WINFIELD TAYLOR DURBIN, Indiana’s twenty-fifth governor, was born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on May 4, 1847. His education was attained in the common schools of New Philadelphia, Indiana, and at a commercial college in St. Louis. During the Civil War, Durbin enlisted and served in Company B, 16th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and participated in the siege of Vicksburg. He also served as colonel of the 161st Indiana Regiment in the Mexican War, and he organized and recruited the 4th Infantry of the Indiana National Guard during World War I. Before entering politics, Durbin worked as a teacher and tanner in Washington County. He also managed a paper mill and organized the Citizens’ Bank in Anderson. Durbin served six years as chairman of the Republican State Executive Committee, and was a presidential elector in 1892 and 1896. He won the 1900 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the Indiana governorship on January 14, 1901. During his tenure, he endorsed legislation that promoted road and highway expansion, and he fought against preferential legislation that was not advantageous to the state. Durbin left office on January 9, 1905, and returned to his business interests in Anderson, Indiana. After running unsuccessfully for reelection to the governor’s office in 1912, Durbin retired from public service. Governor Winfield T. Durbin died on December 18, 1928, and was buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.