Main Births etc
City of Franklin, Indiana
—  City  —
Johnson County courthouse in Franklin
Official seal of City of Franklin, Indiana
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 39°29′23″N 86°03′24″W / 39.48972, -86.05667Coordinates: 39°29′23″N 86°03′24″W / 39.48972, -86.05667
Country United States
State Indiana
County Johnson
 • Mayor Joe McGuiness (I)
 • Total 13.01 sq mi (33.70 km2)
 • Land 13.01 sq mi (33.70 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 725 ft (221 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 23,712
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 23,953
 • Density 1,822.6/sq mi (703.7/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 46131
Area code(s) 317
FIPS code 18-25450[4]
GNIS feature ID 0434762[5]

Franklin is a city in Johnson County, Indiana, United States. The population was 23,712 at the 2010 census. Located about 20 miles south of Indianapolis, the city is the county seat of Johnson County.[6] It was named after Benjamin Franklin. The site of Franklin College, the city attracts numerous regional sports fans for the college teams, as well as audiences for its art events.


Franklin was platted in 1823.[7]


Franklin is located at 39°29′23″N 86°3′24″W / 39.48972, -86.05667 (39.489585, -86.056784),[8] 20 miles (32 km) south of Indianapolis and 90 miles (140 km) north of Louisville, Kentucky, on I-65 and U.S. 31.

According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 13.01 square miles (33.7 km2), all land.[1]

There are three small waterways in Franklin: Canary Creek and Hurricane Creek flow into Young's Creek.[9] These creeks flood frequently. Their small floodplain has been adapted as the basis of Franklin's green walkways and parks, which extend the entire length of the town. Hurricane Creek empties into Young's Creek in Province Park, downtown, which flows into the Big Blue River farther South. A buried stream, Roaring Run, flows beneath Franklin. In the June 2008 Midwest floods, all of these streams overflowed, damaging or destroying more than 100 houses throughout Franklin, including some entire neighborhoods.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Franklin has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[10]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 882
1860 2,367 168.4%
1870 2,707 14.4%
1880 3,110 14.9%
1890 3,781 21.6%
1900 4,005 5.9%
1910 4,502 12.4%
1920 4,909 9.0%
1930 5,682 15.7%
1940 6,264 10.2%
1950 7,316 16.8%
1960 9,453 29.2%
1970 11,477 21.4%
1980 11,563 0.7%
1990 12,907 11.6%
2000 19,463 50.8%
2010 23,712 21.8%
Source: US Census Bureau

2010 census[]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 23,712 people, 8,885 households, and 5,986 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,822.6 inhabitants per square mile (703.7 /km2). There were 9,895 housing units at an average density of 760.6 per square mile (293.7 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 1.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.

There were 8,885 households of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% 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 3.07.

The median age in the city was 34.6 years. 26.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.6% were from 25 to 44; 22% were from 45 to 64; and 14.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census[]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 19,463 people, 6,824 households, and 4,872 families residing in the city. The population increased by more than 50% during the 1990s (see table at right), with new residents attracted by jobs in the community, as well as some people commuting to Indianapolis for work. The population density was 1,728.1 inhabitants per square mile (667.2 /km2). There were 7,432 housing units at an average density of 659.9 per square mile (254.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 0.2% Native American, 96.7% White, 1.2% African American, 0.51% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and at least 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

There were 6,824 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,414, and the median income for a family was $52,304. Males had a median income of $37,509 versus $25,601 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,937. About 4.5% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Attractions and economy[]

Several major international companies have operations in the city: Toyota, NSK, KYB and Mitsubishi. The city has worked to strengthen its international connections.[11] Franklin is home of the first Ritters Frozen Custard, which became a national brand.[12]

Franklin, IN Post Office Cornerstone

Downtown Franklin is noted for the number of well-maintained, older houses and early brick streets. Landmark buildings include the Johnson County Courthouse and the Artcraft Theatre. Due west of the Artcraft is City Hall, a Colonial Revival building constructed in 1936 to be used as a post office. It was designed by architect Louis A. Simon under Postmaster General James Farley. It was the original site of a federally commissioned Works Progress Administration (WPA) mural painted by Franklin artist Jean Swiggett, who started his career during the difficult years of the Great Depression.[13] The WPA work was moved to the "new" post office when it was built by the federal government. In the 1980s, a private non-profit group, Franklin Heritage, Inc., was formed by citizens to preserve and restore its historic assets for new purposes. It now owns the Artcraft Theatre and is making it a community center for film, art, and special events.

The Franklin Parks and Recreation Department maintains several miles of walking trails through the city, which connect various parks, community centers, the public library, and the public pool. Due to flood damage, the long park along the creeks was closed for the summer of 2008.[14]

The city is the site of Franklin College, a four-year liberal arts college established in 1838 and the first in the state to admit women. Its students add to the life of the town and college events are open to the community.

The Daily Journal is the local newspaper in Franklin and also covers news in all of Johnson County.


The government consists of a mayor and a city council of seven members. The mayor is elected by citywide vote. Five city council members are elected from individual districts, and two are elected at-large.

Life magazine feature[]

The December 2, 1940 issue of Life magazine included a photo essay by Bernard Hoffman entitled, "A Small Town's Saturday Night,"[15] depicting farmer Glen Dunn and family on a typical Saturday night in Franklin: Dad getting a hair cut, and the kids seeing a movie at the Artcraft, people at the drugstore, as well as photos of other social spots, such as Nick's Candy Kitchen and the town's "lovers' lane." The nighttime photo showing double-parked cars and thick crowds on Jefferson Street is perhaps the best known of the set. According to the late-20th century critic James Guimond in his book on American photography,

Since "Life" wanted a perfect Saturday night, and one they considered typical, the photographer did not select a town still blighted by the Depression... What "Life's"' readers wanted, it seemed, was a stereotyped village that confirmed their nostalgic beliefs about small towns in which no one is bored, poor, or lonely; and the magazine's photographers and editors - like Norman Rockwell in his "Saturday Evening Post" covers - gave them exactly that kind of town.[16]

Franklin Wonder Five[]

The small town became nationally famous during the 1920s due to the outstanding athletic achievements of the local high school basketball team, who became known as the Franklin Wonder Five. A small group who had played together as boys, led by Fuzzy Vandivier and coached by Ernest "Griz" Wagner, they became the first high school team to win the state championship for three consecutive years (1920–22). The youths followed Wagner to the local Franklin College, where he became coach and they earned the title of national college champions in 1923. They turned down an offer to play against the top professional team, the New York Celtics.

Notable people[]

  • Steve Alford, former Indiana basketball player, now head coach of UCLA
  • Clinton Lycurgus Armstrong, (b. 1844) Medal of Honor recipient for Siege of Vicksburg during the American Civil War
  • Roger D. Branigin, governor of Indiana (1965–1969)
  • Anthony J. Bryant, historian of Japan and translator
  • George Crowe (brother of Ray), was first Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1939, and played professional baseball with a variety of teams
  • Ray Crowe (brother of George), coach of Crispus Attucks High School basketball team that won state championships in 1955 and 1956, becoming first African-American team in nation to claim state title[17]
  • Andrew Duggan, film and television actor
  • Hal Fryar, actor and television personality
  • Marjorie Main, actress, portrayed "Ma Kettle" in the Ma and Pa Kettle movies
  • Jon McGlocklin, professional basketball player, inducted to three honorary sports associations
  • Paul V. McNutt, governor of Indiana (1933–1937)
  • Jon Schaffer, founder and leader of Iced Earth Heavy metal band
  • Max Terhune, actor, appeared in National Barn Dance (1933) with Gene Autry
  • Forrest Tucker, film and television actor, star of TV series F-Troop
  • Fuzzy Vandivier, basketball player, elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
  • John Terrell Vawter, developer of Vawter Park Village at Lake Wawasee, half-uncle of noted architect of same name; donated Vawter Memorial to county[18]
  • Gene White, basketball player for 1954 state champion Milan Indians (inspiration for the movie Hoosiers)

Sister cities[]

Franklin currently has two sister cities:


  1. ^ a b "Places: Indiana". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ Branigin, Elba L. (1913). History of Johnson County, Indiana. B. F. Bowen & Company. pp. 525. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "Concerned Citizens of Johnson County (Indiana): Flood Report". Retrieved 30 October 2008. 
  10. ^ Climate Summary for Franklin, Indiana
  11. ^ a b "Franklin Officials Wrap Up Asian Trip", Inside Indiana Business, accessed 26 June 2010
  12. ^ "Our Story", Ritters Frozen Custard Official Website
  13. ^ "WPA Murals", Franklin, Indiana Website
  14. ^ "Flood-damaged park repaired, reopening in Franklin", The Indianapolis Star, accessed 29 August 2008
  15. ^ [1], Life
  16. ^ James Guimond, American Photography and the American Dream, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1991, pp. 160-161
  17. ^ "New name will honor accomplished alums". UIndy News. February 23, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  18. ^ File:Civil War memorial fountain at the courthouse in Johnson County, Indiana.jpg
  19. ^ "Sister Cities", Franklin, IN Official Website, accessed 26 June 2010

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Franklin, Indiana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.