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Settled in 1829 by antislavery Quakers from the south, Fairmount benefited from the many travelers going between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis and became known as a station on the Underground Railroad. From these humble beginnings, a tight-knit community evolved that valued culture, especially education and literature. Decades later, newspaper stories marveled at the Quakers’ Fairmount Academy and the number of accomplished individuals affiliated with the area, including writers, scientists, and college presidents. Like several Indiana towns, in 1887 this small, primarily agricultural area participated in one of the most dramatic eras in state history: the natural gas boom. Renowned artist Olive Rush was born and raised in Fairmount. The ancestors of one pioneering Quaker family, the Winslow’s, raised film icon James Dean on their Fairmount farm. Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis lived near Fairmount and graduated from Fairmount High School. Their stories and those of their friends and neighbors are captured in these images that represent the best of America’s heartland.
About the Author
Journalist Cathy Duling Shouse compiled this collection of images and stories in collaboration with the Fairmount Historical Museum and in conjunction with numerous Fairmount residents.