Moore to release new book
on Jefferson County, Ind. history
book has varied topics
and is set for a November release
(October 2011) Jefferson County, Ind., home
to 32,428 people and comprised of 362.94 square miles, was created out
of ancient Native American hunting grounds in 1811. But for George Rogers
Clarks victories in the Revolutionary War, the residents could
all be British citizens.
To celebrate these 200 years of democracy in Jefferson County, a book
was proposed by the Jefferson County Historical Society. The result
Jefferson County Bicentennial Book, Before We Forget
was written by local historian Mike Moore and is expected
to be released in November.
the Jefferson Proving
Ground, Mike Moore
has devoted much
of his time to
As a matter of Providence, several years ago, the St Patricks
Parish decided to celebrate its 150th anniversary by conducting oral
history interviews of its members. Those interviews never made it into
print; however, they became a learning experience for the author. These
interviews remained on tape for 27 years until recently
when the interviews were transcribed.
The senior citizens interviewed in 1984 have died, but their memories
live on. Thats what this book is about preserving
memories as valuable treasures, said Moore, a retired employee
of the Jefferson Proving Ground. These vestiges of North Madisons
past became the nucleus of the book.
Thirty longtime residents from many of the 10 townships created for
Jefferson County were interviewed about growing up in the county. They
were asked about their genealogy, farming, business, schools, families
and other topics.
One advantage of the book, said Moore, is that when
people drive along county highways and see the rusty iron fences, stone
houses with roofs caving in, or houses with only one wall standing,
theyll know at least most of the story.
He added that there is a lot for those who like facts and figures and
there is much history from Clark defeating the British in
Vincennes; to World War II veterans talking about North Africa campaigns;
to companies such as Grote that moved to Madison in the 1950s.
The many photographs are exceptional. There are 44 color photos taken
by the author and 80 photos from many individuals including the Madison
Courier and RoundAbout Madison newspapers.
The first photo is a collage of the pictures of the Jefferson County
Historical Society emphasizing the physical location of the museum and
the teaching mission provided to the children and residents of the county.
There are many personal stories from members of families
that forged their farms out of the Indian hunting grounds. Much of the
land has been in the same family for generations. Small histories of
several small communities such as Barbersville, Beecamp, Sugan, Rykers
Ridge, Canaan, Deputy, Dupont, Hanover and Kent and Saluda, are presented.
Interviews about World War I and World War II indicate that families
and individuals were asked to sacrifice and were willing to do so. The
cemeteries, with soldiers ranks and units served, emblazoned on stone,
reflect the patriotic spirit of our ancestors. Some 75 veterans of the
American Revolutionary War are buried in Jefferson County. Thirty to
35 graves of these first American soldiers have been located and identified
by local resident Nick Schultz and are listed in the appendix.
These Indiana families were forced to make sacrifices so powerful that
those not involved in this Bicentennial Oral Project cant possibly
imagine having to do it. Jefferson County was formed in 1811. It was
named for Thomas Jefferson, principal draftsman of the Northwest Ordinance
and president of the United States from 1801-1809.
The book points out that Jefferson County was one of Indianas
first counties and many important early Hoosiers hailed from Madison,
including William Hendricks. Throughout the early history of the state,
Madison was one of the leading cities competing with Vincennes and later
New Albany to be the largest city in the state.
Stories include the Missing five Miles, an effort to document
the five miles of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgans Raid that
is located on the old Jefferson Proving Ground. The book is the only
opportunity that folks can see the markers that pinpoint the route that
Morgan took in 1863.
By 1953, Madison moved up on the hilltop and factories such as Grote
moved in. Al Huntington, former Madison mayor, calls this Madisons
Second Industrial Revolution the first revolution being
the building of the Madison Railroad and the factories in Madison prior
to the Civil War.
The author has interviewed or typed up transcriptions for 30 individuals,
with each person bringing his individual personal experiences to the
book. Some folks took charge of their interview and talked non-stop,
while others had to be asked questions to flesh out their history. This
resulted in an uneven format of the book; however, it was designed to
be easily read. The book is printed as 8.5x11 inches with 12 point,
Times New Roman font. The photographs are large and the photos are in
color where possible.
Folks were interviewed in their homes, churches, businesses, nursing
homes, automobiles and the Reference Library of the Jefferson County
When the book arrives in November, a book
signing event will be announced. For information, call the Jefferson
County Historical Society at (812) 265-2335.
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