Mayors Bookwalter & Shank

This article concerning the inauguration of Indianapolis Mayor Samuel Lewis Shank appeared in the January 2, 1910 Indianapolis Star. Like other articles I have included on First Super Speedway (Tom Taggart, Stoughton Fletcher) I believe the personalities highlighted in this article help set the context of the times for auto racing at least in Indianapolis during the first decade of the 20th Century.
Also noted as part of the coverage of Shank's inauguration was outgoing mayor Charles Bookwalter who had two turns at the helm of the Hoosier captial, 1901-1903 and 1906 -1910. Bookwalter was mayor during the founding of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Shank was mayor during the running of the first Indianapolis 500. Bookwalter supported Speedway management in their darkest days after the first auto races at the track in August 1909.
The article was published the morning of Shank's inauguration which took place at what was then the new City Hall building at Alabama and Ohio Streets at noon. According to the article the mayor's office was located in the Majestic Building, one of Indianapolis' first modern skyscraper. The new City Hall building did not yet have a roof but the ceremony took place there nonetheless. Shank had ordered several barrels of apples and a large quantity of cigars for guests.
Much of the article discusses the transition of government and which officials or staff would be replaced most immediately or retained for an indeterminate period. The article indicates that the transition would be gradual. For example City Attorney Crate D. Bowen had been told he would be retained in the Office of the Corporation Counsel. Shank indicated that department heads would be given full authority to make their staff decisions. Coincidentally Dog Pound Keeper Carl Koch had passed away the previous week and his replacement was announced as Walter Jenkins.

IndyMayor010210.pdf1.71 MB