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City of Richmond, Indiana
—  City  —
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 39°49′49″N 84°53′26″W / 39.83028°N 84.89056°W / 39.83028; -84.89056Coordinates: 39°49′49″N 84°53′26″W / 39.83028°N 84.89056°W / 39.83028; -84.89056
Country United States
State Indiana
County Wayne
Township Boston, Center, Wayne
 - Mayor Sarah L. "Sally" Hutton (D)
 - Total 23.3 sq mi (60.3 km2)
 - Land 23.2 sq mi (60.1 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 39,124
 - Density 1,685.6/sq mi (650.8/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 47374-47375
Area code(s) 765
FIPS code 18-64260[1]
GNIS feature ID 0441976[2]

Richmond (pronounced /ˈrɪtʃmənd/) is a city largely within Wayne Township, Wayne County, in east central Indiana, which borders Ohio. The city also includes the Richmond Municipal Airport in Boston Township which is separated from the rest of the city. It is sometimes called the "cradle of recorded jazz" because some early jazz records originated there at the studio of Gennett Records, a division of the Starr Piano Company.[3] Richmond is the county seat of Wayne County. The city's 2000 population was 39,124. In the 1990s, Richmond's population declined by 1.6 percent.[4]

The city has twice received the All-America City Award, most recently in a youth-initiated 2009 effort.



Richmond is located at 39°49′49″N 84°53′26″W / 39.830189°N 84.890668°W / 39.830189; -84.890668.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.3 square miles (60.3 km²), of which, 23.2 square miles (60.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.26%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 39,124 people, 16,287 households, and 9,918 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,685.3 people per square mile (650.8/km²). There were 17,647 housing units at an average density of 760.2/sq mi (293.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.78% White, 8.87% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 2.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.03% of the population.

Richmond lies on the flat lands of eastern Indiana.

There were 16,287 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,210, and the median income for a family was $38,346. Males had a median income of $30,849 versus $21,164 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,096. About 12.1% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.

According to an estimate released in 2009 by the United States Census Bureau, Wayne County, of which Richmond is the county seat, had a relatively high population of divorced residents: 19.2 percent. Among 54,810 native born residents 19.4 percent were divorced, and among 550 foreign born residents none were divorced. Among Whites, 18.7 percent were divorced, while 11.6 percent of Blacks or African Americans were divorced. The age category with the highest percentage of divorced person was 45-54. (males: 35 percent; females 33.5 percent). Among males and females aged 15–19, the percent divorced was zero.[6]


Richmond was settled along the East Fork of the Whitewater River in 1806 by Quaker families from North Carolina. John Smith and David Hoover were among the earliest settlers. Richmond is still home to several Quaker institutions including Friends United Meeting, Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion.

Richmond is believed to have been the smallest community in the United States with a professional opera company and symphony orchestra. The Whitewater Opera has since closed its doors but the Richmond Symphony Orchestra is a source of community pride. Will Earhart formed the first complete high school orchestra in Richmond in 1899. A later orchestra director, Joseph E. Maddy went on to found what is now known as the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

A significant group of artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came to be known as the Richmond Group. The list of artists includes John Elwood Bundy, Charles Conner, George Herbert Baker, Maude Kaufman Eggemeyer and John Albert Seaford among others. The Richmond Art Museum has an outstanding collection of regional and American art.[7] Many consider the most significant painting in the collection to be a self portrait of Indiana-born William Merritt Chase.[8]

Richmond was once known as "the lawnmower capital" because of the lawn mowers manufactured there from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Manufacturers included Davis, Motomower, Dille-McGuire and F&N. The farm machinery builder Gaar-Scott was based in Richmond.

In the 1920s, Indiana had the strongest Ku Klux Klan organization in the country under Grand Dragons D. C. Stephenson and Walter F. Bossert, with control over the state legislature and an ally in Governor Ed Jackson.[9] At its height, national membership during the second Klan movement reached 1.5 million, with 300,000 from Indiana.[10] Records show that Richmond (home to Whitewater Klan #60) and Wayne County were Klan strongholds, with up to 45 percent of the county's white males having been Klan members. Forty percent of Richmond's Kiwanis club members, thirty percent of its doctors, and 27 percent of its lawyers were Klan members, but none of the city's bank executives or most powerful business leaders were members.[10][11] In 1923 a reported 30,000 people watched a Klan parade through Richmond streets.[12] Richmondite Robert Lyons was national chief of staff for the Klan.[13] At the same time Gennett Records was recording important black jazz artists,[14] it also produced private-label contract recordings for the Ku Klux Klan.[15] Official racial segregation existed in Richmond as late as 1965 when the city ended its policy of restricting black firefighters to one station and limiting the promotion opportunities of firefighters and police officers. That same year Indiana's anti-miscegenation law was repealed.

After starting out in nearby Union City, Wayne Agricultural Works moved to Richmond. Wayne was a manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles, including "kid hacks", a precursor of the motorized school bus. Beginning in the early 1930s through the 1940s, several automobile designers and manufacturers were located in Richmond. Among the automobiles manufactured there was the "Richmond" which was built by the Wayne Works, the "Rodefeld", the "Davis", the "Pilot", the Westcott and the Crosley.

In the 1950s, Wayne Works became Wayne Corporation, a well-known bus and school bus manufacturer, and relocated to a site adjacent to Interstate 70 in 1967. The company was a leader in school bus safety innovations, but closed in 1992 during a period of school bus manufacturing industry consolidations.

Richmond was known as the Rose City because of the many varieties once grown there by Hill's Roses in several sprawling complexes of greenhouses. The company once had about 34 acres (140,000 m2) under glass. The Richmond Rose Festival honored the rose industry and was a popular summer attraction.

Madonna of the Trail statue in Glen Miller Park

Richmond is located on the National Road,[16] which became part of the system of National Auto Trails. The highway is now known as US 40.svg U.S. Highway 40. One of the extant Madonna of the Trail monuments was dedicated at Richmond on October 28, 1928[17] The monument sits in a corner of Glen Miller Park adjacent to US 40.

On April 6, 1968, several downtown blocks were destroyed or damaged by a natural gas explosion and fire, killing 41 people and injuring more than 150.[18] Thereafter, the main street through downtown was closed to traffic and the Downtown Promenade was built in 1972 (and later expanded in 1978). The book Death in a Sunny Street is about the event. The five-block pedestrian mall was later torn down and the street reopened to traffic in 1997 as part of an urban revitalization effort.

A Powerball lottery ticket sold in Richmond won approximately $314 million (annuity value) in the August 25, 2007 drawing. In 1998, a group of 13 machine-shop workers from Ohio won Powerball on a ticket that had also been purchased in Richmond. It won $295.7 million (annuity). The two tickets were sold at two different Speedway convenience stores about three miles (5 km) apart; both sets of winners also chose the cash option.

Richmond is home to two of Indiana's three Egyptian mummies. One is at the Wayne County Historical Museum and the second at Earlham College's Joseph Moore Museum. [19] [20]


Richmond is noted for its historic architecture. In 2003, a book entitled Richmond Indiana: Its Physical Development and Aesthetic Heritage to 1920 by Cornell University architectural historians, Michael and Mary Raddant Tomlan, was published by the Indiana Historical Society. This work is the result of twenty five years of research on Richmond's growth and development. Particularly notable buildings are the 1902 Pennsylvania Railroad Station designed by Daniel Burnham and the 1893 Wayne County Court House designed by James W. McLaughlin of Cincinnati. Local architects of note include John A. Hasecoster, William S. Kaufman and Stephen O. Yates. Five large districts and several individual buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record.

Educational institutions

Religious groups


Richmond is served by Interstate 70 at exits 149, 151, 153, and 156.


The daily newspaper is the Gannett-owned Palladium-Item.

Full-power radio stations include WKBV, WFMG, WQLK, WHON, WZRP (formerly WVXR), and Earlham College's student-run public radio station WECI. Richmond is also served by several translator stations repeated from WCDR on 95.3 and 90.7 and WJYW which is repeated on 94.5 and 97.7. Area NPR radio stations include WBSH in Hagerstown and WMUB in Oxford, OH.

Richmond is considered to be within the Dayton, Ohio television market and has one full-power television station, WKOI, which is affiliated with TBN. The city also has one county-wide PEG access cable television station, Whitewater Community Television.[21]

Points of interest

Hicksite Friends Meeting House, 1150 North A Street, Richmond, Indiana, now houses the Wayne County Historical Museum.

Notable Richmondites

Sister cities


  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. ^ Starr Gennett Foundation,, URL accessed May 29, 2006.
  4. ^ Richmond, Indiana (IN) Detailed Profile - relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^ Wayne County, Indiana S1201. Marital Status; United States Census Bureau, URL accessed September 23, 2009.
  7. ^ Richmond Art Museum,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  8. ^ Self-portrait: The Artist in his Studio, 1916,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  9. ^ Indiana State Library, Ku Klux Klan Resources from the Indiana Division,, URL accessed May 30, 2006
  10. ^ a b Ku Klux Klan, Wayne County, Indiana Records, 1916–1933,, URL accessed on May 29, 2006.
  11. ^ Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928, Leonard J. Moore, North Carolina Press, 1997.
  12. ^ Spectacular array presented by Klan in mamoth [sic] parade. (Oct. 6, 1923). Richmond Evening Item, pp. 1, 2.
  13. ^ Klan issue in Democrat race for president. (May 14, 1924). Richmond Evening Item, p. 1.
  14. ^ How the Early Jazz Captured by Gennett Influenced the Shape of Things to Come,, URL accessed May 29, 2006.
  15. ^ Gennett Numerical Series,, URL accesses May 29, 1006,
  16. ^ Road through the Wilderness The Making of the National Road,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  17. ^ Madonna of the Trail,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  18. ^ Death in a Sunny Street : The Civil Defense Story of the Richmond, Indiana Disaster, April 6, 1968,, URL accessed May 29, 2006.
  19. ^ Wayne County Historical Museum,, URL accessed December 13, 2008.
  20. ^ Joseph Moore Museum,, URL accessed December 13, 2008.
  21. ^ Whitewater Community Television home page.
  22. ^ Polly Bergen,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  23. ^ Clark Bradley,, URL accessed October 28, 2006.
  24. ^ Really Good Music: Al Cobine,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  25. ^ Space Age Pop Music: George Duning,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  26. ^ Weeb Ewbank,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  27. ^ FindAGrave: Norman Foster,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  28. ^ FindAGrave: Harry Frankel,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  29. ^ Jazz at Newport 2006,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  30. ^ Mendel Medal recipient: Charles A. Hufnagel,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  31. ^ Harold Jones' web site,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  32. ^ Harry Keenan,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  33. ^ Esther A. Kellner (1908-1998),, URL accessed May 29, 2006.
  34. ^ Wheaton College Special Collections,, 2006.
  35. ^ Naples Illustrated, Past Lives,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  36. ^ Kenneth MacDonald,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  37. ^ Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  38. ^ Official Ned Rorem Website,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  39. ^ Uncrowned Queens: L. Lena Sawyer,, URL accessed May 29, 3006.
  40. ^ American Sportscasters Hall of Fame Inductee,, URL accessed September 9, 2006.
  41. ^ Wendell M. Stanley,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  42. ^ D. Elton Trueblood,, URL accessed May 30, 2006.
  43. ^ Carol Lou Trio,, URL accessed January 20, 2008.
  44. ^ The Wright Brother,, URL accessed May 30, 2006

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RICHMOND, a city and the county-seat of Wayne county, Indiana, U.S.A., on the E. branch of the Whitewater river, about 68 m. E. of Indianapolis. Pop. (1890) 16,608; (1900) 18,226, of whom 1467 were foreign-born and 1009 negroes; (1910 census) 22,324. It is served by the Chicago, Cincinnati & Louisville, the Grand Rapids & Indiana and the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis railways, and by the Terre Haute, Indianapolis & Eastern and the Ohio electric interurban railways. Richmond has broad well-shaded streets, several parks, including Glen Miller (139 acres), and handsome public buildings. Its public institutions include the MorrissonReeves (public) Library (1864), one of the largest (39,000 volumes in 1909) and oldest in the state, an art gallery, the Reid Memorial Hospital, a Home for Friendless Women, the Margaret Smith Home for Aged Women (1888), the Wernle Orphans' Home (1879; Evangelical Lutheran), and the Eastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane (1890). Just west of the city limits is Earlham College (co-educational), opened in 1847, chartered in 1859 and controlled by the Society of Orthodox Friends; in 1908-9 it had 30 instructors, 620 students and a library of 18,000 bound volumes. Richmond was for many years the centre, west of Philadelphia, of the activities of the Society of Friends. It is an important railway and commercial centre, trade in hardware being especially large. Among its manufactures are agricultural machinery (especially seeding machines) and tools, automobiles, pianos, lawn-mowers, roller-skates, foundry and machine-shop products, furniture, burial caskets, and flour. In 1905 its factory product was valued at $6,731,740, an increase of 41 6% since 1900. Pipe lines supply the city with natural gas. The municipality owns and operates the electriclighting plant. In 1806 Friends from North Carolina and Pennsylvania settled near here, and Richmond was platted in 1816. Its growth was slow until the opening of the National Road, which entered Indiana near the city, and the construction of railways. Richmond was incorporated as a village in 1818 and chartered as a borough in 1834 and as a city in 1840.

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