Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Likely Story

Although Indiana ("India") E. Parker Likely (1845-1928) spent nearly all of her life in Mooresville, she was born in Greenwood.  When she was an infant, her parents moved the family here.  She spent the next 80 years living in a house built by her uncle at 19 East Harrison Street.  India graduated from Indiana Female College with a liberal arts degree, and she devoted the majority of her life to learning, education, and civic participation.  Her husband, James Likely (1837-1914), was a Methodist minister, whom she married in 1879.

India was best known for the Likely Literary Club, Mooresville's oldest non-ecclesiastical, civic organization.  The club was founded in 1890 by Elinor Palmer Mills, a teacher who came to town four years earlier.  Elinor worked closely with India to attract local ladies interested in fine literature, intellectual stimulation, and community-enhancing projects.  In 1994 Morgan County historian Dale Drake wrote an excellent article about the Likely Literary Club that provided wonderful details about the group and its participants.

Click images to enlarge

To learn more about India Likely, you can't do better than reading her obituaries (click here and here).  In the outstanding history of Morgan County, Morgan County Scrapbook (Mooresville : Morgan County History-Genealogy Club, 1985-    ), longtime Morgan County historian Becky Hardin (1908-1995) included sketches about India and the literary club.  Another enlightening source is Clara S. Richardson's A Brief History of Mooresville, Indiana, 1824-1974 (Mooresville : Dickinson Printing Co., 1974).  These (and other) local history books are available to checkout from Mooresville Public Library's Indiana Room.  Richardson's book is also digitized (click here to jump to the library catalog, then click the links under "electronic resources").

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