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New historical marker honors Hoosier who became Ag secretary

DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana’s newest historical marker recognizes a farmer who rose to head a federal government agency that brought electricity to many farms and rural areas of the nation. 

The marker located south of Delphi outside the local REMC electricity cooperative honors Claude Wickard. 

A Purdue University graduate, Wickard in the 1930s was an Indiana state senator who worked on New Deal projects in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1940, under President Roosevelt Franklin, he became the U.S. secretary of agriculture. In 1945, he became chief of the Rural Electrification Administration.

Jill Weiss Simins, a historian for the Indiana Historical Bureau, researches many of the people who receive historical markers, but she said Wickard’s past affected her on a personal level. She and Wichard, she said, are average Hoosiers doing their best to improve their little corner of the world.