Clock tower in downtown Berne
|Nickname(s): Furniture Capital of Indiana|
Location in the state of Indiana
|• Mayor||William (Bill) McKean (R)|
|• Total||2.08 sq mi (5.39 km2)|
|• Land||2.08 sq mi (5.39 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||843 ft (257 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||3,997|
|• Density||1,922.6/sq mi (742.3/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||46711, 46769|
Berne is a city in Monroe and Wabash townships, Adams County, Indiana, United States, 35 mi (56 km) south of Fort Wayne. The population was 3,999 at the 2010 census. Berne and the surrounding area have become known for their large Amish population, who speaks Bernese German which is a Swiss German dialect.
Berne was settled in 1852 by Mennonite immigrants who came directly from Switzerland, and named the community for the capital of Switzerland. They began the chore of preparing for farming by clearing the land. However, farm markets were severely limited because of treacherous mud roads and distant trade centers. The advent of the railroad was soon to be the answer to the immigrant's prayers. When the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad laid plans to construct a rail line through Adams County, two farmers, the Hilty brothers, offered a proposition: they would donate land to the railroad in exchange for the building of a rail depot in the small community. The railroad companies agreed, and the farmers quickly plotted 10 building lots in anticipation of what was to come - more settlers. On Christmas Day, 1871, the first train arrived. This historical event marked the beginning of Berne, which was officially recorded as a community soon after. A post office was established in Berne in 1872.
A steady stream of Swiss and German people came into the area from that train, as did English-speaking migrants, some of whom became successful businessmen in the new community. They contributed immensely in the growth of Berne.
Berne is located in northeastern Indiana at (40.658146, -84.954256).
According to the 2010 census, Berne has a total area of 2.08 square miles (5.39 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,999 people, 1,620 households, and 1,078 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,922.6 inhabitants per square mile (742.3/km2). There were 1,797 housing units at an average density of 863.9 per square mile (333.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.5% White, 0.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population.
There were 1,620 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.5% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.94.
The median age in the city was 42 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.4% were from 25 to 44; 22.6% were from 45 to 64; and 24% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.1% male and 53.9% female.
As of the 2000 census, there were 4,150 people, 1,639 households, and 1,104 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,307.3 people per square mile (890.2/km²). There were 1,690 housing units at an average density of 939.6 per square mile (362.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.64% White, 0.07% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.04% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.90% of the population.
There were 1,639 households out of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,491, and the median income for a family was $45,670. Males had a median income of $31,565 versus $21,563 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,394. About 1.4% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.
Clock Tower and Muensterberg Plaza
Constructed in 2010 the clock tower is modeled after the Zytglogge in Bern, Switzerland. Local enthusiasm for the project reached its peak during the summer of 2012 when the splash pad was first made operational in the center of the Plaza. As early as the summer of 2009, however, several residents were heard to publicly declare their admiration for and dedication to the Clock Tower, and soon after the Clock Tower Enthusiasts Club was formed.
The Plaza also features The Settler's Statue commemorating the arrival of the first settlers to the area, the only stateside Canton Tree, and a series of flowerbeds laid out to resemble common quilting patterns.
With two baseball diamonds and a sizable enclosed pavilion, this city park attracts Little Leaguers and high school rock bands alike.
Indiana Michigan Power (a unit of American Electric Power) provides electricity for Berne residents. The city of Berne provides water from its own wells, and also has its own water treatment facilities. Adams-Wells Internet provides internet services for Berne. Embarq (formerly Sprint) offers both voice and internet communications services. The cable company is Comcast. Comcast also offers phone and broadband services for its customers. Gas is serviced by NIPSCO, a NiSource utility company.
The Berne Public Library, which opened its doors in 1935 and is currently located in the former city auditorium, serves the city of Berne. The library provides information services to all ages and holds over 60,000 titles, including print, digital, audio, and visual forms. The Heritage Room of the Berne Public Library contains local history and genealogical information.
- Peter Luginbill, early founder and settler of Berne
- Richard R. Schrock, awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
- Donald Neuen, choral conductor
- The Dilley sextuplets, the USA's first surviving sextuplets.
- Melissa Gillette, who held the world women indoor marathon record from February 26, 2012 until January 6, 2013.
- Dr. Ernie Steury, missionary doctor who established the Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.
- Bob Dro, who played baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers and basketball on the Indianapolis Kautskys. From 1957 to 1976, he was an assistant athletic director at Indiana University.
- Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide.
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- "Gillette Sets World Record". Berne Tri-Weekly News. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
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- Lewis, Gregg (2007). Miracle at Tenwek. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House Publishers. pp. Back cover. ISBN 978-1-57293-222-7.
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- "Berne Clock Tower". THE DECATUR DAILY DEMOCRAT (Decatur, IN). Retrieved September 5, 2014.