Who founded indianapolis?

In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. The city was placed by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile (2.6 km) grid next to the White River. Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were responsible for formulating the grid pattern for the city of Indianapolis. The plan extended from the Governor's Circle in the center of the city.

This primitive grid pattern is still evident in the center of downtown Indianapolis and is a lovely place to see some of Indianapolis's most beautiful architectural gems. Dunn consciously sought to give “a particularly comprehensive treatment” to the controversial issues. Thus, he dedicated an entire chapter to reviewing the evidence on the first settlers of the area. And it addressed topics little examined by previous chroniclers of the city's past, such as ethnicity (“The Germans in Indianapolis”) and the development of the greater metropolitan area (“Suburban Towns”).

The language of Dunn's discussion of the city's African-American community may seem anachronistic or even offensive to modern readers. The chapter is titled “The Brother of Color,” but Dunn deserves credit for being the first historian to recognize that the city had an African-American community. And while the biographical sketches that appear in the second volume could hardly be considered “critical treatments” of his subjects by current standards, Dunn compiled an enormous amount of material in a compact, usable format. Despite its interpretative inadequacies, the Indianapolis metropolitan area remains a significant achievement and a useful source for students from the city's past.

The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital is the flagship medical center of the oldest health system in Indiana, founded in 1855 as the Indianapolis City Hospital. Indianapolis was originally founded as a trading post by Alexander Ralston, who came up with the name Indianapolis for his convenience.

Rickie Koning
Rickie Koning

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