Listen to Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday on WICR 88.7 FM. You also can listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast or you can join our new listening group at Bookmama's in Irvington to listen to, and discuss, the Saturday show.


You are invited!

Second-anniversary soiree on Thursday, Feb. 18


We at Hoosier History Live! are delighted to invite you to our Second Anniversary Soiree, now scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18.


As we celebrate two years on the air, please stop by the Morris-Butler House at 1204 N. Park Ave. in Indianapolis for birthday cake and cupcakes, History Mystery questions with prizes, and a demo of our new website with an ever-growing audio library. Thanks to Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana for hosting.


All are welcome at this complimentary event; RSVP to


Feb. 13 show

Medical treatments of early settlers


To help cure a family member struggling with a disorder, would you serve a delicacy known as fried mice pie? Believe it or not, that was a treatment suggested to pioneers in the Old Northwest Territory, including early Indiana.


To find out what disorder the repulsive-sounding pie was supposed to cure, you will have to tune in to the show. Nelson will be joined in studio by Hoosier storyteller Sue Grizzell, who has extensively researched medical "treatments" practiced during the late 1700s and early 1800s, often using archives at the Indiana Historical Society.


In fact, the IHS and Storytelling Arts Indiana recently commissioned Sue to put together a presentation she titled "Root Doctors, Midwives and Fried Mice Pie: Medicine in Early Indiana." She has uncovered the story of a so-called "root doctor" who was run out of early Connersville, for example.


According to Sue, many of the bizarre or crude early folk remedies were the result of desperation on the frontier. "Early Hoosiers only occasionally had access to doctors. ... They mostly lived in isolation, faced economic uncertainty and practiced self-sufficiency as much as possible."


A lifelong storyteller, Sue has collaborated with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on various projects; in 2002, her story "Porch Swings and Prairie Wings" became part of the "Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories" series. Sue Grizzell.You won't want to miss this fascinating show, during which Sue will explain how our ancestors dealt with ailments and terrifying illnesses such as malaria and cholera.


"Whether ill or injured, the inhabitants of the Old Northwest Territory and early Indiana were subjected to all manner of medical treatments," Sue says. "Ranging from the common-sensical to the bizarre, these treatments sometimes worked but could often be fatal."


She notes that Thomas Jefferson once remarked, referring to doctors during his era, that they "let loose upon the world, destroy more human life in one year than all the ... Cartouches (a murderous French bandit) and Macbeths do in a century."


Families on the Indiana frontier typically ended up doing most of their own doctoring because contact with physicians was infrequent, Sue says. Hence, the popularity of folk remedies. She points out that, although pioneers had as many challenges surviving some of the "cures" as they did the initial illnesses, "modern science has proven some folk remedies effective." All of this will be fodder for a show that will be as intriguing as Sue’s popular, fact-based storytelling presentation about fried mice pie and root doctors. Her next public presentation is scheduled for March 25 at the Marion Public Library.



Sweet treats in Fort Wayne


Chris Gahl of the ICVA will suggest that we take a sweet Roadtrip to Fort Wayne. The Chocolate Tour at Fort Wayne-based DeBrand Fine Chocolates is a perfect getaway for chocolate lovers during February, the month of romance. 


Founded in 1987 by artisan chocolatier Cathy Brand, this Indiana company has grown significantly since its humble beginnings in Cathy's family's century-old home and now employs nearly 100 people with its four retail shops. Public tours of the chocolate maker take roughly one hour and include touring three chocolate kitchens and, of course, samples of their confections! 


History Mystery question

Orthopedic manufacturing, starting in the 1890s


Beginning in the 1890s, the manufacturing of orthopedic devices began in a small Indiana city. Hip replacement orthopedics, image courtesy Texas A & M Engineer Magazine.Eventually, several orthopedic businesses and suppliers were founded in – or chose to move to the city, including the manufacturers of artificial hips. They have had a huge, historic impact on the local economy of the Hoosier city, which has a population of about 13,000 people.


Question: Name the Indiana city.


The call-in number for the correct answer is (317) 788-3314, and the prize is a pair of tickets to the President Benjamin Harrison Home, as well as a couple of free slots coupons for Indiana Live Casino, courtesy of the ICVA.


Your friends in Hoosierdom,

Nelson Price, host and creative director

Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101

Richard Sullivan, tech and web director    

Garry Chilluffo, online editor

Dan Ripley's Antique HelperHistoric Landmarks logo.

Lucas OilStory Inn

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support:
Antique Helper, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Lucas Oil and Story Inn.


Acknowledgments to Scott Keller Fine Art and Antiques Appraisals, Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia Inc., Indiana Humanities Council, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Drew Pastorek and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through sponsorships and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn more.


Feb. 20 show

Early African-American settlements


Lyles Consolidated School, 1935, grades 1 through 4.As Hoosier History Live! salutes Black History Month, we will explore the waves of African-American migration here, which began even before Indiana became a state in 1816. Nelson will be joined in studio by Wilma Moore, senior archivist for African-American history at the Indiana Historical Society.


Wilma, who is one of the state’s foremost experts on African-American migration, will share details about the settlements that began, sometimes initially by freed slaves, during the pioneer era up through World War I. She points out that many African Americans migrated here from North Carolina during the 1870s; they were known as "Exodusters."


In 1900, the U.S. Census indicated that more than one-third of the black residents of Indiana had been born in Kentucky, according to a recent article that Wilma wrote for Traces, the Historical Society’s magazine. Lyles Station historical marker.From the beginning, many blacks who came here encountered challenges and restrictions. A state law in 1831, for example, required blacks settling in Indiana to register with county authorities and pay a bond to guarantee good behavior. Early settlements of African Americans included the Roberts settlement in Hamilton County, Lyles Station in Gibson County and the Beech settlement in Rush County.


Incidentally, here is the study guide for the 2010 Indiana Black History Challenge, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society. What’s your score?


Visit our website!


Our newly revamped website is chock-full of Hoosier history, including details of past and upcoming Hoosier History Live! shows. We are gradually adding a richer audio section with full-length shows for your listening pleasure. Recently added:


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