A new historical theory being promoted through the Columbus Area Visitors Center suggests that the word Hoosier may have originated in Bartholomew County.
Melina Fox, the former Hope town manager and a genealogist, came across information while researching her own family’s history in Hope that led her to suggest the town’s involvement. She believes that the term was meant to tease the Moravian Hauser family which settled in the Hope area after leaving North Carolina. She says that the Hauser family, originally from France and Germany, pronounced its named like “Who-zer.”
The first documented written use of the word Hoosier was from a letter written by a riverboat captain who offered to rename his boat the Indiana Hoosier if he could get a contract with John Tipton, founder of Columbus. That letter was written in 1831, about a year after the Hausers founded Hope.
You can look for more information on this theory, as well as seven other possible Hoosier origins, on the visitors center website at hoosier-debate.com.