Riley, Indiana

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Riley, once known as Lockport, is a town in Riley Township, Vigo County, Indiana, United States. The population was 160 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Terre Haute Metropolitan Statistical Area.



The original town of Lockport was platted November 23, 1836, by Nathaniel Donham. It was known as Lockport due to its importance during the building of the Wabash and Erie Canal from 1847-1850. The canal town became a significant trading point along the waterway. Though the canal closed in 1873, the building of several different railroads kept the community as a place for trade.[3] The town originally had various mills, sawmills, and tanneries, but all were burned at different times. It also proved notable in the grain market.[4]

In 1911 the town took the name of its post office and became Riley. For several decades, Riley sustained a healthy coal mining industry including a strip mine just south of town operated by the Maumee Colleries Company as late as 1936. In the second half of the twentieth century, Riley included a small suburban residential community.[3]


Riley is located at 39°23′23″N 87°18′2″W / 39.38972°N 87.30056°W / 39.38972; -87.30056 (39.389838, -87.300420)[5].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²), all of it land. At one time, the Wabash and Erie Canal ran through Riley and there are remnants of locks and the canal in several places. A great source is Ron's Rondevous at


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 160 people, 76 households, and 44 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,747.7 people per square mile (686.4/km²). There were 83 housing units at an average density of 906.6/sq mi (356.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.38% White, and 0.62% from two or more races.

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