Joseph McKinney was the first to plot the town of Columbus. No date of this plot was recorded by Mr. McKinney.
For years, it was recorded in the local history books that the land on which Columbus sits was donated by General Tipton. However, a deed purporting to show a sale of the land was acquired by the Historic Columbus Indiana website in 2003, which indicated General Tipton actually sold the land.
A ferry was established in order to avoid crossing both the Flat Rock and Driftwood rivers, which join only a short distance above the site of the ferry. This became a village of three or four log cabins and in 1821, the first store was added. In the same year, Bartholomew County was organized by an act of the State Legislature and named after the famous Indian fighter, General Joseph Bartholomew. Columbus, Indiana was incorporated as a city on 28 June, 1864.
In 1844, the first railroad in Indiana reached Columbus from Madison, Indiana. This was known as the Madison branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The railroad caused the community to grow into one of the larger communities of the State of Indiana. By 1850, three more railroads came into the city.
Columbus is host to the oldest theater in the State of Indiana: the Crump Theatre, which was built in 1889 by John Crump. Today, the building is a historical landmark and is also an all-ages venue where bands perform occasionally. Columbus is also host to the formerly oldest, continually operated bookstore in the State of Indiana: Cummins Bookstore first began its operations in 1892 and ended in late 2007.
The Irwin Union Bank building was built in 1954. It was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service in 2001 because of its architecture.
The building consists of a one-story bank structure adjacent to a three-story office annex. A portion of the office annex was built along with the banking hall in 1954. The remaining, much larger portion, designed by Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates, was built in 1973.
Eero Saarinen designed the bank building with its glazed hall to be set off against the blank background of its three-story brick annex. Two steel and glass vestibule connectors lead from the north side of this structure to the annex.
The building was designed to distance the Irwin Union Bank from traditional banking architecture, which mostly echoed imposing, neoclassical style buildings of brick or stone. Tellers were behind iron bars and removed from their customers. Saarinen worked to develop a building that would welcome customers rather than intimidate them.
Columbus has been home to many manufacturing companies, including Arvin Industries, now ArvinMeritor Industries. After merging with Meritor Automotive on July 10, 2000, the headquarters of ArvinMeritor Industries was moved to Troy, Michigan.
Cummins Inc. is by far the region's largest employer, although ArvinMeritor is not far behind. In addition, the Infotech Park accounts for a sizable number of research jobs in Columbus proper. Other notable industries include architecture, a discipline for which Columbus is famous worldwide. The late J. Irwin Miller (then president and chairman of Cummins Engine Company launched the Cummins Foundation, a charitable program which helps subsidize a large number of architectural projects throughout the city by up-and-coming engineers and architects.
Early in the 20th Century, Columbus was also home to a number of pioneering car manufacturers, including Reeves, which produced the unusual four-axle Octoauto and the twin rear axle Sextoauto, both around 1911.
Because Columbus is far enough away from Indianapolis, it benefits tremendously from nearby commuters who recognize Columbus as a major city in its own right. During the day, nearly 19,000 workers commute into the city from the surrounding townships and villages.
In recent years, city officials have looked for ways to revitalize the city and return Columbus to the days when Miller's architectural innovation made it one of the most envied cities in the United States. Economic development, widespread beautification innovations, various tax incentives, and increased law enforcement have helped Columbus overcome what some considered a slump during the 1980s and 1990s.
Columbus is a city known for its architecture J. Irwin Miller, Co-Founder of the Cummins Engine Company, a local concern manufacturing diesel engines, instituted a program in which Cummins would pay the architects' fee on any building if the client selected a firm from a list they compiled. The plan was initiated with public schools. It was so successful that Miller went on to defray the design costs of fire stations, public housing and other community structures. Columbus has come to have an unusual number of notable public buildings and sculpture, designed by such individuals as Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Robert Venturi, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meier and others. Six of its buildings, built between 1942 and 1965, are National Historic Landmarks, and 60 other buildings sustain the Bartholomew County capital seat's reputation as a showcase of modern architecture. National Geographic Magazine once devoted an entire article to the town's architecture.
The National Historical Landmarks are:
Other notable buildings include:
Notable sculptures include:
Columbus is also the home to an orchestra, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. Under the direction of Dr. David Bowden and Charles Latshaw, this orchestra has been broadcast nationwide multiple times. In 1996 the orchestra teamed with the internationally famous Indianapolis Children's Choir to form the Columbus Indiana Children's Choir.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.4 square miles (68.3 km²), of which, 26.0 square miles (67.2 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.59%) is water.
REGION 7 ISSUES GRANTS NOTICE TO DEFRAY EACH ALASKA NATIVE REGIONAL PARTNER'S TRAVEL, COMMUNICATION EXPENSES ENABLING THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN CO-MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Nov 03, 2009; WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 -- Region 7 issues discretionary grants notice to defray each Alaska Native regional partner's travel...
GOVERNOR MCDONNELL ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAM TO DEFRAY COSTS OF COMMONWEALTH'S REST AREAS - "SAVE" PROGRAM TO GENERATE ADDITIONAL REVENUES THROUGH ENHANCED SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING AND VENDING; ONE OF THE FIRST OF ITS KIND AMONG STATE TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES -.
Mar 24, 2011; RICHMOND, VA -- The following information was released by the office of the governor of Virginia: Governor Bob McDonnell...