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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(s): 
"The Parlor City"
Location of Bluffton in Wells County, Indiana.
Location of Bluffton in Wells County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Wells
Township Harrison, Lancaster
Area
 • Total 8.52 sq mi (22.06 km2)
 • Land 8.39 sq mi (21.72 km2)
 • Water 0.13 sq mi (0.34 km2)
Elevation
813 ft (252 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 10,308
 • Density 1,229.19/sq mi (474.57/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
46714
Area code 260
FIPS code 18-06220
GNIS ID 431264

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. The city is the county seat of Wells County.

History

Bluffton was named for river bluffs near the original town site. The Bluffton post office has been in operation since 1839.

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.

Bluffton is one of the first towns in Indiana, and across America, to both publicly acknowledge its history of exclusion and to promote itself as an inclusive town. In 2006, Bluffton was featured in USA Today 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.

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

Geography

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).

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.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 477
1860 760 59.3%
1870 1,131 48.8%
1880 2,354 108.1%
1890 3,589 52.5%
1900 4,479 24.8%
1910 4,987 11.3%
1920 5,391 8.1%
1930 5,074 −5.9%
1940 5,417 6.8%
1950 6,076 12.2%
1960 6,238 2.7%
1970 8,297 33.0%
1980 8,705 4.9%
1990 9,020 3.6%
2000 9,536 5.7%
2010 9,897 3.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, 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.

Education

Bluffton Harrison Metropolitan School District

Northern Wells Community Schools District

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

Notable people

  • Adam Ballinger, basketball player
  • Randy Borror, member of Indiana House of Representatives
  • Joseph S. Dailey, Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court
  • Charles Clemon Deam, botanist; born in Bluffton in 1865
  • D Wayne Eskridge NFL American football player
  • Chandler Harnish, quarterback, MVP of 2010 Humanitarian Bowl, NFL draft's 2012 "Mr. Irrelevant"; born in Bluffton
  • Verdi Karns, ragtime composer, born in Bluffton in 1882
  • Don Lash, champion long-distance runner, won 1938 James E. Sullivan Award as top amateur athlete in U.S.; born in Bluffton in 1912
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former U.S. Senator from New York, former U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, former ambassador to India
  • Everett Scott, former Baseball player and member of the New York Yankees first World Series championship team 1923 and member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of fame.
  • E.J. Tackett, professional ten-pin bowler
  • Robert Tonner, fashion designer and doll artist; born in Bluffton in 1952
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