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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Bedford, Indiana
—  City  —
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 38°51′46″N 86°29′32″W / 38.86278°N 86.49222°W / 38.86278; -86.49222
Country United States
State Indiana
County Lawrence
Township Shawswick
 - Mayor Shawna Michelle Girgis (I)
 - Total 11.9 sq mi (30.8 km2)
 - Land 11.9 sq mi (30.8 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 686 ft (209 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 13,768
 - Density 1,156.9/sq mi (446.7/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
ZIP code 47421
Area code(s) 812
FIPS code 18-04114[1]
GNIS feature ID 0450667[2]

Bedford is a city in Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana, United States. The population was 13,768 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Lawrence County.[3]



Bedford is located at 38°51′46″N 86°29′32″W / 38.86278°N 86.49222°W / 38.86278; -86.49222 (38.862728, -86.492329).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.9 square miles (30.8 km2), all of it land.

Early history

Founded as a town and the county seat of Lawrence County, Indiana, United States around 1825. The original county seat was in Palestine, 4 miles to the south, but was moved, at the instigation of the legislature, to a new location as the original location near the White River was deemed unhealthy because of malaria caused by mosquitoes.[5] The new site was named Bedford at the suggestion of a prominent local businessman, Joseph Rawlins, who had relocated to the area from Bedford County, Tennessee.[6]

The city received a charter in 1889.[7]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 13,768 people, 6,054 households, and 3,644 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,157.1 people per square mile (446.7/km2). There were 6,618 housing units at an average density of 556.2/sq mi (214.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.87% White, 0.79% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population.

There were 6,054 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 21.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,022, and the median income for a family was $39,462. Males had a median income of $31,956 versus $22,578 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,649. About 7.4% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Sports Teams and History

The Bedford North Lawrence High School is known for its basketball and golf programs. The boys' basketball team, captained by Damon Bailey, won a state title in 1990. The girls won state titles in 1983 and 1991. The boys' golf ranks 3rd in Indiana in sectional championships with 20, and second in regionals with 7, having produced dozens of college players including PGA Tour Pro Craig Bowden. They have appeared in state finals many times and have numerous top five finishes. The BNL Boys Golf team holds the IHSAA record in all sports for most Finals trips without a championship with 27.

Notable residents


A small block of limestone presented by the city to Bedford, England

Bedford is known as the limestone capital of the world, and is surrounded by limestone quarries, many of which are dangerously used by the residents for swimming. A common name for the light gray Indiana limestone quarried in south central Indiana is "Bedford limestone", or "Bedford Oolitic limestone". Much of the limestone used in the construction of various Washington, D.C. monuments was quarried in the Bedford area, and Bedford received $700,000 in grants from the federal government to build an eight-story replica of the Great Pyramid out of local limestone; however, the work was never completed,[1] although an 800-foot limestone replica of the Great Wall of China was built. Construction took place in 1981 and cost $20,000. Limestone from a nearby quarry, called the "Empire Quarry", was used to build the Empire State Building in New York City.

Bedford is also home to an automotive plant run by General Motors.



Bedford is the home of Oakland City University School of Adult and Extended Learning[2]

Bedford was also originally offered to have Indiana University built in its city, instead of Bloomington. However, the city declined this offer for unclear reasons.

Profiles of Bedford

Bedford, Indiana was featured as the subject of an hour-long PBS special entitled Our Town: Bedford, first aired in May 2006. It was produced by PBS affiliate WTIU in Bloomington, Indiana.

Nearby points of interest


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ Images of America: Bedford
  7. ^ Google Books EB1911 pg. 620

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BEDFORD, a city and the county-seat of Lawrence county, Indiana, U.S.A., in the south-central part of the state, about 60 m. north-west of Louisville, Kentucky. Pop. (1890) 3351; (1900) 6115. It is served by the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern, the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville, the Southern Indiana, and (for freight from the Wallner quarries about 5 m. distant) the Bedford & Wallner railways. It is the shipping point of the Bedford Indiana (oolitic) limestone, which is found in the vicinity and is one of the most valuable and best known building stones in the United States - of this stone were built the capitols of Indiana, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky; the state historical library at Madison, Wisconsin; the art building at St Louis, Missouri; and many other important public buildings. The city has large cement works, foundries and machine shops (stone-working machinery being manufactured), and the repair shops of the Southern Indiana railway. Bedford was settled in 1826 and received a city charter in 1889.

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Simple English

Bedford is a city in the state of Indiana, in the United States.


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