Ohio’s 1891 Boundary Line Dispute With Indiana

The State Of Ohio  Wanted Richmond, Indiana…Literally.

Richmond, Ohio? Union City, Ohio?

 In 1891, a dispute  was ongoing  between the State of Indiana and Ohio regarding Ohio’s western boundary line. The State of Ohio was  demanding  a “good slice” of Indiana’s border line real estate…The Ohioans  were claiming  Indiana’s boundary line was too far east, and that their State was being deprived of its valuable territory.

 Ohio was convinced that the state line borders of Union City, which shared its  boundaries with Ohio  and  Indiana, was in error. They believed the entire city of Union City should be geographically located in Ohio, and further, the city of Richmond Indiana should also  be considered as Ohio property! The boundary lines  of  all Indiana/Ohio border towns were being protested by the state of Ohio.

 The city of Richmond, Indiana, population 20,000  (c: 1890) was undoubtedly one of the  major economic considerations  that spurred  Ohio’s desire to have its western border moved east. At the time of this border dispute,  a  respectable amount  of  Indiana’s commerce and wealth was being  generated from the efforts of the manufacturers and workers of Richmond.  Dan Tate; October 1, 2010

c: 1890 Wage Statistics (Indiana)

In 1890, Richmond’s daily wage for an adult male, (skilled worker) was from  $2.14 – $3.03 (The State average was; $1.92 – $3.75). The highest paid (adult male) skilled Indiana worker was  employed in  Muncie Indiana.  That worker  earned up to $6.75 per day.  (Almost twice the State’s average for a skilled adult male worker at that time.)
Women (and girls) were paid $1.50 per day in Richmond while the State average for these workers was $1.04.
Richmond’s  boys were paid $0.76  per day.
Note: $24.30 in the year 2009 has the same “purchase power” as $1 in the year 1890.
One could purchase a Sear’s home in 1908 for as low as $452.00. (2) See this entry for more info re: Sears Homes
Clothing styles of the 1890s.

Other State border disputes; (1) (2) (3)

Obviously, Ohio’s efforts to extend their western border were not successful. The city of Richmond is still known as Richmond, Indiana.


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TERRE HAUTE, Ind., March 11.—-Dr. Mendenhall, Chief of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, has come West at the request of Gov. Campbell of Ohio, who some time ago requested that an official investigation be made of the boundary line between Indiana and Ohio, which is now in dispute. The Ohioans claim that the boundary line is too far East, and that their State is thereby deprived of considerable value territory.

 The whole eastern boundary line of Indiana is in dispute, and should the Ohioans be successful in carrying their point, Union City, which is half in Indiana and half in Ohio, will be wholly in the bounds of Ohio, and even Richmond, which has a population of over 20,000, and which is now some distance from the line, will be taken into Ohio.

 Dr. Mendenhall stated that he had a conference with Gov. Campbell at Columbus and one with Gov. Hovey at Indianapolis, and that while the former was disposed to push the claims of Ohio, Gov. Hovey was not inclined to disturb the existing conditions, and he himself was not prepared to say what the outcome would be. Article Source; The New York Times; March 12, 1891. Additional Notes; Both Governors (Campbell & Hovey) were attorneys. Gov. Hovey died in office on November 23, 1891. Governor Campbell was   not successful in  his 1891 re-election campaign.

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