Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Jan 13, 2006
Portraits of historically important Hoosiers added to walls of governor?s office

Portraits of historically important Hoosiers added to walls of governor?s office

INDIANAPOLIS (January 13, 2006) -- Governor Mitch Daniels has unveiled a change in the longstanding décor of the Governor?s Office. It has been traditional for many decades that the portraits of former governors are displayed in the office. By custom, portraits of the seven most recent governors are displayed in the Reception Room of the governor?s office. In the governor?s personal office, it has been tradition for each governor to select portraits of 12 historic governors for display. But Governor Daniels is breaking with that tradition, and the four panels of the south wall of the office now have a new treatment.

?The biography of great men and women from the past are important to raising expectations in our own time, so portraits will continue to adorn the wall. But I have broadened the range of people whose portraits I will look up to each day,? said Daniels.

The governor said that the four south panels would now host a rotating collection of portraits of historically important Hoosiers. The first set of portraits includes two world renowned authors, a leader of the woman?s suffrage movement, a civil war general, the greatest female entrepreneur of her day, and the founders of one of the greatest Indiana companies of the last century.

Portrait subject Loaned by
Madam C.J. Walker The Madam Walker Theatre Center (Indianapolis)
The Ball Brothers The Ball Brothers Foundation (Muncie)
Lew Wallace The Lew Wallace Study & Museum (Crawfordsville)
Booth Tarkington Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis)
May Wright Sewall The Propylaeum (Indianapolis)

Each portrait has been loaned to the state for four to six months. Biographies of each subject are attached.

?I am very grateful to the five organizations who have loaned this mini-tribute to Hoosier history,? said Daniels. ?We will search for another couple dozen portraits to display over the next several years, and look forward to the stories of those lives inspiring success in our own time.?

Biographies of individuals in new portraits in the Governor?s office

Madam C.J. Walker: This daughter of former slaves transformed herself from an uneducated farm laborer and laundress into one of the twentieth century's most successful, self-made women entrepreneurs. To promote her products, the Madam Walker traveled for a year and a half on a dizzying crusade throughout the heavily black South and Southeast, selling her products door to door, demonstrating her scalp treatments in churches and lodges, and devising sales and marketing strategies. In 1910 she moved to Indianapolis where she built a factory and established the headquarters of the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company which remained in Indianapolis for more than seven decades. As her business grew, Walker organized her agents into local and state clubs. Her Madam C. J. Walker Hair Culturists Union of America convention in Philadelphia in 1917 must have been one of the first national meetings of businesswomen in the country. Walker used the gathering not only to reward her agents for their business success, but to encourage their political activism as well. "This is the greatest country under the sun," she told them. "But we must not let our love of country, our patriotic loyalty cause us to abate one whit in our protest against wrong and injustice.? Tenacity and perseverance, faith in herself and in God, quality products and "honest business dealings" were the elements and strategies she prescribed for aspiring entrepreneurs. "There is no royal flower-strewn path to success," she once said. "If I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard."

The Ball Brothers: The five founding Ball brothers- Edmund, Frank, George, Lucius and William - started their company in 1880 in Buffalo, New York. In 1887, the renamed Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company relocated to Muncie, accepting the city?s offer of free natural gas, a seven acre industrial site and $5,000 in cash. The company was led by Ball family members until the 1960s and was a family owned business until 1972 when the company went public. The company was known for its Ball jars, but its true stock in trade was innovation and applied technology. It was a leader in vertical integration and ranged into diverse product lines, including telecommunications and aerospace technologies. Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers benefited from the businesses that grew from the little company the Ball Brothers brought to Muncie, both as employees and beneficiaries of the philanthropy that resulted from their business success.

Booth Tarkington: Indiana?s greatest man of letters, Tarkington was one of the most productive and successful authors in the history of American writing. He had a middle-class upbringing in Indianapolis. He attended Purdue University and then Princeton University (class of 1893), after which he returned home to make a living from drawing and writing. For 5 years he struggled painfully with little success, but finally, in 1899, Tarkington's manuscript The Gentleman from Indiana was accepted for publication. It became his first bestseller of many. He published 46 books selling more than 5 million copies in a pre-paperback era. He wrote 20 plays, most of which were Broadway hits. The Two Vanrevels and Mary's Neck appeared on the annual best-seller lists nine times. The 1921 Publishers Weekly poll of booksellers rated him the most significant contemporary American author. In 1922, the Literary Digest pronounced him America's greatest living writer. Additionally, his work was critically acclaimed. He won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction twice, in 1918 for The Magnificent Ambersons and in 1921 for Alice Adams. (The only other author so honored is William Faulkner.) His short story, "Cider of Normandy," won the 1931 O. Henry Memorial Award. And after the publication of Presenting Lily Mars in 1933 the National Institute of Arts and Letters awarded him their Gold Medal for fiction.

Lew Wallace: The son of Indiana?s 6th governor, Lew Wallace led one of the most interesting, and full lives of any Hoosier ever. Born in Brookville in 1827, Wallace was a soldier at age 19 and a lawyer at age 23. He was elected to the state senate at 29, and on the outbreak of the civil war was named Adjutant General of Indiana at age 34. As a major general at age 35 he commanded the Third Division of the Army of the Tennessee under Ulysses S. Grant at the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh. Two years later, he commanded the 8th Army Corps at the Battle of Monacacy, defending Washington DC against attack by Confederate General Jubal Early. After the war he sat on the military court that tried those accused of the assassination plot against President Lincoln. Later that same year he chaired the military court that tried Henry Wirz, commandant of Andersonville Prison. He served as Governor of the New Mexico Territory where he was directly involved with the saga of Billy the Kid, followed by his appointment as the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. With the election of a new president in 1884, Wallace was obliged to resign as ambassador, but Sultan Abdul Hamid II so valued his ability that he was offered positions in the Turkish government. He declined, returning to Crawfordsville. Oh, and he wrote some too. In 1880 his second novel, Ben Hur, became a best seller. In fact, it became the best-selling novel of the 19th century. It has been translated into at least 20 different languages, and in 125 years has never been out of print. About a month shy of his 78th birthday, Wallace died in Crawfordsville. His marble statue is one Indiana?s two statues in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol.

May Wright Sewall: Although best known as one of the key leaders in the women?s suffrage movement ? in Indiana and nationally ? May Wright Sewall earned her role as a significant Hoosier in multiple realms. She was an important educator. She was a leader in the area of civic improvement. And leading up to and surrounding the period of World War I, she was a leader in the peace movement. In the introduction to Sewall?s 1920 book, Neither Dead nor Sleeping, Booth Tarkington wrote that the ?three most prominent citizens? of Indianapolis in their day were Benjamin Harrison, James Whitcomb Riley and May Wright Sewall. Born in 1844, Sewall graduated in 1866 from Northwestern Female College (later absorbed by Northwestern University). She received an M.A. degree in 1871. In 1882 she and her husband, Theodore L. Sewall, also a teacher, founded the Girls' Classical School of Indianapolis, with which she was associated for a quarter of a century. During that period she also became widely known for her efforts in the women's rights movement. She was a prominent ally of suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She had helped found the Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society in 1878, and in 1881?83 she led a campaign that narrowly failed to secure woman suffrage in Indiana. From 1882 to 1890 she was chairman of the executive committee of the National Woman Suffrage Association. In 1888 Sewall and Frances Willard took charge of a convention held in Washington, D.C., to mark the 40th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. From that meeting emerged the National Council of Women (of which Sewall was president in 1897?99) and the International Council of Women, (of which Sewell was president from 1899 to 1904). In 1889 she joined in organizing and was elected first vice president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. During 1891?92 she traveled extensively in Europe to build support for the World's Congress of Representative Women, of which she was chairman, to be held in conjunction with the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Sewall's later years were devoted principally to the cause of peace. One of the organizations that she help to found, the Indianapolis Propylaeum continues to this day to honor her memory.