New Pekin, Indiana

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New Pekin, Indiana
Town
Location of New Pekin in the state of Indiana
Location of New Pekin in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 38°30′13″N 86°0′53″W / 38.50361°N 86.01472°W / 38.50361; -86.01472Coordinates: 38°30′13″N 86°0′53″W / 38.50361°N 86.01472°W / 38.50361; -86.01472
Country United States
State Indiana
County Washington
Township Pierce, Polk
Area[1]
 • Total 2.40 sq mi (6.22 km2)
 • Land 2.37 sq mi (6.14 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
Elevation 712 ft (217 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 1,401
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 1,387
 • Density 591.1/sq mi (228.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
FIPS code 18-53388[4]
GNIS feature ID 0440094[5]

New Pekin is a town in Pierce and Polk townships, Washington County, Indiana, United States. The population was 1,401 at the 2010 census.

Geography[edit]

New Pekin is located at 38°30′13″N 86°0′53″W / 38.50361°N 86.01472°W / 38.50361; -86.01472 (38.503585, -86.014816)[6].

According to the 2010 census, the town has a total area of 2.40 square miles (6.2 km2), of which 2.37 square miles (6.1 km2) (or 98.75%) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) (or 1.25%) is water.[1]

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, New Pekin has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[7]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,401 people, 563 households, and 383 families residing in the town. The population density was 591.1 inhabitants per square mile (228.2 /km2). There were 628 housing units at an average density of 265.0 per square mile (102.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.1% White, 0.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 563 households of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.0% were non-families. 27.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.

The median age in the town was 36.8 years. 25.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 11.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 1,334 people, 529 households, and 365 families residing in the town. The population density was 571.4 people per square mile (221.1/km²). There were 571 housing units at an average density of 244.6 per square mile (94.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.28% White, 0.15% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.52% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.

There were 529 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

Major ancestry groups reported by New Pekin residents include:

  • English - 6.4%
  • French - 1.1%
  • German - 10.6%
  • Hispanic - 1%
  • Irish - 10.2%
  • Italian - 1%
  • Scottish - 2%

The median income for a household in the town was $32,546, and the median income for a family was $34,938. Males had a median income of $26,739 versus $21,346 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,710. About 11.7% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 18.4% of those age 65 or over.

History[edit]

The land for the town of New Pekin was first entered on August 25, 1818. The original town plat was made on December 23, 1883 by W. A. Graves. The town of New Pekin was incorporated in 1903 to provide funds to build and operate a school.

"Old" Pekin[edit]

On September 29, 1819, Isaac Davis entered section 30 in what was to become Polk Township. Several years later in 1831 Christian Bixler laid out the town of Pekin on the south side of Mutton Fork, Blue River.[8]

Before 1831, there were several buildings at this location. As early as 1830 stage coaches were making regular runs between Jeffersonville and Salem. A wagon route between Salem and New Albany also passed through this area. Pekin was a staging stop where horses were watered and changed.

The town prospered until 1851 when the railroad was completed. The train station was built on the more level north side of Blue River. Businesses gradually migrated to the new location. In 1854 the County Commissioners declared the town vacant and the area became known as Old Pekin.

Fourth of July celebration[edit]

The town of New Pekin claims the distinction of having the oldest consecutive Independence Day celebration in the United States of America. Pekin began celebrating Independence Day in the year 1830. Bristol, Rhode Island claims to have celebrated since 1785.

Few historical facts about the earliest celebrations exist, with the information available coming from oral tradition. The first several celebrations were said to be neighborhood affairs, though it is assumed that it did not stay that way for long. Many families lived in the surrounding townships and there were few social activities.

Various sources recount that the celebration was held near Old Pekin from 1830 until 1856. Circa 1857 the celebration was moved to near the Blue River, where festivities were held until 1885. In either 1872 or 1873 the picnic was held at the farm of James Campbell, where he had built a recreational area.

The fall of 1884 saw the completion of the fairgrounds. The following year, the celebration was moved to the new fairgrounds. Many local residents did not agree with the celebration being moved there and held a second celebration at Tash Grove.

In 1909, the Gill brothers bought the southern part of the old fairgrounds, which became known as Gill's Grove. This became the present location of the Pekin Community Park, where the celebration has been held every year since.

Today the celebration consists of a fireworks display, a parade, live bands, three-on-three basketball tournament, carnival, food vendors, a flea market, reading of the United States Declaration of Independence, prince and princess contest, horseshoe pitching contest, a queen contest, cookouts and many other small celebrations around the town of Pekin.

Morgan's Raid[edit]

On July 11, 1863, while crossing Blue River near New Pekin, Captain William J. Davis of Morgan's Raid and some of his men were captured by 73rd Indiana Volunteers and a detachment of the 5th U.S. Regulars. Captain Davis and several other soldiers were taken to New Albany, Indiana and secured in the county jail.

Early March 2012 tornado outbreak[edit]

On March 2, 2012, an EF4[9][10] tornado hit New Pekin. All five fatalities in Washington County occurred in New Pekin. Debris from New Pekin was found 160 miles away in Pleasant Plain, Ohio.[11]

Angel Babcock[edit]

The tornado initially killed four out of five members of a New Pekin family, leaving the fifth member of the family, a 15-month-old girl, critically injured in a nearby field.[9] Taken initially to St. Vincent Salem Hospital,[note 1] reports traveled around the world that Angel Babcock had been blown 10 miles (16 km) by the tornado.[12][13][14][15] A worldwide prayer effort followed,[12] but Angel died on March 4 in Louisville, Kentucky.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Note 1
  • St. Vincent Salem Hospital is nine miles from New Pekin.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Places: Indiana". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Climate Summary for New Pekin, Indiana
  8. ^ History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana: From the Earliest Time to the Present. Higginson Book Company. 1884. p. 790. 
  9. ^ a b (AP) Louisville, Ky. (March 4, 2012). "Child found in field after tornado dies". CBSNews.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. "The National Weather Service in Louisville, Ky., said the tornado that struck New Pekin measured an EF-3 on the enhanced Fujita scale..." 
  10. ^ "NWS Storm Survey: Southern Indiana EF4". NWS Lousiville, KY. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Chris Kenning, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal (March 18, 2012). "Storm victims reunited with far-flung personal possessions". usatoday.com. Retrieved 2012-04-10. "In the March 2 tornadoes, for example, [a resident], of Pleasant Plain, Ohio, found a receipt with a new Pekin, Ind., address from 160 miles away." 
  12. ^ a b c Antoinette Konz (March 4, 2012). "Indiana toddler swept away by tornado dies Sunday after losing parents, 2 siblings". Courier Journal. Louisville. Retrieved 2012-03-10. "Her family and followers around the world had prayed for a miracle...Angel was found in critical condition in a field near her New Pekin home Friday afternoon... Her story — struggling to survive the tornado that swept away her family — captivated dozens of major media outlets from places as far away as England, Norway and New Zealand, all clamoring for news of the little girl." 
  13. ^ Indianapolis (AP) (March 3, 2012). "Baby found alone in Indiana field after storms". Boston: New England Cable News. Retrieved 2012-03-10. "A spokeswoman for the hospital in Salem, Ind., where the girl was first taken said Saturday that authorities were still trying to figure out how she ended up in the field alone." 
  14. ^ Rosa Prince in New York (March 5, 2012). "Baby Angel dies after being blown 16 kilometres away from family by tornado". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-03-10. "Washington County Sheriff Claude Combs said that Angel was found near the body of her mother...brother...and sister... Her father...was also found dead." 
  15. ^ Geir Barstein; Henning Lillegård (March 4, 2012). "Google translate Norwegian to English. Angel (15 months) died after tornado. Were found alive in a field after the storm took the house, but died in the hospital. Also parents and siblings were killed.". Dagbladet (Oslo, Norway). Retrieved 2012-04-08. "Angel Babcock was found alive in a field 16 kilometers away from home, but died today of injuries." 
  16. ^ "New Pekin, Indiana". Onboard Informatics. Retrieved 2012-03-10. ""ST VINCENT SALEM HOSPITAL, INC" (Critical Access Hospitals, Voluntary non-profit - Other, provides emergency services, about 9 miles away; SALEM, IN)" 

Additional references[edit]

  • New Albany Daily Ledger, July 13, 1863
  • American Legion Pekin Post 203, The. History of Pekin, Indiana (1959). The American Legion Pekin Post 203

External links[edit]