Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Indianapolis, Indiana

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all

Profiles

  • Admiral Raymond A. Spruance (1886 - 1969)
    Raymond Ames Spruance (July 3, 1886 – December 13, 1969) was a United States Navy admiral in World War II. Spruance commanded US naval forces during two of the most significant naval battles in t...
  • John H Geisse (1892 - 1988)
    Reference: Ancestry Genealogy - SmartCopy : Feb 17 2019, 22:09:10 UTC
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Sr. (1884 - 1957)
    Kurt Vonnegut, Sr. (November 24, 1884 – October 1, 1957) was an American architect and architectural lecturer active in early- to mid-twentieth-century Indianapolis, Indiana. A member of the American I...
  • James D. Quayle, 44th Vice President of the USA
    An American politician and was the forty-fourth Vice President of the United States, serving under George H. W. Bush (1989–1993). He also served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the sta...
  • Richard Lugar, U.S. Senator (1932 - 2019)
    Richard Green Lugar (April 4, 1932 – April 28, 2019) was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Indiana from 1977 to 2013. He was a member of the Republican Party. Born i...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana.

Official Website

History

In 1818, the Delaware Indians relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. The city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1-square-mile grid next to the White River. Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail later solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor.

Indianapolis anchors the 29th largest economic region in the U.S., based primarily on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing, professional and business services, education and health care, government, and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in amateur sports and auto racing. The city is home to three Fortune 500 companies, two major league sports clubs, four university campuses, and several museums, including the world's largest children's museum. However, the city is perhaps best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500. Among the city's historic sites and districts, Indianapolis is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U.S. outside of Washington, D.C.

The Civil War

During the American Civil War, Indianapolis was mostly loyal to the Union cause. Governor Oliver P. Morton, a major supporter of President Abraham Lincoln, quickly made Indianapolis a rallying place for Union army troops. On February 11, 1861, President-elect Lincoln arrived in the city, en route to Washington, D.C. for his presidential inauguration, marking the first visit from a president-elect in the city's history. On April 16, 1861, the first orders were issued to form Indiana's first regiments and establish Indianapolis as a headquarters for the state's volunteer soldiers. Within a week, more than 12,000 recruits signed up to fight for the Union.[49]

Indianapolis became a major logistics hub during the war, establishing the city as a crucial military base. Between 1860 and 1870, the city's population more than doubled. An estimated 4,000 men from Indianapolis served in 39 regiments, and an estimated 700 died during the war. On May 20, 1863, Union soldiers attempted to disrupt a statewide Democratic convention at Indianapolis, forcing the proceedings to be adjourned, sarcastically referred to as the Battle of Pogue's Run. Fear turned to panic in July 1863, during Morgan's Raid into southern Indiana, but Confederate forces turned east toward Ohio, never reaching Indianapolis. On April 30, 1865, Lincoln's funeral train made a stop at Indianapolis, where an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people passed the assassinated president's bier at the Indiana Statehouse.

Following the Civil War—and in the wake of the Second Industrial Revolution—Indianapolis experienced tremendous growth and prosperity. In 1880, Indianapolis was the world's third largest pork packing city, after Chicago and Cincinnati, and the second largest railroad center in the United States by 1888. By 1890, the city's population surpassed 100,000. Some of the city's most notable businesses were founded during this period of growth and innovation, including L. S. Ayres (1872), Eli Lilly and Company (1876), Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company (1910), and Allison Transmission (1915). Once home to 60 automakers, Indianapolis rivaled Detroit as a center of automobile manufacturing. The city was an early focus of labor organization. The Indianapolis Street Car Strike of 1913 and subsequent police mutiny and riots led to the creation of the state's earliest labor-protection laws, including a minimum wage, regular work weeks, and improved working conditions. The International Typographical Union and United Mine Workers of America were among several influential labor unions based in the city.

Twentieth & Twenty-First Century

Some of the city's most prominent architectural features and best known historical events date from the turn of the 20th century. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, dedicated on May 15, 1902, would later become the city's unofficial symbol. Ray Harroun won the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500, held May 30, 1911, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis was one of the hardest hit cities in the Great Flood of 1913, resulting in five known deaths and the displacement of 7,000 families.

Post–World War II

As a stop on the Underground Railroad, Indianapolis had one of the largest black populations in the Northern States, until the Great Migration. Led by D. C. Stephenson, the Indiana Klan became the most powerful political and social organization in Indianapolis from 1921 through 1928, controlling City Council and the Board of School Commissioners, among others. At its height, more than 40% of native-born white males in Indianapolis claimed membership in the Klan. While campaigning in the city in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy delivered one of the most lauded speeches in 20th century American history, following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. As in most U.S. cities during the Civil Rights Movement, the city experienced strained race relations. A 1971 federal court decision forcing Indianapolis Public Schools to implement desegregation busing proved controversial.

Under the mayoral administration of Richard Lugar, the city and county governments restructured, consolidating most public services into a new entity called Unigov. The plan removed bureaucratic redundancies, captured increasingly suburbanizing tax revenue, and created a Republican political machine that dominated Indianapolis politics until the 2000s. Unigov went into effect on January 1, 1970, increasing the city's land area by 308.2 square miles and population by 268,366 people. It was the first major city-county consolidation to occur in the United States without a referendum since the creation of the City of Greater New York in 1898.

Amid the changes in government and growth, the city invested in an aggressive strategy to brand Indianapolis as a sports tourism destination, known as the Indianapolis Project. Under the administration of the city's longest-serving mayor, William Hudnut (1976–1992), millions of dollars were poured into sport facilities and public relations campaigns as part of an economic development strategy. The strategy was successful in landing the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1983, securing the 1984 relocation of the NFL Baltimore Colts, and hosting the 1987 Pan American Games.

Economic development initiatives focused on revitalizing the city's downtown continued in the 1990s under the mayoral administration of Stephen Goldsmith. During this period, a number of cultural amenities were completed at White River State Park, the Canal Walk continued development, Circle Centre Mall was completed, and new sports venues (Victory Field and Bankers Life Fieldhouse) were opened. In 1999, several cultural districts were designated to capitalize on cultural assets within historically significant neighborhoods unique to the city's heritage as a means to promote continued economic development.

During the 2000s, the city invested heavily in infrastructure projects, including two of the largest building projects in the city's history: the $1.1 billion Indianapolis International Airport Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal and $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium, both opened in 2008. A $275 million expansion of the Indiana Convention Center was completed in 2011. Construction began that year on DigIndy, a $1.9 billion project to correct the city's combined sewer overflows by 2025. Rapid transit was reintroduced to Indianapolis with the opening of IndyGo's $96 million Red Line bus rapid transit project in 2019.

A mass shooting took place on April 16, 2021 at a FedEx facility. The gunman killed eight people and injured many more, before killing himself.

List of Neighborhoods

List of Public Art

List of Attractions & Events

Links

Wikipedia

FedEx Shooting Indianapolis Star article

Indianapolis Public Library