1920s and the Great Depression
The 1920s were a bustling time in Indiana. The steel and iron industries enjoyed success. Despite stiff competition from Henry Ford and the popular Model T, several Indiana automobile manufacturers (such as Marmon, Dusenberg, and Studebaker) continued to produce high-end vehicles. In addition, home life for some transformed as electricity and indoor plumbing became available.
At the same time, the Ku Klux Klan was very influential in Indiana's local and state politics. Klan members avowed 100-percent Americanism, and sought to rid Indiana of the influence of immigrants, Catholics, Jews and African-Americans. Indeed in 1924, Klan member Ed Jackson was elected governor of the state. Klan influence declined later in the decade after the organization's Grand Dragon, D.C. Stephenson, was convicted of murdering a young woman.
The Great Depression, beginning in 1929, brought factory shutdowns and unemployment. Gov. Paul McNutt instituted government-sponsored public relief and charity work in an attempt to help struggling Hoosiers.