Noblesville is a city in Hamilton County, Indiana, United States located just north of Indianapolis, Indiana in what is considered to be one of the fastest growing areas of the Midwest. The population was 28,590 at the 2000 census. The Indiana annual demographic update placed the 2006 population at 40,115. The city is the county seat of Hamilton County and is served by both Noblesville and Wayne Townships. Small portions of the city stretch into adjacent Fall Creek and Delaware Townships.
Over the past few years Noblesville has clearly become a popular place to work and live. It is now the booming city in the county both commercially and residentially and is home to several golf courses, Morse Reservoir and miles of walking trails. In addition to all the new development going on, the city prides itself on the bustling 1800's downtown square and historic district. Both new and longtime tenants find it a great place to run a business.
There were 10,576 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.5% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 34.5% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $61,455, and the median income for a family was $70,914. Males had a median income of $48,734 versus $31,769 for females. The per capita income for the city was $28,813. About 4.3% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
Noblesville's rich cultural heritage dates back to 1818 when the land, which is now Hamilton County, was purchased by the government from Indians native to this area. William Conner, the only settler living in the area at the time, and his wife, a Delaware Indian, established the first trading post in central Indiana in 1802 and lived in the first log cabin in the area. William Conner and Josiah Polk laid out what is now downtown Noblesville in 1823, which was designated as the Hamilton County seat in 1824 and incorporated in 1851. Conner's 1823 home is now one of a village of historic buildings making up Conner Prairie Pioneer Settlement, a living history museum just south of downtown Noblesville.
Noblesville was named either for James Noble, a state senator, or according to legend, for Lavinia Noble of Indianapolis, to whom Josiah was engaged. The Peru and Indianapolis Railroad was completed through town in 1851, strengthening the town economically and causing the population to increase.
The City's first large growth boom came in 1888 with the discovery of Noblesville's first natural gas well near 11th and Pleasant Streets. Many Victorian homes, as well as the vast majority of the Downtown Commercial District, were built during this time of prosperity.
The centerpiece of downtown Noblesville is the Courthouse Square, the location of the Hamilton County Courthouse (completed in 1879) and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Residence and Jail (constructed in 1876). Both buildings are fabulous examples of the Second Empire style featuring mansard roofs.
In the lead article in the June issue of the Indiana Magazine of History, Safianow describes in detail the effects of the discovery. They ranged from calls for public disclosure of the names to comments that the finder of the trunk, a local building contractor named Don Roberts, should have burned its contents and kept his discovery secret. Instead, Roberts donated all of the Klan materials to the Hamilton County Historical Society, where they are preserved as a valuable resource for those seeking a better understanding of the Klan's operations in Indiana.
"You can't burn history," Roberts said later in explaining his decision. "That's what is wrong today. Too many people are trying to bury history, and history is history. You may have liked to change it, but it's gone, it's behind us."
Despite the strong KKK presence in Noblesville from the 1910s through 1930s, the Noblesville courthouse was the site of the 1925 trial of Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson, a prominent political figure who kidnapped and raped an Indianapolis State House secretary. He was found guilty and given the maximum prison sentence. Upon realizing his political allies would not come to his aid, he started revealing everyone's dirty laundry. The scandal resulted in the indictment of many Indiana politicians, including Governor Ed Jackson.