Home » Indiana » North Manchester

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

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

North Manchester


Basic Information

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

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
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
1920 2711 1
1930 2765 1
1940 3170 0
1950 3977 4
1960 4377 2
1970 5791 31 6
1990 6383 48
2000 6260 58
2010 6112 68 47 21

Method of Exclusion

  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • German Protestant
  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


A North Manchester resident writes,
%u201CThe town for last half of Twentieth century is rather sharply divided between the college educated who have a more worldly perspective and the working class/many functionally illiterate group with a strong Kentucky influence..
Settled by many Germans of antislavery tradition… some Quakers… a Station of the Underground in town which was not supported by everyone but anyone trying to catch escaping slave met a stone wall of resistance…No slave was ever caught after they reached N. Manchester.
There were a few blacks in area from early times… one or two “our blacks” in town who were generally popular.
Klan was active in 1910s and 20s…. met in town though I know of no violence in this particular area… much violence in areas not far away.. and the influence of Klan in Indiana is matter of public record. Current activity in surrounding area… students in my classes told how they were recruited in their high schools. Many came to college with considerable fear of blacks and prejudice.
There may have been a “sundown” sign outside of town… no easy proof… but surely that would have been the attitude for 100 years or more…but always excepting “our blacks” maybe a student who came to Manchester College or someone “sponsored” by a respected member of the community. In more recent times especially after the 60’s there has always been trouble with College students… They are watched in stores, etc. Faculty and other black employees of the College have an uncomfortable life and their kids have a bad school experience. They usually resign within four years or move to Ft. Wayne to have a community. I think some realtors would try to discourage blacks from buying a house, but I don’t know anyone who has tried. Even children of color adopted by white parents have had a lot of trouble. So there is no question but that this was a heavily prejudiced town still is %u2013 I haven%u2019t found an actual ordinance %u2013 and there were always a few blacks but still some now would avoid a check out lane at the grocery store with black attendant.
I should make clear that the difficulties arise from the No. 2 part of town….
The dynamic continues. The College enrollment continues to be more diversified… Many Spanish speaking , 75 international… more American blacks… and the town has experienced a notable increase of mostly Mexican workers in our major industries… especially since we have a reputation as more friendly to Spanish that many other towns around us.%u201D