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Grant Program Helps Preserve and Support Historic African American Sites

INDIANAPOLIS – Two funds honoring the legacy of an Eli Lilly chemist will provide grants to organizations working to preserve significant African American landmarks in Indiana.

Standiford “Stan” Cox, who passed away in February 2019, joined Eli Lilly and Co. in 1957 as its first Black chemist and was a generous advocate for the preservation of African American heritage sites. During his lifetime, he established two funds with Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), one in his name and one to honor his parents.

The Standiford H. Cox Fund supports the restoration, preservation, operation, and ongoing maintenance of African American historic sites in Indiana. The Dovie Stewart Cox & Chester A. Cox Sr. Memorial Fund provides support for Lost Creek Community Grove at the Lost Creek Settlement near Terre Haute, one of the state’s earliest settlements of free people of color.

Indiana Landmarks will continue in its role as a key preservation advisor to the funds, drawing on the expertise of its the Black Heritage Preservation Program Committee to identify significant places and evaluate projects that the program could assist. The group will make initial recommendations to CICF in June.

“CICF is honored to continue supporting the preservation of the history, legacy, and richness of Black communities through the Standiford H. Cox Fund,” said Brian Payne, CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation.

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In 2022, the fund awarded $150,000 to nine projects, including masonry repairs at Allen Chapel AME Church in Indianapolis and installation of a high-efficiency furnace at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Gary, a 1959 church designed by Modernist architect Edward Dart.

In addition to grants for capital improvements, CICF also distributes grants for architectural or engineering services and supports nominations to the National Register of Historic Places on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The Church of God in Christ in Patoka in Gibson County received a planning grant in 2021 to help nominate the c.1900 Patoka Colored School to the National Register; the building was successfully listed in November 2022.

“Stan Cox has left an incredible legacy to the people of Indiana,” said Mark Dollase, vice president of preservation services at Indiana Landmarks. “We are honored to work with the Central Indiana Community Foundation in a partnership that will aid in the restoration of important African American landmarks for years to come.”

Born in Brazil, IN, Cox was an Indiana University graduate who worked for 32 years for Eli Lilly and Co., beginning as a chemist and holding a variety of positions during his career. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic society, he also earned a master’s degree from Butler University. An advocate for academic biochemical research, he endowed the Standiford H. Cox Professorship in Biochemistry at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Applications for Cox Funds grants are due by April 1, 2023. Groups interested in pursuing an application for a grant from the Cox Funds should contact Indiana Landmarks at

Sites will be assessed based on criteria including architectural and/or historical significance, opportunities for redevelopment, threat of demolition, and significance to Indiana’s African American heritage. Applicants must be a non-profit organization with active 501(c)3 status.

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