How did Merrillville, Indiana get its name

Indiana's Famous Attractions and Contributions

How did Merrillville, Indiana gets its name? 

Merrillville, Indiana is a town located in Ross Township, Lake County, and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. It has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century when it was first settled. Understanding the origins of Merrillville's name provides valuable insights into the town's history and development.

Early Settlement and Naming

Merrillville was initially settled in the 1840s by pioneer families looking to establish a community in the region. One of the key figures in Merrillville's early development was Jeremiah Wiggins, who arrived in the area in 1848 and constructed the first log cabin. As more settlers arrived, the town began to grow, attracting businesses and infrastructure.

Naming the Town

The town was named after one of its early settlers, Dudley W. Merrill. Dudley Merrill was a prominent attorney and the owner of a sawmill, which played a vital role in the town's economic growth. The name "Merrillville" was chosen to honor his contributions and to establish a distinctive identity for the town.

Economic Growth and Development

Throughout its history, Merrillville has experienced significant economic growth and development. The construction of railroads in the late 19th century contributed to the town's prosperity by providing easier transportation for goods and people. The establishment of industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, and retail further fueled Merrillville's economic success.

Population and Demographics

Over the years, Merrillville's population has steadily increased. As of the latest census data, the town has a population of approximately XX,XXX residents. The diverse demographics of Merrillville reflect the cultural and ethnic richness of the community, contributing to its vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.

Notable Landmarks and Attractions

Merrillville boasts several notable landmarks and attractions that highlight its historical significance and cultural heritage. Some of the key attractions include:

  • Deep River Waterpark - A popular waterpark offering thrilling rides and fun-filled activities for visitors of all ages.
  • Star Plaza Theatre - A renowned entertainment venue that hosts various concerts, theatrical performances, and other live events.
  • Southlake Mall - A premier shopping destination featuring a wide range of stores and dining options.
  • Ross Township History Museum - Showcasing artifacts and exhibits that provide insights into Merrillville's past.

Indiana's Famous Attractions and Contributions

Indiana is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Known as the "Crossroads of America," Indiana is famous for its diverse attractions, rich history, and significant contributions to various fields. Let's explore some of the highlights that make Indiana a remarkable and renowned state.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

One of the most iconic attractions in Indiana is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Located in Speedway, a suburb of Indianapolis, it is the home of the Indianapolis 500, one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. The speedway attracts racing enthusiasts from around the globe, hosting numerous racing events throughout the year.

Hoosier Hospitality

Indiana is known for its warm and friendly people, and this welcoming spirit is often referred to as "Hoosier Hospitality." Visitors to Indiana often remark on the kindness and helpfulness of the locals, creating a positive and inviting atmosphere for tourists and residents alike.


Indiana has a deep-rooted passion for basketball. The state is renowned for its love of the sport, from high school basketball games that fill massive arenas to the fervor surrounding the Indiana Pacers in the NBA. The Indiana High School Basketball Tournament, also known as "March Madness," is a significant event that showcases the state's basketball talent and brings communities together.

Indianapolis Children's Museum

The Indianapolis Children's Museum is one of the largest and most renowned children's museums in the world. It offers interactive exhibits and educational experiences that cater to children of all ages. The museum's diverse range of attractions and educational programs make it a popular destination for families and school groups.

Historical Landmarks

Indiana is steeped in history, with numerous landmarks and sites that tell the story of its past. Some notable historical attractions include the Indiana State Capitol Building in Indianapolis, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, and the Conner Prairie Living History Museum, which provides visitors with an immersive experience of life in the 19th century.

Agricultural Contributions

Indiana's fertile soil and agricultural heritage have made it a significant contributor to the nation's food production. The state is known for its corn, soybeans, and livestock production. The Indiana State Fair, held annually in Indianapolis, showcases the state's agricultural achievements and offers a variety of entertainment and cultural exhibits.

Music and Performing Arts

Indiana has a vibrant music and performing arts scene. The state is the birthplace of several renowned musicians, including Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indiana Repertory Theatre are just a few examples of the state's commitment to promoting and supporting the arts.

Contributions to Science and Technology

Indiana has played a significant role in scientific and technological advancements. It is home to Purdue University, known for its renowned engineering and aviation programs. The state has also contributed to the automotive industry, with major manufacturers like General Motors and Subaru operating production facilities in Indiana.

Natural Beauty

Indiana is blessed with stunning natural landscapes, including the Indiana Dunes National Park along the shores of Lake Michigan. The park offers beautiful beaches, sand dunes, and diverse ecosystems, attracting nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

Culinary Delights

Indiana's culinary scene is thriving, with a wide range of dining options that showcase the state's flavors. From farm-to-table restaurants to delicious comfort food, Indiana offers a gastronomic experience that satisfies all tastes.

Indiana's fame extends beyond its borders, with attractions and contributions that leave a lasting impression. Whether it's the thrill of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the warmth of Hoosier Hospitality, or the historical landmarks that tell its story, Indiana offers a wealth of experiences for residents and visitors alike. Its diverse cultural offerings, contributions to sports and technology, and natural beauty make Indiana a truly remarkable state.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the population of Merrillville?

As of the latest census data, Merrillville has a population of approximately XX,XXX residents.

Who was Dudley W. Merrill?

Dudley W. Merrill was an early settler of Merrillville and a prominent attorney and sawmill owner. The town was named after him to honor his contributions to its development.

What are some popular attractions in Merrillville?

Some popular attractions in Merrillville include Deep River Waterpark, Star Plaza Theatre, Southlake Mall, and the Ross Township History Museum.


The name "Merrillville" holds historical significance, paying tribute to Dudley W. Merrill and the town's early settlers. Over the years, Merrillville has grown into a thriving community with a diverse population, a strong economy, and notable landmarks and attractions. By understanding the origins of its name and exploring its history, we gain a deeper appreciation for Merrillville's unique identity and the contributions of those who shaped it.

Josephine Halder
Josephine Halder

Award-winning travelaholic. Freelance twitter aficionado. Subtly charming student. Evil music practitioner. Hardcore coffee scholar. Wannabe social media advocate.