Columbus ( /kəlʌmbəs/) is a city in and the county seat of Bartholomew County, Indiana, United States. The population was 44,061 at the 2010 census, and the current mayor is Fred Armstrong. Located approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of Indianapolis, on the east fork of the White River, it is the state's 20th largest city. It is also the principal city of the Columbus, Indiana, metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Bartholomew County.
Columbus is currently ranked 11th in the United States on the list of safest cities per population. National Geographic Traveler ranked Columbus 11th on its historic destinations list in late 2008, describing the city as "authentic, unique, and unspoiled." Columbus won the national contest "America in Bloom" in 2006, and in 2004 it was named one of "The Ten Most Playful Towns" by Nick Jr. Family Magazine. The July 2005 edition of GQ Magazine named Columbus one of the "62 Reasons to Love Your Country." Columbus is the headquarters of the engine company Cummins, Inc.
The land which is now Columbus was bought by General John Tipton and Luke Bonesteel in 1820. General Tipton built a log cabin on Mt. Tipton, a small hill overlooking White River and the surrounding flat, heavily forested and swampy valley. The town was known as Tiptonia, named in honor of General Tipton. The town's name officially was changed to Columbus on March 20, 1821. General Tipton was very upset by the change of names and decided to leave the newly founded town. He later became the Highway Commissioner for the State of Indiana and was assigned to building a highway from Indianapolis, Indiana to Louisville, Kentucky. When the road reached Columbus, Tipton constructed the first bypass road ever built; it detoured south around the west side of Columbus on its way to Seymour.