Category Archives: Family History

Fiestas Patrias Parade and Indiana’s First Mexican Queen

Every September in Indiana Harbor (East Chicago), Lake County, Indiana there is an annual parade and events for Fiestas Patrias, a celebration of Mexican Independence Day. The earliest record of this Hoosier staple celebration of Mexican heritage was in 1924. The Times reported on August 21, 1924, a planned September celebration of Mexican Independence being […]

By the Train Loads: Mexican Repatriation Movement in the Midwest, Part II

“It was during these hard years of the early 1930s that mass groups of the parishioners departed in whole train loads for Mexico.” Silver Anniversary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, East Chicago, Indiana, 1927-1952 Part One of this blog series laid out how many individuals were repatriated to Mexico by 1932, how it was funded, […]

George Merritt Family – Part II

Ernest Merritt, born in Indianapolis two weeks after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, would grow up to become the head of the physics department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He worked closely with Edward Nichols, with whom he co-founded the important physics journal Physical Review. His biographical memoir on the National Academy of Sciences […]

From Civil War to Indianapolis Parks, George Merritt’s Family Made an Impact

A collection of materials from the Merritt family of Indianapolis, recently added to our collections, embodies the wide variety of activities in which they engaged. From early industrial success to service during the Civil War, parks, schools, women’s suffrage, elder care, and even an 8-year-old’s entrepreneurial spirit, it’s all here. George Merritt, once termed “the […]

Asian Businesses of Monument Circle: Ikko Matsumoto

Indianapolis of the 19th and 20th centuries never had a large enough Asian population that would lend itself to create nor sustain an ethnic commercial corridor such as a “Chinatown.” This is partly due to a series of anti-Asian laws which stymied potential growth. From 1892 through 1948, Monument Circle would host a number of […]

Sylvia’s World, Part 3 – Isadore

As we’ve explored Sylvia Dichner’s life (Part I and Part II) in Indianapolis, we have encountered the man who would become her husband, Isadore “Izzy” Weiss. While Sylvia’s story connects us to life in Indianapolis as a young working person in the Great Depression, Isadore’s life links the past with the unfortunate current events we […]