Timelines for Allen County, Indiana

Timelines reveal interesting things we might not think to look for and provide information we might find no where else.

Notice the little man standing on the left side of the giant sycamore tree in the book Trees of Indiana by Charles Clemon Deam with several edtions from 1911 through 1921, several are found on the Internet Archive. The 1921 edition has the photo of the huge sycamore tree shown above with the caption:


How many of our ancestors saw and helped remove monster trees like the one above? The landscape that became Indiana once was one large natural area with its present boundary unrecognized, uncharted. Within the bounds of present-day Indiana, and stretching from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan, and from the Whitewater River to the Wabash lay more than 36,000 square miles of the finest forests and prairies, swamps and marshes, barrens and savannas, glades and cliffsides, bogs and fens, seeps and springs, and lakes and streams to be found anywhere in the heartland of North America. This paragraph is copied from an essay called Perspective: The Indiana that Was by Marion T. Jackson published in the book The Natural Heritage of Indiana, copyright 1997, Indiana University Press and printed on the website The Inspiration for the Natural Heritage of Indiana Project. The essay describes how early pioneers were able to remove those giant trees in just a few decades.

Where did your family live in any particular year? Check the city directories page that are also posted year by year from 1859 through 1920 on the timeline pages. 1921 through the present are not online, but are available in the Allen County Public Library The Genealogy Center.

  1. Fort Wayne History Stories about time periods beginning with 1000 to 1900 Millennium milestones in Fort Wayne and I remember Fort Wayne online tour of Summit City history from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  2. Fun facts for the Indiana Bicentennial by Steve Warden published June 15, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
  3. History Journal by The Journal Gazette newspaper started posting almost weekly stories in November 2018. It was previously known as Throwback Thursday with stories from their archive of newspapers going back to the 1800s and a collection of photo negatives beginning in the early 1940s. A History Journal indexed by decade was published January 26, 2020 by Corey McMaken.
  4. The Indiana government has two monthly timelines "On this day" happenings in Indiana History and Hoosier History Highlights. The Indiana Historian magazine has their magazines organized by topics online.

The Mastadon Digital Object Network has various collections such as:

  1. Fort Wayne Area History Collection 
  2. History Center Digital Collections
  3. Fort Wayne Area Election Returns Precinct by precinct election results for elections held in Allen County, Indiana from 1852 to 1967.

An Historical Timeline for Indiana, 1614-1911 by Bill Dollarhide published March11, 2014 on GenealogyBlog.com.

Timeline Trivia

There are a lot of trivia items in the timelines. Here a just a few:

  1. Who was Fort Wayne's first dentist?
  2. When did Fort Wayne first start numbering streets?
  3. What is Gesetze des Staates Indiana : passirt in der Extra-Sitzung?
  4. When was the last of the old fort demolished?
  5. When did the first railroad start construction in the city?
  6. When was the first Indiana state fair?
  7. When did the first city free schools open?
  8. What was the first theater to open in the city?
  9. When was Fort Wayne first called the Summit City?
  10. When was the first Fort Wayne City Directory?
  11. When was the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception built?
  12. When did Abraham Lincoln stop in Fort Wayne?
  13. When did construction on the brick third courthouse start?
  14. When did Governor Oliver P. Morton call for volunteers to join the Union Army during the Civil War?
  15. Who was the Fort Wayne born youngest Civil War soldier to serve the longest amount of time in the Union army?
  16. When did Congress pass the Legal Tender Act making paper money "greenbacks" legal tender?
  17. What Indiana medical doctor patented the Gatling gun?
  18. When was the first Fort Wayne police force orgainized?
  19. When did The Journal Gazette newspaper start publication?
  20. When and where was the first Civil War battle in Indiana?
  21. Why was a woman almost tarred and feathered near Leo?
  22. When did the Fort Wayne Police Department begin?
  23. When did Congress pass The Coinage Act of 1864 changing the composition of coins and adding the phrase In God We Trust?
  24. When was the Kekionga baseball team orgainized?
  25. What were the first paved streets in Fort Wayne?
  26. When was the Indiana State Fair held in Fort Wayne?
  27. Which amendment formally abolished slavery in the United States?
  28. When did Congress authorize minting of the nickel coin?
  29. When did Indiana ratify the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including former slaves recently freed?
  30. When did a 19th century flood inundate the city, covering the Nebraska neighborhood and going all the way north and east to Spy Run Creek?
  31. When did the city's first three hospitals, Hope, St. Joseph and Lutheran, organize?
  32. When did the U.S. first celebrate Memorial Day?
  33. When did the city's first African Methodist Episcopal Church organize?
  34. When was the Transcontinental Railroad with four ceremonial gold and silver spikes completed?
  35. When did Indiana ratify the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the denial of voting rights based upon race or color of skin?
  36. When and which President signed the U.S. Weather Service into law?
  37. When and which amendment gave African American men the right to vote?
  38. When did the Old Settlers Association form and print meeting highlights and lists of names in the local newspaper?
  39. What year did the city's first women's organizations form and bring Susan B. Anthony twice to Fort Wayne a few years later?
  40. When was the first professional baseball game played in Fort Wayne?
  41. When did the first horse drawn carriages go into service?
  42. When was the Catholic Cemetery established?
  43. When did the U.S. pass the first immigration law?
  44. When did the newspaper ask the city to restore and maintain the Old Fort property?
  45. When did the first medical school open quickly followed by arrests of local grave robbers?
  46. When did Alexander Graham Bell receive a patent for the telephone and make the first phone call?
  47. When was Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer defeated and killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn and who were the two men from Fort Wayne with him?
  48. When did the first city hospital open?
  49. When did Fort Wayne get its first water works and phone service?
  50. When was the first electrically lighted city in Indiana?
  51. When did Fort Wayne Jenney Electric start?
  52. When did the federal government direct states to record birth, marriage, and deaths at the county level?
  53. When did Thomas Edison flip the switch on America's first power plant in New York?
  54. When and where was the first lighted baseball game in Fort Wayne and some claimed in the world?
  55. Who and when was the last man hanged to death in Fort Wayne?
  56. When did the nation change to Railroad Time eliminating 23 time zones in Indiana?
  57. When did they lay the cornerstone on the Statue of Liberty in New York? When did the statue arrive from France?
  58. Did you know Fort Wayne Jenney Electric arc lamps lite the Statue of Liberty when it was lighted in New York?
  59. When was the Statue of Liberty dedicated?
  60. When did Fort Wayne's Sylvanus Bowser introduces the first gas pump to the world?
  61. When did Chief Geronimo the last Indian warrior to formally give in to U.S. forces and signal the end of the Indian Wars in the Southwest?
  62. When did George Eastman patent the Kodak roll-film camera thereby allowing widespread photography of everyday living?
  63. When did Fort Wayne switch from horse drawn to electric streetcars?
  64. When did the first automobile come to Fort Wayne?
  65. When was the first automobile seen driving around Fort Wayne? Are these the same events - more research needed!
  66. When did Fort Wayne play the first football game?
  67. When did the first Fort Wayne library room open, the first library?
  68. When did Robison Park open?
  69. When was the first professional baseball league?
  70. Did Indiana really try to pass a law about the math pi value?
  71. When did Indiana law require doctors and nurses to receive a license?
  72. When was the historic Allen County Court House cornerstone laid and then open for business?
  73. When did rural mail delivery start in Allen County?
  74. When did the first voting machines come to Indiana
  75. When did Fort Wayne renumber houses and change street names?
  76. 2016 Indiana Bicentennial weekly posts
  77. When did the state of Indiana encourage formation of local historical societies and preservation of county records?
  78. When did Indiana begin to regulate cocaine, opium and morphine without a prescription?
  79. When was a week long horse racing event held in Fort Wayne?
  80. When was the second time Fort Wayne renumbered houses?
  81. When did Ford sell their first Model A car?
  82. When did Indiana pass the first motor vehicle speed limits?
  83. When did Indiana first register motor vehicles?
  84. When did Indiana outlaw first cousin marriages?
  85. When did an American woman who marries a foreign national lose her citizenship?
  86. When did Ford's first Model T leave the production line?
  87. When was the first radio broadcast?
  88. When and who was the woman who made the first solo flight in Fort Wayne?
  89. When and where was the first weather bureau office opened in Fort Wayne?
  90. When was the Foster Park dedication?
  91. When did Indiana adopt the state song On the Banks of the Wabash Far Away?
  92. What month was the 1913 flood - worst flood in Fort Wayne history?
  93. What was living thing was prohibited for sending in the mail in 1914 by the Postmaster?
  94. When was the idea of the Lincoln Highway revealed?
  95. What migratory bird was hunted to extinction in 1914 when flocks formerly miles long darkend the sky for hours as they flew overhead?
  96. When did the Penn Central Railroad Stataion better known as Baker Street Station open?
  97. When was the first transcontinental telephone line completed connecting the east and west coast phone lines?
  98. When was the first electric traffic light installed in the U.S.?
  99. What school and when was the city's first high school football team?
  100. When was the first city professional football team?
  101. When did the a mile long procession open the Lincoln Highway between New Haven and Fort Wayne?
  102. When did 50,000 people meet the Liberty Bell in Fort Wayne?
  103. When did 10,000 people attend the opening of the Harmar School?
  104. When was the Fort Wayne Centennial Pageant The Glorious Gateway of the West at Reservoir Park?
  105. When did Indiana adopt the state flag?
  106. What was the name change from the Fort Wayne City Hospital?
  107. What important history book was published in 1917?
  108. When did the Allen County Chapter of the American Red Cross begin?
  109. When did the United States declare war on Germany and enter World War I?
  110. When did the Selective Service Act pass requiring males between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to register for the draft which provides a nice source of genealogy information?
  111. When was the Presidental Proclaimation Alien Enemies Act requiring alien males and females register providing a unique source of genealogy information on those immigrants?
  112. What was the lowest temperature ever recorded in Fort Wayne?
  113. What bank was originally named the German American National Bank?
  114. When did Daylight Savings Time first begin in Indiana?
  115. When did prohibition begin in Indiana?
  116. What year on the the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month did World War I end?
  117. What future president went skilly dipping in Lawton Park?
  118. When did Indiana ratify the 18th Amendment - Prohibition Act that outlawed alcoholic beverages?
  119. When did Indiana pass laws banning German from being taught in any public, private or parochial schools?

See List of United States immigration laws at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

  1. American state papers : documents, legislative and executive, of the Congress of the United States ... is early United States documents from the 1st Congress, 1st session April 30, 1789 through the 25th Congress, March 1, 1838 with links to all the 38 volumes on the bottom of the page on Internet Archive.
  2. There are over 18,500 volumes listed under United States Congress on Internet Archive.


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Page updated: January 27, 2020