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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.

Mishawaka

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?
Probable
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 3352 19
1900
1910 11,886 25
1920 19,457 23
1930 28,630 51
1940 28,298 51
1950
1960 33,361 183
1970 35,517 107
1980 40,201 434
1990 42,608 678
2000 46,557 1659 649 200 1297
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Other

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

email 2/2008

I grew up in Mishawaka until my family moved in December 1954 when I was almost 14. There were very few blacks in town. One black family moved in on my street, E. Stanley St. off of Main St. north of downtown. They had teenage son who became my best friend. I also had a black Scoutmaster of my Boy Scout Troop. I remember one other black family living in the south part of town which had one or more children in my Jr. High School, Main Jr. High. At the time, Mishawaka’s population was around 35,000, as I recall.

***

An Indiana resident remembers that %u201Cin about 1964, Mishawaka did an urban renewal project that removed blacks. It promised they could come back when new housing was constructed, but that never happened. Also, the school system hired a black teacher to teach fifth grade at Emmons School. His life was threatened and he lasted less than a year. I do remember very clearly was that there was a black Pentacostal church in the area bounded by the urban renewal which was torn down and not rebuilt. Also, prior to the urban renewal, many of my playmates were black children and afterward there were none.%u201D

Another former Mishawaka resident writes, %u201CThe Mishawaka story was just that I was only aware of a couple of black families in town in the early 50s. They came to our church a couple blocks east of downtown. The church was originally German Evangelical, but was Evangelical and Reformed until becoming the United Church of Christ the late 1950s. It was all white except for those two families, and likely had been all white in earlier decades. In any case, the city received urban renewal funds, demolished their homes, and they moved to South Bend in the mid to later 1950s. South Bend had a larger black population.%u201D