|Nickname(s): City of Firsts|
|• Mayor||Greg Goodnight (D)|
|• Total||16.3 sq mi (42.1 km2)|
|• Land||16.2 sq mi (42.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)|
|Elevation||811 ft (247 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Density||2,846/sq mi (1,099.0/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0437425|
Kokomo ( //) is a city in and the county seat of Howard County, Indiana, United States, Indiana's 13th largest city. It is the principal city of the Kokomo, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Howard and Tipton counties.
Kokomo was named after a Miami Indian referred to as a chief, but later found to be local legend Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo, which is sometimes spelled as "Koh-Koh-Mah" or "Kokomoko". His name translates to Black Walnut. There was a trading post for commerce between Native Americans and European-Americans here in the early 19th century. David Foster founded the first trading post in Howard County. In 1844, Foster donated 40 acres (160,000 m2) of his land to create a county seat in Kokomo, which was a log courthouse, for use in the community. It was incorporated as a city in 1865.
Kokomo is officially known as the "City of Firsts" for, among other achievements, being a pioneer of United States automobile manufacturing, with Elwood Haynes test-driving his early internal combustion engine auto there on July 4, 1894. Haynes and his associates built a number of other autos over the next few years; the Haynes-Apperson Automobile Company for mass-production of commercial autos was established in Kokomo in 1898. Haynes went on to invent Stainless Steel flatware in 1912 to give his wife tarnish-free dinnerware. In 1938, the Delco Radio Division of General Motors (now Delphi) developed the first push button car radio.
On October 6, 1886, natural gas was discovered in Kokomo, leading to a "boom" in business. This discovery was directly responsible for Elwood Haynes' move to Kokomo, as he was a superintendent with a gas company with interests in Kokomo and Howard County. The Diamond Plate Glass Company began in Kokomo in 1887, lured by the cheap and plentiful natural gas. This company later became part of Pittsburgh Plate Glass, or PPG. The Kokomo Opalescent Glass Works started making stained glass in Kokomo in 1888 and has been in continuous operation ever since.
On July 4, 1923, Kokomo achieved national notoriety when it hosted the largest Ku Klux Klan gathering in history. An estimated 200,000 Klan members and supporters gathered in Malfalfa Park for a mighty Konklave and the elevation of D. C. Stephenson to Grand Dragon of the Indiana Klan. A huge flag was used that day to collect a reported $50,000 for construction of a local “Klan hospital” so that Klan members would not have to be treated at the only local hospital, which was Catholic. At that time Indiana was a Klan stronghold, and as much as 50 percent of white males in parts of Indiana were Klan members. Both men’s and women’s Klans held weekly rallies and initiations in Malfalfa Park, and Kokomo’s Klanswomen held meetings at the armory, the local headquarters of the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, and churches. A speech at a Baptist church was attended by 1000 Klanswomen.
Kokomo serves as the "City of Firsts" in the food industry as well. In 1928 Walter Kemp, Kemp Brothers Canning Co. developed the first canned tomato juice because of a request by a physician in search for baby food for his clinic. Kokomo is also home to the first mechanical corn picker which was developed by a man named John Powell in the early 1920s. In modern times, Kokomo was home to the first Ponderosa Steakhouse Kokomo opened the first McDonald's with a diner inside, locally called "McDiner." This McDonald's theme failed nationally. Eventually, the "McDiner" closed and was converted back to a regular McDonald's restaurant.
The city served to characterize the nation's misunderstanding of AIDS in the late 1980s when Ryan White was expelled from school due to his illness. Many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against his attendance. A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, along with death threats and violence against White and his family. Media coverage of the case made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research and public education.
The Kokomo Gas Tower had been a symbol of Kokomo since it was constructed in 1954. The tower was 115 m (378 ft) tall and had a capacity of 340,000 m³ (12 million cubic feet). Due to high maintenance costs of $75,000 a year to maintain and up to $1,000,000 to paint, the gas company decided to demolish it in 2003. Other ideas were reviewed before settling on this decision, including a plan to turn the tower into a giant Coca-Cola advertisement. On September 7, 2003, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the Gas Tower was demolished by Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI). Pieces of the tower were sold to the public for $20–30, and proceeds went to a planned Kokomo technology incubation center and Bona Vista.
|Source: US Census Bureau|
Kokomo is the larger principal city of the Kokomo-Peru CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Kokomo metropolitan area (Howard and Tipton counties) and the Peru micropolitan area (Miami County), which had a combined population of 137,623 at the 2000 census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 46,113 people, 20,273 households, and 12,204 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,847.2 people per square mile (1,099.0/km²). There were 22,292 housing units at an average density of 1,376.4 per square mile (531.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.10% White, 10.34% African American, 0.38% Native American, 1.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.61% of the population.
There were 20,273 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.8 males.
The median income for a households in the city was $36,258, and the median income for a family was $45,353. Males had a median income of $38,420 versus $24,868 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,083. About 9.6% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.5% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
In Dec. 2008 Kokomo was listed third by Forbes in a list of America's fastest dying towns. This is attributed to the financial problems of the automotive industry. However, in May 2011 Forbes listed Kokomo as one of the "Best Cities for Jobs" after the city ascended 177 places in their rankings. The same article in Forbes described Kokomo's success in the past few years as "inspirational.". Forbes was not alone in documenting Kokomo's economic renaissance, in June 2011 Conexus released a report touting Kokomo's "rapid bounce" after the recession.
"City of Firsts" inventionsEdit
- 1894 - Elwood Haynes makes the first successful trial run of his "horseless carriage" on Pumpkinvine Pike, which is now Boulevard east of U.S.31.
- 1894 - The first pneumatic rubber tire was invented by D.C. Spraker at the Kokomo Rubber Tire Company.
- 1895 - The first aluminum casting was developed by William "Billy" Johnson from the Ford and Donnelly Foundry.
- 1902 - Kingston carburetor developed by George Kingston.
- 1906 - The first Stellite cobalt-base alloy was discovered by Elwood Haynes.
- 1912 - Stainless steel tableware was invented by Elwood Haynes as a response to his wife's desire for tableware that wouldn't tarnish.
- 1918 - The Howitzer shell, used in World War I, was created by the Superior Machine Tool Company.
- 1918 - The first aerial bomb with fins was first produced by the Liberty Pressed Metal Company.
- 1920 - The mechanical corn picker was created by John Powell.
- 1926 - Carl Molin developed Dirilyte golden-hued tableware.
- 1928 - The first canned tomato juice was created by Walter Kemp from Kemp Brothers Canning Company in response to a physician's need for baby food.
- 1938 - The first push-button car radio was created at Delco Radio Division of General Motors Corporation.
- 1941 - Globe American Stove Company manufactured the first all-metal life boats and rafts.
- 1947 - The first signal-seeking car radio was created by the Delco Radio Division of General Motors.
- 1957 - Delco Radio Division of General Motors developed the first all transistor car radio.
Kokomo's current mayor is (Democrat) Greg Goodnight (2008–present). The two previous mayors have been (Republican) Matt McKillip (2004–2008) and (Republican) Jim Trobaugh. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote.
The city council is known as the Common Council. It consists of nine members. Six members are elected from individual districts. The other three are elected at-large.
A major roadway traversing through Kokomo, U.S. Route 31 has become one of the state's most congested roadways. In Howard County, there are currently 15 traffic signals on US 31. US 31 connects Indianapolis, Kokomo, and South Bend. In the next decade, Kokomo will see a new interstate-style roadway on the east side of city limits. It will have interchanges at SR 26, Boulevard, Markland Avenue, Touby Pike, as well as where the current US 31 meets the new US 31. There will be similar changes to areas near South Bend and Indianapolis. The construction in Howard County will cost roughly $340 million. Construction started on the County Road 200 South bridge on November 1, 2008  and construction will continue for the next 6 years.
- Kokomo Tribune, daily morning newspaper owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. (CNHI).
- Kokomo Perspective, a locally-owned weekly newspaper delivered every Tuesday or Wednesday.
- Kokomo Herald, weekly newspaper, a locally-owned weekly founded in 1971.
- The Correspondent, IU-Kokomo student newspaper
- WFIU-FM, Jazz, Classical, NPR- 106.1 FM
- WFRN-FM, Christian Radio- 93.7 FM
- WIOU-AM, Talk, News and Sports- 1350 AM
- WIWC-FM, Christian Radio- 91.7 FM
- WJJD-LP, Christian Radio- 101.3 FM
- WMYK-FM, Rock- 98.5 FM
- WSHW-FM, Light Rock- 99.7 FM
- WWKI-FM, Hit Country- 100.5 FM
- WZWZ-FM, Bright Adult Contemporary- 92.5 FM
- Indiana University Kokomo (IUK)
- Indiana Wesleyan University - Kokomo Campus
- Ivy Tech Community College
- Purdue College of Technology
- Kokomo-Center Township Consolidated School Corporation (K-12) Kokomo High School (NCC)
- Eastern Howard School Corporation (K-12, Greentown, Indiana) (MIC)
- Northwestern School Corporation (K-12) (MIC)
- Taylor Community School Corporation (K-12, Center, Indiana) (MIC)
- Western School Corporation (K-12, Russiaville, Indiana) (MIC)
- Kokomo Christian School (K-5)
- Redeemer Lutheran School (K-6)
- Sts. Joan of Arc and St. Patrick Catholic School (K-8)
- Temple Christian School (K4-12)
- Victory Chirstain Academy (K-12)
- Acacia Academy (K-8)
- St. Joseph Hospital, opened in 1913
- Howard Regional Health System, incorporated in 1958 
Howard County Historical SocietyEdit
The Howard County Historical Society is a major attraction in the city of Kokomo. It occupies the Seiberling Mansion, the Elliot House, and their carriage houses. The Seiberling Mansion was originally the residence of one of Kokomo's richest citizens, Monroe Seiberling. The Seiberling Mansion has been on the National Registor of Historic Places since 1972. The Elliot House also began as a residence and was then converted into office space. The HCHS campus is a popular venue for weddings, weather permitting. During the winter the HCHS has 'Christmas at the Seiberling' an event which has activities for all ages, Including Santa Claus for children as well as tours of buildings, the lighting of the building and carriage rides through the Old Silk Stocking Neighborhood. The HCHS resides in the Old Silk Stocking Neighborhood which is an attraction in itself. The neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only neighborhood in Howard County on the register. Howard County Historical Society
- Old Ben, a stuffed Hereford steer at Highland Park
- Vermont Covered Bridge, located in Highland Park
- The Sycamore Stump, a large stump at Highland Park
- Kokomo Beach
- Kokomo Pipeline Skate Park, located at Jackson Morrow Park
- Kirkendall Interpretive Center, nature center located at Jackson Morrow Park
- Elwood Haynes Museum, located next to Highland Park
- City of Firsts Automotive Heritage Museum
- Kokomo Visitors Center (located on US 31 North)
- Kokomo Event Center
- Chief Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo Burial and Monument, east of downtown Kokomo
- Kokomo Country Club, golf club
- Kokomo Rib Fest, mid-June, downtown
- City of Firsts Soapbox Derby, Last Saturday in June
- Haynes-Apperson Festival, Independence Day weekend
- Howard County 4-H Fair, mid-July, in Greentown, Indiana
- Taste of Kokomo Festival, mid-August, downtown
- Koh-Koh-Mah & Foster Living History Encampment, mid-September
- Oktober Fest, 1st Saturday in October, downtown
- New Years Ball Drop, December 31 at Downtown Square
- Indiana Mustangs, Mid Continental Football League (1991–2006)
- Kokomo Dodgers, Midwest League (1955–1961)
- Kokomo CFD Saints, semi-pro baseball (1989–2002)
- Kokomo CFD Knights, semi-pro baseball - (2006–2007)
- City of Fists Roller Girls, (started 2010)
- CFD Investments Stadium in Highland Park
- Kokomo Speedway
- Memorial Gym
Kokomo has a 12-screen movie theater, called AMC Showplace Kokomo 12, located on 1530 East Boulevard. In addition to AMC, Kokomo also has several forms of live entertainment, including choirs, a Park Band Association, and three live theatres. Live entertainment includes:
- The Kokomo Park Band Association, founded in 1891. Functions in the summer months. Holds summer concerts hosted by Kokomo's Department of Park and Recreation.
- Curtain Call Theatre for Children, founded in 1987 by Marge Scionti-Johnson. Functions September through May. Offers a 3-show season.
- Kokomo Civic Theatre, founded in 1949. Functions throughout the year. Offers a 4-5 shows per season.
- Kokomo Summer Drama Camp, founded in 1994 by Marge Scionti-Johnson, functions June through August. Offers 2 shows per season, and training for children ages 4 and up.
- Chrysler LLC
- Delphi Corporation
- Electronics & Safety World Headquarters
- GM Components Holdings LLC
- Haynes International
- Holder Mattress
- Syndicate Sales, Inc.
- Coca-Cola bottling plant
- US-31 to South Bend (North) and Indianapolis (South)
- US-35 to Logansport (North) and Muncie (South)
- IN-19 to Kokomo Reservoir (North) and Tipton (South)
- IN-22 to Burlington (West) and Hartford City (East)
- IN-26 to Lafayette (West) and Hartford City (East)
- Railroads 
- Central Railroad Company of Indianapolis
- Norfolk Southern Railway (tracks out of service)
- Winamac Southern Railway (formerly part of the Columbus to Chicago Main Line)
- Bus Service
- Trailways service to Indianapolis and South Bend (Schedules)
- Cityline Trolley A fixed-route transportation system,Two buses run past a total of 108 bus stops, passing each stop once every hour, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday (Schedules )
Notable people and groupsEdit
- Elmer and Edgar Apperson, automotive pioneers
- Brandon Beachy MLB pitcher, Atlanta Braves, Northwestern High School (Indiana) graduate
- Alicia Berneche operatic soprano
- Rupert Boneham, Survivor contestant
- Breaksk8 Jamskating crew featured on MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew" and NBC's "America's Got Talent"
- Norman Bridwell, author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog books
- Quautico (Tico) Brown, former Continental Basketball Association player
- Steve Butler, six-time Sprint Car National Champion
- Kaitlyn Christopher, Miss Indiana USA 2005
- Elwood Haynes, inventor, automotive pioneer
- Ezra Hendrickson
- Nellie Keeler, child circus performer
- Don Johnson, professional bowler/PBA Hall-of-Fame member
- Sylvia Jane Kirby, singer
- Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes correspondent
- Jim "Goose" Ligon, former ABA basketball player
- Strother Martin, actor
- Matthew Mays, Three-time Emmy Award winning television/film producer
- Kent C. Nelson, past CEO of United Parcel Service
- Anthony Norris, professional wrestler
- John O'Banion, singer
- John Oetjen, Grammy Award winner, television and film producer
- Jack Purvis, Jazz musician
- Jimmy Rayl, Splendid Splinter, Indiana Pacers 1967-1969, two-time All-American Indiana University
- John D. Shearer, photographer
- Tavis Smiley, PBS
- Floyd Talbert, soldier (of Band of Brothers fame)
- Joe Thatcher, pitcher for MLB San Diego Padres
- Pat Underwood, former MLB pitcher, Detroit Tigers
- Tom Underwood, former MLB pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, and Baltimore Orioles
- Ryan White, AIDS activist
Movies filmed in KokomoEdit
- A Romance of Kokomo (1917), a silent film.
- Terror Squad (1987), starring Chuck Connors and resident Michael W. Gordon
- The Ryan White Story (1988), starring Judith Light and Lukas Haas
Other film references to KokomoEdit
- In the 1947 film Mother Wore Tights, Betty Grable and Dan Dailey sing a song entitled "Kokomo, Indiana".
- In the animated movie Cats Don't Dance, the protagonist (Danny) hails from Kokomo.
- The Blues Brothers (film) featured a fictitious Kokomo bar, Bob's Country Bunker, where patrons threw beer bottles at the band on a stage protected by a chicken wire cage.
- City Connection (A NES video game) 5th Level is located in Kokomo.
- In the movie series Band of Brothers part 3 Carentan in the end the poem read says "...he lunged he thrust both high and low and skewered the boy from Kokomo" as referenced to Floyd M. Talbert a native of Kokomo.
- Also in the same series above, Kokomo is referenced in part 1 Currahee when Talbert receives a package from the Kokomo Police Department. They sent him a pistol.
- ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- ^ Kokomo city, Indiana - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder. (American FactFinder Website), Retrieved January 3, 2009.
- ^ http://www.khcpl.org/glhs/history/chiefKokomoP1.html
- ^ a b http://www.khcpl.org/glhs/history/timeline.html
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ http://www.wpi.edu/About/History/Profiles/steel.html
- ^ http://delphi.com/news/pressReleases/pressReleases_2006/pr66602-01042006/
- ^ http://www.centerforhistory.org/indiana_history_main7.html
- ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=6O_XYBMhNYAC&pg=PA216&lpg=PA216&dq=melfalfa+park&source=bl&ots=fMi-mbEd1N&sig=IhZkNowS1H0Od-xw4LoRaV772HM&hl=en&ei=ih27TMXJBIvLnAf6o9DnDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=melfalfa%20park&f=false The fiery cross: the Ku Klux Klan in America’’ Wyn Craig Wade, Oxford University Press. 1987
- ^ ”Konklave in Kokomo” by Robert Coughlan, The Aspirin Age: 1919-1941, pp. 105-129. ed. Isabel Leighton, Simon and Schuster, 1949
- ^ "Ku Klux Klan", Wayne County, Indiana Records, 1916–1933, Indiana History, URL accessed May 29, 2006
- ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=Zh5zQFaJNGYC&pg=PA138&lpg=PA138&dq=melfalfa+park&source=bl&ots=5yUPbkY3kp&sig=DTM8ymgZ0WoLaWpBDGuqe3KzKXY&hl=en&ei=nRi7TL7JMougnQek3dHWDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=melfalfa%20park&f=false Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s.’’ Kathleen M. Blee. URL accessed October 17, 2010
- ^ http://www.americanprofile.com/article/19897.html
- ^ http://www.state.in.us/ism/Exhibits_Collections/index.aspx
- ^ Stephens, Caleb (April 21, 2003). "Local Ponderosa restaurants fall from six to two". http://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2003/04/21/story3.html.
- ^ http://www.creativemag.com/rest501.html
- ^ http://www.crh.noaa.gov/iwx/program_areas/events/historical/palmsunday1965/index.php#Indiana%20and%20Michigan
- ^ http://www.ktonline.com/archivesearch/local_story_318172905.html
- ^ METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- ^ COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
- ^  2008-12-11. Accessed 2008-12-11.
- ^ http://blogs.forbes.com/joelkotkin/2011/05/02/the-best-cities-for-jobs/
- ^ http://cber.iweb.bsu.edu/research/conexus11/IndianaReport11.pdf
- ^ Kokomo-Howard County Public Library : : Genealogy and Local History Services. (Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Website), Retrieved January 3, 2009.
- ^ "Kokomo Mayor". City of Kokomo, Indiana. http://www.cityofkokomo.org/main.asp?SectionID=15&TM=9914.998. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- ^ City of Kokomo Indiana | Mayors Office
- ^ US 31 Bypass Begins. (Kokomo Tribune Website), Retrieved January 3, 2009.
- ^ "A Call to Care - Sisters of St. Joseph". Catholic Health Association. http://www.chausa.org/Contenttwocolumn.aspx?pageid=2147486963. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- ^ "St. Joseph Hospital - Our History". St. Vincent Health. http://www.stvincent.org/St-Joseph/About-Us/Our-History.aspx. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- ^ John J. Fialka. Sisters: Catholic nuns and the making of America. Retrieved on October 27, 2010.
- ^ Kokomo Speedway
- ^ http://www.inaams.com/downloads/Indiana%20railroads%202005.pdf
- ^ RailAmerica ::: Railmaps
- Kokomo-Howard County Public Library
- In Kokomo
- City of Kokomo, Indiana website
- Kokomo IN Visitors Bureau
- Howard County Community Net
- Club Kokomo Roadrunners
- Kokomo Civic Theatre
- Kokomo Summer Drama Camp
- Curtain Call Theatre
- Kokomo Park Band
- Video of the demolition of the gas tower
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