Founded in 1806 by abolitionist Quakers from North Carolina, Richmond is one of the oldest cities in Indiana not on the Ohio or Wabash Rivers. Transportation routes quickly improved with the completion of the Whitewater Canal and the arrival of the National Road (today's US 40) in 1827. Located in East-Central Indiana directly on the Ohio border, the city is just 40 miles from Dayton, OH, and 70 miles from both Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
Richmond gave birth to the oldest National Bank in Indiana, the second-oldest newspaper in the state, and was home to the first Junior High School in the United States. Earlham College, and Earlham School of Religion, the first accredited Quaker seminary in the world, were founded in 1847. Before the Great Depression, Gennett Studios released recordings from Jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Hoagy Carmichael, and Bix Beiderbecke. A devastating explosion leveled several downtown blocks in 1968. A pedestrian-only street was built in the aftermath, but Main Street has recently been reopened to vehicular traffic.