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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, a city of Indiana, the capital of the State, and the county-seat of Marion co. It is on the White river and is on 16 railroads. It is in the geographical center of the State and is the center of manufacturing in the United States. Its total area is 42 square miles. Pop. (1910) 233,650; (1920) 314,194.

Indianapolis is situated in the midst of a fertile plain, chiefly on the east bank of the river, which is spanned by many bridges. It is pre-eminently an industrial city, because of its geographical location in relation to the general market, its exceptional shipping facilities, and the nearness of the fuel supply. There are approximately 1,000 manufacturing and 2,300 retail concerns. In addition there are over 200 wholesale and jobbing houses with a market extending well over the Central West. An excellent grade of steam coal is obtained from the Indiana coal fields, at an average haul of over 90 miles. Its chief industry is slaughtering and meat packing. Over 3,000,000 head of live stock are received at the Indianapolis stock yards, annually. Other important industries are the manufacture of milling machinery, engines, drugs, automobiles, furniture, and starch.

The city had in 1920, 372 miles of permanently improved streets. There were 161 miles of city electric car lines, operating over double track, with 5ยข fare and universal transfers. There were 429 miles of sewers and 434 miles of water main. It has one of the greatest motor speedways in the United States. Indianapolis is the seat of the following State institutionss: the Indiana State Fair, Indiana Institute for the Blind, Indiana School for the Deaf, School of Medicine of Indiana University, Indiana University Extension Center, Indiana Girls' School, Indiana Women's Prison, and the Central Hospital for the Insane. The Central Library building, erected at a cost of from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000, contains nearly 225,000 volumes. There is also an excellent State Library in the State House. There are 73 public school buildings and 3 public high school buildings. 33 of the public schools are equipped with manual training and domestic science. In addition to this there are 17 Catholic parochial grade schools, two academies for young women, and three Catholic high schools for boys. In addition to the State and city schools, there are Butler College, Indiana Central University, College of Music and Fine Arts, and many private schools for boys and girls. The city is well equipped with hospitals, including a City Hospital, Joseph Eastman Hospital, Robert W. Long Hospital, Methodist Episcopal Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, and St. Vincent Hospital. There are many handsome modern office buildings, and many theaters, and apartment houses.

The total assessed value of the city in 1919 was $276,529,380. The tax rate was $2.58 per hundred. The municipal bond of indebtedness was $4,871,960. The value of the city property in 1919 was over $9,000,000.

Indianapolis was settled in 1819 and received its name in 1821. In 1825 it became the capital of the State. Since 1889, when the introduction of natural gas revolutionized manufacturing in Indianapolis, its growth has been remarkably rapid.