Small Town Indiana
Day 76: Alexandria
The town of Alexandria was settled and platted in 1836, with the idea that the Indiana Central Canal would one day go through this community (it didn’t), although a few early residents arrived a year earlier in 1835.. Alexandria was situated on Pipe Creek and provided water to the community. The town existed as a farming community until the discovery of natural gas in the 1880s, which turned Alexandria, like many other east-central Indiana communities, into a regional industrial hub. Numerous paper and glass companies moved into the area, along with a huge influx of population.
The town was officially incorporated on February 4, 1893 in response to the growth. Five years later, the interurban system reached Alexandria and connected the town to several other communities in Indiana.
However, by 1910, the gas was all but gone. Many of the companies left, but a few remained and helped to sustain Alexandria for several decades. During the Second World War, Alexandria saw renewed growth as an industrial hub.
There is no consensus from historians as to why Alexandria was named as such. Some point to Alexandria, Virginia, while others suggest that the name derived from the Greek Egyptian city of Alexandria.
County: Madison | Population: 6,260| Settlement Hierarchy: Town