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Fairmount, Indiana
Town of Fairmount
Fairmount, Indiana.jpg
Location of Fairmount in Grant County, Indiana.
Location of Fairmount in Grant County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Grant
Township Fairmount
 • Type town council
 • Total 1.59 sq mi (4.11 km2)
 • Land 1.59 sq mi (4.11 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
863 ft (263 m)
 • Total 2,682
 • Density 1,691.05/sq mi (652.90/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EST)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 765
FIPS code 18-22432
GNIS feature ID 0434304

Fairmount is a town in Fairmount Township, Grant County in the east central part of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 2,954 at the 2010 census. It is 55 miles (88 km) northeast of Indianapolis. Largely a bedroom community for nearby Marion, Fairmount is best known as the boyhood home of actor James Dean, who is buried there.


Fairmount is located at 40°25′4″N 85°38′56″W / 40.41778°N 85.64889°W / 40.41778; -85.64889 (40.417702, −85.648942).

According to the 2010 census, Fairmount has a total area of 1.58 square miles (4.09 km2), all land.

Fairmount from the air, looking southwest


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 337
1880 563 67.1%
1890 1,462 159.7%
1900 3,205 119.2%
1910 2,506 −21.8%
1920 2,155 −14.0%
1930 2,056 −4.6%
1940 2,382 15.9%
1950 2,646 11.1%
1960 3,080 16.4%
1970 3,427 11.3%
1980 3,286 −4.1%
1990 3,130 −4.7%
2000 2,992 −4.4%
2010 2,954 −1.3%
2020 2,682 −9.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,954 people, 1,241 households, and 837 families living in the town. The population density was 1,869.6 inhabitants per square mile (721.9/km2). There were 1,350 housing units at an average density of 854.4 per square mile (329.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.6% White, 0.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 1,241 households, of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the town was 40.3 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.2% were from 25 to 44; 28% were from 45 to 64; and 16.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.


The Fairmount area was settled in the 1830s mostly by Quakers from North Carolina. The town was laid out in 1850 and named for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia; it was formally incorporated in 1870.

After a large deposit of natural gas was found in 1887, Fairmount became part of the Indiana Gas Boom and a center of the glass industry for the rest of the 19th century. Shortly after the depletion of the gas in 1900 the automobile industry set up factories in the nearby large cities, and Fairmount became a bedroom community, restoring some of its lost prosperity.

Fairmount high school 2003
Abandoned Fairmount High School building in 2003.

In the 1940s, James Dean lived with an aunt and uncle, Ortense and Marcus Winslow on a farm north of Fairmount. He attended Fairmount High School, graduating in 1949. After his death in 1955, Dean was buried in Park Cemetery. In 1996, a small Memorial Park north of the town's business district was dedicated in his memory with a bronze bust by Hollywood artist Kenneth Kendall.

During the prosperity of the 1960s, Fairmount enjoyed a time of building with a new town hall, water works, post office and elementary school. At the end of the decade the local school district merged with a neighboring one, forming the Madison-Grant united school district. A new high school was built for this district, and Fairmount High School became a middle school. When a new junior high school was opened in 1986, the Fairmount High School building was permanently closed.

Fairmount was hit hard by the recession of 1980–1982, which brought the permanent loss of factory jobs and the failure of many farms, but rebounded later in the decade. Fairmount is still relatively prosperous despite the ill fortunes of nearby industrial cities and a steady loss of population.

In September 1988, The James Dean Gallery opened in a restored Victorian House on North Main Street. Over the years the Museum Exhibit has been toured by nearly 200,000 visitors who come from around the world to visit the hometown of James Dean. Also in 1988, English musician Morrissey filmed the music video for his single Suedehead; a song inspired by his lifelong admiration of Dean, in the town.

The annual James Dean Festival takes place during the last full weekend in September and includes a Custom & Hot Rod Car Show, The Grand Parade, Street Fair, Carnival Rides, Live Entertainment, a 1950s Dance Contest and the James Dean lookalike Contest.

On September 30 of each year there is a Memorial Service for James Dean at The Back Creek Friends Church, south of The Winslow Farm.

The Baldwin Addition Historic District, Fairmount Commercial Historic District, and J.W. Patterson House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Madison-Grant United School Corporation operates public schools Fairmount is assigned to.

Schools serving Fairmount:

  • Park Elementary School (Fairmount)
  • Madison-Grant Junior High School (unincorporated area)
  • Madison-Grant High School (unincorporated area)

The town has a lending library, the Fairmount Public Library.

Notable people

  • Jim Davis, cartoonist, creator of the comic strip Garfield, was raised in Fairmount. Davis graduated from Fairmount High School in 1963.
  • James Dean, actor, was raised in Fairmount. Dean graduated from Fairmount High School in 1949, and is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount.
  • David L. Payne, politician, considered the "Father of Oklahoma." Payne County, OK is named for him.
  • Olive Rush, artist, painter, was a Quaker descended from one of the town's founders. She was noted as a founder of the art colony in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Robert Sheets, former director of the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Sheets is a 1955 graduate of Fairmount High School and attended Ball State University in nearby Muncie.
  • Mary Jane Ward, author of several books including The Snake Pit, a Book of the Month Club selection which became a motion picture starring Olivia de Havilland.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Fairmount (Indiana) para niños

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