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Muncie, seat of Delaware County, is sometimes referred to as "America's Hometown." The famous "Middletown" studies were carried out by a team of sociologists, led by Robert and Helen Lynd, in 1929 and 1937. The Lynds were followed by numerous other sociologists and agencies, making Muncie one of the most studied communities in the world.Muncie was originally part of the land reserved for the Delaware Indians, who had arrived from the east during the 1770s. Mary's Ohio called for them to move farther west. Having acquired this former Indian land, the federal government opened the region for white settlers.The first major trading post in the new settlement was established in 1823, by a merchant named Goldsmith Gilbert. With the arrival of newinhabitants, the settlement grew into a town, and the spelling of its name was changed to Muncie. The first railroad arrived in 1852, with the extension of the Indianapolis & Bellefontaine Railroad. Muncie was incorporated as acity in 1865.Ball State Teachers College was founded in 1918 and has since become Ball State University. Purdue University and ^Ivy Tech StateCollege^ also have campuses in Muncie.The Ball family, which moved its glass manufacturing business to Muncie from Buffalo in 1887, provided the principal funding for Minnetrista, a cultural center serving east central Indiana. Other museums include the Muncie Children's Museum and the National Model Aviation Museum. The Ball brothers also funded Ball Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1929.