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City Data

Muncie, Indiana is the county seat of Delaware County and the largest urban area in East Central Indiana. Muncie is home to Ball State University of the Mid-American athletic conference

History

  • Being located on the White River, Muncie was considered a potential site for the new state capital in the early years of statehood, the original capital being at Corydon. Many Delaware, Miami and other tribes resided along the White River but were leveraged out of the area following the War of 1812. Munsee was a clan and dialect of the Delawares, but the legend of Chief Munsee and the city name originating from him has never been substantiated. It has been documented, however, that there was a trading post in the area called Munsee Town dating back to the mid 1700s.

    The Lynd Study: In the 1920’s, Robert Staughton Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd, husband-and-wife sociologists, performed a sociological study in Muncie, Indiana. The Lynds’ findings were detailed in 1929 in a book titled Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture, and Middletown in Transition : A Study in Cultural Conflicts, published in 1937. They wrote in their first book: “The city will be called Middletown 1. A community as small as thirty-odd thousand… which the field staff was enabled to concentrate on cultural change…the interplay of a relatively constant…American stock and its changing environment” (1929: p. 8). “Middletown” means the average or typical American small city. There are places actually named Middletown in New Jersey, New York, Ohio and elsewhere[ref]There is a Middletown, Indiana In Henry county, 15 miles southwest of Muncie.[/ref], but the Lynds were interested in the ideal American type. They dealt anonymously with the actual city of Muncie and its people. The Lynds and a group of researchers conducted an in-depth field research study of a small American urban center in order to discover key cultural norms and better understand social change. The first study was conducted during the 1920s, beginning in January 1924, while the second was written during the Great Depression in the United States.

Trivial Factoids

  • Through the 1920’s, Durant Motors had a factory in Muncie.
  • General Mark W. Clark (Battle of the Bulge) married a lady from Muncie.
  • Muncie Central High School leads the state of Indiana with 8 state basketball championships as of this posting. It has also been in the state finals multiple times, including the 1954 state championship versus Milan High School, which was a basis for the 1986 movie Hoosiers.
  • Many manufacturing organizations were based out of Muncie, including Warner Gear which is noted for the “Muncie” transmission.
  • Muncie is regularly referred to in the cartoon “Tom Slick”.
  • The Ball Brothers from Philadelphia came to Muncie in the early 1900’s and started Ball Corporation, a Fortune 500 company with the original purpose of manufacturing glass mason jars. The family also funded the University and created Ball Memorial Hospital which is the largest hospital in the east central region of the state.

Noted Munsonians

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