South Bend, Indiana, the seat of St. Joseph County. It lies on the great south bend of the St. Joseph River near the Michigan border, about 70 miles (113 km) east-southeast of Chicago. South Bend is a major industrial center in northern Indiana. Its diversified industries produce such goods as automobile and aircraft parts, farm machinery, precision machinery, roller bearings, and tool and die products. An airport and the Indiana Toll Road serve the city.
South Bend has several historical landmarks and attractions. Under the Council Oak Tree, Sieur de La Salle is thought to have held council with the Miami, Illinois, and neighboring tribes in 1681. Navarre Cabin is the preserved home of the first white settler. In the Old Court House are exhibits on the history of St. Joseph County. Educational institutions near the city include the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary's College. Knute Rockne, Notre Dame's famous football coach, is buried in South Bend.
Pierre Navarre established a trading post for the American Fur Company on the site of the city in 1820. Three years later, Alexis Coquillard succeeded Navarre and named the post Big St. Joseph Station. Coquillard and Colonel Lathrop Taylor platted the town of South Bend in 1831, following the organization of St. Joseph County. The town was largely an agricultural trade center until the 1850's, when industrialization began. Henry and Clement Studebaker established a wagon works in 1852; four years later James Oliver added a farm machinery factory. South Bend grew with its new industries and was incorporated as a city in 1865.
In 1902 the Studebaker Company began manufacturing automobiles and soon became the economic mainstay of the city. The company went out of business in 1963, and the closing of its plants here caused widespread unemployment and left the city's economy temporarily depressed.
Population: 107, 789.