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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.

Salem

Indiana

Basic Information

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

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
1860
Still Sundown?
Probably

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 2836 0
1930 3194 0
1940 3194 0
1950
1960 4546 0
1970 5041 0 9
1980
1990 5619 15 0
2000 6172 2 15 13 26
2010 6319 28 35 16
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Violent ExpulsionReputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

An Indiana lawyer remembers seeing sundown town signs himself.
The town legend goes like this:
%u201CA black family lived in a house in Washington Co. but near the Orange Co. line. The house was mysteriously burned while family was out. Black people were not permitted to stop in town (Salem), but were escorted by police to county line. There are still no blacks in Washington County.%u201D
According to the Washington County Historical Society, the Quakers brought blacks with them when they settled here in 1809 to 1811. They lived here peacefully until 1860. Then Horace Heffren and the Knights of the Golden Circle ran them out of the county. The Quaker minutes said there were no blacks living here after 1864, most leaving in 1863.”