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State of Indiana



Compiled and Published under the Direction of





The Indiana Year Book provided for by the Legislature of 1917, and herewith presented, is the first attempt in this State to give to the people in simplified and brief form a report of the operation of the various offices, departments and institutions together with such documents, facts and statistics as make up a general reference work for the State.

In presenting this report, it seems advisable to set forth some observations upon its purpose and scope and to make suggestions by which the people may profit more fully by the information contained in it.

It is a commonplace remark that in a republic the government may be compared to a corporation in which the people are the stockholders and the officials are the directors and officers. Yet this fact is generally overlooked and there is not that close relationship between the people and their government that there is between the officers and stockholders of a corporation. This is largely due to the lack of knowledge on the part of the people concerning the work which their chosen representatives perform and that lack of knowledge is due to the failure of the officials to make reports to the people in convenient form.

Each department has, to be sure, made an annual or biennial report. But these reports too often have been bulky compilations of material which could not properly be digested by the average busy man. Moreover they have been published in limited quantities and have not been available for wide distribution.

Believing that every citizen should have access to the kind of information which he needs to have about his government, the legislature wisely enacted that hereafter the regular annual and biennial reports be discontinued and that a single brief volume of reports and information be compiled and that provision be made for the publication of the book in large quantities, "it being the intent to secure the widest distribution possible among the people."

The plan under which this first book was compiled was to ask each department, board and institution to prepare a report in brief form setting forth the function and scope of the office; the work performed during the past year; and such observations and recommendations about the work of the office as was deemed advisable. The hearty cooperation of all officers has been received and the democratic ideal of the book has been given due emphasis in their method of presenting the reports to the people. The second purpose of the Indiana Year Book was to present the important social and economic information and statistics of the State in such form as to serve the purpose of a reference book on Indiana. Statistics of population, elections, health, education, public utilities, taxation, charities and correction, marriages, divorces, agriculture, and a list of State, county and city officials are presented. There is also presented a number


of important historical documents and much other information of value. It is the purpose in succeeding year books to furnish additional material thus adding to the value of a collection of the Indiana Year Books.

The book will be available free of cost to all citizens. It will be our aim to place it within reach of every citizen who desires it and I urge a careful reading of it by all. In no other way can democracy reach its ideal except by the intelligent interest of the people in their government.

Realizing the great power of the schools to promote civic knowledge, a special effort will be made to place copies of the Year Book in every school in Indiana. The cooperation of school boards, township trustees and of teachers and superintendents is earnestly urged to the end that the book may be used as a basis of study of Indiana government in all of the schools of the State.


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