Life's Better Here: Grabill 2012

By Eric Olson

July 11, 2012 Updated Jul 11, 2012 at 6:03 PM EDT

GRABILL, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)-
The workers are tripping over each other at Grabill’s Gator Case.

“We see a strong economy,” says Gator Cases CEO Neal Graham, “and Gator Cases in general is up about 20 percent from last year.”

There is so much work to do that outside this factory is a rare sight, a help wanted sign. Gator makes cases for musical instruments and other devices and business is so good the company is hiring, and talking about a major expansion soon. And the story is not unique in Grabill’s economy. Graber and Graber Concrete at the town’s industrial park is expanding. Next door Brindle Products says it needs a bigger building. At the depths of the recession two years ago a handful of Grabill businessmen pooled their money and opened the Grabill Country Store, a real gamble that paid off. Now they’re planning a hotel and huge restaurant on the same property.

“You got to spend money to make money,” says Grabill Town Council President Wilmer Delagrange. “Grabill’s always been noted for that for years for having faith in their town.”

The folks in Grabill have had to have faith, believing they could create a town in the middle of a farm field with nothing to recommend the site but a rail line. On that foundation they built a community that is at once quaint and industrious, quiet yet busy, and economically strong and growing in a way the rest of the country would envy. It’s a combination that means life is indeed more than just a little better in Grabill Indiana.

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