(Sept. 15, 1875-Mar. 15, 1968). A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Robert Lowry Moorhead was extensively involved in military matters throughout his life. During the Spanish-American War, he served as a sergeant major of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry. With the outbreak of World War II, he received a promotion to lieutenant colonel and then colonel of the 139th Field Artillery, American Expeditionary Force. After the war, Moorhead remained in the Indiana National Guard, serving a total of 46 years in both branches. His association with publisher Bobbs-Merrill was also lengthy. He joined the firm as a clerk in 1893 and left as a director in 1958.

American Legion National Headquarters, 1950
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

Moorhead’s interest in military affairs carried over into his service as a state legislator from 1921 to 1932. He served on the Indiana Senate’s Military Affairs Committee, was on the State Armory Board, and was a key figure in the founding of the state’s armory system. He also was actively involved in numerous civic functions and charitable organizations in Indianapolis, serving on the Warren Township advisory board and as a director of the Salvation Army. Perhaps his greatest contribution, however, was helping to bring the American Legion National Headquarters to Indianapolis in 1919.

Revised March 2021

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