History of Muncie

History of Muncie

City Incorporated: 1865

City of Muncie Population: 67,430

Delaware County Population: 118,769

The historic narrative has been provided at the courtesy of the following:

Indiana Department of Historic Preservation
Historic Landmark Foundation of Indiana

Muncie, in Delaware County, is located approximately sixty miles northeast of Indianapolis and is bounded by Grant and Blackford Counties on the north, Jay and Randolph Counties on the east, Henry County on the south and Madison county on the west.

Since its organization in 1827, Delaware County has grown from a small Indian village to an important manufacturing center.

The County was named for the Delaware Indians, an Eastern tribe which was slowly pushed into Ohio and finally settled in east central Indiana during the 1770's. The Delaware Indians established several towns along the White River, among these Muncietown, near present day Muncie. In 1818, under the Treaty of St. Mary's Ohio the Delawares ceded their holdings in Indiana to the United States government and moved westward. In 1820, Delaware County was opened for settlement.


Chief Muncie

Excerpts below are from a letter written by Edmund F. Ball (Son of Edmund B. Ball, one of the original five Ball brothers who were a founding family of Muncie.)

"This memorial statue, sculpted by the distinguished artist, Cyrus Dallin, was first seen by my Mother in the Center Park of the City of Boston. It was named "The Appeal to the Great Spirit." It seemed to her to be most fitting for my father's memory because it expressed so many attributes and interests of her husband.

When my mother saw this statue, she was determined that this was the memorial for her husband she wanted, and this would be its location, on the banks of the river. And, as my mother was a very determined lady, the statue came to Muncie.

There are two full size "Appeal to the Great Spirit" statues. One, as I mentioned, is in the Center of the City of Boston and the other is here in the City of Muncie. Cyrus Dallin, the sculptor, came to Muncie to approve the statue's location, its surrounding landscaping and the stone-masonry work on which it stands and is surrounded. I can state positively that he approved, because I was there and I heard him.

I'm sure my Mother and Father both would be pleased with the respect and honor which our citizens here respect and refer to this statue. It has become the community's emblem, symbol, signature-for lack of better words."

Related Files


Appeal to the Great Spirit

Robert F. Kennedy visited Muncie in May of 1968. The Ball State men’s Gym was selected as the location for Kennedy’s speech; however there was much concern over filling all the seats in the gym. Conversely, the Gym was filled to capacity, with an estimated 9,000 people filling all the seats and the entire playing court, after playing waiting hours for Kennedy’s appearance.

Learn more about the history of Muncie

Office of the Mayor
The Honorable Daniel Ridenour

Muncie City Hall
Third Floor
300 N High Street
Muncie, IN 47305

(765) 747-4845
8am - 4pm (M-F)