At the August meeting of the La Porte County Genealogical Society, we learned from Gloria Arndt and Dorothy Palmer about Michigan City mayors William F. C. Dall, who served during the 1920s, and R. C. "Hemp" Fedder, who served two terms in the 1930s and 1940s. As one member commented afterwards, the presentations were enjoyable even for those who don't care for politics. Dall had to resign as mayor when the brick company he worked for moved to Mishawaka. Fedder, who among other things was a barber in private life, gave free haircuts to the down and out, and lobbied in Washington DC for Michigan City's share of WPA money. The Ku Klux Klan was a factor in politics during both mayors' careers, as it was in other parts of Indiana.
In society business:
* We learned that Brian Roeske of the Historical Society of Porter County is seeking information on the 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry that formed in La Porte County for the Civil War.
* Our committee on residency certificates will be meeting in preparation for the awards to be presented at next month's meeting September 13.
* The indexing and abstracting group will consider various approaches to our next project of making La Porte County wills and probates easier to research.
* The deadline for contributions to the fall newsletter "The Door" is August 15.
* Finally, it's not too early to think about what programs to choose for 2012.
The society meets at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of each month at the Swanson Center for Older Adults, 910 State Street, La Porte, weather permitting. The public is welcome at all meetings.
Also at our web site, those who believe they have La Porte County ancestors (and can prove it!) can find information on how to apply for First Families of La Porte (before December 1840), Pioneer Families (1841-1860), Settler Families (1861-1880), and Civil War Families (1861-1865). You can also read or search back issues of the society's newsletter, December 2005 through December 2009, including genealogical and historical information from members' research and abstracting work in local records, on our blog.