Founded as a "River Town" in 1825, Lafayette grew quickly and became a city in 1853. It was named after the famous French general Marquis de Lafayette, who helped America win its independence from England. In its more than 150 years in existence, Lafayette has come a long way. After the city celebrated its centennial, its growth remained stagnant from the 1960s through the 1990s. However, the addition of a Subaru plant and Wabash National changed this and started a movement that has turned the city into a major industrial and population center in the Hoosier state. Its continued economic growth is almost assured with the expansion of several plants and the addition of other companies.