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Cynthia Gwynne Yaudes
Assistant Editor

Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Indiana history journal examines an Indianapolis murder

Dec. 13, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.-- The story of a murder at Indianapolis' English Hotel opens the December 2007 issue of the Indiana Magazine of History. David Jones tells the "unusual case" of professional baseball player Dan Shay, who in a drunken rage, killed African American waiter Clarence Euell at the hotel's café in May 1917. Shay's acquittal after a lengthy jury trial, Jones concludes, reveals more about Progressive Era Indianapolis's conflicted racial and moral climate than about Shay's actual guilt or innocence.

This issue continues with a conversation among local history practitioners from around Indiana. Marshall County Historical Society director Linda Lou Rippy, Jackson County librarian Charlotte Sellers, and Hancock County historian Joseph L. Skvarenina relate the joys and challenges they face in doing Hoosier history on a local scale. Three renowned scholars of public history -- Rebecca Conard, Jannelle Warren-Findley and David Glassberg -- then analyze these experiences to compare them with the functions of public historians across the nation.

Native Hoosier and New Deal-era Oklahoma legislator Elmer Thomas remembers -- and is remembered -- in the issue. Thomas's memoir, long lost among his collected papers at the University of Oklahoma, was found by historian Richard Lowitt and archivist Carolyn G. Hanneman, who published it earlier this year as Forty Years a Legislator. In this issue of the IMH, Hanneman introduces a portion of the memoir -- not included in the book -- that focuses on Thomas's coming of age in rural Indiana.

As always, the IMH features reviews of the latest scholarship on the history of Indiana and the Midwest. In this issue find a sesquicentennial celebration of Butler University, a history of one of the Midwest's largest farm bureaus, and Robert Ferrell's memories of Thomas D. Clark.

The Indiana Magazine of History is published quarterly by the IU History Department in cooperation with the Indiana Historical Society. Visit the IMH online at For subscription and back copy information email the editorial office at