1902 Encyclopedia > Indiana


INDIANA, one of the Central States of the American Union, lies between 37° 47' and 41° 50' N. lat., and 84° 49' and 88° 2' W. long. It is bounded on the E. by the State of Ohio, from which it is separated by a line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami river; on the S. by the Ohio river, separating it from Kentucky, between the mouths of the Great Miami and the Wabash; on the W. by Illinois, from which it is separated by the Wabash river from its mouth to a point where a line drawn due north from Vincennes last touches the western bank of that stream, thence north on that line to a point 10 miles north of the southern extreme of Lake Michi-gan ; on the N. by a line drawn from that point due east until it intersects the eastern boundary, separating the State from Michigan. A small portion of Lake Michigan is included within the northern boundary. The coast-line is about 60 miles in length. Michigan City is the only lake harbour in the State. The extreme length of the State is 276 miles, with an average breadth of 145 miles; and the area is 33,809 square miles.
Topography.—Indiana occupies a broad table-land, for the most part level or gently undulating, except along the Ohio, where the plain has been deeply grooved by the affluent streams into hills and valleys. There are no eleva-tions that could properly be termed mountains or mountain ranges. With the exception of a small portion which drains into the great lakes, the whole State inclines gently towards the south-west. The highest point (except a knob in Brown county) is found in the southern portion of Ran-dolph county, and is 1253 feet above the sea; the lowest, at the mouth of the Wabash, is 370 feet. From careful surveys the mean altitude of the State is estimated at 735 feet above sea-level. It is well watered by numerous streams and rivers, but, with the exception of the Ohio and Wabash, few of them are navigable. The Wabash is the largest river that has its course mainly within the State; and, together with its branches, it drains three-fourths of the entire surface. It rises in the west of Ohio, and flows first in a north-west direction, and then south-west till it meets the boundary of Illinois, which it follows southward for more than 100 miles, till it falls into the Ohio, after a course of upwards of 500 miles. The Ohio forms the entire southern boundary of the State. The other principal rivers of Indiana are tributaries of the Wabash. The White River, the most important of these, is formed by the W. and E. Forks,—two rivers respectively about 300 and 200 miles long,—which unite about 100 miles above its confluence with the Wabash. The Maumee is formed by the St Joseph and St Mary in the north-east, and falls into Lake Erie. The Upper St Joseph, with its tributaries, passes through the northern counties, and falls into Lake Michigan. That portion south of the Wabash was originally covered with heavy forests of oak, beech, maple, walnut, ash, and other hard woods; north of that river was principally prairie, interspersed with small lakes.

Geology and Minerals.—Lower Silurian strata are well developed in the south-eastern part of the State, with a thickness of 800 feet. Next, to the west and north, in succes-sion occur rocks of the Upper Silurian, with a thickness of 200 feet, and those of Devonian age, 180 feet thick. The last two formations spread over all the northern third of the State, deeply covered with glacial drift, and at points deeply eroded by ice and water flow of that age. The Coal-measures occupy over 7000 square miles in the western and south-western parts, furnishing seven workable seams, at a depth of 50 to 220 feet, and averaging 80 feet below the surface; the seams vary in thickness from 2\ to 11 feet, averaging 4| feet; the quality is from fair to good , an area of 600 square miles in this field yields a superior " block " or splint coal. This, being free from sulphur and phosphorus, is used in blast furnaces as it comes from the mine, without coking, and is well adapted for the preparation of Bessemer steel. The Sub-Carboniferous or Mountain Limestone borders the Coal-measures on the south and east; it yields giant bands of choice limestone for build-ing purposes, 30 to 50 feet thick, unlimited in extent, homogeneous, elastic to compensate for inequalities of tern-perature, and with endurance to bear the climatic changes. Near Leavenworth, in the southern part of the State, there is a remarkable calcareous cavern, the Wyandotte Cave. One of its chambers is 350 feet long and 245 in height. It abounds with stalactites and stalagmites of great variety and size.

Inexhaustible beds of fire clay, potter's clay, kaolin, and lime, as well as paving and building stone, are found in the southern parts of the State.


Agricicture is the chief branch of industry, the climate and soil being suited to the growth of cereals, fruits, and grasses. The following table, compiled from the report of the Bureau of Statistics, shows the production of the chief grain crops for 1880 :—

== TABLE ==

The meadow land amounted to 778,691 acres, and the hay produced was 1,221,164 tons. The same year the domestic animals numbered — horses 494,809, cattle 1,150,559, sheep 1,508,242, and hogs 4,253,586. There were 145,826 stands of bees, yielding 1,114,883 lb of honey.

Climate.—The climate is equable and healthy. In 1865 a United States signal station was established at Indianapolis, and the following meteorological tables have been compiled from the daily reports of this office. They indicate the temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit) and rain-fall in inches during a period of fourteen years. The mean height of the barometer for the same period was 30-010 inches. The prevailing winds are from the south and west in summer, veering round to the north in winter.

Manufactures, Communication, &c.—The manufacturing interests have increased rapidly during the last decade. The Bureau of Statistics reported the value of manufactured products for 1878 at $185,050,220, and the mercantile trade sales at $300,323,256. The increase of wealth is shown as follows by the appraisement for taxation :—

1850 |202,650,26t
1860 411,042,424
1870 663,455,044
1880 767,387,172

On April 1, 1880, there were sixty-three railway cor-porations, working 4963 miles of railway in the State, tra-versing eighty-five counties, and appraised for taxation at $38,442,941. So completely does the railway system cover the State that one can go from the capital to almost any county and return the same day. The geographical position of the State is such that all the main railroad through-lines between the east and west have to cross Indiana.

Administration.—The State is divided into ninety-two counties, containing about 400 square miles each. The governor is elected for four years. The legislature, which meets biennally, consists of a senate of fifty, elected for four years, and a house of representatives of one hundred, elected for two years. The judges (five) of the supreme court are elected for six years. The State has thirteen representatives and two senators in Congress. All popular elections are by ballot. All elections by the legislature are viva voce. The State has no permanent debt. The con-stitution declares that no debts shall be incurred by the State except to meet casual deficits in the revenue, or to provide for the public defence, repel invasion, and suppress insurrection. On the organization of Indiana as a terri-tory in 1800, Vincennes was made the capital; when the State Government was formed in 1816, the capital was fixed temporarily at Corydon, until provision could be made for the permanent seat at Indianapolis, to which it was removed in 1824.

Education.—The foundation of the free school system was laid by Congress when, in admitting the State into the Union, the Government presented a section of land in each township to the inhabitants for free schools. A great advance was made in 1851, when in framing the new con-stitution it was provided that certain funds then belonging to the State, with all penal fines and forfeitures accruing, should constitute a common school fund, the principal to remain a perpetual fund, to be increased, but never di-minished, and the annual income used for tuition only. This fund in 1880 amounted to $9,220,708, and is in-creasing. In the same year there were 9647 schoolhouses in the State, valued at $11,817,954. Of the children of school age (six to twenty-one) there were—males, white 354,761, coloured 7162; females, white 334,249, coloured 7386. Of these 511,283 attended the schools. The tuition revenue expended for the year ending June 30,1880, was:

Amount derived from State tax $1,519,791-69
Interest on common school fund held by counties 204,145'30
State's interest on non-negotiable bonds 234,187'00
Amount derived from unclaimed fees 895'22
Congressional township revenue 198,247'66
Amount of local tuition tax 589,093-21
Proceeds of liquor licences 193,512-15
Total $2,939,872-23

The State university is at Bloomington, and the State normal school at Terre Haute. The function of the latter is to fit its pupils to become teachers in the common schools. Perdue University, at Lafayette, is the State agricultural college. There are also a number of colleges, mainly under the control of religious societies, chief among which are Asbury University (Methodist) at Greencastle, Wabash College (Presbyterian) at Crawfordsville, Butler University (Christian) at Irvington (near Indianapolis), Notre Dame
(Catholic) at South Bend, and Earlham College (Friend) at Richmond.
Popidation.—In point of population Indiana ranks as fifth State in the Union. The white inhabitants in 1765 are stated to have consisted of a few French families along the Wabash. The following table shows the popula-tion at decennial periods during this century :—

== TABLE ==

The return for 1880 shows a density of population of 57'8 persons per square mile.
The following are the chief towns, with population in 1880 :—Indianapolis, 75,074 ; Evansville, 29,280 ; Fort Wayne, 26,880; Terre Haute, 26,040; New Albany, 16,422 ; Lafayette, 14,860; South Bend, 13,279; Rich-mond, 12,473; Logansport, 11,198; Jeffersonville, 10,422.

History.—Indiana originally constituted a part of New France.
It was visited by the Jesuits as early as 1672. At the beginning of
the 18th century the French opened a line of communication
between the lakes and the Mississippi by way of the Maumee, Wa-
bash, and Ohio rivers. Trading posts for barter with the natives
were established at the head of the Maumee, where is now the city
of Fort Wayne; at Ouantenon, on the Wea Prairie, near the city
of Lafayette; and at Vincennes on the Wabash. Missionary
stations were also established by the Jesuit fathers, in their
endeavour to convert the Indians. At the close of the French
war in 1763-4, the territory east of the Mississippi and north
of the Ohio passed under British dominion. Pending the war
between Great Britain and the American colonies, Colonel George
Rogers Clark of Virginia, with an armed force, took possession of the
territory, raising the American flag at Vincennes in 1778. By the
treaty of 1783 between England and the United States this territory
was recognized as belonging to the latter ; inasmuch as Virginia
had fitted out Clark's expedition, she was entitled by the law of
conquest to claim this vast dominion. During the colonial war
Congress recommended the several States to cede their claims to un-
appropriated lands in the western country to the general government
for the common benefit of the Union. Virginia, in pursuance of this
request, yielded up her claims to the territory north-west of the
Ohio. The deed of cession, executed on March 1, 1784, was signed
by Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Arthur Lee, and Samuel Hardy.
In 1787 Congress passed an ordinance for the government of the
north-west territory, which provided, among other things, that not
more than five States should ever be formed thereof, prohibiting
slavery, and declaring that "religion, morality, and knowdedge
being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind,
schools and the means of education shall for ever be encouraged."
This territory was subsequently divided into the States of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Indiana was admitted
into the Union as a State by Congress on April 19,1816, being the
sixth State received after the formation of the government by the
thirteen original States and the adoption in 1787 of the present con-
stitution. (A. C. H.)

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