The melancholy of having to count souls
Where they grow fewer and fewer every year
Is extreme where they shrink to none at all.
It must be I want life to go on living.
Robert Frost, “The Census-Taker” (1923)
It was built as a quartermaster depot during the Civil War. Later, it became a shirt factory. During the Korean War, parachutes and refrigerated trucks were manufactured there. But for the last sixty years, the massive complex in Jeffersonville, Indiana, close to the Kentucky state line, has been devoted to counting everyone in the US. Last week––in the midst…