Hartford City, IN
Hartford City is a city in the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Blackford County. Located in the northeast central portion of the state, the small farming community experienced a 15-year “boom” beginning in the late 1880s. The Indiana Gas Boom was caused by the discovery of natural gas in the area, and it caused the community to transition from an agricultural economy to one that also included manufacturing. After the boom, the town lost some of its manufacturers and workforce. However, some manufacturers remained in the city, and some of the local workers began commuting to nearby cities to work in the new automobile industry.
From the 1920s to the 1980s, Hartford City was able to attract some new manufacturing companies because of its workforce and railroad facilities. During the 1980s, the economic decline of the “Rust Belt” region of the United States coincided with the decline in Hartford City’s population. The recent economic difficulties for the automobile industry have also been unfortunate for the economy of Hartford City, but the town continues to work to attract new businesses. The town’s population was 6,220 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is the county seat of Blackford County, and is located within Licking Township in the southwest portion of the county.
Hartford City, Indiana began in the late 1830s as a few log cabins clustered near a creek. Folklore taught in local elementary schools suggested that Hartford City was originally a place to cross Lick Creek, known as “Hart’s ford”. This evolved to Hartford, and was eventually changed to Hartford City to avoid confusion. The community became the county seat of Blackford County. During the last half of the 19th Century, East Central Indiana consisted mostly of rural farming communities, including Hartford City. The town's population did not exceed 2,000 until after 1887, when the region began to grow because of the Indiana Gas Boom.