In 1820, Indianapolis was selected as the new state capital, replacing Corydon, which had served the role since the state was formed in 1816. While most American state capitals tend to be near the centers of their respective states, Indianapolis is the closest to its state's exact center. It was founded on the White River because of this, and because of the assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery.
However, the waterway proved to be too sandy for trade. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; Indianapolis literally means "Indiana City".
In 1937 Fred B. Sullivan, president, acquired Tebo Yacht basin from Robins Dry Dock Company and began operating there as the Sullivan Drydock and Repair Corporation. The Sullivan Company originated in 1871 with the Sullivan-Boyd Machine shop, which became the John W. Sullivan Company which designed and built marine steam engines for tug boats and steamers.
Six months prior to the lease of Tebo basin, Sullivan operated a shipyard at Erie Basin. Sullivan's head, millionaire Fred B. Sullivan, committed suicide 30 August 1938. At that time Sullivan Drydock and Repair was described as "one of the oldest firms on the South Brooklyn waterfront.".
The state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, helping with the L'Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C., Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only one square mile (3 km²).
At the center of the city sat Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the governor's mansion. Meridian and Market Streets converge at the Circle and continue north–south and east–west, respectively.
The Capital moved from Corydon on January 10, 1825. The governor's mansion was eventually demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a 284-foot (87 m) tall neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The surrounding street is now known as Monument Circle or just "The Circle".