Those who follow college football know that the Monon Bell represents the long-time rivalry between DePauw and Wabash Colleges. The 300-pound locomotive bell, first awarded as a trophy in 1932, was a gift from the Monon Railroad. Founded in 1847 as the New Albany and Salem Railroad, the Monon provided service from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River by 1853.
Many are acquainted with the Trail of Tears, the forced migration of 15,000 Cherokees from the Smoky Mountains to Oklahoma in 1838. But another deadly exodus of Native Americans began in Indiana that same year. Part of the Algonquian group of Indians, Potawatomi people were living in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana at the start of the nineteenth century.
Though her likeness has never graced a coin, a Quaker woman who made significant advances for women’s rights spent much of her adult life in Indiana. An Orthodox Quaker belonging to Richmond, Indiana’s upper crust, Rhoda Coffin devoted herself to the improvement of less fortunate women’s lives. Born in Ohio in 1826, Rhoda came to Indiana at age 18 to attend the Whitewater Monthly Meeting School in Richmond, at that time the center of Quaker activity in the Midwest.
President Theodore Roosevelt called it “the most American thing in America.” With its passing, it’s been said, “the American middle class in the interior lost something valuable.” The Chautauqua movement brought religion, politics, culture and entertainment to small towns and rural outposts across the United States from the 1870s through the 1920s.