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Princeton, Indiana
City
Southern and western sides of Princeton's best-known landmark, the 1884 Gibson County Courthouse
Southern and western sides of Princeton's best-known landmark, the 1884 Gibson County Courthouse
Nickname(s): The Heart of
Southwestern Indiana
Motto: "Creating A World Class Community"
Location in the state of Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Gibson
Township Patoka
Settled 1814
Named for William Prince
Area
 • Total 5.08 sq mi (13.16 km2)
 • Land 5.07 sq mi (13.13 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)  0.20%
Elevation 430 ft (121 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 8,644
 • Estimate (2014) 8,608
 • Density 1,704.9/sq mi (658.3/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
ZIP code 47670
Area code(s) 812, 930
FIPS code 18-62046
GNIS feature ID 0452074
U.S. Highways US 41.svg
Major State Roads Indiana 64.svgIndiana 65.svg
Website http://princeton-indiana.com/

Princeton is a city in Patoka Township, Gibson County, Indiana, United States. The population was 8,644 at the 2010 census, and it is part of the greater Evansville, Indiana, Metropolitan Area. The city is the county seat of and the largest city in Gibson County.

History

In 1800 the Indiana Territory was created with Vincennes (Knox County) as its capital. The rich farmlands in the southwest of the territory with access to the Ohio River attracted many pioneers and settlers to the area, one of whom was an Irish immigrant named William Prince. Born in 1772, he immigrated to America 22 years later. He would become a Gibson County Commissioner and the namesake for the county seat of Princeton.

The year 1813 saw the move of the territorial capital east from Vincennes to Corydon and the creation of Gibson County. Gibson had previously been part of the vast Knox County which covered all the land of southwestern Indiana, bordered by the Wabash and Ohio Rivers. By early 1814, settlers to this area were asking for a "seat of justice," or county seat. Captain William Prince was one of four commissioners who located the seat at the half-way stand on the Evansville and Vincennes stage line. By drawing of lots, commissioners decided to name the town after Captain Prince.

The iconic symbol of Princeton is the Gibson County Courthouse, a structure built in the Second Empire style. It has been featured as a collectible figurine by the Department 56 Original Snow Village. A post office was established in Princeton as early as 1816. The local newspaper, the Princeton Daily Clarion, was first published in 1846. Lyles Station, a small community just west of Princeton, was founded by freed Tennessee slave Joshua Lyles in 1849. It served as a haven for runaway slaves who braved the Ohio River on a northern trek towards freedom.

The Wabash and Erie Canal ran through the nearby towns of Francisco and Port Gibson, providing a means of reaching distant markets with goods from Princeton. The 1850s saw the advance of the railway system through Indiana, spelling doom for the canal system. The Evansville and Terre Haute Railroad line was run through town in 1852 and the Princeton Depot was constructed in 1875. The railroad became a boon to Princeton's industry as the Southern Railway Shops were constructed on the edge of town in 1892. Other industry included the Heinz plant (because of the area's famed tomatoes being good for ketchup making) and the Princeton Coal Mine.

In 1925, half of Princeton was devastated by the Tri-State Tornado. The deadliest tornado in US history claimed 70 lives in Indiana with over half of those in Princeton.

Toyota Motor Company opened a truck manufacturing plant between Princeton and Fort Branch in 1998 to build a new full-size pickup and SUV. Toyota significantly increased production at the plant in 2000. As of 2016, the plant builds two SUVs and a van.

On April 18, 2008, Princeton was shaken by the 2008 Illinois earthquake, epicentered approximately 18.5 miles (30 km) away near West Salem, Illinois.

The Gibson County Courthouse and Welborn-Ross House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geography

Princeton is located at (38.353617, -87.570541).

According to the 2010 census, Princeton has a total area of 5.075 square miles (13.14 km2), of which 5.07 square miles (13.13 km2) (or 99.9%) is land and 0.005 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.1%) is water.

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, Princeton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Demographics

Princeton Post Office
Princeton's Post Office, erected 1913
Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,192
1840 1,280 7.4%
1850 2,403 87.7%
1860 2,855 18.8%
1870 2,939 2.9%
1880 3,282 11.7%
1890 4,156 26.6%
1900 4,227 1.7%
1910 5,661 33.9%
1920 6,061 7.1%
1930 7,166 18.2%
1940 7,926 10.6%
1950 8,177 3.2%
1960 8,567 4.8%
1970 8,899 3.9%
1980 9,133 2.6%
1990 8,576 −6.1%
2000 8,175 −4.7%
2010 8,644 5.7%
Est. 2015 8,626 −0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,644 people, 3,516 households, and 2,129 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,704.9 inhabitants per square mile (658.3/km2). There were 3,976 housing units at an average density of 784.2 per square mile (302.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.4% White, 4.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 3,516 households of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.4% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% 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 2.99.

The median age in the city was 37.2 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 16.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,175 people, 3,451 households, and 2,146 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,703.1 people per square mile (648.8/km²). There were 3,806 housing units at an average density of 792.9 per square mile (302.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.36% White, 5.36% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.26% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.

There were 3,451 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 24.1% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,689, and the median income for a family was $37,308. Males had a median income of $28,076 versus $19,825 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,049. About 15.0% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Lafayette Park - Princeton, Indiana
Lafayette Park

Princeton has three main city parks, administered by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Lafayette Park, on the city's north side, is the largest. It features a fishing pond, shelter houses, a playground, an open general-purpose recreation area, and a stage for public performances. The city swimming pool is adjacent to Lafayette Park, as is Kiddie Land, a playground for very young children. Gil Hodges field, where the Princeton Community High School baseball team plays its home games, is also located on the park property.

Gibson County Fairgrounds
Gibson County Fairgrounds

The other two city parks are South Side Park and East End Park

Highways

  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41 EvansvilleTerre Haute
  • Indiana 64.svg State Road 64 Known as Broadway Avenue for its entire length in Princeton. Mount CarmelI-69.svg.
  • Indiana 65.svg State Road 65 Known as Broadway Avenue for first two thirds of its length up to the Courthouse Square, then turns onto Main Street for the remaining third. Heads for Petersburg or Owensville via Indiana 64.

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