This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, April 19, 2013

William C Babcock scrapbook part 2

A post about a week ago began looking at some of the items in a scrapbook kept by William C Babcock in the early 1930s. This post continues that thread.

Babcock ran for reelection in 1934 and won. I do not know if he served beyond that term--his scrapbooks do not say. The scrapbooks also do not say much about what he did while a representative. A clipping from the Remington Press makes it clear that Babcock thought low taxes were a winning issue.

 I am not sure what this bill is for, but my guess is that it is the bill for a victory party after the 1934 election. It could not be for the 1932 election because Prohibition was still in force then, so the keg of beer would not have been on the tab. Prices sure have risen a lot since then.
 The Babcock scrapbooks have a lot of information about Charles Halleck, who ran for the House in a special election in 1935. Frederick Landis won in 1934 but died shortly thereafter. Halleck, the prosecuting attorney for Jasper County, won the special election. I have seen a lot of pictures of Halleck as an older man. It is strange to see him as a young man.
 Babcock wrote to his constituents urging them to vote for Halleck. Were they friends? Did Babcock recognize Halleck as especially talented?
 Halleck was the only Republican from Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives after his election.
 Lobbying the legislatures is nothing new, as this letter makes clear.
 I am not sure why Babcock included the correspondence about football tickets in his scrapbook. The letterhead gives some information about his business, which dealt in grain, feed, and seeds, lumber and building materials, hardware and coal. He was also a contractor and was involved in quarrying. He was a busy guy.
 He seemed to be an IU fan.
 There were several items in the scrapbook that indicated that he had an interest in aviation. I thought this letter, about a beacon light for Rensselaer, was interesting. Did this result in the beacon light presently at the airport?
I searched for his grave in Weston Cemetery. I thought I found it east of the bridge over the creek, but the Babcock buried there was Frank Babcock. I do not know if he was related to William. Then I found the Babcock headstone overlooking the field on the east side of the cemetery, near the "cave." The WIlliam C Babcock buried there was the father of the William C Babcock in this post. Finally I found two Babcock stones west of the road on the west side of the cemetery. Two William C Babcocks were buried there, the Babcock of this post and his son.

The most evident reminder of the Babcocks, however, is the quarry.
Update and a correction: I was wrong about the dates served by Babcock in the Indiana House. He served from 1924 until 1936.

 I may be done with these scrapbooks, but I probably will have some more posts on this the Babcocks. Digging around some more, I have found that their business ventures were an important part of Rensselaer history.

In 1945 Farm Bureau purchased the Babcock Grain elevators in Rensselaer, Lee (White County), Pleasant Ridge, Parr, Fair Oaks, Kersey, and Roselawn (Newton County).

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