Bedford, Indiana

Bedford, Indiana

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Bedford, Indiana
settlement_type = City
nickname = Bloomfield

imagesize =
image_caption =


imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in the state of Indiana

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Indiana
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Lawrence
subdivision_type3 = Township
subdivision_name3 = Shawswick
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Shawna Michelle Girgis (I)
area_note =
established_date =
area_magnitude = 1 E7
area_total_km2 = 30.8
area_land_km2 = 30.8
area_water_km2 = 0.0
population_as_of = 2006
population_note =
population_total = 13570
population_density_km2 = 446.7
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
area_total_sq_mi = 11.9
area_land_sq_mi = 11.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.0
elevation_m = 209
elevation_ft = 686
latd = 38 |latm = 51 |lats = 46 |latNS = N
longd = 86 |longm = 29 |longs = 32 |longEW = W
website =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 47421
area_code = 812
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 18-04114GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0450667GR|3
footnotes =

Bedford is a city in Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana, United States. The population was 13,768 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Lawrence County.GR|6


Bedford is located at coor dms|38|51|46|N|86|29|32|W|city (38.862728, -86.492329).GR|1

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.9 square miles (30.8 km²), all of it land.

Early History

Founded as a town and the county seat of Lawrence County, Indiana, United States around 1825. The original county seat was in Palestine, 4 miles to the south, but was moved, at the instigation of the legislature, to a new location as the original location near the White River was deemed unhealthy because of malaria caused by mosquitoes. The new site was named Bedford at the suggestion of a prominent local businessman, Joseph Rawlins, who had relocated to the area from Bedford County, Tennessee. [ [ An Early History of St. Vincent De Paul Church] ]

The city received a charter in 1889. [ [ Google Books EB1911 pg. 620] ]


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 13,768 people, 6,054 households, and 3,644 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,157.1 people per square mile (446.7/km²). There were 6,618 housing units at an average density of 556.2/sq mi (214.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.87% White, 0.79% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population.

There were 6,054 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 21.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,022, and the median income for a family was $39,462. Males had a median income of $31,956 versus $22,578 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,649. About 7.4% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Sports Teams and History

*Bedford Stonecutters (High School) 1890-1973
*Bedford North Lawrence Stars 1974-present

The Bedford North Lawrence High School is known for its basketball and golf programs. The boys' basketball team, captained by Damon Bailey, won a state title in 1990. The girls won state titles in 1983 and 1991. The boys' golf ranks 3rd in Indiana in sectional championships with 20, and second in regionals with 7, having produced dozens of college players including PGA Tour Pro Craig Bowden. They have appeared in state finals many times and have numerous top five finishes. The BNL Boys Golf team holds the IHSAA record in all sports for most Finals trips without a championship with 27.

Notable Residents

*Actor Claude Akins was raised in Bedford, although he was born in Nelson, Georgia.

*Bedford North Lawrence High School and Indiana University basketball star Damon Bailey was born and raised in nearby Heltonville, which funnels its students into BNL.

*Astronaut Charles Walker was born in Bedford, and astronaut Kenneth Bowersox was raised in Bedford.

*NHL tough guy Donald Brashear was born in Bedford.

*Sociologist James S. Coleman was born in Bedford.

*World famous golf instructors Jim Flick and Mark Wood were born and raised in Bedford.

*Famous Artist William T. Wiley was raised in Bedford, Indiana.


Bedford is known as the limestone capital of the world, and is surrounded by limestone quarries, many of which are dangerously used by the residents for swimming. A common name for the light gray Indiana limestone quarried in south central Indiana is "Bedford limestone", or "Bedford Oolitic limestone". Much of the limestone used in the construction of various Washington, D.C. monuments was quarried in the Bedford area, and Bedford received $700,000 in grants from the federal government to build an eight-story replica of the Great Pyramid out of local limestone; however, the work was never completed, [] although an 800-foot limestone replica of the Great Wall of China was built. Construction took place in 1981 and cost $20,000. Limestone from a nearby quarry, called the "Empire Quarry", was used to build the Empire State Building in New York City.

Bedford is also home to an automotive plant run by General Motors.


*No Interstate highways are nearby; the closest is Interstate 65, approximately 35 miles (56 km) east.
*U.S. Highway 50 goes through the heart of the city, connecting Bedford with Seymour to the east, and Vincennes to the west. Travel through Southern Indiana is often somewhat inconvenient, however, due to the hilly nature of the area.
*State Road 37 connects Bedford to Bloomington to the north and Mitchell to the south.
*Bedford is served by two railroads: CSX Transportation, via its former Monon Railroad line to Louisville, Kentucky; and the Canadian Pacific Railway, on its former Milwaukee Road line to Terre Haute, Indiana with connections to Chicago. (The Canadian Pacific line was sold to the Indiana Rail Road, on July 1, 2006.)


Bedford is the home of Oakland City University School of Adult and Extended Learning []

Bedford was also originally offered to have Indiana University built in its city, instead of Bloomington. However, the city declined this offer for unclear reasons.

Profiles of Bedford

Bedford, Indiana was featured as the subject of an hour-long PBS special entitled [ "Our Town: Bedford"] , first aired in May 2006. It was produced by PBS affiliate WTIU in Bloomington, Indiana.

Nearby points of interest

* Nashville, Indiana
* Bluespring Caverns
* Spring Mill State Park
* West Baden Springs Hotel
* Indiana Wesleyan University offers Master's level courses available at Bedford North Lawrence High School.

External links

* [ Official Website for "Our Town: Bedford"]
* [ Bedford Community Website]
* [ Bedford's local newspaper, "The Times-Mail"]
* [ Bedford's Official City Web Site]

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