Indianapolis shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680; the "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U. S; the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. S. with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. S. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government; the city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile grid next to the White River.
Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U. S. based on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing and business services and health care and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in auto racing; the Fortune 500 companies of Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company and Simon Property Group are headquartered in Indianapolis. The city has hosted international multi-sport events, such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games, but is best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis is home to two major league sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. It is home to a number of educational institutions, such as the University of Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; the city's robust philanthropic community has supported several cultural assets, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, public art. The city is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U. S. outside of Washington, D. C; the name Indianapolis is derived from the state's name and polis, the Greek word for city. Jeremiah Sullivan, justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is credited with coining the name. Other names considered were Concord and Tecumseh. In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U. S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government.
Two years under the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821; this tract of land, called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820. The availability of new federal lands for purchase in central Indiana attracted settlers, many of them descendants of families from northwestern Europe. Although many of these first European and American settlers were Protestants, a large proportion of the early Irish and German immigrants were Catholics. Few African Americans lived in central Indiana before 1840; the first European Americans to permanently settle in the area that became Indianapolis were either the McCormick or Pogue families. The McCormicks are considered to be the first permanent settlers. Other historians have argued as early as 1822 that John Wesley McCormick, his family, employees became the area's first European American settlers, settling near the White River in February 1820.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature approved the site, adopting the name Indianapolis on January 6, 1821. In April, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were appointed to survey and design a town plan for the new settlement. Indianapolis became a seat of county government on December 31, 1821, when Marion County, was established. A combined county and town government continued until 1832. Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847. Samuel Henderson, the city's first mayor, led the new city government, which included a seven-member city council. In 1853, voters approved a new city charter that provided for an elected mayor and a fourteen-member city council; the city charter continued to be revised. Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government moved to Indianapolis from Indiana. In addition to state government offices, a U. S. district court was established at Indianapolis in 1825.
Growth occurred with the opening of the National Road through the town in 1827, the first major federally funded highway in the United States. A small segment of the failed Indiana Central
Henry County, Indiana
Henry County is a county located in east central Indiana, United States. As of 2010, the population was 49,462; the county seat and largest and only city is New Castle. Henry County is the main setting of the novel Raintree County by Ross Lockridge, Jr.. Henry County was formed in 1822 from the Delaware New Purchase resulting from the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818, it was named for governor of Virginia. According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 394.83 square miles, of which 391.88 square miles is land and 2.96 square miles is water. New Castle Castle Lake Giboney Lake Haven, Lake Summit Lake Reservoir Westwood Park Reservoir Delaware County Randolph County Wayne County Fayette County Rush County Hancock County Madison County Sources: National Atlas, U. S. Census Bureau Interstate 70 U. S. Route 35 U. S. Route 36 U. S. Route 40 State Road 3 State Road 38 State Road 103 State Road 109 State Road 140 State Road 234 State Road 236 In recent years, average temperatures in New Castle have ranged from a low of 16 °F in January to a high of 84 °F in July, although a record low of −26 °F was recorded in January 1994 and a record high of 103 °F was recorded in June 1988.
Average monthly precipitation ranged from 2.24 inches in January to 4.70 inches in May. The county government is a constitutional body, is granted specific powers by the Constitution of Indiana, by the Indiana Code. County Council: The county council is the legislative branch of the county government and controls all the spending and revenue collection in the county. Representatives are elected from county districts; the council members serve four-year terms. They are responsible for setting salaries, the annual budget, special spending; the council has limited authority to impose local taxes, in the form of an income and property tax, subject to state level approval, excise taxes, service taxes. County Commissioners: The executive body of the county is made of a board of commissioners; the commissioners are elected county-wide, in staggered terms, each serves a four-year term. One of the commissioners the most senior, serves as president; the commissioners are charged with executing the acts legislated by the council, collecting revenue, managing the day-to-day functions of the county government.
County Courts: The county maintains three courts. Circuit Court I, Circuit Court II and Circuit Court III; the judge on the court is elected to a term of four years and must be a member of the Indiana Bar Association. In some cases, court decisions can be appealed to the state level circuit court. County Officials: The county has several other elected offices, including sheriff, auditor, recorder and circuit court clerk Each of these elected officers serves a term of four years and oversees a different part of county government. Members elected to county government positions are required to declare party affiliations and to be residents of the county. Henry County is part of Indiana's 6th congressional district; as of the 2010 United States Census, there were 49,462 people, 19,077 households, 13,020 families residing in the county. The population density was 126.2 inhabitants per square mile. There were 21,288 housing units at an average density of 54.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 95.7% white, 2.2% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.4% from other races, 1.2% from two or more races.
Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 19.9% were German, 13.3% were American, 11.8% were Irish, 9.1% were English. Of the 19,077 households, 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.8% were non-families, 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.94. The median age was 41.4 years. The median income for a household in the county was $47,697 and the median income for a family was $52,701. Males had a median income of $42,628 versus $30,226 for females; the per capita income for the county was $19,879. About 10.2% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over. Summit Lake State Park Westwood Park Omar Bundy, Major General, World War One William Grose, Major General, Civil War Robert Indiana, artist Arthur C.
Mellette, first Governor of South Dakota Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneer Steve Alford, NCAA basketball coach and former player Kent Benson, Former NCAA and NBA basketball player Ira Hough, Congressional Medal of Honor winner, 1864 National Register of Historic Places listings in Henry County, Indiana Edward E. Moore, Indiana state senator and Los Angeles City Council member New Castle Henry County Chamber of Commerce Henry County Convention & Visitors Bureau Henry County Government Site
Secretary of State of Indiana
The Secretary of State of Indiana is one of five constitutional officers designated in Indiana's State Constitution of 1816. Since 1851 it has been an elected position; the Secretary of State oversees four divisions, is the third highest constitutional office of the state government. The Secretary serves as the State's chief election officer, enforces state securities regulations, regulates automobile dealerships in Indiana, manages the state business services division; the current office holder is Connie Lawson, appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to serve out the term of former Secretary of State Charlie White, removed from office due to felony convictions; the annual salary of the Secretary of State of Indiana is $74,580. The Indiana Secretary of State is a constitutional office first established in the 1816 Constitution of Indiana. Between 1816 and until 1851, the Secretary of State was nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. With the adoption of the current constitution in 1851 the Secretary of State's office was filled by a public statewide election every four years.
To be eligible to serve as Secretary of State, a candidate must be a registered voter, at least 30 years old on the day they take the oath of office. Secretaries of State take office on December 1 following their election and hold office for four years. Should they resign, be impeached, or die in office the governor has the power to appoint a temporary Secretary of State to serve until the next general election; the new Secretary of State, either appointed or elected, may only complete the term of the previous Secretary of State, not serve a new four-year term. A Secretary of State may be reelected any number of times, but may serve no more than eight years in any 12-year period; as of 2014, the salary for the secretary is $74,580 annually. Secretary of State elections determine party status in Indiana. A party's Secretary of State candidate must garner at least 10 percent of the vote for his or her party to be considered a major party in the state; the Indiana Secretary of State is a constitutional office in the executive branch of the Government of Indiana.
State law designates the Indiana Secretary of State as the state’s chief election officer. The Indiana Election Division assists the Secretary in receiving candidate filings and certifying election results; the Indiana Election Division receives campaign finance reports and assists the Indiana Election Commission in the administration of campaign finance laws. The Secretary of State serves as chair of the State Recount Commission which conducts recounts and contests regarding major party primary nominations and general elections for federal and state legislative offices; the Indiana General Assembly has granted the secretary additional statutory powers to maintain the state's registry of notaries. The Indiana Securities Division is placed under the leadership of the secretary; the division is statutory and is responsible for enforcing regulations on the purchase and trade of all security investments in the state. The division is responsible for granting operating licenses to collection agencies who wish to collect debts within the state.
The division investigates violations of the state securities laws, can levy fines on law violators, can request the Indiana Attorney General pursue criminal charges. As of 2007, the division regulated over their nearly 40,000 agents; the secretary heads the statutory Division of Business Services. The division is responsible for maintaining the records of all corporations operating within Indiana, which in 2007 amounted to over 250,000 active and inactive corporations. Non-profit businesses, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships are required to register with the division; the division approves trademarks and service marks for state companies. The division maintains Indiana's Uniform Commercial Code which documents the assets and finances of businesses that fall under jurisdiction of the code. In 2007 one million records were kept in accordance with the code; the Office of Secretary of State is one of five constitutional officers designated in Indiana's State Constitution of 1816.
Sixty-one Hoosiers have served as the third highest-ranking official in state government. Early duties of the office included the maintenance of state records and preservation of the state seal, but as state government expanded, so did the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. Present responsibilities include chartering of new business, regulation of the securities industry, administering regulations relating to the registration of motorized vehicle dealers, oversight of state elections; the Executive Office, located in the Indiana Statehouse, oversees the overall policy and budgeting for the entire office. Four main divisions comprise the balance of the office: Elections, Business Services and Dealer Services. Elections - The Elections Division assists the Secretary of State in carrying out the responsibilities assigned as Indiana's chief elections officer; the bipartisan division is composed of an equal number of Republicans. The division's administrative responsibilities include overseeing the candidate declaration process, certifying election results, maintaining campaign finance reports.
The Secretary of State serves as chairperson for the Indiana Recount Commission and participates in voter outreach projects aimed at increasing voter participation. The Indiana Election Commission, as opposed to the Division, is an independently appointed Commission of two Republicans and two Democrats; the commission deals with questions associated with violations of the Indiana election laws, with the imposition of penalties. Bu
Indiana is a U. S. state located in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of North America. Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States, its capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U. S. state on December 11, 1816. Indiana borders Lake Michigan to the northwest, Michigan to the north, Ohio to the east, Kentucky to the south and southeast, Illinois to the west. Before becoming a territory, various indigenous peoples and Native Americans inhabited Indiana for thousands of years. Since its founding as a territory, settlement patterns in Indiana have reflected regional cultural segmentation present in the Eastern United States. Indiana has a diverse economy with a gross state product of $359.12 billion in 2017. Indiana has several metropolitan areas with populations greater than 100,000 and a number of smaller industrial cities and towns. Indiana is home to professional sports teams, including the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the NBA's Indiana Pacers, hosts several notable athletic events, such as the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 motorsports races.
The state's name means "Land of the Indians", or "Indian Land". It stems from Indiana's territorial history. On May 7, 1800, the United States Congress passed legislation to divide the Northwest Territory into two areas and named the western section the Indiana Territory. In 1816, when Congress passed an Enabling Act to begin the process of establishing statehood for Indiana, a part of this territorial land became the geographic area for the new state. A resident of Indiana is known as a Hoosier; the etymology of this word is disputed, but the leading theory, as advanced by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society, has "Hoosier" originating from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee as a term for a backwoodsman, a rough countryman, or a country bumpkin. The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians, who arrived about 8000 BC after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. Divided into small groups, the Paleo-Indians were nomads, they created stone tools made out of chert by chipping and flaking.
The Archaic period, which began between 5000 and 4000 BC, covered the next phase of indigenous culture. The people developed new tools as well as techniques to cook food, an important step in civilization; such new tools included different types of spear knives, with various forms of notches. They made ground-stone tools such as woodworking tools and grinding stones. During the latter part of the period, they built earthwork mounds and middens, which showed that settlements were becoming more permanent; the Archaic period ended at about 1500 BC, although some Archaic people lived until 700 BC. The Woodland period commenced around 1500 BC. During this period, the people created ceramics and pottery, extended their cultivation of plants. An early Woodland period group named the Adena people had elegant burial rituals, featuring log tombs beneath earth mounds. In the middle portion of the Woodland period, the Hopewell people began developing long-range trade of goods. Nearing the end of the stage, the people developed productive cultivation and adaptation of agriculture, growing such crops as corn and squash.
The Woodland period ended around 1000 AD. The Mississippian culture emerged, lasting from 1000 AD until the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of Europeans. During this stage, the people created large urban settlements designed according to their cosmology, with large mounds and plazas defining ceremonial and public spaces; the concentrated settlements depended on the agricultural surpluses. One such complex was the Angel Mounds, they had large public areas such as plazas and platform mounds, where leaders lived or conducted rituals. Mississippian civilization collapsed in Indiana during the mid-15th century for reasons that remain unclear; the historic Native American tribes in the area at the time of European encounter spoke different languages of the Algonquian family. They included the Shawnee and Illini, they were joined by refugee tribes from eastern regions including the Delaware who settled in the White and Whitewater River Valleys. In 1679, French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was the first European to cross into Indiana after reaching present-day South Bend at the Saint Joseph River.
He returned the following year to learn about the region. French-Canadian fur traders soon arrived, bringing blankets, tools and weapons to trade for skins with the Native Americans. By 1702, Sieur Juchereau established the first trading post near Vincennes. In 1715, Sieur de Vincennes built Fort Miami at Kekionga, now Fort Wayne. In 1717, another Canadian, Picote de Beletre, built Fort Ouiatenon on the Wabash River, to try to control Native American trade routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi River. In 1732, Sieur de Vincennes built a second fur trading post at Vincennes. French Canadian settlers, who had left the earlier post because of hostilities, returned in larger numbers. In a period of a few years, British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750s as a result; the Native American tribes of Indiana sided with th
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
Orleans is a town in Orleans Township, Orange County, in the U. S. state of Indiana. The population was 2,142 at the 2010 census. Orleans was platted in 1815, named in commemoration of the Battle of New Orleans. A post office has been in operation at Orleans since 1823. Jenkins Place and Orleans Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Orleans is located at 38°39′40″N 86°27′12″W. According to the 2010 census, Orleans has a total area of all land; as of the census of 2010, there were 2,142 people, 904 households, 581 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,252.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 1,000 housing units at an average density of 584.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 98.6% White, 0.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population. There were 904 households of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, 35.7% were non-families.
31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.98. The median age in the town was 40.3 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the town was 52.8 % female. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,273 people, 922 households, 614 families residing in the town; the population density was 1,449.3 people per square mile. There were 992 housing units at an average density of 632.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 98.77% White, 0.13% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.13% from other races, 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population. There were 922 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.4% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.08. In the town, the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.7 males. The median income for a household in the town was $27,138, the median income for a family was $35,150. Males had a median income of $26,630 versus $19,375 for females; the per capita income for the town was $14,476. About 12.3% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 16.3% of those age 65 or over. The town has the Orleans Town & Township Public Library. Town website
D. C. Stephenson
David Curtiss "Steve" Stephenson was a convicted murderer and rapist, who in 1923 was appointed Grand Dragon of the branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana and head of Klan recruiting for seven other states. That year, he led those groups to independence from the national KKK organization. Amassing wealth and political power in Indiana politics, he was one of the most prominent national Klan leaders. "He was viewed as responsible for reviving the Klan and widening its base, considered the most powerful man in Indiana". He had close relationships with numerous Indiana politicians Governor Edward L. Jackson. In 1925 Stephenson was tried and convicted for the notorious abduction and murder of a young white woman, Madge Oberholtzer, a state education official, his trial and imprisonment ended the portrayal of Klan leaders as law abiding. "The case and its fallout destroyed the Klan in Indiana, it may have reversed its ascendency as a national political force." Denied a pardon by Governor Jackson, in 1927 he started talking with reporters for the Indianapolis Times and released a list of elected and other officials, in the pay of the Klan.
This led to a wave of indictments in Indiana, more national scandals, the rapid loss of tens of thousands of members, the end of the second wave of Klan activity in the late 1920s. Stephenson was born in Houston, Texas on August 21, 1891, moved as a child with his family to Maysville, Oklahoma. After some public schooling, he started work as a printer's apprentice and was active in the Populist Party. During World War I, he completed officers' training, he never served overseas. In 1920 at the age of 29, he moved to Evansville, where he worked for a retail coal company, he joined the Democratic Party and in 1922, ran unsuccessfully for a Democratic Congressional nomination. He was said to have "married and abandoned two wives" before settling in Evansville. Joseph M. Huffington, whom the Ku Klux Klan had sent from Texas as an agent for organizing in Evansville, recruited Stephenson to the group's inner circle; the historian Leonard Moore characterized them as both young men on the make. The Evansville Klavern became the most powerful in the state, Stephenson soon contributed to attracting numerous new members.
More than 5,400 men, or 23 percent of the native-born white men in Vanderburgh County joined the Klan. Building on the momentum, Stephenson set up a base in Indianapolis, where he helped create the Klan's state newspaper, Fiery Cross, he recruited new agents and organizers, building on news about the organization. Protestant ministers were offered free membership. In Indiana from July 1922 to July 1923, nearly 2,000 new members joined the Klan each week. Hiram Wesley Evans, who led recruiting for the national organization, maintained close ties to state leaders throughout 1921-1922 and he was close to Stephenson, because by Indiana had the largest state Klan organization. Stephenson backed Evans in November 1922 when he unseated William J. Simmons as Imperial Wizard of the national KKK. Evans had ambitions to make the Klan a political force in the country. After Evans won, he appointed Stephenson as Grand Dragon of Indiana, he made him head of recruiting for seven other states north of Mississippi.
In the 1920s, Klan membership grew in these states. In Indiana, membership grew to about one third of all white males in the state. Stephenson acquired political power by leading the Klan. Evans, who had a monopoly on the sale of Klan uniforms and paraphernalia, appointed Stephenson as Grand Dragon of the Indiana Klan at a 1923 Fourth of July gathering of the Klan in Kokomo, with more than 100,000 members and their families in attendance. Stephenson said, My worthy subjects, citizens of the Invisible Empire, Klansmen all, greetings, it grieves me to be late. The President of the United States kept me unduly long counseling on matters of state. Only my plea that this is the time and the place of my coronation obtained for me surcease from his prayers for guidance. Encouraged by his success, in September 1923, Stephenson severed his ties with the existing national organization of the KKK, formed a rival KKK, made up of the chapters which he led; that year Stephenson changed his affiliation from the Democratic to the Republican Party, predominant in Indiana and much of the Midwest.
He notably supported Republican Edward L. Jackson, rumored to be a Klan member, when Jackson ran for governor in 1924. Stephenson was noted for having claimed, "I am the law in Indiana." Shortly after, he made this remark on 12 May 1924 at an assembly in the Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis:"God help the man who issues a proclamation of war against the Klan in Indiana now... We are going to Klux Indiana as she has never been Kluxed before... I'll appeal to the ministers of Indiana to do the praying for the Ku Klux Klan and I'll do the scrapping for it... And the fiery cross is going to burn at every crossroads in Indiana, as long as there is a white man left in the state." Publicly a Prohibitionist and a defender of "Protestant womanhood," Stephenson was tried in 1925 for the rape and murder of Madge Oberholtzer, a young state employee who ran a state program to combat adult illiteracy. During the trial, the Klan's image as upholders of law and morality were gravely weakened as it was proven that Stephenson and many of his associates were in private womanizers and alcoholics.