Place:South Bend, St. Joseph, Indiana, United States


NameSouth Bend
Alt namesBig St. Josephsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) XI, 39
Michianasource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) XI, 39
The Bendsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS18015958
TypeCity
Coordinates41.673°N 86.255°W
Located inSt. Joseph, Indiana, United States     (1800 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region's economy.

The area was originally settled in the early 19th century by fur traders and was established as a city in 1865. The St. Joseph River shaped South Bend's economy through the mid-20th century. River access assisted heavy industrial development such as that of the Studebaker Corporation, the Oliver Chilled Plow Company, and other large corporations.

The population of South Bend declined after 1960, when it had a peak population of 132,445. This was chiefly due to migration to suburban areas as well as the demise of Studebaker and other heavy industry. Today, the largest industries in South Bend are health care, education, small business, and tourism. Remaining large corporations include Crowe Horwath, Honeywell, and AM General.

Recently, the city population has started to grow for the first time in nearly fifty years. The old Studebaker plant and surrounding area, now called Ignition Park, is being redeveloped as a technology center to attract new industry.

The city has also been featured in national news coverage for Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has achieved recognition for his various economic development projects within the city, his position as the youngest mayor to be elected in a city of more than 100,000 residents, and his essay in which he came out as the first openly gay executive in the state of Indiana. The city attracted further attention when Mayor Buttigieg announced he will run for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early history

The St. Joseph Valley was long occupied by Native Americans. One of the earliest known groups to occupy what would later become northern Indiana was the Miami tribe. Later, the Potawatomi moved into the region, utilizing the rich food and natural resources found along the river. The Potawatomi occupied this region of Indiana until most of them were forcibly removed in the 1840s. The South Bend area was so popular because its portage was the shortest overland route from the St. Joseph River to the Kankakee River. This route was used for centuries, first by the Native Americans, then by French explorers, missionaries and traders. The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, the first white European to set foot in what is now South Bend, used this portage between the St. Joseph River and the Kankakee River in December 1679.

First settlements

The first permanent white settlers of South Bend were fur traders who established trading posts in the area. In 1820, Pierre Frieschutz Navarre arrived, representing the American Fur Company (AFC) of John Jacob Astor. He settled near what is now downtown South Bend. Alexis Coquillard, another agent of the AFC,[1] established a trading post known as the Big St. Joseph Station. In 1827, Lathrop Minor Taylor established a post for Samuel Hanna and Company, in whose records the name St. Joseph's, Indiana was used.[2] By 1829, the town was growing, with Coquillard and Taylor emerging as leaders. They applied for a post office. Taylor was appointed postmaster, and the post office was designated as Southold, Allen County, Indiana.[1] The following year, the name was changed to South Bend, probably to ease confusion, as several other communities were named Southold at the time.

In 1831, South Bend was laid out as the county seat and as one of the four original townships of St. Joseph County with 128 residents. Soon after, design began on what would become the town of South Bend.[1] The town was formally established in 1835 and rapidly grew. In 1856, attorney Andrew Anderson founded May Oberfell Lorber, the oldest business in St. Joseph County. He compiled a complete index of South Bend's real estate records.


In 1841, Schuyler Colfax was appointed St. Joseph County deputy auditor. Colfax purchased the South Bend Free Press and then turned it into the pro-Whig newspaper, the St. Joseph Valley Register. He was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1850 where he opposed the barring of African American migration to Indiana. He joined the Republican party, like many Whigs of his day, and was elected to Congress in 1855 and became Speaker of the House in 1863 under Abraham Lincoln. In 1868, he was elected Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant. Colfax returned to South Bend after his stint in Washington and was buried in the City Cemetery.

Early business

During the late 1830s through the 1850s, much of South Bend's development centered on the industrial complex of factories located on the two races (man-made canals along the St. Joseph River in South Bend). Several dams were created, and factories were built on each side of the river. On October 4, 1851, the first steam locomotive entered South Bend.[1] This led to a general shift of businesses from the river toward the railroad. In 1852, Henry Studebaker set up Studebaker wagon shop, later becoming the world's largest wagon builder and the only one to later succeed as an automobile manufacturer. The Singer Sewing Company and the Oliver Chilled Plow Company were among other companies that made manufacturing the driving force in the South Bend economy until the mid-20th century.[1] Another important economic act was the dredging of the Kankakee River in 1884 to create farmland. During this time period there was a great immigration of Europeans, such as Polish, Hungarian, Irish, German, Italian, and Swedish people to South Bend because the rise of area factories.


South Bend benefited from its location on the Michigan Road, the main north–south artery of northern Indiana in the 19th century.[1] Another significant development occurred near South Bend in 1842, when Father Edward Sorin founded the University of Notre Dame just north of the town. It became a major factor in the area's economy and culture.

Establishment and early history

On May 22, 1865, South Bend was incorporated as a city, and its first elections were held on June 5, 1865, with William G. George elected as its first mayor[2]

Olivet AME was founded in South Bend in March 1870, making it the first African-American church in the city. Olivet AME is still an active African Methodist Episcopal Church, and celebrated its 145th anniversary in 2015.

A sergeant from South Bend fired the first American shells against Germany in World War I.

History with Ku Klux Klan

In 1923, the African-American owner of a soda fountain received a letter signed KKK threatening to kill an African-American man held in the city's jail and harm the rest of the city's African-American population. Within a few days over a thousand African-Americans fled the city.

In 1924, the Ku Klux Klan held a conference and planned a parade from its local headquarters at 230 S. Michigan St. In preparation, Klan members were posted around town to direct traffic. Notre Dame students, well aware of the anti-Catholic nature of the Klan, vigorously protested this intrusion, and before noon all of the Klansmen traffic directors had been "unmasked and unrobed." Notre Dame students continued the fight, with several hundred gathering outside of the Klan headquarters, throwing rocks and smashing windows in protest. Local police as well as Notre Dame officials eventually managed to convince them to return to campus. Apparently even legendary football coach Knute Rockne became involved in the struggle to calm down the students.

Later business

Other industries developed in South Bend in the early 20th century, including Birdsell Manufacturing Company, the Bendix Corporation, Honeywell, AlliedSignal, South Bend Lathe Works, the O'Brien Paint Corp., the South Bend Toy Company, South Bend Range, South Bend Bait Company, and South Bend Watch Company. Workers at the Bendix Corporation actually staged the first sit-in strike in American history in 1936. Fast development led to the creation of electric rail transportation throughout the area and, in 1925, the South Shore interurban streetcar service was established from downtown South Bend to downtown Chicago. South Bend was the first community in the United States to have an electrified trolley system (even though it was a few years before it was usable and profitable).

On June 30, 1934, the Merchants National Bank in South Bend was the last bank to be robbed by the Dillinger gang.


Recent history

In 1949, legendary percussionist Lionel Hampton was informed that his concert at South Bend's Palais du Royale would be a blacks only event; he threatened to call for a boycott of the venue, and the affair proceeded as an integrated evening, which newspapers said led to all attendees breaking out in "paroxysms of ecstasy."

By 1950, more than half of all employment was in the manufacturing sector. Due to economic difficulties, Studebaker closed its automotive manufacturing plants in South Bend in December 1963. A general decline in manufacturing soon followed as industry was restructured nationwide. By the year 2000, manufacturing was only 16 percent of the local economy. Due to the severe loss of jobs, the city's population decreased by nearly 30,000 during that period.[3]

In 1984, South Bend community leaders began seeking a minor-league baseball team for the city. A stadium was constructed in 1986 and a 10-year player-development contract was signed with the Chicago White Sox. The team would be known as the South Bend White Sox. In 1994, the team's name was changed to the South Bend Silver Hawks, and then to The South Bend Cubs in 2015. They are a Class A minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in the Midwest League.

In 2015, the City of South Bend celebrated its 150th birthday. The yearlong festival culminated with the ceremonial illumination of the first River Lights along the St. Joseph River. Mayor Pete Buttigieg welcomed the coming of the next 150 years of South Bend's heritage accompanied by five previous South Bend mayors: Steve Luecke, Joe Kernan, Roger Parent, Peter Nemeth and Jerry Miller.

In 2015 the city's population increased by 286, the first growth in nearly fifty years.[4] The old Studebaker plant has been developed as the Ignition Park center to attract new businesses, especially in the tech industry.[5]

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