|Lafayette is in western Indiana on the banks of the Wabash river. As the words of the old nostalgic song go, "I long to see the moonlight on the Wabash, far from my Indiana home." It is the home of Purdue University, the state engineering school. The surrounding area includes the Indiana towns of Oxford, Crawfordsville, Boswell, and Attica.|
We do not have much in the way of detailed information about the beginnings of A.A. in the Lafayette area, but we do know the names of the people. Gene Fitzgerald of Lafayette wrote to New York for literature about 1940 and began as a lone member of A.A. there. He was able to attend some meetings in Indianapolis, but was unable to participate in a regular group until an A.A. meeting started being held in January of 1948 at the home of Balfe Wagner in nearby Oxford. Although centering in Oxford, these A.A.'s called themselves the Lafayette Group. The meetings were held on Wednesday evenings. Balfe W. remained active in service work for many years.
People from Crawsfordsville attended the Oxford meeting, then eventually started a group in their own town. People from Boswell did the same thing, starting their own group in March 1949, and alcoholics from Attica began attending their group in such numbers that, at the beginning of 1951, the home site of the group was switched from Boswell to Attica.
Dr. Clarence "Doc" Dimmick of Williamsport, Indiana was taken to the Indiana Home in Indianapolis in October 1946 by the Methodist minister in Williamsport. Doc attended meetings in Indianapolis for a while, then became a member of the A.A. group in Danville, Illinois for several years. But he joined in with those who formed the Lafayette group in January 1948, and also regularly attended the Boswell, Crawfordsville, and Attica groups from their beginnings. He is remembered as one of the most active and helpful members of the Lafayette area groups during that early period. Marion L. Swim (from Oxford) was also active in these groups.