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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.

Whitestown

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?
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
1930
1940
1950
1960 613 0
1970 569 0
1980
1990
2000 471 467 0 0 3 4
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

Main Ethnic Group(s)

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

A former Whitestown resident writes,
“When we lived in Whitestown, I was working in an insurance office when a couple of black ladies came in to apply for a job and everybody got uptight until someone said, “That’s what the [EEOC] sign is for,” meaning that they complied by putting up the sign, not by hiring. And of course Indiana is where Ryan White was treated so badly, not that such things didn’t happen a lot of places.”
There is also an oral tradition that a black family moved into a home near the rr and the house was damaged irreparably shortly thereafter.

According to an African American who grew up near Whitestown, people in their fifties (asked in year 2011) “vividly recall signs declaring the town to be off limits to people of color into the 1970s.” Sometimes the signs were professionally made, while other times they were thrown together, but the overall message was clear.