1830-1839 Timeline of Allen County, Indiana

1831 - 1832 - 1833 - 1834 - 1835 - 1836 - 1837 - 1838 - 1839


Indiana population was 343,031.

1830, May 28 - President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, setting the stage for the brutal relocation of Native Americans known as the Trail of Tears. By this time, most of the native tribes in the northeastern United States had been driven to near extinction by the westward expansion of the white man. including our local Miami Indian tribe, from Indian Removal Act of 1830 by Crista Cowan published November 12, 2014 in Research on Ancestry.com.

1830: The Rev. Stephen Theodore Badin, the first priest ordained in the United States, visits the Catholics settled here and offers Mass at the home of Francis Comparet. He returned the next year to buy the land where the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception now stands for the town's first Catholic church, St. Augustine's. From Millennium milestones in Fort Waynefrom the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.


United States map on page 16 of A new and improved school atlas [cartographic material] : to accompany The practical system of modern geography by Olney, J. (Jesse), 1798-1872; Olney, J. (Jesse), 1798-1872. Practical system of modern geography; D.F. Robinson & Co. (Hartford, Conn.), Publication date 1831 on Archive.org. Inspired by this post: For Geography Awareness Week, take a look at this map of the United States from A New and Improved School Atlas to Accompany the Practical System of Modern Geography, by J. Olney dated 1830. Students could learn how large the United States was by using the table showing the distances between Washington and the capital or largest city in each state. They could also use the table to find the distance between each of these cities. Posted November 13, 2022 by the DAR Museum on Facebook.

1831 - After 1831, black settlers in Indiana were required to register with county authorities and to post a $500 bond as a guarantee of good behavior. From Being Black in Indiana at Indiana Historical Bureau.

1831, February 19 - the Vincennes Gazette ran a letter to the editor with the word Hoosher the earliest-known printed variation of the word "Hoosier." See the February 19, 2019 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook.

1831, July 1 - the Presbyterians send the Rev. Charles E. Fuhrman to Fort Wayne to preach, leading to the organization of First Presbyterian Church. The tombstone for Smallwood Noel states: 1785-1862, Pioneer Presbyterian, a founder of the Fort Wayne's First Church July 1, 1831.

1831, July 4 - President James Monroe died - 5 years to the day after Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The only three presidents to die on the 4th of July. Monroe was also the last president who was never photographed in his lifetime. From 10 surprising birthday facts about President Monroe by NCC Staff | National Constitution Center April 29, 2013 on Yahoo! News.


1832 - County commissioners authorize building the first courthouse, which is used for just 10 years. From Millennium milestones in Fort Wayne from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1832, February 22 (21?) - ground breaking for the Wabash & Erie Canal, Fort Wayne to Lafayette completed by July 4, 1843. Was on the south end of what is now Headwaters Park. This project is credited with bringing many Irish immigrants to town as canal workers.


1833, January 1

January 1, 2019 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

On January 1, 1833, the Indianapolis Journal published John Finley's poem "The Hoosier's Nest," one of the first printed references of the word "Hoosier." According to Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, Finley heard the term in 1820 when he traveled from Virginia to Indiana. He likely drafted his famous poem in 1830, describing the massive "flock" of people "to this rising 'Hoosher' nation." "The Hoosier's Nest" was widely circulated and earned Finley the title of "poet-laureate of Hoosierland."

Learn more about early uses of the word “Hoosier” here: https://blog.history.in.gov/thh-season-2-episode-1.../

Read the entirety of “The Hoosier’s Nest” here: "The Word Hoosier; John Finley Indiana Historical Society Publications, Volume IV, Number 2"

The image below, showing John Finley is courtesy of the Morrisson-Reeves Library.

Go to our People page for more on Hoosier.

1833, February

August 30, 2013 post by Indiana Genealogical Society on Facebook:

FRIDAY FACT: The stealing of horses was such a problem that in February 1833 the Indiana legislature passed a law allowing county commissioners to give a reward of up to $40 every time a horse thief was arrested. Source: "Laws of the State of Indiana, passed and published at the seventeenth session of the General Assembly" (Indianapolis: Douglass and Maguire, 1833).

1833, February

July 25, 2014 post by Indiana Genealogical Society on Facebook:

FRIDAY FACT: In February 1833, the Indiana legislature passed a law exempting residents from having to serve in the state militia every year if they paid $1 a year to their county's school fund instead. The law specifically included those who were "conscientiously scrupulous" (a reference to Quakers) and was titled "An act for the encouragement of education."

Source: Laws of the State of Indiana passed and published at the seventeenth session of the General Assembly, held at Indianapolis, on the first Monday in December 1832 (Indianapolis: Douglas and Maguire, 1833). 

1833, July 6 - S.V.B. Noel and Thomas Tigar move here from Indianapolis and publish the first edition of The Sentinel, the town's first newspaper, making The News-Sentinel the longest continually operating company in Allen County. From Millennium milestones in Fort Waynefrom the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

1833, November 12

November 12, 2023 post by The Library of Congress on Facebook:

On this night in 1833, a legendary Leonid meteor storm was seen across the U.S. Up to 150,000 meteors fell each HOUR, frightening and astonishing witnesses. According to NASA, the event birthed modern meteor science. You can see proof of that in the Library's historic newspaper archive: How Newspapers Helped Crowdsource a Scientific Discovery: The 1833 Leonid Meteor Storm

November 12, 2023 post by The Public Domain Review on Facebook:

Leonid Meteor Storm, as seen over North America 190 years ago today on the night of November 12-13th, 1833, pictured in E. Weiß's Bilderatlas der Sternenwelt (1888).⠀

One of many images of comets, meteors, and meteorites through the history art collected in our post "Flowers of the Sky" — Flowers of the Sky

1833, November 18 - times zones were first implemented in the U.S. by the railroads to eliminate the confusion of dealing with local times. Read When did the United States start using time zones? by Elizabeth Nix published April 5, 2015 on History.com.


1834, July 26 -  Indiana's first governor, Jonathan Jennings, died at his home in Charlestown. Read more about his political career at Jonathan Jennings: Honoring the Autonomy and Democratic Values of Pioneer Hoosiers by S, Chandler Lighty published July 26, 2017.


1835, January 30 - President Andrew Jackson while attending a congressional funeral in the Capitol building, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed house painter, pointed a pistol at Jackson and fired, it misfired, so he fired and misfired again. Read more in Life and Death in the White House onSmithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

1835, February - the Indiana legislature imposed a stiff penalty on county clerks who issued marriage licenses to a minor (men under 21, women under 18) without the consent of their parents. The clerk could be fined up to $1,000, with their fine to be paid directly to the parents. Source: Laws of a general nature passed and published at the nineteenth session of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana (Indianapolis: Morrison and Bolton, 1835). From page 34 of a Google ebook.

1835, July 4 -  The Wabash & Erie Canal opens with a glorious celebration on the Fourth of July, though it does not yet stretch from Lafayette to Toledo, Ohio, as planned. From Millennium milestones in Fort Wayne from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.

July 4, 2018 post by The History Center on Facebook:

The Wabash and Erie Canal officially opened in Northeast Indiana. The festivities began on the 4th of July with the firing of the Perry Cannon. During the celebrations General Lewis Cass gave a speech praising the canal:

We have come here to rejoice together. Memorable deeds make memorable days. There is a power of association given to man, which binds together the past and the present, and connects both with the future. Great events hallow the sites where they pass. Their returning anniversaries, so long as these were remembered, are kept with sorrow or joy as they are prosperous or adverse. Today a new work is born, a work of peace, not of war. We are celebrating a triumph of art and not of arms. Centuries hence, we may hope the river you have made will flow both east and west, bearing upon its bosom the riches of a prosperous people, and that our descendants will come to keep the day which we have come to mark; and that as it returns they will remember the exertions of their ancestors while they gather the harvest.

The Perry Cannon came from a British ship engaged at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Following the war it was brought to Fort Wayne. The cannon eventually became a hitching post in front of the Franklin Randall home at the northeast corner of Lafayette and Berry streets, as evidenced by an image in the 1880 Allen County Atlas. In 1916 the cannon was given to the City of Fort Wayne, who donated it to the Historical Society in 1960. Today it guards the front entrance to the History Center. #sociallyhistory


1835, July 12

July 12, 2023 post by the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

#OTD in 1835, two factions of Irish immigrants—the Corkonians and Fardowns—who had been constructing the Wabash and Erie Canal, skirmished at Lagro. The militia was called in and arrested those laborers who had not already dispersed. According to historian Jay M. Perry, “The Irish War stemmed from real and perceived grievances related to laborers’ economic concerns.” He expounded that “members had organized themselves into protective associations aimed at securing and defending the economic interests of their membership, namely preserving access to employment on the nation’s canals and railroads. Violence and intimidation, their key tools in achieving these goals, periodically resulted in brawls like the one on the Wabash and Erie [Canal].” Learn more: Canals & Conflict: How Irish Immigrants Built and Battled on the Wabash & Erie Canal

The image of canal workers below is courtesy of Indiana Public Media.


1835, August 25 - the State Bank of Indiana was established in 1833, and the Fort Wayne branch of the bank was officially established on August 25, 1835.

August 25, 2022 post by The History Centeron Facebook:

Financial security and prosperity have long been sought by the people that call Fort Wayne home. From 1794 until 1835, our city did not have an established banking institution, primarily relying on banks in the more populous Ohio River Valley and Eastern States. With the creation of the State Bank of Indiana in 1833, this all changed and the Fort Wayne branch of the bank was officially established on August 25, 1835, exactly 187 years ago today. The list of principals who organized the bank reads like a “who’s who” of prominent men of the era: Allen Hamilton (president), Hugh McCulloch (cashier) and directors William Rockhill, Asa Fairfield, Jesse Vermilyea, Francis Comparet and William G. Ewing, among others. This branch operated until the charter of the bank was revoked in 1859 and the state allowed the creation of the privately held Second Bank of Indiana, which took over local operations. This bank operated in Fort Wayne until 1865 when it merged with another local bank, which in 1885 changed its named to Old National Bank. In 1863, First National Bank was the first bank in Indiana to receive a charter under the new national banking system, through several events Fort Wayne’s first banks and this second would join together and be important institutions in our community. In 1905, First National consolidated with White National Bank and in 1917 with Hamilton National Bank. Now known as First and Hamilton National Bank, the institution merged with Old National and became Old-First National Bank. In 1933, Old-First National closed in March, but was reorganized and reopened in October as the new Fort Wayne National Bank. Fort Wayne National operated as an independent banking institution until its acquisition by National City Bank in 1998. Through its most recent incarnation, it continues to serve the citizens of Fort Wayne & Allen County as PNC. ts most recent incarnation, it continues to serve the citizens of Fort Wayne & Allen County as PNC. #sociallyhistory


1836, January 27 - Governor Noah Noble signed the Mammoth Internal Improvements Act. The act provided for three major canal projects, a macadamized road, and a railroad. To build this infrastructure, the state of Indiana took a $10 million loan. An economic panic in 1837 made it difficult for the state to pay its debt and in 1841 the State of Indiana declared bankruptcy. ... Hoosiers still see the effects of this ill-fated internal improvements project - when the current State Constitution was written in 1851, Article 10, Section 5 prohibits "any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State" except in very specific circumstances. Posted January 27, 2018 with an expanded description January 28, 2019 by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook. Learn more about canals at CANAL MANIA IN INDIANA with maps and more. Learn more about the Internal Improvements Act here and the effects it had on the state here: Historical Background of the Restrictions Against State Debt in the Indiana Constitution of 1851 Donald F. Carmony in June 1951 Indiana Magazine of History journal in the archives at Indiana University Scholarworks.

1838, February 11 - Andrew Jackson 7th President of the United States: 1829 ‐ 1837 Special Message February 11, 1836 To the Senate of the United States: I herewith return to the Senate the resolution of the legislature of the State of Indiana requesting the President to suspend from sale a strip of land 10 miles in width, on a line from Munceytown to Fort Wayne, which resolution was referred to me on the 5th instant. It appears from the memorial to which the resolution is subjoined that the lands embraced therein have been in market for several years past; that the legislature of the State of Indiana have applied to Congress for the passage of a law giving that State the right to purchase at such reduced prices as Congress may fix, and that their suspension from sale is requested as auxiliary to this application. By the acts of Congress now in force all persons who may choose to make entries for these lands in the manner prescribed by law are entitled to purchase the same, and as the President possesses no dispensing power it will be obvious to the Senate that until authorized by law he can not rightfully act on the subject referred to him. ANDREW JACKSON Copied from The American Presidency Project.

1836, June 28 - James Madison, The Father of the Constitution, 4th president of the US, dies in Montpelier, Virginia, at age 85, 1751-1836from theSmithsonian National Museum of American History blog.

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United States map on page 16 of A new and improved school atlas : to accompany The practical system of modern geography by Olney, J. (Jesse), 1798-1872; Olney, J. (Jesse), 1798-1872. Practical system of modern geography; Robinson, Pratt & Co, Publication date 1837 on Archive.org. Inspired by this post: For Geography Awareness Week, take a look at this map of the United States from A New and Improved School Atlas to Accompany the Practical System of Modern Geography, by J. Olney dated 1830. Students could learn how large the United States was by using the table showing the distances between Washington and the capital or largest city in each state. They could also use the table to find the distance between each of these cities. Posted November 13, 2022 by the DAR Museum on Facebook.

Panic of 1837 led to a national economic depression resulting in 1839 stopping of all state financed projects such as the Wabash & Erie Canal.

1837 - First Church was built at 334 East Berry Street, organized in 1831, it is now First Presbyterian Church at 300 West Wayne Street.

1837, February 6

February 6, 2024 post the Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

#OTD in 1837, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that authorized the Indiana Geological Survey and established the position of state geologist. Governor Noah Noble appointed David Dale Owen as the first state geologist. Governor Noble informed legislators in 1836 that a scientific survey would enable the state to better develop its mineral resources. During the study, Owen, the son of New Harmony founder Robert Dale Owen, studied the Wabash and Ohio rivers and sampled formations. He spent much of his survey in southern Indiana, where he evaluated salt, limestone, and iron. Historian Donald Carmony concluded that Owen's initial survey findings "were significant achievements and particularly so when viewed in the context of geological knowledge as of that time."

The 1837 Indiana Geological Survey evolved into the Indiana Geological & Water Survey at Indiana University and still operates to this day. According to their website, IGWS “conducts research, surveys the state, collects and preserves geologic specimens and data, and disseminates information to the mitigation of geologic hazards and the wise stewardship of the energy, mineral and water resources of Indiana.”

Learn more about the Indiana Geological and Water Survey here: https://igws.indiana.edu/

David Dale Owen, the first state geologist. Image courtesy of Indiana Historical Blog.

1837, October 14 - 23 German Fort Wayne families led Henry Rudisill organized the First German Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1846 the name was changed to The German Evangelical St. Paul's Lutheran Church and in 1922 to the current St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1837 - the Millers and the Kings opened a primitive tavern on the Piqua Road called Nine Mile.

1837, November - Henry Trier was born on the Trier homestead, the first white child born in Adams Township. From page 23 of the December 14, 1913 The Journal Gazette newspaper, reprinted in the December 2013 Allen County Lines page 41.

1837, December 2 - 40 to 50 Hugh McCulloch relatives celebrated Thanksgiving in the frontier town Fort Wayne. See Thanksgiving on The Genealogy Center blog posted November 21, 2016.

1837, December 7 - Governor Noah Noble proclaimed Indiana’s first Thanksgiving Day. From history of Thanksgiving in Indiana post November 27, 2015 on Indiana Bicentennial Commission on Facebook Facebook and November 25, 2015 on Only Indiana on Facebook.


Fort Wayne in 1838 by John W. Dawson, published 1953, on Archive.org

The state of Indiana delineated: by Colton, J[oseph] H[utchins], pub. [from old catalog], 1838 on Internet Archive.

1838, January 6 - Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. See Morse demonstrates telegraph on History.com.

1838, September 4 - near Twin Lakes and Rochester, Indiana. The Potawatomi Trail of Death route starting in Indiana, crossing Illinois and Missouri, and ending at present day Osawatomia, Kansas. Over 850 Potawatomi Indian people were rounded up and marched at gunpoint from their Indiana homeland. Many walked the 660-mile distance, which took two months. More than 40 died, mostly children, of thyphoid fever and the stress of the forced removal. Copied from What is the Trail of Death? at Potawatomi Trail of Death Assn.

September 4, 2017 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

"On the morning of September 4, 1838, a band of 859 Potawatomi, with their leaders restrained in the back of a wagon, set out on a forced march from their homeland in northern Indiana for a small reserve in present-day Kansas. To minimize the temptation for the Potawatomi to try to escape and return home militia members burned both fields and houses as the dejected members of the wagon train departed."

Learn more about the Trail of Death from Citizen Potawatomi Nation

September 4, 2022 post by The Winona History Center on Facebook:

On this date in 1838, the forced removal of area Potawatomi began. Known as the Trail of Death, this walk started when some of the local Potawatomi bands, including that of the famous Chief Menominee, had not left their homes in north-central and northwest Indiana when told to by Indiana's government.

After the deadline passed and the villages had refused to leave, Governor David Wallace ordered General John Tipton to mobilize the state militia to remove the tribe forcibly. On August 30, 1838, General Tipton and one hundred soldiers surrounded Twin Lakes and began to round up the natives, 859 in all. The Potawatomis’ crops and homes were burned to discourage them from trying to return.

On September 4 the march to Kansas began. The state supplied a caravan of twenty-six wagons to help transport their goods. On November 4 they reached the end of their journey, Osawatomie, Kansas, having traveled 660 miles (1,060 km). On arrival there were 756 Potawatomi left out of the 859 that started the journey. Some escaped, but forty-two died.

The removal of the Indiana Potawatomi was documented by Benjamin Petit, a Catholic priest, who marched with his congregation of natives on the Potawatomi Trail of Death. Chief Menominee died three years later, never returning to Indiana, although many of the exiles did attempt to return. Kansas named a county after the tribe and a reservation for Prairie Band Potawatomi is at Mayetta, Kansas.

While the map does not show the walk going through Kosciusko County, some of the local Native Americans were forced to move west with the other Potawatomi. The book "The Last Blackrobe of Indiana" tells the story of the horrific conditions along the journey from the perspective of Father Petit, including excerpts from his diary. The Winona History Center has a copy of this book in our archives (as do local libraries).


Miller and King opened a store at the site of the Nine Mile house. The name “Nine Mile” advertised its distance from the Allen County Court House.

1839 - Trinity Episcopal Church has its beginnings with a visit by the Rev. Benjamin Hutchins, a missionary.

1839, February 10 -

February 10, 2023 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

#OTD in 1839, Father Benjamin Marie Petit died of typhoid fever, contracted while accompanying a band of 859 Potawatomi on their forced 660-mile march from Indiana to present-day Kansas, now known as the Trail of Death. He was only 27-years old.

More than forty Potawatomi, many of them children, also died on the trek. Petit was born in France in 1811 and entered the Seminary of St. Sulpice in 1835. Eager for missionary work, he came to the United States in 1836 to join Bishop Simon Bruté of the Vincennes Diocese. Petit arrived in Indiana later that year. In October 1837, Bishop Bruté ordained Father Petit, and the new priest immediately set out to join the Potawatomi of northern Indiana. He wrote: “A priest yesterday, I said my first Mass today, and in two days I shall go to South Bend to console a tribe of Indians who have addressed a touching petition to Monseigneur for a new priest.” Less than a year later, Father Petit held his final services in his Indiana cabin-chapel. He wrote to his family September 1838: “I said Mass. Then my dear church was stripped of all its ornaments, and at the moment of my departure I called all my children together. I spoke to them one more time; I wept; my listeners sobbed. It was heart-rending.” After accompanying them on the forced march, Father Petit fell ill on his return journey to Indiana. Accompanied by his friend Nan-wesh-mah (Abram Burnett), he made the journey as far as a St. Louis Jesuit seminary where he died. In 1859, Father Edward Sorin of Notre Dame University returned Father Petit’s body to Indiana and laid him to rest at the Log Chapel at Notre Dame.

Learn more about the forced removal of the Potawatomi to create the Michigan Road through the Indiana History Blog: Re-centering the Potawatomi at Sycamore Row Part One and Injustice, Genocide, and “Survivance”: Re-centering the Potawatomi at Sycamore Row, Part Two.

The 1838 image below by George Winter, titled, “Pottawattamie Emigration,” is courtesy of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, Trail of Death Date: 9/4/1838 - 11/4/1838 .

April 12, 2023 post by Indiana State Library on Facebook:

“Pelican Island, on the Wabash” - an engraving done by George Winter between 1830 and 1852. Renowned as one of Indiana’s first artists, Winter became famous for his portrayals of the daily life of Hoosiers and the local Potawatomi and Miami peoples. #S3496 #RBM #Winter #Wabash

1839, November 28 - the first official Thanksgiving Day in Indiana, as proclaimed by Governor David Wallace. From page 77 in Lew Wallace: Boy Writer by Martha E. Schaaf.

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