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Bedford, Indiana

Bedford, Indiana
Motto: "United In Hometown Values And Committed To Growth For Future Generations"
Bedford's location in Lawrence County (left) and the state of Indiana (right).
Bedford's location in Lawrence County (left)
and the state of Indiana (right).
Country United States
State Indiana
County Lawrence
Township Shawswick
Incorporated (Town) 1864
Incorporated (City) 1889
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Shawna Michelle Girgis (I)
 • Total 12.16 sq mi (31.49 km2)
 • Land 12.16 sq mi (31.49 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[2] 686 ft (209 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 13,413
 • Estimate (2012)[4] 13,402
 • Density 1,103.0/sq mi (425.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC−4)
ZIP code 47421
Area codes 812 and 930
FIPS code[2][5] 18-04114
GNIS feature ID[2][5] 450667
Website .us.inbedford

Bedford is a city in Shawswick Township, Lawrence County, Indiana, United States. The population was 13,413 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Lawrence County.[6]


  • Early history 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Government 4
  • Sports teams and history 5
  • Economy 6
  • Transportation 7
  • Education 8
  • Statistics 9
  • Profiles of Bedford 10
  • Nearby points of interest 11
  • Notable people 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Early history

Bedford was laid out as a town and the county seat of Lawrence County, Indiana, United States around 1825. The original county seat was in Palestine, four miles to the south, but was moved, at the urging of the legislature, to a new location as the original location near the White River was deemed unhealthy because of malaria spread by mosquitoes.[7][8] 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.[9] It incorporated as a town in 1864 and received its city charter in 1889.[10] Bedford was a stop on the Underground Railroad.[11]


According to the 2010 census, Bedford has a total area of 12.16 square miles (31.49 km2), all land.[1]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bedford has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[12]


2010 census

As of the 2010 census,[3] there were 13,413 people, 5,801 households, and 3,426 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,103.0 inhabitants per square mile (425.9/km2). There were 6,553 housing units at an average density of 538.9 per square mile (208.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.2% White, .8% African American, .3% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 5,801 households of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.9% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.87.

The median age in the city was 41.5 years. 22.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 26.2% were from 45 to 64; and 20.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

2000 census

As of the 2000 census,[14] 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 per square mile (214.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.87% 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.


Bedford is governed by a mayor and city council. The city council is known as the Common Council, which consists of seven members. Five of the members are elected from individual districts while two are elected at-large. The mayor and clerk-treasurer are elected in a citywide vote.

Sports teams and history

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, Also Indiana All Star Cole Sinclair 2001, is the only other Indiana All Star from Bedford . The girls won state titles in 1983, 1991, 2013, and 2014. The boys' golf ranks third 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.


A small block of limestone presented by the city to Bedford, England

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 $500,000 in grants from the federal government to build a ten-story replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza out of local limestone;[15] however, the work was never completed,[16] despite a further $125,000 being allocated to finish it.[17] An 800-foot limestone replica of the Great Wall of China was also built. Construction took place in 1981 and cost $200,000. Construction on the main pyramid ceased in 1982.[18]

Limestone from a nearby quarry, called the "Empire Quarry", was used to build the Empire State Building in New York City.



Bedford was also originally offered to have Indiana University, instead of Bloomington. However, the city declined this offer to further the limestone industry. The Bedford area has ten elementary schools: Parkview Primary, Parkview Intermediate, Springville Elementary, Fayetteville Elementary, Needmore Elementary, Heltonville Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Dollens Elementary, Stalker Elementary, and Shawswick Elementary. There are three middle schools that feed into Bedford North Lawrence High School: Bedford Middle School (BMS), Shawswick Middle School(SMS), and Oolitic Middle School (OMS). The two private schools in the city are St. Vincent Catholic School and Stone City Christian Academy.


According to research there were 26 registered sex offenders living in Bedford, Indiana in July 2011 The ratio of number of residents in Bedford to the number of sex offenders is 516 to 1. Bedford has a low murder rate with only 6 murders between 1999 and 2010. Bedford has a slightly higher rate of rape with 37 rapes occurring between 1999 and 2010. As a whole, by comparison to the national average of crime rate, Bedford is significantly lower than average.

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.

Bedford was recognized by the State of Indiana in 2013 by being named a Stellar Community. The Stellar Communities program is under the direction of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann and is a multi-agency partnership among the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the State Revolving Fund. Only two Indiana communities are designated as such each year; Richmond was the other 2013 winner. The award brings $19 million in state, local and private funds to Bedford for planned improvements.

Bedford was also named the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's 2013 Community of the Year. Past Community of the Year recipients: 2013: Bedford 2012: Indianapolis 2011: Kokomo 2010: Terre Haute 2009: Valparaiso 2008: Noblesville 2007: Anderson 2006: Evansville 2005: LaPorte 2004: Muncie 2003: Warsaw 2002: Marion 2001: Greater Lafayette 2000: Jeffersonville 1999: Fort Wayne 1998: Rochester 1997: Batesville 1996: Elkhart 1995: Indianapolis 1994: Kendallville 1993: St. Joseph County 1992: Columbus 1991: Muncie 1990: Bluffton

Nearby points of interest

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "G001 - Geographic Identifiers - 2010 Census Summary File 1".  
  2. ^ a b c "Feature ID 450667".  
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  4. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012".  
  5. ^ a b "FIPS55 Data: Indiana". FIPS55 Data.  
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ Images of America: Bedford
  8. ^ History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana: From the Earliest Time to the Present. Higginson Book Company. 1884. p. 131. 
  10. ^ History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. 1914. p. 189. 
  11. ^ History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana: From the Earliest Time to the Present. Higginson Book Company. 1884. p. 385. 
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Bedford, Indiana
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  15. ^ "Pyramid to be part of limestone tourism center in Indiana". The Kokomo Tribune (Kokomo, Indiana). 18 May 1980. p. 7 – via 
  16. ^ Abandoned Pyramid Project
  17. ^ Wallace, Amy (1988). The Book of Lists #3. Bantam. p. 401.  
  18. ^ "Sculpture plan scrapped". Del Rio News Herald (Del Rio, Texas). 24 Oct 1982. p. 17 – via 

External links

  • Statistics Resource
  • City website
  • Official Website for "Our Town: Bedford"
  • Community website
  • The Times-Mail
  • “A Glimpse of the Celebrated Stone Quarries at Bedford, Indiana,” booklet by the Bedford Stone Quarries Co., Inc., circa late 1800s, on Stone Quarries and Beyond.
  • The unfinished pyramid is located at
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