In 1835, when American settlers were pushing westward to northwestern Indiana, Jeremiah Wiggins purchased land just south of Turkey Creek and named it Wiggins Point. Other settlers soon followed and changed the name to Centerville due to its location in the county. In 1848, the post office changed the name of the settlement to Merrillville, in honor of residents Dudley and William Merrill. At the time, the town included a store, a blacksmith shop, a cheese factory and the California Exchange Hotel.The railroads crossed Merrillville in 1876 (later Chesapeake & Ohio) and in 1880 (Chicago & Grand Trunk), providing links to Chicago markets.
During World War II, Merrillville was a typical Midwestern farming community. In 1971, Merrillville officially became a city under the statue of the state of Indiana. The incorporation was voted on by a majority of Ross Township residents who lived within a certain border line established by our founding fathers.Merrillville's history began in 1835 when Jeremiah Wiggins purchased land just south of Turkey Creek and named it Wiggins Point. Later, after Wiggins' death, the town thought it would be more appropriate to call it Centerville.
In 1848, the post office changed the name of the settlement to Merrillville, in honor of William Dudley Merrill, owner of a cheese factory.At that time, Merrillville's biggest attraction was the famous California Exchange Inn, which was a popular stopping place for forty-niners on their way to search for gold. Located in Lake County, Merrillville is 7 miles south of Gary, Indiana and 30 miles southeast of Chicago, Illinois. The city is included in the Gary metropolitan area.
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