Rush County, Indiana


Chamber Letter

chamber letter
In his poem "The Death of the Hired Man", Robert Frost suggests to his readers that "home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." Frost's remarkably sad observation about the idea of "home" is all too accurate in many places today. But the description does not fit our "home", Rush County, Indiana. As this directory reflects, for us in Rush County, "home" is a very special place -- a place where life is valued and community cherished.

chamber letter
Rush County will never be known as the biggest of the fastest, or the earliest or the wealthiest. For all of those reasons and more, however, we remain satisfied to be simply the best, in every sense of that word. Our quality of life cannot be proven on a graph or a chart. It will never appear in a statistical abstract because those standards do not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. How can one measure our wit or our courage, our wisdom or our learning, our compassion or our devotion to each other? Yet, it is in all these things that the heart of Rush County can be found.

Rush County is "home." It is a place where people want to come, and when they do, they are welcomed. Read this directory. Look at the faces. Think about what we offer. An then ask yourself, how can I share in what Rush County provides? The journey had been worth the wait, I assure you. Welcome to you "home."

Julie Hogsett

Executive Director

Rush County Chamber of Commerce


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Nestled halfway between the metropolitan centers of Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Rush County offers the best of all worlds. Rush County's distance to larger cities is part of its grace. Here, residents awaken to the quiet of a morning countryside and the close-knit warmth of neighbors.

Rush County is not some sleepy oasis. Business is business here in the crossroads of America. Customers can expect to find a business owner on the site, shoulder-to-shoulder with her employees rather than three levels removed. In Rush County, people work together to see that the job gets done.

Running errands is a lunch time pleasure, not a hassle. The pharmacy, bank and barber are all within a block. But if escape is what you're looking for, a quick drive through the country yields a host of historic covered bridges—quiet sites that call out for an impromptu picnic and a deep breath of fresh air.

This area of our heartland has developed an identity and spirit all its own. It was Rush County residents who created the innovative program to motivate high school students to better themselves by bettering their grades. The county courthouse is newly renovated and recently celebrated its centennial. In addition, the community has initiated a one-half million dollar plan to revitalize downtown Rushville.

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Community Overview

community overview
According to the most recent census (1994), the median age of the population in Rush County is 36 years. Only 46 people per square mile live here, compared to Indiana's average of more than 160. These are the statistics that capture the attention of manufacturers from around the world who seek hard-working, honest, well-educated employees in a place where the lifestyle is comfortable, and families can grow and prosper.

Rush County residents embrace change that serves a purpose, and demand progress that caters to their way of life. In short, it is truly an enviable place to live, start a business and raise a family.

Visitors often recognize the county seat, Rushville, as the headquarters of Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie's campaign during the 1940 election. Rushville is also known as Indy-car champion Tony Stewart's racing home town. But few realize that the county's legacy began as early as 1820.

For many years, the Delaware tribe of Native Americans made their home a few miles east of Rushville. The Treaty of St. Mary's, Ohio, in 1818 opened the territory to westward-bound pioneers. By July 20, 1822, the first lots went up for sale.

community overview
William B. Laughlin, the community's first settler, provided the first acreage for the town of Rushville. He asked the first Board of County Commissioners to name the county in honor of his teacher, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Rush was a politician, lecturer and writer as well as physician. Many suggest that it was his research that helped control yellow fever, making it possible years later for the United States to construct the Panama Canal.

Before Rush County was even a quarter of a century old, it could boast a governor among its citizens. Samuel Bigger served in Indiana's highest office from 1840 -1843. During this time, Archibald Kennedy was also raising his family in the county, farming and making a living as a carpenter. By 1870, he and his sons would begin noted careers as bridge builders, constructing distinctive covered bridges.

Even the current site of the Rush County Historical Society Museum has its own claim to fame: It was the home of John K. Gowdy, former counsul-general of Paris under President William McKinley. Gowdy embodied the spirit of self-made individualism that has always been an intregal part of Rush County.

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Rush County is well connected. It is approximately 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis and 67 miles northwest of Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S. 52, State Road 3 and State Road 44 all cross the county, allowing access in any direction. Interstate 70, runs alongside the county's northern border, while Interstate 74 is just a few minutes' drive to the south.

Twenty-seven interstate trucking lines serve Rush County – one based locally with 80 trucks/semis in its fleet. In addition to land transportation, the Indianapolis International Airport is only 55 miles to the west and smaller airports in Connersville, Shelbyville and New Castle are even closer. The county is also served by two railroads, CSX and Honeycreek.

United Parcel Service, Federal Express, Purolator Courier and U.S. Express Mail are readily available for overnight deliveries. The area also falls within local calling range of most Indianapolis-based cellular telephone companies.

In Rush County, off the beaten path doesn't equal out of touch by any means!

locator map

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"Elegant" is the first word that comes to mind when describing Rush County homes. Long noted for its beautiful late 19th century homes – 50 percent of the existing homes in the county were built prior to 1939 – this community offers tree-lined streets and front porch swings where family histories are passed from generation to generation, friendships are made and neighbors welcomed. Glimpses of Georgian, Victorian and Italianate architecture can be spotted throughout the many neighborhoods in the county.

Meanwhile, approximately one third of the county's homes have been built recently, thus offering all the amenities modern homeowners expect. Wilson Estates, Hollywood Estates and Lawton Addition are among the newer neighborhoods. That is not to say, however, that Rush County doesn't favor country living. Local builders D.O. Corn and Sons and Kent Enterprises are more than willing to build a home to suit individual desires.


Rush County boasts 230 apartment units and adequate home rental opportunities also. Assisted living and senior condominiums are also available.

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In Rush County, bed and breakfasts are quite popular. Perhaps no retreat better represents a peaceful, refined quality as well as the Victorian Hideaway Bed and Breakfast. Located 7 miles south of Rushville on St. Rd. 244, this 25 room mansion sits on 173 acres of rolling hills, lakes, and wooded areas making it a wonderful gathering place for weddings, meetings and catered banquets. It is also ideal for a romantic weekend getaway.

Similarly, the Greystone In Bed and Breakfast, located in the City of Rushville, is styled after the Victorian homes on Mackinac Island, Michigan and has enticed many a stranger to pull into its driveway. The Greystone, built in 1918, includes 25 separate rooms. Among its highlights include the impressive use of Indiana stone and rookwood pottery tiled fireplaces.

For a more contemporary stay, the Holiday Inn Express is ideal for travelers visiting the Rush County area.

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In a nutshell, Rush County offers 40 acres of public parks, including a brand-new municipal swimming pool (scheduled to open in the summer of 1999), 12 tennis courts, a fitness trail and two 18-hole golf courses: Antler Point and Horseshoe Bend. With the private club amenities and the benefit of a high-quality golf course, Antler Pointe Golf Club offers an excellent value for public golf. In addition, ample lakes and rivers for fishing and boating abound.

Rush County residents and visitors enjoy a variety of activities celebrating and preserving the county's rich heritage. Just check out these events!

• Glenwood Old Fashioned Days, second weekend of June

• Moscow Covered Bridge Festival, fourth weekend of June

• Fourth of July Parade, Car Show and Fireworks

• Rush County Fair, third week of July

• Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana Steam Engine Display, first weekend in August

• American Legion Festival, second weekend of August

• Booker T. Washington Festival, fourth Saturday of August

• St. Mary's Fall Festival, second Sunday of September

• Rush County Festival, third weekend of September

The Pioneer Engineers' steam show is truly unique as it draws 50,000 people from all across the country, eager to maintain an important part of our County's heritage. The three-day Rush County Festival, sponsored by the Rush County Chamber of Commerce, captures the spirit of hometown living with a parade, Plenty of Street, vendors, the Wendell Willkie 5k run/walk and live entertainment. Folks in Rush County really know how to enjoy their community.

And there's always plenty of room for more festivities. That's why the Rush County Fairgrounds offers year ‘round opportunities for groups and organizations to rent its facilities.

The area's youth are well-served, too, by the Rushville Boys & Girls Club, which offers a wide variety of programs ranging from education and physical fitness, to craft and hobby classes, and an active 4-H program.

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