Churubusco, battle: see Contreras.
Churubusco (or /ˌtʃɛriˈbʌsɡoʊ/), often shortened to Busco /ˈbʌskoʊ/), is a town located near the headwaters of the Eel River in the extreme northeast corner of Whitley County, Indiana, USA, in Smith Township, about 11 miles northwest of its nearest neighboring large city, Fort Wayne, of which it is considered a bedroom community. The population was 1,666 at the 2000 census.


Originally, Churubusco was two towns, Union (in honor of the union victory of the Civil War) and Franklin (in honor of the founding father, Benjamin Franklin) that bordered each other on either side of a railroad track. In the 1840s, the population of both Franklin and Union grew large enough to qualify for a post office. Before that time, residents of both towns either had to trek 11 miles by foot or horse and buggy to nearby Columbia City to get their mail. Since the towns were in the same location, the Postmaster General ordered that the towns apply for a joint post office. The Postmaster General also denied both "Union" and "Franklin" as the post office name since both were already taken by other Indiana towns.

After a community meeting, the town got its unusual name from Churubusco, Mexico, the site of the 1847 Battle of Churubusco during the Mexican-American War. At the time the townsfolk thought it was as patriotic as either Union and Franklin since the United States won a large victory there, and they were certain that no other town would already have chosen such a unique name. The name Churubusco is a Spanish corruption of a Nahuatl toponym of a temple area in modern Mexico City celebrating the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli. Located along the Rio Churubusco, the Spanish-Nahuatl word literally translates into "place of the hummingbirds.

The town has an annual festival called Turtle Days rooted in the lore of the Beast of Busco, a giant snapping turtle that reportedly haunted nearby Fulk's Lake in Allen County.


Churubusco is located at (41.231373, -85.319541).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km²), all of it land.


Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg high °F
Avg low °F
Rainfall in. (mm) 1.9 (48) 1.8 (46) 2.9 (74) 3.6 (91) 3.5 (89) 4.1 (104) 3.8 (97) 3.4 (86) 3.4 (86) 2.6 (66) 3.3 (84) 3.1 (79)

Severe weather


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,666 people, 650 households, and 438 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,876.8 people per square mile (722.7/km²). There were 692 housing units at an average density of 779.5/sq mi (300.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.60% White, 0.06% African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.38% of the population.

There were 650 households out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the town the population was spread out with 29.0% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $39,583, and the median income for a family was $49,279. Males had a median income of $34,844 versus $22,161 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,814. About 3.2% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

Churubusco has an elected clerk and town council-style government. The Churubusco Town Council is a three-member legislative group that serve four-year terms; each are elected town-wide as at-large council members. The council elects one member from among its body to act a president of the council. That president sets agendas during council meetings. The current council members were elected on November 6, 2007, and will serve until December 31, 2011:

Republican Gerri Johnson is Churubusco's town clerk.


Churubusco High School, Middle School, and Elementary School together form the Smith-Green Community Schools district which includes approximately 1,400 students.



Churbusco has had six newspapers in its history, five of which have ceased publication.

  • Churubusco News, weekly tabloid newspaper, 1994 - present
  • Busco Paper, weekly newspaper, 1914 - 1936
  • Daily Busconian, daily newspaper, 1910
  • Churubusco Tri-County Truth, weekly tabloid newspaper, 1891 - 1990, originally published as the Saturday Truth
  • Churubusco Sunday People, weekly newspaper, January 17 - May 27 1886
  • Churubusco Weekly Herald, weekly newspaper, 1881 - 1882


Notable Natives


External links

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