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Moment of Indiana History

Frank McKinney Hubbard

According to Abe Martin, “You’ve got t’be 59 years old t’believe a feller is at his best at sixty.”

A supporter of William Jennings Bryan’s many runs at the presidency, Frank McKinney Hubbard, a humorist writer and illustrator for the Indianapolis News accompanied the 1904 campaign on a train journey through the backwoods of Indiana.

Inspired by the characters he met along his journey, Hubbard created sketches and added his own quips about politics and the absurdity of life in general. That fall, Hubbard created Abe Martin, a character who would become his spokesman. Abe resided in the fictional community of Bloom Center, Indiana, a town that was also home to such colorful characters as Miss Tawney Apple, Tilford Moots, and Constable Newt Plum. The Abe Martin series would run until the late 1920’s and later appear in book form as several collections of Hubbard’s illustrations with Abe’s now famous pearls of wisdom.

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