Lawrence-Geist

A TIMELINE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY: LAWRENCE-GEIST, 1849 TO 1998

1849 Lanesville platted near Bee Line Railroad and Pendleton Pike.
1866 Lanesville’s name is changed to Lawrence after the name of the post office.
1886 Population of Lawrence: 150. It has become a trading center.
1903 Fort Benjamin Harrison is established on 2,000 acres of land north of the town of Lawrence.
1926 Oaklandon’s Universalist church rebuilds after a fire.  The new building is at 6450 Oalkandon Road.
1927 Population of Oaklandon is 500.
Oaklandon has two churches, the Universalist and a Christian Church.
1929 Lawrence is incorporated.
1940 Lawrence holds and annual “Twelfth Night” ceremony for Epiphany observance which involves a ceremonial burning of Christmas trees.
1941 The damming of Fall Creek at 8200 Fall Creek Boulevard allows greater growth in Lawrence.
1950 Population of Lawrence: 2,000.
Growth at Lawrence is spurred by Western Electric, Ford and Chrysler plants on nearby Shadeland Ave.
A new park in Lawrence is dubbed “pool park” after the wading pool there.
1951 Oaklandon gets first electric street light.
1953 Finance Center opens at Fort Benjamin Harrison bringing approximately 10,000 civilian and military employees.
City of Indianapolis invokes a new urbanization law to prevent Lawrence from annexing land within 3 miles of Indianapolis’s boundaries.
1955 Oaklandon’s Northeast subdivision is showing spec houses for sale.
1958 Indiana Bell Telephone gains permission to acquire the Oaklandon Telephone Company.  Oaklandon has about 550 subscribers and 725 phones in use.   Indiana Bell will give 24-hour service and direct service to Indianapolis, Fishers, Cumberland and McCordsville.  There will be a rate increase.
1959 Lawrence becomes a 5th Class City.
Lawrence replaces town board with first mayor, Morris Settles, and a city council.
1960 Lawrence City Council suspends its rules for one night to quickly finalize an annexation of an area about 1/2 the size of the current city.  The council acted quickly to prevent Indianapolis from annexing the land.  About 25 remonstrators attend the meeting.
1960 population of Lawrence: 10,000.
1961 Lawrence becomes a 4th Class City when population climbs over 10,000.
Yearly stipend for volunteer fire department members is raised from $25 to $35.
When Lawrence grows from 5th Class to 4th Class city it adds two new council members, growing from five members–four elected from districts and one at large–to seven members, five from districts and two at large.
Lawrence has a seven-man police department.  Minimum pay is to be raised from $3,960 to $4,200.
1962 Although the Unitarian Universalist church in Oaklandon has not grown at the same rate that the town has, the Christian Church has grown rapidly and is building a new building.
1963 A group of local “toughs,”  calling themselves the “Oaklandon Hoods” are causing problems in town.  Apparently there is not much serious criminal behavior but they are bothering residents.
1964 Former site of Oaklandon School is to be used for a new shopping center.
Rev. John Greenlee of Oaklandon Christian Church along with parents and the Oaklandon Volunteer Fire Department sponsors recreational events, athletics and dances for the local teens.  This is resulting in a decrease in problems with area teens.
1967 The Oaklandon Community Council, led by Rev. John Greenlee of Oaklandon Christian Church has successfully lobbied IPL to install electric street lights in Oaklandon.  The town will pay a yearly charge of $3,200 for the service.
1968 Fire puts the town of Oaklandon’s only grocery out of business.  Residents raise money to help store owners reopen.
1970 Population of Lawrence: 16,000.
Fort Benjamin Harrison is annexed by Lawrence.   The annexation adds more than 2,600 acres to the city.  The annexation will also increase Lawrence’s share of state tax funds.
Under UniGov, Lawrence is designated an “Excluded City.”
Population of Oaklandon is 1,500.
1973 Indianapolis enters lawsuit against the City of Lawrence by citizens who hope to prevent annexation of their areas by Lawrence.
1976 Lawrence annexes more than 5,000 acres including Oaklandon and Indian Lake.  The justice of Superior Court 7 ruled in favor of the City of Lawrence and against citizens who objected to the annexation.  The decision ended a six-year lawsuit.
1980 Population of Lawrence: 25,000.
1988 Lawrence Mayor Thomas D. Schneider is the city of Lawrence’s third mayor.  Beginning his first week in office he plans to form a sanitation department and to transform the volunteer fire department into a paid unit.
City of Lawrence operates on annual budget of approximately $4 million and employs 100 people.
Lawrence is counted the fastest growing city in Indiana.
City of Lawrence operates eight parks in Lawrence township.
City of Lawrence has three fire stations. Locations are: 450 McCoy Street, 4751 N. Richart and 6477 Oaklandon Rd.
1989 Lawrence is scheduled a new 770-student elementary school near Fort Harrison this year.
The City of Lawrence has budgeted money to construct a fourth fire station this year.
1990 Suburban sprawl from Geist Reservoir and Lawrence have increased the population of the Oaklandon area to 2,600.
Population of Lawrence: 27,000.  Lawrence has 11 churches.
 1991 April.  Department of the Army lists Fort Benjamin Harrison as one of several Army Installations to be closed in the 1990s.
1997 Fort Benjamin Harrison closes as an Army installation.  Part of the property will become a state park.
1998 Karen Sippel, block captain of the Payton Street Crime Watch recruits businesses, residents, civic groups, and the city of Lawrence to clean-up and renovate Explorer Park in Lawrence.
A pending bond issue for city recreation facilities includes $200,000 for a new shelter, trail lighting, sand volleyball court, softball field, and landscaping.