Monroe County Timeline

Most Significant Events

Land Ordinance of 1785
1785, May 20
The Ordinance of 1785 established the process of land procurement by settlers in the new western lands. The land was surveyed and laid out in township and sections for purchase by settlers. The Ordinance helped raise money for the new United States since direct taxation was not legal at the time under the new Articles of Confederation. The system is still in use today.
Source: James H. Madison, Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014), 30-31.
Indiana territory created
1800
Indiana is designated a territory out of the what will become Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, parts of Minnesota and Michigan. Vincennes is made the seat of government at the organization of the territory.
Source: George Pence and Nellie C. Armstrong, Indiana Historical Collections Vol XIX: Indiana Boundaries (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford Printing Co., 1967), 138.
First land sales in Bloomington
1816, Sep 26
George Ritchey, George Hedrick, David Rogers, and Joseph Taylor purchase the first tracts of land in what will become the city of Bloomington.
Source: Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, and Brown, Indiana (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co, 1884), 452.
Indiana becomes 19th state
1816, Dec 11
Indiana becomes the 19th state of the United States of America.
Source: George Pence and Nellie C. Armstrong, Indiana Historical Collections Vol XIX: Indiana Boundaries (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford Printing Co., 1967), 12.
Monroe County Established
1818, Jan 14
Monroe County, named for President James Monroe, is formed by state statute to be effective 10 Apr 1818. Monroe is taken from Orange County.
Source: George Pence and Nellie C. Armstrong, Indiana Historical Collections Vol XIX: Indiana Boundaries (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford Printing Co., 1967), 600.
First County Commissioners meeting
1818, Apr 10
The first recorded meeting of the Monroe County Commissioners is held at the dwelling house of Abner Blair. The court ordered twelve townships and the town of Bloomington be laid out. The area of the public square is defined and Benjamin Parks, agent of the county, is ordered to place a stone at each corner of the square. The county agent is also directed to advertise lots for sale in the town of Bloomington.
Source: Commissioners' Record Monroe County, Indiana: Volume A 1818-1824, Transcription (Indianapolis: The Indiana Historical Records Survey, 1940), December 31, 1969, 1-9.
Clear Creek Township established.
1818, Apr 13
Clear Creek township in southern Monroe County is established by Monroe County Commissioners.
Source: Commissioners' Record Monroe County, Indiana: Volume A 1818-1824, Transcription (Indianapolis: The Indiana Historical Records Survey, 1940), 2.
Indian Creek Township Established
1818, Apr 13
Indian Creek township is established by the Monroe County Commissioners and is located in southwest and western Monroe County.
Source: Commissioners' Record Monroe County, Indiana: Volume A 1818-1824, Transcription (Indianapolis: The Indiana Historical Records Survey, 1940), 2.
Bean Blossom township is organized.
1818, Apr 13
Monroe County Commissioners organize the township of Bean Blossom located northwest and west of Bloomington.
Source: Commissioners' Record Monroe County, Indiana: Volume A 1818-1824, Transcription (Indianapolis: The Indiana Historical Records Survey, 1940), 2.
Bloomington Township Established
1818, Apr 13
The Monroe County Commissioners establish the township of Bloomington named for the town of Bloomington.
Source: Commissioners' Record Monroe County, Indiana: Volume A 1818-1824, Transcription (Indianapolis: The Indiana Historical Records Survey, 1940), 2.
Bloomington's first public land sales
1818, Jun
The first public land sale or auction of lots in the new town of Bloomington takes place on June 22 & 23, with Henry Wampler, E. R. Maxwell, and Jonathan Nichols among the buyers.
Source: Charles Blanchard, The Heritage Collection History and Biography: Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana (F.A. Battey & Co. Publishers, 18884), 453.
Treaty of St. Mary's-New Purchase
1818, Oct
The Indian tribes Potawatomi, Weas, Delawares, and the Miamis were represented in this treaty which saw 8 million acres of land in central Indiana be purchased by the government. The land in north and northeast Monroe County was open to sale after this treaty. Also known as the New Purchase.
Source: Russ F. Lockridge, Sr., The Story of Indiana (Oklahoma City, OK: Harlow Publishing Corp, 1951), 198.
Brick Courthouse Work Begun
1819, Jun
A contract with John Ketchum is signed for construction of a new permanent courthouse on the public square.
Source: Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, and Brown, Indiana (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co, 1884), 383.
State legislature chooses Monroe County for state seminary
1820, Jan 20
The state legislature passes an ordinance to locate two Indiana townships, one in Monroe County, for state seminaries.
Source: Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, and Brown, Indiana (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co, 1884), 477. more...
Seward & Company Opens
1821, Sep
Austin Seward and family move from Kentucky to Bloomington and open a blacksmith shop on the southeast corner of what is now 7th and Walnut streets. The company is in business for 161 years.
Source: "Tells Kiwanis of Foundry 100 Years Old," Evening World, December 5, 1922, 1.
Monroe County boundary change
1821, Dec 31
Land purchased under the the Indian Treaty of St. Mary's in 1818 opens a portion of the county north and east of the "Ten o'clock Line" which had been the original boundary. The added land is opened for settlement.
Source: George Pence and Nellie C. Armstrong, Indiana Historical Collections Vol XIX: Indiana Boundaries (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford Printing Co., 1967), 602-603.
Jackson Township established
1825, Mar
A large township, named Jackson for Andrew Jackson the hero of the battle of New Orleans, is established in the Northeast corner of Monroe County.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'B\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1832), 17.
Salt Creek township established
1825, May
Salt Creek township in eastern and southeastern Monroe county is established by the county commissioners.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'B\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1832), 19.
Courthouse completed
1826
The second county courthouse on the square in Bloomington is completed and occupied.
Source: Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, and Brown, Indiana (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co, 1884), 382-383. more...
First commercial quarry opens
1827
First commercial limestone quarry opened by Richard Gilbert 3/4 mi south of Stinesville, Monroe County.
Source: "Limestone Foundation For Stinesville," Herald Telephone, July 6, 1955, 2.
Bloomington incorporated as town
1827, Mar 5
Citizens of Bloomington meet at the courthouse to vote on incorporating the county seat as a town. The voice vote was 18 for and 3 against incorporation. Election of trustees would be subsequently held.
Source: Charles Blanchard, The Heritage Collection History and Biography: Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana (F.A. Battey & Co. Publishers, 1884), 463. more...
Indiana Seminary becomes Indiana College
1828, Jan 24
Indiana College established from Indiana Seminary.
Source: Woodburn, James A. History of Indiana University Volume I, 1820-1902. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1940. p32
Andrew Wylie elected president of Indiana College
1828, May 5
The Board of Trustees elect Andrew Wylie of Pennsylvania president of the new college.
Source: Charles Blanchard, Counties of Morgan, Monroe, and Brown, Indiana (Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co, 1884), 477. more...
Washington Township Established
1829, Jul
Washington township, named to honor George Washington, is established in northern Monroe County by ordinance of the county commissioners.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'B\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1832), 207.
Richland Township established
1829, Jul
Richland township is established from Bean Blossom township.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'B\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1832), 207.
Perry Township established
1830, May
Perry township is established from the original Seminary township created for use as the State College lands. Perry is named for Oliver Perry, a naval hero in the War of 1812.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'B\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1832), 246.
Benton Township created from Jackson township
1833, May
The new Benton township is created from Jackson township by a line "dividing the land and people as equally from north to south as maybe allowing the eastern part to retain the name of Jackson and calling the western half Benton." Thomas Hart Benton, the US senator from Missouri, is the new township's namesake.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'C\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1839), 111-112.
Richland Platted and Renamed Ellettsville
1837, Feb 13
Richland is mapped and platted but renamed Ellettsville when the name of Richland has already been used as an Indiana post office. The town is renamed for Edward Ellett, an original settler and businessman.
Source: Commissioners Book F: Monroe County, Indiana, 117.
Van Buren township established
1837, Mar
Van Buren township, named for President Martin Van Buren, is established in western Monroe County from Richland and Indian Creek townships.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'C\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1839), 275.
Request for poor farm
1838
Citizens of Monroe County ask county commissioners for a poor farm.
Source: Pam Service, "Karst Farm Park Once Site of Poor Farm," Herald Telephone, May 3, 1990.
Indiana College becomes Indiana University
1838, Feb 13
Indiana State Legislative act adopted changing Indiana College to Indiana University.
Source: James Albert Woodburn, History of Indiana University: Volume I: 1820-1902 (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1940), 110.
Bloomington charter enacted
1845, Jan 13
The General Assembly of the state of Indiana passes the charter, creating the town of Bloomington, establishing boundaries, and laying down governing laws of the town.
Source: Charter of the Town of Bloomington (1845)
Marion township created
1845, Aug
Marion township is created from the northern part of Benton township in northeast Monroe County. The southern boundary of Marion is along the Bean Blossom creek.
Source: Monroe County, IN, Monroe County Commissioners Book \'D\' (Bloomington: Monroe County, 1846), 539.
John Acuff possible superintendent of poor
1846
Prominent citizens recommend that the county purchase the John Acuff farm and make Acuff the superintendent of the poor there. The site is five miles west of town on the road to Spencer.
Source: Pam Service, "Karst Farm Park Once Site of Poor Farm," Herald Telephone, May 3, 1990.
Poor farm committee and superintendent
1846
The idea for a poor farm is revived. The county board purchases 160 acres from John Acuff, who agrees to act as superintendent of the new poor asylum.
Source: Bennett P. Reed, "Abandoning County Farm Radical Change for Monroe County," Herald Telephone, October 3, 1957.
Railroad comes to Ellettsville
1853
The Louisville, New Albany, and Chicago Railroad (later known as the Monon) first comes through Ellettsville. J.M. Campbell is the first railroad agent, and Edward Moberly serves as an a agent and the first telegrapher.
Source: Marion Jacobs, "Ellettsville A Village Grows Where Once a Wilderness Stood Untouched," The Journal, September 12, 1962, 1.
Railroad enters Bloomington
1853, Oct
The New Albany and Salem railroad is built into Bloomington. The railroad was finished through the county until the following summer. A celebration of opening was held on July 4, 1854.
Source: Thomas Carter Perring, "The New Albany-Salem Railroad--Incidents of Road and Men," Indiana magazine of history, January 1, 1919, 356.
Second college building replaces burned first building
1855
Second College building constructed (used for Preparatory Department, 1885-90; sold to Bloomington School Board for use as a high school, 1897). Later known as the Seminary building at Bloomington High School. Razed in 1965.
Source: Theophilus A. Wylie, Indiana University: Its History From 1820, When Founded, to 1890 (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford, 1890), 67.
J.D. Showers comes to Bloomington
1856
J.D. Showers arrives in Bloomington. He was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1841. He takes up the trade of cabinet making and establishes the Showers Brothers Company in 1862.
Source: History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries, and Institutions (Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Co., 1914), 609. more...
Newsletter is sold
1856
Newsletter newspaper is sold to Howard Coe, who changes the title to the Republican.
Source: Miller, John W, Paul Brockman, and Patricia Lucken. Indiana Newspaper Bibliography: Historical Accounts of All Indiana Newspapers Published from 1804 to 1980 and Locational Information for All Available Copies, Both Original and Microfilm. Indianapolis: I
City government dissolved
1858, Jan 1
Bloomington citizen's held a vote to dissolve the city as a corporation. They were motivated by unfair taxes and poor road conditions.
Source: Charles Blanchard, The Heritage Collection History and Biography: Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana (F.A. Battey & Co. Publishers, 1884), 465,466.
Catholics celebrate first Mass in church
1864, Jul 19
St. Patrick's Catholic Church sells two lots on west Fourth Street bought previously, to buy for $600 the Baptist church on the S.E. corner of Fourth and Madison. Church is later called St. Charles.
Source: Mary A Waldron Ph. D., History of St. Charles Catholic Church: Including an Early Synoptic History of the County and City (Bloomington: Catholic Diocese, 1934), 22.
Capture of Richmond celebrated
1865, Apr 4
Word is received of the capture of Richmond, Virginia, capital of the Confederacy. Bloomington citizens celebrate long into the night on the town square with a bonfire, volleys of musketry, and patriotic music. The celebration continues on April 7.
Source: "Mammoth celebration held in Bloomington when Gen. Lee surrenders." Bloomington Evening World, 16 January 1922: 1. Microform.
First woman I.U. student
1867, Jan 1
The first woman student, Sarah Parke Morrison, is admitted to Indiana University. By 1871 there were 32 women. They were admitted by the same criteria, and studied for the same degrees, as men. She became an Adjunct Professor of English Literature. Morrison Hall in the Wells Quadrangle is named after her.
Source: Thornbrough, Emma Lou. Indiana in the Civil War Era, 1850-1880. Vol. 3. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau & Historical Society, 1965. Pp. 507-08. more...
Annual appropriations begin for IU
1867, Jan 1
Legislative act begins annual appropriations for Indiana University, March 8.
Source:
Democrat begins publication
1868
Democrat begins publication, a newspaper introduced by Thomas C. Purcell. In 1872 the printing office is destroyed by fire.
Source: Miller, John W, Paul Brockman, and Patricia Lucken. Indiana Newspaper Bibliography: Historical Accounts of All Indiana Newspapers Published from 1804 to 1980 and Locational Information for All Available Copies, Both Original and Microfilm. Indianapolis: I
Democrat destroyed by fire
1872
Democrat, a newspaper introduced by Thomas C. Purcell in 1868, is destroyed by fire.
Source: Miller, John W, Paul Brockman, and Patricia Lucken. Indiana Newspaper Bibliography: Historical Accounts of All Indiana Newspapers Published from 1804 to 1980 and Locational Information for All Available Copies, Both Original and Microfilm. Indianapolis: I
Moss becomes IU president
1875
Lemuel Moss (1875-84) named sixth IU president.
Source: Burton Dorr Myers, Trustees and Officers of Indiana University 1820 to 1950 (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1951), 465-466. more...
Bloomington incorporated by narrow margin
1876
The incorporation of Bloomington as a city passes a vote by its citizens, 184-169.
Source: John Fancher, "Early Citizens Evenly Divided- Incorporation Not Popular," Herald Telephone, October 14, 1975.
Fire destroys west side of square
1883, Mar 16
Fire destroys west side of square.
Source: "After the Fire. Counting up the Loss." Bloomington Telephone (Bloomington, IN), March 24, 1883.
Dunn sells land to IU
1883
Dunn's Woods, located east of downtown Bloomington, is purchased from Moses F. Dunn by the IU board of trustees.
Source: Thomas D. Clark, Indiana University: Midwestern Pioneer, Volume 1 Early Years (Bloomington & London: Indiana University Press, 1970), 139-140. more...
First intercollegiate African American athlete
1893
Preston Eagleson becomes the first African American athlete to be a member of an intercollegiate team at Indiana University. Eagleson is considered a prominent member of the African American community in Bloomington, and plays as a halfback during the years 1893-95.
Source: Thomas D. Clark, Indiana University: Midwestern Pioneer, Volume 1 Early Years (Bloomington & London: Indiana University Press, 1970), 321. more...
First African American IU athlete
1893
Preston Eagleson becomes the first African American to don the Cream and Crimson for IU as a halfback for the IU Football team.
Source: Colin Bishop, "Eagelson first black IU athlete," Herald Times, February 7, 2008, A1.
GAR post established
1896
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post No. 558 is named for John Gann and is located in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana.
Source: Northcott, Dennis. Indiana Civil War Veterans: Transcription of the Death Rolls of the Department of Indiana, Grand Army of the Republic, 1882-1948. St. Louis, Mo: D. Northcott, 2005. Print. Page 363
New opera house
1897, Jan 19
Architect John Lincoln Nichols is to design a new opera house for the city of Bloomington. The theater is supposed to cost approximately $12,000 and should be near the square on North Walnut Street. This new opera house will also be made of Monroe County stone. The eventual name will be the Harris Grand Theatre.
Source: "New Opera House: Plans Being Drawn for a Nice Theater, Outside Parties Would Like to Make the Investment," Bloomington World, January 19, 1897, 1. more...
First African American woman enrolls
1898, Jan
Carrie Parker becomes the first African American woman to enroll at Indiana University, 21 years prior to Frances Marshall's 1919 graduation as the first African American female to attain an IU degree.
Source: Marcela Creps, "Pioneer vs. prejudice," Herald Times, September 2, 2015, A, 1, 6. more...
First Presbyterian Church dedicated
1901, Jun 23
Dedicatory services are held for members of the new First Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of 6th and Lincoln Streets. The previous building on Walnut Street was destroyed in a fire in 1899. The estimated cost of the new limestone church on 6th Street was $15,791 and the final cost was $30,000.
Source: "Presbyterians Refurbishing Building: Church Mission Not Lost in Excitement," Daily Herald-Telephone, April 6, 1972, 8. more...
Hospital opening announced
1905, Nov 27
It is announced that, during this week, the Bloomington Hospital will open for public inspection. The idea for the hospital originated with the Local Council of Women. The first patient to be admitted will be Dr. CH Eigenmann. Local man Joe Kadison surprises the council by donating $100 to the hospital fund.
Source: "To Open Hospital," Bloomington World, November 27, 1905.
First African American to earn Master's
1906
Preston Eagelson, the first African American athlete at IU, returns to IU to further his education, becoming the first African American to earn a MA from Indiana University in 1906.
Source: Colin Bishop, "Eagelson first black IU athlete," Herald Times, February 7, 2008, A1. more...
Courthouse cornerstone laid
1907, May 10
A Masonic ceremony for the new courthouse construction is witnessed by thousands.
Source: "Cornerstone Laid With Impressive Masonic Ceremony," Evening World, May 10, 1907, Front, 1. more...
Showers Factory Plant #1 built
1909
The Showers factory plant is built with a saw tooth roof line to let natural light into the building. Later the building would become the Bloomington City Hall.
Source: City of Bloomington Interim Report: Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory (Bloomington: City of Bloomington, 2004), 21.
Kappa Alpha Psi founded
1911, Jan 5
Kappa Alpha Psi,a predominantly black fraternity, is founded at Indiana University by 10 African American students.
Source: Donyelle Davis, "Predominantly black fraternity's 1911 founding at IU to be celebrated this week," Herald Times Online, July 6, 2011, N/A. more...
First airplane flies in Bloomington
1911, Oct 11
Horace Kearney, early aviator, flies his airplane in Dunn Meadow for the first flight ever in Monroe County. He snags a barbed wire fence while taking off, and only gains enough altitude to crash land without life-threatening injuries.
Source: "Kearney Falls But Will Live," Bloomington Telephone, October 18, 1911. more...
Roof expected for city hall soon
1915, Jul 8
It is reported that, after squabbles, the new city hall will be ready in two weeks, after the roof is placed by Contractor Weaver under the supervision of Architect Nichols. The building is expected to be completed by December.
Source: "New City Hall Going Up," Weekly Star, July 8, 1915. more...
First Black Woman Graduates IU
1919
Frances Elizabeth Marshall becomes the first African American woman to graduate from Indiana University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
Source: Jessi Perkinson, "Center honors first blacks to graduate from IU," Herald Times, February 5, 2008, N/A (clipping).
First Christian dedicates church
1919, Sep 28
First Christian Church dedicates its new building on Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington.
Source: Virginia Barnard, "First Christian Church With Its Compact Organization 'Looks Ahead' Into Future," Bloomington Telephone, February 26, 1938. more...
Princess Theatre fire
1924, Feb 1
Major fire damages the Princess Theatre, Sutherland's Shoe Store and The Woodmen Lodge, 208 N. Morton.
Source: "Local Business District Has Another Costly Blaze." Bloomington Daily Telephone (Bloomington, IN), February 1, 1924.
Largest Fire in History of Bloomington
1924, Mar 24
Property loss of $378,400 as fire destroys H.B. Gentry Building, 100 S. College Avenue. Businesses lost in 5-hour firefight include: Bowles Drugstore, Shaffer's Grocery, White's Poolroom, Clark's Barbershop, Virly Sewing Machine Co., among others.
Source: "$348,400 Disastrous Fire Last Evening." Bloomington Daily Telephone (Bloomington, IN), March 25, 1924. more...
24 limestone companies merge
1926, May 21
Beginning of major consolidation of companies in the Indiana limestone district with the organization of the Indiana Limestone Company merging of 24 companies.
Source: Shewmaker, Sherman N. Quarry Quest. A Field Trip Guide to the Indiana Limestone District, Monroe and Lawrence Counties, Indiana, 1991.
IU hires McMillin
1934, Mar 7
Indiana University signs Bo McMillin as their new football coach.
Source: "City News Events of 1934 on Parade ," Evening World, January 1, 1935. more...
Monroe County Jail fire
1935, Feb 6
Fire destroys Monroe County Jail, 116 S. Walnut. All firefighters called to duty in general alarm fire. Five firefighters flee building as roof collapses.
Source: "Night Fire Leaves Jail In Ruins; Police to Set Up Bastile in City Hall." Bloomington Evening World (Bloomington, IN), February 7, 1935.
Delta Tau Delta fire
1935, Feb 11
Fire destroys Delta Tau Delta House, 408 N. Lincoln.
Source: "Fire Razes Fraternity Home." Bloomington Evening World (Bloomington, IN), February 12, 1935.
Herman B Wells named acting president
1937
He was named eleventh president in 1938. (Indiana University Archives P0023340)
Source: Burton Dorr Myers, Trustees and Officers of Indiana University 1820 to 1950 (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1951), 482. more...
Monroe and Owen courts separated
1937, Feb 26
The bill to separate the court circuits of Monroe County and Owen County passes 87 to 8 by the Indiana House.
Source: "Chronicle of Daily Events During 1937 in Bloomington and about Monroe County," Evening World, January 1, 1938, 6. more...
Herman B Wells named eleventh president
1938
He served from 1938 to 1962. (Indiana University Archives P0023826)
Source: Burton Dorr Myers, Trustees and Officers of Indiana University 1820 to 1950 (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1951), 482. more...
University Experimental School opens
1938, Sep
Indiana University creates University School to promote educational growth in teaching and education.
Source: Bender, Pearson, and Kelly, Jordannus: From Kindergarten to College (Indianapolis: Indianapolis Engraving, 1939), 3-5. more...
RCA to open
1940, Feb 22
RCA Manufacturing Company, Inc. announces that it has purchased the plant No. 4 of the Showers Brothers Furniture Company on south Rogers Street and plans to open a factory there that would employ between 600-700 people. RCA is the world's largest manufacturers of radio products.
Source: "1940 Chronology," Evening World, December 31, 1940.
Fire destroys old mill
1940, May 21
Thousands watch as firemen battle a two-hour blaze at one of Bloomington's oldest buildings. The repeatedly condemned brick storage, on Morton Street just south of Sixth Street, is destroyed by fire the day before it is scheduled to be demolished.
Source: "Spectacular fire destroys ancient mill." Bloomington Telephone (Bloomington, IN), May 22, 1940.
Fire damages Walnut St. businesses
1942, Jul 2
Fire spreads from Harris Grande Theatre, 222 North Walnut Street, to Sandy's Lunch Counter, The Grande Liquor Store and the A.O. Nolan building before being controlled.
Source: "Harris Grand Destroyed by Fire." Bloomington Daily Telephone (Bloomington, IN), July 3, 1942. more...
C.I.O. Union building fire
1946, Apr 27
Fire causes major damage at C.I.O. Union building on West Fifth Street in Bloomington.
Source: "Blaze Wrecks Historic House on West Side." World Telephone (Bloomington, IN), April 29, 1946.
Fire damages 6th St. businesses
1946, Oct 20
Fire at 112 East Sixth Street damages Public Service Company, Wylie Furniture, and R&S Shoe Company, as well as three apartments.
Source: "Fire Damages Public Service Company Office." World Telephone (Bloomington, IN), October 21, 1946.
Worst loss of life in fire department history
1949, Aug 10
Sixteen people burn to death after being trapped in Greyhound bus wreckage.
Source: "15 Are Dead in Bus Crash." World Telephone (Bloomington, IN), August 10, 1949.
Television station begins broadcasting
1949, Nov
Sarkes Tarzian obtains a television license and begins broadcasting with the call letters WTTV. It is the second TV broadcast station in Indiana, located in the smallest broadcasting community in the US.
Source: "WTTV To Give Test Signals Soon," Daily Telephone, February 5, 1949.
First Little 500
1951
The Indiana Little 500, an all-campus bicycle race, takes place for the first time. The event is founded by Howdy Wilcox Jr., executive director the Indiana University Student Foundation, to raise money for a scholarship fund. Some 7,000 spectators arrive at the event, including reporters from various newspapers around the state. The South Hall Buccaneers are victorious.
Source: John Schwarb, The Little 500: The Story of the World's Greatest College Weekend (Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999), 1-16. more...
Lake Lemon finished and filled
1953, Jul
To supplement the area's water supply, Bean Blossom Reservoir is completed. The dam will ultimately trap 5 billion gallons of water and cover almost 2000 acres of land.
Source: Bruce Temple, "'Lemon-Aid' Flows Freely In Solving City Water Famine," Herald Telephone, July 9, 1953, Front Page, 1, 20.
Fairview school is demolished
1954, Jun 25
Demolition begins on the old Fairview school, located on West 7th Street. It was once known as the most beautiful building in Bloomington. Image courtesy of Indiana Historical Society.
Source: Pauline Griffin Garn, "Looking Back: Vivid memories abound from student of old Fairview school," Herald Telephone, November 18, 1978. more...
Cook Inc. founded
1963, Jul
Cook Inc. founded in the three bedroom apartment of Bill and Gayle Cook at Bart Villa, an apartment complex on 2nd Street in Bloomington.
Source: Bob Hammel, The Bill Cook Story: Biography of a visionary Indiana billionaire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008), 77-80.
Pete and Purcells burns
1964, Aug 13
Fire destroys Pete and Purcells Storage Company.
Source: No Headline. Daily Herald Telephone (Bloomington, IN), August 14, 1964.
Monroe Reservoir filling begins
1965, Feb 1
Monroe Reservoir goes into operation with the closing of the gates at the dam. It is Indiana's largest man-made lake created by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. It covers 10,750 acres with water and 23,952 acres of property along it's shore. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to turn over administration to the maintenance and operation division of the Corps, completing the flood control project which began in July 1958.
Source: "Reservoir Gates To Close," Herald Telephone, January 27, 1965, Front, 1. more...
First Black Bloomington Police Officer
1967, Apr 1
Vietnam War veteran and Bloomington High School graduate Charles Brown becomes first African American police officer in Bloomington history.
Source: Colin Bishop, "Black History Month Profiles: Brown was city's first black police officer," Herald Times, February 18, 2008, N/A (clipping).
Central Junior High School burns
1967, Apr 6
65 firefighters and all available equipment are pressed into service in a general alarm fire that destroys Central Junior High School.
Source: "Historic Central High Burns in One of City's Worst Disasters.," Daily Herald Telephone, April 6, 1967.
Indiana University Library burns
1969, Feb 17
Firefighters battle high heat and heavy smoke to keep a fire in the Indiana University Library's sub-basement from extending vertically.
Source: "500,000 Book Damage in IU Fire." Daily Herald Telephone (Bloomington, IN), February 18, 1969. more...
Jordan Hall fire
1975, Apr 15
Fire at Jordan Hall on the Indiana University campus destroys 3 years of microbiology research and causes $80,000 damage.
Source: "Jordan Hall fire guts laboratory, researtch." Daily Herald Telephone (Bloomington, IN), April 15, 1975.
Blizzard of '78
1978, Jan 25
The blizzard of 1978 paralyzed Monroe County, closing most businesses and even Indiana University with up to 18 inches of snow and strong winds.
Source: "A walk down a snow-drifted memory lane," Sunday Herald-Times, January 28, 1979, 43.
45 boats destroyed in fire
1990, Mar 21
Fire in a boat storage building destroys 45 boats at Keith's Paynetown Boathouse, resulting in one million dollars in estimated damage.
Source: "Fire destroys business, 45 boats." The Herald Times (Bloomington, IN), March 22, 1990.
HoosierNet goes online
1995, Oct 16
HoosierNet goes online to serve the Bloomington and Monroe County community with at cost internet. It will operate from the third floor of the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL).
Source: Steve Hinnefeld, "HoosierNet goes on-line with 'anchor tenants'," Herald Times, October 17, 1995, B, 1.
RCA/Thomson closes factory
1998, Mar 27
After 58 years in Bloomington, the RCA plant closes and relocates to Mexico.
Source: Laura Lane, "End of the Line," Herald Times, March 29, 1998, Front, 1, 11.
Herman B Wells dies
2000
University Chancellor dies at 97. (Indiana University Archives P0034223)
Source: Indiana University Archives more...
IU graduate student dies in fire
2002, Dec 3
A fire on South Grant Street causes the death of an Indiana University graduate student.
Source: "IU Creative Writing Student Dies in Apartment Fire." The Herald Times (Bloomington, IN), December 4, 2002.
Three IU students killed
2004, May 22
Three IU students are killed on Indiana Avenue.
Source: "IU Students Die In Fire." The Herald times (Bloomington, IN), May 23, 2004.

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