Richmond, Indiana

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Richmond, Indiana
Main Street in Richmond
Main Street in Richmond
Flag of Richmond, Indiana
Location of Richmond in Wayne County, Indiana.
Location of Richmond in Wayne County, 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
CountryUnited States
TownshipBoston, Center, Wayne
 • MayorDave Snow (D)
 • Total24.16 sq mi (62.56 km2)
 • Land24.00 sq mi (62.17 km2)
 • Water0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
Elevation981 ft (299 m)
 • Total35,720
 • Density1,488.02/sq mi (574.54/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code765
FIPS code18-64260[3]
GNIS feature ID441976

Richmond (/ˈrɪmənd/) is a city in eastern Wayne County, Indiana, United States. Bordering the state of Ohio, it is the county seat of Wayne County.[4] In the 2020 census, the city had a population of 35,720. Situated largely within Wayne Township, its area includes a non-contiguous portion in nearby Boston Township, where Richmond Municipal Airport is currently located. It is the principal city of the Richmond micropolitan area.

Richmond is sometimes called the "cradle of recorded jazz" because the earliest jazz recordings and records were made at the studio of Gennett Records, a division of the Starr Piano Company.[5] Gennett Records was the first to record such artists as Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Jelly Roll Morton, Hoagy Carmichael, Lawrence Welk, and Gene Autry.[6] The city has twice received the All-America City Award, most recently in 2009.


In 1806 the first European Americans in the area, Quaker families from the state of North Carolina, settled along the East Fork of the Whitewater River. This was part of a general westward migration in the early decades after the American Revolution. John Smith was one of the earliest settlers. Richmond is still home to several Quaker institutions, including Friends United Meeting, Richmond Friends School, Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion.

The first post office in Richmond was established in 1818 with Robert Morrison as the first postmaster.[7] The town was officially incorporated in 1840, with John Sailor elected the first mayor.[8]

Early cinema and television pioneer Charles Francis Jenkins grew up on a farm north of Richmond, where he began inventing useful gadgets. As the Richmond Telegram reported, on June 6, 1894, Jenkins gathered his family, friends and newsmen at his cousin's jewelry store in downtown Richmond and projected a filmed motion picture for the first time in front of an audience. The motion picture was of a vaudeville entertainer performing a butterfly dance, which Jenkins had filmed himself. Jenkins filed for a patent for the Phantoscope projector in November 1894 and it was issued in March 1895. A modified version of the Phantoscope was later sold to Thomas Edison, who named it Edison's Vitascope and began projecting motion pictures in New York City vaudeville theaters, raising the curtain on American cinema.

Joseph E. Maddy is credited with founding the country's first complete high school orchestra at Richmond, and later founded the National High School Orchestra Camp, which became the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.[9][10]

Hoagy Carmichael recorded "Stardust" for the first time in Richmond at the Gennett recording studio. Famed trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong was first recorded at Gennett as a member of King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band.[11] Many other internationally famous musicians recorded at Gennett's Richmond facility, including Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, and Fats Waller.[12] Gennett also recorded Klan musicians.[13][14]

A group of artists in the area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries came to be known as the Richmond Group. They included John Elwood Bundy, Charles Conner, George Herbert Baker, Maude Kaufman Eggemeyer and John Albert Seaford. The Richmond Art Museum has a collection of regional and American art.[15] Many consider the most significant painting in the collection to be a self-portrait of Indiana-born William Merritt Chase.[16]

The city was connected to the National Road, the first road built by the federal government and a major route west for pioneers of the 19th century.[17] It became part of the system of National Auto Trails. The highway is now known as U.S. Route 40. One of the extant Madonna of the Trail monuments was dedicated at Richmond on October 28, 1928.[18] It sits in a corner of Glen Miller Park adjacent to US 40.

Richmond's cultural resources include two of Indiana's three Egyptian mummies. One is held by the Wayne County Historical Museum and the other by Earlham College's Joseph Moore Museum, leading to the local nickname "Mummy capital of Indiana".[19][20]

The arts were supported by a strong economy increasingly based on manufacturing. Richmond was once known as "the lawnmower capital" because it was a center for manufacturing of lawnmowers 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. The Davis Aircraft Co.,[21][22] builder of a light parasol wing monoplane, operated in Richmond beginning in 1929.

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

In the 1950s Wayne Works changed its name to Wayne Corporation, by then a well-known bus and school-bus manufacturer. In 1967 it relocated to a site adjacent to Interstate 70. The company was a leader in school-bus safety innovations, but closed in 1992 during a period of school-bus manufacturing industry consolidations.[23]

Richmond was known as the "Rose City" because of the many varieties once grown there by Hill's Roses. The company had several sprawling complexes of greenhouses, with a total of about 34 acres (14 ha) under glass. The annual Richmond Rose Festival honored the rose industry and was a popular summer attraction.[24]

Downtown explosion[edit]

On April 6, 1968, an explosion triggered by a natural gas leak destroyed or damaged several downtown blocks and killed 41 people; more than 150 were injured.[25] The event is documented in the book Death in a Sunny Street.


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

According to the 2010 census, Richmond has a total area of 24.067 square miles (62.33 km2), of which 23.91 square miles (61.93 km2) (or 99.35%) is land and 0.157 square miles (0.41 km2) (or 0.65%) is water.[27]

Richmond is located about 12 miles S of Hoosier Hill, the highest point in Indiana.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Source: US Census Bureau

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[28] of 2010, there were 36,812 people, 15,098 households, and 8,909 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,539.0 inhabitants per square mile (594.2/km2). There were 17,649 housing units at an average density of 737.8 per square mile (284.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.9% White, 8.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.

There were 15,098 households, of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.0% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.5% 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 2.91.

The median age in the city was 38.4 years. 22.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 16.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] 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 inhabitants per square mile (650.7/km2). There were 17,647 housing units at an average density of 760.2 per square mile (293.5/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.


Wayne County Court House

Richmond is noted for its rich stock of 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. Particularly notable buildings are the 1902 Pennsylvania Railroad Station designed by Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago 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.

The significance of the architecture has been recognized. Five large districts, such as the Depot District, 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[edit]

Carpenter Hall at Earlham College, founded in 1847

The Richmond Japanese Language School (リッチモンド(IN)補習授業校 Ritchimondo(IN)Hoshū Jugyō Kō) a part-time Japanese school, holds its classes at the Highland Heights School.[29][30]

The town has a lending library, the Morrisson Reeves Library.[31]

Religious groups[edit]



Richmond Municipal Airport is a public-use airport five nautical miles (6 mi, 9 km) southeast of Richmond's central business district. It is owned by the Richmond Board of Aviation Commissioners. It is also an exclave of Richmond.[32]

Richmond's closest airport with commercial service is Dayton International Airport, just under an hour's drive to the east. To the west is Indianapolis International Airport, which is slightly farther away.


Richmond is served by Interstate 70 at exits 149, 151, 153, and 156. Public transit service is provided by city-owned Roseview Transit, operating daily except Sundays and major holidays.[33]


Into the late 1960s Richmond's Pennsylvania Railroad station was a hub for Pennsylvania Railroad, and later, Penn Central, trains bound for Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and New York City. The last train at the station was Amtrak's National Limited (Kansas City - New York City).[34]


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

Full-power radio stations include WKBV, WFMG, WQLK, WKRT, and Earlham College's student-run public radio station WECI. Richmond is also served by WJYW which is repeated on 94.5 and 97.7. Area NPR radio stations include WBSH in Hagerstown, Indiana, 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 an Ion owned and operated station. The city also has one county-wide public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television station, Whitewater Community Television.[35]

Points of interest[edit]

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

Notable people[edit]




Artists and designers



Politicians, activists, and civic leaders

Religion and related



Writers and journalists

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Starr-Gennett Foundation Homepage". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  6. ^ Domenica Bongiovanni (July 27, 2020). "How a quirky Indiana studio was the first to record many of America's famous musicians". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Historical Timeline". WayNet. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  8. ^ "Bicentennial Timeline 1795 to 1849". Morrison Reeves Library. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  9. ^ Millicent Martin Emery (September 12, 2015). "RCS teacher hopes for a musical resurrection". Palladium-Item. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  10. ^ Rebecca Gross (September 8, 2015). "In Step with Interlochen Center for the Arts". National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Giants in Their Time: Representative Americans from the Jazz Age to the Cold War, p. 13. Norman K. Risjord, ISBN 0742527859. 2005
  12. ^ "Starr-Gennett Foundation Walk of Fame". Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Charlie Dahan (April 8, 2014). "April 8th in Gennett History, 1924: Vaughan Quartet Recorded "Wake Up America Kluck Kluck Kluck"". Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  14. ^ Charlie Dahan (August 2, 2015). "August 2nd in Gennett History, 1924: W. R. Rhinehart Recorded "Klucker And The Rain" and "Long Klucker"". Gennett Records Discography. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "Home". Richmond Art Museum. June 20, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  16. ^ "Self-portrait: The Artist in his Studio, 1916 by William Merritt Chase". Archived from the original on September 5, 2005. Retrieved May 30, 2006.
  17. ^ "Road through the Wilderness: The Making of the National Road". Archived from the original on June 13, 2006. Retrieved May 30, 2006.
  18. ^ "Madonna of the Trail – Richmond, Indiana". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  19. ^ "Wayne County Historical Museum - Family fun for all ages!". Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  20. ^ "Joseph Moore Museum – Earlham College". October 16, 2001. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  21. ^ "Davis D-1-W". November 22, 1933. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  22. ^ "Davis Monoplane". Davis Monoplane. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  23. ^ "The Wayne Works Story Part II". CoachBuilt. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "Shut Up About the Rose Festival". August 30, 2019. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  25. ^ [1] Archived January 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  27. ^ "G001 – Geographic Identifiers – 2010 Census Summary File 1". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  28. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
  29. ^ "北米の補習授業校一覧(平成25年4月15日現在):文部科学省". March 30, 2014. Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "ページの本文に移動する". Archived from the original on March 30, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  31. ^ "Indiana public library directory" (PDF). Indiana State Library. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  32. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for RID PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective May 31, 2012.
  33. ^ "Roseview Transit". City of Richmond. October 21, 2007. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Railroad, Tables 4, 5, 47, 49, 52". Official Guide of the Railways. National Railway Publication Company. 100 (5). October 1967.
  35. ^ "WCTV | Whitewater Community Television". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  36. ^ "Tiffany Windows – Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church – Wayne County, Indiana". Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  37. ^ "Wendell M. Stanley – Biographical". Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  38. ^ "Jeff Hamilton - Drums - Jazz at Newport". Archived from the original on September 7, 2006. Retrieved September 9, 2006.
  39. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1995-1996,' Biographical Sketch of Bill W. Balthis, pg. 105
  40. ^ "Obituary, Vineyardist Dies At 92". Los Angeles Times. June 5, 1960. p. 62. Retrieved January 6, 2021 – via{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  41. ^ "Oliver P. Morton Biography Page". March 24, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  42. ^ "D. Elton Trueblood, 1900 to 1994". December 20, 1994. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  43. ^ "Dr. Charles A. Hufnagel". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  44. ^ "Weeb Ewbank | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site". Retrieved January 7, 2017.

External links[edit]