Indianapolis Women's History Tour
Indianapolis Women's History Tour tells the story of some of the outstanding women of Indianapolis. Although many entries are walkable, others are more widespread.
This historic marker honors Mary Hunt Bryan, who is buried near this marker. Mary Hunt Bryan was one of the first women of European descent to journey west through the Cumberland Mountains. Although the marker states that she crossed the Cumberlands in 1776, that is unlikely as her husband Samuel Bryan was a soldier in the Continental Army at that time. According to his pension records, the Bryan family crossed the Cumberland Mountains in 1779. The family later moved to this section of Indiana sometime between 1830 and 1832.
This marker sits on the location where famed Indiana poet, singer, and activist, Sarah T. Bolton (1814-1893), lived from 1871-1893. Though born in Newport, Kentucky, she spent the most of her years in Indianapolis. She is well known in Indiana not just for her poetry and singing, but for her activism for women's rights. This area is called Beech Bank due to the prominence of Beech trees, of which the Boltons named their farmstead, "Beech Bank." The marker sits to the west of Bolton Park
Named after the first female millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, the building was an important center of activity for the African American community for decades until the neighborhood began to decline in the 1950s. Mrs. Walker, originally named Sarah Breedlove; made a name for herself as a millionaire from selling hair-growth products and for her avid support for civil rights. She made her mark on the movement towards equality in the early years of the 1900s when she began a lawsuit to protest discrimination in a theater. In addition to the lawsuit she also urged the decry of lynchings in the south as well as join a delegation that went to Washington to protest the War Department's segregationist policies to President Woodrow Wilson.
From 1946 until 1963, Ruth McArthur operated the McArthur Conservatory at this location. The school occupied a three-story brick building with twenty rooms across from the Lockefield Gardens Housing Complex on Indiana Avenue. The school provided classes to both children and adults and was the first school in Indiana to offer a formal jazz program. In 1963, the school closed and the property was purchased by Indiana University.
This historic marker is located just north of the Central Christian Church and pays tribute to Zerelda G. Wallace, the first president of the Indiana Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Wallace presented a petition calling for a ban on alcohol signed by over 21,000 residents to the Indiana General Assembly in 1875. She would later become a leading voice on behalf of voting rights for women through her membership within the Equal Suffrage Society of Indianapolis. She also served as First Lady of Indiana when her husband became the governor in 1837.
Located in the Old Northside District, the building known as the Indianapolis Propylaeum was originally a private residence built by John Schmidt, a beer baron. In 1923, the structure was sold to the Indianapolis Propylaeum, an organization founded in 1888. The Propylaeum was a cultural and literary organization open exclusively to women.
Indiana State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, also known as the Minor House, is a historic National Association of Colored Women's Clubs clubhouse. The Club was founded by Lillian Thomas Fox (1866-1917), a leading member of the Indianapolis African American community and the first black woman to work for a white Indiana newspaper. Fox and Beulah Wright Porter, the first black woman physician to institute a practice in Indianapolis, founded the Indianapolis Colored Women’s Improvement Club in 1903 and the Indiana State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1904. Fox used her role as a prominent, middle-class African American woman to enact social reforms in the Progressive Era.
United States Representative Julia Carson (July 8, 1938 – December 15, 2007) lived in this house for more than thirty years, from before she rose to political prominence until her death at age sixty-nine. A Democrat known for her progressive ideals, extended political service, and down-to-earth demeanor, Carson was the first women and the first African American to represent Indianapolis.
Crown Hill Cemetery, located approximately 2.8 miles from the center of downtown Indianapolis, is the resting place of some of the city's most prominent women and men. The cemetery was incorporated on September 25, 1863 as a non-sectarian, non-denominational, and non-profit facility, initially presenting an impressive view overlooking the city of Indianapolis. Crown Hill is the third largest cemetery in the United States not administered by the federal government. The grounds span approximately 555 acres and contain 25 miles of paved roadway and over 150 different types of trees and plants. More than 200,000 bodies are interred at the grounds, with approximately 1,500 new burials occurring at the site per annum. More than 25,000 people come to Crown Hill annually, often visiting on Memorial Day or Veterans Day. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Butler University is a private university in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1855 and named after founder Ovid Butler, the university has over 60 major academic fields of study in six colleges: Lacy School of Business, College of Communication, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Jordan College of the Arts. It comprises a 295-acre campus located approximately five miles from downtown Indianapolis.
Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is the second woman to be ordained as a rabbi in the United States. She is also first woman to be ordained as a rabbi in Reconstructionist Judaism and the first woman to serve a Conservative congregation. Rabbi Sasso is an early Jewish feminist and the author of numerous children's books. She served the Beth-El Zedeck congregation from 1977 until her retirement in June 2013.