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Gary Public Library oral histories

Identifier: OH023

Scope and Contents

The collection contains transcripts of interviews and audio recordings from the Gary Public Library about the early days of Gary, Indiana ranging from 1955 to 1970. Eight of the folders contain items that were part of a series titled "Gary Public Library presents Living Voices of the Pinoeers," many of which were broadcast on the radio for the Gary "Golden Jubliee" in 1956. There is also a recording from a Lion Club of Gary banquet in honor of Al Greene.


  • 1955-1970, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Chester Clark moved to Indiana from Carthage, Illinois in 1926. He married one of the three children of Samuel B. Woods, Margaret. He and Margaret lived on the Woods’ homestead as farmers and Clark retired in 1950.

Ida Drake Garnett Guy, born 28 July 1892, was the daughter of Ida Lee Drake Garnett and Dr. James H. Garnett. James H. Garnett was a former slave, born on the Carter Plantation in Cartersville, Georgia, in 1847. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1883 and then taught at several colleges and seminaries, Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock; Sequin [Guadalupe] College in Sequin, Texas; Houston Academy in Houston, Texas; and the Western College in Macon, Missouri and served as the President of American Baptist Seminary. After retiring from teaching, Garnett worked as the first probation officer in the Gary Public Schools and he started the first Boy Scout movement in Gary Indiana. Garnett died in 1947, a few weeks from his 100th birthday. Ida Guy’s mother, Ida Lee Drake Garnett was born in Missouri and talk at Western College in Macon Missouri. Guy had one brother, James M., born in Texas, about 1897. Ida Garnett Guy was a teacher in Lake County Indiana for 53 years. She married Roscoe D. Guy, a mortician and funeral home owner in Gary Indiana. She died 22 January, 1973 in Gary Indiana.

Roscoe Guy was born on June 30, [3] 1880 in Miami, Saline County, Missouri, to Virginia Evergreen Cratic Guy and George William Guy. He married Ida Drake Garnett, daughter of Ida Lee Drake Garnett and Dr. James H. Garnett. Roscoe Guy served with the 8th Regiment, Illinois Infantry Volunteers during the Spanish American War and was Gary’s last living survivor of that war. Guy played the trumpet and after the war, he worked as a musician for the Graham Morton line steamer that sailed out of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Indiana. In 1932, Guy organized the Colonel Young Auxiliary of Spanish American War Veterans and later was a founder of Gary Council of Churches. He established the Guy Funeral Home in 1917, later named the Guy and Allen Funeral Home. Guy died on 7 November, 1976.

Claude Vernon Ridgely was born on January 29, 1881, in Richland County, Illinois. His parents were George Albert and Martha Ann (Madding) Ridgely. On February 7, 1887, he married Bessie Maguire. They had five children, Margaret, Mary, William, Helen, and Robert. He received LL.B. degrees from Valparaiso University (1904) and Northwestern University (1906). Ridgely and his family moved to Gary, Indiana, in the fall of 1906. In 1907, he formed a law practice with William F. Hodges. He continued in this practice for twenty years at which time he became judge of the Lake County Superior Court (1927-1937). After ten years on the bench, Ridgely returned to private practice. He served as attorney for the Board of Education and the Park Board. He died on September 11, 1963.


0.01 Cubic Feet (11 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject and alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Gary Public Library.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Christina Baich during May 2006. Finding aid revised by Bethany Fiechter on 2015/10/30. EAD finding aid created by Bethany Fiechter on 2019/07/01. Collection reprocessing completed 2020/03/05 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2020/03/05 by Brittany Kropf.


Gary Public Library oral histories
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.