Indiana time zoning

Chris Carrier 72157.3334 at CompuServe.COM
Thu Jan 30 04:43:06 UTC 1997

samrein at wrote on the Subj:  Indiana Daylight Savings Time
>I was just told today that Indiana only has 4 counties that change time
>twice a year. Can you tell me which 4 and why?
My latest information has 11 counties in Indiana; 6 in the NW part of the
state and 5 in the SW; on CST in winter and CDT in summer.  The rest of the
state keeps EST all year.
The reason for the counties in the NW being on CT all year is because they are
part of suburban/exurban Chicago and prefer being on Chicago time.  The
counties in the SW have similar economic ties to Central Time areas in
neighboring states and prefer being on Central Time for that reason.
The history of Indiana time zoning is more than a little interesting, and I
have a fascinating and ahem, rather personal story about it that I will send
anyone who is interested.  In 1883, when standard time was promulgated by the
railroads, Indiana went on CST without much complaint.  Indiana observed CDT
during the summer-time periods of 1918-19 and all year under the name Central
War Time during the American World War II year-round summer-time period of
1942-02-09 to 1945-09-30.
It was here that things began to get interesting.  At the end of War Time,
half of Indiana decided it liked being on CDT or EST all year and the other
half didn't.  Therefore, from 1946 onwards, you have the phenomenon of
counties deciding what time they wished to be on, cities within those counties
deciding they didn't like the county decision and adopting their own time, and
even some neighborhoods split with one side of town adopting DST and the other
not, or a town being on one time and its post office on another, ad nauseum. 
Shanks has tracked down 255 separate rules for Indiana time zoning on the
postwar period, and I'm quite sure even he missed a lot of the little rules. 
Aggravating this after 1954 is indeterminacy as to whether the summer-time
period should end on the last Sunday in September or October (September was
near universal 1921-41 and 1946-54, and should still be, IMHO).  In the early
1960s there was more confusion as the summer-time period began in most
jurisdictions on the last Sunday in April, but in a few was delayed until late
May, usually a Sunday preceding or following or the day of US Memorial Day (at
that time, May 30 in all years; and in many of these jurisdictions DST ended
on either the day of, the day before or the day after US Labor Day; the 1st
Monday in September).
It remember reading in a magazine printed in the mid-1960s that there was a 35
mile stretch of road in Indiana where the clocks changed 7 times.
The Eastern/Central boundary crept west during this period, and was officially
moved to cover half of Indiana in 1961, and most of it, excepting the counties
that are still on Central, on the last Sunday in April 1970.
The Uniform Time Act of 1967 required Indiana to clean its time act up.  The
Indiana Legislature's response to this was to pass a law requiring one clock
in each county courthouse to be set to and be labeled 'official time' and
allowed localities to go on as before.
The 1972 amendment to the Uniform Time Act allowed states such as Indiana in
split time zones to except the zone on the later time from DST.  As soon as it
was passed the Eastern Zone area of Indiana so exempted itself.  As such it
remained on EST during the expanded summer time periods of 1974-5.
Even today, there is still some un-official time in Indiana, in the counties
near the Ohio border, which are officially on EST all year, but some
informally use EDT in the summer time period while using EST as the time
recorded on official documents such as birth records, timestamping of deeds,
Personally they should have stayed in the Central Zone where they
astronomically belong.  Ohio should have been the scene for this mess (but
Ohio has some interesting time tales of its own).
Chris Carrier

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