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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1920 4172 62
1930 4408 21
1940 4801 18
1950 5147 13
1970 5600 2
1990 5709 4
2000 6260 29 7 5
2010 5148 18 12 6

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


One Indiana resident remembers that Tipton, Elwood and Alexandria, all on State Road 28, each had the “Sundown” signs at the city limits. He saw those signs personally many times when he was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s. Another resident recalls a Sundown sign in Alexandria as well in the 1950s.

%u201C’Living in Alex and knowing I was the only black person in town wasn%u2019t a comfortable situation,’ [Christopher Hayes] said. ‘It was different walking to the store and to the park and to the library.’%u201D
He moved there in 2011. “Uncomfortable inviting his family and friends to his home or frequenting Alexandria%u2019s restaurants %u2014 one of which he heard was a hangout for white supremacists %u2014 Hayes, 30, worked and socialized primarily in Anderson.
“Hayes said he believed the reaction he received as he walked through Alexandria was rooted more in fear than in hate.” — Rebecca R. Bibbs, “Madison County communities strive to overcome ‘sundown town’ reputation ,” Herald Bulletin, 4/3/2016, heraldbulletin.com/news/madison-county-communities-strive-to-overcome-sundown-town-reputation/article_51e21ccd-63bc-5cea-a47b-3278d3eb3020.html.