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Books: Hometown Indiana

This Hoosier classic autobiography by one of Indiana’s most prominent jurists and sons of Southern Indiana was first issued in 1973. Hoosiers appreciated its detailed evocation of life in the small town of Wheatland, in Indiana’s historic Knox County: roosters crowing, young full-of-mischief boys like John avoiding “privy” and rug-beating detail to sneak off and smoke, interchange between black and white townspeople, church-going and gossiping and store-keeping and socializing and chicken dinners in these turn-of-the-last century days.

Readers also appreciated Niblack’s honesty and fascinating description of his own adult life. As a young newspaper reporter he helped win the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1925 Ku Klux Klan trials for his newspaper The Indianapolis Times and went on to a long career as attorney and respected leader in Indianapolis as Superior and Circuit judge. The first hardcover edition of the book quickly went out of print. The book is available now as a softbound reprint with new Wheatland material to honor the home town Niblack grew up in and never really left in his “life and times.”