Local Communities

Local Impact

Brian Capouch

29 February 2016

Lecture Plan

  • Look at the big changes to area small towns
  • Hispanics in local communities are the main focus
  • First some facts, then some first-person ideas

My thesis:

The influences of globalization, urbanization, age demographics, and immigration have radically changed

rural small towns in the space of just a few years.  

Some feel small towns are doomed

The Core 8 angle:

Depending on who you talk to, the influx of Hispanics over the past 20 years has either been either 

  • the cause of the decline of these small towns, or
  • a major factor that has kept them from falling further into decline.

1. Facts

For each, consider:

  Can we do anything about it?  Do we want to?

People are moving to cities and suburbs

"Middle class" jobs are disappearing

Milanovic, B.,World Bank Research Department, Annotations by James Plunkett.

"Baby Boomers" retiring creates a demographic gap

Rural areas have become more diverse

Hispanic Demographics

Selected Indiana Counties


Increase 131%

Increase 150%

Increase 671%

Increase 33%

Increase 447%

Increase 85%

Increase 80%

Increase 137%

Increase 1163%

Increase 76%

2. First-person accounts

Who am I to talk?

  • Lifetime area resident
  • I live on the banks of the Big Monon Creek
  • I have history and interests in several counties
  • Soy Mexicano*

three counties,

three stories

Jasper County's land

  • Leading agricultural county
  • Interesting geography and geology
  • Recently a "big dairy" production area

Racing the clock in Medaryville

(Pulaski County)

Monon, Indiana

(White County)

Home sweet home, built 1892

Quick facts about Monon

  • Railroad town, founded 1853
  • Erstwhile truck trailer manufacturing giant
  • Most highly Hispanic town in the area
  • The factory went spectacularly bankrupt 1997

Debbie Vandervort

Millie Eckert

Lexi Taylor

Trinidad Arias