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Owensville, Indiana
Town of Owensville
Row of buildings along east side of town square. Owensville Town Hall is on far left.
Row of buildings along east side of town square. Owensville Town Hall is on far left.
Location of Owensville in Gibson County, Indiana
Location of Owensville in Gibson County, Indiana
Country United States
State Indiana
County Gibson
Township Montgomery
Area
 • Total 0.57 sq mi (1.47 km2)
 • Land 0.57 sq mi (1.47 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
509 ft (155 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 1,338
 • Density 2,351.49/sq mi (907.92/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
47665
Area code(s) 812, 930
FIPS code 18-57528
GNIS feature ID 0440801
Major State Roads Indiana 65.svgIndiana 165.svgIndiana 168.svg
Website http://owensville.org/1.html

Owensville is the third largest town and the smallest of the five larger communities in Gibson County, Indiana, United States. The population was 1,330 in 2017.

History

Owensville was established in 1817 by Phillip Briscoe, when he filed the town plat consisting of fifty two parcels and five out-parcels. A fire in 1876 destroyed many of the wood framed businesses on the eastern side of the town square. It was not until 1881 that Owensville incorporated.

On February 28, 2017, an EF3 wedge tornado, originating in Crossville, Illinois, passed to the south of the town, destroying or heavily damaging several structures along Indiana 65. The highway was closed for several days as power crews replaced several large power poles.

Geography

Owensville is located at 38°16′18″N 87°41′26″W / 38.27167°N 87.69056°W / 38.27167; -87.69056 (38.271769, -87.690652).

According to the 2010 census, Owensville has a total area of 0.59 square miles (1.53 km2), all land.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Owensville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps, although areas just north of town have a humid continental climate.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 235
1860 491 108.9%
1870 522 6.3%
1880 685 31.2%
1890 759 10.8%
1900 1,019 34.3%
1910 1,237 21.4%
1920 1,239 0.2%
1930 1,056 −14.8%
1940 1,188 12.5%
1950 1,110 −6.6%
1960 1,121 1.0%
1970 1,056 −5.8%
1980 1,261 19.4%
1990 1,053 −16.5%
2000 1,322 25.5%
2010 1,284 −2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,284 people, 510 households, and 337 families living in the town. The population density was 2,176.3 inhabitants per square mile (840.3/km2). There were 567 housing units at an average density of 961.0 per square mile (371.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.9% White, 0.2% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 510 households, of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.9% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the town was 40.6 years. 24% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 19.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

Highways - Local Names

  • Indiana 65.svg Indiana State Road 65 - First, Brummitt, and Mill Streets from north to south.
  • Indiana 165.svg Indiana State Road 165 - Brummitt Street west of Mill Street.
  • Indiana 168.svg Indiana State Road 168 - Walnut Street east of Mill Street.

Economy

Owensville, IN Water Tower
Owensville's uniquely black coated water tower

Unlike Princeton and Fort Branch, Owensville's economy practically consists of a scant few family-owned business with only three exceptions: Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General, Mount Carmel, Illinois-based Community Natural Gas, and Mount Vernon, Indiana-based Schultheis Insurance. The largest family-owned businesses in Owensville are Holder's Furniture and Holders Funeral Home (not owned by the same family). However, like Fort Branch, Owensville is largely surrounded by unincorporated subdivisions, primarily north of the town. The two largest employers of Owensville's residents are the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana plant located halfway between Princeton and Fort Branch, as well as Gibson Generating Station located 5.5 miles north-northwest of Owensville, as well two coal mines that opened up in 2008 and 2014, located 6 miles and 1 mile north of town respectively.

Like the other communities in Gibson County, Owensville's prime economy is based on agriculture. The farms immediately around the town primarily produce corn, soybeans, strawberries, and wheat. Like many other communities along the Lower Wabash Valley, the surrounding Montgomery Township is particularly known for its watermelons, pumpkins, squash, cantaloupes, and zucchini, all heavily produced in the sandy bottom grounds located from the north to the southwest of the town. In addition, milo tends to be produced in place of corn in areas prone to flooding from the Wabash, Patoka, or Black Rivers or any of the other smaller creeks or streams that flow into them.

Owensville High School, which merged with Fort Branch and Haubstadt high schools to form Gibson Southern, had the first high school gymnasium in Indiana with a glass backboard. One of those backboards is now in the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle, Indiana.

Education

Owensville Carnegie Library
The Owensville Carnegie Library
  • South Gibson School Corporation
  • K-8: Owensville Community School
  • 9-12: Gibson Southern High School

Former schools

  • Owensville High School (merged into Gibson Southern High School in 1974)

Public library

The town has a lending library, the Owensville Carnegie Public Library.

Notable people

  • Max Armstrong, farm news radio and television broadcaster reporting on American and worldwide agriculture
  • Valeska Suratt, silent film star, Broadway actress, Vaudevillian, early fashion icon
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