The newly elected superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools had a rough first week on the job.  A disastrous court decision a few years earlier had depleted the district’s fragile finances. The high school had been shuttered for four years, and the only book in IPS’s “library” was a battered Webster’s dictionary.  And while Abram Shortridge knew he was facing these challenges when he reluctantly accepted the position in the summer of 1863, the task ahead became even more daunting when he was stricken with blindness a few days later.