Wakarusa, Indiana facts for kids

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Wakarusa, Indiana
Town
Downtown Wakarusa
Downtown Wakarusa
Location of Wakarusa in the state of Indiana
Location of Wakarusa in the state of Indiana
Country United States
State Indiana
County Elkhart
Township Harrison, Olive
Area
 • Total 2.28 sq mi (5.91 km2)
 • Land 2.20 sq mi (5.70 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)
Elevation 840 ft (256 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,758
 • Estimate (2012) 1,776
 • Density 799.1/sq mi (308.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 46573
Area code(s) 574
FIPS code 18-79478
GNIS feature ID 0452499

Wakarusa is a town in Harrison and Olive townships in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. The population was 1,758 at the 2010 census.

Wakarusa is a small farming and manufacturing community located on Indiana 19 just north of Indiana 119. The town is 12 miles (19 km) south of Elkhart, 25 miles (40 km) southeast of South Bend, 120 miles (190 km) east of Chicago, and 140 miles (230 km) north of Indianapolis.

The town was in the news on August 5, 2009, following the visit of President Barack Obama to announce that Indiana was to receive $400 million USD in federal stimulus funds to help revive the state economy.

Geography

Wakarusa is located at Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:mw' not found. (41.534490, -86.016223).

According to the 2010 census, Wakarusa has a total area of 2.277 square miles (5.90 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.70 km2) (or 96.62%) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.20 km2) (or 3.38%) is water.

History

In 1836, rural Olive Township was formed in western Elkhart County, and in 1849, as the population grew, a post office named Mt. Olive opened. After more population growth, a new village named Salem was established to prevent people from having to travel to either Goshen or Elkhart to conduct business. Since there is already a town named Salem in Indiana, the name was changed to Wakarusa in 1859. The Mt. Olive Post Office was renamed for Wakarusa a year later.

Railroad - In 1891 work began on the Wabash Railroad line through town, with the official opening of the line in spring of 1893. The line, which connected Chicago with Montpelier, Ohio, became part of the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1964 and lasted until the 1980s. Today, the original Wabash depot along with two Norfolk & Western rail cars are featured along with many other displays at the Wakarusa Historical Museum.

The etymology of the name "Wakarusa" is not known. According to tradition, the name Wakarusa is from a Native American language, meaning "knee deep in mud". A more recent source claims a settler named it after a location in Kansas.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 245
1880 377 53.9%
1900 917
1910 859 −6.3%
1920 816 −5.0%
1930 973 19.2%
1940 1,033 6.2%
1950 1,143 10.6%
1960 1,145 0.2%
1970 1,160 1.3%
1980 1,281 10.4%
1990 1,667 30.1%
2000 1,618 −2.9%
2010 1,758 8.7%
Est. 2015 1,814 3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,758 people, 665 households, and 448 families residing in the town. The population density was 799.1 inhabitants per square mile (308.5/km2). There were 717 housing units at an average density of 325.9 per square mile (125.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.0% White, 1.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.9% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 665 households of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.6% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.09.

The median age in the town was 42 years. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.1% were from 25 to 44; 23.7% were from 45 to 64; and 22.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 45.8% male and 54.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,618 people, 595 households, and 427 families residing in the town. The population density was 716.0 people per square mile (276.4/km²). There were 618 housing units at an average density of 273.5 per square mile (105.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.34% White, 0.49% African American, 0.19% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.48% of the population.

Wakarusa-indiana-town-hall
Wakarusa town hall

There were 595 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.7% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 84.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,515, and the median income for a family was $50,833. Males had a median income of $36,014 versus $25,300 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,615. About 3.2% of families and 4.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Religion

Wakarusa has several churches including Wakarusa Missionary Church, which is the Missionary Church denomination based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Other churches include a Bible Baptist Church, a Methodist church, Holdemen Mennonite Church, and Olive Mennonite Church just outside Wakarusa.

Festivals

Once a year, the town hosts the Maple Syrup Festival and holds a parade as well as other activities associated with small-town celebrations. The festival was started in 1969 by the then Chamber of Progress. Originally held in March, the festival now occurs during the middle of April.

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