A Short History of Greenfield, IN

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The abuse attorneys from Greenfield bring you the following article about the city. We are thrilled to take you along with us in learning about our local communities.

Brief History of Greenfield

Greenfield is a city within Hancock County, Indiana. It is situated in Center Township and is part of the Indianapolis metropolitan area. On April 11, 1828, the town of Greenfield was chosen as the county seat of the newly formed Hancock County – named after the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock.

Early settlers of the area built establishments along its two creeks. The first businesses in the town were small gristmills for grinding wheat and corn. Around 1835, the National Road (U.S. Route 40) was built through the county. The Indiana Central Railroad constructed the first steam railroad at the south edge of Greenfield in 1853. In 1876, the town of Greenfield was incorporated as a city. The city became a boomtown for 20 years when natural gas was discovered in the area in 1887. Manufacturing plants and other industries all relocated to the city.

As of the 2010 census, Greenfield has a population of 20,602 people and a total area of 12.662 square miles. It is located within proximity to the communities of Mohawk, Maxwell, Riley, Westland, Fountaintown, Carrollton, Philadelphia and Spring Lake. Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway (Interstate 70) and Main Street (U.S. Route 40) runs parallel east to west through the city. State Street (Indiana State Road 9) bisects the city going north and south.

Also learn about the City of Shelbyville, Indiana.

Historic Sites

Among the many establishments and landmarks in Greenfield, there are a number of them that hold historical significance to the city. Those that have been added to the National Historic District (NRHP) are:

  • Greenfield Courthouse Square Historic District
  • Greenfield Residential Historic District
  • Charles Barr House
  • James Whitcomb Riley House
  • Lilly Biological Laboratories
  • Lincoln Park School

Riley Birthplace and Museum

The Riley Birthplace and Museum were built in 1847 and served as the birthplace and childhood home of noted Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. Constructed by A. Reuben Riley, a local attorney and Greenfield's first mayor, it was of the Italian Villa architectural style. Located on West Main Street, it is now the James Whitcomb Boyhood Home and Museum. Owned by the City of Greenfield and operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation, it is open to the public the first Tuesday of April until the last Saturday of October on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission fees are $4 for adults, $1.50 for children 6-17, and $1 for student tours. On September 28, 1977, the Riley Birthplace and Museum was listed on the NRHP.

Riley Park

Riley Park is a 40-acre park in Greenfield. The feature park of the city, it offers a great place for residents and visitors to spend some recreational time with families and friends. Open from dawn to dusk, amenities provided at the park include:

  • Brandywine creek
  • Pool
  • Splash Pad
  • Playgrounds
  • Picnic tables
  • Sledding hill
  • Basketball courts
  • Tennis and Pickle Ball courts
  • Skate Park
  • Baseball fields
  • Paved walking trails
  • Open field
  • Disc golf course

Park-goers can play tennis, baseball, basketball, swim or go fishing. Rentals are also available for the Riley Park Pavilion, Riley Park East Pavilion, Splash Pad Pavilion, Riley Pool and Shelter House. In addition, the Patricial Elmore Senior Center, Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department, Chapel in the Park Museum and The Old Log Jail can be found at Riley Park.

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