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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.

Merrillville

Indiana

Basic Information

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

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Possible
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Don’t Know
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
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970 15896 2 20
1980
1990 27257 1367
2000 30560 6987 460 100 2950
2010 35246 15673 421 70
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Violence Towards Newcomers

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

A Merrillville resident writes,
%u201CIn my area surrounding Gary, many communities became unofficial sundown towns. In fact, in Gary itself, the Calumet River was a dividing line between Gary and its suburb Glen Park which was a part of the city. But the rule was no Blacks in Glen Park after dark. The area outside of Gary is still quite segregated. The town of Whiting I was told was the same. No Blacks allowed anytime.

In Merrillville, a Black family lived there during the war. They tried to burn them out but they stayed. Until 1957, the only Black to attend and graduate from Merrillville, Beverly Wells, was from that family.

Merrillville school population is now approaching 30% Black. Of course, Gary population is now 95% Black. In East Chicago, the harbor separated Indiana Harbor into two areas with high schools in both areas, one for hispanics and one for whites.%u201D