South Bend, city (1990 pop. 105,511), seat of St. Joseph co., N Ind., on the great south bend of the St. Joseph River, in a farming and mint-growing region; inc. as a city 1865. An industrial city, its products include transportation equipment; metal, plastic, electrical, electronic, wood, paper, and glass products; consumer goods; machinery; chemicals; foods; and building materials. There are also precious metal recycling, steel processing, custom embroidering, and meat processing industries. The Studebaker manufacturing corporation, founded there in 1852, was a major producer of automobiles in the 20th cent. until production ceased in 1963. LaSalle, the French explorer, camped in the area in 1679. South Bend was settled c.1820 as a post of the American Fur Company on the site of a French mission and trading post. The old St. Joseph County Courthouse (1855) houses a museum. South Bend is the seat of the Univ. of Notre Dame, with its famous football team, athletic facilities, art gallery, and huge library. St. Mary's College and a campus of Indiana Univ. are also in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.