Harlan-Simmons Receives Jacob Piatt Dunn Jr. Award (IN UCEDD/LEND)

February 4, 2016

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) recently announced that Jane E. Harlan-Simmons, research associate with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community's Center on Aging and Community, was selected as the winner of the 2015 Jacob Piatt Dunn Jr. Award for her article The Sweetest Little Boy I Ever Knew: A Handmade History for an Institutional Life. Harlan-Simmons received the award during IHS's annual Founders Day event last December at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, Indianapolis, IN.

Named for noted Indiana historian and author Jacob Piatt Dunn Jr., this $500 award honors the article that, in the opinion of the Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History editorial board and staff, best serves the magazine's mission. This mission involves presenting thoughtful, research-based articles on Indiana history in an attractive format to a broad audience of readers.

The Sweetest Little Boy I Ever Knew: A Handmade History for an Institutional Life, appeared in the summer 2015 issue of Traces. The article by Harlan-Simmons told the poignant story of Tommy Hancock, a young man with developmental disabilities and a visual impairment who spent much of his life at Indiana's Muscatatuck State School. It also relates the love shown to Tommy by Edith and D.L. Mumpower, an elderly couple who cared deeply for his welfare.

Harlan-Simmons is just one award-winner who was recognized at the Founders Day Dinner, celebrating the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers, and businesses from around the state of Indiana, as well as the work of IHS.

Photo Caption: Award Recipient Jane Harlan-Simmons and Mr. Ray Boomhower, Interim Senior Director of the Indiana Historical Society Press.