Hoosier History Live! features host Nelson Price, Saturdays noon to 1 p.m. on WICR 88.7 FM in Indianapolis.

Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m. ET on WICR 88.7 FM.
And always online at hoosierhistorylive.org!

May 4 show

'Ask Nelson' and more county name origins

Hoosier History Live! host Nelson Price pioneered the concept of exploring “Indiana Legends,” with his first book by that title having been published in 1997. The book is now in its fourth edition and seventh printing, with updated information and newly added famous Hoosiers.The last time we turned the tables on our host, author/historian Nelson Price, and let our listeners interview him, callers wanted to know about the late jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, as well as which famous Hoosier has been Nelson's favorite interview subject.

He used to dodge that question but 'fessed up that it's Jane Pauley. Nelson grew up about two blocks from the future TV newswoman on the far eastside of Indianapolis. Following in her wake, he attended every school that she did, from Moorhead Elementary School through Warren Central High School and Indiana University.)

To give our listeners another opportunity to question Nelson, who calls himself a "garbage can of useless Hoosier trivia," Hoosier History Live! will open the phone lines. Listeners are invited to call the WICR-FM studio - the number is (317) 788-3314 - and ask questions of Nelson, who writes books about famous Hoosiers (both historic and contemporary figures) and Indianapolis city history.

As a bonus, Nelson will be joined in studio by our attorney friend and WICR colleague Charles Braun, founder and host of Legally Speaking, the longest-running legal advice show on American radio.

Charles, a fellow Hoosier history lover, has extensively researched the origins of county names in Indiana. In September 2010, he joined Nelson for a show about this intriguing topic, but they only scratched the surface of our 92 counties then. (Listeners learned that Marion County is named in honor of Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War hero. Allen County, which includes Charles' hometown of Fort Wayne, derives its name from John Allen, an early American politician, attorney and military leader who was killed in the War of 1812.)

Charles N. Braun II.So Charles not only will join listeners in asking Nelson questions, he also will respond to queries about our county names. A former state deputy attorney general, Charles is an instructor at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, where he helps train police officers from across Indiana. In 1983, Charles launched Legally Speaking, which airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays on WICR.

After he signs off the air - and just before Hoosier History Live! signs on - Charles and Nelson typically can be found near the studio chatting about history-related topics. Nelson loves to share anecdotes and insights, particularly those derived from his expertise. His books include Indiana Legends: Famous Hoosiers from Johnny Appleseed to David Letterman (Hawthorne Publishing) and Indianapolis Then and Now (Thunder Bay Press), a visual history about the Hoosier capital.

Listeners are encouraged to phone in with questions about famous Hoosiers, including historic figures that Nelson has researched, such as Madam Walker or contemporary notables he has interviewed, including former Indiana Pacers superstar Reggie Miller, astronaut David Wolf and artist Nancy Noel of Zionsville.

Several of the famous Hoosiers featured in Indiana Legends have been Nelson's guests on Hoosier History Live!, including Hoosiers and Rudy screenwriter Angelo Pizzo, jazz great David Baker, novelist Dan Wakefield and former Olympic figure skaters Kim and Wayne Seybold of Marion.

In this November 1992 photo, Nelson is interviewing Indiana filmmaker Angelo Pizzo, who wrote “Hoosiers”, on the campus of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, during the filming of another Angelo Pizzo film, “Rudy”. Photo by Rich Miller.Need more fodder for questions? The histories of sites across the Hoosier capital are the focus of Indianapolis Then and Now, which involved a collaboration among Nelson, photo historian Joan Hostetler of Heritage Photo Services and photographer Garry Chilluffo of Chilluffo Photography.

Do you know what, 100 years ago, could be found on the site underneath the Artsgarden at Circle Centre mall in downtown Indy? Or what infamous structure was located where the Barnes & Noble is now on the IUPUI campus?

Ever wonder about what flourished on the current site of Butler University in the early 1900s, back when the campus was still located in the Irvington neighborhood? This is your opportunity to call in - the number is (317) 788-3314 - during the live show this Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. ET, and ask Nelson to share insights about the then-to-now changes.

Questions about the derivation of any county names are fair game for Charles, our in-house expert at WICR-FM. Although some county names  are easy to figure out - Ohio County in far-southeastern Indiana, for example, or Wabash County in the north - others have names that are much more obscure. Call in and ask about the ones that always have perplexed you.

Roadtrip: 'Morgan's Raid' online video game

Morgan's Raid game screen.Guest Roadtripper Ron Morris, professor of history at Ball State University in Muncie, suggests that we take an online Roadtrip to https://sites.google.com/site/morgansraidgame/, where we can play a video game simulating Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's Raid across Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio during the Civil War. The video game is free and available to all.

Those playing the game learn Indiana geography and history, and as the game unfolds, players allocate resources in order to continue their raid, and reputation points are earned for successful actions that cause chaos across southern Indiana.

The game was developed by Ball State students under the direction of Paul V. Gestwicki, Ph.D. in computer science, and our guest Roadtripper, Ron Morris, Ph.D. in history, all of Ball State.

This game is a frequent learning tool for fourth- and eighth-grade students in Indiana who are learning about the Civil War.

Our Roadtripper is a former Hoosier History Live! guest. He spoke about Oliver P. Morton, Indiana's Civil War Governor, and he also is renovating and planning to move in to Morton's home in Centerville.

History Mystery

Among the famous Hoosiers featured in Nelson Price's Indiana Legends book is a broadcaster and business leader who became a pioneer in cable TV. A Lafayette native, he attended Purdue University and got his start in local TV in his hometown.

C-SPAN logo.He went on to become the founder and CEO of C-SPAN, a public affairs network that began on a shoestring budget in 1979.

C-SPAN, which started out focusing on live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives, enjoyed dramatic growth. So the Indiana native launched C-SPAN 2 in 2000 and also became the host of shows such as Booknotes, a weekly series of in-depth interviews. He interviewed hundreds of the nation's top politicians, historians, authors and newsmakers, but he always has been known for his calm, low-key demeanor.

Question: Who is the famous Hoosier?

To win the prize, you must call in with the correct answer during the live show and be willing to be placed on the air. Please do not call if you have won a prize from any WICR show during the last two months. The call-in number is (317) 788-3314, and please do not call until you hear Nelson pose the question on the air.

The prize is a gift certificate to Aesop's Tables, courtesy of Aesop's Tables, and four admissions to the Indiana Experience, courtesy of Visit Indy.

Your Hoosier History Live! team,

Nelson Price, host and creative director
Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101
Richard Sullivan, webmaster and tech director

Pam Fraizer, graphic designer
Garry Chilluffo, creative consultant
Michele Goodrich, Jed Duvall, grant consultants
Joan Hostetler, photo historian
Dana Waddell, volunteer-at-large


Indiana Historical Society logo.Story Inn

Aesop's Tables logo.Lucas Oil

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support: Aesop's Tables | Indiana Historical Society | Lucas Oil | Story Inn.

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgments to Print Resources, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities, Visit Indy, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Heritage Photo & Research Services, Derrick Lowhorn and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorships, grants and through individual tax-deductible contributions through Indiana Humanities. We do not receive any government funding. Visit our website to learn how you can support us financially.

Sustaining assistance!

Thanks to our new or renewal donors

Hoosier History Live! wishes to thank Stacia Gorge, Jeff Smulyan, Terri Gorney of Fort Wayne, Eunice Trotter and Jinsie Bingham of Greencastle.

Remember that many of our audience members listen via a computer or smartphone outside of the WICR listening area. And our weekly newsletter is free of charge and available to all!

For more information, visit "Support us" on our website, where you can also "click to donate." It's the best 30 seconds you'll spend! And your money goes primarily to those individuals working so hard on the show and on the e-newsletter and website each and every week.

With so many substantive forms of media and journalism dying out, we are determined to keep going!

May 11 show

Phil Gulley on Indiana festivals, summer jobs and other things Hoosier

As a teenager, Phil Gulley may have had the worst summer job in Indiana history. The popular Hoosier storyteller, humorist and Quaker pastor based in Danville once shared details with Nelson about the distasteful job of his youth. Tune in to our show to hear the unappetizing specifics, as Nelson is joined by Phil, whose bestselling, nationally distributed books include Front Porch Tales (1997), Home to Harmony (2000) and others in his acclaimed series of inspirational and humorous stories about the fictional town of Harmony, which seems to have at least a passing resemblance to Danville.

Philip Gulley.Known for his folksy style, Phil is a popular speaker and a columnist for Indianapolis Monthly magazine; he also has written non-fiction books such as I Love You Miss Huddleston and Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood (2009).

Because he has spoken and written about the propensity of Indiana towns to throw festivals and fairs in honor of just about every product or crop - ranging from pork to popcorn - expect Nelson to ask about that topic as well. They also will explore the importance of porches.

"I believe all that is wrong with our world can be attributed to the shortage of front porches and the talks we had on them," Phil writes in Porch Talk (2007), a collection of stories that won praise from the likes of Charles Osgood, host of CBS Sunday Morning. "Somewhere around 1950, builders left off the front porch to save money, and we've had nothing but problems ever since."

In Danville, Phil and his wife, Joan, live in a home - with a porch - that's filled with antiques as well as with furniture Phil made himself. The Gulleys are the parents of two sons, Spencer and Sam.

In addition to his books of vignettes about the quirky characters and life lessons associated with small towns, Phil, a graduate of Christian Theological Seminary, has written several books focused on theology. They include If the Church Were Christian (2010) and The Evolution of Faith: How God is Creating a Better Christianity (2011).

He is pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting in the town of Camby. Phil's career as an author was launched when, while in seminary in the 1990s, he was serving as the pastor of Irvington Friends Meeting in Indianapolis. His musings for the church's newsletter came to the attention of Paul Harvey Jr., the son of the late, legendary broadcaster. The Harveys showed Phil's tales to a national publisher - and book contracts followed.

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Hoosier History Live!
c/o WICR at University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227
(317) 927-9101