Kendallville's own Arthur Franklin Mapes (1913 - 1986) was named Indiana's Poet Laureate in 1977. He published a great many poems throughout his life. An extraordinary number of these poems refer to the state of Indiana and the many natural treasures the state has to offer. In 1963, Arthur Mapes' poem "Indiana" was adopted as the official state poem.
God crowned her hills with beauty,
Gave her lakes and winding streams,
Then He edged them all with woodlands
As the settings for our dreams.
Lovely are her moonlit rivers,
Shadowed by the sycamores,
Where the fragrant winds of summer
Play along the willowed shores.
I must roam those wooded hillsides,
I must heed the native call,
For a Pagan voice within me
Seems to answer to it all.
I must walk where squirrels scamper
Down a rustic old rail fence,
Where a choir of birds is singing
In the woodland... green and dense.
I must learn more of my homeland
For it's paradise to me,
There's no haven quite as peaceful,
There's no place I'd rather be.
Indiana... is a garden
Where seeds of peace have grown,
Where each tree, and vine, and flower
Has a beauty... all its own.
Lovely are the fields and meadows,
That reach out to hills that rise
Where the dreamy Wabash River
Wanders on... through paradise.