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South Whitley, Indiana facts for kids

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South Whitley, Indiana
Town of South Whitley
South Whitley, State Street and water tower
South Whitley, State Street and water tower
Location of South Whitley in Whitley County, Indiana.
Location of South Whitley in Whitley County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Whitley
Township Cleveland
 • Total 0.87 sq mi (2.25 km2)
 • Land 0.85 sq mi (2.21 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
804 ft (245 m)
 • Total 1,818
 • Density 2,133.80/sq mi (823.97/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 260
FIPS code 18-71612
GNIS feature ID 443869

South Whitley is a town in Cleveland Township, Whitley County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 1,751 at the 2010 census. South Whitley is a town in the Midwestern tradition of red brick buildings and tree-lined streets.


The South Whitley post office has been in operation since 1842.


According to the 2010 census, South Whitley has a total area of 0.91 square miles (2.36 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 408
1890 720 76.5%
1900 1,113 54.6%
1910 1,176 5.7%
1920 1,074 −8.7%
1930 1,102 2.6%
1940 1,118 1.5%
1950 1,299 16.2%
1960 1,325 2.0%
1970 1,362 2.8%
1980 1,575 15.6%
1990 1,482 −5.9%
2000 1,782 20.2%
2010 1,751 −1.7%
2020 1,818 3.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
Railroad depot, South Whitley, Indiana (1910s)
Railroad depot in South Whitley, 1910s

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,751 people, 729 households, and 482 families living in the town. The population density was 1,924.2 inhabitants per square mile (742.9/km2). There were 820 housing units at an average density of 901.1 per square mile (347.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.0% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 729 households, of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.9% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.92.

The median age in the town was 37.6 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.3% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 14.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

Note of interest

  • Trivial Pursuit, the game introduced in 1982, had a question concerning this small town and its annual festival, in particular the bed races. Gripco, a nut and bolt factory that employed many of the townspeople, sponsored most of the events in the Fall Festival, culminating in the bed races in which four people push a bed on wheels down the main street of town with one person riding on the bed. The game cited South Whitley as the bed race capitol of the United States.
  • The Whitko High School basketball team of 1990–1991 advanced to the final four of the state tournament, losing in the semifinal game. This feat was accomplished when the state tournament was one class, before class basketball began (1997-98 school year).
  • The Whitko High School football team of 1986 advanced to the class 2A state finals, where they defeated Tell City 26 to 0 to win the state championship. The victory is, as of present, Whitko's only team state championship.
  • In 1989 Matthew Koontz with a record of 35-0 won the wrestling individual state championship at 112 lbs. in overtime 7-5. That year he also received the Ward E. Brown Mental Attitude Award.


The town is served by Whitko Community School Corporation and contains South Whitley Elementary and Whitko Jr/Sr High School.

The town has a lending library, the South Whitley Community Public Library.

Notable people

  • Janie Fricke, country music singer
  • Will Cuppy, humorist and journalist
  • Hugo Fox, principal bassoonist in Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Albert Fredrick Ottomar Germann, scientist and academic
  • Jennie Bain Wilson, writer of Christian hymns
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