Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Social Sciences


Steven A. Walton


Gary, Indiana is a city with indelible ties to industrial paternalism. Founded in 1906 by United States Steel Corporation to house workers of the trust’s showpiece mill, the emergence of this model company town was both the culmination of lessons learned from its predecessors’ mistakes and innovative corporate planning. U.S. Steel’s Progressive Era adaptation of welfare capitalism characterized the young city through a combination of direct community involvement and laissez-faire social control. This thesis examines the reactionary implementation of paternalist policies in Gary between 1906 and 1930 through the purviews of three elements under corporate influence: housing, education, and social welfare. Each category demonstrates how both the corporation and citizenry affected and adapted Gary’s physical and cultural landscape, public perceptions, and community identity. Parallel to the popular narrative throughout is that of Gary’s African-American community, and the controversial circumstances of this population’s segregated development.