By the Book: Local contributors chronicle Westfield’s history and growth


On Oct. 23, more than 40 collaborators gathered at a party to celebrate a new book entitled “Westfield: A Period of Growth and Progress.” The contributing writers signed copies, cut cake and made toasts.

“To Westfield’s next 25 years,” editor David Mueller said.

Community sponsors covered the cost to print a limited edition run of 1,500 copies of a 10-inch-square coffee table book that includes more than 200 photos. That means that all proceeds from the $40 sale price will go to local charities: Heart and Soul Clinic, Open Doors, Student Impact and Westfield Youth Assistance Program.

“Westfield is a kind and caring community,” Mueller said. “It’s much different than other towns in Hamilton County because of the culture. I think that culture actually began when the Quakers came here. You have people who are willing to do service. I think that giving is part of what goes back to the Quakers.”

When Mueller and his family moved to Westfield in 1995, the town had a population of approximately 7,000.

“When we arrived in Westfield, it felt like a one-stoplight Indiana agriculture and Quaker community,” Mueller said. “We found a place that we thought we wanted to spend the rest of our lives.”

Mueller said that one of the biggest draws for his family was the school system. Besides other community involvement, Dave and his wife, Mary Beth, served on the Westfield Washington School Board — Dave for eight years and Mary Beth for four. All three of their children graduated from Westfield High School.

Mueller retired five years ago. His sons, Pete and Tom, now manage local businesses their father began, Insects Limited, Inc., and FSS, Inc. In fact, Insects Limited has just expanded beyond Westfield Business Park to a second location at Grassy Branch Road and Ind. 38. Pete and Tom and their families live within a mile-and-a-half of their parents.

“A lot has happened in Westfield in the last 25 years,” Mueller said.

That one-stoplight town is now a “growing and thriving city” of nearly 60,000 people.

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Contributing writers gather for a book signing party. (Photo courtesy of Dave Mueller)

“I had the thought (for the book) for a while,” Mueller said. “I approached Mayor Andy Cook in January (2023) and said that we need to capture this history.”

Mueller said Cook replied, “‘Well, that’s a great idea, Dave. Why don’t you do that?’”

Mueller began putting together a list of approximately 40 individuals who have been influential in Westfield in various ways. Of the people on the list, almost all of them agreed to write a chapter for the book.

“It would be really easy to go back to the history of the Quakers, but I really wanted to focus on the time frame of the last 25 years,” Mueller said.

One or two chapters go back further in time, such as the chapter entitled “Westfield History” by Jill Sweet Mead, owner of Acorn Farm Country Store. However, the book predominantly covers the time period between 1989 and 2023.

The nearly 170-page book includes chapters about Westfield becoming a city in 2008, how Grand Park got its start and what brought Colts Training Camp to town. Contributing writers include Mayor Andy Cook, Westfield Police Chief Joel Rush, Westfield Fire Chief Rob Gaylor and Westfield Washington Public Library Director Sheryl Sollars, among others.

Although Mueller served as editor for the project, he credited his wife, a retired English teacher, with helping to “smooth it over.” Also listed as reviewers are Mueller’s daughter Francie Hinrichsen, a small business consultant in Morton, Ill., and Chris Proffitt, director of communications for the City of Westfield.

“It was a big team effort,” Mueller said. “We are excited to capture the history of Westfield. If you don’t capture it, it just kind of blends into the future. This book is a spot on the map to capture that history.”

Copies of the book are available for purchase at the Westfield Chamber of Commerce at 116 E. Main St., Westfield Washington Historical Society and Museum at 130 Penn St., Westfield Washington Public Library at 333 W. Hoover St. and Turn the Page Westfield at 149 N. Walnut St. There is no plan to print a second edition.

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Jim Ake, Bruce Watson and Sheryl Sollars sign books. (Photo courtesy of Dave Mueller)

Westfield at a Glance

Founded: May 6, 1834

Incorporated as a Town: 1849

Incorporated as a City: 2008

First Mayor: Andy Cook

High School Mascot: Shamrocks

Historic Site: Union High Academy, now Union Bible College and Seminary

Known For: Grand Park Sports Campus, the largest youth sports campus in the U.S.

Home To: Colts Training Camp

Population in 2023: 58,410