Juliet V. Strauss, Turkey Run Commission document
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Strauss' first regular column, "Squibs and Sayings," which first appeared on February 9, 1893 in the Tribune, provided insights and commentary on Hoosier rural life, as well as a woman's perspective. Her articles proved popular and in 1903, she began writing a weekly column for the Indianapolis News as "The Country Contributor." Another of Strauss' columns, "The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman," was published in the Ladies' Home Journal, beginning in 1905. Strauss continued to write both columns until her death. She also helped found the Woman's Press Club of Indiana in 1913.
A lifelong resident of Parke County, Strauss grew concerned when timber companies threatened the beloved forest near her home and she became a fierce advocate for the preservation of over 2,000 acres of forested land along Sugar Creek. The area, then known as Bloomingdale Glens, was later named Turkey Run. Indiana Governor Samuel Ralston appointed her and two others to the Turkey Run Commission in 1915, to spearhead efforts to turn Turkey Run into the first state park. The commission aimed to raise public awareness of their campaign and encouraged donations towards purchasing the land for the park. Strauss used her column as a platform to spread her conservationist message and personally donated to the land acquisition funds. Her efforts proved fruitful when the park land was finally purchased in 1916 from the Hoosier Veneer Company and Turkey Run was established as Indiana's second state park.
Strauss died two years later on May 22, 1918. In July 1922, the Woman's Press Club of Indiana dedicated a memorial statue and fountain in Strauss's honor at Turkey Run State Park.
Ray E. Boomhower (Spring 1995). "The Country Contributor: Rockville's Juliet V. Strauss." Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History 7, no. 2 (Spring 1995): 39. Accessed August 20, 2020. http://cdm16797.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p16797coll39/id/2242.
Indiana Historical Bureau. "Juliet V. Strauss." Historical marker. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.in.gov/history/markers/4124.htm.
Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. "Juliet V. Strauss - 2001." Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. Accessed Augsut 20, 2020. https://ijhf.org/juliet-v-strauss.
During the same period, journalist Juliet V. Strauss from Rockville, Indiana spoke against timber companies endangering old-growth forests in Parke County. Her efforts came to the attention of Indiana Governor Samuel Ralston and Lieber. Ralston appointed her and two others--William Watson Woollen and Vida Newsome--to investigate preservation of the land which would become Turkey Run. Lieber pinpointed the establishment of Turkey Run State Park as the perfect way to launch the park system, though in actuality, it followed the founding of McCormick's Creek State Park.
Turkey Run lies along State Road 47 southwest of Crawfordsville in Parke County. The park preserves old forests, deep sandstone ravines, and scenic views along Sugar Creek.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, State Parks. "Turkey Run State Park." IN.gov. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2964.htm.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, State Parks. "The Beginning of Indiana State Parks." Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/8622.htm.
Indiana Historical Bureau and Casey Pfeiffer. "Saving Turkey Run." Marking Hoosier History Archives. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.in.gov/history/4233.htm.
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