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Jordan Avenue in Bloomington being renamed Eagleson Avenue

"The Eagleson's have a long history in Bloomington and made significant contributions to the city, Indiana University, the state of Indiana and the nation."
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Posted at 5:29 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 17:29:55-05

BLOOMINGTON — Jordan Avenue in Bloomington is being renamed Eagleson Avenue.

The name change comes over a year after former Indiana University President Michael McRobbie recommended removing David Starr Jordan's name from several places on the campus and in the city.

Jordan was the seventh president of IU who promoted racism, selective breeding, sterilization of people with disabilities and was an influential eugenicist.

The IU Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the street, located from Davis Street north to 17th Street, to honor a prominent family in Bloomington whose lineage in the Monroe County city dates back to the 1850s.

According to IU, "The Eagleson's have a long history in Bloomington and made significant contributions to the city, Indiana University, the state of Indiana and the nation."

Halson Vashon Eagleson, who was born a slave, moved to Bloomington in the 1880s and became a notable barber. During this time, it was one of the few occupations open to Black people.

Eagleson had five children who went on to attend IU. In 1910 he opened Industrial City, a home for Black orphans in Unionville.

Starting with Halson, a long legacy of upstanding Bloomington citizens and scholars has persisted for the Eagleson family. You can read more about the Eagleson family, including IU's first Black male athlete and master's graduate, Preston E. Eagleson, and IU's first Black female Frances Marshall Eagleson at news.iu.edu.

The new names for Jordan Hall, Jordan Avenue Parking Garage, and Jordan River have yet to be confirmed.

In August, over 140 members of IU's biology department signed a petition urging the school to rename the Biology Building in honor of James Holland, an award-winning teacher and endocrinologist.

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.