The nineteenth century in Indiana was a century of change as it was throughout the country.
When Indiana became a state in 1816, it was heavily forested with about 60,000 residents scattered throughout the state, mostly in southern Indiana, along the Ohio River.
Most early residents had come to Indiana to become farmers or merchants. During the course of the century, Indiana gradually went from a rural/agricultural state to an urban/industrial state.
Among the early residents was Elisha Gale English, who had crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky and settled in Lexington, Indiana, in 1818. He became a wealthy and successful businessman, politician and landowner.
His son, William H. English, increased the family’s wealth and became an important national politician during the pre-Civil War years. His grandson, William E. English, devoted most of his life to civic responsibilities, including service in Congress and in many local organizations.
All three represent how success can be achieved in their own generation despite a changing economy and social order.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Jeff Tenuth was born in Wisconsin and educated at South Illinois University (at Edwardsville), Indiana-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and the University of Indianapolis where he earned a master’s degree in history. He spent more than thirty-five years working in museums in a variety of positions including registrar, historian, curator, and collection manager. He has previously authored a history of Indianapolis as well as many articles on Indiana history and various aspects of museum work.