Home » Indiana » Chandler

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

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

Chandler

Indiana

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

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Don’t Know
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
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
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960 1784 0
1970 2032 0 4
1980
1990 3099 6
2000 3094 11 3
2010 2887 8 3 4
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

An Indiana State Trooper, related that Chandler had a sign, and the first black family moved in about 1979. A cross was burned in their yard and “they were run off.” A second family two years later, was not molested, and their children graduated from the local high school.
A minister and former Chandler resident writes,
%u201CI was appointed to serve as pastor at a church in Chandler in 2001. In a women’s group meeting a couple of the women were talking about the racism of the community and one mentioned that there had been a sign posted on one of the roads to town. The sign is no longer there. I did not see it and do not know when it might have been posted, for how long, or when it might have been removed. The probability of the story being accurate is high not only because of the character of the woman making the statement, but because of the cultural character of the community. In the 1980s when Chandler was searching for a new town slogan, a friend of mine said, “They already have one.” Then he proceeded to quote a phrase well known about sunset towns. The cultural lore surrounding the town of Chandler speaks volumes as to its history as a sun set town.
During my time as pastor in the town I witnessed first hand evidence that the cultural roots of this sunset town are still producing poisonous fruit even today. When a black man, his white wife and their children moved into a house across from the street, members of the community were dropping off their children at a preschool located in the church building. The words of hatred, violence and intolerance were prevalent. Within a few days the family moved. This was in the fall of 2001. In 2003, as I was driving I witnessed a car in front of me pull over to the side of the road. As I stopped to help, I noticed the car lot at the edge of town closed its blinds and door. The occupants of the car were three black females, possibly a mother, daughter, and granddaughter. I offered my telephone and any other assistance. They made arrangements to have a friend pick them up. I walked up to the car lot door and to no surprise of mine it was locked. I knocked and stood there until someone answered the door. I noticed several people inside and told them that a car had broken down and that there was someone en route to assist the ladies. With a pinch of disgust in my voice toward the people inside who locked their business doors, I stated, “I just wanted you to know.”