What is a Hoosier, Anyway?

For almost 200 years, people from Indiana have been calling themselves “Hoosiers”, but every time someone asks where the name came from, an ages-old debate is sparked between favorite wives’ tales and references in literature. It’s time to set the record straight (or at least attempt to do so)! Let’s figure out together what it really means to be a Hoo Hoo Hoo HOOSIER!

The use of the term “Hoosier” first appeared in the 1830s, when a poem by John Finley named “The Hoosier’s Nest” appeared in the Indianapolis Journal in 1833. Since then, the title has been synonymous with the people of Indiana. Several popular theories have sprouted up to explain the word’s origin over time, some more wild and wacky than others. Here are some of the most famous:

  1. Early in Indiana’s beginnings, settlers would answer the door with a quick “Who’s yere?” and the greeting eventually became our title.
  2. Indiana rivermen were notoriously good at silencing subduing their enemies that they became colloquially known as “Hushers”, and the name evolved into “Hoosiers” with our Midwestern accents.
  3. A contractor named Hoosier on the Louisville and Portland Canal preferred to hire his laborers from Indiana, and these men quickly became known as Hoosier’s men”.
  4. The most unbelievable (and gruesome) tall tale comes from James Whitcomb Riley, the famous Hoosier Poet. He stated that the state’s early settlers often took part in rowdy and dangerous fights, sometimes ending in severe bodily harm. Often times, the morning after a major tavern brawl, someone would walk in an find a torn-off ear or two on the floor and ask out loud: “Who’s ear?” Yuck!

What is your favorite theory? I always tell Riley’s story as if it’s truth to all my non-Hoosier friends, just to see the looks on their faces! Do you have any theories on the origins of the Hoosier?

Join One of Our Book Groups

If you like to read a variety of books, and if you like to discuss the books you read, you should consider joining one of the Aurora Public Library District’s book groups. There is an evening group that meets at Carnegie Hall in Moores Hill on the first Monday of each month (second Monday, if the first Monday is a holiday). There are also afternoon groups that meet at the Aurora Public Library on the fourth Thursday and at the Dillsboro Public Library on the fourth Friday each month. The Aurora and Dillsboro groups are led by Ron Nicholson of Ivy Tech. All three groups meet monthly in January through October, and the Library provides the books a month in advance. Call the Library at 812-926-0646 to sign up for any of these groups!

Here are some of the upcoming selections for 2020. You can view past selections at: https://eapld.org/programs/.

      For the Moores Hill Group                            For the Aurora and Dillsboro Groups

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell                         The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce                          All Adults Here by Emma Straub

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger                        Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

100 Years of National Parks

100 years banner


100 years is a pretty long time. In 100 years America has done some really cool things, but arguably the most beautiful thing we’ve done is create our National Park System, and grown it into the massive establishment it is today. The National Parks Service was signed into existence through what is commonly known as the “Organic Act” by President Woodrow Wilson in the year 1916. If you’re interested in what happened between 1916-2016, this would be a good read for you. If you know where this post is going and are currently saying “but the air conditioning feels so good right now,” or, more likely “parks have bugs and heat and are not the beach,” trust me, I’m with you. It’s easy to let the summer heat keep us indoors or by a pool at all times (hold the sunscreen, I’ll take the tanning oil). It’s not every day your country’s National Parks Service turns 100, though, and I’m here to give you some options for how to make the most of this historic year.


  1. Take your family and friends to Lesko Park, or one of the other nearby city parks. Sure, they’re no National Park, but each local park has it’s own original flavor, and gives you a different perspective on life in and around your city. Grab some ice cream, leash up the dog, and have some quality time with the people closest to you in a city park.
  2. Versailles State Park is the closest Indiana State Park to our area. With three hiking trails, six mountain biking trails, a lake, campgrounds and a pool, Versailles is like that friend who is talented at everything, but doesn’t brag about it so you’re not jealous of them, you’re really excited for them and you want to spend time with them. The library even has free admission passes available for checkout at each APLD branch. Check our catalog or give us a call to check their availability!
  3. Take care of your surroundings. Even though you may not visit a single park this summer, you can still contribute to a cleaner environment wherever you are. Pick up after yourself, pick up after others even though it’s not your job, and recycle as much as you can. These healthy practices ensure that we will still have our parks, national or not, for years to come.
  4. Invite a friend, or make friends as you go. Since this is a historic year for our national parks, parks all over Indiana will be busy with visitors all summer. Need a date idea? Have a picnic at the park! Haven’t seen a friend in a while? Go for a hike and catch up while you do it. Looking for new friends? Look no further than the people who are out enjoying our parks. Think of the NPS’ 100th birthday as a party that you don’t have to organize, you can just attend, bring friends, or make them while you’re there.
  5. Watch Parks and Recreation. This Emmy Award Nominated show takes place in the Hoosier State, dealing with the ups of down of a  small government parks departments. Educate yourself and have a laugh, all while still enjoying  our parks (however fictitious).

So what I’m saying is: get yourself out there. Our parks have come a long way in the past 100 years. Who knows, in another hundred years our parks may be a distant memory, or they may function as arenas for the hunger games (it could happen!). The future aside, our parks are beautiful, people work really hard to keep them that way, and we should all take advantage of the amazing state and country we live it. Still not convinced? Check out some cool facts about the Indiana Department of Natural Resources below, and celebrate 100 years of National Parks.

Happy camping.

DNR Facts