Fourth Muncie Central Grad Inducted into Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame

Ida Husted Harper. Photo providedIda Husted Harper. Photo provided

By Sheryl Swingley— 

MUNCIE, IN—Ida Husted Harper, who was in the first graduation class of Muncie High School, now Muncie Central, in 1868, was inducted April 29 into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.

She joins three other Muncie Central graduates who are members of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. They are Bob Barnet, 1929; Ruth Chin, 1942; and Brad Byrd, 1970.

“Throughout her life, she also maintained her connection with Muncie and Muncie Central, returning whenever her class had a reunion and serving as the commencement speaker for the 1918 graduation,” said Sheryl Swingley, a 1970 graduate of Muncie Central.

Harper moved with her family to Muncie for a better education, and at Muncie High School, she  developed an interest in the women’s right-to-vote movement. She was a suffragist, journalist and author until her death in 1931.

Harper was named a distinguished alumna of Muncie Central in 2021.

Harper started a professional career in journalism as a columnist for a Terre Haute newspaper. She also worked for union-organizer and politician Eugene Debs’ national trade magazine as a writer. While she worked for Debs, she also served for a year as managing editor of the Terre Haute Daily News and worked two years for The Indianapolis News.

Harper’s best known work was created as a colleague of the nation’s most recognizable and notable suffragist, Susan B. Anthony. Her journalistic efforts to educate other journalists, the public and politicians about the need for women to have the right to vote played a key role in persuading the U.S Congress to pass the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. When the signing ceremony for the 19th Amendment took place in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1919, Harper was among the invited guests. Harper’s most enduring contributions are the three volumes she wrote with Anthony about “The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony.”

The Muncie Central Alumni Association supports its student scholarships and student assistance program, as well as teacher grants, and its distinguished alumni awards through memberships in the Muncie Central Alumni Association and donations to the association. The association also financially supports, curates and operates the MCHS Alumni Association Memorabilia Room.

Muncie Central graduates and non-alumni interested in supporting Muncie Central may obtain a membership form from Membership forms and donations may be mailed to Muncie Central Alumni Association, 6604 W. Talamore Court, Yorktown, IN 47396. Checks should be made payable to MCHS Alumni Association.