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Richland

Richland, Indiana, USA

Richland City is located about four miles north of Sandridge on Highway 161.

Local historical records do not seem to reflect exactly when Richland was first settled. However, records do show that William Spencer purchased land in Richland in 1807. In the southeast quadrant of the county, Richland and Luce Township grew slowly.

Strongly agricultural with productive river bottom soil, tobacco was a strong crop in the area in the 1800's, leading to the opening of three tobacco warehouses. Several industries came and went over the years, including general stores, a distillery, a flour mill, three printing shops, a newspaper, nursery, sawmill, hotel, saloon and livery stable, blacksmith, a tomato canning factory and three millinery shops.

Local churches became organized in the 1840's. The earliest recorded school was established in 1847, but by the mid 1990's, Luce township was home to dozens of one-room schoolhouses, including several in Richland.

During its early years, Richland had a lively social life, with pie-and-box socials, oyster soup suppers, and square dancing in the winter. In the summer months, ice cream socials, traveling animal acts and carnivals frequented Richland.

In 1907, when new rail lines were constructed through southern Spencer County, including Luce Township, commerce slowly began to wane. The advent of the automobile and improved roads created opportunities for local residents to commute for work and shopping. Local businesses closed one by one.

However, for a period of many years, a silent movie house played favorite films for local residents. For a period of time in the 1940's, movies were projected on the side of the school building to be viewed from blankets on the school yard.

Today, Richland has a population of about 700 and is home to several local businesses, including a bank, and convenience store.