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Korry Shepard
Amateur local historian, Gary, IN native.

My understanding of the Gary Mayoral Election of 1967

Stay Little and Be White


Big news broke around this time in 2018. U.S. Steel announced it would invest nearly a billion dollars over five years into its largest manufacturing plant in Gary, Indiana. This is the most significant investment in Gary Works in decades. US Steel already set funds aside for asset revitalization, and…

Continuation of The Family Street Gang Story

A rare photo of Garland Jeffers, March 26, 1975.


I read a book written by a Gary historian (I can’t remember who, sorry). He stated in the 70s, Gary was not a beautiful place to live anymore — and questioned if the city ever was truly beautiful. Whatever charm could be found was overcast by streets paved with broken…

The Family Street Gang

The Family was an organized criminal institution that terrorized Gary and communities for much of the 1970s. While The Family’s criminal exploits are remembered in the public zeitgeist, what is not recalled is how they were allowed to exist. We’re going to be taking a trip into the roots of…

Educational Segregation in Gary, Indiana

I could run through all my materials and find every single instance of slight, snark, and racism printed on paper, but it would be a waste of my time. So instead, I want to focus more on the more consequential, hard-to-talk-about subjects, like Gary’s long-lasting scholastic segregation problem.

William A. Wirt

Blacks and…

In December 2020, Gary’s new mayor, Jerome Prince, gave a weird State of the City address. The State of the City address isn’t something that I usually care for. However, in his speech — very briefly — he mentioned that he wanted to build a new City Hall. It was…


Scott Louis King

Mayor Scott King stated in a write-up in the Gary Post-Tribune, February 5, 1998:
“…Sometimes the old must make way for the new. Such has been the case with our downtown area. The “Fire of 1997,” which destroyed a majority of the east side of the 600 block of Broadway as…

The Great Gary Arson of 1997 (Part 3)

October 13, 1997. Genesis Towers. 2am.

The evacuation of Genesis Towers started off chaotic. Embers as big as fists were flying off the senior citizen home. They landed on people — in their hair, on their clothes. Inside the building, things were far from ideal. The building was equipped with fire doors; which automatically locked behind…

The Great Gary Arson of 1997 (Part 2)

578 Broadway

Monday, October 13, 1997–12:10 A.M.

When the fire started around 11:30am, most residents of Genesis Towers — an elderly retirement home that was formally The Hotel Gary — were sound asleep. They did not notice cloudy skies glowing red-orange in the night. They did not notice dank, putrid smoke rolling…

The Great Gary Arson Of 1997 (Part 1)

GFD fighting blaze at Goldblatt’s department store. 10.12.1997.


The night of October 12, 1997, I was 11 years old. My little brother and I were staying with our grandparents. We lived by the South Shore train tracks. Being used to the trains, we could sleep right through their rumbling and horn blowing. In fact, in a weird…

Korry Shepard

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