Bluffton, Indiana

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Bluffton, Indiana
City of Bluffton
The Wells County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The Wells County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Motto: 
"The Parlor City"
Location of Bluffton in Wells County, Indiana.
Location of Bluffton in Wells County, Indiana.
Coordinates: 40°44′17″N 85°10′20″W / 40.73806°N 85.17222°W / 40.73806; -85.17222Coordinates: 40°44′17″N 85°10′20″W / 40.73806°N 85.17222°W / 40.73806; -85.17222
CountryUnited States
StateIndiana
CountyWells
TownshipHarrison, Lancaster
Government
 • MayorJohn Whicker (R)
Area
 • Total8.52 sq mi (22.06 km2)
 • Land8.39 sq mi (21.72 km2)
 • Water0.13 sq mi (0.34 km2)
Elevation813 ft (252 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total10,308
 • Density1,229.19/sq mi (474.57/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
46714
Area code260
FIPS code[2][3]18-06220
GNIS ID[2][3]431264
Websitewww.ci.bluffton.in.us

Bluffton is a city in Harrison and Lancaster townships, Wells County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 10,308 at the 2020 census and the estimated population is 10,390. The city is the county seat of Wells County.[4]

History[edit]

Bluffton was platted in 1838 and incorporated in 1851 with 850 people, it was named for river bluffs near the original town site.[5] The Bluffton post office has been in operation since 1839.[6]

The City of Bluffton is nicknamed the "Parlor City" for its history of having some of the first clean paved streets in the area during the time of the Trenton Oil boom. Most streets at the time were dirt. The nickname came from the fact that the parlor in someone's home at the time would be the cleanest room in the house because that is the first space that your guests see when they come into your home. Entering downtown today, the brand new Parlor City Plaza acts as the first thing you see, along with the historic courthouse, justifying the "Parlor City" nickname.

The City of Bluffton is also known for its historic residences throughout downtown, especially north of the area on Main Street. It was a major piano manufacturing town, and was home to nationally-renowned iris hybridizers, E.B. and Mary Williamson. [7]

It is also home to the Bluffton Free Street Fair.

Bluffton was included in the corporate name of the short-lived Cincinnati, Bluffton and Chicago Railroad, founded in 1903. The railroad's Bluffton bridge collapsed on May 22, 1913, and the struggling carrier went out of business shortly thereafter.[8]

Bluffton is one of the first towns in Indiana, and across America, to both publicly acknowledge its history of exclusion as a sundown town and to promote itself as an inclusive town. In 2006, Bluffton was featured in USA Today[9] as an inclusive town that was putting up welcoming, inclusive signs at all local schools as well as at the entrances of three state highways. Mayor Ted Ellis was noted in the article for his helping Bluffton become one of the first to join the National League of Cities' Partnership for Working Toward Inclusive Communities.[10]

The Stewart-Studebaker House, Villa North Historic District, and Wells County Courthouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11] The John A. Grove House is formerly listed.[12]

Geography[edit]

Bluffton is located at 40°44′17″N 85°10′20″W / 40.73806°N 85.17222°W / 40.73806; -85.17222 (40.737991, -85.172223).[13]

According to the 2010 census, Bluffton has a total area of 8.359 square miles (21.65 km2), of which 8.23 square miles (21.32 km2) (or 98.46%) is land and 0.129 square miles (0.33 km2) (or 1.54%) is water.[14]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850477
186076059.3%
18701,13148.8%
18802,354108.1%
18903,58952.5%
19004,47924.8%
19104,98711.3%
19205,3918.1%
19305,074−5.9%
19405,4176.8%
19506,07612.2%
19606,2382.7%
19708,29733.0%
19808,7054.9%
19909,0203.6%
20009,5365.7%
20109,8973.8%
202010,3084.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census,[16] there were 9,897 people, 4,112 households, and 2,585 families living in the city. The population density was 1,202.6 inhabitants per square mile (464.3/km2). There were 4,532 housing units at an average density of 550.7 per square mile (212.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.0% White, 0.7% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.

There were 4,112 households, of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.1% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.93.

The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 24.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.3% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 16.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 census,[17] there were 9,536 people, 3,922 households, and 2,517 families living in the city. The population density was 1,442.7 inhabitants per square mile (557.0/km2). There were 4,197 housing units at an average density of 635.0 per square mile (245.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.65% White, 0.34% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.35% of the population.

There were 3,922 households, out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% 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 2.96.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,416, and the median income for a family was $45,294. Males had a median income of $33,088 versus $22,018 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,118. About 6.4% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Bluffton Harrison Metropolitan School District

Northern Wells Community Schools District

Bluffton has a public library, a branch of the Wells County Public Library.[18]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Feature ID 431264". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "FIPS55 Data: Indiana". FIPS55 Data. United States Geological Survey. February 23, 2006. Archived from the original on June 18, 2006. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Exploring Indiana Highways: Trip Trivia. Exploring America's Highway. 2007. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-9744358-3-1.
  6. ^ "Wells County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  7. ^ Richter, Jean. "Iris in Indiana: E.B. and Mary Williamson". World Of Irises. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  8. ^ Martin, Todd and Webb, Jeffrey (2014). Images of America: Huntington. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 44–45.
  9. ^ "Small Indiana Town Singing Tune of Racial, Ethnic Harmony". USA Today. August 4, 2006.
  10. ^ National League of Cities Official Website Archived October 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 7/11/11 through 7/15/11. National Park Service. 2011-07-22.
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. ^ "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-13. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  15. ^ "Indiana's Census 2020 Redistricting Data Dashboard". Census.gov. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  17. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  18. ^ "Service facilities". Wells County Public Library. Retrieved 15 March 2018.

External links[edit]