The City of South Bend, Indiana

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The abuse law firm in South Bend brings you this article about the city. We are thrilled to assist you in learning more about our local communities like South Bend.

All About South Bend

South Bend is a city in Indiana situated near the southernmost bend –its namesake – of the St. Joseph River. The county seat of St. Joseph County, it was home to the Miami tribe and the Potawatomi tribe before English settlement.

In 1820, Pierre Frieschutz Navarre settled near the present-day downtown of South Bend. A trading post called the Big St. Joseph Station was established by Alexis Coquillard. He, like Navarre, was sent to the area representing John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company. In 1827, Lathrop Minor Taylor built a post for Samuel Hanna and Company. As the town grew, Taylor and Coquillard emerged as its leaders. By 1829, a post office was created and designated as Southold. A year later, its name was changed to South Bend.

In 1831, the settlement was laid out as the county seat and one of the original four townships of St. Joseph County. Horatio Chapin also moved to the area that same year. He proceeded to open the first general store featuring imported goods and the first church and Sunday school. In 1835, the Town of South Bend was officially established.

Its development centered around industrial factories on the two man-made canals along the St. Joseph River. In October 1851, as the first steam locomotive came to the town, businesses shifted from river to railroad. The year after, Henry Studbacker established Studebaker wagon shop. It would go on to become the largest wagon builder in the world and the only one to succeed as a manufacturer for automobiles. Other major companies in the area were the Oliver Chilled Plow Company and the Singer Sewing Company.

On May 22, 1865, the City of South Bend was incorporated. In March 1870, the first African American church in the city, the Olivet African Methodist Episcopal Church, was founded. It is still in operation to this day. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan drove thousands of African Americans out of the city. However, the students from Notre Dame protested the intrusion by unmasking and unrobing the members and destroying their headquarters.

Around the same time, the South Shore interurban streetcar service was created to provide transport from downtown South Bend to downtown Chicago, making the city the first area in the U.S. to have an electrified trolley system. The line still runs daily to this day and is a major freight carrier in the area.

In the 1950s, most of the employment of the city was in the manufacturing sector. However, after the closer of Studebaker in 1963 and the decline in manufacturing, the population in South Bend drastically decreased. Nonetheless, the city celebrated 150 years in 2015, and the former Studebaker plant has been redeveloped into the Ignition Park center in hopes of attracting new businesses to the area. Today, the city has a total area of 41.877 square miles and a population of 101,168 residents, as of the 2010 census.

Read more: A Thorough History of Indianapolis, IN

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic research university founded by Edward Sorin in 1842. Located just to the north of the city of South Bend, it features notable landmarks such as:

  • The Golden Dome
  • The Word of Life mural (Touchdown Jesus)
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • The Basilica

The university is home to eight schools and colleges. This includes the College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering, Mendoza College of Business, College of Science, Keough School of Global Affairs, and School of Architecture. It offers around 75 undergraduate degree programs in 58 majors and over 400 clubs and organizations.

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Are you in need of a lawyer to fight for you against the Southern Baptist Church? Contact our South Bend Southern Baptist abuse attorneys to discuss your potential case. Our helpline is available 24/7 to answer any legal questions you might have. Call today for a free consultation.

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