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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Morgan County Morgan County

Morgan County Courthouse
Q&A with County Coordinator David Reddick

What do you consider the key accomplishment(s) of your county's bicentennial celebration?

  • I think our key accomplishment(s) was having more than a dozen Legacy projects that spanned everything from art shows, running and fitness events to a new park dedication.

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • I am very proud of the state historical marker that we had erected in downtown Mooresville celebrating the 100th anniversary of the state flag. While not technically a Legacy project, it will be part of the new Paul Hadley Bicentennial Park, which was a Legacy project.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's bicentennial celebration.

  • Probably the most memorable was the Torch Relay coming through the county on Sept. 23 and it going off without a hitch.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • We intend to make copies of our activities and make them available to the local libraries. Our Torch will be placed in the lobby of our county Administration Building in Martinsville.

Do you have a website and/or social media presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)?

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • We had 20 volunteers on our Bicentennial Committee, and several other people for specific events.

Estimated total attendance.

  • We probably had more than a 1,000 people witness the Torch Relay ceremonies in Mooresville and Martinsville.

Estimated dollar amount raised.

  • We raised more than $10,000 to purchase giant maps to give every school in the county a copy.

Estimated dollar amount spent.

  • Counting the maps, we probably spent about $15,000.

Morgan County Legacy Projects

Morgan County Facts

Morgan County was formed in 1822. It was named for Gen. Daniel Morgan, who defeated the British at the Battle of Cowpens in the Revolutionary War.

Photo excerpted from Perry, Rachel Berenson. “Paul Hadley (left): Artist and Designer of the Indiana Flag” and Herron art student” (right) circa 1923. Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. 15(1), 20-29 (2003).Paul Hadley, a Mooresville resident, was the designer of the current Indiana flag . His design was chosen as the result of a contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Hadley was a locally prominent water color artist in the early twentieth century.

Out of 200 proposals, Paul’s design for the Indiana State Banner (changed to Flag in 1955) was selected in the state’s 1916 Centennial Celebration, and the Indiana General Assembly adopted it in 1917. The flag’s flaming torch and six radiating beams from the torch symbolized the expansion of liberty and enlightenment. The 13 stars represent the original 13 U.S. colonies; the five inner stars represent the next five states admitted to the Union. Indiana is the largest star atop the torch.

The Mooresville Veterans Memorial is a beautiful tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It also honors Sammy Davis, a Mooresville High School graduate and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient in 1967 for his heroism in Vietnam – Indiana’s only living Medal of Honor recipient. Davis is also well-known as “The Real Forrest Gump” since his military story was the basis for many of Forrest’s military experiences in the book and the movie.

The Mooresville Academy Building is home of central Indiana’s first high school. “The brick Academy building located on North Indiana Street is probably the only school building in the United States that was paid for by private donations, and in which students attended public school for 110 years,” observed Rebecca Hardin, Mooresville historian.

The building has been restored and since 2000 it houses the Community Foundation of Morgan County as well as the Academy of Hoosier Heritage Museum. The museum features local and school history collections as well as a one-room school. Located at 250 N. Monroe Street, Mooresville

Paragon, Indiana is is well known as the home of the Paragon Speedway, which features non-wing sprints, super stocks, bombers and pure stocks.

Morgan-Monroe State Forest is the second largest state forest in Indiana. The 24,000 acres comprising this deciduous forest were abandoned farmland, as the previous residents realized that the land’s rocky soil was very poor for agricultural purposes. The state of Indiana purchased the abandoned land in 1929 to prevent further erosion and to create the state forest.

Draper Cabin, located in the northern section of Monroe-Morgan State Forest, outside Martinsville, is a primitive, wooden-floored log cabin that takes visitors 100 years back in time to the days before electricity, vehicles and modern plumbing. Reservations for the cabin are accepted from the first weekend in April to the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Notable Martinsville residents include basketball legend John Wooden.

Martinsville was founded in 1822 along the east bank of the White River. The town’s ready access to the river encouraged its early growth. During the mid-nineteenth century, the community was one of central Indiana’s leading shipping points for pork and grain.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, mineral springs in Martinsville gave rise to several spas, and the nickname of the Martinsville High School athletic teams has subsequently been the Artesians.

County Seat: Martinsville
Year Organized: 1821
Square Miles: 403.97

Morgan County Bicentennial Celebration Committee

  • Ellen Wilson-Pruitt
  • Joyce Hamilton
  • Krista J. Ledbetter
  • Tosha Daugherty
  • Jamie Taylor
  • Anne Lankford
  • Kenny Hale
  • Danie Becknell
  • Greg Howard
  • Nancy B. Maxwell
  • Mindy Taylor
  • Dave Nash
  • Diane Huerkamp
  • Susan Haynes
  • Julie Kyle-Lee
  • William and Gwen Kirk
  • Rosemary Rogers
  • Dr. William Roberson