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Sweetser, Indiana
Location of Sweetser in Grant County, Indiana.
Location of Sweetser in Grant County, Indiana.
Country United States
State Indiana
County Grant
Township Franklin, Pleasant, Richland
 • Total 1.01 sq mi (2.62 km2)
 • Land 1.01 sq mi (2.61 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
843 ft (257 m)
 • Total 1,075
 • Density 1,066.47/sq mi (411.67/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 765
FIPS code 18-74546
GNIS feature ID 0444483

Sweetser is a town in Franklin, Pleasant and Richland townships, Grant County, Indiana, United States. The population was 1229 at the 2010 census.


Sweetser is located at 40°34′11″N 85°46′1″W / 40.56972°N 85.76694°W / 40.56972; -85.76694 (40.569731, -85.766972) on State Road 18 between the town of Converse and the city of Marion. According to the 2010 census, Sweetser has a total area of 1.013 square miles (2.62 km2), of which 1.01 square miles (2.62 km2) (or 99.7%) is land and 0.003 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.3%) is water.

Running through the edge of Sweetser is a small body of water, or creek, known as Pipe Creek. Pipe Creek is one of the sites that can be seen from the Sweetser Switch Trail. Known as one of Sweetser’s main attractions, the trail is a walking trail that stretches throughout the whole town and is expanded three miles outside of the town’s outer limits. Although this trail is intended for walking, there are signs posted that allow bicyclists, cross country skiers, runners, wheel chairs and various other ways of exercise permitted on the trail. A new addition to the trail is a statue of one of Grant County’s celebrities, Garfield.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 246
1960 896
1970 1,076 20.1%
1980 944 −12.3%
1990 924 −2.1%
2000 906 −1.9%
2010 1,229 35.7%
2020 1,075 −12.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,229 people, 494 households, and 364 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,216.8 inhabitants per square mile (469.8/km2). There were 532 housing units at an average density of 526.7 per square mile (203.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.2% White, 0.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 2.0% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.

There were 494 households, of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.5% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.3% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the town was 40.5 years. 25.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.2% were from 25 to 44; 29.1% were from 45 to 64; and 16.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.


The Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad was built through the area in 1867. Around 1869, a half-mile long switch was built to haul wood to a train refueling station. This switch would become the nucleus of the town. Railroadmen began calling it "Switch" and soon thereafter, the area was known as "Switzer" and then "Sweetser".

The original plat of town of Sweetser was entered on October 14, 1871 by Sanford Prater, John Hubert, James H. Vinson, Urich Mars and H.B. Bragg with the Grant County Recorder's office. The land which formed the original plat of Sweetser had been entered in the District Land Office in Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 22, 1848 by Samuel Blinn.

Additional plats to the town were Nuzum's in 1873, and the Wilcut's, McGee's, Bishop's and Nuzum's 2nd, all platted in 1874.

The early business section was north of the railroad on the west side of Main street. A saw mill was located at what is now the present site of the Methodist church (413 N. Main). Sweetser had several dry goods stores, a blacksmith shop, a jeweler and a saloon.

As the population grew, the saw mill was torn down and a new school house was built where it once stood. The old school house by the railroad (104 N. Meridian) was replaced by a grain elevator built by Gilbert and William Baum.

When natural gas was struck around Sweetser in 1885, the town was ready for development. The Brickner Window Glass Company, established in 1893, attracted many people not only living nearby but from other states to come to work and live here. The glass factory was located on the west side of town, being situated just west of what is now 319 W. Hubert Street. The factory was also known as Schick & Hawkins Window Glass Company.

From 1884 to 1894 there were five additions platted to Sweetser, namely Thompson's, Sherron's, Sherron's 2nd, Sherron's 3rd and Hawkins.

A hotel, known as the Vardaman Hotel, was located at 103 Main Street in lots number 27-29 of the original plat. This hotel was built to accommodate the number of persons working at the glass factory.

The Friermood Tile Factory was started in 1888 and was located at the end of Walnut Street. It made tile for draining the lands around Sweetser into Pipe Creek.


Water is provided to residents of Sweetser through individual household wells.

Sewage is piped to nearby Marion for treatment. In 2011, the town announced plans to build its own $2.4 million wastewater treatment plant.

Parks and recreation

Sweetser is home of the Sweetser Switch Trail, a three-mile asphalt trail located in the center of town. The trailhead features two restored railcars and a statute of Garfield. Restrooms, parking and water are available at the trailhead. The trail connects one mile east of Main Street with the Cardinal Greenway in Marion.

Pawadise Park, Grant County's only dog park, is a unique feature along the Sweetser Switch Trail. Completed in July 2012, the park is located one-quarter mile west of Main Street next to the trail. The park was funded totally by donations. Dogs of all sizes can run unleashed here. The park has two separate areas, one for large dogs and one for small, and will include a small area for pet owners to memorialize their pets.

Festivals and events

Sweetser is home to the annual Pumpkin Walk, a community-wide parade down Main Street held near Halloween, which features costume judging contests and pumpkin carving contests.

The Sweetser's Farmers Market runs from June through September on Saturdays at the Sweetser Elementary School.


Sweetser is part of the Oak Hill School District and home to the Sweetser Elementary school.

Sweetser residents may obtain a free library card from the Converse-Jackson Township Public Library in Converse.

Notable people

  • Keith O'Conner Murphy, Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Singer-songwriter, Stacy, Polydor Records, and King Records (United States) Polydor Records]] (England); Voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammys), he lived in Sweetser in his formative teen and young adult years when he wrote many of his songs at the 607 N. Jackson Street residence; His musical odyssey began on January 30, 1961, when he answered a newspaper ad and met Jim Aguilar at Venable’s Café, 114 N. Main Street in Sweetser, now the Sweetser Café. The two started a band they named The Torkays. His Record "Slightly Reminiscent of Her" is in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's permanent Collection.
  • Mark Regan grew up on Main Street in Sweetser. He graduated from college with high honors and defected to Canada to avoid Viet Nam, because he believed he could better use his abilities to advance oceanography and science. He was granted a Canadian citizenship and worked as a scientist in Nova Scotia, among other places. He eventually became a professor in a university in Australia. His accomplishments include writing a doctoral textbook on oceanography.

See also

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

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