Lebanon, "The Friendly City" is not just a slogan. It reflects its residents' commitment to quality of life, and pride of community. The city has much to offer, including a solid education system which excels in both academics and sports, beautifully manicured parks offering a wide array of community activities, excellent real estate opportunities, plus state-of-the-art medical facilities and plenty of social and civic organizations to meet any need.
Officially established in 1830, Lebanon was selected as the Boone County seat in 1832. Why? Probabaly because it's smack-dab in the middle of the county. That's because the town was founded by two prominent Indianapolis men, General James Perry Drake and Colonel George L. Kinnard, who bought some land in the area betting that the Boone County seat would placed in that general area. These two were described as progressive community builders and shrewd developers and speculators. Worked this time for them, for sure.
The town's name came from Adam French, one of its first commissioners. For some reason, a cluster of hickory trees made him think of the Bible's Cedars of Lebanon, so he shouted to a group of onlookers, "The name of this town shall be Lebanon." Presumably, they shouted back, "OK, whatever."
Lebanon has seen three courthouses in its day. The first, a two-story brick built in 1839, lasted for nearly two decades until - literally - the bottom started to drop out. Its replacement was finished in 1856 and stood until 1909. The current chourthouse is celebrating its centennial in 2011. Made of limestone from Bedford, Indiana, it stands out because of:
The large columns on the north and south entrances ... believed to be the largest monolithic (single-stone) limestone columns in the world;
The beautiful courthouse dome is the second-largest stained-glass dome in Indiana;
Eight rare Hahl pneumatically calibrated clocks that still keep time inside the courthouse.
As a city bounded on the South and West by I-65 and only 25 miles from Indianapolis and from Lafayette, the city's future growth is inevitable. (Resistance is futile.)
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