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Richmond, Indiana
City of Richmond
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
Country United States
State Indiana
County Wayne
Township Boston, Center, Wayne
 • Total 24.16 sq mi (62.56 km2)
 • Land 24.00 sq mi (62.17 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.39 km2)
981 ft (299 m)
 • Total 36,812
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,472.28/sq mi (568.46/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 765
FIPS code 18-64260
GNIS feature ID 441976

Richmond is a city in east central Indiana, United States of America, bordering the state of Ohio. It is the county seat of Wayne County, and is part of the Dayton, Ohio metropolitan area. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,812. Situated largely within Wayne Township, its area includes a non-contiguous portion in nearby Boston Township, where Richmond Municipal Airport is currently located.

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. Gennett Records was the first to record such artists as Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Jelly Roll Morton, Hoagy Carmichael, Lawrence Welk, and Gene Autry.

The city has twice received the All-America City Award, most recently in 2009.


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

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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,070
1850 1,443 −30.3%
1860 6,608 357.9%
1870 9,445 42.9%
1880 12,742 34.9%
1890 16,608 30.3%
1900 18,226 9.7%
1910 22,824 25.2%
1920 26,765 17.3%
1930 32,493 21.4%
1940 35,147 8.2%
1950 39,539 12.5%
1960 44,149 11.7%
1970 43,999 −0.3%
1980 41,349 −6.0%
1990 38,705 −6.4%
2000 39,124 1.1%
2010 36,812 −5.9%
2019 (est.) 35,342 −4.0%
Source: US Census Bureau

2010 census

As of the census 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.


In 1806 the first European Americans in the area, Quaker families from 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 and David Hoover were among the earliest settlers. Richmond is still home to several Quaker institutions, including Friends United Meeting, Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion.

The settlement was incorporated as a town on Sept. 1, 1818. At that time, it had 24 adult settlers. The first post office in Richmond was established in 1818.

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 Jenkins' 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 of '95. 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.

Richmond is believed to have been the smallest community in the United States to have supported a professional opera company and symphony orchestra. The Whitewater Opera has since closed but the Richmond Symphony Orchestra has continued. In 1899 Will Earhart formed the first complete high school orchestra in the nation. A later high school orchestra director, Joseph E. Maddy, went on to found what is now known as the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.

Also notable was the fact that 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.

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, among others. The Richmond Art Museum has a collection of regional and American art. Many consider the most significant painting in the collection to be a self-portrait of Indiana-born William Merritt Chase.

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. 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 The monument 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 second by Earlham College's Joseph Moore Museum, leading to the local nickname of "Mummy capital of Indiana".

The arts were supported by a strong economy increasingly based on manufacturing. Richmond was once known as "the lawn mower capital" because it was a center for manufacturing of lawn mowers 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., 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 was a manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles, including "kid hacks", a precursor of the motorized school bus. From the early 1930s through the 1940s, several automobile designers and manufacturers were located in Richmond. 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 it closed in 1992 during a period of school-bus manufacturing industry consolidations.

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 (140,000 m2) under glass. The annual Richmond Rose Festival honored the rose industry and was a popular summer attraction.

20th-century challenges

On April 6, 1968, a natural gas explosion and fire destroyed or damaged several downtown blocks and killed 41 people; more than 150 were injured. The book Death in a Sunny Street is about the event.

In the rebuilding effort, the city closed the main street through downtown to traffic and built the Downtown Promenade in 1972 (expanded in 1978). When studies showed that car traffic helped businesses, the city had the five-block pedestrian mall broken up. It reopened the street to traffic in 1997 as part of an urban revitalization effort.

On March 17, 1999, the 155-year-old family run business, Swayne, Robinson and Company was destroyed in a fire. The site is now the location of the Wayne County Jail.


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.

Religious groups

  • Richmond is the headquarters of Friends United Meeting, and hosts the Quaker Hill Conference Center, of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).



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


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.

Points of interest

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

Sister cities

Educational institutions

Earlham Cupola
Carpenter Hall at Earlham College, founded in 1847
  • Richmond has four colleges: Earlham College, Indiana University East, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute – Richmond.
  • Richmond is home to two seminaries: Earlham School of Religion (Quaker) and Bethany Theological Seminary (Church of the Brethren)
  • Richmond High School includes the Richmond Art Museum and Civic Hall Performing Arts Center and the Tiernan Center, the 5th-largest high school gym in the United States.
  • Seton Catholic High School (founded 2002), a junior and senior high school, is a religious high school. It is based in the former home of St. Andrew High School (1899–1936) and, more recently, St. Andrew Elementary School, adjacent to St. Andrew Church of the Richmond Catholic Community.

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.

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

Notable people



  • J. Gayle Beck, clinical psychologist, Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence and Professor at the University of Memphis
  • Landrum Bolling, president of Earlham College, humanitarian, diplomat
  • Mary Haas (1910 – 1996), linguist and professor at University of California-Berkeley
  • Wendell Stanley, biochemist, virologist, Nobel Prize winner


  • Timothy Brown (actor), professional football player, television/film actor and recording-artist
  • Norman Foster, actor, director
  • Sarah Purcell, actress
  • Elizabeth Reller, old-time radio actress

Artists and designers


  • Micajah C. Henley, businessman, roller skate pioneer
  • Charles Francis Jenkins, pioneer of early cinema and one of the inventors of television
  • Addison H. Nordyke, industrialist and co-founder of Nordyke Marmon & Company.
  • Daniel G. Reid, industrialist, financier, and philanthropist, early in his career he manufactured tin plate with, The American Tin Plate Company and later US Steel.
  • Burton J. Westcott, businessman, automobile manufacturer of Westcott Motor Car Company


  • May Aufderheide, ragtime composer
  • George Duning, musician and composer
  • Harry "Singin' Sam" Frankel, radio star, minstrel
  • Baby Huey (singer), rock and soul vocalist
  • Jeff Hamilton, jazz drummer
  • Harold Jones (drummer), has performed with many notables, including Tony Bennett and Count Basie
  • Melvyn "Deacon" Jones, blues organist
  • Rich Mullins, singer/musician
  • Ned Rorem, composer and Putlizer Prize winner
  • The Will-O-Bees, pop music trio in the 1960s

Politicians, activists, and civic leaders

  • Bill W. Balthis (1939 – 2016), Illinois state representative and businessman
  • Thomas W. Bennett (territorial governor), Richmond mayor, Governor, congressional delegate of Idaho territory.
  • David W. Dennis, U.S. Congressman
  • Ida Finney Mackrille (1867 – 1960) suffragist and a women's political leader in the State of California.
  • Dan Mitrione, Richmond police chief from 1956 to 1960, and U.S. adviser in Uruguay
  • Oliver P. Morton, Indiana's Civil War governor

Religion and related

  • John Wilbur Chapman, Presbyterian evangelist
  • Jim Jones, founder-leader of Peoples Temple
  • William Paul Quinn, an African Methodist Episcopal Bishop
  • D. Elton Trueblood, Quaker theologian


  • Charles A. Hufnagel, M.D. artificial heart valve inventor
  • Wright brothers, aviation pioneers


  • Weeb Ewbank, coach of 1958 and 1959 NFL champion Baltimore Colts and the Super Bowl III champion New York Jets
  • Vagas Ferguson, NFL running back
  • Paul Flatley, NFL wide receiver (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Desmond Bane, NBA, Selected 30th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2020 NBA Draft
  • Del Harris, professional basketball coach
  • Daniel Kinsey, hurdler, Olympic gold medalist
  • Bo Van Pelt, professional golfer

Writers and journalists

  • Christopher Benfey, literary critic
  • Mae Bramhall, actress, writer
  • William Dudley Foulke, lawyer, author
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