Town of Switz City

The only town in Grant Township came into existence with the construction of the Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad in 1868-1869.  In 1870, Canal Lands were platted and named in honor of John Switz, a German immigrant.  A long frame building was erected for general merchandise and a boarding house was built, both catering to men building the railroad.  Soon a saw mill, a grist mill, a doctor’s office, and drug store were operating.  By 1879, a saloon, several restaurants, a livery stable, and two lodge halls were added.  Progress continued and a four-story flour mill, a furniture store, a harness shop, and a canning factory were also built.  By 1900, three railroad lines serviced Switz City, but only a short while after, the Monon Railroad ceased operation due to the collapse of the tunnel at Owensburg.  The Indianapolis & Vincennes Railroad had the only dependable schedule and the other line could hardly make it from Switz City to Effingham, Illinois.  Many factors contributed to the decline of Switz City, the major one being the depression of the 1930’s.

Provided by Mildred “Milly” (Coleman) Uland