Indiana Government

A government is shaped by its people, and Indiana is a prime example of that. Throughout the state’s over 200 year history, Hoosiers have made this state their own, influencing what this state is and what it can be. Across the state in various locations, the people of Indiana have tackled issues of leadership and policy-making whose resolutions have wide-ranging consequences on the state as it is today.

This tour highlights sites and individuals who played a critical role in shaping the government of Indiana. From grave sites to statehouses, every location you will visit will add to your understanding of Indiana’s government and its legacy. Discover Indiana invites you to take a journey across the 19th state and explore the places that have a story to tell how Indiana government was shaped into the form it currently takes.

Please keep in mind that each tour is by no means a comprehensive list of sites in Indiana related to each theme. Please be respectful of private property lines when visiting each of these sites.

Territorial Capitol of Former Indiana Territory

In 1800, the Northwest Territory was divided up into two territories, the eastern region called the Ohio Territory and the western region called the Indiana Territory. Vincennes became the Territorial Capitol until 1813 when it was moved to Corydon.…

Grouseland (William Henry Harrison Home)

The ninth President of the United States, William Henry Harrison served as the Territorial Governor of the Northwest Territory from 1801-1812. During that time he lived at “Grouseland,” a 300 acre estate in Vincennes that he modeled after his…

Corydon State Capitol Building

After the Indiana Territory was divided into the Indiana and Illinois Territories in 1809, the location of the original territorial capital in Vincennes no longer proved practical due to its location on the extreme western boundary, away from more…

William Hendricks House (Governor's Headquarters)

Many of the men who served on Indiana’s early state legislature built or purchased homes in the state capitol of Corydon. One of these men was soon-to-be governor William Hendricks. Hendricks purchased this home from Davis Floyd, a treasurer and…

Indiana Statehouse (Indianapolis)

You now stand at the Indiana State House, the seat of Indiana government. When Indiana first became a state in 1816, the capitol was located in southern Indiana in the city of Corydon. In 1824, the capitol was relocated to Indianapolis. Once the…

Mary Birdsall House

Mary Thistlewaite Birdsall was a premier suffragist and advocate of women’s right in the State of Indiana during the mid-19th century. Mary Thistlewaite married in 1848 (at the age of 19) and she and her husband, Thomas, became actively involved in…

Schuyler Colfax Grave

Schuyler Colfax’s home no longer exists in South Bend so the only site associated with him is his grave, located in the City Cemetery. His father died four months before Colfax was born in 1823. His mother remarried and the family moved to New…

Thomas A. Hendricks Library

Formerly the Hendricks Library, the building commemorating Vice President Thomas Hendricks is now known at Hendricks Hall. Hendricks born in 1819 in Ohio, moved to Shelby County, Indiana as an infant, where his uncle was the newly elected governor.…

President Benjamin Harrison Home

Benjamin Harrison was born into a politically active family. His father, John, was a United States Representative. William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States, was his grandfather. He was named after his great-grandfather,…

Shirk-Edwards House

Marie Stuart Edwards, a leader in suffrage and other social movements, was born in 1880 in Lafayette. Her youth included many “firsts”. She was the first girl in Lafayette to ride a bike and the first to attend a women’s college. In 1904, she married…

Thomas R. Marshall House

Yet another Hoosier who served as Vice President was Thomas Marshall. He was born in North Manchester, Indiana onMarch 14, 1854 and was the only son of Daniel M. and Martha A. Marshall. From the age of six until he departed for Wabash College,…

Charles Fairbanks House

Designed in 1912 by Howard Van Doren Shaw, the Charles Fairbanks house served as a residence from 1912-1918. Charles Fairbanks served as the 26th Vice President of the United States under President Theodore Roosevelt (1905-1909). Charles Fairbanks…

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Built on the site where Thomas Lincoln’s family lived from 1816 to 1830, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s formative years in Indiana. While Lincoln was born in 1809 in Kentucky and established his…

Dan Quayle Center and Museum

Originally constructed as the First Church of Christ Scientist in 1919, the building now houses the Dan Quayle Center and Museum. It contains specific memorabilia related to Dan Quayle, the 44th Vice President, as well as other information on Vice…