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Franklin in Johnson County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Franklin Wonder Five

 
 
Franklin Wonder Five Marker, side one image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, September 18, 2022
1. Franklin Wonder Five Marker, side one
Inscription.  
The Franklin Wonder Five dominated Indiana basketball in the 1920s as the sport’s popularity grew dramatically. The team won an unprecedented three consecutive state championships at the high school level from 1920-1922. After graduating, many players followed Coach Ernest “Griz” Wagner to Franklin College, where they won state collegiate championships in 1923 and 1924.

The Wonder Five attracted crowds from across the state to the small town of Franklin as “Hoosier Hysteria” took root. Considered among the best in the Midwest at the time, the team included future Indiana Basketball Hall of Famers Burl Friddle, John Gant, Coach Wagner, and Robert “Fuzzy” Vandivier, who was also elected into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1975.
 
Erected 2020 by Indiana Historical Bureau, Johnson County Historical Society, and Franklin College. (Marker Number 41.2020.1.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Sports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1923.
 
Location. 39° 28.687′ N, 86° 2.779′ W. Marker is in Franklin
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, Indiana, in Johnson County. Marker is on Grizzly Drive east of State Street, on the left when traveling east. It is on the campus of Franklin College, in front of the Fitness Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Franklin IN 46131, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Home of Columbus Horatio Hall (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of Roger D. Branigin (approx. 0.4 miles away); Johnson County War Memorial Honor Rolls (approx. half a mile away); Johnson County Revolutionary War Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Johnson County Court Houses (approx. half a mile away); Johnson County Spanish American War Honor Roll (approx. half a mile away); Johnson County Civil War Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Nancy Kerlin Barnett (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry for the Franklin Wonder Five. Excerpt:
The boys had started playing together as children and developed synergy. In high school, they thrived under the coaching of Ernest “Griz” Wagner and had a 104 to 10 win/loss record in their four years. After their high school successes, most members of the team followed Wagner to Franklin College, where he became basketball coach. At the time, total enrollment of the college was around 350 students.
Franklin Wonder Five Marker, side two image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, September 18, 2022
2. Franklin Wonder Five Marker, side two
(Submitted on September 25, 2022, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.) 
 
Marker at the 1908 Recreation Hall, now the Fitness Center image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, September 18, 2022
3. Marker at the 1908 Recreation Hall, now the Fitness Center
The Franklin Wonder Five image. Click for more information.
4. The Franklin Wonder Five
1986 book by Phillip Ellett, currently available as a Kindle book.
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Credits. This page was last revised on September 25, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 25, 2022, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 25, 2022, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 22, 2024