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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?
Surely Not

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1930 1042 0
1940 1136 0
1950 1578 0
1970 5751 1 5
2000 14520 47 113 25 172 15
2010 21285 462 337 31

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence
  • Violence Towards Newcomers
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


email 1/8/2008:

I have been a resident of Brownsburg since 1971. The local paper only reported the house catching on fire sometime in the mid 70s or early 80s. A local real estate agent told me about the incident. I had one volunteer fireman, from a different town, tell me that volunteer fire departments were set up to prevent Blacks and other minorities from moving into an area. Until very recently Blacks were stopped in the county for DWB (driving while black). I saw that several times. The Fire Department in Brownsburg is no longer a volunteer one. Blacks are moving into the area and serve on the Police Force. Hispanics are also moving into the area working at the many distribution centers. Of course the further you move away from Indianapolis into the rural areas, not much has changed. I do know around that time the KKK had a rally at the Danville, IN Courthouse. That was reported in the paper.

During the first gulf war a group of doctors were threatened and left the town because they looked like terrorists. In fact I believe they came from India. There was an article in the local paper.

A former Brownsburg resident writes that her mother had heard from numerous people that sundown signs used to exist. The former resident had had memories from her childhood in the 1970s of rumors spreading around my school that they had been chased out by fire (crosses burning or something of that nature). Her mother told her that a black family moved in and their house burned to the ground. She said that some people said they did it for insurance purposes and that the family moved away.
A former teacher also told her that students in the 1970s wore KKK robes to school on Halloween and nothing was done about it.