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“As goes Vigo County, so goes the nation.” Vigo county is a bellwether county. We have voted perfectly with the national majority every year since 1956, and since 1892 we’ve only missed twice (1908 and 1952). Our community is so representational that P&G once chose us as a primary test market for Pringles Potato Chips.

Still a union town to this very day, Terre Haute was the birthplace of socialist pioneer and Nobel Peace Price nominee Eugene V. Debs. His home is still on display on the campus of ISU and his cremated remains can be found in Terre Haute’s Highland Lawn Cemetery. Debs captured nearly 6% of the 1912 Presidential popular vote, the all-time high of any Socialist Party candidate. Many, if not all, of the causes he and other socialists championed are now tenets of the Democratic Party platform including the 40-hour work week, worker safety protections, affordable healthcare, affordable childcare and the social welfare net (Social Security, Disability and Unemployment).

Visionary for its time, the structure of government utilized by Indiana since the 1800′s is now outmoded. Townships and counties have given way to cities and metros, but their statewide mandate for existence, not just in the regulatory sense but as grounds for elected offices, leads to lame ducks. Other states have caught on that when you have city councils, you do not need a county council. When you have county commissioners, you do not need township trustees. In fact, when you have a city, you don’t need a township whatsoever. But the system is heavily influenced by those already elected, so year after year efforts are duplicated by various government bodies which leads to inefficiency, frustration and tax dollar waste.

Politics in the City of Terre Haute

Terre Haute is composed of many neighborhoods, some of a historical nature, as well as areas without formal neighborhood titles. Harrison Township is completely within the city limits. The city is most well-known for its many institutions of higher education, industrial base, and federal penitentiary. A significant transient proportion is reflected in its 2010 population of 60,785. This includes 3,251 federal inmates, over 10,000 ISU students, 1,950 RHIT students, 1,700 SMWC students and any number of temporary workers during peak season at companies like Sony DADC. Terre Haute’s now defunct Root Glass Company invented Coca-Cola’s contour bottle design.

Neighborhoods of Terre Haute

Ryves and Collett Park – The Ryves Neighborhood boundaries are from 13th Street to the west to 25th Street to the east, and 8th Avenue to the north to Chestnut Street to the south. Click here for more information about the Ryves Neighborhood Association. To the northwest of Ryves is the Collett Park Neighborhood Historical District. It centers around Collett Park, the oldest in Terre Haute’s expansive park system. Many of the upscale homes in this community were built by or for Rose-Hulman professors in the late 1800′s. See also: Collett Park Vicinity Plan. These neighborhoods are represented on the City Council by Democrat Neil Garrison.

Farrington’s Grove – Farrington’s Grove is the oldest surviving neighborhood in Terre Haute. The district encompasses an area from 4th Street to 7th Street and from Poplar Street to Hulman Street with more than 1100 homes and other buildings that exhibit a variety of architectural styles, including elegant nineteenth and twentieth century houses, workers’ cottages, some twentieth century apartment buildings, a few churches, schools, and public buildings. The Farrington’s Grove Historical District has many opportunities for residents to become actively involved. The formal neighborhood association has three task forces including Infrastructure, Trash, and Security/Crime/Code Enforcement. They also have committees and organize regular events, including an annual block party, FarringtonFest, a Garden Club and Tour, a Holiday Home Tour, and semi-annual neighborhood clean-ups. This neighborhood is represented on the City Council by Democrat Todd Nation.

Edgewood Grove - A residential neighborhood south of ISU stadium.

Ohio Boulevard-Deming Park - This historic district was designed by architect and city planner George E. Kessler. The boulevard is 1.5 miles long. At its start at the intersection with 19th Street is an entrance including a stone structure on either side of the road. It ends at Deming Park at Fruitridge Ave.

Terre Town - A suburban residential area north of Plaza North in north central Terre Haute.

Twelve Points - 12 Points was the first shopping center in Terre Haute and was the place to go for dining, entertainment, and shopping in the early 1900′s. The story goes that the Sears & Roebuck Co. could not get permission from the city to build or remodel here or downtown, so they purchased a cheap tract of land south of the city and built there. The placement of I-70 in the early 1970′s increased the value of the south end for retail outlets. Now Honey Creek Mall and the surrounding area is the place to go in Terre Haute. The 12 Points area has deteriorated ever since.

RHIC District – The area between ISU and Union which earned its name from the organization looking to revitalize it. The RHIC District is composed of 270 acres in north central Terre Haute bounded by 3rd St. to the west, Tippecanoe St. to the south, 9th St. to the east, and Beech St. to the north. An overlay district ordinance is in the works to guide redevelopment of this neighborhood. This neighborhood is represented on the City Council by Democrat Todd Nation.

Deming Woods – This neighborhood includes most of the upscale residential subdivisions on the east side of town including Birch Run-Birch Grove (HOA), Meadow Woods Crossing (ISU professor Nathan A. Schaumleffel is forming a neighborhood association), Woodbridge (HOA), Blumberg Estates, Terre Vista, Dobbs Glen, The Woods, Watertree and others.

In addition to district representatives, there are three at-large city councilmen elected every four years. At-large councilmen represent the entire city.

Terre Haute City Council Districts

Politics in the City of West Terre Haute

West Terre Haute is a city independent of Terre Haute on the western banks of the Wabash River. It is located in Sugar Creek Township. It is on its way to becoming a recreational and suburban residential community.

Politics in the Town of Riley

Riley is a 0.1 square mile town southeast of Terre Haute along IN-46. It is primarily a suburban residential community.

Politics in the Town of Seelyville

Politics in the Township of Lost Creek

Politics in the Township of Honey Creek

Politics in the Township of Otter Creek

Politics in the Township of Prairie Creek

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