Richmond, Indiana - Encyclopedia

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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 416% 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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