lots. The signal effect of this dark time was to stimulate thrift and bring a new era of caution and conservatism ; for there is a good deal of Scotch-Irish in the Hoosier, and he cannot be fooled twice with the same bait. During the period of depression the town lost its zest for gayety. It took its pleasures a little soberly ; it was notorious as a town that welcomed theatrical attractions grudgingly, though this attitude must be referred back also to the religious prejudices of the early comers. Your Indianapolitan who has personal knowledge of the panic, or who has listened to the story of it from one who weathered the storm, has never forgotten the discipline of the seventies : though he has reached the promised land he still remembers the lash of Pharaoh. So conservatism became the city’s rule of life. The panic of 1893 caused scarcely a ripple, and the typical Indianapolis business man to this day is one who minds his barometer carefully.

Indianapolis was a town that became a city rather against its will. It liked its own way, and its way was slow; but when the calamity could no longer be averted, it had its trousers creased and its shoes polished, and accepted with good grace the fact that its population was approximately two hundred thousand, and that it had crept to a place comfortably near the top in the list of bank clearances. A man who left Indianapolis in 1880, returned in 1900 — the Indianapolitan, like the cat in the ballad, always goes back ; he cannot successfully be transplanted — to find himself a stranger in a strange city. Once he knew all the people who rode in chaises ; but on his return he found new people abroad in smart vehicles; once he had been able to converse on topics of the day with a passing friend in the middle of Washington Street; now he must duck and dive, and keep an eye on the policeman if he would make a safe crossing. He was asked to luncheon at a club; in the old days there were no clubs, or they were looked on as iniquitous things ; he was taken to look at factories which were the largest of their kind in the world. At the railroad yards he saw machinery being loaded for shipment to Russia and Chili; he was told that books published at Indianapolis were sold in New York and Boston, Toronto and London, and he was driven over asphalt streets to parks that had not been dreamed of before his term of exile.

Manufacturing is the great business of the city. There are nearly two thousand establishments within its limits where manufacturing in some form is carried on. Many of these rose in the day of natural gas, and it was predicted that when the gas had been exhausted the city would lose them ; but the number has increased steadily despite the failure of the gas supply. There are abundant coal-fields south and southwest of the city, so that the question of fuel will not soon vex manufacturers. The city enjoys, besides, the benefits to be derived from the numerous manufactories in other towns of central Indiana, many of which maintain administrative offices there. It is not only a good place in which to make things, but a point from which many things may be sold to advantage. Jobbing flourished before manufacturing became a serious factor. The jobbers have given the city an enviable reputation for enterprise and fair dealing. When you ask an Indianapolis jobber whether the propinquity of St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Cleveland is not against him, he answers that he meets his competitors every day in many parts of the country and is not afraid of them.

Indianapolis is not like other cities of approximately the same size. It is not the native who says so, but the visitor from abroad, who is puzzled by a difference between the Hoosier capital and Kansas City, Omaha, and Denver, or Minneapolis and St. Paul. It has perhaps more kinship with Cincinnati than with any other Western city. Most Western towns try to catch the step of Chicago, but Indianapolis has never suffered from any such ambition ; so the Kansas City man and the Minneapolis man visit Indianapolis and find it slow, while the Baltimore or Washington or Hartford visitor wonders what there is about the Hoosier capital that reminds him of his own city.

Indianapolis is a place of industry, thrift, and comfort, and not of luxury. Its social entertainments were long of the simplest sort, and the change in this respect has come only within a few years, — with the great wave of growth and prosperity that has wrought a new Indianapolis from the old. If left to itself, the old Indianapolis would never have known a horse show or a carnival, — would never have strewn itself with confetti ; but the invading time-spirit is fast destroying the walls of the city of tradition. Business men no longer go home to dinner at twelve o’clock and take a nap before returning to work; and the old amiable habit of visiting for an hour in an office where ten minutes of business was to be transacted has passed. A town is at last a city when sociability has been squeezed out of business and appointments are arranged a day in advance by telephone.

The distinguishing quality of Indianapolis is its simple domesticity. The people are home-loving and home-keeping. In the early days, when the town was a rude capital in the woods, the people stayed at home perforce ; and when the railroad reached them they did not take readily to travel. A trip to New York is still a much more serious event, considered from Indianapolis, than from Denver or Kansas City. It was an Omaha young man who was so little appalled by distance that, having an express frank, he formed the habit of sending his laundry work to New York, to assure a certain finish to his linen that was unattainable at home. The more the Hoosier travels, the more he likes his own town. Only a little while ago an Indianapolis man who had been in New York for a week went to the theatre and saw there a fellow townsman who had just arrived. He hurried around to greet him at the end of the first act. “ Tell me,” he exclaimed, “ how is everything in old Indianapolis?” This trifling incident is more illuminative of the characteristic qualities of the Hoosier capital than many pages of historical narrative.

The Hoosiers assemble at Indianapolis in great throngs with slight excuse. In addition to the sixteen railroads that touch there, newly constructed interurban traction lines have lately knit new communities into sympathetic relationship with the capital. You may stand in Washington Street and read the names of all the surrounding towns on the big interurban cars that mingle with the local traction traffic. They bring men whose errand is to buy or sell, or who come to play golf on the free course at Riverside Park, or on the private grounds of the Country Club. These cars carry freight, too, and while they disfigure the streets, no one has made any serious protest, for are not the Hoosiers welcome to their capital, no matter how and when they visit it; and is not this free intercourse, as the phrase has it, “ a good thing for Indianapolis ” ? This contact between town and country tends to keep alive a state feeling, and as the capital grows, — as, let us say, it takes on more and more a metropolitan spirit, — the value of this intimacy will have an increasing value, making a neighborhood of a large area. The rural free delivery of mail is another factor to be suggested in indicating the peculiar position occupied by Indianapolis as the centre of state life. A central Indiana farmer’s wife may take a newspaper from the country carrier at her own door, read the advertisement of an entertainment or bargain sale at Indianapolis, and within an hour or so she can he set down in Washington Street. The economic bearing of these changes on the country merchant is a serious matter that need only be mentioned here.

Unlike many other American cities, Indianapolis has never been dominated by a few rich men. The rich boss has never ruled it; the men of wealth there have usually possessed character as well. And when, in this frugal, cautious capital, a rich man is indicated, the term is relative in a purely local sense. It is probably fair to say that there are more large fortunes in the much smaller towns of Dayton or Columbus, Ohio, than in Indianapolis, where a quarter of a million dollars is enough to make a man conspicuously rich.

There is something neighborly and cosy about Indianapolis. The man across the street or next door will share any good thing he has with you, whether it be a cure for rheumatism, a new book, or the garden hose. It is a town where doing as one likes is not a mere possibility, but an inherent right. The only thing that is insisted on is respectability, — a black alpaca, Sunday-afternoon kind of respectability. You may, in short, be forgiven for being rich and making a display ; but you must be good.

The typical citizen is still one who is well satisfied with his own hearth, — who takes his business seriously on week days, and goes to church on Sundays, that he may gain grace by which to view tolerantly his profane neighbor of the new order who spends Sunday at the Country Club. The woman of Indianapolis is not afraid to venture abroad with her market basket, albeit she may ride in a carriage. The public market at Indianapolis is an ancient and honorable institution, and there is no shame and much honor in being seen there in conversation with the farmer and the gardener or the seller of herbs, in the early hours of the morning. The market is so thoroughly established in public affection that the society reporter walks its aisles in pursuit of news. The true Indianapolis housewife goes to market ; the mere resident of the city orders by telephone, and takes what the grocer has to offer; and herein lies a difference that is not half so superficial as it may sound, for at heart the people who are related to the history and tradition of Indianapolis are simple and frugal, and if they read Emerson and Browning by the evening lamp, they know no reason why they should not distinguish, the next morning, between the yellow - legged chicken offered by the farmer’s wife at the market and frozen fowls of doubtful authenticity that have been held for a season in cold storage.

The narrow margin between the great parties in Indiana has made the capital a centre of incessant political activity. The geographical position of the city has also contributed to this, the state leaders and managers being constant visitors. Every second man you meet is a statesman ; every third man is an orator. The largest social club in Indianapolis exacts a promise of fidelity to the Republican party, and within its portals chances and changes of men and measures are discussed tirelessly. And the pilgrim from abroad is not bored with talk of local affairs ; not a bit of it! The nation’s future is at once disclosed to him. If, however, he wishes to obtain a Godkinian forecast, he can be accommodated at the University Club grillroom, where a court of destructive critics meets daily at high noon. The presence in the city, through many years, of men of national prominence — Morton, Harrison, Hendricks, McDonald, English, Gresham — further helped to make Indianapolis a political centre. Geography plays a chief part in the distribution of favors by state nominating conventions. Rivalry between the smaller towns is not so marked as their united stand against the capital. The city has had, at least twice, both United States Senators; but governors have usually been summoned from the country. Harrison was defeated for governor by a farmer (1876), in a heated campaign, in which “Kid-Gloved Harrison ” was held up to derision by the adherents of “ Blue Jeans Williams.” And again, in 1880, a similar situation was presented in the contest for the same office between Albert G. Porter and Franklin Landers, both of Indianapolis, though Landers stood for the rural “ Blue Jeans ” idea.

The high tide of political interest was reached in the summer and fall of 1888, when Harrison made his campaign for the presidency, largely from his own doorstep. For a man who was reckoned cold by acquaintances, his candidacy evoked an enthusiasm at home that was a marked tribute to Mr. Harrison’s distinguished ability as a lawyer and statesman. The people of Indiana did not love him, perhaps, but they had an immense admiration for his talents. Morton was a masterful and dominating leader; Hendricks was gracious and amiable; while Gresham was singularly magnetic and more independent in his opinions than his contemporaries. William H. English had been a member of Congress from a southern Indiana district before removing to Indianapolis, and an influential member of the constitutional convention of 1850. He was throughout his life a painstaking student of public affairs. When he became his party’s candidate for Vice President on the ticket with Hancock in 1880, much abuse and ridicule were directed against him on account of his wealth ; but he was a man of rugged native force, who stood stubbornly for old-fashioned principles of government, and labored to uphold them. Harrison was the most intellectual of the group, and he had, as few Americans have ever had, the gift of vigorous and polished speech. He did not win men by ease of intercourse, or drive them by force of personality, but he instructed and convinced them, through an appeal to reason and without the lure of specious oratory. He stood finely as a type of what was best in the old and vanishing Indianapolis, — for the domestic and home-loving element that dominated the city from its beginning practically to the end of the last century.

The spirit of independence that gained a footing in the Blaine campaign of 1884 came to stay. Marion County, of which Indianapolis is the seat, was for many years Republican ; but neither county nor city has for a decade been “ safely ” Democratic or Republican. There is a considerable body of independent voters, and they have rebuked incompetence, indifference, and vice repeatedly and drastically ; and they have resented the effort often made to introduce national issues into local affairs. At the city election held in October, 1903, a Democrat was elected mayor over a Republican candidate who had been renominated in a “ snap ” convention, in the face of aggressive opposition within his party. The issue was tautly drawn between corruption and vice on the one hand and law and order on the other. An independent candidate, who had also the Prohibition support, received over 5000 votes. In this connection it may be said that the Indianapolis public schools owe their marked excellence and efficiency to their complete divorcement from political influence. This has not only assured the public an intelligent and honest expenditure of school funds, — and the provision is generous,

— but it has created a corps spirit among the city’s 750 teachers, admirable in itself, and tending to cumulative benefits not yet realized. A supervising teacher — a woman —was lately offered a like position in another city at double the salary paid her at Indianapolis, and she declined merely because of the security of her tenure. The superintendent of schools has absolute power of appointment, and he is accountable only to the commissioners, and they in turn are entirely independent of the mayor and other city officers. Positions on the school board are not sought by politicians. The incumbents serve without pay, and the public evince a disposition to find good men and keep them in office.

The soldiers’ monument at Indianapolis, which testifies to the patriotism and sacrifice of the Indiana soldier and sailor, is a testimony also to the deep impression made by the civil war on the people of the state. The monument is to Indianapolis what the Washington Monument is to the national capital. The incoming traveler sees it afar, and within the city it is almost an inescapable thing. It stands in a circular plaza that was originally a park known as the Governor’s Circle. This was long ago abandoned as a site for the governor’s mansion, but it offered an ideal spot for a monument to Indiana soldiers, when, in 1887, the General Assembly authorized its construction. The height of the monument from the street level is 284 feet, and it stands on a stone terrace 110 feet in diameter. The shaft is crowned by a statue of Victory thirty-eight feet high. It is built throughout of Indiana limestone. The fountains at the base, the heroic sculptured groups “ War ” and “ Peace,” and the bronze astragals representing the army and navy, are admirable in design and execution. The whole effect is one of poetic beauty and power. There is nothing cheap, tawdry, or commonplace in this magnificent tribute of Indiana to her soldiers. The monument is a memorial of the soldiers of all the wars in which Indiana has participated. The veterans of the civil war protested against this, and the controversy was long and bitter ; but the capture of Vincennes from the British in 1779 is made to link Indiana to the war of the Revolution ; and the battle of Tippecanoe, to the war of 1812. The five Indiana regiments contributed to the American army in the war with Mexico, and 7400 men enlisted for the Spanish war are remembered. It is, however, the war of the Rebellion, whose effect on the social and political life of Indiana was so tremendous, that gives the monument its great cause for being. The population of Indiana in 1860 was 1,350,000; the total enlistment of soldiers and sailors during the ensuing years of war was 210,497 ; and the names of these men lie safe for posterity in the base of the gray shaft.

A good deal of humor has in recent years been directed toward Indiana as a literary centre, but Indianapolis as a village boasted writers of at least local reputation, and Coggeshall’s Poets and Poetry of the West (1867) attributes half-a-dozen poets to the Hoosier capital. The Indianapolis press has been distinguished always by enterprise and decency, and in several instances by vigorous independence. The literary quality of the city’s newspapers was high, even in the early days, and the standard has not been lowered. Poets with cloaks and canes were, in the eighties, pretty prevalent in Market Street near the Post Office, the habitat then of most of the newspapers. The poets read their verses to one another and cursed the magazines. A reporter on one of the papers, who had scored the triumph of a poem in the Atlantic, was a man of mark among the guild for years. The local wits stabbed the fledgeling bards with their gentle ironies. A young woman of social prominence printed some verses in an Indianapolis newspaper, and one of her acquaintances, when asked for his opinion of them, said they were creditable and ought to be set to music, — and played as an instrumental piece ! The wide popularity attained by Mr. James Whitcomb Riley quickened the literary impulse, and the fame of his elders and predecessors suffered severely from the fact that he did not belong to the cloaked brigade. General Lew. Wallace never lived at Indianapolis save for a few years in boyhood, while his father was governor, though he has in recent years spent his winters there. Maurice Thompson’s muse scorned “ paven ground,” and he was little known at the capital even during his term of office as state geologist, when he came to town frequently from Crawfordsville, the home of General Wallace also. Mr. Booth Tarkington, a native of the city, has lifted the banner anew for a younger generation.

If you do not meet an author at every corner, you are at least never safe from the man that reads books. In a Missouri River town, a stranger must listen to the old wail against the railroads ; at Indianapolis he must listen to politics, and possibly some one will ask his opinion of a sonnet, just as though it were a cigar. A judge of the United States Court, sitting at Indianapolis, was forever locking the door of his private office, to the end that some attorney, calling on business, might listen to an Horatian ode. There was indeed a time — consule Planco — when most of the Federal office-holders at Indianapolis were bookish men. Three successive clerks of the Federal courts were scholars ; the pension agent was an enthusiastic Shakespearean; the district attorney was a poet, and the master of chancery a man of varied learning, who was so good a talker that, when he met Lord Chief Justice Coleridge abroad, the English jurist took the Hoosier with him on circuit, and wrote to the justice of the American Supreme Court who had introduced them, to “ send me another man as good.”

It is possible for a community which may otherwise lack a true local spirit to be unified through the possession of a sense of humor ; and even in periods of financial depression the town has always enjoyed the saving grace of a cheerful, centralized intelligence. The first tavern philosophers stood for this, and the courts of the early times were touched with it, — as witness all western chronicles. The middle western people are preeminently humorous, particularly those of the Southern strain from which Lincoln sprang. During all the years that the Hoosier suffered the reproach of the outside world, the citizen of the capital never failed to appreciate the joke when it was on himself; and, looking forth from the wicket of the city gate, he was still more keenly appreciative when it was on his neighbors. The Hoosier is a natural story-teller; he relishes a joke, and to talk is his ideal of social enjoyment. This was true of the early Hoosier, and it is true to-day of his successor at the capital. The Monday night meetings of the Indianapolis Literary Club — organized in 1877 and with a continuous existence to this time — have been marked by bright talk. The original members are nearly all gone; but the sayings of a group of them — the stiletto thrusts of Fishback, the lawyer; the droll inadvertences of Livingston Howland, the judge; and the inimitable anecdotes of Myron Reed, soldier and preacher — crept beyond the club’s walls and became town property. This club is old and well seasoned. It is exclusive, — so much so that one of its luminaries remarked that if all of its members should be expelled for any reason, none could hope to be readmitted. It has entertained but four pilgrims from the outer world,—Matthew Arnold, Dean Farrar, Joseph Parker, and John Fiske.

The Hoosier capital has always been susceptible to the charms of oratory. Most of the great lecturers in the golden age of the American lyceum were welcomed cordially at Indianapolis. The Indianapolis pulpit has been served by many able men, and great store is still set by preaching. When Henry Ward Beecher ministered to the congregation of the Second Presbyterian Church (1838-46), his superior talents were recognized and appreciated. He gave a series of seven lectures to the young men of the city during the winter of 1843—44, on such subjects as Industry, Gamblers and Gambling, Popular Amusements, etc., which were published at Indianapolis immediately, in response to an urgent request signed by thirteen prominent men of the city and state.

The women of Indianapolis have aided greatly in fashioning the city into an enlightened community. The wives and daughters of the founders were often women of cultivation, and much in the character of the city to-day is plainly traceable to their work and example. During the civil war they did valiant service in caring for the Indiana soldier. The Indiana Sanitary Commission was the first organization of its kind in the United States. The women of Indianapolis built for themselves in 1888 a building — the Propylæum — where many clubs meet; and they have been the mainstay of the Indianapolis Art Association, which, by a generous and unexpected bequest a few years ago, is now able to build a permanent museum and school on the charming site of an old homestead. It is worth remembering that the first woman’s club in the West, at least, was organized on Hoosier soil — at Robert Owen’s New Harmony — in 1859. The Indianapolis Woman’s Club is thirty years old.

The citizens like their Indianapolis, and with reason. It is a place of charm and vigor, — the charm and ease of contentment dating from the old days, mingled with the earnest challenge and robust faith of to-day. Here you have an admirable instance of the secure building of an American city with remarkably little alien influence, —a city of sound credit abroad, which offers on its commercial and industrial sides a remarkable variety of opportunities. It is a city that brags less of its freight tonnage than of its public schools ; but it is proud of both. At no time in its history has it been indifferent to the best thought and achievement of the world ; and what it has found good it has secured for its own. A kindly, generous, hospitable people are these of this Western capital, finely representative of the product of democracy as democracy has exerted its many forces and disciplines in the broad, rich Ohio Valley.

Meredith Nicholson.