O Named Places in Allen County, Indiana

Peter Ohneck House

614 West Berry Street, Street View photo from Google maps

February 2, 2023 post by ARCH, Inc. on Facebook.

Today’s Throwback Thursday post is the c. 1850 Greek Revival style Peter Ohneck House on West Berry Street. Ohneck was a painter. Other occupants included Frederick McCulloch, the second son of Hugh McCulloch. Frederick was in the hardware business and served in the Civil War. A later owner was William McKinnie who operated the McKinnie House, a railroad restaurant and hotel. The houses’ outstanding features include a large, wrapped cornice, the semi-circular window in the attic on the main elevation and a wood front door with sidelights. Ohneck died in a hunting accident. According to a November 27, 1867, Fort Wayne Daily Gazette article, Ohneck was hunting between Fort Wayne and New Haven. While climbing a fence, his gun was accidently discharged. “The contents of the barrel passed through or near his heart.“


Lindsey House, 614 W. Berry St.   1962 image in the Indiana Landmarks Wilbur D. Peat Collection at the Indiana Memory Hosted Digital Collections at IN.gov.

Old City Hall

Street View photo from Google maps.

Old City Hall is an individual local historic district. The Fort Wayne City Building - was built in 1840 on land donated to the city by Samuel Hanna at Barr and Berry Streets. The sandstone building was built in 1893 in the Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. In 1977, the city of Fort Wayne committed a Federal Grant to rehabilitate the Old City Hall for use as a historical museum that is now the home of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society known as the The History Center. The Old City Hall / History Center Stop #7 on the Central Downtown Trail 19 stops on the Heritage Trail by ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage). The Old City Hall marker photos with Google maps Street View image, and more at The Historical Marker Datatbase HMdb.org. Celebrating the "Hapsburg Horror" by Nancy McCammon-Hansen posted May 9, 2012 and Fort Wayne’s Old City Hall by Tom Castaldi published August 14, 2014 on History Center Notes & Queries blog. DAR honors Historical Society for Shields Room renovation June 20, 2013 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. Historical society honored for restoration June 22, 2013 by Julie Crothers of The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Old Crown Brewing Corporation

25015 Spy Run Avenue, was founded as The French Brewery in 1862 by Charles L. Centlivre (a French immigrant), at 2501 to 2531 North Spy Run Avenue. Wikipedia has this Advertisement from 1905 If You Want to be Well drink beer that is pure and healthful. Our Special ExportBeer is absolutely pure, properly aged and fermented, and is made from the best materials money can buy. We spare neither care, cash nor brains in the brewing of this perfect beer, and the rich, inimitable flavor is the natural consequence. Drink Special Export - the beer that tells. C L Centlivre Brewing Co. Phone 62, Made in Ft. Wayne. The last of the brewery was demolished in 1989. IndianaBeer.com has more photos and information on local breweries at A Brief History of Brewing in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A video taped August 11, 1976 Old Crown Brewery on Spy Run--Fort Wayne, IndianaNovember 11, 2016 by the Allen County Public Library on YouTube. This clip is a short piece that is part of a longer series of Fort Wayne landmarks documented on open reel video tape in the 1970s. The series was made possible by the Fort Wayne Public Library, now the Allen County Public Library. This segment was recorded August 11, 1976. Camera and Editing by Steve Fortriede.

Short video posted in a March 31, 2017 discussion on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Old Drug Building

Said to be the birthplace of baking powder and the oldest commercial structure still standing in the city. Housed the city’s first drugstore, established in 1848 by Col. Hugh B. Reed. From October 21, 1980 article in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Discussed March 9, 2017 including photo in Comments on Allen County Genealogical Society of Indianaon Facebook.

Old Fort Park

See our Old Fort Park section of Forts of Fort Wayne.

Old Gas House

Gas House
Gas House circa 1913 Don Hall's photo

Photo of the Gas House Circa. 1913 from Photos for Don Hall's Old Gas House on Yelp.com. Since 1955 the location has been Hall's Gas House restaurant on Superior Street of the local Don Hall's restaurant chain. It was the Fort Wayne Gas Light Company for producing gas from coal in the 1850s.

  1. Under the Gas Lights by Tom Castaldi published May 23, 2013 in the History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  2. Coal tar residue from coal processing into gas over a century ago is considered a hazardous waste site near the rivers requiring cleanup - NIPSCO planning for coal tar cleanup this fall in St. Marys River The work will require temporary use of the large grassy area on the Old Fort grounds by Kevin Kilbane published March 9, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspapernow archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  3. Fort Wayne, IN: Old Gas House (Gasometer) several older photos July 10, 2018 on Towns and Nature blog.

Don Hall's Gas House Restaurant

April 20, 2016 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

Did you know our building started out as a gas plant?! We're full of history..and good food!

— at Don Hall's Gas House.

June 2, 2016 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

Ever recognize this? It originates from the Downtown Fort Wayne City Market on Barr Street dating back to 1910. Prior to the demolition of the market, the head was removed from the concrete pavilion and now sits in our lobby!

June 22, 2016 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

Little pieces of charm to brighten your dining experience.

[ Letter Box from the Van Orman Hotel formerly Anthony Hotel 1905-1974 ]

January 9, 2017 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

We have a piece of Fort Wayne historyevery corner.

[ Door from Allen County Jail Built 1874 - Razed 19?7 ]

Old Methodist College - OMC

Was once the center of education in northeast Indiana. See Methodist College. In 1893 it moved to Upland, IN and became Taylor University. A photo of a marker at its location by the river and very close to the turn for Wayne Street is shown on A short historical tour of central Fort Wayneby Nancy McCammon-Hansen published June 28, 2013 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.

Old National Bank

September 1, 2023 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook:

It's #flashbackfriday! Take a look at this photo of the Old National Bank in Fort Wayne, located at 800 South Calhoun at Berry, southwest corner. This building was razed to become a Walgreen’s drug store; current site of the law offices of Leonard, Hammond, Thoma & Terrill.

This image comes from the Goldstine/Wesner Collection in our Community Album. Browse here: http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/

Old U.S. Post Office

Post Office Government Building, 1900 by Schanz

Horse drawn No. 2 United States Mail wagons in this photo Post Office Government Building, 1900 by Schanz in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library. Photos posted March 24, 2024 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 post by The History Center on Facebook.

Old Post Office postcard.

1884 watercolor US Post Office

George R. Pohl Sketch and Watercolor on Paper c. 1884 Design concept for the U. S. Post Office at Fort Wayne (1889-1932). Created by Pohl, a draftsman under the Supervising Architect, U. S. Department of the Treasury.photo from a February 22, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook.

1900 postcard

October 19, 2023 post by The History Center on Facebook:

United States Post Office, Fort Wayne, c1900

The old Federal Building at the SE corner of Berry and Clinton which housed the Post Office and Federal Courtroom. Built in 1889 and razed in 1938, it was replaced by the new Federal Building on Harrison in 1932 from Old Post Office, circa 1900 image shown below in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library. It was a noble looking structure made of Michigan bluff sandstone and included a bastion tower with a turret that soared 115 feet above the street. The Postal Service occupied the 1st floor, copied from A Fort Wayne Architectural Landmark by Tom Castaldi August 27, 2014 on the History Center Notes & Queries blog. Was discussed March 3, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook with one comment: The reason it was torn down in less than 50 years is it was (according to contemporary accounts) horribly built. Nothing fit properly, it leaked, it was drafty, and was sinking, no one in city government was happy with it. I found anecdotal evidence that the city tried to sue the contractors.

Fort Wayne Post Office 1889 – 1932

By Randy Harter

Fort Wayne Reader 2018-10-05

Old Post Office, circa 1900
ACPL Digital Collection Image

Our city’s first post office was in Hanna & Barnett’s general store at Barr and Columbia Streets. Samuel Hanna, appointed in 1820, was our first postmaster. The post office would go on to have a few other locations, including on Court Street facing the Courthouse, before this magnificent building pictured here was completed in 1889. The site of this post office (also known as the Federal or Government Building) was at the southeast corner of East Berry and Clinton Streets; the lot was purchased in 1883 for $34,000. However, due to the wait for further appropriations, it would not be until 1885 that construction began.

Designed in Washington, D. C. under the direction of Mifflin E. Bell (Supervising Architect of the U. S. Treasury Department) in the Richardsonian Romanesque style popular in the late 1800’s, the building’s turret reached a height of 115 feet above the ground making it among the tallest structures in the city when it was completed at a cost of $215,000.

To the chagrin of officials in Indianapolis, rather than being built of limestone from southern Indiana, it was constructed of buff sandstone from the Stony Point, Michigan quarry owned by Fort Wayne businessman Steven B. Bond. Bond later also supplied the sandstone for the City Building (now the History Center) one block east, completed in 1893.

In addition to the post office on the first floor, beginning in 1903, the building also housed the Federal Court on the second floor as well as other federal offices including the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Marshal’s office. This building was replaced by the new post office and federal courthouse building on Harrison between Douglas and Brackenridge in 1932. The pictured old post office building was razed in 1938 and the site is now part of the parking lot for Citizens Square.

(Image Courtesy ACPL)

A tip of the hat to research by Hon. Judge William Lee and postal historian John Kalb.

Randy Harter is a Fort Wayne historian, author of three books on local history and the history/architecture guide for Fort Wayne Food Tours.

Olds, O. L.

July 13, 2023 post by Mitch Harper on Facebook:

Olds cast iron commercial front on Calhoun Street.


Olinger's Grocery

Lewis and Hanna Streets in early 1900s. 1905 photo in the October 23, 1965 The News-Sentinel newspaperand discussion September 24, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

One Summit Square

Built on the old 1960 Wolf & Desauer location. Indiana Michigan Power Center on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Discussion October 22, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

O'Neils Glass

Photo and discussion of thier upside down sign July 17, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

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Orange House Restaurant

Four photos from 1955 posted on The Indiana Album from July 6, 2017 post on Facebook. Photo and discussion October 23, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

Orff Mill

Page 338 top image shows the Edsall (Orff) mill on the St. Mary's river and other industries were operated by water power from the canal. The two principal basins of the canal were those at Harrison street and at Lafayette street. from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

Page 366 shows THE ORFF (EDSALL) MILL. The drawing, from a photograph, shows the Orff, or Edsall, mill (known later as the Empire mill and commonly called "the old stone mill") as it stood while the machinery was operated by waterpower furnished by the Wabash and Erie canal. An over-shot wheel was used. The erection of the mill was begun in 1843 by Samuel Edsall. Milford Smith was admitted as a partner, and later the business passed to Orff, Armstrong && Lacy, but John Orff afterward became the sole proprietor; later, it passed to his sons, John, Jr., C. E. and Montgomery Orff. In later years the mill was operated by steam power. It stood on the east bank of the St. Mary's river, a few rods north of the Main street bridge. from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

Page 373, The opening of the Wabash and Erie canal brought hundreds of pioneers to the thriving young city. Among these were John Hough, Jr. (born in Middlebury, Vermont, in 1818), attorney and leader in many public enterprises; John Orff (born in Bavaria, in 1821), merchant and miller; Nathaniel P. Stockbridge (born in Freeport, Maine, in 1821), who purchased the D. W. Burroughs book store and continued in business for thirty-eight years ; Horace Durvey, who founded the hardware house which later became the establishment of Morgan and Beach ; Josiah King (born in Quebec, in 1834), John Jones (born in Wales, in 1835), W. B. Felt (born in New York, in 1823), Peter Bobay (born in France, in 1838), George W. Linden (born in New York, in 1828), and Thomas Tiernan (born in Waddington, New York, in 1828), who entered earnestly into the life of the town, and Dr. Lewis Beeeher, physician and druggist. . . . Among the industrial and commercial enterprises launched during 1843 were the tannery of Henry Work and Samuel Hanna on the north side of the canal west of Barr street ; the flouring mill of Hamilton and Wines, on the canal ; the linseed oil mill of Henry Rudisill and Henry Wolke; the large flouring and grist mill of Samuel Edsall, on the St. Mary's river, and the canal, known also as the Empire or "stone mill," and later as the Orff mill, and the cooper shop of Ball and Johnson. . . . W. S. Edsall was named as register of the canal land office. . . .

Page 538, St. Rochus's hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis was established with the pur chase of the John Orff home on West Main street ; it has been conducted in connection with St. Joseph hospital.

XXXII. ORFF'S MILL - (Known also as the Edsall Mill, Empire Mill, and The Old Stone Mill) of the water-powered mills located on the Wabash and Erie Canal in Fort Wayne, were erected in the period from 1841 to 1845. Orff’s Mill was located on the right bank of the St. Marys River immediately north of the present West Main Street Bridge and derived its power from the canal.

When the Wabash and Erie Canal was constructed through Fort Wayne, a considerable amount of land in the western part of the town was owned by William Rockhill, who deeded to the canal company a right-of-way through his land for the canal. He, in turn, received from the company a lease for water rights.

In the years 1842 and 1843, Mr. Rockhill and his partner, Samuel Edsall, erected two saw mills. In July, 1843, Mr. Rockhill withdrew from the partnership and Mr. Edsall started construction on a large grist mill, which was completed two years later. A few rods north of the mill, the waters of the canal were conveyed over the St. Marys River by means of a long covered acqueduct, which for several reasons became the rendezvous for hundreds of young swimmers in the western part of town. The memory of this acqueduct has been perpetuated by the formation in 1912 of the "Old Aqueduct Club,” whose membership is composed of those men who, as boys, swam and "chawed beef” within the acqueduct’s protective walls. In 1927, a memorial was erected to these young swimmers in nearby Orff Park. Mr. Calvin K. Reimen, of Fort Wayne, now heads this group, whose ranks are rapidly thinning.

Changes of ownership of many of these early mills was frequent and this mill was no exception. Shortly after the erection of the grist mill, Mr. Edsall admitted Millford Smith as a partner, the firm being designated as Smith and Edsall. In 1856, the property was offered for sale and was purchased by a group under the name of Orff, Armstrong & Lacy. Mr. Lacy died shortly after the forma- tion of this partnership. The firm then operated under the title of Orff & Armstrong. John Orff acquired Mr. Armstrong’s interests in 1858 and continued as ihe sole owner of the business. A number of years later, the business passed to John Orff’s sons, John, Jr., C. E., and Montgomery Orff. The mill was badly damaged by fire in 1888 and on September 11, of the same year, the property was purchased at sheriff’s sale by John Orff.

In 1872 Mr. Orff equipped the mill for steam operation, which permitted the use of water or steam for power, until the abandonment of the canal cut off the water supply. The mill’s water lease expired in 188. John Orff, Sr., died in 1896, and the mill quit business in 1897. The Orff homestead is now occupied by the Jim Eby Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and is located at the end of West Main Street adjacent to Lindenwood Cemetery.

The Kingman Brothers’ History of Allen County, Indiana, published in 1880, [EMPIRE MILLS page 117] gives the following account of the mill’s equipment at that time: "Until recently, the power has been derived from an overshot wheel. In 1862-63, Mr. Orff built a grain warehouse, immediately east and adjoining the mill, with six bins, with a capacity of 5000 bushels per bin. In 1872, Mr. Orff added a steam engine and such additional machinery as the change required. He did not, however, dispense with the water wheel. He now uses steam or water, as the circumstances may require. In 1876, he built a very commodious office adjoining the grain warehouse. Under the old process, this mill turned out 175 barrels per 24 hours. Under the new, minimum capacity is 175 per 24 hours. The following is an exhibit of the size, capacity and business of this mill: Mill (stone) four and one half stories, 50 feet by 60 feet; Grain Warehouse, first story stone, two stories plank, 40 feet by 45 feet; Grain Warehouse storage capacity 30,000 bushels; number of run of stone, five size of stone, one three foot, four, four and one-half; Number of hands employed, twelve; amount of flour manufactured in 24 hours, 175 barrels; horse power of engine, 100; horse power of wheels, 110; capital invested, $40,000." Copied from page 22-23 of the The water-powered mills of Allen County, Indiana by Bates, Roy M.on Archive.org.

Orff Park

Orff Park, 0.02 acres, since 1892. See Old Aqueduct Club.
Orff Park is located at the intersection of Main and Rockhill and is close to the scenic Rivergreenway. 
For more detailed location information, check out the General Park Map  or Orff Park Map.
History: Orff Park was purchased from John Orff in 1892 and is our smallest park. It was once larger, but two-thirds of its original area was allocated to the West Main Street Bridge. The park features "Let's Go Swimming", an Old Aqueduct Club memorial. Copied from Orff Park at City of Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation

Pge 528, ACTIVITIES OF 1892 - The city purchased from John Orff a piece of ground on the east bank of the St. Mary's river for the relocation of West Main street when the present iron bridge was built. This ground, and the triangular piece which was given the name of Orff park, was valued at $5,550. Copied from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

Orf Park discussed November 24, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook with release of new book Crossroads of History: Strolling through Fort Wayne's Parks by Joshua Schipper.

Orphan Trains

Started in the 1850s when orphans and destitute street children from the east coast were put on trains headed west. Most children were placed with farm families who needed their labor and would treat them as their own. By the the 1930s, as many as 200,000 boys and girls had been relocated, from New York, Boston and other Eastern cities. “The largest number came to Indiana,” says Templeton, 69. “Apparently, the railroad that runs from Fort Wayne and comes to Huntington and Wabash was a main line for bringing the kids west.” Read about "Michael Young, 61, of Columbia City recalls his grandmother, Ethyle Gale Young, telling him the story of her father, Henry Gale. Even as a child, he says, he knew the story was remarkable. Gale came to Indiana from upstate New York on an orphan train in 1864." in Boy arrived at 7, became farmhand and more in Untraveled history Indiana was top stop for ‘orphan trains’ both stories by Rosa Salter Rodriguez of The Journal Gazette September 20, 2012. Alfred James Pembrook, born in 1884, came west on a train with his sister Ida Pembrook, born in 1881, around 1890. He lived in Fort Wayne, then moved to St. Petersburg, Florida according to Laura Plato Pembrook Children under Pembrook Childrenon Indiana Orphans Train Project.

Orpheum Theater

1409 South Calhoun at Montgomery, 1915 photo posted November 22, 2014 onthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. Discussed with postcards September 26, 2015 and night time photo added October 3, 2015 on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group.

O'Reilly Office Supply Co., Inc.

Now doing business as A.M.O. Office Supply Go AMO. 90th anniversary was on January 1, 2013

Oyster Bar

Street View photo from Google maps
1830 South Calhoun Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802, phone: (260) 744-9490.
Website: https://fwoysterbar.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fwoysterbar/.

  1. The original saloon first opened at 1830 South Calhoun in the summer of 1888. The proprietor was the honorable Ferdinand Oetting. Two years later, in 1890, a fireman for the Pennsylvania Railroad, W.T. Harvey, purchased the saloon. W.T. hired a bartender by the name of Joseph J. Schnee. In 1894 Joseph purchased the saloon, thus beginning the longest family ownership of the establishment. Rosina and Joseph lived above the saloon until approximately 1910. First two sentences copied from a fairly long The Oyster Bar History at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  2. Page 352, Oetting F D, 354 Calhoun in the 1888 Fort Wayne City Directory on Archive.org
  3. Page 363, Oettig Ferdinand D, bartender D W Keefer, bds 354 Calhoun. in the 1889 Fort Wayne City Directory on Archive.org
  4. Oyster Bar posted by Visit Fort Wayne as more on their TAKING A TOUR OF FORT WAYNE'S HISTORICAL RESTAURANTS! By Heather Q. on Jan. 10, 2013.
  5. The Oyster Bar – A Fort Wayne Favorite for 60+ Years by Tina Bobilya published January 26, 2017 on Visit Indiana Indiana Insider Blog.
  6. LOREN SHAUM: Historic Oyster Bar is a Fort Wayne jewel posted Apr 17, 2021 on The Goshen News.
  7. it has had a handful of owners and operated under various names. It even survived the prohibition, but did close for three years during The Great Depression. In 1956, oysters were first introduced and in 1975 the name officially became “The Oyster Bar.” The Oyster Bar is under new ownership for first time since 1987 by: Rex Smith posted: Dec 5, 2022 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
  8. The Dish: Fort Wayne man makes dream of owning Oyster Bar a reality by Kimberly Dupps Truesdell posted Dec 14, 2022 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

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