West Indianapolis 
is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Indianapolis. The earliest residents arrived in the 1820’s, many coming from Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Indiana.  Among the early residednts was the Harding family from Washington County, Kentucky. Robert and Martha Harding married about the time of the close of the Revolutionary War and were the parents of twelve children.

In 1820, Mrs. Harding, then a widow, settled her family on a “donation tract” just outside the town of Indianapolis on westside and built a log cabin on the banks of the White River. Mrs. Harding died in 1841. She owned a farm of 160 acres in Wayne Townshop near Eagle Creek and three of her sons, Ede, Samuel and Israel were resident tax-payers in Wayne Township in 1829.

Many of the men who first settled West Indianapolis in the late 1870’s came to work at the stockyards and on the Belt Railroad, built to serve the stockyards and early industries.  The stockyards opened in November of 1877 and were located near the intersection of Hadley Avenue and Judge Harding Street (now Kentucky Avenue and Harding Street). The stockyards were built at the suggestion of the McCarty family who owned the site and Thomas D. Kingan of the meat packing firm at Maryland Street and White River.  For ninety-six years the stockyards operated at this location.

The early workers came with their families and settled in an area north of the stockyards.  The Village of Belmont soon sprung up and in just a few years the populations grew from less than 500 to more than 3,000. In 1894 the community was incorporated as the Town of West Indianapolis. Three years later in 1897, West Indainapolis was annexed to the City of Indianapolis, but as in other neighborhoods, the residents still call  their home West Indianapolis.

Read more about the history of West Indianapolis.