Welcome to Muncie-Delaware County

Community History

Following the famous Middletown studies conducted in the 1920s and 1930s by sociologists Robert and Helen Lynd, Muncie emerged as one of the most studied communities in the world. Still today, researchers from across the globe give Muncie extra attention as “America’s Hometown.”

The Middletown study came nearly a century after Muncie got its start as a trading post founded by Goldsmith Gilbert. Gilbert, a New York native, settled along the White River in the mid-1820s, marking the beginning of a long history in Delaware County.

Delaware County, aptly named from the Delaware Tribe of Indians, was officially formed in 1827 with Munseetown as its county seat. The name was later shortened to Muncie in 1845 and incorporated in 1865, home then to only 3,000 people.

The Ball family moved to Muncie in the 1880s, establishing a company that would become a househoThe Ball Brothersld name. Each of the five Ball brothers contributed unique talents and expertise to the successful venture, Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company. The brothers later established the Ball Brothers Foundation, the first major project of which was Ball Memorial Hospital, completed in 1929. Their legacy is visible everywhere in Muncie-Delaware County, including Ball State University.

Muncie’s population has grown to 66,000 with 115,200 altogether living in Delaware County. Gilbert’s trading post certainly surpassed his expectations as Muncie-Delaware County has grown into a regional center for commerce, education and healthcare, attracting people from all over East Central Indiana and beyond.


Muncie-Delaware County is fortunate in the number of large foundations committed to enhancing the overall vitality of the community at-large. The following are just a few of the prominent foundations that have made a clear effort to support this thriving Indiana region. If you would like more information about a specific foundation, please click on the name.

Ball Brothers Foundation – Established in 1926, BBF is an independent, private family philanthropic organization devoted to the betterment of life in Indiana. BBF predominantly concentrates on the areas of Muncie and East Central Indiana.

Ball State University Foundation – Since its inception in 1951, the Ball State University Foundation has played an active role in the continuous development of the institution through the promotion of local philanthropic endeavors.

The IU Health BMH Foundation, Inc. – The IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation was created in order to benefit Ball Memorial Hospital and its related organizations. The foundation stands as a vital resource in the community through its support of the hospital in continuing its path of excellence in overall healthcare.

The Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, Inc. – Since its founding in 1985, the Community Foundation has become a significant amenity for philanthropic efforts in the area. By encouraging charitableness, the foundation works nonstop to ensure a heightened quality of life in the Muncie and Delaware County community.

Edmund & Virginia Ball Foundation – The Edmund & Virginia Ball Foundation has made tremendous footprints at Ball State University and its encompassing area, repeatedly supporting the institution’s ventures and creating unmatched opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community as a whole.

George & Francis Ball Foundation – Created to endow local projects and area educational establishments, the George and Francis Ball Foundation perseveres in remaining an essential philanthropic resource for Ball State University and the community.

Check out additional information concerning Muncie’s War Memorials and historic markers.