That December Christmas saving clubs held over
That December Christmas saving clubs held over $1,100,000 in funds.Fort Wayne's per capita bank deposits stood at $664, by far the highest figure among Indiana's principal cities.||
That December Christmas saving clubs held over $1,100,000 in funds.,100,000 in funds.
Other cities offered similar advantages, of course, but many commentators felt that Fort Wayne's economic success in the 1920s owed much to the good organization and broad-ranging activities of its boosters.
Catering to new industrial and population growth, it had lobbied successfully for the expansion of municipal facilities.
The Wall Street crash of 1929 ushered in a decade of economic misery for America's cities.
At first the federal government refused to intervene to aid the millions of urban dwellers who lost their jobs with the onset of the Great Depression. Hoover insisted that unemployment relief had to be a local responsibility.
Most citizens were of German, Irish, or old stock ancestry, a fact that was assiduously publicized.
The boosters claimed that Fort Wayne's "old" ethnic work force was more reliable than labor in the big cities, where immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and blacks were more numerous.As a result of the interplay of these factors, Indiana's "Summit City" avoided some of the difficulties besetting other urban communities during the Depression.Fort Wayne's economy had prospered in the 1920s, whereas some large cities, such as Boston, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, had suffered relative industrial decline that compounded their relief problems in the following decade. It had not requested aid previously from the state government or the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), a federal agency empowered to loan cities funds to undertake self-liquidating public works projects.Local relief, based on voluntarist and township aid, had not collapsed.In this context Fort Wayne offers a particularly interesting example of local response to the Great Depression during the Hoover era.As a result, Fort Wayne had acquired a new bus service, a municipal airport, some new roads, and better sewers during the 1920s.