A pop radio staple for three decades, Grammy-award winner John Mellencamp was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2008. A native of the Jackson County town of Seymour, which would be immortalized as the “ Small Town” of his eponymous 1985 hit, Mellencamp took a two-year degree from Vincennes University and left for New York City in 1975.
Frank, John, Simeon and William Reno were raised on a 400-acre farm in Jackson County along with a sister, Laura, and a relatively law-abiding brother, known later as “Honest Clint.” Sundays, the children were required to spend the day reading scripture.
While John Dillinger might be considered Indiana’s most notorious gangster, and the Reno gang of Seymour credited with having invented the train robbery, a different Hoosier miscreant may have left the largest footprint on American folklore. Before astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom put Mitchell on the map, the small town’s best-known native son was undoubtedly Sam Bass.