The Eugene V. Debs Home is located on the campus of Indiana State University, and it was given the State and National Historic Landmark status in 1966. Before it was rescued, this house was home to a professor, converted into apartments and then used as a fraternity house at this Indiana college. Eugene V. Debs built the home and lived there with his wife Kate, whom he married in 1885. The couple often had visitors, including the likes of James Whitcomb Riley and Abraham Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg. A second floor bedroom of the Eugene V. Debs Home is even named the James Whitcomb Riley Room, because he frequently stayed overnight with the Debs couple.
The home has become a museum of Eugene V. Debs’ life, and some of the furnishings of the home were from his time living there. A popular spot in the Eugene V. Debs Home is the mural room that depicts Debs’ life. Some of his personal library and tons of other memorabilia is on display here too. The home is owned by the Eugene V. Debs Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to perpetuating his legacy.
Eugene V. Debs is a major socialist figure in United States history who became the front man of the socialist movement in the early 1900s. He began his career as a politician in the Indiana General Assembly, and he went on to run for president five times. He was a union leader, social activist and champion of social justice whose presidential candidacy was first with the Social Democratic Party in 1900 and then the Socialist Party of America in 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920. Eugene V. Debs was 64-years-old and behind bars for his final run in 1920, when he received nearly one million votes. Charged with violating the wartime sedition act, he was sentenced to ten years for his dramatic antiwar speech in 1918, when he argued against U.S. involvement in WWI.
Terre Haute, Indiana is about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from the Circle City, located about 75 miles west of downtown Indianapolis. Admission to the Eugene V. Debs Home is free, so this day trip from Indianapolis is cheap, cheap, cheap. While you’re in town, be sure to tour the lovely ISU campus.
Eugene V. Debs Home
451 North Eighth Street
Terre Haute, Indiana 47807