Jonesboro, Indiana

Jonesboro, Indiana

Months ago, I wrote about how covid affected changes in my art. One of my favorite photos taken during 2020 is of a building in Jonesboro, Indiana. I call the photo, We Care About You.

I used to get contact information about who purchased a print or photo from me (my current print-on-demand doesn’t provide customer contact data). The nice part about contact info was I could send a thank you note and write about the purchased piece. Here is part of my letter for the photo We Care About You.

We Care About You, Jonesboro, Indiana, 2020

Jonesboro, Indiana, is located in Grant County, next to Gas City and south of the town of Marion. Its population is a little over 1600 souls. It was established in 1837 by Obadiah Jones and named after him.

Advertisement for the Indiana Rubber and Insulated Wire Co. Thank you, Mark Renholzberger, for finding and sharing this image

 The town shows significant signs of decay. The Democratic headquarters is located in downtown Jonesboro. The condition of this building is representative of those surrounding it. Some are in such bad repair that yellow caution tape surrounds them, warning people not to enter.

The primary employment in Jonesboro is manufacturing, but I believe most work is outside of town. Jonesboro once had a large factory called The Indiana Rubber and Insolated Wiring Company,  established in 1890. It employed up to 400 people, so it probably helped establish Jonesboro as a place to live. The company appears to have been purchased by Exeon, which is still active in the wire manufacturing field as of 2022.

The Bicycle Tire Department of the Indiana Tire and Rubber Company in Jonesboro, IN, ca. 1893 Claude Fowler, the foreman, is in the middle of the front row, and the remainder are unidentified. Thank you, John Wylie, for finding and sharing this photo.

Compared to the rest of Indiana, Jonesboro has a high graduation rate for high school, but Jonesboro students must attend school in neighboring Gas City.

Other facts about Jonesboro:

  • The most common first names are James (24) and Mary (20).
  • The most common last names are Smith (15) and Jones (13).
  • Jonesboro was mentioned in season 1, episode 4 of the Netflix original show Stranger Things (side note, I love that show!).
Interior of the Jonesboro Democratic Headquarters.

The Jonesboro Democratic Headquarters has not been used for a long time, which does not appear to have resulted from the pandemic. The dust and disorder that can be viewed through the windows tell all! Apparently, the Democrats in Jonesboro have been fighting an uphill battle since at least the mid-1990s, as the majority of residents voted Republican in every Presidential election to date!


Update 5-25-24 I drove through Jonesboro about a month ago and noticed the sign was removed. The building is still there, but empty. I am happy I caught this moment in time before it slipped away. 

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