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Roger D. Branigin Oral History Transcript
Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Processed by: Marcia Caudell, May, 2012
Roger D. Branigin, the forty-second Governor of the State of Indiana, was born on July 26, 1902 in Franklin Indiana. He attended Franklin College and then Harvard University Law School, graduating in 1926. On November 2, 1929, Branigin married Josephine Mardis. The couple had two sons, Roger Jr. and Robert. In 1930, Branigin took a job as attorney for the Federal Land Bank and the Farm Credit Administration in Louisville, Kentucky. He was promoted to general counsel for the bank and traveled a five-state region, leaving in 1938. Moving to Lafayette, Indiana, Branigin became a partner in the Stuart, Branigin, Ricks, and Schilling law firm. At the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Judge Advocate General's Office in Washington, D. C. achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. After the war, Branigin returned to his Lafayette law practice.
In 1948, he chaired the Democratic state convention and was appointed chair of the state conservation commission by Governor Henry F. Schricker. Following an unsuccessful run for the governorship in 1956, Branigin, a Democrat, was elected governor in 1964, serving a four-year term. In March 1968, President Lyndon Johnson asked Branigin to run as his stand-in during the Indiana Democratic presidential primary. Branigin agreed and when Johnson dropped out of the race in March, Branigin continued his campaign. He lost the Indiana primary to Robert Kennedy. After leaving politics, he returned to his law practice in Lafayette and served as president of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, as a board member of Franklin College and Purdue University, and on the Board of Trustee of the Indiana Historical Society.
Branigin died in Lafayette on November 19, 1975, and was buried in Franklin, Indiana.
Oral History Transcript
The Governors of Indiana. Gugin, Linda C., and James E. St. Clair, ed. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press, 2006.
Indiana Historical Bureau, accessed 28 May, 2012 http://www.in.gov/history/2712.htm
This collection contains a transcript of an oral history tape made by Randall W. Jehs of the Indiana State Library with Roger D. Branigin on October 19, 1971. He discusses his ancestry, his family, and growing up in Franklin Indiana. Branigin was an avid book collector and he discusses books and the Franklin College library to which he gave his collection. Branigin had an extensive knowledge of Indiana history and he discusses this and race relations when he was growing up and the impact of the Ku Klux Klan in state politics. He talks about his work in the Fourth Federal Land Bank District and the lawyers and judges he worked with in his practice. With a strong interest in conservation, Branigin discusses the Department of Natural Resources and the states historic sites. As Governor, Branigin talks about the trials of the job and some of the bills and issues of his term including the Teachers’ Retirement Fund, and abortion bill, the Department of Corrections and many agency heads. He also discusses his relationship with Governor Welsh and many politicians including Frank McKinney, Frank McHale, Gordon St. Angleo, and Jack New.
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October 19, 1971 Transcript
Size of Collection: 1 transcript
Collection Dates: 1902-1971
Provenance: Indiana State Library
Access : The collection is open for research use
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: None
MA BA 6-10-2013